I’ve always loved the eighteenth century. Maybe it was the Scarlet Pimpernel books, which I devoured with delight. All that swashbuckling. Swords made from Toledo steel brandished in duels fought in misty mornings, villains banished, honour defended, and faithful servants obeying their masters’ every whim.
Except it wasn’t like that, of course. As I read more widely, I realised that the eighteenth century was much like any other century. There were dark corners, grime and dirt everywhere, muggers and thieves. And the aristocracy didn’t always see – or want to see – the terrible conditions in which other people sometimes lived. Which, of course, was what led to the Revolution in France.
So when it came to writing a romance myself, I knew I wanted to set it in the eighteenth century but I knew too that the books had to reflect the realities of life. And it was particularly difficult for gay men, an offence that could result in hanging.
So my central character, Marcus, Lord Rothbury, is dashing and courageous – he can wield a sword with the best of them – but he faces the consequences of closing your eyes to the real world. The French king and queen haves ignored the complaints of the people and are in prison. Rothbury is on the run in northern France, not just from the rebels, but also from his attraction to James Lockhart, American pamphleteer, with whom Rothbury had a brief, and memorable, fling in Paris. Rothbury finds himself increasingly in love – but that would mean abandoning his estates and his heritage. Can he bring himself to do that?
What’s the hardest decision you’ve had to make for love?
About Chasing the Rebel
Marcus, Lord Rothbury, is on the run. Part of a foiled plot to help King Louis and Queen Marie Antoinette escape to Switzerland, he’s searching for the jewels the rebels stole from the queen—jewels that, when sold in England, will buy the monarchs’ freedom and restore the aristocratic order Marcus holds dear.
Pamphleteer James Lockhart publicly condemns the monarchy and has his own plans for the jewels—selling them to help the Parisian poor. But when the two are thrown together against a common adversary, Marcus finds himself increasingly attracted to the impetuous American.
As they hunt for the jewels, Marcus begins to suspect his companion isn’t all he seems. Secretive and changeable, James could be playing a double game, and Marcus can’t be sure who James is fighting against—the enemy, or the man who’s fallen in love with him.
Tyler Flynn was born in the English Lake District which has left her with an abiding love of mountains and water, and of the great outdoors generally, as well as a passion for history. Her favourite hobbies are travelling and reading, and she adores cycle racing – but the armchair variety which involves watching other people do all the hard work. She loves writing because it allows her to live in worlds that ought to exist.