Welcome! Kick off your shoes, get comfy and join in as we chat about books, romance and the ups and downs of everyday life.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Coming Attractions for May




March winds bring April showers bring May…romances? Yes, May is here! Once again, we’re gearing up for the end of another school year and preparing for summer vacation at my house. But here at The Romance Dish, we are gearing up for all things romance! Please help us celebrate in May by stopping by often. We have some wonderful guest authors lined up along with loads of terrific reviews, regular monthly blogs, and prizes, prizes, prizes!







Tomorrow, May 1st, marks the start of Brenda Novak’s 10th Anniversary Auction for Diabetes Research! Can you believe it’s been 10 years since the first one? I remember it well and won some really great books. Please check out the auction and consider bidding at http://brendanovak.auctionanything.com/










Grab a pen and paper to jot down your favorite May books from Andrea’s New Releases list on Friday, May 2nd!












Monday, May 5th, brings historical author Rowan Keats to the blog! Her latest, When a Laird Takes a Lady, is the second book in her Claimed by the Highlander series and releases Tuesday, May 6th!












We have a special treat on Wednesday, May 7th, as PJ has a Q&A with not one…not two…but THREE popular historical authors: Caroline Linden (It Takes a Scandal), Gayle Callen (Redemption of the Duke), and Laura Lee Guhrke (How to Lose a Duke in Ten Days)! All three have releases out NOW so please join them on their Two Dukes and a Scandal blog tour!












Make Your Reservations on Thursday, May 8th, as we let you know which books we are most looking forward to in June.












On Friday, May 9th, PJ interviews romantic suspense author and former Romance Bandit Loucinda McGary! Aunty Cindy’s recent e-book release, The Mozart Murders, looks like another winner!












Please join us on Thursday, May 15th, when we welcome back historical author Theresa Romain! To Charm a Naughty Countess, the second book in Theresa’s Matchmaker trilogy, released May 6th. (Pssst! It features a virgin duke!)












Tuesday, May 20th, we welcome author Marilyn Baxter to the blog! Marilyn’s newest release, Better as a Memory, publishes May 13th!












The always witty and glamorous Anna Campbell will bring us her Second Helping of a book or books that we may have missed the first time around on Saturday, May 24th!












New York Times bestselling author Kat Martin dishes with us on Wednesday, May 28th! It’s always a fun time when Kat is here! The latest in her Brodies of Alaska series, Against the Wild, releases May 27th.











We end the month on a great note as we welcome contemporary author Laura Moore to The Romance Dish on Friday, May 30th! Laura’s latest, Once Tasted, is the second book in her Silver Creek Series and releases May 27th!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Today's Special - - Terri Osburn



She's back!  One of our favorite new authors, Terri Osburn returns to the Dish today to blog about her new book, Home to Stay, third in her heartwarming Anchor Island contemporary romance series.  Although born in the Ohio Valley, Terri found her true home between the covers of her favorite books. Classics like The Wizard of Oz and Little Women filled her childhood, and the genre of romance beckoned during her teen years. In 2007, she decided to put pen to paper and write her own. Just five years later, she was named a 2012 finalist for the Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart® Award. You can learn more about Terri and her work by visiting her website at www.terriosburn.com.

Take it away, Terri!



Hot Stuff In The Kitchen

I am NOT a foodie. In fact, I rarely cook anything that doesn’t come out of a box. There are six or seven cookbooks on a bookshelf in my kitchen, but I never open them. Heck, I don’t even know what the word mince means.

And all of this could be a contributing factor for why I keep writing heroes who can cook. Normally, I’d say writers are not putting their own fantasies onto the page. In this case, that is exactly what I’m doing. But the odd thing is, I didn’t even realize I was doing it.

Back in olden days, when I first sat down to put fingers to keyboard (that sounds dirtier than intended – apologies), the hero who walked into my brain was a former Navy cook turned chef. As you can probably guess, my first thought was “What the fudge do I know about writing a chef?”

(Yes, I said fudge. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.)

Poor Bryan never did get his happily ever after, and I’ve yet to write a chef hero, but of the three heroes in the Anchor Island series so far, two of them are really good cooks. Ironically, my heroines rarely cook, but they do spend a lot of time at the sweet shop on the island, partaking of their favorite desserts.

So basically, through my highly-skilled-in-the-kitchen heroes, I’ve realized that I am indeed putting my own fantasies into my books. As for my heroines, well, that’s more my reality.

And speaking of my cooking heroes, the next book in the Anchor Island Series, HOME TO STAY, goes on sale in all formats on May 1. Very soon you’ll get to read about Randy Navarro, my vegetarian, green tea drinking, adrenaline junkie, giant Teddy Bear of a man who makes a killer fettuccini alfredo for his heroine, Willow Parsons.

Here’s the blurb for the book:

Willow Parsons’s two new best friends are getting married, putting her squarely on the sidelines of romance—which suits her just fine. After escaping the ultimate Mr. Wrong, she is more than happy to spend her days slinging drinks in Dempsey’s Bar & Grill, and her nights alone. But her Anchor Island refuge has just one catch: muscle-bound charmer Randy Navarro.

Everyone in town knows that Randy, owner of the local fitness club, is a giant teddy bear. Everyone, it seems, except for Willow. He’s convinced that her avoidance is more than just playing hard to get, and is determined to uncover the secrets that keep her on edge. But when old fears are dragged into the light, can Randy get Willow to stay and fight for their love…or will she take flight, leaving both him and Anchor Island behind?

Home to Stay is a charming, romantic tale about following your heart to find where you belong.

So what about you? Good cook? Non-cook like me? Do you like a hero with solid kitchen skills? Know one in real life? Got a favorite from a book? Starving minds want to know!

One lucky commenter today will win a signed copy of HOME TO STAY along with some fun book swag. (US & Canada only.)





HOME TO STAY 
by Terri Osburn
Contemporary Romance
ISBN: 1477818367
May 1, 2014 

Buy Links:


Print > http://amzn.to/1aIBRRt

Connect with Terri online:



Twitter > @TerriOsburn



Monday, April 28, 2014

Second Chance Winner





The $5 Amazon gift card from Delilah Marvelle was not claimed so we have drawn a new winner.
Congratulations to:

Laney4

Please send us an email no later than Wednesday, April 30th to claim your prize.

theromancedish (at) gmail (dot) com


Review - - It Takes a Scandal

It Takes a Scandal
By Caroline Linden
Publisher: Avon
Release Date: April 29, 2014




Short review: This is a must-read, do not pass go, do not collect $200 (unless you’re taking it to buy books at Amazon. In which case, this is one of the ones you need to buy).

Long review: For those of you who need a longer persuasion, let me start with the first reason I loved Caroline Linden’s IT TAKES A SCANDAL. Sebastian Vane is a nobody. Boy ain’t got a title; he’s a minute away from the poor house because he’s under his dead father’s crippling debt; and he’s got a bum leg from going off to war. I love these kinds of men. Now grant you, I understand why heroes should have the title, the wealth, the prestige, the reputation—it’s power. Women love powerful men. But Sebastian doesn’t really meet these “requirements”, so right off the bat, I like this fellow. He has to show his power in other ways.

As if the lack of title and monetary funds aren’t enough, he also gets to carry around the reputation of coming from a mad family (father was mad as a hatter) and violence because his father disappeared several years ago and no one has seen him since; therefore, Sebastian must have killed him. The cherry on the sundae is that he’s also a thief because he’s the suspect in stealing 4000 guineas from his arch-enemy across the river, the asshat who bought the family’s land from Sebastian’s mad father for a mere 50 pounds and wouldn’t sell it back. The boy has problems, most of them made up by other people and propagated until he has taken to hiding in his house just to avoid interactions with these jerks. He is not anyone’s idea of a good match for any woman of marriageable means. He is a bit grumpy—which is possibly the most alpha thing about him.

Our intrepid heroine is Abigail Weston. She comes from mushrooms. Well, you know how it is back then—all your money had to be 8 generations old and you never talked about the trade you used to be in, that sort of thing. Nope, Mr. Weston is filthy stinking rich and he will go to any lengths to give his daughter the best chance of finding suitable (read: titled) husbands by buying a house 10 miles out of London. Country houses bring suitors swarming, you know. Mr. Weston is amiable and fun-loving and wants his daughters to be happy; Mrs. Weston very much would prefer their happiness come with titles. Abigail, upon meeting Sebastian, prefers shabby chic gentlemen with no titles whatsoever.

As you might expect, there’s some conflict.

Meanwhile Sebastian’s land and Abby’s share a forest, a lovely place to amble around in. They end up meeting each other frequently in the woods to walk, talk, and become good friends. Sebastian entertains the thought of more than friends, but what could he offer? Nothing. Then as you do with friends you walk in the woods with, he kisses her and things become even more complicated and murky. But Abby stands up for herself, what she does and does not deserve, and proceeds to tell him and everyone else just what that is.

Then a lot of things happen at once. Sebastian is called to town because his uncle dies, but he’ll be back in 8 days; and of course the first day he’s gone, the eligible titled earl next door, handsome and charming, comes over and falls head over heels for Abby who keeps trying to keep him at bay long enough for Sebastian to return. Though Sebastian doesn’t write. And they didn’t (and by they, I mean he) promise anything. So she’s torn. She loves Sebastian, but if he doesn’t love her or want her, she can’t toss an earl aside either. Delicate business, juggling suitors.

Did I mention the handsome, eligible, charming earl is the son of the guy who basically stole Sebastian’s ancestral land for 50 pounds? Oh, and that the son and Sebastian used to be best friends until they had a falling out? Yes. Good times.

So Sebastian returns—and you’re thinking, hey, it’s going to turn out, right? No. There’s more “You can’t marry my daughter, you’re completely unworthy!” and on and on. But it all turns out in the end. How? It’s a mystery. That’s why you should read it.

The dialogue sizzles; the tension is sparkling between them (you believe these characters are well suited for each other); and the mystery, well, I was very pleasantly surprised and happy how all that turned out. I think you will be too.

~Hellie

Hellie Sinclair (a.k.a. Fran) was one of the founding members of the Romance Writer's Revenge, where she frequently got to satisfy her love of good books and her need to expound by writing reviews. Hellie loves to craft on projects she rarely finishes, watch British dramas as a sort of Olympic marathon event, and do most anything that fits the description "indolent and pleasurable." Fortunately reading falls into that category.  Connect with Hellie on Facebook.  


Saturday, April 26, 2014

Review - - Wind Raven

Wind Raven
Agents of the Crown
By Regan Walker
Publisher:  Boroughs Publishing Group
Release Date:  March 10, 2014





1817

At her father's insistence, Tara McConnell, a freedom loving American, has spent the past year living with her aunt in London and learning to be a lady - her English mother's dying wish.  But while Tara has mastered the manners and secured the admiration of the young lords of London, her heart longs for home. And, as a girl who grew up aboard her father's ships, her feet itch to return to the sea.  She's been tethered to land too long.  When a letter from one of her brothers arrives, telling her that her father is seriously ill, she refuses to wait any longer. Her aunt agrees to let her leave but only if a maid accompanies her and only if she sails to Baltimore aboard the Wind Raven, a ship captained by the son of one of her aunt's friends. When the maid falls ill on the way to the docks, Tara sends her back and boards the ship alone, unaware that her trip to Baltimore has just taken a decidedly dangerous turn.

The last thing Captain Nick Powell needs is a woman aboard his ship.  Not only are they bad luck and a distraction to his crew but Nick has a secret agenda on this particular voyage - a detour to the tropics to complete a very dangerous task for the Prince Regent.  He'd hustle her right off his ship if not for the note she carries from her aunt, claiming friendship with his mother.  He dare not incite his French mother's temper and with her out of the country there is no way to verify the note.  He has no choice but to let the woman sail with them but he doesn't have to be happy about it.

Tara and Nick are at odds from the get-go, with the sunny and immensely likable Tara determined to use her well-honed skills to work with the ship's crew and brooding Nick equally determined to keep her off the deck and out of their way.  Their stubbornness is well matched, as is their unwanted attraction.  With a long sail ahead of them, sparks are sure to fly but while Nick is more than happy to "scratch their itch," his heart is under lock and key.  Or so he thinks.  By the time they reach Bermuda, feelings have started to become entangled within the desire but a deadly pirate will put those new-found emotions to the test.  While Tara knows her heart well, Nick's heart still bears the scars of an earlier betrayal. Will he continue to paint Tara with the same brush as the woman who broke his heart or will he awaken to the truth before she's lost to him forever?

Once again, Regan Walker has expertly woven together interesting historical facts with an intriguing and fast-paced story that kept me reading way past my bedtime and still thinking about the characters long after I turned the final page.  Her characters, from the intrepid Tara to the brooding Nick to the villainous but strangely sympathetic pirate, Cofresi fairly leap from the page.  Richly drawn secondary characters complete the picture along with detailed descriptions that convinced me I could feel the deck of the ship rolling under my feet, the warmth of the tropical sun on my face and the sweet island breezes flowing gently through my hair. Whether she's writing a romantic love scene, a breath-stealing pirate raid or an anger-induced confrontation between Tara's American brothers and her English lover (men unaware they have a contentious history until they finally come face to face), Walker never fails to engage my interest and place me squarely in the center of the action.

I love a good sea-faring, pirate romance and Wind Raven certainly fills the bill.  I highly recommend this book.

~PJ

Friday, April 25, 2014

Rebecca Hagan Lee Winner





The winner of a $25 Amazon gift card from Rebecca Hagan Lee is:

foppuz

Congratulations! Please send your name and email address to us at

theromancedish (at) gmail (dot) com


Nancy Northcott Winner







The winner of a copy of SENTINEL by Nancy Northcott
(winner's choice of Kindle or paperback)
is

Nicole Potter

Congratulations, Nicole!  Please send us an email with your choice of Kindle or print copy and your mailing/e-mail information.

theromancedish (at) gmail (dot) com


Jennifer McQuiston Winner







The winner of a signed print copy of either WHAT HAPPENS IN SCOTLAND 
or 
SUMMER IS FOR LOVERS by Jennifer McQuiston is:

Erin

Congratulations, Erin!  Please send us your full name and mailing address and let us know which book you would like.

theromancedish (at) gmail (dot) com


Juliana Stone Winner






The winner of a copy of THE DAY HE KISSED HER by Juliana Stone is:

Marcy Shuler

Congratulations!  Please send your mailing information to us at 

theromancedish (at) gmail (dot) com


Today's Special - - Wild About Her Wingman Blog Tour





WILD ABOUT HER WINGMAN
Secret Wishes - Book 3
By Robin Bielman
Publisher: Entangled Bliss
Release Date:  April 14, 2014



Adrenaline junkie, and acknowledged town mischief maker, Erin Watters has no interest in marriage.  After the college boyfriend she thought she would marry ripped her heart out and stomped on it, she tucked the vulnerable organ back into her chest and has guarded it closely. But while Erin may not want a lifetime commitment, after witnessing the happiness of her friends who have found the loves of their lives, Erin is warming to the idea of finding a boyfriend. Once her friends discover her change of mind, all bets are off or, rather, one bet is on.  

If there's one thing hot rescue paramedic Troy Strieber dreads it's his turn to grocery shop for the station.  He's not too keen on helping Erin find a boyfriend either but for a two-month reprieve from grocery shopping he'll gladly sign up for wingman duty. After all, how hard could it be? Erin's hot, smart, nice.  If she didn't lead such a reckless lifestyle he'd go after her himself but that way lay tragedy and heartbreak.  He'd walked that path once and has no desire to do it again. Besides, he'd come back to Cascade to help his twin sister and young niece after his brother-in-law's unexpected death.  They were his first priority now.  

Troy takes his wingman duties seriously.  He's determined to win this bet in record time so what's with these twinges of jealously that sneak up on him when Erin appears to hit it off with a guy? And why does Erin find herself comparing her boyfriend candidates to Troy and finding them lacking?  The more time these two spend together on the great boyfriend hunt, the more they like one another.  And the more they like one another, the more they open up and get to know each other below the surface level.  They're surprised by what they learn.  But will those parts that they normally keep hidden beneath the surface be enough to move a growing affection into a deeper emotion or will they be the evidence that proves they are each destined for love...with someone else.  

This was my first Robin Bielman book and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Her writing sparkles and the characters are realistic, likable and make me want to move to Cascade so I can hang out with them.  While there's plenty of humor in this story, there's also a satisfying depth of emotion. Troy's scenes with his niece are especially endearing.  Bielman also had the patience to move Troy and Erin's relationship at a believable pace and infused enough sexual tension into their relationship to leave me satisfied, even though the sexual heat level in the book is mild with any action taking place behind closed doors.

The second book in this series, Her Accidental Boyfriend is a 2014 RITA® finalist for Best Short Contemporary Romance.  I've downloaded it and am looking forward to a return trip to Cascade for both this story and the first one, Kissing the Maid of Honor.  

So, tell me.  Do you like your romances mild or spicy?  Or, like me, do you enjoy a bit of both?  Have you read Robin Bielman's books yet?  What are you waiting for? 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway










Robin Bielman is a contemporary and paranormal romance writer living in Southern California with her husband, two kids and - according to Robin - the "cutest mini Labradoodle in existence." The beach is her happy place but she has a longing to explore other places as well. When she's not writing, she can often be found reading other authors' books. (I'm sure we can all relate to that!)  Robin's 2013 book, Her Accidental Boyfriend was recently named as a 2014 RITA® finalist in the Short Contemporary Romance category.  Congratulations, Robin!


Robin's Secret Wishes series includes Kissing the Maid of Honor, RITA Finalist Her Accidental Boyfriend, and Wild About Her Wingman. In July, 2014 her first single title paranormal romance, Veiled Target, will be released. She loves to connect with readers. Learn more about Robin and her books and sign up for her newsletter on her website at http://robinbielman.com


 Connect with Robin at the following online locations:
facebook twitter  RU

Host DateBlogBlog URL
4/14/2014Book-Marks the Spot caughtinasnyderwebb.blogspot.com
4/14/2014Caribbean Accent Book Reviewswww.caribbeanaccentbookreviews.com
4/14/2014Love To Read For Funwww.lovetoreadforfun.com
4/15/2014Stitch Read Cookwww.stitchreadcook.com
4/15/2014Brooke Blogswww.brookeblogs.com
4/16/2014Romancing the Bookromancing-the-book.com
4/16/2014Doing Some Readingdoingsomereading.wordpress.com
4/17/2014Rookie Romancerookieromance.blogspot.co.uk
4/17/2014So Many Readswww.somanyreads.com
4/18/2014Cheryl's Book Nookcherylsbooknook.blogspot.com
4/18/2014What I'm Readingsillymelody.blogspot.com
4/21/2014Ex Libriswww.stella-exlibris.com
4/21/2014Read Your Writes Book Reviewsreadyourwrites.blogspot.com
4/22/2014Romantic Reads and Suchromanticreadsandsuch.wordpress.com
4/22/2014Cocktails and Bookswww.cocktailsandbooks.com
4/23/2014Belle's Book Bagbellesbookbag.blogspot.com
4/23/2014Reading Between the Wines Book Clubwww.readingbetweenthewinesbookclub.com
4/24/2014Adria's Romance Reviewsadriasromancereviews.blogspot.com
4/24/2014SOS Alohawww.sosaloha.blogspot.com
4/25/2014The Romance Dishtheromancedish.com
4/25/2014Eclectic Passionseclecticpassionsbc.blogspot.com

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Tangle of Quality!


by Anna Campbell

As regular visitors to Second Helping know, I'm gradually making my way through the works of Georgette Heyer.

I read them all when I was a teenager - they were the staple of libraries when I was growing up, even for any unfortunate girl who didn't have a mother who adored them (my mother DID adore them) and lent them to her. I then re-read them all when a friend of mine was compiling a complete collection and lent them to me as she bought them.

Over my lovely quiet Christmas break, I managed another two on the list and loved both of them. And discovered that I hardly remembered these at all which was nice - the surprises written into the story were actually surprises!

I was chatting about LADY OF QUALITY with another Heyer fan as I was reading it and she made the comment that she thought the heroine was unsympathetic. I can't say I found Annis Wychwood unappealing. But then I don't mind managing females with sharp tongues! Annis is beautiful and rich and headstrong. At the age of 29, she's also convinced that she'll never marry - why should she submit her will to a man's whim? But fate has other plans when she becomes involved with Oliver Carleton, the "rudest man in London." I'm sure you can imagine how funny the encounters between these two straight talkers are. I laughed out loud so often when one or the other would get the final word in!

I also like stories about clever people who think they've got their lives sorted out until they fall in love and realize that they're as hopeless as the rest of us. And there's always a lovely pay-off in such stories when the couple come together, wiser, warmer, and willing to surrender to the demands of their hearts instead of their heads. LADY OF QUALITY is definitely a read of quality!

The second Heyer I read while the temperature outside hit boiling point (we had a heatwave this summer!) was BATH TANGLE.

It took me a little while to warm up to this one (despite the weather). At the start, there just seemed to be so many characters! And Lady Serena Carlow, another sharp-tongued, managing female, wasn't quite as appealing as Annis Wychwood, although they clearly came from the same branch of the Heyer heroine tree. Like Annis, she's rich, beautiful and independent, but she's also much more tempestuous and impulsive.

But of course, the whole point of a tangle is that things should be complicated enough to get into a real mess. And that's certainly true about this story. Once it gets going and the various characters start making absolutely wrong decisions, get set for great fun. And there are some marvelous secondary characters, including the vulgar but goodhearted Mrs. Floore and her vulgar but not goodhearted daughter Lady Laleham. Not to mention the usual selection of madcap young uns to push the plot along. And the ending is sigh-worthy satisfying - especially as there are moments during the story where you're not sure that things are going to work out as your romantic reader's heart would wish.

By chance, I picked up two stories that have an awful lot in common. Both are set largely in Bath. Both feature stroppy, opinionated heroines. The guys are difficult and smart, and up to the challenge of dealing with these wild women. There are runaway heiresses in both stories who stir much mayhem. Both are notable for sparkling dialogue that will have you giggling.

Have you read either of these? Do you like a feisty heroine? Is there a point at which the heroine becomes TOO feisty?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Today's Special - - Cathy Maxwell



New York Times bestselling author and good friend Cathy Maxwell joins us today with the first of two thought provoking blogs.  The author of more than thirty published novels, Cathy is one of my auto-buy authors with many titles on my keeper shelves.  Cathy is a woman of many talents. As stated in her website bio, in addition to writing, she also spent six years in the U.S. Navy - where she worked at the Pentagon and did a tour with Naval intelligence - managed a watch factory, was a news broadcaster and was in charge of costumes for a local theater.  She's also smart, savvy and is one of the kindest and funniest people I've had the pleasure of meeting.  Please give her a warm Romance Dish welcome!






Scarlett and Superwoman
by Cathy Maxwell

For some mysterious reason, the subject of Scarlett O’Hara has come up on the romance panels I’ve sat on over the past year. The question?  Is Scarlett a good romance heroine?

And the question annoys me in the same way I grow testy when people act as if Romance readers don’t read anything other than this one genre.  (Excuse me while I climb onto my soapbox.  No, don’t excuse me.  I’m glad to do it.) The truth, Romance readers are avid readers in general.  They eventually gravitate to Romance because 1) they need more books to read. They want great stories and lots of them and I’m proud to say my genre delivers.   2) Stories about relationships intrigue them (even murderous ones). Romance readers are discerning readers, but voracious ones.

So where does Scarlett come in to all of this?  Well, first, some people don’t get the Romance genre.  They think any female character who can attract males and knows what to do with them once she has them is a “Romance” heroine.  Not true.  The “happy ending” is a strong expectation but so is the honorable heroine.  However, honorable does not mean uncomplicated.  GONE WITH THE WIND is not a romance but I could see Scarlett as a heroine of a romance novel, with tweaking, of course.  GWTW is a story of survival; the Romance novel is a tale of commitment.  These are not mutually exclusive concepts.

A heroine is true to her own code of conduct—and this is very true of Scarlett.  I don’t mind a heroine who is feisty or who makes mistakes out of immaturity or who needs to grow into the woman she must become. My most memorable characters in literature, and also the people I most admire in life, are those who are willing to make mistakes.  It is one thing to save the world but it is even more important to learn how to save yourself.  And when do people truly become interesting—when they are doing what is expected?  Or when they risk being themselves flaws and all?

Or have we at some point homogenized our heroines?  Is there a one size fits all “fantasy” of what readers expect out of characters.  I believe it is important to honor the happy ending, but I’m not convinced readers have a carbon copy idea of the sort of heroine they want, especially in this genre.  Look at the Romance section.  This genre takes in vamps and vampires, shape-shifters and missionaries, nurses, teachers, PHDs, administrative assistants, Regency virgins, and nuclear physicists and these books are all bestsellers. 

I’ll warn you now that this is a two part blog.  I’ve written a character that has annoyed readers, and then I tried to redeem her in the second book of the series. In truth, I’ve actually played with heroines in several of my books.  You know that “Well behaved women rarely make history” adage?  I believe it.  However, I have had my strongest feedback ever over Tara from THE BRIDE SAYS NO and THE BRIDE SAYS MAYBE.  I will have some numbers to add to the discussion when we yak next month.

In the meantime, let’s talk heroines.  I’m interested in your thoughts.  Feel free to disagree with me on Miss Scarlett or any of my ramblings.  When you think of the word “heroine,” what comes to mind?  Is she perfect?  Or is she perfect in her imperfections?  Does a reader have time to watch a character grow?  Even a character involved in a series of books?  What makes a character fresh and vibrant to you?  Who are the heroines that still resonate strongly with you?


Cathy Maxwell believes each and every one of us is the heroine of her own life.  She is the bestselling author of over thirty historical romances in which she celebrates men and women with a passion for life.  www.cathymaxwell.com



What happens when a bride says maybe?
She’d once been the toast of London, but now scandal has brought her down. Still, pretty, petted Lady Tara Davidson can’t believe her new fate. She had wanted to marry for love . . . but her profligate father has promised her hand to none other than Breccan Campbell, the “Beast of Aberfeldy” and laird of the valley’s most despised clan! Well, Tara may have to marry him, but Breccan can’t make her love him—can he?  
What happens when the groom insists?
Breccan Campbell is nobody's fool.  He knows that Tara is trouble.  Yet he's determined to reform the Campbell name even if it means forging an alliance with the arrogant beauty. There's no doubt that Tara is a challenge, and Breccan loves nothing more. For he's vowed to thoroughly seduce Tara--and make her his in more than name alone.


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Review - - Wallflower Gone Wild

Wallflower Gone Wild
London's Least Likely - Book 2
By Maya Rodale
Publisher: Avon
Release Date:  March 25, 2014



All she wanted was to fall in love and get married but with her unfortunate nicknames of "Prissy Missy" and "London's Least Likely to Cause a Scandal" plus her overbearing mother dogging her through the ballrooms of London, it looks like Lady Olivia Archer's fourth season won't be bringing her any closer to her goal than her first. And now her parents have tired of waiting on her and have betrothed her to a man who terrifies her: Phinneas Cole, known as the Mad Baron, a man believed by all of society to have murdered both his first wife and his brother. True, he's handsome and there was a mutual fascination when Olivia encountered him at a ball but that was before she knew who he was and what he had done.  At Lady Penelope's Finishing School for Young Ladies of Fine Families, Olivia and her friends were told that if they followed The Rules they would find husbands and happy marriages. Since that's not happening maybe it's time to change the rules.

Phinneas Cole has come to London for two reasons: to complete the Difference Engine (an early type of computer) he's building in time for the Great Exhibition and find a sweet, biddable wife who will leave him in peace to continue his scientific endeavors.  He thinks he's found her when he encounters Lady Olivia Archer at a ball.  She's quiet, refined and elegant; the opposite of his late wife and exactly what he needs.  No need to waste time.  He contacts her father and Olivia is presented with a fait accompli.  But once engaged, the sweet, quiet woman disappears, to be replaced by a wallflower gone wild, flaunting the rules at every turn.

Olivia believes the rumors about Phinn and is determined to cause enough havoc to cause him to break the betrothal.  Phinn had enough drama in his first marriage to last a lifetime but the more mischief Olivia causes, the more fascinated he becomes.  He sets out to woo her though he's woefully inept at it and unfortunately the advice he receives from his well-meaning but clueless friend only reinforces Olivia's beliefs about him. But Phinn is determined and slowly Olivia comes to realize there's more to the man than meets the eye...if only there wasn't that pesky murder rumor in his past.

I really enjoyed this book.  Rodale has created characters that are complex, engaging and just plain fun. It was delightful to watch Olivia blossom as her betrothal rebellion slowly changes her from a quiet young woman who wouldn't dream of breaking her mother's or society's rules into a confident, strong woman who has learned to make rules of her own.  Phinn is a hero I'd take home any day. I adored him and while his efforts to woo Olivia often went off course, he finally got it right for a happy, sigh-worthy ending.

Wallflower Gone Wild is the second book in Rodale's London's Least Likely series. It reads well as a stand-alone although the primary couple from the first book, The Wicked Wallflower drop enough hints about their own journey that, like me, you'll probably want to start reading their story as soon as you turn the final page of Wallflower Gone Wild.  I'm now counting down the days until the release of the third book in this series.  What a Wallflower Wants will hit the shelves in September.

~PJ

Do you enjoy wallflower heroines?  How about nerdy heroes? Do you like to see them grow into strong, confident characters or do you prefer that they remain true to their roots?  Or can they be both? With the help of her friends, Olivia dreams up some crazy schemes in her attempts to convince Phinn to break their engagement.  If you were a wallflower gone wild in Regency England, how would you break the rules?

I have a print copy of Wallflower Gone Wild for one lucky person who leaves a comment today. 
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