While technically not about another writer, I’d like to tell you about a secret fictional diary I have constructed. I’m excited to write that my upcoming historical romance novel is called Kick Kennedy’s Secret Diary. All I can say (without bragging like a damn fool) is I really really enjoy this book. Reading it still makes me cry with Kick over her great loves and wartime sorrows.
You can get your hands on it this coming January.
First, Kick was President John Kennedy’s younger sister and favorite person. The young Jackie Bouvier caught JFK’s eye because she reminded him of his beloved Kick, whose awesome title was Hon. Kathleen Agnes Kennedy Cavendish, Marchioness of Hartington.
Everybody (including Eleanor Roosevelt) adored whip-smart, cheeky Kick Kennedy—except her mother Rose, who truly loved being Catholic and rich and her position as Mrs. Joseph Kennedy.
Kick antagonized her mother by writing for the Washington-Times Herald and then marrying out of the Catholic faith. Her husband was kind William (Billy) Cavendish, heir to the most powerful duchy in England—making Kick a hero to millions of American girls in 1944. Set to become the Duke of Devonshire, Billy was spoken of by King George as a potential mate for the future Queen Elizabeth II.
But Princess Lilibet was no competition for Kick.
Much like Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, Kick is the belle of the ball across the pond. She introduces her brother Johnny to her great pal Winston Churchill (JFK’s favorite writer) to kick start (pun intended) Johnny’s political career. Also during WWII Kick bolsters American soldiers’ spirits with her moxie at a London Red Cross club. Of course she opposes her father’s blatant admiration for Hitler. Ever the rebel, Kick reports British ruling-class chatter to “Wild Bill” Donovan, commander of America’s wartime spy agency.
After mourning her husband’s battlefield death, Kick exasperates her mother when she undergoes a romantic and illicit sexual awakening with yet another dashing Anglican—eighth Earl Peter Wentworth-Fitzwilliam, the (married!) fun-loving and louche “blood-brother” to decadent Aly Khan.