My First Love

Ah, there’s nothing like a first love. No matter how wonderful subsequent romances are, somehow he’s the one we’ll always remember. I think it’s going to be that way with me and the hero from my first romance novel.

As you can see from the banner, this post is part of a blog hop from Just Romance Me. Since the theme of this blog hop is A Midsummer Night’s Dream Man, I thought I’d focus in on one of my romantic heroes and give you a little bit of insight into who he is and how he came about. (And maybe why I still love him best.)

Meet Le Chevalier de Mont Trignon. A “chevalier” is the French equivalent of an English knight. 
Le Chevalier published July 4, 2012

The word has the same origin as chivalry, and Mont Trignon doesn’t disappoint. Raised with four younger sisters, he has a unique respect for women. His best friend growing up was a young woman named Nicole. He eventually married her, but she had been sickly since birth and theirs was never quite a real marriage if you know what I mean. Mont Trignon is different from so many of today’s heroes in that he’s almost an innocent.

Reader alert! There is quite a bit of explicit sexuality in this novel. Mont Trignon is a quick study, and don’t go thinking I’m closing any bedroom doors.

I thought Mont Trignon’s innocence was a bit ironic. I mean, after all, he is French! His friend, the marquis, thinks it ironic too. But as much as I tried to give him more of that certain je ne seis quoi that would make him more experienced, he kept telling me I was wrong.  Anyone who has ever written a novel will tell you that characters sometimes insist on writing their own personalities. Mont Trignon wasn’t taking any orders from me!

Mont Trignon’s grief over the death of his wife and best friend drove him to volunteer to accompany the Marquis de Lafayette to America to see if there was anything to be made of the American’s War for Independence.

Quick aside: Mont Trignon may be French, but Le Chevalier is set in Philadelphia just before the British invaded. I don’t speak French, so when I wanted to have him say or think something in French, I turned to Google Translate. It must be pretty good because my editor majored in French and the only corrections she made were gender-based ones such as amie vs ami.

Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Gilbert du Motier,
marquis de La Fayette
The Marquis, as many of you probably know, IS a real character from American history. You can learn more about his contribution to the Revolution in My Favorite Revolutionary War Hero and What Became of the Marquis? He was the inspiration for Mont Trignon in that I wanted to write about the Marquis, but I couldn’t exactly make him the hero of a romance novel – especially since he was already married! Plus, I’m not very fond of historical fiction that rewrites history in significant ways. While I speculated a little bit about the Marquis’ personality (after doing my research) I tried to stay as true as I could to actual historical events.

Staying true to history is why Mont Trignon is wearing a dress in chapter one.

Yes, that’s right. In fact he wears a dress a couple of times in the first half of the book. Rest assured, this is a traditional M/F romance, but this dress business may be why I found Le Chevalier listed at the San Francisco Public Library.

As I was studying the Marquis, I read via Wikipedia that the Marquis escaped France dressed as a woman after his father threatened to have him locked him up in the Bastille. (It wasn’t uncommon for young hotheaded nobles to be cool their heals for a few days in the Bastille at the request of their parents.) As much as I love reading Wikipedia entries, I never take them at face value, so I thought it safer to have the Marquis’ men dress as women to help disguise his sailing party.

Mont Trignon is also dabbling as a spy. His father was a member of Le Secret du Roi (The King’s Secret) a secret organization used by Louis XV. While Le Secret du Roi fell apart under Louis XVI, Mont Trignon had learned the trade at the feet of a master and he put the skills to good use in America dressed as Marie.

I’ll leave you with a quick excerpt:

“Do you love all of these women?” Alex asked. She didn’t care for the wistful tone in her voice, nor for the tears she had to blink back. 

It took a moment for Mont Trignon to respond. “I can assure you I love each and every one of them, and they love me. Does that surprise you?” he said, with a gentleness more characteristic of the man she had yet to know much about.  

“No, actually, it doesn’t.” As his gaze searched her face, she had no desire to speak anything but the truth. “It just surprises me that you would court so many women at once.”  

A wicked grin touched his lips. “Oh, I am not courting them.”  

Alex tried to back away when he took another step forward, but with her backside already up against the wall, she had nowhere to go.  

“No, of course not,” she said, glad the darkness of the night covered the heat rising in her cheeks. “I understand that marriage is not always the goal.”  

“It is not?” He held his body so close that Alex could feel the heat emanating from him even through her cloak.  

“No, it isn’t,” she whispered, her gaze settling on his lips.

“Then what is the goal, ma bichette?” Moonlight caught his hazel eyes, turning them to burnished gold.

 She could not voice aloud the response the intensity of his gaze brought to mind.

 “Passion.” She grimaced. Apparently, she could voice her thoughts aloud. She squirmed with embarrassment as a slow smile crept to his lips.

“Not love?” he asked, his voice rumbling deep within his chest as he lowered his face.

“That would be nice too,” she managed to say, just before his lips took hers.

All the best!


P.S. remember to visit the other authors in this blog hop, especially my good friend, Maddy Barone, who was kind enough to tell me about the opportunity! 


  1. Great excerpt! added it to my TBR for sure! :)

  2. Thanks for participating in the awesome hop and thanks for sharing!

  3. This looks pretty good. I am very "into" that period. steph (at)

  4. and I forgot my email there on my comment: steph (at)

  5. I enjoy these blog hops. I always find new authors and books to read.


  6. A great blurb, curious to want to read more of this book.
    skpetal at hotmail dot com

  7. Sounds like this one will be good, as well. This is so fun. There are so many great stories to try out!

  8. Thanks for the peek, Mary Jean!

  9. Verrrry interesting. I love when characters insist on going their own direction. They always go to such interesting places ;) Thanks for sharing

  10. Sounds like a good story thanks for being in the hop

  11. Nice excerpt

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  12. Wow, that's quite a bit of research!

  13. I love originality! And it sounds like you're very much into writing original novels Mary. :) I'd love to have you guest on my blog some time because I love to write historicals in different time periods. :)

    Denise A. Agnew

  14. I really want to read this book!
    dixiedukegurl2 AT yahoo DOT com

  15. Thank you for being part of this hop... I love that you kept true to history as much as possible... Sometimes that can be frustrating for an author. And this does sound like very good read.

  16. Great Blurb and I'm a little curious so it is now on my TBR list

  17. I love this hop. There are so many great authors and you all give fantastic prizes too. Thanks for being part of the hop and for the chance to win. <^_^>
    reneebennett35 (at) yahoo (dot) com

  18. Makes me want to get to know Mont Trignon more.
    bituin76 at hotmail dot com

  19. Greetings, Interesting excerpt. I'm not usually a fan of the historical genre but this looks pretty good.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Belinda G
    belgre at comcast dot net

  20. Loved the excerpt! Definitely my type of read. Thank you for being in the hop!

  21. Great excerpt! and a definite add to my tbr list. Thank you for sharing it and being part of the blog hop.

    cms72023 at gmail dot com

  22. Great excerpt thanks for sharing and participating in the hop.

  23. Thanks for the excerpt and participating in the hop.

  24. Thanks for sharing the excerpt!

    beckerjo at verizon dot net

  25. I love historical romance and finding out about the research the author did during their writing. jepebATverizonDOTnet

  26. Great concept for the book. Love references to real historical figures and places.