When I wrote the first book in my lighthearted Regent Mysteries series, With His Lady'sAssistance (2011), I knew it was romantic, and I knew it was going to be a series featuring the dashing Captain Jack Dryden and Lady Daphne Chalmers as sleuths. But I did not know how I was going to sustain a fresh romance in subsequent books.
Quite naturally, Jack and Daphne fall in love in Book 1. Thereafter, they team up to solve mysteries for the Prince Regent. In the second book, A Most Discreet Inquiry, they marry, and many obstacles get in the way of the consummation of their marriage.
When I got to the third book, I knew that as much as Jack and Daphne loved one another, their romance had been done. Readers needed something fresh. So in The Theft Before Christmas, two lonely souls of disparate ages are spending Christmas with Jack and Daphne, and while their hosts are off solving a mystery for the Prince Regent, they fall in love. Readers tell me the romantic subplot in the book is "precious." Here's what one reader on Goodreads had to say: "The romantic subplot with two side characters was surprisingly affecting; I was really rooting for them both by the end, and considering that this is a novella, that's saying quite a lot."
(As an aside: Book 1, With His Lady's Assistance, was a finalist for Best Historical in the 2011 International Digital Awards, and The Theft Before Christmas was a finalist for Best Short Historical in the 2013 International Digital Awards.)
In the last book (for now), An Egyptian Affair, Jack and Daphne's investigation takes them to Egypt, and Daphne knows she cannot go there without bringing her sister Rosemary, who is mad for anything to do with Egypt. Rosemary's also mad for a Captain Cooper, even though he's never shown any particular attraction to her. Accompanying them on the journey is the bespectacled Cambridge scholar, Stanton Maxwell. As Rosemary's life is jeopardized, she comes to realize it's Mr. Maxwell who is possessed of heroic qualities.
As a reader, I enjoy mysteries, but they're even more satisfying if there's a romance in the story. It's important to me that every book I write is romantic. What about you?--Surprisingly, many readers think Cheryl's latest full-length release, Miss Hastings Excellent London Adventure, is a mystery.