Laurel McKee

Maidens, today we’d like to welcome the talented historical romance author Laurel McKee.  She’s here to share with us about her latest release TWO SINFUL SECRETS, which we previously read and reviewed (and loved)!  Please help us welcome her to UTC!

What is your favorite part about writing historical romance and what made you choose this genre?
–I’ve been in love with history ever since I found a stash of Heyer and Cartland novels at my grandmother’s house when I was a kid!  They inspired me to go to the library and find some non-fiction books to learn more about the time periods I loved.  I really enjoy learning about how people lived in other eras, how they thought and felt–and especially the clothes ๐Ÿ™‚  It’s like getting to live in another world for a little while and then come back safely to my own time.
This might be a genre that requires a bit more research to get things right.  Was there something during your research that stood out or that you really enjoyed?
–I had never written a Victorian-set story before (I mostly stick to Regency and Tudor), so I really loved delving into the time period.  One aspect I really enjoyed was looking at the Victorian-era theater.  The Victorians loved their theater!!  It really evolved in this time period to what we recognize as the theater-going experience, and there were many big stars.  I also loved finding out that the Victorians, underneath all the hoopskirts, were quite naughty. ๐Ÿ™‚
In TWO SINFUL SECRETS you have 2 families that are long time enemies.  What was your inspiration for these two families?
–I’ve always loved reading a good family-feud story, thanks to “Romeo and Juliet”!  (But I would never give my characters an ending like the Montagues and Capulets…)  I also love an opposites-attract story, so I have the two families very opposite, one warm, close, artistic, accepting, the other very concerned with appearances and position above all else.
Favorites are always hard, but do you have a favorite character or one that’s closest to your heart?
–I really loved Sophia in “Two Sinful Secrets”!  She was beautiful and smart, but also very adventurous and rebellious.  She kept surprising me as the story went along, it was hard to keep up with her.
What was your favorite scene to write in TWO SINFUL SECRETS?
–I loved the scene where Sophia and Dominic went to dinner at the fancy Paris cafe (actually, I loved all the Paris scenes, since that is my favorite city!) and then found a secret little “bookshop” that had some, er, rather naughty stuff in the back room!  I based it on a real bookshop I found in my research.
You also write Regency romance as Amanda McCabe.  What made you decide to write under another pen name?
–Different publishers!  It helps keep everything straight. ๐Ÿ™‚  My Laurel books are also a wee bit naughtier…
What’s next for the Scandalous St. Claires?
–Someday hopefully Elizabeth and Brendan’s story!  They have quite the past together.  Right now I am working on a new Elizabethan mystery series (The Kate Haywood Elizabethan Mysteries, out in fall 2013) and a new Amanda McCabe Regency series…
What was the last movie you watched?
–Silver Linings Playbook, which was excellent!
What do you like to do when youโ€™re not writing?
–Go out with my friends!  Or stay in with a book.
What is the last book you read?
–“The Lady Penelope” by Sally Varlow, a bio of Penelope Rich (I would love to write a novel about her someday)
Morning person or Night Owl? –Definitely night owl!
If you could read one book again for the first time, which one would it be?
–Jane Eyre!  I found that book when I was about 10, and stayed up all night reading it…
Two Sinful Secrets

A hundred years has passed since the bitter rivalry between the St. Claires and the Huntingtons began. But in London, the feud goes on . . .

In this battle between enemies, passion will win.

Lady Sophia Huntington isn’t what she appears to be. Born into a noble family, the impulsive, wild-hearted beauty has fallen on difficult times. Banished from her home, Sophia dreams of the day she can finally win her father’s forgiveness and return to London. Until the sudden appearance of a suitor from the scandalous St. Claire family threatens to reveal her darkest secrets . . .

Dominic St. Claire vows to exact revenge upon the Huntingtons, who destroyed his family’s fortune generations ago. His perfect target is the lovely but proud Lady Sophia. After using her to discover the Huntingtons’ financial secrets, he will cause a great scandal by elopingโ€” and then abandoning his bride. But his plot soon unravels when he finds his own heart ensnaredโ€”in a trap not of his own making.


About the Author:

Laurel McKee is the pen name for regency romance writer Amanda McCabe.

Amanda wrote her first romance at the age of sixteen–a vast historical epic starring all her friends as the characters, written secretly during algebra class (and her parents wondered why math was not her strongest subject…)

She’s never since used algebra, but her books have been nominated for many awards, including the RITA Award, the Romantic Times BOOKReviews Reviewers’ Choice Award, the Booksellers Best, the National Readers Choice Award, and the Holt Medallion. She lives in Oklahoma with a menagerie of two cats, a Pug, and a very bossy miniature Poodle, along with far too many books.

When not writing or reading, she loves taking dance classes, collecting cheesy travel souvenirs, and watching the Food Network–even though she doesn’t cook.


Forever Romance is giving away one winner a historical romance pack including TWO SINFUL SECRETS by Laurel McKee, and you will also get RIPE FOR SEDUCTION by Isobel Carr, TOO DANGEROUS TO DESIRE by Cara Elliott and THE LAIRDโ€™S CHOICE by Amanda Scott. US ONLY.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. I LOVE to read “new-to-me” authors. What wonderful engaging and fun reads I have found hat way!! Thank you for this great giveaway. It will make a wonderful Christmas gift!

  2. Thanks for such a great and enlightening interview. I’d love to win your win, and the others, then all my Christmas and New Year reading would be sorted.

    Congratulations on your recent marriage. I wish you both years and years of happiness. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Congrats on your wedding & thank you for the interview. I am new to your work but I am loving what I have seen so far. Thank you for the chance to win ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Laurel, I absolutely love this cover (would love to have that corset!). The book sounds great and, since it’s a romance, I’ll get a HEA, which was always the turnoff when it came to Romeo and Juliet.

  5. I haven’t read any of Laurel McKee’s books before but Two Sinful Secrets sounds like a fantastic story and I’m looking forward to reading it.

  6. I read everything by Georgette Heyer in our public library. I moved on to Mary Stewart and Victoria Holt. Then I stumbled onto Bertrice Small and Sergeanne Golon. I was hooked forever more on Romance :-). I love all English/Scottish Historical Romance but Victorian times are fun. Thanks for the giveaway