13 Fun Facts about The Trouble with Tigers (Guest post by Kimberly Keyes + Review)
This week, I have a double treat for you—my review of The Trouble with Tigers by Kimberly Keyes, along with a Thursday 13 post by the author herself. Enjoy!
This historical romance, by my fellow Wild Rose Press author Kimberly Keyes, features compelling characters with believable motivations for their actions and real, meaningful conflict to keep them apart. The story begins with Lady Kitty Hastings on the run from her cousin, the dastardly Garrick James, a weasel who stole the barony Kitty’s brother should’ve inherited, had he not vanished while overseas, presumed dead. With her entire family deceased, Kitty seeks refuge with her late grandfather’s friend, the Earl of Claybourne.
Claybourne suggests a daring plan. Kitty will disguise herself as a young male companion to the earl, to evade her cousin’s search for her until she reaches her majority and can free herself of James’s guardianship. Things are going well, until the earl’s grandson returns from his globetrotting. Lord Zeke Thurgood recognizes something amiss about the “boy” Kit, which leads to much conflict as the baffled Zeke tries everything he can think of to uncover Kit’s secret.
Kitty, of course, can’t help gawking at the handsome and sexy Lord Thurgood, and once her secret is revealed to him, the two embark on a phony engagement to keep her cousin away from her. Their romance builds slowly, with a simmering sexual tension and plenty of humorous interactions between them. Kitty is my favorite kind of heroine—spunky and brave, but with an endearing vulnerability. Zeke has everything a romance hero should have. He’s loyal, sexy, and compassionate, but with his own demons to fight. As their attraction grows and they become closer emotionally, the roadblocks to their happiness mount. Zeke doesn’t believe in love and can’t stay in one place too long, spurred a desperate wanderlust. Kitty, on the other hand, longs for a stable home and a marriage borne of love rather than duty. Naturally, they fall in love in spite of themselves.
Kimberly Keyes has written an exciting and steamy love story with enough twists to keep you flipping those pages furiously. I couldn’t stop reading this book, even when I got a headache from staring at my Kindle for too long! The ending was perfect, with suspense and surprises around every corner, plus an exquisitely romantic finale. If you enjoy historical romance, I highly recommend The Trouble with Tigers.
13 Fun Facts about The Trouble with Tigers
by Kimberly Keyes
- The Trouble with Tigers is set in Victorian England. Why that era? The clothes of course!
- I dreamed-up the idea for Tigers when I learned Kit is a nickname for Christian. I thought, hmm. Kit?…Kitty! What if my heroine had to disguise herself as a boy? Kitty and I had a lot of fun messing with Zeke’s head.
- Kitty plays the part of a “tiger,” a young, male servant. Tiger was a common term in 1877. Not so much now. Tiger referred first to age (think young tiger like young whipper-snapper), but it also stemmed from the color uniforms worn when in groomsman training—orange stripes. Did Kitty wear this detestable uni? Heck no!
- The main trope in The Trouble with Tigers is “mistaken identity,” but that’s not the only theme. Tigers is the first book in a series I call “Hidden Treasures.” Forced to hide as a matter of life or death, Kitty is the hidden treasure in Tigers. Book two, my current WIP is thus far titled If the Slipper Fits, Mrs. Jones. If the name didn’t give it away already, this book is a Cinderella story, but it also features a hidden gem, and tells Caden’s story. He’s Zeke’s hot younger brother.
- I’m enjoying writing Caden’s story. In keeping with my normal routine, I’m simultaneously working on a contemporary romance. (I wrote The Trouble with Tigers while working on a contemporary romance titled Lover’s Leap.)
- In Lover’s Leap, my first published novel, my heroine Candace is a romance author who mentions her WIP, a historical romance featuring one Kitty and Zeke!
- Pesky details can foul you up when writing a historical—like figuring how many days it might have taken to travel by horseback between towns in the late 1800’s. My original draft’s travel times were way off, and I had to go back and revise.
- Speaking of revising, the original version of Tigers was over 120,000 words. Final version? A manageable 106k.
- I love hunky blond heroes. If I could pick one actor to play Zeke in a movie version of Tigers, I’d choose Charlie Hunnam.
- A Star Trek episode called “The Trouble with Tribbles” inspired my title. If you remember the trouble those tribbles caused, you know they weren’t exactly ferocious, more like pesky—just like Kitty…
- Author idiosyncrasy: in historical romances, where the heroines tend to be young, I can’t get it through my adult brain that an eighteen year old from any era could have her head on straight. That’s why Kitty is almost twenty-four. (Ancient, right?)
- Favorite snippet from Tigers: Zeke was in her chamber. She was clinging to him for dear life. And she was fairly certain he wasn’t wearing clothes.
- The Trouble with Tigers was my FOURTH completed manuscript. My first two completed novels—two monstrously long historicals— will never see the light of day. They’re horrible! If you want to be a published writer, keep writing!
About The Trouble with Tigers (Hidden Treasures, Book 1)
When Lord Zeke Thurgood, grandson to the Earl of Claybourne, returns to London following a trip abroad, he’s flummoxed by his grandfather’s new young servant, Kit. One, the old man favor’s the boy. Two, he’s the least helpful helper Zeke’s ever seen. And three? Kit stares at Zeke, like a cat eyeing a pot of fresh cream.
Lady Kitty Hastings had begun to think hiding as a boy servant would keep her safe from her guardian. Enter Lord Zeke Thurgood. Magnificent, maddening Zeke whose grousing unwittingly leads Kitty’s nemesis straight to her.
Zeke witnesses Kitty’s unveiling—right before landing in the role of her fake fiancé. Emphasis on fake. Zeke has plans that don’t include marriage, much less staying in England. Only after Kitty reassures him he lacks critical husbandly qualities does it dawn on him—Kitty’s irresistible mix of courage, determination and charm are exactly what he’s been missing. Now he’ll need to convince her they’re a perfect match, or lose the best thing that ever happened to him.
“You know very well you shouldn’t be here, in my bedchamber. You told me as much yourself. Why, if anyone found us…” Kitty broke off as she recognized the corner she was backing herself into–again.
Zeke flashed her a brilliant smile. “The earl would insist we become engaged?”
Clever, arrogant ass. She may as well not bother to play games with him since he was so much more adept at them. “For the last time, what do you want?”
Zeke’s playful smile vanished. He straightened, locked eyes with her, and closed the distance between them in two strides. Blue heat smoldered in the depths of his eyes as he grasped her shoulders to pull her slightly toward him. “I should think that’s obvious.”