McKellen, Christy, A Countess for Christmas

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McKellen, Christy, A Countess for Christmas (Maid Under the Mistletoe, Book 1),  (Richmond, Surrey:  Harlequin (UK) Limited, 2016).

Title:  A Countess for Christmas (Maid Under the Mistletoe, Book 1)

Author:  Christy McKellen

Imprint:  Romance (Cherish)

Issues:  Celebrity Culture; Scandal

Blurb:

The earl’s secret bride… 

Emma Carmichael is shocked when she sees who she’s waitressing for at a lavish party—Jack Westwood, the new Earl of Redminster. Her new life comes crashing down when Jack announces to the world that they’re married! 

Jack has never forgotten his first love despite the tragedy that tore them apart. When the paparazzi cameras intrude, he proposes they live as man and wife until the fuss dies down. Emma feels like Cinderella, masquerading as his countess…only, behind closed doors, their marriage feels tantalizingly real…

Dear Reader,

I count myself very lucky to have the friends that I do.  They’ve been absolute rocks through the tricky times in my life and have always been there for me with a sturdy shoulder to cry on should I need it.  I can’t imagine how I would feel to find out that those friends, whom I believed had my best interests at heart, had turned their backs on me the moment things got sticky.

Unfortunately for my heroine, Emma Carmichael, that’s exactly what happened to her after a scandal involving her late father ruined her family’s reputation and social standing.

In A Countess for Christmas, we meet Emma six years after this tragedy has played out, still living under the shadow of her father’s mistakes – until the shock reappearance of an old flame, Jack Westwood, throws her right back into the world she used to know, forcing her to confront the past.

With the support of the good and true friends she’s made in recent years, Emma finally begins to see hope for a new and exciting future – if only she can regain the love and trust of the man whose heart she once smashed to pieces.

I hope you enjoy Emma and Jack’s journey back to each other and the subsequent stories of her friends as they find their way to their own much-deserved happy-ever-afters.

With best wishes,

Christy x

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Lennox, Marion, Stepping into the Prince’s World

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Lennox, Marion, Stepping into the Prince’s World,  (Richmond, Surrey:  Harlequin (UK) Limited, 2016).

Title:  Stepping into the Prince’s World

Author:  Marion Lennox

Imprint:  Romance (Cherish)

Issues:   Class Differences; Gendered Expectations (Men); Gendered Expectations (Women)

Blurb:

Falling for the secret prince

Claire Tremaine accepted the post as sole caretaker of a gorgeous island after a professional betrayal left her life in tatters. It’s the perfect place to heal, until her solitude is interrupted by a gorgeous solider who’s shipwrecked on her shores!

Raoul breaks down Claire’s barriers with his kindness and kisses, but she’s stunned when he’s revealed as Prince of Marétal. She believes they can’t be together…until Raoul whisks Claire to his palace! She’s stepped into the prince’s world—but can Claire capture this prince’s heart?

Dear Reader,

Stepping into the Prince’s World started life in my dentist’s waiting room.  The dentist surgery is understandably not my favourite place to visit, but with a lovely pile of glossies I can block out the thought of what’s ahead.  I flicked through the pages, looking at pictures of a certain soldier/prince and thought, what a combination!

And suddenly I was off and dreaming.  By the time I was escorted into the dentist’s chair I had my own soldier/prince in my head, and a heroine who deserved him.  I had shipwrecks and deserted islands, I had chandeliers and tiaras, I had my own kingdom – all I had to do now was get rid of one small dental cavity, escape the dentist and go write a book.

Welcome to Claire and Raoul’s world.  Enjoy.

Marion

Anderson, Caroline, Snowed in with the Billionaire

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Anderson, Caroline, Snowed in with the Billionaire,  (Richmond, Surrey:  Harlequin (UK) Limited, 2013).

Title:  Snowed in with the Billionaire

Author:  Caroline Anderson

Imprint:  Cherish (Romance)

Issues:  Bereavement; Guilt; Loss; Parenthood

Blurb:

One magical Christmas Eve…

Caught in a blizzard, Georgia Beckett is forced down a narrow lane she’d hoped to avoid…and not just because of the snow! The road takes her past the beautiful abandoned house of her youth—the new residence of her childhood sweetheart.

Sebastian Corder’s shocked to hear the doorbell ring—he never expected to see Georgia again. Nine years ago, both chasing different dreams, they went their separate ways.

Now Sebastian’s hand hesitates. Is he ready to open the door to the past? But the snow’s getting heavier…and there’s only one way to find out!

Logan, Nikki, Her Knight in the Outback

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Logan, Nikki, Her Knight in the Outback, (Richmond, Surrey:  Harlequin (UK) Limited, 2015).

Title:  Her Knight in the Outback

Author:  Nikki Logan

Imprint:  Cherish (Romance)

Issues:  Bereavement; Grief; Guilt; Injury; Loss

Blurb:

She didn’t know she needed rescuing! 

Eve Read doesn’t need help from anyone. She’s searching for her missing brother and doesn’t want any distractions. Yet sharing her burden with mysterious leather-clad biker Marshall Sullivan is a relief, and soon Eve can’t resist the sparks igniting between them! 

Meteorologist Marshall spends his life on the road, but there’s something about Eve that makes him want to stay put… 

Has Eve finally found what she’s been searching for all along?

Wilson, Scarlet, The Prince She Never Forgot

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Wilson, Scarlet, The Prince She Never Forgot, (Richmond, Surrey:  Harlequin (UK) Limited, 2015).

Title:  The Prince She Never Forgot

Author:  Scarlet Wilson

Imprint:  Cherish (Romance)

Issues:  Bereavement; Cancer; Grief; Loss; Parenthood;

Blurb:

Ten years after therapist Ruby shared an unforgettable kiss in Paris with a stranger, he shows up on her doorstep – and reveals that he’s a prince! Duty has kept Prince Alexander away, but now he can make their dreams come true…

Winters, Rebecca, A Marriage Made in Italy

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Winters, Rebecca, A Marriage Made in Italy,  (Richmond, Surrey:  Harlequin (UK) Limited, 2013).

Title:  A Marriage Made in Italy

Author:  Rebecca Winters

Imprint:  Cherish (Romance)

Issues:  Adoption; Emotional Abuse; Parenthood

Blurb:

Single dad Leon Malatesta is determined to keep his baby daughter out of the headlines. So when a mysterious beauty starts asking questions, the brooding Italian’s protective instinct goes into overdrive. But when this stunning stranger turns out to be an innocent, Leon knows Belle brings with her the possibility of a new future…if he can convince her he wants to marry her for love!

Dear Reader,

About a year ago I was watching a documentary about adoption.  It followed the lives of two different women who’d been adopted and wanted to meet their birth mother.  In both cases the reunions brought joy to begin with.  The birth mothers now knew what had happened to the baby they’d had to give up.  The birth children now had answers about their origins and the family they came from.  This documentary picked up on their lives five years later.  In the first case, both parties had kept up a relationship.  In the second case, neither party continued to stay in contact.  The documentary discussed the reasons why and why not.

I found it so fascinating that the idea for a story began to grow in my mind and became A Marriage Made in Italy.  In this love story I have incorporated some of the things I learned in the documentary about the expectations of the adopted child in relation to the adoptive parent, as well as to the birth parent, with all their attendant intricacies.

Enjoy!

Rebecca Winters

Hannay, Barbara, Adopted: Outback Baby

6904522.jpgHannay, Barbara, Adopted:  Outback Baby,  (Richmond, Surrey:  Harlequin (UK) Limited, 2008).

Title:  Adopted:  Outback Baby

Author:  Barbara Hannay

Imprint:  Cherish (Romance)

Issues:  Adoption; Parenthood

Blurb:

Their parenthood surprise…

Single, independent Nell Ruthven thought she’d missed her chance to be a mum when, aged nineteen, she was forced to give up her baby for adoption. Now, Nell’s discovered she has a tiny grandson in need of care. And the baby’s grandfather, cattleman Jacob Tucker, is in town…

At thirty-nine, this couple never thought they’d be parents, let alone grandparents! They never even thought they’d see each other again. But taking care of baby Sam together gives them a second chance—maybe even a second chance to fall in love?

Dear Reader,

I eventually married the lovely man who was my boyfriend when I was nineteen.  But most young people of that age move on to form new relationships, and the old boyfriends disappear, never to be heard of or seen again.

In many cases, that’s probably a good thing.  But I’m sure there are occasional wistful memories when some women wonder What if…?

What if I saw him again after all these years?  Would he recognise me?  Would he have changed?  Would there still be a spark?

What if…? Is the question writers ask all the time.  It’s how we come up with stories.  So I guess it’s hardly surprising that we love reunions.  They’re so brimming with tension and questions and romantic potential.

When I first started on this plot possibility, I never dreamed I’d end up writing about Nell and Jacob being brought together by a twist of fate to care for their baby grandson!  But the temptation to try something quite different is ery alluring, and I was delighted that my editor loved the idea too.

I hope you enjoy Nell and Jacob’s journey to happiness.

Warmest wishes

Barbara

Ashton, Leah, A Girl Less Ordinary

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Ashton, Leah, A Girl Less Ordinary,  (Richmond, Surrey:  Harlequin (UK) Limited, 2012).

Title:  A Girl Less Ordinary

Author:  Leah Ashton

Imprint:  Romance (Cherish)

Issues:  Addiction; Bereavement; Body Image; Bullying; Child Abandonment; Drugs; Self Esteem

Blurb:

Eleanor has worked hard to transform herself from the lonely girl she once was. Switching braces for a breathtaking smile, dowdy clothes for fabulous dresses, and heartbreak for flirty, fun-only dates, she’s now “Ella.” But one man can see the real woman beneath.

Fiercely private billionaire Jake Donner has never forgotten Eleanor, and he’s shocked to see how she’s changed. Sparks begin to fly as old memories haunt them—for the innocent attraction they once resisted is all grown up and won’t be denied again…

Dear Reader,

I’ve always loved stories where the heroine was an awkward ugly duckling who grows up to become a stunning, successful swan.  Of course-she then meets a fabulous, drop dead gorgeous man and they both live happily ever after!

That’s how this story started, with dorky Eleanor in her school uniform crystal clear in my imagination.  But then I thought-what if my hero isn’t quite so perfect?  What if he was an outcast in school, too?  And that’s how Jake was born-brilliant, geeky, reclusive Jake.

Later it became clear that Eleanor and Jake had a past-in fact, they were once best friends!  Back at school they’d believed it was just the two of them against the world.  But then something went very, very wrong…

I hope you enjoy Ella and Jake’s story, and the sparks that fly as they’re thrown together after more than a decade apart.

I love to hear from readers.  You can contact me via my website:  www.leah-ashton.com, or email:  leah@leah-ashton.com.

Leah

Wylie, Trish, Rescued: Mother-To-Be

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Wylie, Trish, Rescued:  Mother-To-Be,  (Richmond, Surrey:  Harlequin (UK) Limited, 2007).

Title:  Rescued:  Mother-To-Be

Author:  Trish Wylie

Imprint:  Cherish (Romance)

Issues:  Bereavement; Guilt; Parenthood

Blurb:

Feeling her baby’s first kick was supposed to be a joyous moment for Colleen McKenna. When life dealt her the hardest blow, Colleen knew that she would have to summon up all her courage to cope with her pregnancy alone.

Now gorgeous millionaire Eamonn’s kindness is testing her fierce independence. And having Eamonn Murphy’s hand on her bump, feeling each tiny kick with her, makes every moment more special than the last…

Wylie, Trish, The Millionaire’s Proposal

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Wylie, Trish, The Millionaire’s Proposal,  (Richmond, Surrey:  Mills & Boon, 2008).

Title:  The Millionaire’s Proposal

Author:  Trish Wylie

Imprint:  Romance (Cherish)

Issues:  Disability; Visual Impairment

Blurb:

Ronan O’Keefe has everything money can buy. He’d give it all up in an instant to keep the one thing he’s losing. The jet-setting playboy is slowly being robbed of his sight.

Alone in New York, Kerry Doyle isn’t feeling quite so brave about her trip around the world. Luckily, a millionaire has come to her rescue….By the time they get to Paris, Ronan doesn’t want to let beautiful, bubbly Kerry go. His secret is casting its shadow, but Kerry has lit up his life…

Dear Reader,

A good friend of mine reminded me of something important this year-to be grateful for the good stuff when it’s here.  How many of us dedicate the same amount of time to appreciating the good things as we do focussing on the bad?  Maybe it’s because the bad can be so very overwhelming, and over the years life simply wears us down.  Yet it’s the good stuff that makes the difference, don’t you think?

We need to laugh as often as possible, take a deep breath of air to remind us we’re alive, look around us and see the beauty in things, spend time doing what makes us happy.  Most of all we need never to get so old or so jaded that we stop dreaming or believing in moments of magic.

One of the things I love the absolute most about writing and reading romance is the fact it shows we all still believe in love in the twenty-first century.  We may have busier lives, might be more cynical, but people still reach out for love in all its forms:  in friends, in family, in a man and a woman who can make it through the rough times because life is richer together than it is apart.  That’s a little bit of magic right there.

So if there’s one thing you bring with you out of Ronan and Kerry’s story I hope it’s a little reminder to make the most of the good stuff and any moment of magic that comes your way.  Grab hold of it, celebrate it, savour it, and that way even in times of darkness you’ll still be able to see the light.  Just like Ronan will with Kerry by his side.

Hs & Ks

Trish