Romantic Novelists' Association

Miss Rose And The Vexing Viscount By Catherine Tinley

15 December 2023

We are delighted that you could join us to talk about your new release. Could you tell us a little more about it? Miss Rose and the Vexing Viscount is a regency romance, the first of a trilogy with identical triplet heroines. Rose and her sisters go directly from a school for young ladies in Scotland, to the heart of the ton, where they are launched into society by their guardian’s sister.

Rose, a bookworm with no interest in being popular, is secretly on a mission to discover the identity of her deceased mother – there’s a mystery around the triplets’ backstory that plays out over the course of the three books. And of course there’s a good-looking Viscount who keeps turning up to vex her, drawing her attention away from her task.

What was the inspiration behind your book? What prompted you to tell this story? My last trilogy was set in the Western Isles in Scotland, so it was fun to come back to the heart of the ton for this one. But I also wanted to explore how women navigated the limited choices available to them back then – a common theme in my books. Rose is faced with a difficult dilemma that requires her to give up something she really wants, because it’s ethically the right thing to do. But of course this is a romance, so all ends well!

How did you decide on the names for your characters and the setting for your book? I wanted the three sisters to have linked names, but wanted to avoid the names starting with the same letter. Apart from anything else, I always find it confusing as a reader to have characters in the same book whose names start with the same letter. So I hit on names containing ‘Belle’ or versions of it – Annabelle, Isobel, and Rosabella. So I can call them The Belles collectively, and Anna, Izzy, and Rose individually.

In terms of setting, I loved writing my Hebridean trilogy and wasn’t quite ready to leave lovely Scotland, so I placed my three young ladies in Elgin, allowing me to contrast rural Scotland with the strangeness of London society. But never worry, the Belles are well fit for anyone they encounter – including a certain argumentative Viscount!

How long did the book take to write? How much re-writing do you normally do? It took just over five months to write this one – from August to December last year. It often surprises people how long it takes from finishing the first draft to seeing your book on the shelves. Between editing, cover design, print and distribution, the publisher has a lot to do once the author finishes her part. Our covers are done in Canada, and I love this one! The models are just right, and I adore the golden background.

What is your writing day like? I work full-time in the NHS as well as volunteering for the RNA so I write at weekends. My target is 1k words every Saturday and every Sunday, and if I stick to that I eventually end up with a book. It does mean that my progress is slow, though. But like the tortoise, I get there eventually.

Where did your research for the book take you? For this series, places like Elgin and Lennoxlove House in Scotland, and the current Gucci mansion in London. I also had to be sure of certain legal matters as well as researching poisons available 200 years ago! Don’t ask!

What was your journey to publication? I wrote my first novel, Waltzing with the Earl, in 2014, then polished and edited it for ages before finally plucking up the courage to send it to four publishers and a couple of agents. I got lots of rejections but one person – Julia Williams at Mills and Boon – liked it and asked me for the full manuscript followed by a revise and resubmit. Long story short, I got the Call in 2016 offering me a two-book contract, and I’ve been writing for them ever since. That book also won a Rita® Award in the US, so I felt doubly blessed.

If you could give your younger writing self any advice, what would it be? I wish I’d persisted with writing when I was younger. I wrote before I had my children, but never had the confidence to send my work anywhere – or even to stick with it. We get better simply by writing, and I wish I’d known that back then. I think I believed that if you wrote something that was rubbish/not very good (as I did back then) it somehow meant that I had no talent and writing wasn’t for me. Yet now I can sense my writing improve and mature with every book.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors? I love supporting aspiring romance writers, and I think it’s one of the most important things we do in the RNA. I always tell them to keep going, keep writing, and believe in themselves. At some point they flip from being hobbyists to committing to their writing, investing time (and sometimes money) in themselves as a writer – for example by attending the RNA Conference or joining the New Writers’ Scheme. It’s important for each writer to stop, take a breath, and acknowledge that. Respect yourself as a writer, and expect others to respect it too.

Can you tell us what you are working on now? I’m editing book two in the Triplet Orphans series, Miss Isobel and the Prince (out May 2024), and I’ve started writing book three, Miss Anna and the Earl. I need to make sure I’ve tied up all the loose ends in the mystery subplot, so I have to focus very deeply on this one. I have to say I’m enjoying this trilogy! I struggled at first – I think I was daunted by the three-book arc, but I’m getting some lovely reviews for Miss Rose and the Vexing Viscount, so hopefully readers are enjoying it.

 About the Author

Photo of author Catherine Tinley, brown shoulder length hair, smile, blue and white polka dot shirtCatherine Tinley is an award winning author of historical romance. She writes witty, heartwarming Regency romance for Harlequin Mills & Boon. Her first book, Waltzing with the Earl, won the Rita® Award for Best Historical Romance 2018, while Rags-to-Riches Wife won the RoNA Award for Best Historical Romance 2021 as well as the HOLT Medallion, and A Waltz with the Outspoken Governess won the RoNA Award for Best Historical Romance 2022.

She has loved reading and writing since childhood, and has a particular fondness for love, romance, and happy endings. After a career encompassing speech & language therapy, Sure Start, maternity campaigning and being President of a charity, she now manages a maternity hospital. She lives in Ireland with her husband, children, cats, and dog and can be reached at, on facebook, twitter, tiktok, and instagram. Full links are here.