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Guest blogger: Tracey Devlyn

3 February 2013

Tracey DevlynThe power of a mother’s love

What would you do if someone threatened your child?

This question resonated throughout Checkmate, My Lord. Every step of the way, Catherine Ashcroft put the safety of her seven-year-old daughter first. In doing so, she struggled with her conscience and her long-suppressed feelings for her neighbour, the enigmatic Lord Somerton.

Have you ever been forced into a dishonourable act for an honourable reason?

I suspect many of us have come across this particular dilemma before. Have you ever withheld information to protect the feelings of a friend or loved one? I know I have. The guilt is incredible, but I would gladly pay the guilt-price rather than see someone I cared about suffer.

Some might not agree with me, and that’s okay. It’s an incredibly fine line to walk. Believe me, I’ve had to share information that I knew would be crushing, but not sharing it would have been far worse. You see, a fine line.

That’s what I straddled the entire time I wrote Checkmate. Creating—and sustaining—a feeling of empathy toward Catherine while she performed non-heroic actions was a constant battle. In order to save her daughter, she had to betray the man she would eventually come to love. And do so in a manner that the hero would forgive her in the end.

All I can say is that it’s a good thing I paired Cat up with England’s greatest spymaster. Who better to forgive a mother forced to betray her lover than a gentleman who lived and breathed deception?

Checkmate My LordCheckmate, My Lord


Catherine Ashcroft leads a quiet life caring for her precocious seven-year-old daughter, until a visitor delivers a startling ultimatum. She will match wits with the enigmatic Earl of Somerton, and it’s not just her heart that’s in danger.


Spymaster Sebastian Danvers, Earl of Somerton, is famous for his cunning. Few can outwit him and even few dare challenge him–until now. After returning to his country estate, his no-nonsense neighbor turns her seductive wiles on him–but why would a respectable widow like Catherine risk scandal for a few passionate nights in his bed?

Huge thanks to ARRA for having me on the blog today! I look forward to chatting with all of you. Let’s start off by answering my question above—Have you ever been forced into a dishonourable act for an honourable reason?


PS—I would love to connect with you, either online or in person. Here’s where you can find me:

Stream team
Lady Jane’s Salon Naperville
Discover a New Love


One Comment
  1. aimskye permalink
    6 February 2013 11:38 am

    Thank you for blogging Tracey! Congrats on your new book!


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