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A VALENTINE'S DAY GIFT

ROBERTA GELLIS ADDS A NEW CHAPTER TO THE ROSELYNDE CHRONICLES

How fitting that Roberta Gellis returns to the historical romance genre, after forays into fantasy, science fiction and mystery, in the month of love. And it's not just any historical romance: Gellis has penned an addition to her much-beloved Roselynde Chronicles, which were originally published in the '70s and '80s by Playboy Press and Jove.

Titled Desiree, it's actually "book two" in the Chronicles, slotting in between Roselynde and Alinor. Harlequin is publishing the book in its Signature Select line and has bought the rights to all six series books, which the publisher will begin reissuing in September.

"I had always wanted to fill in some of the 'missing' years—the years when Alinor was married to Simon," says Gellis of her favorite continuing character and her first husband. Simon, whom Gellis killed off between Roselynde and Alinor, was a reader favorite. "There were loud complaints and lots of letters bemoaning his loss," she says. "Everyone wanted to know more about Simon and how he and Alinor had got along." Though Alinor and Simon do figure in Desiree's plot, the main storyline revolves around Simon's nephew, Alexandre Baudoin, and Desiree, a young woman happily married to a man her grandfather's age.

Gellis says that transitioning back to straight romance was "sometimes difficult. I had to remember to keep my attention fixed on the romance between the hero and heroine and not allow myself to be dragged off into side issues of the politics of England in 1198—which is often more interesting to me than the love-longing."

While Gellis does have an idea for another Roselynde Chronicles book ("probably book three"), she's committed first to writing another Magdalene la Batarde mystery and By Slanderous Tongues, the third in the Double-Edged series she writes with Mercedes Lackey. "Until that book is finished, I can't even think about doing another romance," she says, hinting to readers: "I would imagine the chances for me to do another romance will rest on the success of Desiree and the reissue of the Roselynde Chronicles." Readers, you know what to do.—Liz French


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