‘Queen of Hearts’ by Rhys Bowen

rb qoh1STORY: Lady Georgiana Rannoch, thirty-fifth in line for the British throne, knows how to play the part of an almost royal—but now she’s off to Hollywood, where she must reprise her role as sleuth or risk starring in an all-too-convincing death scene

My mother, the glamorous and much-married actress, is hearing wedding bells once again—which is why she must hop across the pond for a quickie divorce in Reno. To offer my moral support, and since all expenses are paid by her new hubby-to-be, Max, I agree to make the voyage with her.

Crossing the Atlantic, with adventure in the air and wealthy men aboard, Mother all but forgets about Max and matrimony—especially when movie mogul Cy Goldman insists on casting her in his next picture.

Meanwhile, I find myself caught up in the secret investigation of a suspected jewel thief. Lucky for me, the lead investigator happens to be my dashing beau, Darcy!

Mother’s movie and Darcy’s larceny lead everyone to Cy’s Hollywood home, where the likes of Charlie Chaplin are hanging about and there’s enough romantic intrigue to fill a double feature. But we hardly get a chance to work out the sleeping arrangements before Cy turns up dead—as if there wasn’t enough drama already…

REVIEW: Lady Georgiana (Georgie) Rannoch, is a cousin to His Majesty and thirty-fifth in line to the British throne.  So, you would think she lives an easy life, right?  Not so much.  Actually, she spends most of her time with relatives and now she is staying with some elderly ladies in their large home.  Although she is eating well, she is completely bored.
When her mother arrives unexpectedly, she is whisked away to go with her on a sea voyage to New York and then on to Reno.  Her mother is well known as a movie star from the silent movie past who has retained her figure and her beauty.  Her current husband is a wealthy American man living on a ranch.  This is not the life her mother desires.  So, she is off to Reno to get a quickie divorce from him so she can marry another man with whom she has lived. Her mother is notorious for never sharing money with Georgie which leaves her constantly having to scrimp.
Georgie’s long time boyfriend, Darcy O’Mara, is always on one government mission after another which means their time together is rather limited.  When Georgie meets up with him on the ship, she is delighted but told that he is working incognito now on a secret mission.
We follow Georgie and her sullen and rather uncouth maid, Queenie, along with her mother to New York where they shop for some clothes before leaving on the last leg of their journey. It is a real boon to Georgie when her mother agrees to buy Georgie some well-needed clothes.
After a train ride to Reno, they realize that they have arrived in a dusty, sparse city which is quite unappealing.  By the time her mother has set up residency for her six-week period to get her divorce, they meet Cy Goldman of Goldman Pictures in Hollywood.  Familiar with Georgie’s mother, he insists she go to Hollywood to act in a movie he is making.  It would be the first talkie movie for her.
Hollywood finds Georgie enjoying the nice weather and meeting many well-known movie stars.  When they are all invited to a weekend holiday at Mr. Goldman’s huge mansion high on a cliff, things turn tragic and Mr. Goldman is murdered.  This is where Georgie again dons her sleuth’s hat and works to solve the mystery.
Once again, Rhys Bowen has penned another great Royal Spyness Mystery.  I am a huge fan of them and love the characters.  There are lots of chuckles and the book is sprinkled with well-known people such as Charlie Chaplin and the well-known and disliked Mrs. Simpson.
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and look forward to even more from Ms. Bowen.
Connie for b2b

‘The Book Stops Here’ by Kate Carlisle

kc tbshSTORY: You never know what treasures can be found in someone’s attic. Unfortunately for bookbinder Brooklyn Wainwright, some of them are worth killing for.… 

Brooklyn Wainwright is thrilled to be appearing on the San Francisco edition of the hit TV show This Old Attic as a rare-book expert and appraiser. Her first subject is a very valuable first-edition copy of the classic children’s story The Secret Garden, which is owned by a flower vendor named Vera.

Once she hears what her book is worth, Vera is eager to have Brooklyn recondition it for resale. But after the episode airs, a furious man viciously accosts Brooklyn, claiming that Vera found the first edition at his garage sale, and he wants it back—or else. Brooklyn is relieved that she’s put The Secret Garden in a safe place, but Randolph Rayburn, the handsome host of This Old Attic, is terrified by the man’s threats. He confides in Brooklyn that he fears he is being stalked. He doesn’t know who might have targeted him, or why.

In the days that follow, several violent incidents occur on the set, and Brooklyn is almost killed, leaving both her and her security expert boyfriend, Derek, shaken. Is someone after Brooklyn and the book? Or has Randolph’s stalker become more desperate? And then Brooklyn visits Vera’s flower shop…and discovers her dead. Is the murderer one of the two obvious suspects, or is something more sinister—even bizarre—going on? Brooklyn had better find the clever killer soon or more than her chance at prime time may be canceled…permanently

REVIEW: When professional bookbinder, Brooklyn Wainwright, is offered a short-term position as a rare book appraiser on the TV show “This Old Attic,” she couldn’t be happier.

Books are her passion and her knowledge of old books is quite extensive.  The first book she appraised on the show is a first edition copy of “The Secret Garden.”  The owner, Vera, claims to have purchased the book in a garage sale for $3.  Vera, who owns a flower shop, is ecstatic when she hears how valuable the book is and how much more it would be worth if some moderate restoration was done.  Vera asks Brooklyn to do the work for her to which she agrees.
Soon, trouble begins to plague the members of the staff on the set.  One man is poisoned but recovers and Brooklyn is attacked in the parking lot by a big brute threatening to kill her.  But, when she discovers Vera dead in her flower shop, she truly becomes frightened.  Could these events be related to the book now in Brooklyn’s possession?
Brooklyn’s British boyfriend, Derek, owns a security company and with his background in covert operations, he insists on accompanying Brooklyn to the set for her taping.
As more characters are introduced and the big brute continues to follow her, the tension grows making Brooklyn quite worried.  Taking it upon herself to research more about “The Secret Garden” and its author, Brooklyn begins to unravel the mystery surrounding it, hopefully before she’s the next one targeted by the killer.
The story was put together well and as this novel is one of a Bibliophile Mystery Series featuring Brooklyn and Derek, I think reading the earlier novels would be helpful.  The characters are well-created and interesting, however, I don’t think that the story itself is one I would care to continue reading.
Connie for b2b

Spotlight on Bob Van Laerhove and …

bvl tbrBOUDELAIRE’S REVENGE

BOOK BLURB: It is 1870, and Paris is in turmoil.

As the social and political turbulence of the Franco-Prussian War roils the city, workers starve to death while aristocrats seek refuge in orgies and seances. The Parisians are trapped like rats in their beautiful city but a series of gruesome murders captures their fascination and distracts them from the realities of war. The killer leaves lines from the recently deceased Charles Baudelaire’s controversial anthology Les Fleurs du Mal on each corpse, written in the poet’s exact handwriting. Commissioner Lefevre, a lover of poetry and a veteran of the Algerian war, is on the case, and his investigation is a thrilling, intoxicating journey into the sinister side of human nature, bringing to mind the brooding and tense atmosphere of Patrick Susskind’s Perfume. Did Baudelaire rise from the grave? Did he truly die in the first place? The plot dramatically appears to extend as far as the court of the Emperor Napoleon III.

A vivid, intelligent, and intense historical crime novel that offers up some shocking revelations about sexual mores in 19th century France, this superb mystery illuminates the shadow life of one of the greatest names in poetry.

BUY LINKS: Amazon / B&N

GIVEAWAY: 2 print copies/ 2 Winners!

US/Canada only.

bobvanlaerhovenAUTHOR BIO: Bob Van Laerhoven has written more than thirty books in Holland and Belgium.

Bob Van Laerhoven became a full-time author in 1991. The context of his stories isn’t invented behind his desk, rather it is rooted in personal experience. As a freelance travel writer, for example, he explored conflicts and trouble-spots across the globe from the early 1990s to 2005. Echoes of his experiences on the road also trickle through in his novels. Somalia, Liberia, Sudan, Gaza, Iran, Iraq, Myanmar… to name but a few.

During the Bosnian war, Van Laerhoven spent part of 1992 in the besieged city of Sarajevo. Three years later he was working for MSF – Doctors without frontiers – in the Bosnian city of Tuzla during the NATO bombings. At that moment the refugees arrived from the Muslim enclave of Srebrenica. Van Laerhoven was the first writer from the Low Countries to be given the chance to speak to the refugees. His conversations resulted in a travel book: Srebrenica. Getuigen van massamoord – Srebrenica. Testimony to a Mass Murder. The book denounces the rape and torture of the Muslim population of this Bosnian-Serbian enclave and is based on first-hand testimonies. He also concludes that mass murders took place, an idea that was questioned at the time but later proven accurate.

All these experiences contribute to Bob Van Laerhoven’s rich and commendable oeuvre, an oeuvre that typifies him as the versatile author of novels, travel stories, books for young adults, theatre pieces, biographies, poetry, non-fiction, letters, columns, articles… He is also a prize-winning author:  in 2007 he won the Hercule Poirot Prize for best thriller of the year with his novel De Wraak van Baudelaire – Baudelaire’s Revenge.

For more information please visit Bob Van Laerhoven’s website. You can also connect with him on Facebook and Twitter.

Baudelaire's Revenge_Tour Banner_FINAL

‘The Wife, The Maid, and The Mistress’ by Ariel Lawhon

al twtmatmSTORY: A tantalizing reimagining of a scandalous mystery that rocked the nation in 1930-Justice Joseph Crater’s infamous disappearance-as seen through the eyes of the three women who knew him best.

They say behind every great man, there’s a woman. In this case, there are three. Stella Crater, the judge’s wife, is the picture of propriety draped in long pearls and the latest Chanel. Ritzi, a leggy showgirl with Broadway aspirations, thinks moonlighting in the judge’s bed is the quickest way off the chorus line. Maria Simon, the dutiful maid, has the judge to thank for her husband’s recent promotion to detective in the NYPD. Meanwhile, Crater is equally indebted to Tammany Hall leaders and the city’s most notorious gangster, Owney “The Killer” Madden.

On a sultry summer night, as rumors circulate about the judge’s involvement in wide-scale political corruption, the Honorable Joseph Crater steps into a cab and disappears without a trace. Or does he?

After 39 years of necessary duplicity, Stella Crater is finally ready to reveal what she knows. Sliding into a plush leather banquette at Club Abbey, the site of many absinthe-soaked affairs and the judge’s favorite watering hole back in the day, Stella orders two whiskeys on the rocks-one for her and one in honor of her missing husband. Stirring the ice cubes in the lowball glass, Stella begins to tell a tale-of greed, lust, and deceit. As the novel unfolds and the women slyly break out of their prescribed roles, it becomes clear that each knows more than she has initially let on.

With a layered intensity and prose as effervescent as the bubbly that flows every night, The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress is a wickedly entertaining historical mystery that will transport readers to a bygone era with tipsy spins through subterranean jazz clubs and backstage dressing rooms. But beneath the Art Deco skyline and amid the intoxicating smell of smoke and whiskey, the question of why Judge Crater disappeared lingers seductively until a twist in the very last pages.

REVIEW: This well-known story is one that is new to me.  I was not familiar with the disappearance of Judge Joseph Crater in August 1930 but I soon became captivated by the story.  Followers of the TV show, “Boardwalk,” would probably enjoy this novel.

During this time period, there was a lot of corruption surrounding gangsters, law enforcement officials and a group called Tammany Hall.  When Judge Crater went missing, there were three women in his life who had direct association with him and could have been his killer.  

Crater’s wife, Stella, knew he was a ladies man but spends much of her time at her summer home in Maine.  Their maid, Maria, keeps the home in New York clean and was privy to some of the shady dealings in the judge’s life.  In addition, his girlfriend, Ritzi, a showgirl, was the last person to see him alive.

The story switches back and forth among these three women and the events leading up to Crater’s disappearance and afterward.  Combined with documented facts plus the author’s supposition of what might have happened has put together an interesting puzzle that keeps the reader guessing to the end.

If you like a good mystery and are interested in the gangster life in New York in the 1930’s, this would be a good read for you.  I enjoyed it and liked how the author put a personal face to each of the women involved in this riddle.

Here is the Wikipedia background of this famous story:  

Connie for b2b

‘The Earl in My Bed’ by Sophie Jordan

sj teimbSTORY: Intended for one man…

All her life, everyone assumed Paget Ellsworth, the vicar’s daughter, would marry the Earl of Winningham’s youngest son. And when he left for war with his older brother, Jamie, words and promises were not necessary. She would wait.

But destined for another…

Four years pass, and the death of his father forces Jamie home to take up the reins as the new earl, leaving his brother fighting on the front lines a world away. Maddening, infuriating, sexy Jamie makes Paget question her feelings. One glimpse, one word from him awakens desire in her heart. When a simple kiss spirals out of control at the annual Valentine’s Day ball, she realizes the man she never wanted is the man she needs…but will Paget cast aside all she’s ever thought to be true to win the man of her dreams?

REVIEW: This is a short andsweet story, obviously meant for Valentine’s Day reading, but really might be read anytime in between.

If you haven’t read the Forgotten Princesses series, don’t despair. It’s written in a way so it can stand alone.I liked this story for the pure joy of watching these two very different people come to realization that love and passion can be found with most unexpected people.

It’s a poignant story of friendship as well, and some regrets, but mostly, this is a story of love. Ms. Jordan does a great job of telling this tale in full, regardless of the length constraints within the novella.

If you’ve never read this author, this is a perfect read for you to find out if she’s someone you may want to invest your time and money in. I’m a long time fan, and this little gem proves once more that someone like her can still make me sigh and cry no matter how long or short the story is.

I highly recommend it to everyone that loves a well told, sweet, smart and heartwarming story.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

‘Written in My Own Heart’s Blood’ by Diana Gabaldon

dg wimohbSTORY: WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART’S BLOOD is the eighth novel in the world-famous OUTLANDER series. In June of 1778, the world turns upside-down. The British army withdraws from Philadelphia, George Washington prepares to move from Valley Forge in pursuit, and Jamie Fraser comes back from the dead to discover that his best friend has married Jamie’s wife. The ninth Earl of Ellesmere discovers to his horror that he is in fact the illegitimate son of the newly-resurrected Jamie Fraser (a rebel _and_ a Scottish criminal!) and Jamie’s nephew Ian Murray discovers that his new-found cousin has an eye for Ian’s Quaker betrothed.
Meanwhile, Claire Fraser deals with an asthmatic duke, Benedict Arnold, and the fear that one of her husbands may have murdered the other. And in the 20th century, Jamie and Claire’s daughter Brianna is thinking that things are probably easier in the 18th century: her son has been kidnapped, her husband has disappeared into the past, and she’s facing a vicious criminal with nothing but a stapler in her hand. Fortunately, her daughter has a miniature cricket bat and her mother’s pragmatism.

The best of historical fiction with a Moebius twist, WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART’S BLOOD weaves the fibers of a family’s life through the tapestry of historical drama.

aoutlander01REVIEW: Here’s the thing. If you’ve read the previous seven books in this series, there’s no way in Hell you’ll take a pass on reading this one. But just in case you’ve never read any of Outlander series of books, I’d advise you to not start with this one and that’s not to say that you might not enjoy it. Far from it!

This novel as the earlier ones, is chock full of plots, dialogue, characters and a pace that you’ll enjoy, because it’s fast when it should be and slow when called for. No. The reason you shouldn’t read this one first is simple. You’ll be lost within the events that were already started in the book before this one. That’s why I recommend you invest your money as well as your time and start off the love affair I’ve had with these books with the first book, Outlander.

If you’re a true Bookworm, you know the one that reads for pure unadulterated pleasure of the written word, you’ll like this book. However, if you’re one of those readers that need a ‘quick fix’ of light, sugar and spice read, you’ll never enjoy any of these books. And that’s okay. Live and let live. Different strokes for different folks, I say. I do think though, that you would be missing on one epic story of true love and what a marriage to that love is all about, and let me tell you, that’s the one reason I keep coming back to this series.

This book, as well as all the others, combines multiple genres [romance, historical fiction, science fiction, mystery and supernatural] to perfection. The characters, relationships as well as the plots are many and complex as they are in real life. The resolutions, as in life, are either resolved or postponed. To some, this may not appeal. We live in the age of instant gratification and reality shows, so a book with deep, honest and prolific writing may be a bit too much to take. Descriptions of battles, leg amputation and tongue surgery, may not be your ‘cuppa’, but those parts are easily skipped, yet why do it? It’s another aspect of this book I enjoyed, because I’d never learn of these subjects unless DG wrote about them. To me, they’re as intriguing as any mystery plot. It is a mystery of our bodies and its role. She even makes those interesting to read about.

***SPOILERS of a SORT, but not REALLY*

Here is what I liked about this story: DG is a master at threading the main plot within the stories and I thoroughly enjoyed all the different threads she gave me in this book.

After five long years, Wee Jemmy’s predicament [in the tunnel] was resolved and Roger & Bree [time travel] surprised me; Jamie, Clare & LBJ [marriage] gave me deep understanding of what real friendship is all about; William and Jane [relationship] had me smile, laugh out loud and cry. And in between, I cried, laughed and cursed!
In the end, it was worth the money, my time and I’m hoping to live long enough to read book #9.

Melanie for b2b

‘Butterfly Palace’ by Colleen Coble

cc bpSTORY: When Lilly Donnelly arrives at the Cutlers’ famed Butterfly Mansion in 1899, the massive house and unfamiliar duties threaten to overwhelm her. Victorian Austin is lavish, highly political, and intimidating, but with the help of the other servants, Lilly resolves to prove herself to her new employers.

Then, while serving at an elegant dinner party, Lilly recognizes one distinguished guest as Andrew, the love of her life, who abandoned her without a word back home. He seems to have assumed a new identity and refuses to acknowledge her, leaving her confused and reeling.

Before Lilly can absorb this unwelcome news, she’s attacked. Could it be the sinister Servant Girl Killer who has been terrorizing Austin? Or is it someone after something more personal–someone from her past?

Does she dare trust Andrew to help or is he part of the danger threatening to draw Lilly into its vortex?

REVIEW: The year is 1904 and Lily Donaldson is a young woman now alone in the world after having lost her father in a fire and her mother a couple of years later after an illness. The man she was in love with, Andy Hawkins, was the son of a blacksmith whose father also perished in the same fire as her own father. Andy disappeared right after the fire leaving Lily alone and heartbroken. Now, she has taken the step to move to Austin Texas to work as a kitchen maid in the huge home of the Marshall family known as Butterfly Palace. When she arrives, her good work is soon noticed by Belle, the spoiled and temperamental niece of Mr. Everett Marshall, and she soon becomes Belle’s maid. As Belle is Mr. Marshall’s sole heir, he is wanting to find a good husband for her.

When Lily sees Andy attending a social function at the Marshall home, she is shocked. He is now known as Drew Hawkes and has grown into a very handsome and well-spoken man. He notices her as well and quietly tells her that he is now part of the government tracking a ring of counterfeiters. Still angry with him for deserting her, she does her best to avoid him. At the same time, a number of young blonde working women have been found murdered and the police are on a hunt for the Servant Girl Killer.

Mr. Marshall is nearly obsessed with butterflies and has a huge collection including some very expensive ones he keeps in a locked room. He is also running for the Senate and Drew has discovered there is a plan in afoot to have him assassinated.

The characters and events in this terrific mystery kept me on the edge of my seat. Again, Colleen Coble has written a terrific novel. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and highly recommend it

Connie for b2b

‘Doing It at the Dixie Dew’ by Ruth Moose

rm diatddSTORY: Beth McKenzie’s attempt to turn an old Southern mansion into a Bed and Breakfast called The Dixie Dew is thwarted when her first guest is found dead in bed. Murdered, it turns out. Three days later a young priest is found strangled in his chapel. The whole town of Littleboro is abuzz, and Ossie Delbardo, the town cop whose job heretofore mainly involved  controlling football traffic on Friday nights, is not cut out to solve the murders.

With her barely opened B&B in danger of failing, and aided by her friend from high school and trusty handyman, Beth sets out to discover the truth of the murders. Littleboro has its share of characters, some of which are helpful and others misleading. There’s Crazy Reba who lives in a tree, bathes in any bathtub she finds empty, and dumpster dives; Verna, the town know-it-all and affectionate owner of Robert Redford, a huge white rabbit; and Miss Tempie Merritt, music teacher and organist who always wears hat, gloves, and lace-trimmed white socks. When Beth herself is attacked, there’s no more time for baking muffins and stenciling pineapples on the porch. She’s in a race to uncover her neighbors’ secrets before her hometown becomes her burial ground.

REVIEW: Beth McKenzie is back in the town of Littleboro, North Carolina where she grew up.  Her grandmother passed away after a fall from the stairs leading to her basement.  Beth has inherited her grandmother’s large home and has decided to turn it into a bed-and-breakfast and a tea room. Her grandmother had been a talented caterer during her life and Beth has lots of recipes for yummy treats to serve.  The house is a continual work in progress with the help of Scott, a handsome handyman.

Lavinia Lovingood is a wealthy, elderly lady who spent most of her life in Rome.  She grew up in Littleboro and has come back for a visit and checks into the Dixie Dew.  When she did not come down for breakfast the next morning, Beth discovers her dead on the floor.  Turns out she had been poisoned and the finger of suspicion points to Beth.  The police in the town aren’t helpful, trustworthy or interested in Beth trying to help find the real murderer so she does her own investigating.

The things she finds and the truly eccentric residents of the town will keep you smiling and on the edge of your seat wondering who the real killer is.  This book is more than a cozy mystery because it goes that extra step to give you those chills up your back.

This is the first time I have read any of Ruth Moose’s novels but it won’t be the last.  I’m on a mission to find more.  She’s a very talented author.

Connie for b2b

Copy provided by my library

‘Solsbury Hill’ by  Susan M. Wyler

smw shSTORY: The windswept moors of England, a grand rustic estate, and a love story of one woman caught between two men who love her powerfully—all inspired by Emily Bronte’s beloved classic, Wuthering HeightsSolsbury Hill brings the legend of Catherine and Heathcliff, and that of their mysterious creator herself, into a contemporary love story that unlocks the past.

When a surprise call from a dying aunt brings twenty-something New Yorker Eleanor Abbott to the Yorkshire moors, and the family estate she is about to inherit, she finds a world beyond anything she might have expected. Having left behind an American fiancé, here Eleanor meets Meadowscarp MacLeod—a young man who challenges and changes her. Here too she encounters the presence of Bronte herself and discovers a family legacy they may share.

With winds powerful enough to carve stone and bend trees, the moors are another world where time and space work differently. Remanants of the past are just around a craggy, windswept corner. For Eleanor, this means ancestors and a devastating romantic history that bears on her own life, on the history of the novel Wuthering Heights, and on the destinies of all who live in its shadow.

REVIEW: Eleanor Abbott is finally realizing success with her own business in New York when she receives a call from the family estate in the Yorkshire moors that her aunt is seriously ill and is asking her to travel to see her while she is still alive. Certain that she won’t be gone long, she agrees and arrives to find a large estate on the moors. Her aunt is so happy to see her and Eleanor is happy to be able to talk about her late mother, sister of her aunt. As her aunt is bedridden and very weak, she busies herself exploring the estate and walking the moors.

She meets Meadowscarp (Mead) Macloed who lives there and cares for the estate. They strike up a friendship as he teaches her about the estate and the surrounding area. She learns that she is to inherit the estate when her aunt passes and is not sure whether she wants to stay there or return to her life in New York. Her long time boyfriend in New York has recently cheated on her and she is torn between him and her growing attraction to Mead.

Eleanor encounters ghosts as she walks the moors and concludes they are Heathcliffe and Catherine from Emily Bronte’s book, “Wuthering Heights.”

This book was very difficult to understand and I think the author was pushing very hard to make a plausible story here. However, I give her credit for her story telling and for the wonderful descriptions of Yorkshire.

Connie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by my library.

Robyn DeHart stops by b2b …

rdh ttoajEveryone loves the hero. It’s why most of us pick up the book, something in the hook, a rogue FBI agent or a dashing, but deadly duke and we’re entranced waiting to see how the heroine is going to civilize that bad boy and bring him to his knees. I know for myself when I think of many of my favorite books, those that are on my keeper shelf, it’s because I loved the hero. We read romance for a variety of reasons, but one of the main ones is to fall in love again. We love that rush of emotion that we got when we met and fell in love with our husbands. Reading about wonderful heroes reminds us of those reasons and we get to feel all gooey again.

But what about the heroine? It’s a question I ponder a lot primarily because in this hero-driven genre, I happen to be a heroine-driven writer. That doesn’t mean I don’t do a ton of work creating my heroes, I do but even in writing a hero focused series like the Legend Hunters, the core of the story is found in the heart of the heroine and her emotional journey. It’s just part of the way I approach writing, just the way I’m made as a writer, I suppose. Even if the idea I get is hero-focused, the book doesn’t come into view, doesn’t come together for me until I know who his lady love is and what makes her tick. The way I look at it, no matter how amazing he is, if she’s not worthy of his time, then he looks a bit of his attractiveness.

Consider the movie Kate and Leopold, it was charming and cute, but the prime reason I don’t own thismovies-kate-and-leopard[1] movie and that I don’t stop my channel surfing when I run across it is because of Kate. Now I love Meg Ryan, so that’s not the problem. No, the problem is in her character, she’s not likeable, there’s nothing I see in her that makes me care about her so it’s unbelievable to me that the Hugh Jackman character would actually fall in love with her. I think this is the same reason I’m not a huge fan of the Twilight series, as yummy as the guys are in those books, I just don’t find Bella compelling enough to buy having those hot guys so totally devoted to her.

In The Temptations of Anna Jacobs we have Drew Foster, the brother of the Duke of Carrington from The Secrets of Mia Danvers. Now for those of you who’ve read that first book in the series may be asking yourself how in the world is Drew going to become a hero. He’s pretty nasty in book one. He’s a drunkard, he’s crude, he’s inappropriate to the heroine, Mia, and he’s ultimately arrested for the Jack the Ripper crimes. I never really set out to write one of those heroes that you have to redeem. Those kinds of heroes are awesome to read about, but that’s not really something I’d be drawn too as a writer. Perhaps the notion of redemption is too intimidating.

But there I was stuck with Drew, the alcoholic and murder suspect. How do you fix that? Well, my answer came in the form of Anna Jacobs, a kind-hearted girl bucking the system (or society’s expectations) by going to medical school. She brings the light back into Drew’s world and he falls hard and when he does it’s a pure and strong love that you have no doubt will last forever.

So how about you, as a reader do you pay much attention to the heroines or are you just in it for the hot hero? Name a villain redeemed that you accepted as a hero.

 BUY The Temptations of Anna Jacobs here:

Kindle | Nook | iBooks | Kobo | 

 

Robyn DeHartAUTHOR BIO: A life-long love of stories and adventure, it was either become a stuntwoman for the movies or live out those adventures from the safety of her PJ’s and computer. Award-winning author, Robyn DeHart chose the latter and couldn’t be happier for doing so.

Known for her unique plotlines and authentic characters, Robyn is a favorite among readers and reviewers. Publishers’ Weekly claims her writing to be “comical and sexy” while the Chicago Tribune dubs her “wonderfully entertaining.”

Robyn is an award-winning author as well as being a four-time RT Bookclub Reviewers’ Choice award nominee, and a three-time RomCon Reader’s Crown nominee. Robyn lives in Texas with her brainy husband, two precocious little girls and two spoiled cats. You can find Robyn on-line at her website or at one of her group blogs, the Jaunty Quills or Peanut Butter on the Keyboard.