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Monday, August 17, 2015

Welcoming Kate Rothwell, Author of The Detective's Dilemma

Kidnapped by his own target, this crooked cop is having one bad day.

Detective Caleb Walker is foiled by his own industriousness. Determined to capture a criminal, he plants evidence—and is discovered by his higher-ups. Now blackmailed into acting as the strong-arm for a corrupt politician, he visits a poor widow he must convince to surrender her son. Yet something about her stirs his memory, and long-submerged desires. When she pulls a gun on him and demands he switch sides, he’s stunned, annoyed…and intrigued.

No one will take her son from Julianna. Least of all her sinister ex-father-in-law whose abuse damaged her late husband. With the handsome detective smirking in her sights, Julianna must convince him to help her keep her baby safe from the very people holding Caleb in their powerful grip. In a desperate bid, she kidnaps the cynical Caleb—and struggles to ignore the heat sparking between them. 

As they pursue answers, secrets are uncovered—including Julianna’s and Caleb’s. Two imperfect hearts together may be enough to win the day. If their enemies don’t destroy them first.


Julianna should have slammed the door on his face, but when she’d opened the door, she had vaguely recognized the man on her doorstep. One of her partners from a long-ago debutante ball? A neighbor she might have seen while walking Peter?
She shouldn’t have allowed him in, but at least he seemed less awful than the other representatives sent by the Winthrops, the unpleasant insinuating lawyer and the sneering brute. She decided she’d address this call, since her letters were ignored. She’d answer his questions and hope he’d give an honest report to her late husband’s family.
Those stern words about Peter’s grandparents made it clear the detective wasn’t her ally. Something knowing in his sharp gaze told her that he’d heard a lot of stories he considered lies and piffle. Her stomach went queasy at the thought of the coming confrontation, and she wished she hadn’t eaten anything.
“We ought to go into another room. The drawing room is still furnished.” She turned and strode out of the kitchen without bothering to see if he followed. Brennan would herd him along if he should attempt to wander. She felt a surge of pleasure as she walked up the steps. On occasion, being able to drop her old role of hostess and polite young matron almost made up for the rest.
But he followed, so there was no need for anyone to nip at his heels.
This policeman seemed larger than her vague memory of him. He must have been quite young back then, almost a decade ago. She remembered his face and not just the uniform he’d worn, because that day eight years ago, he had given her a smile that wasn’t leering—or so she’d hoped and prayed at the time. She’d been desperate for a friendly face and stared back at him. He’d turned slightly red and looked away, and she’d thought how odd that a policeman could be embarrassed.

He might be wearing finer clothes today, but now his expression more resembled what she’d expect an officer of the law to wear: stony calm, impervious to emotion. Or perhaps he looked bored. Not a lawyer after all and she should have noticed his tanned face gave him the appearance of a man who spent time outside. His dark hair looked rumpled, a lock slid over his forehead, so he didn’t use oil.

Welcome, Kate! Gaslight historical is not a term I've heard before. How did you come to write this story?

The Detective’s Dilemma is the fourth historical romance I’ve written featuring a New York City cop hero. Caleb Walker, the detective of the title, is my first hero who’s actually connected to a corrupt politician.

My first book in that very specific sub-genre (Somebody Wonderful) was actually inspired by a throwaway line in Harpo Marx’s autobiography, Harpo Speaks!  The comedians grew up in New York and Harpo described his life as a poor kid hanging around the streets, adding to the general mayhem of the city. He wrote, “If a patrolman came upon a gang fight or front-stoop crap game and needed reinforcements in a hurry, he’d bang his nightstick on the curb. This made a sharp whinnng that could be heard by cops on other beats throughout the precinct, and they’d come a-running from all directions…”

The 1880s are post-Boss Tweed, who was the worst of the crooked bosses of Tammany Hall, but even after his era, New York and its police department was still pretty corrupt. I wondered what it would be like to live in such a 1dishonest world, especially for a peace officer who took the duty to protect and serve seriously – but who also had to buy his way into his promotions.

This sounds wonderful. I am sucker for historicals in general, especially when they're based in New York in this time period.  That is an amazing anecdote. What project will you be working on next?

I write as Summer Devon and those stories are spicier than my Kate Rothwell titles. Lately Summer Devon books are also almost all historical male-male romances, usually set in England. Right now Bonnie Dee and I are co-writing a book about a smuggler in Cornwall. He’s supposed to scare off a slightly eccentric tourist who’s taking too many pictures and asking too many questions. I love co-writing. It’s like my favorite party game of all time.

Co-authoring is one thing that never worked out for me. I did try a couple of times, but our writing styles and visions for the book were not sync. 

Can you tell us one surprising or interesting fact about yourself?

 I just asked my kid what I should write and he suggested that I say I have the world’s largest collection of hand-made sex toys. He’s eighteen and male, so that sort of throw-away comment is second nature. Unfortunately, no, I don’t have any hand-made sex toys. He’s embarrassed that I transcribed what he said and is now hastily suggesting that I write that I am the owner of six chickens (not a lie, yet also not particularly interesting to anyone who hasn’t met the girls) …. I think I like his first suggestion better.

Love it! He sounds like my son who gets more and more outrageous in an attempt to fluster me. I keep telling him he's wasting his time but he still keeps at it. 

I’d love to do a give-away of my new book – The Detective’s Dilemma, or any of my New York set historicals! Comment below and win an ebook. Most are available through Amazon, Barnes and Noble and All Romance Ebooks, a few are Amazon Select only.

My other titles that have at least a scene or two in New York City:
Somebody Wonderful
Somebody to Love
Someone to Cherish
The Earl, the Girl, and the Promise
Powder of Sin
Love Between the Lines 

Okay, you heard that folks. Comment away.

Connect with Kate

Kate also writes as Summer Devon.
Most of those stories are hotter than Kate Rothwell titles and many are m/m historicals written with Bonnie Dee.

You can find her at:


  1. Sounds fascinating, Kate! We've been reading Rhys Bowen's Molly Murphy mysteries, set in the Tammany Hall era. This sounds as though it would fit right in! :) I think it can be hard for people to realize that police departments weren't always as upstanding as most of them are today, and books like yours should help us appreciate current law enforcement much more, as well as enjoying a well-written story!

  2. That's an interesting historical period and a very interesting premise for this series, too. Love to read it.

  3. Yay, Kate! I'm going to love this one!