Release Date: February 4, 2014
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Genre: Contemporary Romance | Chick-Lit
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo
Abigail Heyworth is a rebel heiress, bucking the restrictions of her royal family every chance she gets. After ending a long-term relationship, she finds herself inexplicably drawn to the sophisticated American, Eliot Cranbrook. Despite all their differences-he's a self-made businessman; she's a royal hippy-they fall hard for each other. When the intensity of their affair escalates and Abigail is forced to look at the nature of her rebellion, she has to decide if she has an entirely different kind of courage.
Hi Megan! Congratulations on R IS FOR REBEL!
MEGAN MULRY: Thank you! I’m so glad to be here and to celebrate the publication of the final book in the Unruly Royals series with you.
*gasp* Done?! No more Unruly Royals?!
MEGAN MULRY: For now I am done with the series, but I may do a prequel novella or a standalone a few years down the road, based on some characters from Claire’s book, In Love Again.
Okay, that makes me feel a bit better. Reminiscing on your journey with your Unruly Royals, did it get more challenging with the release of each book?
MEGAN MULRY: Yes and no. Certain things get easier—I was completely attuned to all the characters, now that we’ve been hanging out together for three years, so writing a lot of the scenes and dialogue felt really natural. Other things become more complicated; as you get deeper into a series there are details upon details from the previous books that have to connect and intertwine. Revisions and editing can start to feel like that wooden stick game Jenga, where you pull something out and hope it still stands.
What is it about writing royals that you find fascinating and inspiring?
MEGAN MULRY: I love the fairy tale aspect of royalty…no matter how many centuries have passed, the idea of a prince or princess still resonates on many metaphorical levels for me: rescue, freedom, leadership, isolation, privilege (earned and unearned). Of course, in a contemporary setting the sky’s the limit in terms of messing with those conventions and having fun with who is being rescued by whom or who is trapped in a tower (perhaps of their own making).
Are there particular "royals" that inspired each of the books especially R IS FOR REBEL?
MEGAN MULRY: The initial inspiration for the Northrop family was a former Duke of Norfolk (who is not a royal duke, by the way). His obituary planted the seed of an idea for a sweeping series of books about British aristocrats and the Americans who fall for them. In terms of Abby and Eliot, there wasn’t a particular royal that I based the characters on, (though there are plenty of young philanthropic aristocrats in Britain at the moment, so general research on that score was pretty easy to come by). A clothing designer and philanthropist I have admired from afar for many years (Brunello Cucinelli) was the inspiration for Eliot Cranbrook.
R IS FOR REBEL, what adjective best describes this novel?
MEGAN MULRY: Volatile
Ooh, volatile. I like that. Abigail and Eliot, what kind of craziness should we expect from these two?
MEGAN MULRY: Eliot loves to shower Abby with extravagant gifts of super high-end lingerie, which some people might consider a little crazy (people like Abby, who are innately thrifty). This matelasse bustier, for example, (similar to the corset featured in “Infamous Paris Hotel Room Scene”) retails for $1300. After throwing Abby’s serviceable white cotton knickers into the fireplace, Eliot then proceeds to gets Abby to parade around the hotel room in the corset, which she secretly loves but can’t quite reconcile with the rest of her earthy, hippie personality. (She reconciles it in the end lol).
I did love that part. I'm a girl who appreciates fancy underclothing but I have to say, that bustier made me hold my very slim pocketbook tight. What's your next book and what's it going to be?
MEGAN MULRY: I’m in the middle of another quartet of books that feature four French playboy cousins. One is a publishing titan in Paris, one is a horse breeder in Dubai, one is a retired military operative hiding out in south Florida, and one is a mild-mannered country attorney in Provence (…with a past that eventually catches up with him). The heroines are four women who were friends at M.I.T.
Oh I love the sound of that! Brains and brawn, another volatile combo. Aside from your virtual book tour, where can fans catch you (book signing, reading, etc.)?
MEGAN MULRY: I’m going to be at the Romantic Times convention in New Orleans in May. I’m so excited to meet readers (new and old) and to immerse myself in everything I love about New Orleans—food, music, architecture, you-name-it. I’ll be attending the conference and signing books at the Giant Booksigning on Saturday, May 17, 2014.
Thanks for the chat, Megan, come back with your crazy French boys next time!
MEGAN MULRY: Thanks again for inviting me to stop by Talk Supe!
And volatile it is! Megan Mulry's R IS FOR REBEL was a lovely novel in itself and a great ending to a wonderful series. Not only was Eliot Cranbook and Abigail Hayworth's romance fleshed out to my satisfaction, we also get a peek at the previous couple's blissful lives excluding Claire who was featured in Unruly Royals 3, In Love Again.
Abigail and Eliot first met in If The Shoe Fits and their attraction slowly built from there. I loved that their relationship is based on friendship and other commonalities which built a strong foundation for their romantic relationship. So expect sweet seductions, expensive dates, swoony romance, steamy interludes and lots of romantic quotes which will give you butterflies.
We've met and saw glimpses of the rebellious Abigail, the youngest Hayworth, in previous novels. Back then, Abigail was living the life of a philanthropist, flitting from one third-world country to the next, with her then girlfriend, Tully. Despite being a rich heiress, Abigail is so likeable because of her self-deprecating and very humble ways. Her money and family clout never ruled her life and decisions. If any, she always made a point to steer clear of that entitled lifestyle and chose to live average. When Abigail and Tully's break-up in book 2 was such a blow for Abigail, it made her realize a lot of things which left her shaken and since then, she's been slowly but surely healing herself and reassessing her life. So in a way, R IS FOR REBEL is like Abigail's coming-of-age story not just in terms of sexual preference but also in terms of attitude and perspective. I don't want to use labels, I'd rather simplify Abigail's complicated character as unconventional, endearing and... free.
Eliot Cranbook is so dashing and debonair and the perfect consort for an English heiress. He's successful, polished and every bit Abigail's match. Once the friendship barrier between them has been broken, Eliot went above and beyond to sweep Abigail off her feet. Eliot is clearly in love with Abigail which he made no secret of. He is such a romantic and so intense which made my heart flutter but unfortunately, it scared Abigail off. The thing is, Eliot was too intense, wanting serious right off the bat while Abigail wanted something fun and uncomplicated. This incompatibility pulled them apart for a while which is where the conflict started.
Interesting developments happened in the course of their relationship which I liked. It's expected and organic that Abigail would once again find herself in the fork of the road and Eliot is in the arms of another woman, Marisa, a philanthropist like Abigail. But because this is Eliot and Abigail's story, Marisa has to go to make way for the love birds. Again it's expected however I find this part a little contrived. I appreciate that Ms. Mulry wants to give everyone an HEA including Marisa but for her to fall in love and end up with Abigail's cousin, is far fetched and too coincidental IMO.
Regardless of that little hiccup, I love R IS FOR REBEL. It's deeper, more emotional and more erotic than the previous Uruly Royals novels and I won't have it any other way. I appreciate this "update" MMulry did to keep up with the reader's preference for something dark and sexy and it fit quite well with the story without losing it's romcom light-heartedness. And even if I'm a little sad to say goodbye to Unruly Royals, I'm happy that it was Abigail and Eliot's story that sent us off. Theirs is an enduring story of passion and friendship plus those little vignettes with the previous couples added a great touch of "closure" to the series. Fans can rest easy that Max and Bronte (Royal Pain), Devon and Sarah (If The Shoe Fits) and even the Hayworth's snobbish mother, Sylvia, all are living blissfully in love with their respective partners.
So if you love regency romance and/or Downton Abbey, Megan Mulry's Unruly Royals is like a modern version of these historical romances. Or if you're fond of Kinsella and Cabot's work, I'm sure Ms. Mulry's writing voice will captivate you as well.
Eliot Cranbrook's quotable quotes:
-he did not want to be her first man kiss. He wanted to be her last man kiss.
Maybe the word love was a simple trap, a shiny lure that made fools of everyone who misapprehended its nature.
I am not going to settle. i want you. Unequivocally. All of you. All the time. I don't care for those British idea of absentee spouses--
After a while, though, I think people start to recognize when life presents them with a truly unique opportunity. I think I new it the minute I saw you. What we have in indisputable. Immoveable.
Megan Mulry writes sexy, stylish, romantic fiction. Her first book, A Royal Pain, was an NPR Best Book of 2012 and USA Today bestseller. Before discovering her passion for romance novels, she worked in magazine publishing and finance. After many years in New York, Boston, London, and Chicago, she now lives with her family in Florida.
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