One of our favorite things about reading historical romances is imagining the opulent settings (and beautiful ball gowns) that are par for the course in this genre. And frankly, who among us hasn’t dreamed of being draped in silk and outfitted in pearls? So it is perfectly fitting that a trend on the covers of recent and upcoming releases mirrors our desire to be swept away to another time and place: brocade. Keep reading to see which new books are swathed in this luxe look!
If you love romances set in the past, this month's Harlequin Historicals offer you a bevy of intriguing destinations.
One look at the cover of Jeannie Lin's My Fair Concubine and you know that this story will take you beyond Regency England. The book is set in ancient China and will definitely appeal to fans of My Fair Lady since the hero of this tale attempts to transform a teahouse servant into a suitable bride for a rival leader.
This month RT readers can also find out why the Wild West-set Weddings Under a Western Sky, the new anthology from Lisa Plumley, Elizabeth Lane and Kate Welsh was rated 4 stars. You can also get a taste of two Regency era romances, Deb Marlowe's Unbuttoning Miss Hardwick, an unusual Cinderella story and Marriage of Mercy by Carla Kelly which focuses on the Americans fighting in the War of 1812. Readers can find the full reviews of these four books in the June issue of RT BOOK REVIEWS magazine.
In our July 2012 issue, we loved talking to five authors who’ve featured Paris in their books, and generally we got very enthusiastic answers about the City of Light. But we wondered if there was a dark side to their experiences in the city. So we asked Eloisa James, Laura Florand, Cara Black, Joanna Bourne and Anna Davis, who all have recent releases set in Paris, this question: Was there any point where Paris let you down or didn’t deliver? Did you have a “bad day,” Parisian style?
Eloisa James, whose memoir Paris in Love discusses her year abroad in Paris:
Oh, yes. I did have a very bad day—and my whole family experienced it with me. It was my son’s 16th birthday, a day that included our only encounter with that famous movie staple, the “Rude French Waiter.” It was hilariously awful, and I can’t help thinking with some satisfaction that I got my revenge in print.
Laura Florand, author of The Chocolate Thief:
Oh, yes, often! It rained pretty much my entire first year there and people really did seem quite rude to someone coming from a small town in the South who had spent her previous time overseas on a friendly tropical island. And as a young female on my own, the level of harassment was well beyond the scope of anything I knew how to deal with at first. In fact, when Cade Corey in The Chocolate Thief pushes someone into the Seine, it’s my little creative revenge. When you come from a small town where smiling is the de facto interaction with everyone, there’s a steep learning curve to dealing with a city like Paris. But ... it has the most delicious chocolate and pastries in the world, among many other moments of gustatory bliss, and that makes up for a lot. As does the Seine at night.
One dedicated country spinster’s life changes forever when she suddenly inherits a fortune — and a fiancé. But Miss Tabitha Timmons never guessed that her life would change all over again when Along Came a Duke — Duke of Preston, that is. What will happen to this mismatched pair? Whitney and Morgan investigate this very question when they Dish about Elizabeth Boyle's newest release.
There was no indication whatsoever that on this day, Miss Tabitha Timmons would not only find herself betrothed, but also fall madly and deeply in love.
And not necessarily with the same man.
Author Molly Harper is known for her lighthearted, fun paranormal tales about sexy supernatural men and the women who love them. But stories of vampires and werewolves aren't the only ones Harper pens. She debuted her first contemporary romance back in 2010, and recently broke the news that she will be returning to the side of romance that has fewer fangs and less fur with a brand new series! We're anxious for the first in Harper's yet-to-be-titled digital-first series, releasing this December, and asked the author to share a little bit about what readers can expect.
It was just announced that you have a new contemporary romance series coming from Pocket. Can you give readers a short summary of what they can expect from these books?
Any relationship expert will tell you that one of the most important elements in a relationship is communication. However, often in romance novels this is sorely missing between the heroine and hero. Thankfully this is not the case in new author Ruthie Knox’s exciting tales of contemporary love. In her digital-first debut, Ride With Me, Knox wowed readers with amazing dialogue between opposites Alex and Tom. Now Knox’s outstanding way with witty back-and-forths is on full display in her second e-book, About Last Night. So how does Knox go about writing these deliciously romantic scenes of good old-fashioned conversation between her characters? The author reveals her secrets in today’s guest post.
When I was in middle school, I read a lot of teen magazines, and I decided I would never flirt. “Ten Top Tips for Flirting,” “Seven Ways To Catch His Eye” — the whole notion offended me. Why should I slick on lipstick and bat my eyelashes to make some boy like me? It was trickery!
Versatile author Victoria Dahl writes amazingly detailed historical tales as well as bright, contemporary romances. Last December, RT broke details about Dahl's next project, a contemporary series, in an exclusive Q&A with the author. Dahl shared a profile of the characters that the stories would feature. I am thrilled to say that today, we're finally getting a look at the series starter's cover ... and I'm not ashamed to say it, I'm in love!
But let's rewind for a moment. Here's what we knew before we saw the beautiful cover art:
Close Enough to Touch is the story of Jackson Hole, Wyoming's handsome cowboy Cole Rawlings and the city girl whose heart he steals: Grace Barrett. The pair become next door neighbors when makeup artist Grace takes a hiatus from Hollywood and decides to visit her aunt to get "back to basics." But with this sexy all-American man just outside her door, well it's not surprising that, like the back cover blurb says, "it turns out that there are a few more thrills in this small town than Grace was expecting..." But is this relationship enough to convince Grace that she should give up the life she's worked for and make her vacation in Jackson Hole a permanent move? I guess we'll have to read the book to find out!
During her Q&A with RT, the author shared that the first time that Cole and Grace meet, he refers to her as "darlin'" and this city girl isn't having any of his country charm. Dahl told us, "Of course, she immediately snaps, 'I'm not your darlin'.'" Fellow readers, can't you just feel their opposites attract heat sizzling and snapping off the page?
This month Harlequin heads to Hollywood to treat readers to four stories that sizzle. If you enjoy reading about star-crossed lovers who are actually stars, acting gigs that turn into real life love stories and tales of celebrity crushes that become boyfriends, then we suggest you check out these new books. And if you do so with a bag of popcorn by your side, well you won’t be the only one enjoying the mix of movies, television and reading in June’s series romances!
Janice Maynard’s actress heroine will find it Impossible to Resist the feelings that blossom between her and Dr. Jacob Wolfe. Yes, Ariel hired the sexy doctor to pretend to be her boyfriend so that her movie crew wouldn’t know that she’s seriously ill. But, they say you can’t buy love, so what sizzles between this pair must be real — however, will it be enough to last a lifetime? RT Reviewer Pat says of this RT Top Pick!-rated read, “Maynard’s return to the Wolfe family opens another window into the heart of what it means to be family, and she once again nails it perfectly.”
Upcoming Adaptation: Hallmark Channel To Adapt Cedar Cove Series By Debbie Macomber For Primetime SeriesBY RT BOOK REVIEWS, JUNE 08, 2012 | PERMALINK
Debbie Macomber readers — and fans of Andie MacDowell — take note. The popular actress has just signed on to star in the primetime television series adaptation of the talented author’s beloved Cedar Cove series. The series, titled Cedar Cove, will kick off with a two-hour pilot on the Hallmark Channel. This is not Macomber’s first time seeing her work on screen, she’s previously worked with the Hallmark Channel as they turned two of her novels into made-for-tv holiday movies.
The fictional town of Cedar Cove is a familiar setting for readers. The town is loosely based on Macomber’s hometown of Port Orchard, Washington. (If you’d like to learn just how similar the two costal towns are, click here.) And for this upcoming series, the Hallmark television series will certainly have lots of material to use because Macomber has created a twelve book series beginning with 2001’s 16 Lighthouse Road and wrapping up with 2011's 1225 Christmas Tree Lane. You can learn more about the entire series here.
So where does Andie MacDowell figure into this news? The actress made her mark in classic ‘90s movies, Groundhog Day and Four Weddings and a Funeral. Most recently, MacDowell has been seen co-starring on the ABC Family television show, Jane By Design.
There’s nothing quite like relaxing into a contemporary romance and losing yourself in someone else’s trauma and triumphs. At BookExpo America 2012 we got a chance to spend time with several of our favorite authors of modern day love stories and get a behind the scenes glimpse at their latest heroines. Carla Neggers, Susan Mallery and Robyn Carr all weighed in when we asked each author to answer, “What is a skill that your latest heroine has which you are jealous of?” See what they had to say …
During Harlequin’s contemporary romance author signing, Carla Neggers shared with us that the heroine of her latest contemporary release Secrets of the Lost Summer, Olivia Frost, is a talented drawer and graphic designer, and the author wishes this was a skill she shared with her heroine. If you want to learn more about Olivia and her story, Morgan and Whitney Dished about Secrets of the Lost Summer back in February, which you can read here.