My popular Regency romance, THE RELUCTANT LANDLORD, first started as a writing exercise. Back in the last century (!) I belonged to a writers group--published authors and earnest beginners included. One of the writing exercises assigned was a phrase, sort of like a “What if” situation, to jumpstart the imagination. Since it was so long ago, I don’t remember what the exact phrase was except that it had something to do with something being thrown. What was thrown, the setting, story genre, and circumstances were all up to the writer.
It didn’t take long for me to come up with an idea. Set in Regency times, the short paragraph I wrote was about an impoverished young miss who flung a pouch filled with guineas back at the toplofty lord who had thrown it at her. He’d wanted her to remove herself and her aunt from his newly acquired lodgings. The coins were thrown to reimburse her for her trouble. The affronted young lady, Katrina Jones, stood her ground.
And so THE RELUCTANT LANDLORD was born!
A BATTLE OF WILLS
Impoverished Katrina Jones is determined to earn a living by pursuing a career. Her landlord, the Earl of Udall, has other ideas for her. Can she set aside her fears about marriage and learn that trust goes hand in hand with love?
A THORN IN HIS SIDE
Quentin Thornhill, the Earl of Udall, is used to having his own way. When the delightful Katrina inadvertently thwarts his plans to install his latest mistress at his newly-won lodging, he begins to realize that not all females are as devious as the women he has known. Can he overcome his cynicism and give his heart to this young and innocent silhouettist?
Artist’s concept cover
THE RELUCTANT LANDLORD has had a home from the beginning at Wings ePress where it’s been on the publisher’s best-seller list. This novel has also been on the Fictionwise.com’s best-seller list and has earned two FIVE STAR reviews on Goodreads.
Lord Udall plans to install his mistress at his newly won lodging, but impoverished Katrina wants to live there instead. Who will be the victor?
Another THE RELUCANT LANDLORD fun fact is that the characters of Katrina and Quentin make a brief appearance in another Regency at Wings ePress--A CONTINENTAL MARRIAGE. It was so cool revisiting their personalities, along with a few of the other folks in the book!
This book is part of the Elegant Regencies line.
For those of you who like to read reviews, get ready... here they come!
Whenever I think of Regency romance, the names Mary Balogh and Carla Kelly come easily to mind. Susanne Marie Knight, a name not familiar to man, pens THE RELUCTANT LANDLORD, a wonderful story that is sure to touch the hearts of Regency fans, and establish her as one of the rising stars of Regency romance. THE RELUCTANT LANDLORD is a delightful Regency romp which will titillate with its diverse and well-created characters. Both Quentin and Katrina are well-developed. Along with Quentin and Katrina, Ms. Knight creates a menagerie of secondary characters that is unique and memorable. The Dowager, Aunt Hattie, and the evil Therese come quickly to mind. Four-year-old Freddy also stands out as we watch him more from a quiet, scared boy to a vibrant energetic individual bubbling with laughter. Wonderful characterization, a perfect sense of the Regency era, and a well-developed plot makes THE RELUCTANT LANDLORD one of the best Regency romances I’ve read so far for the year. Ms. Knight is a formidable talent!--Word On Romance
THE RELUCTANT LANDLORD was a wonderful Regency adventure. The characters were just heroic enough that they came across as both warmly human and singularly unique. The reader can cheer through their initial backbiting and later problems, and easily finds herself swept along a roller coaster ride of excitement that ends all too quickly. Another plus was that the villains were actual three-dimensional people, not the stereotypical people cutouts that serve as antagonists in some novels. The ending is poignant and eminently satisfying--a sure bet for anyone who enjoys the sweeter side of historical romance. Packed full of action, emotional drama, and of course, romance, THE RELUCTANT LANDLORD is wonderful proof of Ms. Knight’s talents at both characterization and setting. Readers should watch this gifted author--she is a star in the making.--Paranormal Romance Reviews
Ms. Knight has written yet another enjoyable romp illustrating the development of an unlikely relationship between two opposites. Her quirky sense of humor and endearing characters provide hours of reading pleasure, along with a fast moving plot written smoothly and seemingly without effort. Well-rounded characters, which thoroughly likeable, are not without their faults, which serve to add compelling back-story and character development beneath the talents of Ms. Knight’s pen. She has once again delivered with THE RELUCTANT LANDLORD.--Road To Romance
THE RELUCTANT LANDLORD is a well-written book which contains very good characterizations. If you like brooding heroes, this is a book for you. Ms. Knight has created a very believable villainess, who I wanted to strangle. THE RELUCTANT LANDLORD is the third book that I have read by this author, but hopefully it won’t be the last. I truly enjoyed all of Ms. Knight’s books, and will be looking for her other titles. I only hope she writes more Regencies.--The Best Reviews
The author deftly portrays a relationship that goes from battling to lively to warm, and four-year-old Freddie is a heart-grabbing little tyke. THE RELUCTANT LANDLORD shows us once again that the path of true love seldom runs smooth. Quentin and Trina face conflict after conflict. Some are the result of the differences between an innocent country girl and a disillusioned man of the world. Some are caused by the evil intentions of others. In either case, they make for intriguing situations. For a well-wrought plot about lives gone wrong, love, redemption and just desserts, I recommend THE RELUCTANT LANDLORD.--Romance Reviews Today
THE RELUCTANT LANDLORD is a lighthearted romance... There are a lot of obstacles in the Earl and Katrina's path before they can find true love. Fortunately, the Earl is a man used to getting his own way and sweeps aside anyone who tries to thwart him. Though he is formidable, he is still rather a likable character. Susanne Marie Knight wrote the characters well and it is evident that they are thoroughly thought out. They interact with each other superbly and this makes them all the more interesting. A Romance Review
Susanne Marie Knight clearly knows her historical period: in THE RELUCTANT LANDLORD she gives her Regency heroine an interesting but unique occupation in keeping with the times. A surprising plot twist forges Katrina and Quentin’s connection into something more serious.--Romantic Times Magazine
4 Stars! THE RELUCTANT LANDLORD was a charming story and an enjoyable read.--Sime-Gen Reviews
Ms. Knight has created a traditional Regency that is intriguing and full of twists and turns for the hero.--Love Romances
5 Stars!--S. U.
I read this book a dozen times! It is sweet, natural, and full of happy things.--S. M.
I recommend THE RELUCTANT LANDLORD as one you will remember. Wonderful characters, great story. It's a keeper--L.S.
I enjoyed THE RELUCTANT LANDLORD!--P.E.
A captivating read!--C.L.
THE RELUCTANT LANDLORD is a fabulous story!--L.S
The writing is quite atmospheric--it's nicely descriptive, with a good use of idiom that anchors this firmly in the soil of Regency London. There's also an amusing tone here, a nice clip to the pace and the supporting characters are nicely drawn. As well, the heroine is appealing and feisty with a strong independent streak.--J.S.
I find the characters to be quite engaging.--J.K.L.
I enjoyed reading this story. Your voice is strong, your style rhythmic and smooth. Your heroine, Katrina, is in dire circumstances, indeed, and I admire her valiant spirit. The aunt is a good bit of comic relief, well handled.--RWA Golden Heart judge.
You depict your characters with a great deal of verve and freshness, and I get a good idea of what they are like as 'people'. They do come alive for me as a reader.--RWA Golden Heart judge.
Excellent description and characterization!--RWA Golden Heart judge.
One of my favorite bits and pieces from real life is that in THE RELUCTANT LANDLORD, the character of young Freddy likes to insist he's Arthur, the future Duke of Wellington, a hero from the Napoleonic Wars. I can thank a child from my daughter's pre-school for this. Out of the blue, a little boy walked over to me and with a serious face, told me he was Batman! Below, we find Constance, Quentin’s mother and Freddy’s grandmother, reminiscing:
Retrieving her hanky from behind her back, Constance blotted at the moisture seeping from her eyes. "Freddy’s current hero is Wellesley, you know. The dear boy corrects me if I call him Freddy. ‘I’m Viscount Wellington, Grandmama,’ he says. ‘I fight that nasty Bonaparte.’ Lord, Freddy reminds me so much of his father Robert."
Also, Katrina has an unusual hair color. At one time I did also: blonde and brown. Here’s a passage soon after Quentin has his first run-in with Katrina.
Miss Jones’ hair was a most strange color combination: sun-ripened maize--almost white in its intensity, yet streaked by coppery brown. Most unusual. Yet he was certain he had seen this mixture before. But where? And why was he waxing poetic over a thing as mundane as a woman’s hair?
THE RELUCTANT LANDLORD starts with a very dark hero who has been deceived by the important women in his life. The impoverished heroine changes his mind about females and about love. His transformation from cynic to lover is an interesting journey, and at the end, the “villainess” comments: “You have become too...domesticated...for my tastes.” There’s also a surprise twist to a secondary character that even I didn’t know would happen when I was writing the story! If you love Regency romance, this book’s for you! I hope you enjoy Katrina and Quentin’s story.
Susanne Marie Knight
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