Lane, Elizabeth, The Ballad of Emma O’Toole

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Lane, Elizabeth, The Ballad of Emma O’Toole,  (Richmond, Surrey:  Harlequin (UK) Limited, 2013).

Title:  The Ballad of Emma O’Toole

Author:  Elizabeth Lane

Imprint:  Historical

Issues:  Gambling; Gendered Expectations (Women); Orphan; Parenthood; Revenge


High-stakes marriage..

After he shoots a man, the stakes for gambler Logan Devereaux have never been higher. On trial for his life, he’s offered a shocking alternative form of restitution…marriage to his victim’s pregnant sweetheart!

Beautiful Emma O’Toole has sworn vengeance against him – and when a newspaper man puts her tragic story to song the whole nation waits to see what she’ll do. Their marriage is the riskiest gamble Logan’s ever taken, but he’ll put everything he’s got on the line for a chance at winning Emma’s heart.

Author Note,

This is a ‘Book of My Heart’.  In the years that passed between its beginning and its publication the story never left me, and I never gave up on it.  Seeing it in print at last, and being able to share it with you, is a very personal joy.

Park City, Utah, is an hour’s drive from where I live.  Cradled by the beautiful Wasatch Mountains, its history is as spectacular as its setting.  My own pioneer great-great-grandfather directed the first settlement of the high valley – then known as Parley’s Park.  Its progression from farming community to silver mining boom town, from crumbling backwater to world-class ski resort and home of the Sundance Film Festival, is a true American saga.

The Ballad of Emma O’Toole is set amid the silver boom of the 1980s that brought wealth-seekers from all over the world.  Young Emma O’Toole is determined to make a better life for herself, but her beauty is offset by every possible strike against her.  She’s orphaned, impoverished, and pregnant by a nineteen-year-old boy as poor as she is.  Fate and tragedy intervene to thrust her into the reluctant arms of gambler Logan Devereaux, a cynical man with a dangerous past.  Can such an unlikely pair find happiness together?  I hope you’ll be cheering them on, as I was, all the way to the end of their story.

I offer you this book with a piece of my heart.  Enjoy.


Rice, Heidi, The Tycoon’s Very Personal Assistant


Rice, Heidi, The Tycoon’s Very Personal Assistant,  (Richmond, Surrey:  Harlequin Mills & Boon Limited, 2008).

Title:  The Tycoon’s Very Personal Assistant

Author:  Heidi Rice

Imprint:  Modern Heat

Issues:   Child Abandonment; Gambling


It was mortifying!

How had Kate ended up in hotel tycoon Zack Boudreaux’s office in nothing but her underwear? Zack appeared to assume the worst and Kate could hardly blame him. But she had no clothes, passport or plane ticket home. She would have to hope Zack could help her….And he did. First with a bathrobe, and then with a job. She’d be at his beck and call as his very personal assistant…

Dear Reader,

With Mills & Boon celebrating their centenary this year, I wanted a really special love story for my first book of 2008.  While it didn’t take me quite 100 years to create Zack and Kate’s story, it seems the two of them have been waiting to have their story told for almost as long.

It all began four and a half years ago, when my best mate Catri and I were on one of our biannual road trips to America.  We were staying at the fabulous Flamingo Hotel in Vegas when I got the inspiration for Zack Boudreaux.  A gorgeous ex-gambler turned hotel tycoon, Zack was a guy who knew something was missing from his life, only he didn’t know what-and it was frustrating the hell out of him.  Unfortunately, it frustrated the hell out of me, trying to think up a heroine for Zack, so he got left to brood alone for several years.

Then last year Catri and I started planning a trip to California, and I discovered Big Sur.  Its raw, timeless, elemental beauty captivated me, and had Kate Denton popping into my head.  Smart, sassy, impulsive and fiercely independent, she was the perfect woman to captivate Zack, show him what he was missing-and then drive him nuts while he tried to grab hold of it.

After finally finishing Zack and Kate’s story, I went to Big Sur and watched the sun set over the Pacific.  It lived up to all my expectations.  I hope this story does the same for you-and helps to keep Mills & Boon’s torch burning bright into their next century.

I love to hear from readers, so if you want to chat about Big Sur, or Vegas, or even my latest book, you can contact me through my website at


Heidi x