Mollie Aghadjian's new book, "Terms of Surrender" (Harlequin), is a historical romance set in Napoleonic France.
But the story of a mysterious merchant trader whose business is threatened by Napoleon's incursions into Europe offers more than the typical historical romance, says the Mission Viejo author, who wrote her new book under the pen name Mollie Ashton.
"I kind of push against the edges of the genre," said Aghadjian, adding with a laugh: "Sometimes I get away with it; sometimes I don't."
In writing historical romances, she said, "I generally make historical characters very much a part of the plot. Most historical romances don't. They'll talk about Napoleon's troops--you can hear the cannons in the distance--but that's about as much reference as you get to the period usually."
In "Terms of Surrender," she said, "the hero of the story is actually very mysteriously and deeply connected with the Bonaparte family, and the Bonapartes are major characters in the story."
"Terms of Surrender" is Aghadjian's ninth book. She also writes Silhouette romances under the pen name Moeth Allison.
The English-born author, who has been in this country 30 years, does a lot of primary research for her historical romances in England. Although she has written contemporary romances, she said the historicals "seem to be my medium."
"One of the reasons is, though I'm an American politically, I don't have that sense in my bones of having grown up here," she said, "knowing what it's like to go to school here, the radio and early television and all those things that go to make up an American today."