What the Heart Demands . . .
A classic tale of stubborn desire and irresistible passion.
As stubborn as she is beautiful, Phadra Abbott will not be deterred when she sets her mind on something. And now that the reckless heiress has decided to track down her spendthrift father, nothing is going to stand in her way—not even her handsome, long-suffering guardian Grant Morgan. Though strong and level-headed, Grant has watched his own life go disastrously awry since he first tried to arrange the irrepressible Miss Abbott’s future. And he has no choice now but to accompany Phadra on her latest misadventure—for it’s not only his sworn duty that compels him, but a raging, newly born desire to hold his maddening, enchanting adversary in his arms. . . and to love her for all time.
TREASURED VOWS is still my favorite of the books I’ve written. I love the character of Phadra Abbott. I admire her audacity, her resiliency, and her vulnerability.
Is she out of step with Regency heroines? I don’t think so. The Regency was a time of vivid characters and boundless opportunity. It was the beginning of the Modern Age. Ideas we now accept as fact were fresh and shocking. Like so many of us, Phadra comes to an awakening–if she wants to live life to its fullest, it’s going to have to be up to her. No Knight in Shining Armour is going to find her in the girl’s school her father conveniently stashed her away in. What she knows of the world has been from books. Now, she’s ready to see for herself . . . and she’s not even certain if she wants a Knight.
I’ve had many people ask about Phadra’s name. It is pronounced “Fay-dra” just like the Phaedra of myth but that isn’t where I took the name (which, by the way, has been spelled many different ways over the centuries). My Phadra is the name of a young girl who had been beaten and left to die alone in a ditch around the time I was writing the book. The news stories haunted me. That Phadra never had chance. My Phadra would.
I took a risk in writing the character of Grant Morgan. He’s a banker. Yes, that’s right, a banker. How do you make a hero out of a banker? It’s far easier than you think. Those who love bankers would agree it is good to have someone level headed about money on your side. Grant is amazingly steady. In fact, he’s so steady, he does need a shake up and Phadra with her scarves and toe bells is exactly the right person to challenge him at every turn.
She dances on dreams; he is rooted in reality. Someplace in between love happens.
I hope you enjoy Grant and Phadra as much as I do.
All my best,