Interview with Sophie Barnes, Author of Her Scottish Scoundrel

25 May 2021

By Sophie Barnes

When I began the Diamonds in the Rough series, I only planned for it to consist of five novels. But with each story I wrote the secondary characters evolved until the series consisted of eight full length novels and one novella.

As the seventh book in the Diamonds in the Rough series, and with Blayne MacNeil already a well-established character, I had a clear idea of his backstory long before I wrote the first words of Her Scottish Scoundrel. Charlotte on the other hand was new and fresh. I had to become acquainted with her first. But, given Blayne’s history, I knew she’d have to be strong in order to give him her full support once she learned the truth about his past and the crime he once committed.

Building on this, I poured parts of myself into both characters, creating a female novelist with a penchant for adventure romance, and a hero who loves tending plants.

The tending plants part was actually inspired by my own vegetable and herb growing experiences last year at the start of the pandemic. I planted cucumbers, potatoes, Swiss chard, tomatoes, spring onions, corn, beans, and pumpkins, as well as a giant sunflower I sadly lost to a summer storm despite my best attempts to save it.

Caring for each individual seedling and watching its progress became an exciting family activity, and since I wanted to give Blayne a soft side, I decided hobby gardening would be perfect for him, along with his fondness for romance novels.

Until this book, he’d always been the brawny Scotsman who helped a notorious crime lord keep the slums, and some of London’s worst scum, under control. But as Her Scottish Scoundrel progresses, his personality and charm are uncovered. Like Carlton Guthrie (Blayne’s friend and employer – The Forgotten Duke), there’s more to this man than meets the eye. While fearsome and dangerous, there’s gentleness too – a need for love and understanding – that helps win the heroine’s heart.

Meanwhile, Charlotte must claw her way toward the future she wants – or away from the one being forced upon her by her father – through sheer determination. Intent on being the master of her own fate, she stubbornly keeps her eyes on the goal she’s set for herself. Until she falls for Blayne and she realizes her priorities have to change if they are to be together.

While neither character wants to marry at the onset of the story, the love that grows between them eventually leads them straight to the altar and to the happily ever after they deserve.

Both characters were written to compliment and challenge each other. I hope you will enjoy their story as much as I enjoyed writing it.


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