Lucy discovered the fictional world of romance while at her all-girls’ school where real romance was thin on the ground. To make up for this shortfall, she devoured every romance novel she could lay her hands on and instantly became so addicted to the sparkling heroines, the gorgeous heroes and the magic of falling in love that frankly it was a wonder she passed any exams at all! However she did, and armed with a degree in Arabic and Spanish from Edinburgh University she eventually meandered through a variety of jobs in fund management, corporate fraud investigation and teaching English as a foreign language.

Then one September she found herself with the whole month off, and, unable to ignore any longer the nagging voice in her head that had been telling her to try and write a romance of her own for years, she sat down and typed 'Chapter One'.

She would like to be able to say that that was it. That thirty days and fifty thousand words later, and hey presto, she had a glittering and illustrious career as a romantic novelist. But things didn't turn out quite like that. The story came back with a very polite rejection letter and her next few submissions didn't fare much better.

But never one to give up, she entered the Harlequin Mills & Boon 'Feel the Heat' contest in 2008 and, to her utter astonishment, won. The completed novel, Bought: Damsel in Distress was published in October 2009 and went on to win the RNA's Joan Hessayon New Writers' Award in 2010. So now she gets to dream up her own sparkling heroines and gorgeous heroes on a regular basis, which is pretty much her idea of the perfect job!

Born and brought up in London, Lucy lived for a while in southern Spain with her family before moving to a small market town in Wiltshire three years ago. When not writing or trying to think up new and innovative things to do with mince, she spends her time reading, failing to finish cryptic crosswords and missing the golden beaches of western Andalucia.


A FEW FUN FACTS AND RANDOM FAQS

All-time favourite romantic film?

Charade. I guess strictly speaking it isn't a romantic film (although there is romance in it), but it's wonderful. The dialogue between Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn sparkles.

The ultimate romantic meal?

Anything as long as it's something I haven't cooked and there isn't a mushroom in sight. My husband, candles and white wine would have to be there, and my children would be sleeping soundly somewhere nearby. Alfresco would be nice, so a warm breeze is a must. If I didn't think it might be a bit demanding, I'd also love a sunset and fairy lights.

Most romantic gesture ever received?

Not long ago I was feeling fluey and lamenting the fact that I didn't have a hot water bottle. The next thing I knew, my husband had filled an empty wine bottle with boiling water, stuck the cork back in, wrapped it in his (clean) rugby socks and smuggled it under the duvet. Very unexpected and all the more wonderful for being frankly rather uncharacteristic.

Most romantic place ever visited.?

The Convento de Sao Saturnino at Cabo da Roca on Portugal's Atlantic coast, where my husband and I spent the first few days of our honeymoon. It's a restored convent which nestles in the hills and overlooks the sea. Totally isolated and littered with nooks and crannies, it's heavenly.

Secrets of a happy relationship?

Separate bathrooms and an anti-snore pillow.