Which Came First, the Passage or the Fourtship (Fake Courtship)?

The first idea for The Earl Next Door came from my curiosity with hidden passageways that might connect townhomes in Mayfair. I thought of Piety’s and Trevor’s shared wall before I was able to dig up research that passages like this did exist in 19th-century London.

From the idea of a passageway, the meet-cute scene was born, with Falcondale playing chess downstairs and Piety letting herself in to his upstairs music room.

After this, I knew I wanted to invoke the ideas of a fake courtship (one of my favorite tropes) and a culminating scene in which the heroine is injured and the hero has to search his heart about the potential losing of her. Finally, I wanted some kind of home renovation/HGTV backdrop. I threw all of this into the pot, put it on sizzle, and began to stir.

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