Writers on Rogues - Anna Randol on Jack Rattenbury

A gorgeous, unique romance cover. The hero is in traditional Regency garb, but the blonde heroine is wearing a sari, and looks amazingOn  today's edition of Writers on Rogues -- the fabulous Anna Randol joins the celebration of rogues. Anna's debut romance--A Secret in Her Kiss, is a fabulous Regency romp set in Constantinople, and a wonderful book that I devoured in one sitting. When I invited Anna to join us to talk about her favorite Rogue, I didn't know what to expect...but she has not disappointed!

Take it away, Anna! 

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When Sarah emailed me to ask if I had a favorite rogue I wanted to highlight to celebrate the release of A Rogue By Any Other Name. I responded right away. Not only do I have a rogue, but he’s dashing, funny, and quite handsome.

Readers, I give you Jack Rattenbury!

Sketch of Jack Rattenbury

Umm… okay, or maybe I just think he’s handsome because I picture this smuggler instead. (And yes, I am a nerd. It’s something I’ve learned to live with.)

Raised by a single mother, Jack spent his childhood running free and unrestrained along the coast of Devon, England. By the age of sixteen, he’d already given up on a dozen professions, charmed his way out of a French prison, and sailed the seas as a pirate. Sure, you may say, that’s interesting, but what makes him a rogue worthy of being compared to the Marquess of Bourne?

If Jack were here, I’m sure he’d make a case for himself. (He did title himself the Rob Roy of the West.) But in his absence, I’ll make his case.

A true rogue needs adventure:

One day the smuggling ship he was working on on was captured by a French vessel. The French removed the officers but left young Jack behind. Now luckily for Jack, the Frenchman ordered to sail Jack’s ship to the nearest French port turned out to be far more interested in drinking than sailing. He was happy to let Jack have the helm. But when a heavy fog set in, Jack steered the ship to England instead. Every time the French asked where they were, he gave them the name of a place closer to France. When they got near the “French” coast, Jack jumped overboard and informed the British customs officials who gave chase and reclaimed the ship.

A true rogue needs a keen wit:

While England was at war with France during, the Royal Navy tried many times to impress Jack (forcefully recruit him to serve on their ships).  But Jack, being dashing and clever, escaped every time. One lieutenant in particular took his escape personally and tried to hunt him down. But Jack wasn’t easy to catch. As he crept through the countryside, he traded his cap to another lad for his hat.

We’ll assume the Jack’s old cap looked like this. (And yes, he was man enough to own this before its time.)

And his new hat looked like this. (Because let’s face it, Jack wouldn’t wear anything that didn’t have a bit of swagger.)

The men chasing him caught to other young man, allowing Jack to escape. Later this same lieutenant tracked him to an inn and threatened to shoot the owner if Jack wasn’t turned over. Jack, hearing the warning, climbed into a chimney where he hid for over an hour while the building was searched.

A true rogue needs a beautiful woman to try to tame him and fight at his side.

Jack met his match when he married the (I will claim on Jack’s behalf) beautiful, feisty, and brave Anna Partridge. We’ll assume she looked like this.

On at least two occasions, she rescued Jack from both the customs officials and the Royal Navy. Once she grabbed a lieutenant by the neck and then called for the rest of the town to join in and hold him off while Jack escaped. Another time she rowed a boat alongside the ship where Jack was being detained and even wrestled a pistol out of the hands of one of the officers when he shot at them. That sounds like a woman worthy of our Jack!

Pretty convincing case for a rogue, isn’t it? But with all the rogues out there, why did I decide on Jack? Well, a rogue also needs a certain flair. A devil-may-care disrespect for authority. Well, Jack doesn’t need me to prove this one. He did it himself. After finally settling down with his wife and children, Jack had the gumption to write a book boasting about his illegal escapades called Memoir of a Smuggler. The final line of memoirs says, “I have since been served with a summons to appear before the magistrates; but as I took no notice of that, I received another.” Yep, that’s definitely a true rogue.

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Now it's your turn, readers! Sounds like Anna has written about two rogues, Jack and his awesome Miss Partridge! Who is your favorite Roguess? Share in comments for a chance to win a signed copy of A Secret in Her Kiss (winner to be chosen on Friday)!