Blog Tour: A Counterfeit Wife by Paullett Golden

Hello, fellow romance lovers!  Today is the day!  We are celebrating the book birthday of A Counterfeit Wife by Paullett Golden!  I am so excited to be a part of this tour!  Below you will find info about the book, an author interview, a feauture on Gunner, my review, a giveaway, and info about Paullett Golden!  Here we go!

A Counterfeit Wife by Paullett Golden

Release: Oct 1o, 2022

Available in Paperback, eBook, and Hardcover (Audio coming in January)


Maid to Marchioness…

​Trevor Gaines, the Marquess of Pickering, falls in love with his wife. The catch? The woman is an impostor. Desperate for money, he arranges a fast marriage with the wealthiest dowry in England. Not until after the wedding does he realize he married the wrong woman.

​J’non Butler is a maid accompanying her mistress for an arranged marriage. When her mistress elopes with another man, J’non marries the marquess, posing as the man’s contracted bride.

This is the love story of Trevor and J’non as they defy convention and find passion in their bed of lies.


I had so much fun with this interview!  Paullett asked me some questions back!  We’d love to hear your thoughts on the questions as well; please comment!

RRR:  What is the one book that influences you the most as a writer?

PAULLETT GOLDEN:  The book that influences my writing is any book that inspires a character, a location, a conflict or conversation, even a plot. Inspiration strikes in the most unlikely places! Books that fuel my writing can be anything from fiction to style guides. A book on architecture might inspire a location which then leads to a plot. A biography might spark ideas for hero/heroine characteristics or inciting incidents. I’ve found inspiration in grammar primers before! A certain turn of phrase could lead to the building of a character.  

RRR:  We all have that one book that is falling apart from reading; which book is that for you?

PAULLETT GOLDEN:  Too many to name! If we’re sticking to fiction novels within the genre, I’d say of equal wear are Jane EyrePersuasion, and Pride and Prejudice. How about you, Jenna? What book on your shelf shows loving wear and tear? 

RRR:  My all time favorite book is Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte.  I still have my paperback copy from senior year in high school.  I did the unpardonable, I have dog-eared and highlighted several sections.  Of course I highlighted everyone’s favorite “Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.”  But my personal favorite passage is “If all else perished, and he remained , I should still continue to be; and if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the universe would turn to a mighty stranger.”  I know some think it is an odd choice for a favorite romance, as dark as it is, but I am always taken aback when I read it, Emily Bronte captures us at our worst, yet the humanity still seeps through.  She captures obsession, vengeance, hatred, and yes love in a way that is organic.  I fell in love with this book the first time I read it, and each time I read it I find something new.

RRR:  How do you keep your books historically accurate?

Paullett Golden:  I’d love for this to strike up a conversation in the comments, as I’d love to hear what both you and your followers think about historical accuracy. I’ll open with a few questions, then I’ll dive into my research strategies. What do you value most when it comes to historical accuracy? What do you find the most jarring when reading or perhaps is just a pet peeve? Are there any historical anachronisms you don’t mind?

In my opinion, accuracy is tricky and subjective (yes, really!). I aim for as much accuracy as I can muster, only breaking the rules when I feel a rule should or could be broken (such as using a culturally loved term or phrase that likely would not have been used at the time), but it’s a learning experience with each novel. I sometimes don’t know I’ve made an error until I come across it while researching for another book. 

I want my novels to be as immersive as possible in the era (after all, isn’t this why we read period fiction?), right down to the grit, not just the glam, but I also want the novels to be relatable, so there is a balance between, say, describing a carriage as era specific while allowing a character more modern phraseology in dialogue. 

For my research, I rely on a multitude of sources, cross-referencing everything I find so as not to trust a single source with any piece of information. My main sources include the writing of the time—fiction novels written during the Georgian era, journals and letters written during this era, legal documents of the era, or otherwise—and scholarly and peer-reviewed articles on aspects of the era, JSTOR being my favorite research database for the scholarly articles.  

RRR:  Why write about Georgian England?

Paullett Golden:  What first inspired me to choose the long Georgian era was The Age of Enlightenment. There is no end of possibility when it comes to the Enlightenment. Once this period ensnared me, I found the social constraints ripe with challenge—how could anyone find love or honesty when there was no opportunity to speak privately and when one’s reputation and family connections determined everything? The rules inspire more for me than plot challenges, though, namely exploring types of love and romantic development. 

I’m going to turn this back on you and your followers, Jenna, by asking why Georgian England interests you, especially given the popularity of the Regency era? What is it that has you choosing Regency romance over Victorian, for instance? 

RRR:  I love the clothing, historical backdrop, societal constraints.  I feel that Georgian England can be a breath of fresh air when reading a lot of Regency/Victorian-era novels.  

RRR:  What is your favorite kind of scene to write?

Paullett Golden:  Some of the most entertaining scenes for me to write are the ones from the hero’s perspective when he’s trying to understand or rationalize the heroine, be it her behavior, her responses, or whatnot. While I’m not a fan of conflicts based on “a big secret” or conversations approached as “what’s not being said” (although I’m guilty of including both), I do love the misinterpretations of what is said, so rather than not confessing a secret, a character could be openly confessing, but the confession is misunderstood or misinterpreted. I find these scenes endlessly fun to write, especially from the hero’s point of view. Having the hero work through the logic of what he thinks the heroine is trying to confess is irresistible! Now, I don’t want those moments to come across as caricatures, rather how any one of us could realistically rationalize something and likely have done so in past conversations. 

RRR:  When did you first call yourself a writer?

Paullett Golden:  I’d prefer to think of myself as a time traveler. Ha! I’m not certain I’ve reached the point yet to consider myself an official “writer.” Dabbler, maybe? Apprentice wordsmith? Dreamer? Drafter? Scribbler? Those might be more accurate! 

RRR:  Out of all the characters in your books, which one sticks with you the most?

Paullett Golden:  Sebastian, the hero from The Earl and The Enchantress. He was my first storybook hero, my debut hero. Being my first, he had more character flaws than attributes (poor chap), but he’ll always be near and dear to my heart. In a funny way, I can see a little bit of him in all the heroes I write (don’t tell them that!). 

Now a question for you and your followers! What types of characters stick with you when reading? It is a character “type,” a personality trait, maybe shared or relatable experiences? I’d love to see some character name drops in the comments if anyone has characters that stuck with them from much loved (or much hated!?) books. (Mr. Darcy, anyone?)

RRR:  Obviously, from my previous answer about my favorite book, Heathcliff!  Also, I am a sucker for Colonel Brandon types from Sense & Sensibility!  

RRR:  What is the most challenging aspect of writing a book?

Paullett Golden:  Knowing when to stop editing and critiquing is the most challenging aspect for me during the writing process. A book is never finished, but there must come a time when we call it done. Even then, I struggle with post-publication novels because there will be errors or inaccuracies or plot holes that I’ll think of weeks, months, or years later that I’m then horrified to have missed. That’s not even considering the writer’s growth process. As much as I love my first few books, I can’t reread them because all I see are things that need to be improved, glaring evidence of “novice writer syndrome,” so to speak! My more recent books are my strongest in terms of style, pacing, plotting, accuracy, and so forth, but I’m positive in a year or two, I’ll see all the ways they, too, could be strengthened. Maybe it’s the perfectionist in me, but I could edit and adjust forever. 

On that note, do you notice differences in an author’s recently published works versus the backlog of older publications? 

RRR:  I do feel authors evolve as they publish more and more books, but I think the great authors evolve rather than improve, if that makes sense!  Great authors take what they create and keep building on that foundation, developing it, yet it doesn’t lessen the prior works.  I can go back and read my favorite author’s first works and love them as much as the new books.  

RRR:  Where did the inspiration for Trevor and J’non’s love story originate?

Paullett Golden:  The inspiration for A Counterfeit Wife began with J’non’s backstory. No, I retract that. The inspiration came from writing The Baron and The Enchantress. The Lady Collingwood we meet in A Counterfeit Wife is the heroine in Baron, and in that novel we see her developing Noach Cottage, which is a place we hear about in A Counterfeit Wife. While I was designing Lady Collingwood’s vision of Noach Cottage, I drafted a few stories of the women who might reside there. This wasn’t so much to focus on the women as it was to understand the function and design of Noach Cottage—who would go, why, how would it help them, what would they do there, how long would they stay, what would happen after they left, etc. None of these details made it into Baron, but I wanted a clear vision, nonetheless. As I was crafting one of the stories for the women, J’non developed. I loved her backstory so much, I knew she needed to be a heroine of her own tale. From there, A Counterfeit Wife developed. 

RRR:  Who was the most challenging character to write?

Paullett Golden:  Funnily enough, J’non was the most challenging character to write in this novel! Her backstory is the reason this book exists, yet she was the most challenging for me to write. I think the greatest struggle was that internal war between wanting to save herself versus wanting to right her wrongs. 

Being in her shoes was emotionally taxing. Even while wanting to make the right choices and wanting to relax into living a happy life, J’non held onto her fears. In many ways her ever-present fear reminds me of Nietzsche’s words in Beyond Good and Evil: “Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”

With each decision she makes or avoids making, she’s aware of that abyss, afraid it’ll be gazing back. I think she spends most of the novel standing at the edge, teetering, afraid of what she’s been, what she’s done, what she would become if she made one wrong move. 

When we reach her backstory reveal, I think there’s almost a reader relief, as her tale could have been far worse, but then “worse” is in the eye of the beholder, and we all internalize trauma and experiences differently. To her, she was tainted by all she had experienced, and while she knew she could face it all again if she had to, there was a soul-deep fear of who she would become if she did—by that I don’t mean “who” as in a thief or gypsy or whatnot, but “who” as in a sense of self, or in her case, the lost sense of self, a nobody. 

In the story, we see glimpses of such thoughts and fears, but it’s never anything heavy, as she’s a genuinely light and happy character, but writing from her POV was crazy taxing for me because I was seeing those inner workings and feeling her turmoil even while she made light of it on the page. 

RRR:  What was your favorite scene?

Paullett Golden:  You might think I’ve gone batty to choose this scene, but my fave is early in the plot, shortly after their marriage, when he catches her in the field with the sheep. While it’s short and light, I found this to be a pivotal scene in terms of their relationship and, specifically, his character. 

This was the moment when I changed my alliance from her to him—from that point forward I was Team Trevor! Haha. J’non has a curious reaction to a few things he says, claiming she’s a nobody, and he (mis)interprets this in a way that shifts his direction for the remainder of the novel. For the first time in his life, he experienced a sense of self. 

Now, there are plenty of scenes I enjoyed writing and rereading, most of them starring Gunner, but for some reason that scene in the field struck me.

What about you, Jenna? What was your fave scene? 

RRR:  I also love the field with sheep scene too!  My favorite is the scene where Trevor walks in on J’non’s sewing circle.  Trevor had been evolving personally, and I feel this scene showcased how caring and attentive he could be.  For fun, here is an excerpt from that scene!

Without a fraction of a smile, Lord Pickering looked at J’non with raised eyebrows to mirror her own. He then leveled his gaze at the women, turning from one to the next.

“Should I have brought something to sew?” he asked.

The women giggled.

“How do, m’lord?” inquired the innkeeper’s wife, a woman with a freckled face and a wide smile.

“All the better for being invited into a room of sirens.” Pickering’s serious expression contrasted the flirtation. “How fairs Mr. Kingsley’s knee?”

J’non observed, speechless, as the two carried on a conversation about the innkeeper’s health and the prospects of Mrs. Kingsley’s daughter who had, it would seem, recently been courted by three different lads. While the conversation itself was unremarkable, that it should happen between the innkeeper’s wife and Lord Pickering astonished her.

Despite his stony stare, his replies showed rapt attention, and his knowledge of the local inhabitants displayed a compassion she would not have expected, not when she had yet to receive half this attention during their five and eight o’clock appointments. Not that she was jealous, mind, simply surprised to see a side of him she did not know existed.

“We’re that glad you’re here, m’lord,” admitted Mrs. Robinson, one of the five newest members of the sewing circle. “With so many parishioners moved away after his late lordship left for the City, we were in some trouble.”

Pickering inclined his head. “Instinctively, I knew a sewing group awaited my company if only I could move to Sladesbridge Court with haste and take up the mantle as marquess.”

J’non stifled a laugh.

“Are the rumors true?” Mrs. Sullivan asked, then darted a glance about her and whispered, “About how he died?”

“My lips are sealed on the subject of the ninth marquess’ demise. Rumors of that nature are not for the delicate ears of ladies.” Pickering raised a haughty eyebrow and crossed one leg over the other.

RRR:  There is a focus on divorce law; how did you go about research?

Paullett Golden:  With a great deal of head bashing against the keyboard. Ha! I would have loved a single source that clearly explained everything I needed to know, but alas, that was not the case. Instead, I had to research each point separately, such as exploring the means of an annulment, followed by how to prove each annulment charge, and then the great search for not just annulment cases but each type of annulment charge. Then switch gears to bigamy charges, and so forth. I confess that I did not know how the hero was going to resolve the conflict. Much like his solicitor, I had to search for possible solutions, leaving no leaf unturned. Old Bailey cases were a main source of research since the court transcripts are available. 

I researched not just the legalities but also the scholarly articles about the legalities, especially articles that explored specific cases, laws, and people involved. I would have to say that of all the research I conducted for this novel, researching this conflict/resolution took the most time and caused the most headache. Only about a tenth of my research made it into the story, and that was simplified into the hero’s solicitor offering solutions. Regardless what went into the novel, the research had to be done, because I couldn’t have the solicitor offer nonviable solutions for the time period. 

You might be humored to know that the solution the hero chooses is not the solution I originally had him make. Originally, he chose to sue for fraud in order to annul the marriage. GASP! I know, right? The original plot that made this solution the most viable was a wee bit different, as well, as I wrote Phoebe to be villainous. In the end, I replotted the entire novel (especially since Phoebe is to be the heroine of book 2!), which removed her as a villain and thus warranted a change in solution. More went into that decision, as well, such as seeing what all would be involved both legally and socially with any attempts to annul a marriage based on fraud.  

We chatted in e-mail about some of the more confusing aspects of the solicitor’s proposed solutions, especially regarding the differing definitions of “void” when it comes to marriage laws. Based on the solicitor’s proposals, what did you think the hero would choose? Do you think he made the right choice, or could it come back to bite him in the future? What would you have chosen if you were him? 

RRR:  Although I could never have dreamed it up I loved the solution the hero chose.  I won’t give anything away.  However, I also thought it was humorous that an educated man could believe a woman could be so silly as to make the mistake Trevor insinuates that J’non makes.  That particular scene added some levity to the proceedings, and I loved it.  

RRR:  What is the most important message you want to convey with Trevor and J’non’s romance?

PAULLETT GOLDEN:  Tricky question because I’d rather the reader take from the story what they need to. Maybe one reader is moved by our need to accept our past choices, while another reader sees a message about taking control of our situations and decisions. Perhaps a reader relates to the idea of unconditional love and just what that means in times of tragedy, while someone else reflects on the reality that live doesn’t always go as planned. There is no end to what message can be read! I think what a reader gets out of the romance and plot points has more to do with what the reader brings to the story than what’s in the story. 

RRR:  Is there anything you’d like to say to your fans out there?

PAULLETT Golden:  Thank you for reading Trevor and J’non’s story and being part of this adventure with me! 

Spotlight On Gunner

Being the animal lover I am, I had to find a picture representation of Gunner!  Gunner is a brindle Lurcher, part Irish Wolfhound, and part Greyhound.  This is a HUGE dog!  When I saw this photo, I thought this dog would fit Trevor’s personality perfectly!  I must admit…Gunner might be my favorite character!  😂

My Review


A Counterfeit Wife is gorgeous, breathtaking storytelling at its finest.  Trevor Gaines, the Marquess of Pickering, unknowingly weds the maid of his betrothed.  J’non Butler finds herself in the untenable position of destitution and impersonating her mistress and marrying a titled gentleman.  Caught in a web of lies, Trevor and J’non learn essential truths about themselves and their situation.

The most beautiful part of this book is the inner journeys both characters embark on.  Trevor is cold, closed off,  and militant. J’non is downtrodden, frightened, and insecure.  Trevor and J’non bring out the best in each other.  Both Trevor and J’non have tragic pasts.  Trevor and J’non’s journey is sweetly romantic.  The romance slowly builds from friendship to love.  These are two strangers under pretenses who find themselves in marriage, and they choose to love.

The plot is hauntingly beautiful; both Trevor’s and J’non’s pasts pulled at my heartstrings.  I love how this book has outstanding, memorable moments where the characters come to a crossroads and choose to alter their lives for the better.  The romance builds slowly, yet this is a page-turner.  The imagery and poeticism Paullett Golden weaves are magical!

A Counterfeit Wife is the first book in the exciting new series, The Sirens.  I am impatiently waiting for the next book!  A Counterfeit Wife is an emotional rollercoaster of a romance that urges the reader to question, embrace, and love.  Paullett Golden creates people, locations, and emotions in flawless, loving detail.  A Counterfeit Wife had me crying, smiling, and, yes, sometimes yelling at the characters!  This romance is parts gritty and gut-wrenching and also full of promise and love.  This is an excellent jumping-off point if you are new to this author.  If you are a fan – you will be flying through this romantic adventure!  This book is for lovers of an intricate romance with complex characters and heart-wrenching storylines, and of course, an unforgettable happily ever after!


Enter Here

I want to thank Paullett Golden for stopping by and letting us get to know her better.  I hope you enjoyed this blog tour of A Counterfeit Wife, and it is a heart-aching, swoon-worthy romance you won’t want to miss!  

About Paullett Golden


Paullett Golden is a Texas native who divides her time between Northumberland, England and her hometown. She has been a university professor for over 25 years. When an oncologist told her she had three months to live, she decided it was time to fulfill her dream of being a novelist. As a survivor, she focuses her attention on writing. Her novels have hit the Top 10 Amazon bestseller lists and won a multitude of literary awards. She loves historical fiction of all kinds as a way to transport us to a different time and place. All research comes from authentic resources of the era and from scholarly and peer-reviewed articles from researchers specializing in the time period. Though she may take liberties with the fictional aspects, she does aim for the fiction to reflect the mores, culture, laws, and environment of the time. When not writing, she can be found in the gyn, in her butterfly garden, or on a racetrack.




Facebook: @paullettgolden

Twitter: @paullettgolden

Instagram: @paullettgolden

Published by jelee1976

I love to review historical romance books! I discuss book reviews, thoughts on authors and series, and just general stuff about me!

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