Kaye, Marguerite, Unwed and Unrepentant

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Kaye, Marguerite, Unwed and Unrepentant (Armstrong Sisters, Book 5), (Richmond, Surrey:  Harlequin (UK) Limited, 2014).

Title:  Unwed and Unrepentant (Armstrong Sisters, Book 5)

Author:  Marguerite Kaye

Imprint:  Historical

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

Blurb:

Pretend engagement…

Burned by love and fearful of being trapped by marriage, headstrong Lady Cordelia Armstrong is furious when her father manipulates her into a betrothal with his business partner, and her one-time lover, Iain Hunter.

Understanding Cordelia’s reluctance, Iain proposes a pretend engagement. For now they will make believe, but there is no need to fake the attraction that still burns hotly between them. As they travel to magical Arabia, the lines between fantasy and reality blur. Will either of them really be able to walk away once their deal is done?

Author Note,

I live on the west coast of Scotland and work in a room that faces right out onto the River Clyde.  While I write I see the ferries traipsing back and forth across the river, I see warships and nuclear submarines making their way to and from the naval base at Faslane, and I see huge cruise ships, tankers, trawlers and tiny creelers.  In the summer months I also see the Waverley, the only surviving sea-going paddle steamer in the world, and it was the Waverley which provided me with the inspiration for my ship-building hero Iain.

Mind you, I suppose you could say that ship-building is in my blood.  My paternal grandfather worked in some of the biggest yards on the Clyde during the Second World War, and in the 1960s was part of the team that built the Queen Elizabeth II.  My maternal grandfather was a captain in the Merchant navy, and twice sunk during the same war (he survived both).  When I first started to write I remember reading the mantra ‘write what you know’ over and over in various ‘how to write’ books.  Since I’ve never found my previous life in IT particularly romantic, I guess this story is as good as ‘writing what you know’ as I’m going to get!

As ever with my books, the plot has gone through a whole series of changes as the characters developed.  My dogged perusal of a learned tome called Money, Mania and Markets by R. C. Michie resulted in one fleeting reference to Cordelia’s investment portfolio.  The majority of the scenes that I had planned to set in Glasgow ended up on my virtual cutting-room floor, though I’ve used some of their ambience in the scene where Cordelia and Iain visit the Isle of Dogs.  While I’d set Cordelia up with some passing references in both The Beauty Within and Rumours That Ruined A Lady, to be honest, I had no more idea than her sisters of why she ran away and what her fate was.  I started out putting her in a convent in Italy, then I set her up in business in Glasgow building hotels for young ladies, and at one point I gave her a child, which I killed off and then abandoned altogether.

What I did realise very early on was that she needed a very strong hero – a self-made man to match her self-made woman.  Setting the story in the year of Queen Victoria’s ascendancy followed – not only because I needed Cordelia to have packed a bit of experience under her belt, but because it was with Victoria that the meritocracy started to nudge the aristocracy out of power, and I was very keen that her blackguard of a father, Lord Armstrong, was dealt if not a mortal blow then a fairly serious wound to his power base.

This is the last of the Armstrong sisters’ stories – a series which didn’t start out as a series at all, but as a one-off Regency sheikh story.  I didn’t plan to come full circle back to where it started, but as I wrote Iain and Cordelia’s story, it felt right to do so.

Thanks to my Facebook friends for all their help and support, assistance with points of detail and ideas – you are stars.  And once again thank you to Flo, who deserves some sort of medal for being so patient with me on this one, which had more false starts than the Grand National!

O’Keefe, Molly, The Temptation of Savannah O’Neill

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O’Keefe, Molly, The Temptation of Savannah O’Neill (The Notorious O’Neills, Book 1), (Richmond, Surrey:  Harlequin (UK) Limited, 2010).

Title:  The Temptation of Savannah O’Neill (The Notorious O’Neills, Book 1)

Author:  Molly O’Keefe

Imprint:  Superromance

Issues:  Child Abandonment; Estrangement; Guilt; Infidelity; Parenthood; Self Esteem

Blurb:

A family’s bad reputation is tough to shake off. Just ask Savannah O’Neill. Despite her straitlaced job as a librarian, despite her living a private life, the O’Neill family wildness still sparks town gossip. And the arrival of Matt Woods–sexy handyman and complete stranger–isn’t helping.

Watching him work makes Savannah long to take a trip into indulgence. That’s so not a good idea–she’s been there before and still hears the rumors. But Matt is much too delicious for this O’Neill to resist. It’s a shame there’s more to Matt than being good with his hands. Because when his true reasons for seeking her out are revealed, he could become another affair Savannah lives to regret.

Dear Reader,

I have wished, more times than I can count, that I was Southern.  Not just so I could have an heirloom pecan pie recipe, though that would be fantastic.  And not just so I could say “bless your heart” and have it mean the many nice and not so nice things it seems to mean when Southern women say it.  But so I could walk around in a slip like Elizabeth Taylor in Cat on a Hot Tin Rood and not catch pneumonia.

But I am not Southern.  I am from the Midwest and I moved to Canada.  But my Deep South fantasies are now being played out on the page in this very fun new series – The Notorious O’Neills – about a Louisiana family plagued by family secrets, stolen gems and broken hearts.

I am often asked what inspires me about a certain idea, and I usually say something lame, such as love is always inspiring.  But here is the truth:  I love the heroes.  I love torturing them, redeeming them; I love taking their shirts off.  Heroes are why I adore romance novels.  As I started Savannah’s book, I swore this book was going to be about her.  And how could it not?  A betrayed woman, locked up in a prison of her own making, she was a heroine I could sink my teeth into.  But then onto the page walked Matt Woods.  And I was totally intrigued by the question, what makes a good guy go bad?

I hope you enjoy the first book in this series.  Please drop me a line at www.molly-okeefe.com.  I love to heart from readers!

Happy reading,

Molly O’Keefe

Maynard, Janice, For Baby’s Sake

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Maynard, Janice, For Baby’s Sake (Kavanaghs of Silver Glen, Book 7),  (Richmond, Surrey:  Harlequin (UK) Limited, 2016).

Title:  For Baby’s Sake (Kavanaghs of Silver Glen, Book 7)

Author:  Janice Maynard

Imprint:  Desire

Issues:  Bereavement; Estrangement; Parenthood

Blurb:

James Kavanagh is rich and sexy as sin, but his workaholic neighbor Lila Baxter has been there, done that—and has the heartbreak to prove it. They’ve avoided each other since their affair ended, but now she’s brought home a baby.

He’s clearly the last man Lila wants to ask for help. But she knows nothing about babies, and James is a born family man. When one offer of help leads to another, they’re soon under the same roof. Almost like a real family. Suddenly the heat they’ve ignored is ready to ignite!

Dear Reader,

Wow, I can’t believe James is the last Kavangh to get his happy ending.  I love the town of Silver Glen, and I’ve truly enjoyed introducing you to the band of brothers who keep things interesting.

Don’t worry-I still have many more Harlequin Desires in the works.  But in the midst of those, I am happy to announce a new digital contemporary series set in Scotland.  Hot for the Scot, Scot of My Dreams, and Not Quite a Scot are the stories of three friends obsessed with the Outlander books and TV series.  They travel to Scotland together in search of their own kilt-clad heroes.  Hijinks ensue.  🙂

If you don’t want to miss any of the fun, please make sure you have subscribed to my newsletter at janicemaynard.com.  Include your name and email.  That makes it easier for my web-lady to announce contest winners.  There will also be giveaways on Facebook and “Like” my author page at JaniceMaynardReaderPage.  And last but not least, find me on Twitter:  @janicemaynard.

As always, thanks for reading!

Janice Maynard

Scott, Bronwyn, A Lady Dares

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Scott, Bronwyn, A Lady Dares (Ladies of Impropriety, Book 2),  (Richmond, Surrey:  Mills & Boon, 2012).

Title:  A Lady Dares (Ladies of Impropriety, Book 2)

Author:  Bronwyn Scott

Imprint:  Historical

Issues:  Estrangement; Gendered Expectations (Women)

Blurb:

A lady in a gentleman’s world…

According to society, I, Elise Sutton, haven’t been a lady for quite some time—a lady couldn’t possibly run the family company and spend her days on London’s crowded, tar-stained docks. And she most certainly wouldn’t associate herself with the infamous Dorian Rowland—privateer, smuggler and the Scourge of Gibraltar himself!

But I need Rowland and his specialized expertise—especially with the wolves circling, waiting for me to fail. I yearn to feel alive, and Rowland, who can kiss like the devil, inflames my senses and makes me dare to break free…

Author Note

Yachting is nearly as English as horse racing!  The Royal Thames Yacht Club has a rich history.  For locations of race courses and information regarding 1838 club officers I drew from the records contained in Captain A. R. Ward’s the Chronicles of the Royal Thames Yacht Club.  1838 was also an exciting year for yachting, as serious racers began transitioning from river racing to open water racing on the Solent.

I should add a final note about locations used in the story:  the Sutton Shipyards at the Blackwell Docks and the restaurant foray to the Italian trattoria.  To determine the locations I consulted the excellent book London:  A Life in Maps by Peter Whitfield.  This is one of my favourite books and I consult it over and over.  The Blackwell Docks had become the West India Docks by 2838, but were often still referred to as the Old Blackwell Docks, so I did take a bit of licence there.  However, Soho was indeed a thriving immigrant neighbourhood that took advantage of the ‘new’ fad to dine out.  And the tavern, The Gun, where Elise first meets Dorian is real!  You can still visit it today, and maybe if you’re lucky you’ll meet your own sexy ‘almost’ pirate too, just like Elise.

Stop by my blog at www.bronwynswriting.blogspot.com to see what else is coming!

Enjoy!

Hill, Donna, Everything Is You

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Hill, Donna, Everything Is You (Lawsons of Louisiana, Book 4),  (Richmond, Surrey:  Harlequin (UK) Limited, 2012).

Title:  Everything Is You (Lawsons of Louisiana, Book 4)

Author:  Donna Hill

Imprint:  Kimani

Issues:  Aplastic Anaemia; Estrangement; Gendered Expectations (Women); POC; Transplant; WOC

Blurb:

Jacqueline Lawson is a maverick focusing on her career abroad a world away from the conservative Lawson dynasty. But when the award-winning photojournalist returns home to Baton Rouge after a high-stakes assignment, her parents welcome her back with open arms. But there is a shadow over Jacqueline’s homecoming. She is hiding a secret, one she is determined to keep.

Raymond Jordan has sworn to uncover all of Jacqueline’s secrets, and her on-again, off-again lover is the only man who has ever gotten under her skin. Raymond didn’t follow Jacqueline back to the United States just to let her get away again. The freelance photographer has been by her side in the most dangerous places, and now he wants them to be a permanent team.

The passion as hot as ever between them. But love means putting yourself in the line of fire. Is Jacqueline ready to risk her heart?

Dear Reader,

Thank you for selecting Everything Is You.  If you are new to the series, welcome to the intriguing world of the Lawsons of Louisiana!  You are in for a treat.  This time,  I want to introduce you to Jacqueline Lawson, the younger sister of patriarch Sr. Senator Branford Lawson.  Jacqueline has been estranged from her family for years, for a variety of reasons.  She has not spoken with her brother for nearly a decade.  But she’s made a life for herself as an award-winning, international photojournalist.  Enter Raymond Jordan, a celebrated journalist in his own right.  The two travel the world together.  Raymond wants more but Jacqueline knows that she can never commit and the only person who may be able to change that is her brother Branford.

Everything Is You is a tribute to a man whose love for a woman will stop at nothing and who will move mountains to have her.  It is about an independent woman who finds that she does need something and someone more.  It is about a powerful family, rife with drama, secrets, sexy men and dynamic women.  Welcome!

Be sure to Follow the entire series:  Spend My Life With You; Secret Attraction; Sultry Nights; and now Everything Is You.  You will also find many of the Lawson clan in my new series Sag Harbor Village, beginning with Touch Me Now.

Until next time,

Donna

Wood, Joss, The Last Guy She Should Call

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Wood, Joss, The Last Guy She Should Call,  (Richmond, Surrey:  Mills & Boon, 2014).

Title:  The Last Guy She Should Call

Author:  Joss Wood

Imprint:  Modern Tempted (KISS)

Issues:  Child Abandonment; Estrangement

Blurb:

She’d got his number…luckily! 

For savvy antiques dealer Rowan Dunn life is good—until a passport error gets her deported back to South Africa! Stranded at the airport, Rowan can remember only two phone numbers—her parents’ (definitely not an option!) and her best friend’s brother’s. As much as she hates it, Rowan knows she has no choice. It’s time to call Seb Hollis and ask for help…. 

Seb is even sexier than Rowan remembers—and just as infuriating! He’s always pushed her buttons, but at least now she knows how to push them back. Maybe it’s time to start sleeping with the enemy—even though Rowan’s sure there won’t be a whole lot of sleeping going on…!

Dear Reader,

I write romances about finding love in the twenty-first century, and I love creating quirky heroines-women a little left of centre.  Rowan, I think, is one of my quirkiest to date, and she came about when I was watching a travel programme and the female presenter capture my attention.  Rowan ran into some minor trouble as a teenager, and as soon as she could left home to travel the world.  She’s spent years of bouncing from country to country, and I needed to work out what, and who, would make Rowan settle down-especially in her home town, which holds so many bad memories for her.

Seb is Rowan’s best friend’s brother, her childhood nemesis, and the person whose attention she has always wanted to capture and hang onto.  When she finds herself broke and deported, dreading the idea of returning to Cape Town as the family screw-up, it’s Seb she reluctantly turns to to help her out of trouble.

As they start discovering the adult versions of the children they used to be they both have to learn to trust, to believe in themselves, in each other and in love itself.

Writing romance is the best job in the world, and I hope you enjoy Seb and Rowan’s journey to their happy-ever-after.

With my very best wishes

Joss  xxx

Rice, Heidi, Public Affair, Secretly Expecting

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Rice, Heidi, Public Affair, Secretly Expecting (Brody Brothers, Book 2),  (Richmond, Surrey:  Harlequin Mills & Boon Limited, 2009).

Title:  Public Affair, Secretly Expecting (Brody Brothers, Book 2)

Author:  Heidi Rice

Imprint:  Modern Heat

Issues:   Estrangement; Foster Care

Blurb:

The shop assistant and the superstar…

Mac Brody’s Hollywood life is far removed from his turbulent youth — and that’s how he likes it. The legendary bad boy refuses to be judged by Juno Delamare for declining his brother’s wedding invitation …

… and a scorching L.A. affair!

But he can’t get feisty Juno out of his head! So he goes to the wedding — to strip away her defences and her sexy bridesmaid dress. When their steamy night hits the headlines, Mac sweeps Juno away for a two-week affair … Soon Juno realizes she has more than memories to hold dear!

Dear Reader,

I love it when I’m in the process of writing a book and a secondary character yells, ‘Hey, what about me?  Don’t I deserve a story of my own?’  So I was chuffed to bits when Juno Delamare did exactly that as I was writing her best mate Daisy’s story in Hot-Shot Tycoon, Indecent Proposal.

At the time, Juno didn’t even have a second name; she was just Daisy’s cautious, earnest, tomboy friend.  Juno had been hurt badly once, and it had made her prickly and pessimistic and extremely wary of good-looking men.  But her honesty, her fortitude and her emotional integrity instantly engaged me.  And so, as Daisy’s story unfolded, Juno began to insist I find her a man of her own who could coax her out of her cocoon.

Then, lo and behold, Connor Brody-Daisy’s hero-mentioned he had a long-lost brother.  Now, while at first this seemed a remarkably lucky coincidence, I quickly realised Juno had not had a man as dangerous as Mac Brody in mind when she had asked me to find her one true love.  Would she be able to cope with this brooding Irish bad-boy-turned-Hollywood-star who had sealed off his heart at an early age and seduced women only to discard them the instant things got serious?  And then I thought, What the hell?  I’m the author here-not her.  I’ll chuck Juno in at the deep end and see if she floats.

I hope you get the same kick out of watching her-and indeed Mac-struggle to survive the emotional tidal wave that promptly knocks them both flat.  Feel free to let me know on heidi@heidi-rice.com

Cheers

Heidi

Fox, Roz Denny, She Walks the Line

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Fox, Roz Denny, She Walks the Line (Women in Blue, Book 5),  (Richmond, Surrey:  Harlequin (UK) Limited, 2005).

Title:  She Walks the Line (Women in Blue, Book 5)

Author:  Roz Denny Fox

Imprint:  Superromance

Issues:  Estrangement; Interracial Relationship; Parenthood

Blurb:

She’s not only a cop, she’s a woman from a traditional Chinese family. Mei Lu Ling’s parents strongly disapprove of her career, but she’s determined not to let her personal life interfere with her work – especially now that she’s been handed a case involving the theft of Chinese antiquities. A case that may implicate her father…

Maintaining the precarious balance between her private and professional lives becomes even more difficult when she’s assigned to work with Cullen Archer, an insurance investigator with ties to Interpol. Mei finds Cullen, single father of eight-year-old twins, far too attractive for her peace of mind. But she’s thrilled that Cullen is just as attracted to her – even if falling in love complicates everything else in her life!

Dear Reader,

It’s always exciting to be asked to participate in a continuity within the Harlequin SuperRomance line.  It means individual authors have an opportunity to work closely with fellow writers to develop a group of loosely connected stories.  Women in Blue is one of these.

My story, like the other five in this continuity, is first and foremost a love story about two people whose lives are enriched after their paths cross.  Mei Lu Ling is a Houston cop attached to the White Collar Crimes division.  Her family owns and operates a prestigious import and export firm dealing with high-end Asian art.  She left the family business, electing instead to become a police officer.  She went through the training academy with five other women:  they formed close ties.  The five friends understood Mei’s problems with her family and helped her cope with an ever-widening estrangement.  So it came as a blow when an unforeseen situation (described in the first book of the series) caused the women to pull away from one another.

Suddenly the police chief (one of the original six “women in blue”) assigns Mei Lu to special duty as a Chinese-language translator for Cullen Archer.  He’s an insurance investigator working with Interpol to break up a smuggling ring that’s moving national treasures out of China.  Mei Lu is drawn to Cullen, but she initially has doubts that center on his ex-wife.  Mei is also drawn to his adorable twins.  Cullen, meanwhile, tries not to suspect Mei’s father or her brother of being involved.  Throughout the story, events conspire to bring them together-and keep them apart.

I hope readers will want to read about all the individual struggles faced by these six friends, the Women in Blue.

Roz Denny Fox

I love to hear from readers.  You can reach me at P.O. Box 17480-101, Tucson, AZ 85731 or via my website, www.korynna.com/RozFox