Scandal at the Midsummer Ball had its genesis when we received a house party invitation from Harlequin. The details were sketchy, we were provided with a picture of the venue, the name of our host, some suggested dates, and a mood board. We share an Editor and we’d worked together previously on the Castonbury Park series, but we’d never actually spoken, far less met, and we live on different continents and inhabit different time zones. But right from the start, the idea of jointly creating a Regency house party that was scandalous, romantic and sexy, really appealed to both of us. We wanted our stories to be fun, and we were also determined to have fun writing them.
I’ll start with a small confession, always a good idea if you want to engage the reader, which obviously I do. When my Editor first suggested I write a new historical sheikh quartet, I wasn’t exactly brimming with enthusiasm. My recent novels had been very much grounded in historically authentic settings and concerned with the impact of contemporary historical issues on my characters. My stories were heroine-centric, and my heroes, seemingly of their own accord, have been migrating down the aristocratic hierarchy at such a rate they have barely a teaspoon of blue blood between them. My writing was, within the context of the genre, becoming more gritty, more real.
The defining characteristic of the sheikh trope, on the other hand, is fantasy and exotic world-creation, and it is all about the hero. The thing is though, sheikh stories are very popular – the […]
It’s TBR Challenge time, and yes, Caz and I are in again! This month’s theme involves short romances, so we’ve been urged to pull out novellas, short stories and category romances. My choice this month was pretty easy. When books get buzzed about, I sometimes get curious and buy them – and then procrastinate on my reading.
Such was the case with Mary Ann Rivers’ 2013 novella The Story Guy. Everybody and their dog went into raptures over this story on Twitter and the setup was just quirky enough that it caught my eye. Having read it, I can now say that this story indeed merits all that buzz. There’s a lot of meaty stuff in here that one could discuss, even though one of the plot points bothered me enough that I can’t quite justify giving this novella a DIK review.
As the […]
We’ve been having a lot of fun with Pandora’s Box lately here at AAR, and this month Lynn Spencer and Dabney Grinnan are taking a turn there. We decided to go for a European historical this month, and chose Harlequin Historicals author Marguerite Kaye’s latest release Rake With a Frozen Heart. The plot centers on an innocent governess, Henrietta Markham, who is rescued by a reputed rake, Rafe St. Alban, the Earl of Pentland. She remembers an attack by a thief, but little else, and after finding herself suspected of a crime, she ends up on the run with her rescuer. Henrietta has no intention of falling in love with Rafe and after the loss of his first wife, Rafe has no interest in marriage. However, Rafe does feel moved to help Henrietta clear her name and as they go […]