Message From The Author

Author's Message

Harlequin author Jane Porter takes readers to wildly passionate Buenos Aires with a new series VIVA LA ARGENTINA!

In writing my new miniseries, The Galvan Brides, for Harlequin Presents, I discovered a South American adventure paradise: roaring waterfalls, lush countryside, bright city lights.

After 11 fantasy-filled days in Latin America last April with my husband, I have to say that Argentina is all that and more. Where else in the world is a woman expected to flirt, and taught that it's an insult not to look a man in the eyes? Where else can one tango with a count, ride the pampas with a cowboy, climb the Andes and save the rain forest?

One arrives in Argentina through Buenos Aires—a city that lives at night. Argentines don't head out to dinner until at least 10 or 11 o'clock, and it's social suicide to be seen in a bar or nightclub before midnight. The women are gorgeous, and they really dress when they leave the house—the newest French fashions, leather coats, high-heel boots. It's no surprise that fashion is so important to the Argentine. Sprawling, cosmopolitan Buenos Aires is frequently referred to as the Paris of South America and prides itself on its elegance and sophistication.

I loved Buenos Aires, but my favorite parts of the city weren't the new high-rises and glitzy hotels, they were the historic Italian and Spanish neighborhoods, like San Telmo and La Boca, where the early European immigrants settled. It was in these immigrant barrios that tango first originated, as did much of Argentina's current popular culture.
The aristocratic Galvan family featured in my four-book series are of Spanish and Italian heritage, but a titled one, and their Buenos Aires home is far from
the poor immigrant barrios. Like other wealthy portenos (inhabitants of Buenos Aires), Count Dante Galvan (In Dante's Debt, Jan.) and his half-brother, Lazaro Herrera (Lazaro's Revenge, Feb.), live a sophisticated lifestyle, jetting between the ski resorts in the Patagonian alps, the luxurious hotels and casinos on the Atlantic coast and their expansive estancias (ranches) on the pampas.

But the Galvans are also a complicated family with a troubled past and tangled relationships. Responsibility for the family problems rests squarely with their father, the late Count Tino Galvan, a man blessed with incredible good looks and tremendous wealth, but a man lacking moral character. Married twice, Tino indulged in affairs throughout his life, shamelessly flaunting his lovers before Buenos Aires society and humiliating his family. His five children from his two marriages grew up in a state of unremitting chaos, and the family's various palatial homes served as a backdrop for their father as he moved in and out of his turbulent love affairs.

But Tino is gone, and it is left to the eldest son, Dante, to salvage their family's finances, pull the Galvans together and try to make them a proper family again. But it isn't easy.

The passionate and turbulent Galvan family is a bit like the Argentine tango—intense, demanding, seductive. When dancing tango, the man must hold the woman tightly, as there is no choreography. Everything is decided on spur of the moment, and it's left to the woman to follow the man's changing will.

Being evenly matched is vital for the tango. And while all my Galvans tango, it's Anabella Galvan, the youngest and most rebellious (The Latin Lover's Secret Child, Nov.), who understands the fiery nature of the dance best, taking the challenging Lucio Cruz, a gaucho (Argentine cowboy), as her partner.

Lucio clashes with Anabella's privileged, aristocratic world and is scorned by her brothers. He seeks respectability and recognition in Argentina's reputable wine country, nestled at the base of the snowcapped Andes mountains.

The story of the Galvans is the story of Argentina today: complex people coming to terms with history, economics, politics and change. For the Galvans it is also learning to forgive their father and forge new, enduring relationships with each other—which finally begins to happen when Alonso (The Spaniard's Passion, Dec.), the last of the isolated Galvans, discovers talk of a Galvan baby for sale on the black market. Alonso, an operative with the MI6, investigates, and his investigation ultimately brings the whole family together for the first time ever. And once the Galvans finally find each other, they're determined that nothing will tear them apart.

For more on the Galvans, visit, www.janeporter.com.


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