This week I decided to look at what is usually counted as the first book in the Danver’s series. It is actually the second book I wrote
, but chronologically it is the first in the timeline. But to understand the inspiration for One Night of Passion, you have to go back to that original Danvers series story, Once Tempted.
When I started writing Once Tempted, I hadn’t given much thought to Robert Danvers’s brothers, that is until I was writing the scene in Chapter Nine where Olivia asks Robert’s older brother, Colin, how he met his wife. It goes something like this:
“Tell me about your wife, Captain Danvers. I always wondered how it was that men of the sea found time to court a lady. How did you meet her?”
Apparently the subject was something of a family scandal, for both Colin and Robert sputtered over their soup.
“At a ball,” he finally managed to mutter.
“Oh, how romantic,” she said.
“Yes, it was very romantic from what I’ve heard,” Robert said, his tone teasing. “Do tell Miss Sutton all about it.”
“It was just a regular sort of ball,” Colin said abruptly, turning his full attention back to his soup.
Olivia wasn’t really listening, she was watching Robert. And right now his eyes sparkled with a mischievous gleam.
“It wasn’t a regular sort of ball, Da,” Gavin said. The impetuous boy turned to Olivia. “They met at the Cyprian’s Ball.”
The moment I wrote that line, “They met at the Cyprian’s Ball,” I got chills. I knew I had stumbled upon a story within my story.
In that single sentence, One Night of Passion was born.
The hardest part about it was that I had to wait until I was done with Once Tempted before I could start really exploring the idea of how the very proper Colin Danvers met his wife in such an unlikely place. I’d never thought of doing a prequel before, but that line wouldn’t stop rattling around inside my imagination, demanding to be told.
It got worse when I sent the book into my editor. She called me up almost immediately. She had only one thing to say: “I want Colin’s story.”
It seems, she too was hooked by the idea of this scandalous ball and what kind of lady would be there. And so were readers. Within a week of Once Tempted’s publication, the letters and emails started arriving, pleading their case for Colin’s story. I was happy to tell them it was already being written.
Sometimes that chill is all you need to know you are on to something.