Immortalized in movie scenes when our hero and heroine exchange that first glimpse from across a room, love at first sight occupies a permanent place within the romantic lexicon. Nowadays, though, it’s called “instalust” or “instalove.”
Apparently, that’s more accurate or realistic.
I think it’s derogatory.
What man or woman doesn’t want to feel that moment of instant attraction, that wondrous lightning strike of knowing that he or she is “the One”? That sizzling realization that you’ve just met your one true love can and should knock you off your feet.
Does it happen?
In fiction, it happens all the time. Consider that ubiquitous fairy tale, Cinderella. The prince gazes across a sea of hopeful ladies to see the glittering beauty of an unknown woman. He rises from his chair, wades through the crowd, and takes the unknown beauty by the hand. They dance all night until the clock strikes midnight and she flees. The next day he goes in search of the woman who captured his interest with just a glance and then took his heart prisoner over a single evening. And he doesn’t even know her name.
Paranormal romance, especially in shifter and vampire romances, capitalizes on love at first sight, using the practically instantaneous attraction and mating instinct possessed by many animals. Our hero (usually a shifter) recognizes his mate (usually a human) and then spends the rest of the story persuading her that he’s going to love her and take care of her forever.
I think that most people crave that sort of obsessive devotion, which is why the “love at first sight” trope endures in popularity. However, it has its dark side, too. In Deerskin by Robin McKinley, our heroine’s parents have that sort of single-minded focus upon each other until the heroine’s mother fears the ravages of age and her father transfers his insane focus on his own daughter. The daughter grows up mostly ignored until that creepy and awful transference of obsessive love: her parents cannot focus on anyone but each other. They have no love to spare for their own child.
The ideal of it … ah, doesn’t that make you shiver with the longing to have someone whom you love forsake all others to dedicate himself or herself to your happiness? The trope generally builds upon a man’s instinct to possess and protect, taking those instincts to psychotic levels. The trope generally demands obedience from the submissive in the relationship—usually the female. He takes care, she is cared for—until the tables are turned and she ministers to him.
Love at first sight hearkens to the ideal of mutual care, mutual benefit, mutual pleasure, mutual support. It takes the concept of a utopian community and applies it to the two-person community of a romance or the slightly larger group of a polyamorous relationship. It takes that idealized, interdependent caring and support and adds sexual attraction.
I love love at first sight. It’s a wonderful catalyst to jump-start a character-driven romance. It complies with my no-cheating requirement in romance and ensures commitment even when intimacy occurs before the ceremony.
Intriguing post ! Thank you, Holly, for giving us a peek into the advantages and disadvantages of the ‘love at first sight’ trope.
Well, readers, shall we take a peek at her paranormal romance? Sounds like a plan! 😀
Great cover! 🙂
This is the blurb for The Eagle at Dawn:
Rachel’s brother uses her as collateral to settle a debt with an outlaw motorcycle gang. She flees to a local bar and pleads with a darkly handsome stranger to help her. His help results in homicide. When eagle shifter Diego’s vacation is interrupted by the innocent young woman he recognizes as his mate, he flees with her across national borders because she’s his and he’s not letting her go.
Having essentially swapped one captor for another, Rachel knows the dashing, sexy Spaniard is keeping secrets from her. He showers her with kindness and generosity in exchange for her obedience. Diego’s control over her and his secrets elicit her distrust and resentment.
When freedom beckons, Rachel answers its call; however, freedom brings hardship and indignity. Will she return to the controlling alpha male who stirs her blood or cling stubbornly to her freedom?
Here is an excerpt.
Rachel awoke to dark liquid eyes staring at her and the gentle stroke of fingers over her cheek and along her jaw. She gasped and drew back, initially confused. Memory slammed into place and she took another deep breath.
“What is it?” she asked, realizing the absence of engine noise and the stillness of the aircraft.
“We’ve arrived, mi encantadora.”
She blinked and sat up, rolling her shoulders and stretching. Diego’s gaze sharpened and the small muscle at the base of his jaw clenched. His demeanor subtly changed from tender to ferocious and Rachel wondered what she’d done to anger him. As though realizing that he intimidated her, Diego pressed his full lips together in a thin line, closed his eyes in a long slow blink, and visibly relaxed his muscles.
He held out his hand and she took it, thinking he merely intended to help her up from the cot like the gentleman he claimed to be. However, he did not release her, but reeled her in so that her soft breasts pressed into his body and his heat easily penetrated her thin summer clothes. His other arm wrapped around her and clamped her against him. She inhaled again with sharp surprise at both the unexpected embrace and the surge of arousal that sparked low in her belly.
She swallowed, the sound audible, and blinked rapidly. “What’s going on?”
“Us,” he replied, his voice a husky murmur. Diego’s hand skimmed upward and cupped the back of her head, holding her in place and pressing her ear against his heart. The strong, steady beat thudded and calmed her nerves even as the enticing scent of him stirred her blood. She felt the soft waft of his breath over her hair and then the brush of his lips.
“Why did you kiss me?” she whispered.
“Because you’re not ready for more.”
Rachel gulped again. “What if I’m never ready for more?”
♥♥♥ Ooh…love the tension! This looks like quite a romantic read!
Thanks for stopping by with your fascinating guest post, Holly! Awesome to have you here! ♥
Holly Bargo lives with her husband on a southwest Ohio hobby farm with a menagerie of four-legged pets. Their two children are grown. Holly works full-time as a freelance writer and editor, and has published over 20 titles since 2014. She primarily writes fantasy and romance, often blending the two genres. Her latest release is The Eagle at Dawn, the fourth book in her Immortal Shifters series in which, yes, readers get to experience the effects of love at first sight. Holly enjoys hearing from and meeting readers. She will be at the 2019 Summer Book Fair in Springfield, Ohio. Contact her via the Hen House Publishing website.
Today, we’re doing something a little different. If you remember, we interviewed Amber Daulton’s character in March, and it was so fun that I thought we may as well make an occasional habit of it. I had the pleasure of meeting Rebecca Hefner, the author of The End of Hatred, on my author journey and I asked if I could borrow a character, Slayer Princess Miranda, from the book. We’ll get a chance to talk to Rebecca in a bit, but now we have on the stage…Miranda!
Marie Lavender: Hello, Miranda. Please have a seat.
Character Miranda: Thank you for the invite, Marie.
Marie: It’s my pleasure!
We’re going to start out with some simple questions, all right?
Marie: What is your occupation? Are you any good at it? Do you like it?
Miranda: Well, my current occupation is training to kill the Dark Lord Crimeous. He kidnapped my mother a thousand years ago, tortured and murdered her, and thrust the Slayers into an endless war with the Vampyres. So, yeah, I want him gone from Etherya’s Earth and I won’t stop until every memory of him is vanquished.
Marie: All right.
So, tell us…what is your family like?
Miranda: My mother, Rina, was a bright light in our world. She was taken when I was eight-years old and I remember how she would look at me with her olive-green eyes, filled with so much love. My father, King Marsias, was distraught at her abduction and never recovered. I think he wants to love me, but it’s hard for him. Everyone says I’m the spitting image of Mother, so I think he sees her when he looks at me. Thankfully, my cousin Kenden is my rock and my confidante. I love him more than anything in the world. He’s the commander of our army and has taught me to fight from a young age. He’s made me into the warrior I am today and has always loved me, even when I’m being a pain in the ass. Which he says is pretty much always.
If it doesn’t bother you at all, can you let us know what your childhood home looked like?
Miranda: I grew up in the Slayer castle, on the main Slayer compound of Uteria. It seems so magical and mystical, and I guess it is, but it’s also always seemed so cold to me. Perhaps because my father longs for Mother so much. His grief seems to permeate every room of the castle. But I do love Uteria and our satellite compound of Restia. I spend a lot of my time working on improving the parks and outdoor spaces. It’s important to me that my people have a beautiful world to live in and I also want to encourage the children of my kingdom to play outside. Human children stay indoors too much, with their video games and social media, and I want Slayer children to enjoy the sunny days we have on Etherya’s Earth. We’re safe in the sun since the Vampyres can only hunt us at night, thank God.
Do you have any hobbies, Miranda? What do you enjoy doing?
Miranda: I’m a huge heavy metal fan. If you come between me and my iPod when I’m working out, you’re probably toast. I love jogging and sparring with Kenden. I have to keep my warrior skills sharp if I’m going to beat Crimeous!
Marie: So, what is your greatest dream?
Miranda: (Sighs wistfully.) For my people to live in peace. We’ve been stuck in an endless war for a thousand years. The Vampyres raid us constantly and now Crimeous’ Deamons are growing stronger. All I want is to wake up one day and have a world where my people can thrive, without the threat of war and death. I’m determined to make it happen.
Marie: I see…
What kind of person do you wish you could be? What is stopping you?
Miranda: I’ve been groomed to be queen since I was born. I’ll take the throne one day, but for now I’m content to let my father rule. I’m the rightful heir, since I have my grandfather Valktor’s blood, but father does a great job. Although, once I kill Crimeous, I intend to claim my crown. I’m sure my father will support me in that. Of course, he will…
Marie: Okay, I’m going to throw another random question at you now.
Who was your first love?
Miranda: I haven’t actually been in love yet. I’ve had a few lovers. The Slayer traditions are extremely outdated. Young Slayer women are taught to save their virginity for marriage. I’ve always thought that incredibly sexist, as Slayer men are expected to sow their oats before getting married. I’ve never given a fig for any rule that some old curmudgeon decreed centuries before the Awakening, so I decided early on that if I felt comfortable with a man and cared for him, I would sleep with him. Sam was the sweet boy I dated in the first century. He was a bit timid and quite innocent in his avowals of love for me. Then there was Madu, and Ergon after him. They were both badasses who liked heavy metal too. I probably only dated them because it infuriated my father. After that, there was a long break with no dating and much training. Around the eighth century I dated a soldier named Goran. Sadly, he was abducted in one of the Vampyre raids, never to be seen again.
There isn’t much time for love when you’re protecting your people. I wonder if I’ll ever experience it. I’m not sure I will…
Marie: Well, I think it’s never too late.
(Sighs.) I love romance…
(Clears throat after a few moments). So, ah, not to be a downer, but I do have a pretty deep question next.
What’s the most terrible thing that ever happened to you?
Miranda: I would say my mother being kidnapped but, honestly, every time there’s a Vampyre raid and we lose more soldiers, I feel it down in my gut. I’m so tired of the constant fighting. We have to do better. Every soldier’s death is a weight on my soul and each one hurts so fiercely.
Marie: 😥 I can only imagine. That’s rough…
Let’s move on to something a bit lighter now, shall we?
What was your dream growing up? Did you achieve that dream? If so, in what ways was it not what you expected? If you never achieved the dream, why not?
Miranda: Mother was taken when I was still so young. I think I’ve always had the same dream; to help create a world where my people live in peace. If I can do that, I’ll be happy.
Marie: How admirable! 😀
Who is your role model, Miranda?
Miranda: Wow. That’s a tough one. Being a traditional society, women are taught to be reticent and silent. I’ve fought to break that and to level our society so that women are seen as equals. I don’t remember much about Mother, but I know that she challenged Father at every turn. So, I guess you could say that I aspire to live up to her and I definitely share her passion for helping our people.
Now, you’ll probably think I’m digging for dirt on the next question.
Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?
Miranda: My father is insistent on cementing a marriage between me and Kalil. He’s descended from a very old line of Slayer aristocrats and Father believes he’d make an excellent husband. I keep telling him that he should marry him, then. (Shrugs.) Anyway, I guess I like Kalil, but he drives me a bit nuts. First of all, he’s boring as hell. Sorry, but I said it. Second, he’s a bit snobbish. There’s an inherent classism that runs through our people and, more often than not, aristocrats think they’re better than laborers and servants. That’s just not true. A person can’t control who their parents are or what bloodline they have. I believe that all people are equal and have tried hard to instill this in our society. I haven’t quite succeeded yet, but I’ll never give up the fight!
Marie: Go, girl! 😉
Let’s try another question.
What is your deepest desire?
Miranda: Again, not to be repetitive, but my people need to be free from war. It’s all I’m focused on right now. Once that happens, I can move on and focus on myself.
Marie: What about your greatest fear?
Miranda: That the Slayers will be eradicated, either by the Vampyres or the Deamons. It’s terrifying and I’m at the point where I realize we need to change tactics or that won’t happen. So, I’m leading the charge and if my father, or anyone else, doesn’t like it, I don’t give a damn.
Marie: Can’t blame you there…
I’m glad you were comfortable enough to tell me everything.
Well, it looks like we’re out of time. Thank you for visiting us today, Miranda. It was so interesting getting to know you! 🙂
(Waves goodbye to her guest.)
Now, let’s shift over and get the author’s perspective. We have author Rebecca Hefner on the stage today. It’s such a pleasure to have you here! Hello, Rebecca!
Author Rebecca Hefner: Hi, Marie! Thank you for taking the time to interview me.
Marie: Of course! I love to have authors on ILRB. 😀
So, we just got to talk to a female character from your story, Miranda. Quite an interesting character. Can you tell us about her?
Rebecca: Miranda is an absolute badass. She’s determined to right the wrongs committed by her grandfather centuries ago and won’t stop until she brings peace to her people. Her determination is amazing and I’d like to be her when I grow up!
What are your character’s greatest strengths?
Rebecca: Her love for her people. Her ability to see the bigger picture, even through the hatred. Her ability to love, even when others have a hard time loving her back. I see that with her father and it’s very heartbreaking.
Marie: And your character’s greatest weakness?
Rebecca: Miranda is stubborn, sometimes to her benefit and sometimes to her detriment. She’s also quite impulsive and is working on taking deep breaths so she doesn’t fly off the handle. I think it’s half-working.
Let’s try something fun, shall we?
What are some of Miranda’s favorite foods?
Rebecca: She loves seafood. The castle’s housekeeper, Jana, is a lovely woman who makes steamed halibut for Miranda at least once a week, knowing it’s her favorite!
How about another question?
What’s a positive quality that your character is unaware that he or she has?
Rebecca: Her fearlessness. I’ve never met anyone as strong and sure as Miranda. She was born with a sense of inner-belief and confidence, and I know it will aid her in saving her people.
Marie: Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?
Rebecca: I think readers will love her! She’s so strong and kick-ass, but down to earth as well. She loves heavy metal and has a great, snarky sense of humor. Her strength is admirable and we all can see a bit of ourselves in her faults.
Marie: I’m sure they will adore her!
Now that we have a real taste of Miranda, here are a few questions for you as well as the author.
What first gave you the idea for The End of Hatred?
Rebecca: This is the first book in the series and it’s the story of two age-old enemies aligning to combat a common foe. So, ending the hatred seemed on point!
Isn’t it fascinating how the muse works? 😀
Let’s try something else.
What is your writing style like? Are you a pantster or a plotter?
Rebecca: I sit down and write out a broad storyline, as well as any scenes that have appeared in my head. Then, I begin to write. The characters always take me to a much better place than I ever could’ve imagined. It’s as if they live in my imagination!
Marie: (Nods.) I think sometimes our characters know best. 😉
How about one last question?
Now I’m throwing this one in for our aspiring writers. Did you come across any specific challenges in writing The End of Hatred or publishing it? What would you do differently the next time?
Rebecca: I decided to self-publish because I felt that was the right path for me. I probably have a much different path than many others. I was a successful medical device sales rep in Corporate America for twelve years. I only left recently to pursue writing full-time. I’ve been writing these stories for decades so, once I decided to publish them, I didn’t want to wait another year or two to wade through submissions, et cetera. I also self-published because I wanted to retain creative control of my stories.
With that being said, I hired an amazing editor at NY Book Editors and, if any author is considering self-publishing, it is imperative they hire a professional editor. It’s respectful to your readers and they will appreciate your books even more.
There are many advantages to self-publishing and to traditional publishing, and every author has to figure out which one will work best for them.
Marie: So true! 😉
Well, it was a such a pleasure having you here on the I Love Romance Blog! And how apropos is that, considering what a great story The End of Hatred appears to be.
Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this paranormal romance by Rebecca Hefner, a very talented author!
Here is the blurb for The End of Hatred, book one of Etherya’s Earth Series:
These are dangerous times on Etherya’s Earth…
Slayer Princess Miranda, heir to the throne, has hated the Vampyres for a thousand years. Since the Awakening, she’s fought to protect her people, choosing to be a warrior more than a royal. When a female Vampyre washes up on the shore of her compound’s riverbank, she seizes the moment to take the offensive.
Sathan, King of the Vampyres, distraught at his sister’s disappearance and captivity, agrees to travel with Miranda to resurrect the Blade of Pestilence, also hoping to change his people’s state of endless war. Although the woman hates him due to the constant raids on her compound for the Slayers’ life-giving blood, he can’t help but admire the stubborn and strong princess.
As their journey progresses, both begin to understand that they are aligned in their hatred of Crimeous, leader of the Deamons, as well as their hope for peace between the Slayers and Vampyres. Determined to fight their growing attraction, they forge a tentative truce. But old wounds run deep and trust is scarce. Their faith in each other must remain strong or all will be lost…
Rebecca is also offering us a little excerpt from the book!
Latimus pulled up to the barrier that surrounded the compound. As the three brothers exited the black Hummer, he addressed Sathan. “Be careful. We’re here if you need us.”
Sathan nodded and walked to the wall. The stones were cool against his palm under the dark sky and silver moonlight. The force-field that Etherya had implemented around the wall vibrated against his hand. Pushing against the rocks, they swung open and he walked through.
About twenty feet away he saw a black SUV, the headlights bright. He walked slowly toward the car.
“That’s far enough,” a female voice said.
“Where’s my sister?”
“She’s being held in a safe place not far from here.”
The woman walked forward and he studied her in what little light he had. Silky, raven-black hair fell straight to her shoulders. Camouflage pants were tucked over black army boots and she wore a black tank top. Approaching him, he noticed how small she was. Probably about a foot shorter than his six-foot, eight-inch frame.
She stopped about two feet in front of him and lifted her chin, training her gaze on his. He felt a sharp clenching sensation in his solar plexus when he saw her irises. Like wet leaves that glistened on the tree after a rainy day, they were the deepest green he had ever seen.
“You have dragged me here,” he said, regaining his composure. “What do I have to do to get her back?”
“Do you know who I am?” she asked. Her voice was clear and firm without a trace of fear.
“The Slayer Princess Miranda,” he said.
She nodded and looked down at the grass for a moment. He wondered if she was more nervous than she appeared. Looking back up at him, she said, “I have no wish to hurt your sister. I wish to use her to ask you to help me.”
“Force me to help you,” he said, bitterness lacing his tone.
“If you like,” she said with a deferential shrug of her shoulders. “Our people have been at war for a thousand years. We are locked in a stalemate that neither side seems to be able to win. I have come to the conclusion that we need to change our tactics.”
She inhaled a deep breath before continuing. “I’ve grown weary of fighting your people. I wish to form a temporary truce with you so that I can accomplish something of great importance.”
“Right,” he said, his tone suggesting that he trusted her about as far as he could throw her. “And what is it you need from me?”
“As the first-born descendants of Valktor and Markdor, our shared blood stream could release the Blade of Pestilence. Once I have it, I will use it to kill Crimeous and I will return your sister to you.”
Sathan blinked a few times, unsure he’d heard her correctly, and then he laughed incredulously. “Wait, are you serious?”
She stood still and mute, her chin thrust up in the air, waiting for his response.
“You want me to travel to the Cave of the Sacred Prophecy with you, release the Blade of Pestilence and then just let you go on your merry way after you’ve kidnapped my sister?”
“Yes,” she said, as if his statement hadn’t been dripping with sarcasm. “Except that I didn’t kidnap your sister. She washed up on the shore of our riverbank. I actually employed our doctor in nursing her back to health. You’re welcome, by the way.”
What a patronizing, cocky little bitch, Sathan thought. Although he had to admire how she stood her ground against him. His physical dominance over her alone should’ve had her cowering. He tested her will by taking a step forward, closing the distance between them. She stood firm, tilting her chin up even more to hold his gaze, and reluctant admiration for her courage coursed through him.
“You want me to thank you for keeping alive a hostage that you’re now using to negotiate with me?”
“It would be nice,” she said flippantly, “but I won’t hold my breath. So, what’s it going to be?
She stared up at him expectantly, as if she hadn’t just asked him to trek over four-hundred miles with her to rescue a weapon from an ancient prophecy.
“No. Now give me my sister. I don’t know what game you’re trying to play, but you’re obviously physically outmatched here. I’ll give you five seconds to hand her over or—”
A sharp pain stabbed in his chest and he gasped. Lowering his gaze to the left side of his chest, he realized that the woman had stabbed him with some sort of contraption.
“It’s a mini-blade-loaded-eight-shooter, you fucking bastard,” she said, spittle flying from between her clenched teeth as she pushed the contraption further into his chest. “The blade on the top of the barrel will only hurt, since you fuckers seem to heal like some goddamn miracle. But if I pull the trigger it will deploy eight tiny bullets right into your black fucking heart. Don’t make me do it.”
Pain coursed through him, as well as a healthy dose of anger. And yet, as he looked down on this tiny she-devil of a woman, he felt a jolt of respect. She had gotten the upper hand on him. Bracing himself, he pushed his chest further into the blade. An intense pleasure ran through him when her eyes widened in surprise.
“Go ahead,” he said, daring her. “Shoot me, princess. Let’s see if you have the courage.”
Tiny nostrils flared as she struggled to compose herself. Moments stretched by in silence as they stood locked in a dance of wills. “Well?” he jibed. “Haven’t you the bravery to kill me?”
Stepping back, she pulled the blade from his chest but kept the weapon aimed at his heart; her finger on the trigger. “Just like a stupid man,” she said, disgust lacing her voice. “Killing someone does not indicate courage or bravery. It’s the will to find a peaceful solution that shows one’s true strength.”
Huh. He didn’t expect that one. Not from the princess of the people who were his sworn enemy. He lifted his hand to put pressure on his bleeding wound. “Releasing the Blade of Pestilence will not find you peace. It will lead to more war if you wish to use it to kill Crimeous.”
“Perhaps,” she said. “But like I said, our tactics have to change. If you help me release the Blade, I promise I will return your sister to Astaria unharmed.”
He realized he believed her. Although she was a Slayer and had just stabbed him in the chest, she betrayed a firm genuineness. “And what about your father? The raids we hold against your people? Surely you cannot ask me to journey with you to the Cave, knowing my army will attack your people in another fortnight.”
Her face contorted into a withering scowl. “Yes, of course. How terrible of me to deny you the sport of hunting and killing my people.”
Remembering his earlier visit to the dungeon, he shook his head. “And now look who’s stupid.”
“What does that mean?” she asked.
Choosing not to answer her, he continued. “We’re almost out of rations from our last raid. If we don’t obtain more Slayer blood over the next fortnight, my people will begin to starve. Ruler to ruler, what would you have me do?”
“My cousin, our army commander, has agreed to supply your compound with blood from the injured soldiers we currently have in our infirmary. He will bank it for you daily and deliver it to this spot while we travel to the Cave.”
“Well, you’ve just got it all figured out, don’t you?” he asked sarcastically.
“It’s better than continuing this madness that’s been going on for centuries, isn’t it?” she asked, her tone just as biting. “Surely you can agree that it can’t hurt to employ new tactics in this age-old war. I mean, ruler to ruler, right?” She placed her free hand on her hip and her eyebrows jutted up as she waited for him to answer. Snarky little minx, this one was.
“Even if I agreed to your plan, how could I guarantee that my sister would be safe? For all I know, you could have your guards murder her as soon as we leave on our journey.”
“You’ll just have to trust me, I guess.”
“Says the woman holding the eight-shooter to my chest.”
Ever so slowly she lowered the weapon to her side. “I don’t want to hurt her. I’m sure you understand that if you hurt me, she will be immediately killed. I am trusting you not to harm me until I have the Blade in my possession. After that, once you return to your compound and I return to mine, we can assess how cooperative we’ve been toward each other and chart a course forward.”
And just like that, Sathan thought, the world had gone insane. The Slayer princess was standing in front of him, asking for a truce so that they could work together to rescue the centuries-old blade that her grandfather used to kill his parents. Fucking insane.
But what was even more insane was that he was considering it. After all, he had become frustrated with the current state of events as well. This cycle of endless war and destruction had them on a constant loop with no end in sight. What if he could actually work with the princess to change the course of history?
“Your father is on board with this plan?” he asked.
Studying her, he narrowed his eyes. “I am intrigued by your proposal, but I need to discuss it with my brothers. If we are going to move forward with this, I would ask that you turn my sister over to me and trust that I will keep my word. How am I supposed to trust you if you do not trust me in return?”
“Good try, but no fucking way,” she said, shaking her head. “This trust thing is going to go one way and one way only. You’ll trust me to keep her alive and you’ll earn my trust by helping me.”
“She is an inexperienced female not used to the world outside our walls. I worry for her health—”
“She’s doing just fine. All you men think that we women just sit around waiting for you to let us live our lives. Your sister is strong and has already threatened to kill me about a hundred times. She’s got more spirit than I’ve seen in half our soldiers. I don’t wish to hurt her and I won’t as long as you help me.”
His heart warmed at the thought of Arderin putting up such a brave fight against her captor. “I need twenty-four hours to discuss with my brothers. I will meet you back here then.”
“I want an answer now—”
“No,” he said, lowering his hand from his now-mended chest. Self-healing abilities really were amazing. “The fact that I’m even considering your plan is making me doubt my sanity. I need to discuss with my brothers, who are my closest advisors. If you can’t grant me that, then we are at an impasse.”
“Fine. I’ll give you until sunset tomorrow. I’ll be here. Don’t be late.”
With one last look at the impertinent little princess, he turned and exited through the wall. His brothers were going to think he’d gone mad for even considering this. Of that, he was sure.
Ohh! ♥♥♥ Love the tension! Can’t wait to read this book and find out what happens next…🙂
“Absolutely one of the most interesting, well written, intriguing romance books that i’ve read in a long time. I’ve already ordered book 2. Quirky twists. Unexpected developments with surprisingly believable characters. Can’t believe that this is Rebecca’s first book! I await many more!!!” – Judy H. Eubanks, Amazon
“This book has everything you want in an epic novel. Great love stories, battles. The history of all three immortal races, especially between the Vampyres and Slayers is very unique. I’m looking forward to reading the rest of this series.” – Jolyane Justice, Amazon
“New favorite series! I loved this book. The story had me on the edge of my seat the whole read. There was so much action as well as great lead characters. The romance and character development between Sathan and Miranda was fun too! I cannot wait to read the second book!” – Sonya Genesius, Amazon
We’ll be sure to get a copy of this paranormal/fantasy romance! ♥
About Rebecca Hefner
Rebecca Hefner grew up in Western NC and now calls the Hudson River of NYC home. From a very young age she used to sneak into her mother’s bedroom and raid the bookshelf, falling in love with the stories of Judith McNaught, Sandra Brown and Nora Roberts. Years later that love of a good romance, with lots of great characters and conflicts, has extended to her other favorite authors such as J.R. Ward and Lisa Kleypas. Also a huge Game of Thrones and Star Wars fan, she loves an epic fantasy and a surprise twist (Luke, he IS your father).
Rebecca published her first book in November of 2018. Before that, she had an extensive twelve-year medical device sales career, where she fought to shatter the glass ceiling in a Corporate America world dominated by men. After saving up for years, she left her established career to follow the long, winding and scary path of becoming a full-time author. Due to her experience, you’ll find her books filled with strong, smart heroines on a personal journey to better themselves and fight sexism and misogyny at every turn. She would be thrilled to hear from fans any time at email@example.com.
And, if you want to know how to connect with the amazing Rebecca Hefner, here are some author links:
Once again, I want to thank both of our guests, Miranda, a female character from The End of Hatred, and Rebecca Hefner, the brilliant author of the book, for stopping by! It was a pleasure to have you here! 😀
This week’s I Love Romance Blog review selection is The Homecoming by Tammy Tate. Once I started this one, I just kept reading – great beginning to the series!
The book jumps right into the story and I definitely appreciate that. Sometimes you just want the meat and potatoes. Sydney is goin’ on a trip. More specifically, she’s going to stay with her aunt and her pack of wolf shifters at their home on the outskirts of New Orleans. After Sydney’s mother died, her human father knew that he couldn’t help her transition, so she reluctantly agrees to go.
Her dreams have been wreaking havoc, though. It’s the same dream over and over and it always leaves her wanting.
Kyle and his best friend Beau are living the life – working, fishing, and running. But, one of them isn’t sleeping that well either.
In a story full of action, adventure, love, romance, sex, shifters, and yes, vampires – you will definitely be hooked, too.
For all this and so much more that you’ll have to discover when you read it – I give The Homecoming By Tammy Tate 5 HEARTS!
Sydney is half human, half wolf and has fallen in love with Kyle, a full-fledged shifter who for the last six months has been appearing in her dreams. During the next full moon, she will make her first shift from human to wolf. The transformation won’t be easy. It could leave her disfigured. Or, worse. Dead.
Kyle is in Bayou Fontaine. For the sake of the pack, the council has already chosen him a mate. Sydney and Kyle face incredible odds to be together and soon become pawns in a deadly game of survival.
This week’s I Love Romance Blog review selection is The Key of F By Jennifer Haskin. With paranormal and sci-fi elements, this full-length novel is a great read.
Fale, who is as down-to-Earth as she is incredible, begins a journey to find out exactly who she is. When she starts having visions of the future and trying to do something about it, will she change it for the better or worse?
Really, I cannot say enough good things about this book – the storyline is well thought through, the dialogue is believable and relatable, and the interactions between the main characters keep you reading.
This book is extremely well-written and thought out and I look forward to reading the next one in the series – I give The Key of F By Jennifer Haskin 5 HEARTS!
Fale, Takanori warrior-in-training, begins having visions on her eighteenth birthday. When she realizes the visions are coming true, she intervenes and changes one to save the life of her crush. Soon after, thugs climb out of the woodwork chasing them with the intent to kill. Their only clue lies in the key Fale wears, given to her by her father on his deathbed. Could the key have something to do with her destiny? Can they live long enough to find the answers?
Hi, readers! If you’re visiting the blog today, you are either a loyal follower, or you came across the site because you love “Romance” as much as I do. Both, perhaps? To mark our official 500th post, we’re having a rare, yet awesome event here on ILRB. And it’s just in time for Christmas…yay! 🙂
Often enough, romance readers want to know…well, which book spurred an author’s interest in the genre. We all have to start somewhere, and a good writer is first a reader. So, I thought it would be cool to get a unique take on the genre straight from the source. Plus, what is more suitable for the blog’s theme – combining tips on romantic relationships with our avid love of romance novels – than a massive giveaway comprised of romance books?
Forty-two authors have banded together this week to not only give a hint of their reading preferences, but also to offer a chance to win some great prizes! These aren’t just holiday romance tales, but rather books you can read year-round, covering various subgenres (for an overview on different romance categories, refer to this post I wrote for Writing in the Modern Age). So exciting, right?
With almost 200 opportunities to win, we have a lot going on here! If you’d like to enter the contest, please comment on the thread below. Be sure to include YOUR NAME AND EMAIL ADDRESS, or we won’t be able to contact you. Though you can, of course, state the book titles or titles which interest you, to be fair to everyone please LIST YOUR PREFERRED ROMANCE SUBGENRES (for example: if erotica offends you, let us know, and also tell us if you already have one of the books in the list). All contest entries will be compiled, and then a randomizer will be used to select winners. The goal here is to make sure every participant wins at least once, if possible, so don’t be shy about telling us what you like or don’t like in your reading preferences; also if you’re open to trying something new. A lot of books are available in ebook format, but some are signed paperbacks. Leave us all your information in a comment below, or IF you prefer anonymity, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject heading ‘WINTER LOVE GIVEAWAY ENTRY’.
I can’t emphasize enough how much I WILL NEED YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS TO REACH YOU. I can’t traipse all over social media, trying to figure out how to contact you. Some people have similar names, and it’s like searching for an earring in a pile of thumbtacks. Painful, and just plain irritating. LOL. So, definitely tell us (or at least yours truly) how to reach your awesome self. 😉
Without further ado, let’s have a look at the prizes, and learn just what our favorite authors are reading these days…
Christmas with the family. An ideal, sweet homecoming… Or the torturous reminder that family can be your worst enemy.
Cat Helmstead suffers a grievous loss while on temporary duty in Spain with the Air Force. Her heart shatters and she sinks into a grief so profound that she’s ready to join the man she loved so much. Until she’s sent home, to spend the holidays with her family and makes several important discoveries that will change her future forever.
Can Cat move on from losing the only guy she’s ever been attracted to?
Format: Ebook (via Amazon or Barnes & Noble; provide the retailer you prefer and the appropriate email address for your device.)
# of copies: 2
Blurb: An aspiring Broadway actress believes her soul mate is named Avery, thanks to a message in a bottle. When she gets lost in a Hawaiian jungle, the mysterious Avery Bell saves her. Could he be The One? MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE meets SERENDIPITY.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/m2vw6r
Title: In His Corner
Genre: Contemporary, Sports Romance
Format: Ebook (via Amazon or Barnes & Noble; provide the retailer you prefer and the appropriate email address for your device.)
# of copies: 5
Blurb: ER and romance—they don’t go together. That’s what Dr. Siena Carr thinks until an Olympic boxer walks into her ER with a cut that needs stitching and a passion that consumes her.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/38raYZ
The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the Genre AND Your Top 5 Romance Books:
For a long time, I didn’t realize I’m a romance genre lover at heart because the books I like are not categorized as romance novels but as classic literature. These are the classics that I cherish the most. I re-read these books time and again. They inspire me as a writer and reader both.
Blurb: Lady Bryce has a gift.
She can enter dreams and persuade her will onto others.
It has served her well, especially in eliminating unsatisfactory suitors of her father’s choosing.
But when she encounters Lord Rowland she wants him more than anything and decides to visit him in his sleep and make him desire her above all others.
But will their love be able to conquer all once Bryce’s secret is revealed? Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/bppv6z
Title: Emma’s Dance
Genre: Historical Paranormal Romance
Format: Signed Paperback (U.S. only)
# of copies: 1
Blurb: Headstrong Emma of Ashford is marrying Lord Alan, the man of her dreams, when her wedding is interrupted. A woman claims to be his long lost betrothed. But is she truly the woman thought dead since she was a child?
Emma is visited by a ghost. Is this spirit the long dead Carlyn who has come to help Emma declare the other woman an imposter? Or just another deception?Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/3G90or
Title: The Jester’s Dance
Genre: Historical Paranormal Romance
Format: Signed Paperback (U.S. only)
# of copies: 1
Blurb: The Lady Margaret, widowed and lonely, seeks adventure and goes to court disguised as a jester. She falls in love with a handsome Scotsman, Seth, who enlists her help to rescue his family. Together they must face danger, intrigue, and enemies determined to pull them apart. Can their love survive? Can they?Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/4XKpE6
Title: A Dance in Time
Genre: Historical Paranormal Romance
Format: Signed Paperback (U.S. only)
# of copies: 1
Blurb: Lady Grace imagines escaping her cruel husband and miserable life. A portal into the past offers her so much more than she bargained for. Including meeting the man of her dreams whose life is at risk. Can she save him? Can he rescue her?Universal Reader Link:https://books2read.com/u/4NGz7o
Item: $20 Amazon Gift Card
# of prizes: 1
The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the Genre: The first romance I read was Ashes in the Wind by Kathleen Woodiwiss and I was hooked.
Title: Blessed (Book 1 of the Matawapit Family Series)
Genre: Multicultural/Inspirational, MM Romance, Contemporary, Erotic Romance
# of copies: 1
Blurb: A mixed-blood Catholic seminarian struggles to discern his true calling: the priesthood or his ex-lover, a proud but damaged Ojibway man.
It’s been ten years since Emery Matawapit sinned, having succumbed to temptation for the one thing in his life that felt right, another man. In six months he’ll make a life-changing decision that will bar him from sexual relationships for the rest of his life.
Darryl Keejik has a decade-long chip on his shoulder, and he holds Emery’s father, the church deacon, responsible for what he’s suffered: the loss of his family and a chance at true love with Emery. No longer a powerless kid, Darryl has influence within the community—maybe more than the deacon, and he intends on using his newfound power to destroy Deacon Matawapit and the church.
Hoping to save the church, Emery races home. But stopping Darryl is harder than expected when their sizzling chemistry threatens to consume Emery. Now he is faced with the toughest decision of his life: please his devout parents and fulfill his call to the priesthood, or remain true to his heart and marry the man created for him.
Blurb: When you lose a loved one, whether it’s a relative, friend, or precious pet, you wonder where that special soul has gone and if you will ever see him or her again. For Dulcie Mills, Long Island computer programmer, the answer may lie between a virtual world and the real one, between the past and the present, between dreams and reality.
Unable to get over her fiancé’s death and facing the impending loss of her 15-year-old cat, Dulcie escapes to a virtual world. When Dulcie’s best friend accepts a job from a clairvoyant who offers predictions regarding Dulcie’s dead fiancé and Dulcie becomes attracted to an online stranger, history begins to repeat itself in ways that are both promising and terrifying. What Dulcie discovers through a virtual séance may mean the only chance she has left for love or death itself.
Addressing topics of reincarnation and soul transfer in similar ways as Greg Iles’ Sleep No More and Nora Roberts’ Midnight Bayou, Cloudy Rainbow features an interesting mix of technology and the paranormal and will also appeal to cat lovers.Universal Reader Link: mybook.to/CR2
Title: When Jack Trumps Ace
Genre: Romantic Comedy
# of copies: 2
Blurb: Jackie Riordan’s in trouble . . .
When her jewel-thief father is caught in the middle of a heist, Jackie makes her getaway to his ex-jail pal’s apartment. a man called Ace, who lives in an upscale neighborhood of Chicago. What she doesn’t count on is falling in love with him and becoming his partner in crime. She also doesn’t expect to compete with Ace’s old flame or deal with his cat Roxie who causes her allergy attacks.
All bets are off . . .
After Jackie discovers clues left by her father which lead her to a treasure that Ace may have stolen, she contemplates her next move. Should she trust Ace and believe her father gave him the money, or head home to her mother, a religious hypocrite who would have no qualms about ratting out her own daughter to the cops?
Things that sparkle aren’t always Diamonds . . .
Before Jackie can decide who the good guys really are, she finds herself atop the Willis Tower carrying her father’s ashes in her pocket and aiding Ace in the largest jewelry heist of his life. Things go terribly wrong, and Jackie’s only choice seems to be to walk away from Ace or face imprisonment. Universal Reader Link: mybook.to/Jackebook
Your Top 5 Romance Books:
Me Before You by Jo Jo Moyes
The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audry Niffenegger
Time and Again by Jack Finney
Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas by James Patterson
The Gift of a Charm by Melissa Hill
The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the Genre: Love Story by Erich Segal
What Romance Book You’re Reading Right Now: The Dinner List by Rebecca Searle
Blurb: A romantic, erotic tale of a vivid portrayal of the quest for the inner truth, empowerment and sexual liberation of Selene, a woman searching for primeval abandon and reckless adventure. Intelligent, a university graduate and a successful careerist, Selene became emotionally scarred by unhappy relationships. Riled and taunted through the years by her former college roommate Janice, Selene gave in to the long-term desire to ‘get one back’ at Janice by having a passionate holiday encounter. Immediately drawn to the sea and enthralled by its brutal yet sensual waves, Selene seduces a young boy on a deserted beach. Once she comes to meet the mature and powerful Hudson, Selene finally begins to claim her sensual destiny. Through a slow process, accentuated by Selene’s shyness, introspection and circumspection, she embarks on a long and elaborate interplay of leading on and rejection. The volcanic passion builds until there is a blazing row. A possible drowning, the final ritual undressing at long last, leads to the ultimate flowering of the woman Selene was meant to be.
Included in Self’s Blossom are: Blossom Reburgeoning Selene, a little older but still well-preserved, decides to retrace the steps of her holiday. Up-to-date in spirit, she procures a companion through the Internet, and in the key scenes, she opts for alternatives to the choices she made on her first expedition. She feels enriched by her experience, and her sense of satisfaction removed her inhibitions from expressing her bisexuality. Spatial Dimensions Selene becomes so fascinated by the Moon Goddess that bears her name, that she imagines and wills herself into becoming a goddess, to go on an ethereal quest, embracing space and time travel, with concomitant ecstatic fulfillment. Sci-fi embraces ancient mythology!
The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the Genre: The first romance book to grab me was The Girl Beneath the Lion by Andre Pieyre de Mandiargues. What really catalyzed me to write in this genre was The Lamorna Reach by Joy V. Sheridan, written in the 80s and recently published on Amazon.
What is love?
Is it patient?
Is it kind?
Who the hell knows.
I just know I must save the one person I’ve ever opened my cold heart up to.
I don’t care what it takes to save her.
I sell drugs. I sell my soul. I don’t care. She just has to live.
Then enters Logan Prescott.
He makes sure to screw everything up. He makes me care.
He makes me feel…
And that is just not okay.
Lies. Sex. Fans. Attention.
I’ve been alone for far too long, caught up in a world I love but is slowly killing me.
The real me. The one behind the lights.
Then there’s her. The smart ass waitress who hates me with a fiery passion.
Trigger Warning: This is not a typical love story. Sam and Logan’s story contains disturbing scenes, drugs, sex and strong language.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/3nY0M8
The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the Genre: The first book that made me love romance books was The Dark Light of Day by TM Frazier, and to this day it is still my all-time favorite book.
Blurb: INTO THE AMERICAS (A novel based on a true story) is a gritty, real-life adventure based on one of history’s greatest survival stories. It was inspired by the diary entries of young English blacksmith John Jewitt during his time aboard the brigantine The Boston and also during his sojourn at Nootka Sound, on North America’s western seaboard, from 1802 to 1805.
Written by father-and-son writing team Lance & James Morcan (authors of The World Duology and The Orphan Trilogy), INTO THE AMERICAS is a tale of two vastly different cultures – Indigenous North American and European civilization – colliding head on. It is also a Romeo and Juliet story set in the wilderness.
Nineteen year-old blacksmith John Jewitt is one of only two survivors after his crewmates clash with the fierce Mowachaht tribe in the Pacific Northwest. A life of slavery awaits John and his fellow survivor, a belligerent American sailmaker, in a village ruled by the iron fist of Maquina, the all-powerful chief. Desperate to taste freedom again, they make several doomed escape attempts over mountains and sea. Only their value to the tribe and John’s relationship with Maquina prevents their captors from killing them.
As the seasons pass, John ‘goes Indian’ after falling in love with Eu-stochee, a beautiful maiden. This further alienates him from his fellow captive whose defiance leads to violent consequences. In the bloodshed that follows, John discovers another side to himself – a side he never knew existed and a side he detests. His desire to be reunited with the family and friends he left behind returns even stronger than before.
The stakes rise when John learns Eu-stochee is pregnant. When a final opportunity to escape arises, he must choose between returning to civilization or staying with Eu-stochee and their newborn son.
INTO THE AMERICAS has been adapted to a feature film screenplay and is in early development with Morcan Motion Pictures.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/bzP5qZ
What Romance Book You’re Reading Right Now: I’m currently reading OUTLANDER by Diane Gabaldon (Fantastic TV series, by the way).
Blurb: A movie star hiding from the world – A teacher on vacation in the Rockies – Forbidden attraction that blooms into more
The last thing famous Hollywood actor Colby Williams needs is another personal tragedy splattered all over the media. To lie low and find himself again, the star stays incognito at a cozy bed & breakfast in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. But the solitude is broken by another guest: an intriguing woman who sees beyond his brooding surface and makes him feel alive again. Should he really open his heart and his life to her?
Hope Parker has come to Pleasant View to meet one of her best friends, not to fall in love with a mysterious stranger whose mood changes are infuriating. But something about this man on a quest for a second chance touches her. Can she handle the baggage he comes with?
* * *
This small town romance series features novels that each revolve around a bed & breakfast in a different country. The books are sweet romance, set in countries like England, Canada, and Italy. They can be read separately as stand-alones with a happy ending and are great for fans of Nora Roberts. No cliffhangers, no cheating, but some mild swearing.
Book 1: Tantalizing Temptations (Inn Love 1 – England)
Book 2: Hidden Hopes (Inn Love 2 – Canada)
Book 3: Sweet Surprises (Inn Love 3 – Italy) [releases in 2019]Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/4NGzN8
The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the Genre: The first book that made me fall in love with the romance genre was one by Nora Roberts, more than a decade ago. I can’t remember the exact title (and I read it in German those days, as opposed to her English books now). She’s still my favorite romance author.
Before the attack, Jason Barton had a friends-don’t-date-friends philosophy when it came to being with the person he adored, Trini Davos. Trini, however, shared a different viewpoint and wanted nothing more than to be with the boy next door. For the last five years, the two shared a will-they-or-won’t-they relationship. Always friends, but nothing more.
However a brazen attack by a group of outlawed werewolves changed everything the long-time friends shared. They narrowly escaped death only to discover they became the wild beasts they feared. Transformed into something else, the two go on a journey not only to discover themselves, but to discover the true meaning of love.
Jason’s Awakening offers a fresh take on the paranormal romance genre. Filled with non-stop action, steamy romance, and twists no one will see coming, this book will keep the reader hooked from start to finish.
“This book was not what I was expecting at all. First off, loved that it didn’t immediately go into the supernatural stuff; there was a lot of character building in the first few chapters and I loved Trini, Jason and Mohinder. (I have such a soft spot of Mo, he was my favorite) Each of the characters is very diverse and they really help to drive the plot. This book plays on the ‘soul mate’ trope in werewolf fiction, which is heavily used and turns this book right on its head. The mythology is brilliant, in-depth and well thought out. 5/5” – Amazon Reader
“I was very excited to read this book as I love all things related to werewolves. This book certainly did not disappoint and I was hooked from the beginning.” – Lost in a Book ReviewUniversal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/mqZdO6
Your Top 5 Romance Books: I have so many, here are a few at the top of my mind. Heroes: Saving Charlie by Aury Willington, Breaking Dragon by Jordan Marie, At Any Price by Brenna Aubrey, Heartbreaker by Logan Chance, Breakaway by Heather Orgeron
The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the Genre: Heroes: Saving Charlie by Aury Willington (My first romance book!)
What Romance Book You’re Reading Right Now: Immersion by L.L Ash
The Latest 3 Romance Titles on Your TBR List: Every Breath by Nicholas Sparks, Stuck by Logan Chance, The Wedding Date by Jamsmine Guillory.
Blurb: Gifted musician and singer Isabel Carson gets an unexpected phone call, asking her to come back for a reunion tour with a band she played for several years ago. Although she has serious reservations, Isabel reluctantly agrees…mainly because she can’t pass up the opportunity to see Spencer Logan, the man she loves, one last time. Six years ago, Isabel’s relationship with Spencer was sabotaged by Thomas, the jealous and possessive lead singer, and both men hurt her badly. However, once the band is reunited, it doesn’t take long for Isabel to realize she’s made a terrible mistake. Some things cannot be forgiven, and she would have been better off to have left the past in the past, where it belongs—especially since Isabel now hides a painful secret, one that, if exposed, could destroy what little peace and happiness she’s managed to achieve.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/m2vw07
Title: The Good Thief
Genre: Romantic Suspense
# of copies: 1
Blurb: Two days before Christmas, shy bookstore owner Scotlyn Carter survived a traumatic bank robbery and subsequent kidnapping. Now, three months later, she still wakes up hearing the robber’s promise to find her—and kill her.
Then James McIntyre, the high school flame whose easy smile and mysterious eyes she could never forget, walks back into her life. As she falls for him once again, Scotlyn slowly begins to feel safe for the first time in a long time and thinks that maybe her nightmare will not come true, after all.
But James is not all that he seems. He is back in Scotlyn’s life for a reason and has been in contact with the very thieves who kidnapped her. And he’s harboring a dark secret that, if brought to light, could not only destroy their relationship—it could end their very lives.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/4DlM0k
When tall, dark, and delicious Adam Farrell crosses Danni’s radar at a Vegas trade show, it’s not lust at first sight. He’s starred in her wicked fantasies for a while, pleasuring her with domination and submission that leaves her breathless. Aching for his masterful touch, believing she’ll never have it, she indulges in an intimate public act Adam alone witnesses. What follows is a wild and impassioned night in his powerful arms. It’s only the beginning.
An undisclosed business deal has turned Adam from competitor to Danni’s new boss. His hunger for her is absolute and he’ll make her fantasies seem tame as he takes her in ways she never imagined – whenever he wants, wherever he desires.
Seduced by Adam’s plan to mix exquisite control with adoration, Danni’s swept into a sensual adventure she can’t resist. Until corporate politics intrude and she learns what he’s been hiding to protect her… a secret he’s long feared will tear them apart.
Blurb: The battle for divine power rages within the Eternal Realm.
As the conflict escalates a prophecy is born that will set god against god amidst the mortal world below.
When the young priestess Rahab saves two foreigners from execution, she sets in motion a sequence of events that could see the death of everyone she knows and loves.
The future of humanity hangs in the balance as two bloodlines converge to battle over the city of Jericho. Now the Goddess Asherah must protect the prophecy and ensure both ancestral lines survive.
If either bloodline dies, the Host of Heaven will continue to battle for eternity…
-Finalist – 2018 – Author Academy and Readers’ Favorite Awards
“Fiona Tarr is a highly entertaining writer with exceptional storytelling skills.” – Eeva Lancaster for Readers’ Favorite
“A truly wonderful read with the plot very skillfully woven throughout the book.” – Claire Simpson
Blurb: 1876 – Arianna is living a simple life. Devoted to her family, she is ready to sacrifice her dreams and marry the man her father has decided for her. Then she meets Renaud and she faces a difficult choice: should she choose love over family?
Mayara isn’t looking forward to graduation because that would mean she would never get to see Kanvar again, a guy she’s had a crush on for two years. She is about to reveal her feelings to him when her younger brother claims that Kanvar has been bullying him.
It is up to Mayara to figure out whether her instincts about Kanvar are true or not.
Two different eras, a love that challenges the beliefs of two young women. Can they balance both their family’s happiness and their own?Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/49D10w
Your Top 5 Romance Books:
A Girl Named Rose by Betty Neels
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Love Comes Softly by Janette Oke
The Kissing Booth by Beth Reekles
The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the Genre: It would have to be A Girl Named Rose by Betty Neels. I must have read it fifty times!
What Romance Book You’re Reading Right Now: Unfortunately, I haven’t found the time to read because I’m currently working on my new novel. Just a few chapters left before I take a break and get some reading done.
Blurb: Tormented, fierce, and broken, sculptor Aidan Murphy has judged himself guilty. He yearns for love but pushes everyone away. He longs for acceptance but has lost the key to open his heart. Until he meets Summer Williams. Beautiful and smart, Dr. Williams promises haven for a man who believes he deserves none. All he has to do is let her in and risk his heart and soul.
Summer’s managed to keep her inner light alive, even through tragedy. She’s created a new life for herself and her daughter in Crescent Creek with loving, caring and fun friends–well, except brooding, breathtaking Aidan. She’s used to keeping away from his type, though. All she has to do is ignore the pull of a man who’s turning out to be much more than snarls and storms. Will her compassion and medical instincts let her?
Love can heal a broken soul and shake up a timid heart. Or it can unleash devastation and revenge.
Both London and Dublin are cities I loved. I lived very close to London for five years, so I was able to visit and know her quite a bit. And I went to Dublin for the tenth anniversary with my husband, and I fell in love, totally and completely, with the city and Ireland. So those two books are a dream for me. I was able to witness how the cities changed and grew, and it was fantastic.
2. Nora Roberts – anything by her, really.
She’s the reason why I started writing, the one who got me hooked with the genre. Whatever she writes, I’ll read.
3. Marie Force – Fatal Series
The Hero and Heroine of this series are the only ones I love as much as I love Nora. Which is funny, because I’d read a book from Marie Force and hated it. Luckily for me, I have trouble remembering names so when I picked up the first book in the Fatal Series, I didn’t connect the author with the previous book and by the time I did, I was already gone for the series.
4. Emily Bronte – Wuthering Heights
No need to explain this one.
5. Bernard Cornwell – anything and everything
Love the guy. In my mind, he and Nora are an item and reign together in Paradise Book.
Blurb: If you were asked to keep a secret to save the life of someone you barely knew, would you?
Lady Angelina Stewart is a bold, beautiful, independent woman with a terrible secret to hide. After returning home from a sea voyage, she is touted as a hero for saving her family’s ship and crew from a band of ruthless pirates. But Angelina is a fraud. She allowed that dreadful pirate captain to touch a part of her that no other man has ever been able to touch before, until now; her heart.
Captain Jude Deveraux is leading a double life. He and his band of French privateers steal, rob and plunder unsuspecting ships that have the misfortune of wandering into their domain. Awarded a title by the King of France for bravery during battle, The Duke of Bayonne, A.K.A. Pirate Captain, takes what he wants from the world as he and best friend, Honore live each day as if it were their last. That is until the day Jude discovers that the only thing he truly wants is to capture the untamed heart of fiery tempered, Lady Stewart for his own.
Blurb: If you had a twin, how far would you go to save their life?
It is 1783 England and Isabella Deveraux is an independent, fearless young woman who has hardened her heart to everyone that mattered to her, until the night she experiences a disturbing dream about her twin brother, Charlie. It is the eve of their 19th birthday and Charlie and his two school mates have been abducted by the devil incarnate. Isabella resolves to do whatever it takes to save her beloved twin, even if that means reconciling with her estranged family and placing her life in the hands of an intimidating Irish mercenary Captain by the name of Townsend.
Captain Aiden Townsend is more than willing to save the lives of three privileged schoolboys, for the right price. Jaded by his own devastating loss years before, Aiden has worked hard to keep his distance from the female persuasion. That is until the day he is introduced to Lady Isabella Deveraux. He recognized her as a kindred spirit the moment he looked into her fiery eyes and as he sails his ship from England to Dublin, with the beautiful Lady Deveraux aboard, he formulates a plan to help her. But if his plan is to work, he must break through the walls that surround her heart while tearing down a few of his own.
Blurb: If you had a unique set of skills and could save your best friend from a fate worse than death, would you?
Lady Olivia Sophia Allen Townsend is not only young and beautiful but considered by most in her polite social circle to be far too eccentric for her own good. Olivia’s been able to see and speak to spirits since she was very young, but the years of shunning by her peers caused Olivia to turn her back on those who need her the most; the spirits caught between two worlds. That is until the night her best friend Lilly comes to her asking for help. You see, Lilly can’t remember what happened to her, and finds herself in need of Olivia’s unique gifts to help her figure it out.
Coco, Olivia’s younger sister, is also gifted. She can touch someone and know their deepest, darkest secrets, often the very secrets they would prefer to keep hidden.
Together, the sisters set off on a sea voyage, from Ireland to America, intent on solving the mystery of Lilly’s untimely death.
Brody and Quinton Beaumont are fine-looking, eligible southern gentlemen: heirs to a successful cotton empire. They are also twins hiding a terrible secret. Their mother, Annabelle Beaumont died on the same night as their annual winter ball, eight years earlier, yet she continues to rule over their plantation home with an iron fist.
When these two families come together, secrets will be revealed.
Books That I Have Loved Over the Years and the Books That Made Me Want to Write: anything by Jane Austen, Pride & Prejudice, Jane Eyre, Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander Series – the first 4 books in the series, Katherine Woodiwiss – A Rose in Winter, Come Love a Stranger.
What Romance Book You’re Reading Right Now: Virgin to Victor by Trisha Hughes, a fascinating history of Royals from Mary of Scots and Bloody Mary, Elizabeth the Virgin Queen and on down. It is riveting the amount of research she has put into this book. Other than that, I am not doing much reading since I have just finished writing a novel, Lara’s Story, and I am working on a 5th novel, Compromising Position. I try not to read too much so that I am not influenced by someone else’s style while I am crafting my books.
The Latest 4 Romance Titles on Your TBR List: Forbidden Highlands – crafted by a group of writers, Highland Spy by Madeline Martin, Word of Honor by Alexa Aston, Everything Forbidden by Kess Michaels
Blurb: On the brink of losing her bakery, Beth Monroe must accept help from Bryce Landry, the college love who broke her heart, or watch her dream fail.
After a broken engagement, Bryce gave up on the idea of real love until he walks into Beth’s bake shop. He has no clue why she is curt with him. But to get into her good graces, Bryce gives her an offer she can’t refuse, which opens up both their hearts and exposes the love they had for each other.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/bMQj8G
Title: Sweet Redemption
Genre: Contemporary Romance
# of copies: 1
Blurb: Heading to Chicago for his mother’s funeral, Markus Landry is waylaid by a piece of metal piercing his gas tank. Stuck in the small town of Valentine, Oklahoma, he meets a vivacious spitfire librarian, Charlie White, who quickly gets under his skin. Markus wants more than a taste of her sweet lips and asks her to take a trip back to his hometown.
With just over a month left before Charlie has to close down her beloved Library, meeting Markus is a welcome distraction from her anguish about what she has to do. Even though she barely knows the man, Charlie takes a chance and lets her attraction for Markus take the lead and hope he doesn’t break her heart.
But seeing the brother he betrayed, Markus doubts he’s worth Charlie’s affection and pushes her away. Their chemistry is undeniable, but love may not be enough when you’re looking for redemption.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/m0gD8M
Your Top 5 Romance Books:
Lucy Lennox- any one of the Forever Wilde series
Sarina Bowen – Goodbye Paradise
Tillie Cole – Hades Hangman Series
Charlie Cochet – Love in Spades – Four Kings Security series
Blurb: Once you’re in a prison gang, you’re in it for life. That’s what Mason Harding thought until the boss accepted his resignation. After the State releases him on parole, a sexy divorcée behind the wheel of a car almost ends his life quicker than a shank. His chance encounter with Mia Eddison results in a night of passion, but her brother—his parole officer—catches them together and doesn’t approve.
Mia falls hard for the cocky ex-con, but not because of his chiseled body. She vows to break through his walls and discover his secrets, but never expects those secrets to threaten her life.
When members of an organized crime ring kidnap Mia to force Mason’s return to the gang, he goes up against an old friend to save the woman he loves. Will his sacrifice be enough or will everything fall apart in a blaze of gunfire?Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/bxZLxe
The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the Genre: The first romance book I read was True Blue by Ingrid Weaver when I was twelve years old. After that, I started reading as many romance books as I could find, and I started writing my own books.
Blurb: Twelve years ago Jim Rustle packed up and left his home in Idaho and hasn’t looked back. He gets quite an awakening when Lisa Parker, whom he hadn’t seen in all those years, breaks into a business meeting and uses some colorful adjectives to tell him just what she thinks of him.
Sparks fly between the two when he decides to follow Lisa home and sees what has happened in his absence. Is the anger stemming from the present or the past?
It’s the Christmas season. Anger, hurt, and misunderstandings have boiled inside Jim and Lisa for so long. Can homemade ornaments, from years past, help heal the betrayals that have festered for years? The Forgotten Ornaments is a short story with a heat level of two. Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/47Z9yg
Title: The Unwanted Christmas Guest
Genre: Contemporary Holiday Romance
# of copies: 2
Blurb: Elizabeth McMurphy is an up and coming, high powered attorney and is after vengeance, involving one of the richest and most powerful families in Colorado. Steve York is an obnoxious reporter that thinks the ice queen has gone too far and does all he can to get under her skin.
When one of the worst blizzards in history hits Colorado during the Christmas holidays and leaves a hurt Steve York, stranded with Elizabeth in a mountain cabin, her hatred for him starts to thaw. But this attorney has a secret that she will guard, even at the risk of losing her only chance at love.
Blurb: Christmas Eve is five days away. This is the day Sheriff Jim Hawkins will marry Charlene Lehman, the woman who will make his life complete and be the mother of his six year old daughter, Sally.
Adam Jacobson, a wanted murderer, is apprehended and it is up to Jim Hawkins to deliver him to Pueblo, Colorado. “I’ll only be gone for two days, Charlene. Nothing in this world will keep me from making you my wife.”
True to his word, Jim makes it home only to find both Charlene and his daughter missing. Heavy snow has covered any tracks to their whereabouts and nobody has seen a thing. All searches have come up empty.
Will the magic of the Christmas season come through or has Jim lost everything he has come to cherish?Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/mgLQxR
The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the Genre: The book that got me hooked was Rosemary Rogers’ Sweet Savage Love.
Blurb: “This is a sweet, short story about a woman who is emotionally fragile during the holiday season. She finds love in the most unexpected way with a man who isn’t afraid to wear his heart on his sleeve. I smiled often as the story developed. It was adorable!”Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/b5ryGR
Title: Christmas at Star Lake
Genre: Holiday Romance/Mystery
# of copies: 1
Blurb: This is the perfect time for a Christmas Murder Mystery! Somebody is killing off Madison’s employees, so she closed down shop, sends everyone home, and heads to a cabin at the lake to think. What could possibly go wrong?Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/38raNL
Title: I Need Christmas
Genre: Holiday Romance
# of copies: 1
Blurb: The story of Betsy Curry, a woman returning home for the holidays with her big, happy family after a crushing divorce.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/bppvxk
Title: Bentley Square
Genre: Romantic Adventure
Format: Signed Paperback
# of copies: 1
Blurb: Strangers see each other every day on the train, fantasize about each other, but never speak. Then one day they meet. International intrigue follows.
The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the Genre: I first fell in love with romantic adventure stories after discovering Jude Deveraux’s wonderful tales of love and longing. Counterfeit Lady, Velvet Lady, The Montgomery Saga. A frontier one with Zeke and Abby…I can’t remember the name, but we all loved it! I was lucky enough to work with a bunch of avid readers. Usually non-fiction. Usually geared toward the education of primary children. But one evening after a teachers meeting, we discovered a little used paperback bookstore and bought everything they had by Jude, then passed them around among us at work. Discussions, late night phone calls, and tears in the teacher’s room ensued. Wonderful experience!
Title: Liberty: Romance Out of a Clear Blue Sky, Book 1
Genre: Contemporary Christian Romance
# of copies: 30
Blurb: Liberty Adair is recovering from her broken marriage and even has questions about God, science and her future. She is a Christian who unexpectedly meets a college professor who is good-looking, available but an atheist. Sometimes opposites attract. They are worlds apart but both need love and have disturbing questions about science, God and their future romantic relationships.
Dr. Ernest Siegfried is successful until he has a heart attack at age 39. Liberty was divorced from her preacher husband and now wonders if her life has meaning, or is her life without purpose and direction? Liberty has some past hurts from her failed marriage and longs for a good marriage and children. Ernest believes that modern science has replaced beliefs in God. Liberty is researching evolution, intelligent design and questions about the Creator to answer some burning doubts.
At age 28, can she be sure of what is real and what are outdated religious beliefs? How does God interface with humans? Does DNA prove intelligent design by the Creator? Did God create mankind in His image, or did humans create gods and goddesses in their image?
Additional option from Kenneth: I hope you review the book. I have a few paperbacks for free (10) and if you want one, then send me your physical address. Be sure to mention ‘Books Reviews Marie’ in your email. My Email address is bk@Sumerford.comUniversal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/3yDAxp
The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the Genre: The Song of Solomon book in the Bible
What Romance Book You’re Reading Right Now: Buried Secrets by Irene Hannon
Blurb: At sixteen, Sarah Atwell walked away from her love of horses and a promising career as a competitive rider after discovering she’d inherited the family curse. Years later, her grandmother stunned everyone by leaving Sarah her horse farm—worth millions—but with conditions Sarah might not be able to meet.
A former Redclaw agent, Casey Barnes retired when a security assignment went bad, killing his partner and leaving him as a partial amputee. His inner wolf is in hiding. He’s been living quietly as a horse trainer, but June Atwell’s death now pits him against her granddaughter for rights to the stable.
With both of them snowed in at the farm, a series of increasingly serious accidents draws Sarah and Casey closer together, but they each harbor secrets that might tear them apart.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/4NGzEJ
Blurb: The hours are counting down as investigators try to prove that Dianna Murphy has been snatched. Unfortunately, without witnesses and solid evidence, all the police really know is that she is missing.
When suburban Milwaukee law student Dianna Murphy fails to connect with her roommate, there is no real evidence that she has been snatched. Until Law Professor Janet MacLachlan, a former covert agent, discovers a single clue, one that points to a taking by a slave trafficking cartel. In a race against time, Janet recruits her husband, secret agent Cade Matthews, small-town Police Chief David Manders and his wife, criminal defense attorney Julianna Constant, and other law students to uncover the truth. Can they prove she has been taken, before Dianna disappears without a trace?Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/mvKgde
What Romance Book You’re Reading Right Now: Betting the Scot by Jennifer Tretheway
Blurb: They had been searching for their mate, but when they find her she is traumatized and scared to be around strange men. They must get her to accept them before they reveal their true natures. Will their love be strong enough to break down her barriers? Could she truly be destined to love two dragons?
Today Annie’s dragons will shift and fulfill her every desire, which means a fiery threesome—and true love.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/38r1l7
Title: A Saint’s Salvation
Genre: Contemporary Military Romance
# of copies: 2
Blurb: Corporal Nicholas ‘Saint’ Santiago needs to go home to reclaim the man he used to be. To be the man he was before Operation Enduring Freedom slowly hardened his heart. He needs to reconnect to the values and the reasons he is doing what he does. Saint also needs to try to forget the courageous woman he fell in love with.
Petty Officer Angelina Jones’ life changed the moment Saint saved her life. She survived the blast but now has to deal with the fact that she will never be whole. She can’t believe that anyone would want her the way she is now. Digging up her courage, Angelina moves forward hoping against hope that she can live a full life again.
Dark Fire by Christine Feehan – My favorite out of all of the series.
Blackwing Defender (Kane’s Mountains Book 1) by T.S. Joyce – really ANY of her books. I’ve read this whole series and all the spinoffs starting with the bears on Damian’s Mountain!
Ice Planet Barbarians: A SciFi Alien Romance by Ruby Dixon. Again, I’ve read this whole series and the spin offs.
Ivan (Her Russian Protector #1) by Roxie Rivera – Loved this whole series.
King by T.M. Frazier – This series grabbed me by the gut. I couldn’t get enough.
The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the Genre: I started reading gothic romances in 4th grade so I couldn’t tell you. But I remember the first romance I absolutely fell in love with, The Wolf and the Dove by Kathleen Woodiwiss.
What Romance Book You’re Reading Right Now: I just finished Hacked by Love by Elisa Leigh and am waiting for the next one to come out.
The Latest 3 Romance Titles on Your TBR List: I’m waiting on the next in the Daughters of Beasts series by T.S. Joyce, any of the Barbarians by Ruby Dixon, and the three books in Christine Feehan’s Dark Series I’m behind on. I like to save them up and stay immersed in a world.
Blurb: Can second chances really exist for a bad boy mobster and the only woman to ever steal his heart?
One of Iowa’s most prominent criminal attorneys, Joci Dorous is ruthless and devoid of emotion in the courtroom. It’s what makes her the best. Her most recent client allegedly committed murder and, despite a rocky start, Joci is determined to win Cameron Shearer’s case.
Since this is her first homicide, she has the support of a second-chair attorney—her ex who wants her back. To make things more complicated, her hunky cop of a booty call, Cameron’s arresting officer, isn’t quite ready to let her go either. Who knew being surrounded by three hot guys could be so deliciously exhausting?
As the mystery of the case unravels, she soon discovers the true reason behind Cameron’s impromptu visit to Iowa. It’s this knowledge that endangers all those she holds dear. Caught up in confusion, chaos, and criminal law, how will her heart survive the final verdict? Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/47Z9oE
Title: Hearts Abroad
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Format: Kindle Ebook
# of copies: 1
Blurb: Taking a break from screenwriting in New York City, Londyn Bellerose takes a nannying job in Colorado to get away from the hubbub. A summer to live without regrets is all she wants. While her boss is British, gorgeous, and a millionaire, he has no clue how to have fun. Determined to mend the relationship between father and daughters, Londyn doesn’t expect to fall for the museum curator.
Londyn is American and everything Callum Archer swore to never fall for again. With her carefree spirit and energetic smile, she’s perfect to nanny Callum’s two daughters. The problem is she’s also perfect for him. She’s sassy, musical, and tends to speak her mind more than she means to.
When old history and new dreams threaten her happily ever after, will Londyn and Callum’s love survive?Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/4jDkn2
Your Top 5 Romance Books: Deep Blue by Kat Martin, The Highlander Series by Maya Banks, Spirited Away by Cindy Miles, Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, and A Little of Chantelle Rose by Cristina Hodgson
A horrific event shakes the small, idyllic town of Roy, WA.
Tre Michaels, the new sheriff, has a job to do. He has sworn to serve and protect, with his life if necessary. Though he has no time to pursue the hometown beauty, Angela Donovan, he finds himself gravitating to her.
A supernatural presence is lurking in the shadows of the quiet town.
The once peaceful community is changed forever.
Can Angela and Tre find love, and a happily ever after despite the danger? Or will their fairy tale turn deadly?
The Eternal Journey Series
A journey toward redemption, and truth
A journey toward love.
Be sure to look for the third and final story of the series, Rose Gardens.
Blurb: Kyle Lawson needs a wife, and he needs one now. With his ailing business on the line, the only woman who can rescue him is the stepdaughter of the man who put him in this precarious position in the first place. Can he trust her to come through for him, and save his business?
When given the chance to marry the man of her dreams, while atoning for the sins of her family, Molly Wilson doesn’t hesitate. Propelled into a bogus marriage, she vows to make up for the mistakes of the past, even if it means breaking her own heart.
Can Kyle and Molly put aside their differences and unite, fight for a better future? When their plan is threatened by a secret from Kyle’s past, will it ruin the deal and destroy any hope of a life together?
Amidst the searing heat of Florida, will Molly and Kyle resist their inner desires? Or, despite their troubled past, can love, forgiveness and redemption find a way to shape their future?Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/b5ry1l
Your Top 5 Romance Books: Very hard, but I narrowed it down…
Liz Fielding – Anything but Vanilla
Newly Weds of Convenience – Jessica Hart
A Nanny for the New Year – Barbara McMahon
S E Gilchrist – Legend Beyond the Stars
Diane Burton – Switched
The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the Genre: Wild Justice – Liz Fielding
What Romance Book You’re Reading Right Now: The Lost King – Michael Cuell
It’s set in the days of kings and sword fights, but has romance at the heart of it.
The Latest 3 Romance Titles on Your TBR List:
Kari Lemor – Fatal Evidence (Love on the Line Book 3)
Beckett Carter is the last of his family; the head of Carter Enterprises and a reclusive billionaire living in a luxurious Las Vegas penthouse. Since his parents’ murder, his obsession with justice has steadily grown stronger, leading him to become the masked vigilante known to criminals as the Phantom. When he’s not out playing the part of a filthy rich playboy he trains his body hard, and in his disguise, he brings the criminal underworld to its knees.
Crime reporter Ella James keeps everyone at arm’s length, throwing herself into her work and her quest to find out what happened to her missing sister. She doesn’t let anyone get close enough to her to see how damaged she really is and afraid to trust anyone fully; she has never let a man touch her. While going undercover she puts her life in danger and discovers the secret identity of the Phantom as he ruthlessly eliminates a room full of criminals. This one night sets off a chain of events neither of them expected.
Faced with the threat of being exposed, Beckett is left with only one choice. He takes Ella captive, keeping her in a secret room until he can complete his mission. In Ella, Beckett finds an opponent unlike any he’s met before – she’s smart, resourceful, and worst of all, innocent. The untouched woman locked away in his penthouse is the greatest temptation he has ever faced.
A tense rivalry between the two grows into something so much more than either could have imagined. When Beckett gives in and shows Ella how dark he can be, can she succeed and show him the light?Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/3nY0oB
What Romance Book You’re Reading Right Now: I’m currently reading Sin with Me by J.A Huss. I enjoy her writing style; it’s deliciously dark and sensual with quite a few twists and turns. I like a bit of suspense in my romance as a reader and a writer.
Blurb: Paris, September 1824 – Lord Nicholas Asquith needs his wife. Too bad he broke her heart ten years ago.
Can he resist a second chance at the love he lost?
When Mariana catches the eye of the man at the center of an assassination plot, Nick puts aside their painful past and enlists her to obtain information by any means necessary, even if it means seducing the enemy agent.
Even if the thought makes his blood boil.
Only by keeping his distance from Mariana these last ten years was he able to pretend indifference to her. With every moment spent with her, he feels his tightly held control slipping…
Can she trust the spy who broke her heart?
Mariana spent the last decade forgetting Nick. Now she has the chance to best him at his own game, an opportunity she can’t resist, even as her view of him begins to shift. Increasingly, she wants nothing more than to seduce her own husband …
It’s only a matter of time before mad passion ignites, a passion never convincingly extinguished. A passion that insists on surrendering to the yearning of the flesh and, quite possibly, of the heart.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/bzP5Xq
Title: Tempted by the Viscount
Genre: Historical Romance
# of copies: 1
Blurb: London, April 1825
Lord Jakob Radclyffe left his past behind in the Far East. Or so he thinks until a ruthless thief surfaces in London, threatening to ruin his daughter’s reputation. With the clock ticking, Jake needs the scandalous Lady Olivia Montfort’s connections in the art world to protect his daughter’s future.
Olivia, too, has a past she’d like to escape. By purchasing her very own Mayfair townhouse, she’ll be able to start a new life independent from all men. There’s one problem: she needs a powerful man’s name to do so. The Viscount St. Alban is the perfect name.
A bargain is struck.
What Olivia doesn’t anticipate is the temptation of the viscount. The undeniable spark of awareness that races between them undermines her vow to leave love behind. Soon, she has no choice but to rid her system of Jake by surrendering to her craving for a single scorching encounter.
But is once enough? Sometimes once only stokes the flame of desire higher and hotter. And sometimes once is all the heart needs to risk all and follow a mad passion wherever it may lead.
Blurb: Growing up in an unstable home, and then being tossed into the home of her estranged father and his new family, Maddie knows how it feels to be unwanted. All she longs for is a normal family where there is love, peace, and harmony. When she finds the twins hiding in her yard, her heart opens up and love spills all over them. They are running away because their widowed father is going to marry a woman they hate, and they claim she hates them, too. Maddie is taken in by the twins, and soon becomes good friends with their father. She steps in and helps out when he asks her, and she is glad to do it. When Adam has set a date for his wedding, he backs away from Maddie, hoping to give his future wife a chance to bond with his children. It is then that Maddie realizes that she is in love with Adam, and her heart breaks. Maddie isn’t the only one who is sad. The twins are devastated and resort to drastic measures to get Maddie back. In spite of their sad little faces, the wedding day arrives, and it is up to Adam to make it right.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/bazeQQ
Title: Testosterone Poisoning, Book 1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
# of copies: 1
Blurb: After breaking up with Derek, Kyla Stanford meets the man of her dreams. Storm Galloway is the most gorgeous man she has ever seen. They are so right for each other, and they could not be happier. When Derek sees them together he is enraged. Kyla must pay for her lies and infidelity — Derek will see to it. He hatches a plan. Will Storm find her and save her? Will he be on time? And finally, what does ‘testosterone poisoning’ mean? Who is poisoned by testosterone?
Blurb: A car accident in the middle of a snowstorm wipes out Miranda’s memory. While she is being treated at a clinic by a pair of doctors, father and son, she begins to fall for the son. The feelings are mutual. But it is soon discovered that she has a family and a fiancé desperately trying to find her. They are complete strangers to her, but it is odd that there is something about Rob, her fiancé, that she does not like. While she doesn’t recognize her family, she feels safe with them. The Christmas wedding had been postponed, but Rob encourages her to set another date. She allows him to talk her into setting a date, but these feelings she has toward Rob won’t go away. Why? If only she could get her memory back. That may be the answer.
Blurb: A feisty single mom clashes with an ex-military, macho corporate star at a business retreat in the wild Colorado mountains, where only one can win a huge prize. But when a massive flood imperils their love and survival, they learn the meaning of true partnership.
Years ago, Ramona (‘Raye”) Soto faced harsh reality when a roving con man knocked her up. Now at thirty-something, she’s concentrating on her career in a major telecommunications firm and funding college for her teenaged son. Enter Desmond Emmett—a fast talker and smooth operator. New to the office, the ex-serviceman possesses every negative quality for a guy Raye should avoid.
Thrown together at a corporate retreat in the wilderness, the reluctant duo struggles to complete management’s extreme mental and physical tests for a huge reward. But only one can win the prize, and Des needs the money to underwrite medical treatments for his adored younger sister.
Seesawing between attraction and antagonism, the mismatched couple, Raye and Des, face their biggest challenge: learning the meaning of true partnership. When a massive flash flood sweeps down the rocky canyon and threatens their love and survival, they must put aside their differences to rescue their colleagues — and their future as a couple.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/bQ9L5Z
Title: Falling Like a Rock
Genre: Clean Contemporary Romance
# of copies: 3
Blurb: Watch out for falling rock! A mountain town and its rugged mayor captivate a woman in search of a new life and love.
Unloved and unemployed. That’s Elaine Svoboda, after she’s sacked, then flees across country to her boyfriend who drops her flat. Teetering on the abyss of disaster, she calls an old friend who invites her to a tiny mountain town with fresh prospects. There she meets rugged, hunky Joe Richter-Leon, mayor of Falling Rock, Colorado.
Sparks fly immediately, but major obstacles make a new life on the ashes of the old appear impossible. She must overcome a few obstacles like a broken ankle, an eating disturbance, his stubbornness, and her own fears. She’s smothering her hopes when a battle with a forest inferno illuminates their true feelings and desire.
Funny and frank, poignant and perceptive, when two people are “Falling Like a Rock,” they learn surrender sometimes means victory.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/3krMqG
The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the Genre: Roberta Gellis, Bond of Blood. I discovered she excelled at historic romances which fully utilized her depth of academic expertise and made readers hungry for her accurate, enchanting stories.
What Romance Book You’re Reading Right Now: Just finished Kristin Higgins’ Good Luck with That. In-depth, multi-layered story of three friends, all with weight and psychological problems. But which caused which?
Blurb: No Distance Between Us is a short, coming-of-age romantic story about a gay teenager in an exclusive English boarding school. Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/mVBEpr
Title: The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up
Genre: LGBT Romance/Memoir
# of copies: 2
Blurb: The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up is a short yuletide story about a teenage prankster at a pantomime in an exclusive English boarding school.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/mvKglq
Title: The Truth Will Set You Free
Genre: LGBT Romance/Memoir
# of copies: 2
Blurb: The Truth Will Set You Free is a mistaken identity short story about a gay teenager at a Valentine’s Day party with a girl who had eyes for him.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/bxZLlJ
The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the Genre: The trilogy that made me fall in love with the Romance/Erotica Genre was Anne Rice writing as A. N. ROQUELAURE, Classic Erotic Trilogy of Sleeping Beauty. These books were so beautifully written, I could identify one of the characters as that of myself. I read the entire series within a week in the early 1980s. I have yet to read another Romance/Erotica author’s work that can rival the Erotic Adventures of Sleeping Beauty trilogy. Although Ms. Rice penned a fourth book to the series three decades later, I was disappointed because her erotic romance mojo/emotions had dissipated. What was left was an empty repetitious shell of her glorious trilogy.
Desiree Edwards has a problem. She’s been attacked, kidnapped and forced to get along with a vampire of all things. It’s something right out of the story books she reads, or her worst nightmare. But, sometimes he’s not the monster he appears to be. He seems so humanlike that she can’t help it when her emotions betray her, when her body betrays her. To make matters worse, she finds out more about herself than she ever wanted to know.
She was unlike any other…
Alec has a problem. The animal in him wants Desiree. But, so does the man. The more he learns about her, the harder it is to deny what he wants. But, he’s a freak, and she’s just a human. The two species don’t mix that way. Then an old enemy surfaces and Alec is forced to make a choice. His life or hers.
Can Alec’s soul be saved by this unique human? Or will it be far too late?
Enter the Other World at your own risk…
What if you found out that you weren’t exactly…human?
Myah Sullivan is suddenly living that nightmare. There are Others in the world, dangerous, supernatural creatures that make her mind spin and cause her to question the reality she’s always known.
Oliver King is her savior, a vampire who tries to show her the way. Through her journey she learns far more than she ever thought she would about herself, and about the past. Soon, she discovers that there is so much more to meeting Oliver than mere happenstance.
Can Myah accept her new reality, or will she retreat into that normal, safe world she once thought was her own?Universal Reader Link: http://Author.to/MarieLavender
Title: Blue Vision (book one of the Code of Endhivar Series)
Genre: Sci-fi Romance
# of copies: 1
Blurb: Brooke Sanders just wants to get away from her life for a while. A remote cabin in Montana fits the bill. She doesn’t expect to encounter a mysterious stranger with unusual blue eyes, or events that cannot be explained…
Colin Fielding is on a mission – scout a planet and return home to Endhivar. Simple really. What he doesn’t anticipate is that fate has a pretty twisted sense of humor. Suddenly, this human calls to him, every part of him, like the call of a true mate, and he can’t deny the connection as he gets closer to her.
Little do they know, someone is out to do them harm, as well as the world Brooke holds so dear. Can they stop what’s coming before it’s too late? Or will the universe lose a perfect gem?Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/md0BoX
Title: Heiresses in Love Trilogy
Genre: Historical Romance/Family Saga
# of copies: 1 boxed set
Blurb: An unforgettable, sweeping saga of romance, passion and history rooted in tales of maritime suspense…
Three heiresses…three novels like no other.
UPON YOUR RETURN
Fara risks her heart every time she’s with him, but she cannot deny him.
UPON YOUR HONOR
Chloe never imagined that the man she deceived would be the one man she can’t stop loving.
UPON YOUR LOVE
Adrienne must decide whether to succumb to desire or fight for love.
Title: Second Chance Heart (book one of the Eternal Hearts Series)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
# of copies: 1
Blurb: After a wild storm forces her to take shelter in a small town inn, Dana Nelson thinks that all she has to worry about is a brief stay before she heads back to the city. She gets far more than she bargained for…
The last thing she expects is to run into an old flame, and even worse, the man who broke her heart twelve years ago. She’s sure that the only thing remaining between them is a strong attraction for another.
She can’t be more wrong…
The more time she spends with Vince Reynolds, the more she begins to believe she can trust him again. But, can she put her faith in the one man who captivates her, body and soul, or are some wounds too deep to heal?
Blurb: Time…escaping his past, struggling with the present, looking towards his future.
Time… a gift, precious, fleeting, ever-changing, moving quickly…too quickly, especially for a man searching for the woman of his dreams.
That’s exactly how photographer Tommy Conte decided he would begin his new life. He left everything he knew behind in search of something special…someone special. His plan was clear. He would move to the beach, renovate an old shore house and find the woman that he would ultimately marry…all within six months.
Was he delusional? Perhaps…yet after everything that had gone on in his life the last few years, he had to take that chance.
Then… as luck would have it, he met Jade Stanton, his new neighbor. Tommy was immediately drawn to her. He wanted and needed to know more.
Perfect right? Wrong…
There was one small problem. Jade wasn’t looking for a long-term relationship like Tommy was. She was done…over it. She swore off anything serious with any man that came her way…until she was backed into a corner and Tommy came to her rescue.
He pretended to be her boyfriend…for just one evening.
It was simple, no strings attached. It was only one night, or so she thought.
Due to circumstances beyond her control, Jade needed Tommy to play his part for a little while longer. She didn’t think it would be a problem. Tommy was fine with it and they both knew it was all just an act. Yet, Jade came to realize the more she pretended, the more she couldn’t deny that she was falling for him. Although she didn’t want Tommy to find out, Tommy knew better; he felt it too.
Tommy realized that the girl he had dreamed of was right there in front of him, and the life he wanted to share with her was finally within his grasp. He decided he couldn’t let her slip away. He wouldn’t leave it up to fate. He had to try, but Tommy also knew it wouldn’t be easy. Actually, it would be the hardest thing he ever had to do…prove to Jade that she could trust him enough to love him, as much as he loved her.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/38ra16
Title: Miss Taken Identity Series
Genre: Contemporary Romance, some Dark Romance
Format: Ebook Set (trilogy) with bookmark set in the mail
# of copies: 5
Love… The Ultimate Loss of Control
Rain and Raven Medici are identical twins. Although they come from a loving close-knit family, their childhoods couldn’t have been more different. Raven went to school and was exposed freely to the outside world. Rain, on the other hand, was born with a blood disorder and denied many normal childhood experiences.
Once grown, Raven becomes a lawyer at their dad’s firm Kane & Medici in NYC. Rain along with her only childhood friend Tommy Conte, builds a very successful business as professional photographers. Traveling between Europe and Manhattan, and enjoying a world that was kept from her, Rain vows never to be controlled again.
Dominick Kane is a product of his upbringing. He’s powerful, self-assured and knows he can achieve anything he desires. Nothing gets in his way. There is only one thing he has ever failed at. A relationship with his father Vincent Kane. Upon his father’s death, Dominick vows revenge. The events he sets in motion put him on a collision course he himself will be unable to control.
In a bizarre twist of fate, Dominick kidnaps Raven as part of his plan for revenge. Only to discover afterward, he has taken Rain by mistake. Rain knows she can never survive being confined again. So she strikes a bargain with the devil and agrees to help Dominick get back what he feels rightly belongs to him. His father’s share of Kane & Medici.
Dominick decides to use the strong attraction growing between Rain and himself to control her in every way imaginable. Too bad no one ever taught Dominick you can’t control the heart. Nothing could have prepared him for the effect Rain would have on his.
Will this plan of revenge turn into unconditional love? Or will Dominick and Rain’s need for control ultimately destroy them and any possible chance for a real future together…
…People aren’t always who you believe them to be.
Dominick Kane and Rain Medici started their relationship with one another in the most unconventional way.
He kidnapped her.
With the kidnapping now behind them, life returns to normal, right?
Not a chance.
The push, the pull and their fights for control that we’ve come to love about Dominick and Rain still exist. And so does their passion.
People aren’t who you think they are. Familiar faces are not so familiar. The past and the present collide, opening up all of those old wounds and struggles once again.
Now, everything you thought you knew, gets blown out of the water.
Can Dominick and Rain finally heal what’s broken? Or will new discoveries push them even further apart.
Will love win out and bring them back together? Or will ghosts of the past ultimately destroy their love once and for all…
THE TIES THAT BIND
When Rain Medici was taken, she never thought in a million years that her captor would be the man of her dreams, but he was.
Dominick Kane kidnapped his enemy’s daughter. He had no idea that his victim would be the one woman to capture his empty heart, but she did.
It’s been one full year since the kidnapping that brought Dominick and Rain together. In that time, they struggled with many emotions and fought constant obstacles. They discovered new identities, faced ghosts from their pasts and attacks against their family, that to this day remain unsolved.
Yet, regardless of the unexpected challenges, some self-inflicted, Dominick and Rain always knew that their undying love for each other had gotten them through everything.
But then… the unimaginable happened.
Dominick was arrested.
The apparent kidnapping of his wife, Rain Medici.
Now, the couple faces a whole new set of challenges. Challenges that bring their pasts forward once again and others which force each of them to examine who they really are and what they have become.
Dominick and Rain’s future hangs in the balance. They are in the fight of their lives. Will it make them even stronger than before? Or will the delicate threads that held them together…in the end, ultimately pull them apart?Universal Reader Link: https://www.amazon.com/Cleo-Scornavacca/e/B00FW92ILS/
The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the Genre: The books that made me fall in love with romance…actually, I fell in love with it when I was younger; with books from Jackie Collins, VC Andrews, Debbie Macomber, but I had stopped reading for some time, as many readers do and one day I was at a Flea Market that had many books. I always look for old editions of Charlotte’s Web as it was the book that started my love of reading. Anyway, I found a book with a blue cover and just a flower on the center. It was called Night Gardening by EL Swann. It’s not printed anymore, but you can find it on Amazon in paperback. I loved the story of second chance love and the fact that the characters weren’t twentyish. I loved the caring and the heartache in this story. It was compelling and its one of my go-to re-reads of all time.
Format: Ebook (MUST BE kindle copies or .mobi copies direct to kindle address)
# of copies: 2
Blurb: While vacationing at a cabin in the Ozarks, Scott Walker – Austin neurobiologist, gets snowed-in and has to be rescued by local, Lia Houston.
She brings him food, helps him fix his heat and tries to get his car on the road. A monster storm has paralyzed the mountain and as she’s trying to chain his car to her truck, a huge ice-covered limb falls, crushing the front of her pick-up and almost flattening Scott.
If she hadn’t moved fast, he’d be a memory – but the brave action on her part comes with a price, she’s injured and stuck with Mr. Know-It-All until the weather abates.
Scott doesn’t believe in love, much less love at First Sight. So when he meets Lia, he welcomes the attraction, but fights the tenderness with every breath in his body.
Join Sable Hunter as she chronicles their journey from lust to love with a lot of fireworks in between. They meet at the dawn of the New Year, and by Valentine’s Day the fires of True Love are burning bright.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/bppvlg
Title: A Breath of Heaven: El Camino Real
Genre: Steamy Western Romance, Holiday Romance
Format: Ebook (MUST BE kindle copies or .mobi copies direct to kindle address)
# of copies: 2
Blurb: Cade and Abby have a history. Years ago they were in love. Undeclared and unrequited, Cade waited until Abby was old enough for him to declare his love. Abby wanted nothing more than she wanted Cade.
But something happened.
Abby pushed Cade away and he never knew why. Since then, sparks fly when they’re together. Antagonizing one another has become their favorite sport. The only problem is… it’s all a front. They bicker because they both want the same thing – each other. A wedding brings them together and Cade is determined to learn Abby’s secret. He’ll do whatever it takes to win her love.
Meet the King Family of El Camino Real – five brothers, one sister and a legacy as big as Texas.
The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the Genre:
Slow Hand by Leslie Kelly inspired me to write.
Jude Deveraux made me fall in love with the romance genre. This is one book that I fell in love with. – A Knight in Shining Armor
New York Times bestselling author Jude Deveraux will capture your heart with signature classic novel, a time-travel romance featuring a present-day heroine and a dashing hero from the sixteenth century! Abandoned by a cruel fate, lovely Dougless Montgomery lies weeping upon a cold tombstone in an English church. Suddenly, the most extraordinary man appears. It is Nicholas Stafford, Earl of Thornwyck…and according to his tombstone he died in 1564. Drawn to his side by a bond so sudden and compelling it overshadows reason, Dougless knows that Nicholas is nothing less than a miracle: a man who does not seek to change her, who finds her perfect, fascinating, just as she is. What Dougless never imagined was how strong the chains are that tie them to the past…or the grand adventure that lay before them. Hailed worldwide as one of the most romantic novels of all time, A Knight in Shining Armor is “a glorious love story that spans centuries, worlds, and souls. It is the epitome of every woman’s fantasy” (Chicago Daily Herald).
Blurb: Maddy has always been different, but lately she’s been lonely. Even those who love her avoid her because of her “gift” and the strange things it makes her do. Then one night, a ghostly visitor warns her to go with the handsome stranger who shows up at her door before dawn. Jacob needed a change in his life, so he quit his job. Before he could head out on his next adventure, his brother reached out to him for help. Will he ever know why a haunting dream told him to leave to help his brother now? On his way, he meets the beautiful Maddy. Together Maddy and Jacob help those they are called to help. Through triumph and tragedy, they find their own way and try to blend two varying paths into one.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/4NGzP6
The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the Genre: I’m a voracious reader. The books that got me started on romance were 1960-1970s Harlequin romances. There’s not a single one I can remember, but the summer I started reading them, I read stacks and piles from my grandmother’s basement and have read romance ever since. I went from The Chronicles of Narnia, A Wrinkle in Time, and the Little House books to Harlequin.
From Harlequin I found Julie Garwood and Nora Roberts. I have a wide swath of Christine Feehan to Lynn Viehl, Lisa Kleypas, and Kathleen Woodiwiss. Lately I’ve found Penny Reid and Irish Winters.
Blurb: Can the Hottest Man Around Melt this Ice Queen’s Heart?
When her husband publicly cheats on her, Leigh Dobbs trades her humiliating reputation as an ice queen and a hometown that shuns her for the unknown of rural North Carolina. Taking over a small bed and breakfast, Leigh sets out to restore it, her dignity and her life. Excited at the prospect of adding more rooms and a full-service restaurant, Leigh’s big plans encounter the brick wall that is Caleb Rausch. Sparks fly even as Caleb votes no on the planning commission, crushing Leigh’s dreams.
Handsome powerhouse Caleb Rausch is a man on a mission, expanding his huge corporation without encroaching on the small town where it resides. His commitment to his products, employees and historic preservation are unwavering. What’s lacking is his commitment to one woman. Caleb is the most eligible bachelor in three states, dating celebrities and models, but never settling down. Until now.
Even as Caleb forces Leigh’s expansion plans on hold, the couple moves full-steam-ahead on their relationship, unable to resist the mutual attraction. So why, after a steamy night together, does Caleb disappear for weeks? Has Leigh put her heart out there again, just to be played?
Will the magic of a moonlit night be enough to kindle their love or will Caleb’s constant disappearing act prevent him from melting this ice queen’s heart?Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/bazeKQ
Your Top 5 Romance Books:
Kate Cantebary – Underneath it All – The first in the Walsh Series and the best of the bunch. I love the details, the humor and the chemistry.
Kathleen Woodiwiss – The Rose in Winter – A classic tale of true love that I can come back to again and again.
CD Reiss – Bombshell – Great writing, clever plots, great storytelling and scorching sex scenes.
Tessa Dare – Once Upon a Winter’s Eve – Ms. Dare writes fantastic historical romances that capture the era yet feel relevant, touching and are hard to put down.
Jane Austen – Pride and Prejudice – It may be predictable that it is on my list, but I have a leather bound copy that has my mother’s maiden name in the front. That is how long my family has been reading and sharing this book. A classic romance with all the elements I require, a wonderful love story, wit and great writing, a handsome rich hero, and a protagonist I can relate to – not too perfect, not the prettiest, burdened with the family from hell. What more could you want?
The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the Genre: The Ring by Danielle Steele. I loved that story. Before that I read classic romance written by legendary writers or historical romance that felt repetitive. One made me think writing was out of reach and the other that it wasn’t worth the effort.
The Ring was different for me – approachable writing and a great story. Danielle Steele never let me down, then or now.
What Romance Book You’re Reading Right Now: Driven (series) by K. Bromberg. I think the author may have created the perfect hero in Colton Donovan.
The Latest 3 Romance Titles on Your TBR List:
The rest of the “Driven” series is on my list and already on my Kindle.
I just downloaded The Darcy Brothers by Alix Nichols and hope to read it over the holidays.
My Favorite Husband by Pam McCutcheon looks like a really fun read for a wintry Chicago weekend.
One guaranteed to be hot, one guaranteed to be funny and one full of aristocrats. They should make for great winter entertainment.
Blurb: Charlie Murphy and Lillie Whitman are surrounded by the innocence of young love, and the guileless early twentieth century. They fall deeper into each other, intertwining their very different worlds to create a bond that no one can break.
Or so they thought.
When the dawn of World War I comes to their Long Island town, and personal tragedies begin to spiral the lovers into an abyss of darkness, they must fight to hold on to their love. Knowing their bond will be the only ties that will get them through. From the horrors of Germany’s front lines to the emotional battle fields fought at home, Charlie and Lillie must find a way to stay strong, and navigate a path, back into each other’s arms. And how a garden, a very special garden, can withstand the coldest of winters and give the ultimate symbol of hope.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/mKKnjZ
The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the Genre: The one I first read was Emma. A cliché, I know, but that’s it.
Title: First Two Books of the Ladies of Kent Series
Genre: Historical Romance/Mystery
Format: Paperback Set
# of copies: 1 set of 2 print books
ELLA AND THE EXPERIMENT
Lady Ella McHenry is a genius like her father. Following her father’s death, she steps into his role at the University as a problem solver and tutor. Now alone, she must contemplate marriage in order to keep the fortune her father left her as well as her independence. Her Aunt urges her to add physical attraction to her list of logical and intellectual attributes she wants in a husband. Not seeing the point, she decides to test her aunt’s theory by conducting an experiment on the subject. When the handsome rake Lord Dexter St Johns comes to her for help on his artillery project, she makes a bargain with him. She will help him with his project if he will conduct an experiment with her. Little did the analytical Lady Ella know how much of her heart would become entangled in her conclusion and how important attraction can be.
Lord St Johns was in a race to be the first to complete a smaller, more efficient weapon against his nemesis Lord Vanderguard. Desperate to keep such a weapon out of the warmonger hands, he is forced to enlist help from the most unlikely source, Lady Ella McHenry. At first glance he didn’t believe the petite and rather severe looking young woman could help his cause. Taking a leap of faith, he hands the top secret plans over for her analysis. To his surprise, she turns out to be the one person to solve his issues. When she asks for a favor in return, he could not refuse her and blindly agrees to whatever she needs. To his shock, she wants to conduct an experiment that is beyond scandalous and even more exciting than he could imagine. As Lady Ella knocks him off balance and steals his heart, his project and her involvement in it puts her in mortal danger. Now he must not only save her, but his heart as well.
LETITIA AND THE LETTERS
Lady Letitia Wentworth is no match for her older sister, Lady Deidra Wentworth, either in beauty or popularity. Refusing to be the companion of her self–absorbed and conceited sister during an event at the family estate in Canterbury, she planned to lock herself in the library the whole week. It’s there that she stumbles across her great aunt Gladys’ letters, which hint at the mystery surrounding her death and the disappearance of the Canterbury jewels fifty years earlier. Engrossed in the mystery, she is irritated when the bold, yet handsome, Lord Devin Armstrong interrupts her, determined to introduce himself. She puts him off, but when he happens upon some of her aunt’s letters, she finally has to meet him. She can’t resist the handsome Earl’s advances as he helps her unravel the mystery. She is also amazed that such a man was interested in her, not her sister. As she loses her heart, she discovers more about the mystery that is herself than she bargained for.
The handsome Lord Dexter Armstrong, Earl of Berkeley, was being relentlessly pursued by every husband-hunting lady in the ton. Irritated by the trappings of nobility, he was beyond angry when his parents forced him to escort his sister to Canterbury for the annual summer event. Dismayed to have to keep company with the vile Lady Deidra Wentworth, who was far and above the most despicable social climber of the ladies, he vowed to keep his distance. When he saw a fiery, bespectacled redheaded beauty stand up to Deidra, his interest is piqued. Determined to meet her, he is surprised to learn that she is Deidra’s sister. The more he finds out about her, the more intriguing she becomes. Offering his help to solve her mystery is just a ruse to get to know her at first, but he quickly discovers that the mystery they work on is dangerous. As the mystery unravels and Devin is losing his heart, he fights to keep Letitia safe and to keep the love they discover along the way.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/mYowXP
The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the Genre:
I’m a cliché, probably the worst of the worst. I picked up my first romance novel because Fabio was on the cover. He was bare-chested and looking adoringly at the woman kneeling next to him grasping his thigh. I can remember how I felt at that moment. Oh, to be looked at in that way by such a man! I wanted to be her. What’s funny is that I cannot remember the name of that book, or the author, or even if I read it in its entirety. It wasn’t until I read A Rose in Winter by Kathleen Woodiwiess, that for the first time her words made me feel that undeniable feeling that only a romance novel can give you. Like the best bite of dessert ever feeling, one you wish you could chew forever and never swallow because you’re afraid it may never come again feeling. From then on I was addicted. But, like any addiction, it wasn’t enough. I wished for more adventure or more sex, or the need to find a stronger female character, one not so resigned and whimpering.
That’s when I realized that romance is a state of mind. A feeling evoked by the imagination, one different for every reader. Prompted by the right setting, fed with just enough information, simulation if you will, that your brain filled in the details making the story yours as well. If done correctly, it’s the most potent drug ever invented. I could not get enough after that. Approaching my reading from this new perspective, I binged on Johanna Lindsey as well as countless others until I found Julie Garwood. She had the perfect blend of unexpected characters and unusual situations but still gave her readers enough room to fill in the gaps to make it their own that she became a favorite. So, if you ask which book made me fall in love with the genre, I could not say it was just one in particular. It was a feeling I chased, one I still pursue today, that made me fall in love with this genre. I realized that it was the journey that made this genre so addicting. After all, it’s what we can’t have or control, that intangible thing that you cannot describe that keeps us wanting more, is it not? As well as curiosity about the hunky men or beautiful women on the covers that may first draw you in.
Blurb: This set contains all three full-length books of The Unraveled Trilogy plus a bonus short story “Follow Your Dreams,” not available elsewhere!
At twenty-seven, Raven Anderson experienced more heartache than anyone would in their lifetime. Finally, her life seems on track when she starts doing what she loves the most: teaching second grade.
However, the best-laid plans are not always the right path as Raven learns when fate puts her in the direct path of mega-billionaire, Jaxson James Phillips, owner of Raiders, Inc., a corporate raiding company. With the spotlight now focused on Raven, her past is threatening her future. So, she does what she does best—run!
This beautiful girl, with the violet eyes, has left Jax, who never gets rattled, totally speechless. Used to getting what he wants, he can’t understand why she’s running from him. As time goes on, he slowly unravels the many layers of Raven. What he finds . . . puts everyone around them in danger.
Can anyone survive?
Tragedy has struck and now it’s a waiting game. New beginnings, so full of promise, are overshadowed by a past that is continuously haunting them. Secrets are uncovered. Lies are revealed.
Raven and Jax will fight for their lives and the ones they hold dear. Will a normal life ever be in their reach? Will anyone truly be safe, again? Too much has happened. How can anyone survive this?
Lies are shattered, leaving death and destruction in its path. To save a child, they must make a deal with the devil himself.
They had a plan: two days—get in, ask the questions, and get out. Seemed simple enough. But you know what they say about best-laid plans. Life always seems to get in the way of living.
Blurb: Fresh-faced intern Candi Bamberger flies to Beaver Creek, Colorado for Snow Slammer Games action, but not the kind smokin’ hot snowboard star Shane McGreer has in mind! Shane shows her amazing moves, and not just in the half-pipe. Candi’s conflicted. Did she just throw away a career in sports management for a guy who scores new girls at every game?
He’s right up there with Shaun White, yet Shane McGreer knows his track record with women is the pits, but Candi’s different. She’s Olympic material, and a real girl, genuine in both curves and charm. . . He falls hard, so when a rival puts Candi’s in deep freeze, Shane’s stuck, too. He’s won the SnowSlammer X Games, but he’s lost Candi’s heart! Can he warm her up for a sweet McGreer Ranch Christmas Eve? Meanwhile, back at the Ranch, Tess has a Christmas surprise for Jake and Cassie. . .
The McGreers Series… Read ’em all!Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/bMQjja
Your Top 5 Favorite Romance Books:
Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
Any Man of Mine – Rachel Gibson
The Cinderella Deal – Jennifer Crusie
Casey, American Bullriding Tour – Kelly Hunter
Indecent Proposal – Molly O’Keefe
Once again, if you’re entering the big giveaway, PLEASE give us your name, email address, and include your preferred romance subgenres. Leave a comment below, or for a private entry, you can email me at email@example.com
This contest will run for a week, until December 20th at midnight EST. After that, winners will be selected and contacted. Given the upcoming holiday, some recipients may experience a slight delay with their prizes, but don’t worry. We’re on the case, and we want you to have your books! 😀
Good luck, everyone, and, as always, happy reading! ♥♥♥
The Blood Instincts giveaway is on question number 7. I don’t know if they randomize it for every site visitor, so I’m not sure if you’ll have to go hunting for it. You will need to have a free account to enter any of the giveaways on the page, but the coolest thing about this is that there are so many chances to win here!
That’s right! TRR is running this awesome event for the whole month, just with different authors donating their prizes. Woo hoo! So, jump over to the site and see what everyone’s talking about! ♥
Hi, readers! I am beyond pleased to announce a very special post today on ILRB. Recently, I asked authors to come to the blog with a little background into their characters. Exactly what is it about them that keeps a writer up at night, composing those romance novels we love? I wanted to dig deep into each of these characters. Today is the next post in this series.
So, without further ado, let’s turn the mic over to author Katherine McIntyre, who has some things to say about her character.
Hi, Katherine! Describe one of your main characters and why he or she impacts the story.
Writing A Paranormal Rockstar
When I sat down to write my Discord’s Desire Series, I wanted to offer a fresh spin on the rockstar romance trope—so I combined it with the paranormal. Writing a band made up of different types of fae let me play around with a whole different reason for the rockstar lifestyle, as well as an entirely new world as I meshed elements of fairy with the contemporary setting of San Francisco.
Thus Kieran Blackmore was born, the lead singer of Discord’s Desire.
Charisma tends to run rampant when it comes to the lead singers of bands, and Kieran’s no exemption. However, what sets him apart is the fact that he’s an incubus, a fae who has the power to evoke desire in men and women alike. With a power like that, he could get any woman he wants, which made for a fascinating dichotomy in his character to explore.
Kieran can get anyone he wants with a simple touch, but all he really wants is for someone to want him separate from his abilities. Which of course led to the initial attraction he has for the heroine, Liz. She appears human, but she’s different—immune to his charms, which intrigues him from the get-go. However, the more he gets to know her, how she’s patient where he’s impulsive, how she’s logical where he reacts on emotion, then he ends up falling hard.
The other members of the band are just as fascinating and flawed, shouldering past scars from the complex politics of growing up amidst their kind. Whether it’s the slick siren bassist who always wears a mask, or the banshee guitarist who suffered years under living as a slave, the boys of Discord’s Desire ended up being a fun blend of realistic issues and the paranormal to explore. Each of the boys in the band have their own share of scars, but there’s a very human aspect to the family they’ve created for themselves on the road.
In the first book, Kieran’s past damage is the focal point. He grew up an outcast in his own family who only ever cared about their station in the fae Courts. He’s impulsive and emotional, getting himself in trouble just as often as trouble from his past follows him. While he displays a lot of confidence and charisma, he’s also balanced by a vulnerability Liz is unwilling to offer at first, as she’s spent a life closed off from others.
At the end of the day though, what really drew me in with Kieran’s character was his loneliness and the fear that no one can ever love him as he truly is. He offers his love so freely to everyone around him and will defend his bandmates and Liz with his life, but he’s used to the false desire that comes with being an incubus. The real affection that grows between Kieran and Liz is brand new and thrilling to explore.
The most important thing in writing Kieran Blackmore, even more than his alluring incubus nature or the wild glitz of being the lead singer in their up and coming band, was his human flaws and aspirations as he struggled through the book. As different as the fae and their society in the series can be from real life, readers latch onto those struggles and dreams. Paranormal or not, what makes a hero resonate is the story they tell.
Too right, Katherine! And I adore paranormal heroes.
This book sounds awesome!
Let’s learn more about the novel, shall we, readers? 😀
Here is the blurb for Captivating Melody.
Cross a satyr, a siren, and an incubus with rock and roll, and you get Discord’s Desire, a band of panty-dropping hellions whose live shows incite orgies. As booking manager, Liz O’Brien has the monumental task of keeping the boys in line. She’s resistant to glamour of the fae and fame variety, which only makes her more tempting to lead singer, Kieran Blackmore. With his incubus charms, he could have any girl he wants—except Liz, who’s determined to stay professional.
However, when Kieran’s brother sends hitmen after the band, Liz discovers hunters with her abilities who are mortal enemies of the fae. Mercenaries might attack post-show, but Liz has her Beretta to handle that. What terrifies her more than any monster is how she’s falling for Kieran, which triggers every ‘run-away’ sensor in her foster kid handbook. With war brewing between the hunters and the fae, their love can only end in heartbreak.
And Katherine is giving us a peek at her novel!
To her relief, the lights dimmed even more, and the spotlights circled to the front and center stage, casting a hush through the crowd. A smile curled her lips once Kieran’s sultry voice came over the speakers, the effects dropping like a pheromone bomb onto the audience. A visible ripple didn’t cascade through the air, but once his voice reached a familiar intensity and the rest of the band began playing, a huge scream resounded through the crowd.
Even without the incubus abilities at work, she had to admit, the man possessed a toe-curlingly sexy voice. As she scanned over the crowd, the beginnings of the orgy broke out, where strangers locked lips and deepened their kisses. A pair in front of her started getting handsy, and all of a sudden shirts were coming off. They weren’t even finished the first song, and the scent of sex laced through the room.
Liz let out a sigh. This was why she stayed backstage during the shows. Her glamour-resistance turned her into the one sober person at this lust inspired rager. Her dry spell would have to continue for now, since she refused to hook up with the tool next to her and didn’t mainline the swell of sexuality like everyone else. Plus, with Mr. Fae Bartender behind her, she needed to act with extra caution. Bolting from fae sent the same message as a red flag to a bull—pretty please, come chase me.
On stage, Trevor thrummed away at the guitar, his fingers plucking over the strings with the skillful focus he always employed. He leaned up to the mic in front of him to add in the background vocals, the sensual tenor blending with Ky’s baritone. Renn’s hair flew as he thrashed away at the drums, his hands moving lightning fast and his hooves tapping the pedals. Meanwhile Jett romanced the length of his bass, providing the deep undercurrent the siren always did as those notes came out soul-wrenching.
Kieran’s voice reached a crescendo, drawing her attention front and forward. Normally when he sang, his gaze cast far and wide over the audience, as if he were romancing the crowd as a whole, but tonight, his eyes were locked on one person alone. She tried to swallow, but her throat grew dry.
Long strands of his dark hair drifted across his eyes as he clutched the microphone and rocked back and forth with it, the intensity projecting in his voice. He’d tossed his patched leather to the floor, stripped to a black wifebeater that clung to him like a second skin and revealed the intricate phoenix tattoo coiling down his arm. His hips shifted while he moved to the beat of the music, his grey jeans clinging to those powerful thighs. Yet nothing snared her as much as his amber eyes focused straight on her the entire time.
Heat flushed through her at his undivided attention, and while she’d like to blame it on all the bump and grind going on around her, Kieran got her hot and bothered. However, she wasn’t one to sit back and melt. Liz met his eyes and winked with a smirk. She caught the hint of a smile by the crinkle in his eyes as he crooned away.
“Come here often, beautiful?” a smooth, sexy voice drawled from behind her.
Liz folded her arms over her chest before turning around and fixing Kieran with a look. The man, given the chance, would flirt with himself, so she didn’t ever take him seriously. His lips curved in a cocky smile made even more dangerous by the pointed fangs peeking out. He wore his stage clothes from the show—ripped jeans, a gray wifebeater, and a patched leather that had seen better days. Yet combined with the studs in ears, the streaked guyliner, and the labret piercing, the man oozed sex.
“Cool it, rockstar.” She smirked, meeting his teasing eyes. “You’ve got a whole cavalcade of women who’d throw themselves at you in a heartbeat, already fallen under your spell. I’m immune to your hinky fae magic.”
His fingers snuck up faster than she could follow to trail down the column of her throat. “Isn’t that what makes it all the more interesting?”
Liz shivered under his silken touch, ignoring the hoarseness in his voice and the quickened pulse that followed in the wake. The incubus didn’t need any powers to lure women. His voice alone would send them flocking, and with the attractive package it came in—well, he proved damn near irresistible.
Thank you for stopping by with your fascinating guest post, Katherine! Lovely to have you here! ♥
Strong women. Strong words.
Katherine McIntyre is a feisty chick with a big attitude despite her short stature. She writes stories featuring snarky women, ragtag crews, and men with bad attitudes–high chance for a passionate speech thrown into the mix. As an eternal geek and tomboy who’s always stepped to her own beat, she’s made it her mission to write stories that represent the broad spectrum of people out there, from different cultures and races to all varieties of men and women. Easily distracted by cats and sugar.
Whenever I write in a new genre, it is daunting at first. I take the time to familiarize myself with books in that category, all the while looking at the rules it takes to write such a story. But I’ll freely admit that by the time I’m done writing a book, I end up throwing half of the rules or guidelines out anyway. I am not a writer who likes to be boxed in too much.
With paranormal romance and urban fantasy, I have been familiar with those genres for many years. I was fascinated with paranormal phenomenon even as a kid, and I read my first vampire romance as a preteen. Still, it takes some finesse and quite a bit of imagination to tackle writing in the paranormal romance genre.
How did this come about?
The idea for Second Nature came to me a long time ago, but I…
Giving into his wolf’s need for love could risk the quiet life Frank has created for himself—and his heart…
I am pleased to announce a cool book blog tour going on right now, presented by Aidee Ladnier, an author I met during my journey! Congratulations on your new MM paranormal romance!
When a new book comes out, it is always an exciting time for authors!
Plus, here at the I Love Romance Blog, we love discovering new romance novels!
Let’s hear a little about this great book…
This is the blurb for Wolf Around the Corner:
Frank’s family taught him that his wolf was dangerous, unwanted. Now his best friend’s brother wants him in bed and on stage. But giving into his wolf’s need for love could risk the quiet life Frank has created for himself—and his heart.
Settled in the small town of Waycroft Falls, Frank is content to be a lone wolf among the white picket fences and dollar book bins until he finds himself sniffing his best friend’s brother. Tom smells like hot apple pie and his Broadway smile has Frank lolling his tongue. But when the visiting actor learns Frank’s secret and plies him with hot kisses to get him to star in his play, Frank can’t help but wonder if Tom is only acting.
Tom ran away from family obligations to be a Broadway star. If he could make it there, he could make it anywhere…but he didn’t. Trudging home to Waycroft Falls to open his sister’s new performance space brings him face to face with a werewolf—a werewolf that would be perfect for Tom’s shoestring production of Beauty and the Beast. Staying in Tiny Town USA would be worth it if he can somehow convince the sexy wolf to expose his furry condition on stage and howl privately in Tom’s bed.
Wolf Around The Corner, a paranormal semi-finalist in Passionate Ink’s 2017 Sexy Scribbles Contest, is a full-length fairytale romance with a side of wolf shifter. If you like your romance with gorgeous men, humor, and small town magic, you’ll love Wolf Around the Corner! Buy your copy now and settle in to watch the drama unfold!
Ann is giving us a peek at her LGBT paranormal shifter romance, Wolf Around the Corner, today.
Genre: Paranormal Romance, MM Romance, Contemporary Romance
Release Date: June 3, 2018
Here is an excerpt.
The first thing he always did was take a large lungful of air. It reoriented him to the outside. His animal cataloged the smells—car exhaust, grass, tree pollen, and wait, a mouse skittering in the Dumpster out back. Frank’s urge to run built. He circled the apartments, looking for the storm drain near the landscaping wall. Inside him, his animal wiggled in excitement at the prospect of being freed. Frank shucked his clothes behind the wall and tucked them into the shelter of the pipe, out of view. Then he shifted, his hands lengthening, hair sprouting, and muzzle growing. His point of view shortened, now three feet from the ground as he blinked through the eyes of his wolf-like animal. Frank couldn’t stand still any longer. He sprang into the woods.
Frank ran, crashing through the underbrush and into the darkening shelter of the trees. He leaped over a shrub, felt the give of a sapling as he plowed through the brushwood. The animals and birds quieted at his loud, headlong dash, knowing he wasn’t of the forest, only disguised and playing at being a creature of the wood.
His paws skidded on a pile of old leaves. Frank almost lost his balance as he skipped up and over a fallen log. Around him, the scents of the forest all pushed in on him. Here a whiff of mold, there an astringent sniff of decay, everywhere the menthol of evergreen sap and wild herbs growing scattered on the forest floor.
Dry twigs snapped beneath his paws. His tongue lolled from his mouth, the fresh taste of the woods painting the back of his throat. The sun dipped below the horizon, the sky inking the tops of the trees. And Frank ran on until his limbs stopped, shaky and trembling. He collapsed onto a blanket of pine needles and leaves, moss and fungi cradling him as he panted.
As he caught his breath, the sounds of the woods lapped back around him. Insects and birds first. A harsh caw from a crow shrieked a hundred yards to his right. The chirp of a cricket sawed a few feet away. The rat-a-tat-tat of a woodpecker echoed above. And the still of twilight calmed him.
When he’d rested enough that his legs would support him again, Frank began the slow jog back to the apartments, letting his nose guide him through the darkening visibility of the woods. He could smell Mrs. Reynolds’s nighttime cocoa, and Mr. Reynolds’s liniment that stank of capsaicin. The lighted windows of the apartment building led him the last few feet, and he scurried up to the storm drain.
But his clothes weren’t there.
The sky darkened into night.
Frank knew Mrs. Anderson was out, but he could try to get the elderly Reynolds couple to buzz him inside. And hope they didn’t ask why he was naked trotting up the stairs.
Or he could stay in wolf form without a tag, which meant a night outside running from animal control and/or dodging every human that would mistake him for a stray dog.
Or wait, a third option. There was an oak that almost reached the ledge of his apartment window on the second floor. He never bothered to lock the window. Frank shifted back to human and sprinted across the yard.
He leaped for the lower boughs of the tree, grunting as the bark dug into the flesh of his palms. Frank swung himself up to straddle a branch, regretting it as the rough wood scraped his thighs. He crouched in the tree, awkwardly trying to shield his more delicate parts from the smaller whiplike twigs. He skirted around the trunk, grimacing as a low branch brushed a little too close to his groin. There. He was now on the side that faced the apartment house.
Frank balanced upright, his arms pinwheeling until he caught another branch higher up to steady himself. The leaves around him shivered on their stalks, the rustling loud. Please don’t let Mrs. Reynolds look out her window.
Using the taller branch as a guide, Frank placed one bare foot in front of the other and inched away from the security of the trunk. The limb beneath his feet shook as his weight tested its strength. He slid a foot farther out on the branch. It dipped, the leaves at the tip brushing against the side of his window. Just a few feet more.
An ominous crack sounded beneath him, and Frank froze. The branch popped again. It wouldn’t hold. He could make a jump for it. Frank swallowed hard. He should make a jump for it.
Frank jumped. And missed the house, falling into the azalea bushes.
Just as his hunky new neighbor from across the hall walked out of the apartment building and down the front steps.
Frank had seen Tom in the hall that morning, carrying boxes. Trying to be neighborly, Frank had introduced himself and offered to help. Tom had turned Frank down but flashed the whitest, most even teeth at him. Frank had seen nothing whiter outside of a movie theater big screen. They’d exchanged pleasantries, commented on the weather, and then gone their separate ways. Or rather, that was what Frank wished had happened. What went down was:
“Need help?” Frank barely got the words out when his new neighbor turned in the doorway. Frank froze. God, the man was gorgeous.
“Naw, man. I got it.” Tom shifted the box in his arms to hold out his hand. “I’m Tom Davidson.”
Frank wiped a clammy hand on his jeans and shook Tom’s hand. “Hot.” And Frank knew his mouth had disclosed the exact thing his brain was thinking. Idiot. Who said that to a guy he’d just met? A guy like Tom already knew he was hot.
Tom tilted his head as if he hadn’t heard Frank right. “Yeah. The temperatures are a little warm for this time of year.”
Frank didn’t dare correct him and kept his mouth shut, afraid he’d say something worse.
“Okay, well then, see you around, Frank.” Tom chuckled and continued into his apartment.
Meanwhile Frank beat it down the stairs, unsure how he managed not to walk into traffic as his mind ran over the exchange fail again and again.
So yeah. That was the less than stellar first impression he’d given Tom this morning. And now Frank followed that up by hunkering down naked in the azalea bushes.
“Are you okay?” The gleam from the safety light caught Tom’s dark gold hair as he tilted his head to peer over the shrubs. The shadows sank into his chiseled cheekbones. He looked like a brooding movie star ready to sweep a celluloid damsel off her feet.
Too bad Frank was a naked man trying to keep from exposing himself. Frank crouched down farther, making himself as small as possible, hoping the azalea’s pink blooms would distract Tom from looking at his hairy backside.
“Are you sure?” Tom leaned closer. “Are you… Do you have any clothes on?”
Frank racked his brain for some reason he’d be naked and hiding in the bushes. “Um, I, uh, just got out of the shower, and I leaned too far out my window.”
“Oh my God. Did you fall from that height?” Tom glanced up to the second floor, to Frank’s closed window and then back down. “Do you need an ambulance?”
Frank sighed. This conversation was only getting worse. Cupping his hands over his privates, Frank rose from behind the bushes.
“I’m okay. Just need to get back inside. I have a hidden key if you can get me past the front security door.”
Tom’s eyes widened when Frank stood. Frank winced, sure he looked like one long scrape covered in leaves. He blew at the hair in his eyes. A twig dangled, caught in an auburn strand, but Frank was unwilling to expose himself to yank it out.
“Sure. Sure.” Tom fumbled for his key and opened the door. Frank half hopped over the acorns and chestnut burrs to slide past Tom. Tom wrinkled his nose as Frank passed. Good old wet dog smell. It always clung to him after a run in the woods.
Frank took the stairs two at a time to escape.
After a shower and shave—why did going furry always lead to needing a shave? The rest of his hair receded. Why didn’t his beard?—Frank spent thirty minutes in front of his bathroom mirror, trying to psych himself up to knock on Tom’s door and invite him over the next day for coffee or to watch football. He scratched behind an ear, feeling the healing scab from a graze he’d gotten when he’d fallen into the azalea bushes. Staring at his reflection, he tried to look earnest and approachable. He could do this. He had game.
“Hey, I know you don’t know many people in town, and I’m a loser, but would you like to spend time with me?” Frank made a face at himself. Probably shouldn’t label yourself as a loser.
“Yo, you want to watch football? No, how about basketball? Baseball? No? What about Mexican wrestlers?” Oh God, what if Tom doesn’t like sports?
“I ordered two large pizzas by mistake tonight, and I could use some help, or I’ll be gorging on pepperoni for a week.”
Lame. Frank’s own gaunt features stared back at him from the mirror. Who was he kidding? He’d always be the guy who lost the genetic lottery and ended up with the family curse.
Galen’s syndrome was rare, only affecting about one in 2,000, but well-known enough that most people had at least heard of it. The Greek surgeon Galen had coined the word lycanthropy to explain the shape-shifting curse that traveled down through a family tree. Like most recessive gene disorders, it only manifested when two genes were passed down to a child, leading early scholars to think the afflicted had been re-cursed or spared for a generation due to divine providence. It was only with modern medicine that curses were found to be attached to DNA, breaking and molding chromosomes like magical radiation. But despite better understanding of the disorder, the stigma remained, not helped by the occasional local television feature linking the disorder to werewolf mythology.
All Frank knew was the recessive curse gene made him even more different from his family. He’d already been pushing it when he came out as gay. Turning into a wolf at sixteen had been…well, more than his father and stepmother could handle. She wanted to protect the kids, she told him. He loved his half siblings, didn’t he? It wasn’t safe to have a wild animal around children.
It had gutted him. They turned him out of his own home. He’d been angry. He’d done something stupid, lashing out, snapping at his sister Robbie. It still hurt, remembering the tears on his baby sister’s face, her eyes wide and scared. Of him. It was then he knew his stepmother had been right. Dangerous animals didn’t belong in a family. So he’d left, traveling all the way across the state until he landed in Waycroft Falls. It had been hard that first year. There were a lot of adult things he still hadn’t figured out.
Like how to ask out a guy who he hadn’t known his whole life. Moving from one small town to another had been a bad idea. Frank bonked his head against the mirror, gazing down into the white porcelain sink. He rubbed at a stray hair that clung to the side.
But on the plus side, small towns meant he rarely needed a car. And he could shift and run if he needed. He should take his clothes with him.
Without further ado, let’s turn the mic over to author Aidee Ladnier, who has some things to say about the book at hand.
Hi, Aidee! ♥ A pleasure you could drop in for a brief chat.
Wolf shifters are very popular. In fact, there are thousands of books out there in this genre. Inquiring minds want to know…
How do you write a shifter story that stands out as distinctive and original? What will readers find in Wolf Around the Corner that’s new and exciting?
Aidee: Hi! And thanks for having me on your blog. 🙂
This is a great question! Actually, the shifter book saturation issue is why I never thought I’d write a werewolf protagonist. I’ve read a lot of werewolf books and most of the shifter tropes like alpha males, the wolf pack in danger, and fated mates never appealed to me as an author.
But then I imagined a world where lycanthropy was treated more like a very rare medical condition. I renamed the malady Galen’s Syndrome, using the medical convention of naming a disease after the first person to describe it. In late antiquity, the Greek physician Galen described a patient with a ravenous appetite and other qualities of a wolf. If I made Galen’s Syndrome a condition that appeared in less than 1 in 2,000 individuals, it would classify it as a rare disorder and 80% of rare disorders have a genetic component. So I could keep a bit of the magic of werewolves; I made my shifter the possessor of a genetic curse. In other words, if someone is cursed with lycanthropy, the curse becomes a mutation passed down as a recessive gene. Therefore, although individuals could become carriers of the curse and still be normal, if someone gets the recessive cursed gene from each parent, they’ll be able to shift into a wolf.
So I have my werewolf, but I’m still not fond of the shifter tropes. Just to be contrary, I set out to make his story the opposite of all the shifter romance conventions. My shifter, Frank Braden, is insecure and awkward—the opposite of an alpha. He also doesn’t have a pack. In fact, he doesn’t have any friends with the same disorder and he’s even been asked to leave his family home because his father and stepmother are afraid he’ll be a danger to his half-siblings. He’s essentially, a lone wolf. And there are no fated mates in this universe. I love the idea of a fated mate, but if I personally have to go through the embarrassing and excruciating dating dance, I’m going to make sure my characters do too. I won’t give my protagonists any shortcuts to love.
I also made my werewolf the lead actor in a theatrical version of Beauty and the Beast. I’ve known several actors and the transformation scene for this particular fable has always been either to use a mask or a double to allow the main character to run off stage and take off their makeup. I thought a director might faint with joy at having a real life werewolf shift onstage during the transformation scene. Who wouldn’t buy a ticket to see that? Especially in a world where many people think werewolves are folktales. The play would be part sideshow and part theater. Which leads to a built-in conflict—because there’s a person behind that transformation, not just a spectacle to gawk at. I wanted to raise the moral question of how a director could both have an actor use a special trait without making them feel used. Where do you draw the line at exploitation and performance?
But, the book is still very light-hearted and sweet. I grew up in a small town and tried to put my favorite things about small towns in the fictional Waycroft Falls. From niche bookstores, to strange statues, and Founder’s Day bed races. Frank and Tom’s romance doesn’t run smooth, but it does skip along awkwardly to a hopeful beat.
Ooh…it sounds like a sexy, fun tale!
Thank you for giving us a glimpse into the writing experience of Wolf Around the Corner. 😉
Aidee is giving away a $5 Amazon GC, $10 Amazon GC, Ebooks from her backlist, and print books from her backlist. The winners will be chosen by Rafflecopter. Please use the RaffleCopter link below to enter. Don’t forget you have a chance to enter every day, so be sure to visit all the stops on this tour. You may find those locations here.
Aidee Ladnier, an award-winning author of speculative fiction, believes that adventure is around every corner. In pursuit of new experiences she’s worked as a magician’s assistant, been a beauty pageant contestant, ridden in hot air balloons, produced independent movies, hiked up a volcano, and is a proud citizen scientist. A lover of genre fiction, Aidee’s perfect romance has a little science fiction, fantasy, mystery, or the paranormal thrown in to add a zing.
While plotting to destroy the man who, centuries later, still thinks he owns them, they use their powers to protect other victims…
I am pleased to announce a cool book blog tour going on right now, presented by Saloni Quinby, an author I met during my journey! Many successes on your MM paranormal romance boxed set!
Here at the I Love Romance Blog, we love discovering new romance novels!
Let’s hear a little about this great book…
This is the blurb for Weapons of Redemption:
Five men, enslaved by a vampire pirate and forced to do his bidding, rebelled against their master and earned the wrath of a monster. Now, while plotting to destroy the man who, centuries later, still thinks he owns them, they use their powers to protect other victims.
Whips and Chains: In a seedy underworld of sex and violence, a serial killer is stalking men and Guy is called upon to find the murderer. Ryan, a professional Dom known as the Beast Tamer, specializes in meting out pleasure and pain to oversized men. Is the sexy young man with a mysterious past the next victim — or the killer?
Sword and Shield: Rule coped with his abduction by the vampire pirate Tarun by cutting off his emotions. After centuries of self-control through punishment, he found a man who finally reached his heart. Now it’s up to Rule to save his former lover, but once he sees Joel again, will Rule be able to resist him?
Cloak and Dagger: When police detective Bryce Tarunson arrests a man who looks just like his lover from two thousand years ago, he’s pulled closer to the vampiric master he hates. The bond between Bryce and Shane forces them into a battle that might end in the destruction of the Weapons of Redemption.
Marksmen: Ansley and Brayden were stolen as boys by the hated vampire pirate, Tarun, to work aboard his ship. As men, their friendship blossomed into a deep, undeniable love. In the final battle between the vampire pirate and the Weapons of Redemption, Ansley and Brayden’s love for each other will either save or destroy them.
Fangs and Floggers: To lure his rebellious blood children back into the fold, ancient vampire Tarun abducted the hunter Adrian. He hadn’t bargained on his human prisoner being a match for him in every way — including his darkest desires. Though Tarun warns Adrian he won’t like what he hears, the hunter is determined to uncover the secrets of the vampire’s twisted past.
***Publisher’s Note: Weapons of Redemption includes the previously published novellas Whips and Chains, Sword and Shield, Cloak and Dagger, Marksmen, and Fangs and Floggers.
Saloni is giving us a peek at her LGBT paranormal romance, Weapons of Redemption, today.
Genre: Paranormal Romance, MM romance
Here is an excerpt.
Guy released a breath as he let his whip fly. It struck his old friend, Ruliff, or Rule, as he preferred to be called. Rule stood, his hands suspended from manacles dangling from chains overhead.
Even if Rule screamed, no one would hear him, deep in the cellar of this mansion owned by their vampiric kin, Ansley and Brayden. Rule wouldn’t scream, though. It wasn’t in his nature to show what he believed to be weakness. To drag more than a groan from Rule, Guy would be forced to practically kill him and his sessions weren’t meant to cause permanent damage. They had already been at it for longer than usual, even for someone with a supernatural constitution.
Five more times Guy struck him with strategically placed blows before he paused and approached Rule. Using the handle of his whip, he traced an especially fierce-looking welt on Rule’s sweat-slicked back. Rule had a tremendous capacity for pain. Always had.
Guy recalled the days when they, along with Brayden, Ansley and the fifth member of their “family,” Bryce, had sailed with Tarun, a genuine monster. The five men had shared a strange and violent past, one that could have destroyed them, but together they had overcome it. Still their days at sea with the vampire pirate — the master who had tried to mold them in his image — had left scars on their souls as well as their bodies. These sessions with Rule reminded Guy of how strong yet vulnerable they all were, even if they refused to admit it.
Rule could be stubborn to the point of stupid.
Guy tightened his hand around the whip and struck Rule again with a blow that would have had most men screaming. A strangled groan escaped the tall, dark-haired man and Guy curled his lip in disgust.
He loved the whip and was an expert with it. Like his vampire kin, he had taken what he’d learned about pain and battle from their hated master and made it a form of expression. They had ultimately used their skills to fight back, not only for themselves but for victims who crossed their path. Each of the five men had mastered certain weapons. Guy’s obsession was the lash. From bullwhips to floggers, all were slaves to him, bringing pleasure or pain as he saw fit. His love of leather had melded into every part of his life, including sex. He used his floggers to pleasure and punish, sometimes separately, sometimes both at once.
Long ago, Guy had honed his skills on his willing brothers, except for Bryce, who refused to submit to anyone, even for fun. Only Rule to this day came to Guy for regular sessions. Guy decided this one had gone on long enough. He knew Rule would push himself past his limits. He needed a strong but sensitive Dominant who knew when to stop.
Glancing at Rule, Guy noted that he seemed to be in a trance. His blue eyes were narrowed to slits, his lips parted and his breathing shallow. Wet black curls clung to his perspiring forehead and neck. Blood trickled from his lower lip where he’d pierced it with his fangs.
“Our session is over for today,” Guy said without room for argument.
Rule ignored his authoritative tone and said in a deep, hoarse voice, “More.”
“Your name might be Rule, but you don’t rule here,” Guy said.
“Fine. Release me then.”
“Not until you calm down.”
“I am calm.”
“You forget how well I know you.”
Rule’s cool facade snapped. Bellowing, he yanked at his bonds.
Now he screams, Guy thought, but he knew it was probably a good thing. Rule wouldn’t allow Guy to comfort him like some clients enjoyed after a session. Guy worked mainly with supernatural beings — vampires, wizards, and even an occasional werewolf paid well for him to tease and torment them with his leather and chains. But even those creatures had a tender side. Rule’s was buried deep and Guy hoped that eventually someone would reach it.
Despite Rule’s impressive strength, he couldn’t break the chains. Guy’s survival often depended on knowing how to properly bind supernatural beings.
Guy placed his whip next to a heavy purple flogger on a table covered in red plastic. He’d clean his tools later. He was about to clean Rule’s back when his cell phone rang.
He knew who it was by the ringtone.
He picked up the phone and said, “What’s up?”
“It’s Bryce. I need your help. It’s business.”
Although the five men had different careers in the human world, their true purpose was to protect those in need. The weapons they had once used as criminals were now their means of redemption.
Bryce worked as a police officer in the city. Sometimes he called upon his brothers to help him resolve crimes in which the human world could offer no justice.
“What does he want?” Rule asked, having ceased his rampage when the phone rang. “Is there a case for us? Let me go!”
“Do you have Rule strung up in the dungeon again?” Bryce asked.
“Yes. I’m putting you on speakerphone.”
“You don’t have to. I can hear him quite well,” Rule said, straining to look at Guy over his shoulder.
Though keen senses were an advantage of vampirism, the speakerphone would make a three-way conversation easier.
“I’ve been working on what we believe are serial killings,” Bryce said. “You’ve probably heard about them. The media calls them the Bodybuilder Murders. We’ve found a common denominator and, Guy, I believe you can get the evidence I need. Will you help?”
“You have to ask?” Guy said.
“Can you use me?” Rule asked.
“Right now this is a one-man job,” Bryce said. “But thanks.”
Rule looked a bit disappointed, but with all the trouble in the world, he was sure to have another case to work on soon.
Saloni is offering a $15 Amazon GC to one lucky winner during the tour. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter. Please use the link below to enter. Remember, you may enter every day for a chance to win so be sure to follow along with the blog tour. You may find the locations for the rest of the tour here.
The child of a painter and a psychic dreamer, Saloni Quinby feels spirituality and storytelling go hand-in-hand. She loves the scent of gardenia, the sound of wind chimes and the taste of honey. By listening to what isn’t said, she creates works based on unspoken desires. Saloni prefers blurred gender lines and many varieties of romance. In a world where passion must at times be restrained, she believes erotica is a pleasure to be shared. With her stories she would like to make her fantasies yours and hopes you enjoy the ride. She also writes under the name Kate Hill. Please visit her online.