Family—can’t live with them, can’t kill them. It seems to me that family is the cradle of our profoundest emotions: love, tenderness, jealousy, anger, envy, and, yes, hate. No one can make us feel as cherished as family. No one can hurt us as badly as family.

Because of that, writers mine family for motivation and internal conflict continually. What is the source of your alpha hero’s angst? Dig into his childhood. Blame his father…or his brother. Why does your heroine believe she is unlovable or incapable? Check out her family of origin. What makes the villain tick? I’m willing to bet it is family or the lack thereof. Heroes and heroines each come from a different family culture. In the end whether it is happily-ever-after or happy-for-now, they are creating a new one. We cheer them on and hope for the best possible future.

After five published novels, three novellas, and more in process, I realized my romances are profoundly family-centered. The characters in my first series wandered through one another’s books. That is even more true of my current series.

I introduced the heroes of The Children of Empire in A Dangerous Nativity as boys. When I decided to give them their own books as young men, I envisioned lives that hadn’t run as smoothly as readers might have hoped. At the beginning of Book 1, The Renegade Wife, they are living on three different continents, driven there by ambition and curiosity, but also by lies, deceit and conflict. That first book brought the younger brother home to face some ugly truths with his cousin. In Book 2, life forces the older brother to return to England and the cousin who guards a painful secret, but who also needs his help.I believe another thing about family: you can never really run from them. Sometimes you have to come home and face what drove you away.


Traveler, poet, librarian, technology manager—award winning author Caroline Warfield has been many things (even a nun), but above all she is a romantic. Having retired to the urban wilds of eastern Pennsylvania, she reckons she is on at least her third act, happily working in an office surrounded by windows while she lets her characters lead her to adventures in England and the far-flung corners of the British Empire. She nudges them to explore the riskiest territory of all, the human heart.

Caroline is a RONE award winner and has five star reviews from Readers’ Favorite, Night Owl Reviews, and InD’Tale. She is also a member of the writers’ co-operative, the Bluestocking Belles. With partners she manages and regularly writes for both The Teatime Tattler and History Imagined.


Caroline is giving away a kindle copy of The Reluctant Wife to one randomly selected person who leaves a comment. The prequel to this book, A Dangerous Nativity, is free.