Author Interview: Rose Gordon

Great interview! Stop by and say hi!

Romance Reader Girl

Hi Readers, I am excited to have Rose Gordon on the blog today. I have read many of her historical romances, and they are some of my favorites.

RRG:What made you decide to write historical romance?
RG: You know the old saying, “Write what you know”? This is what I knew. It was what I’d read the most of and I have an unhealthy obsession with history. I think it’d be wonderful to live back then and wear those fancy dresses and have someone else do all the housework. However, I’d certainly miss modern plumbing…

RRG:Is there a genre you’d like to try but haven’t yet?
RG: No. When I take it in my mind to write a story in a different genre, I usually do it because even if the genre doesn’t appeal to anyone else, I’ll never be able to say I tried and failed if…

View original post 664 more words

‘Love in the Library’ by Cheryl Bolen

litl cbSTORY: The Beauty and the Scholar…

Certain the “smart” Steffington twin is the person who can help her recover her late husband’s nearly priceless stolen Chaucer manuscript, Catherine Bexley tearfully persuades the scholar to assist her. A deal is struck. She’s particularly pleased that the Doctor of Letters is not interested in seducing her because she’s finished with men (owing to her late husband’s multitude of unfortunate alliances with… doxies). Regaining the manuscript and its subsequent sale will give her independence to ensure she never has to marry again.

Once he learns the poor, delicate widow is in danger of losing her heavily mortgaged home if they cannot find the valuable hologram, Dr. Melvin Steffington vows to do everything in his power to restore the rare Canterbury Tales to her. It’s obvious the pretty little thing needs a man to help her. Not normally the twin to take note of pretty little things, Melvin can’t help but to observe that Mrs. Bexley’s physical appearance is much like the beauties so admired by his twin brother.

He hadn’t counted on the fact he would have to pose as her husband as they race against the banker’s ticking clock. He hadn’t counted on the mysterious thief attempting to kill him. Most of all, he hadn’t counted on how close he would become to the lovely widow or how the kissing of said widow would become the most pleasant experience in his entire seven and twenty years…

REVIEW: Mrs. Catherine Bexley, at the young age of 27, is just out of mourning for her husband.  He left her a home which is nice and comfortable.  He also left her a truly valuable possession that has just been stolen.  It is a 400-year old early edition of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, one of only 3 in existence.  Unfortunately, her husband did not manage their money well and this book was to be Catherine’s nest egg that she could sell and be able to live a comfortable life.  Now that it is gone, she faces losing her home.

Twins, Elvin and Melvin Steffington are identical in looks but extremely different in personalities.  At the age of 27, first-born, Sir Elvin, is a Baronet and second born, Melvin, while being just a Mr. is extremely intelligent and has achieved his Doctor of Letters.  As he must earn his living, his goal is to work in a private library.  Elvin is a bit of a “lie-abed” man about town while Melvin is a man whose nose is always in a book and knows nothing about women.

The Steffington twins are good friends with Mrs. Bexley, and when she confides in Melvin about the loss of the Chaucer, they agree that he will help her try to find it.  She will then sell it and give him a percentage of the sale for helping her find it.  So, off they go on adventures in search of places where they think it might be.

As a thorn in her side, the extremely rich, yet obnoxiously boring braggart, Lord Longford, is constantly around trying to court Mrs. Bexley.

The relationship between Melvin and Catherine is just adorable.  Melvin is such an innocent that I simply wanted to give him a hug.  The comical parts of this book will have the reader chuckling often.  I would like to add that while I’m not a prude, I found it so refreshing to read a really good novel for a change that is what I call “clean.”  It’s truly representative of the time period.  I have not had the opportunity to read Cheryl Bolen’s novels before, but I can honestly say that she has risen high up on my list of favorite authors!

This is book #5 in The Brides of Bath series and is available today.

*Connie for b2b.

*ARC provided by the author.

‘Harvest of Rubies’ by Tessa Afshar

HOR TASTORY: The prophet Nehemiah’s cousin can speak numerous languages, keep complex accounts, write on rolls of parchment and tablets of clay, and solve great mysteries. There is only one problem: she is a woman.

In her early childhood years, Sarah experienced the death of her mother and her father’s subsequent emotional distance and she came to two conclusions: that God does not care about her, and that her accomplishments are the measure of her worth – the measure of her self.

Sarah, the talented scribe and cousin to Nehemiah, is catapulted into the center of the Persian court, working too many hours, rubbing elbows with royalty, and solving intrigues for the Queen. Ironically, it isn’t failure but success that causes Sarah to lose her only source of external validation.

Sarah soon learns that she has something of worth to offer beyond her ability with languages and sums – her very being proves to be a blessing to others.

REVIEW: After I read ‘A Pearl in the Sand’ by Tessa Afshar, I knew that she had a very unique way of bringing Bible stories to the masses, and with this story she has permanently taken space in my heart and my Keeper shelf. She is never ‘preachy’ or overly religious in her telling. I felt, for a lack of a better word, ‘safe’ as she seamlessly weaves historical and fictional characters with Bible’s passages.

Sarah, to me, was a very complex, interesting and unequivocally unique character for her times. She was not your average woman and that in itself was a blessing and a curse.

Darius however, at least to me, was what every wealthy man of his time was expected to be, arrogant and filled with self-importance, but also a man who wanted love and trust from his wife.

I enjoyed all facets of this historical and biblical fiction mostly because it was well researched and the fictional love story within was handled with care and much realism.

Lesson learned in this wonderful tale is: what we envisioned for ourselves probably is not what God had envisioned for us, but ultimately, He’s our Father who knows what’s best for us.

To all that are considering reading this tale, be aware that Sarah and Darius’ story has a sequel in ‘Harvest of Gold’, which I loved too.

*Melanie for b2b.

*Book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

‘Harvest of Gold’ by Tessa Afshar

HOG TASTORY: The scribe Sarah married Darius, and at times she feels as if she has married the Persian aristocracy, too. There is another point she did not count on in her marriage-Sarah has grown to love her husband. Sarah has wealth, property, honor, and power, but her husband’s love still seems unattainable.

Although his mother was an Israelite, Darius remains skeptical that his Jewish wife is the right choice for him, particularly when she conspires with her cousin Nehemiah to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Ordered to assist in the effort, the couple begins a journey to the homeland of his mother’s people. Will the road filled with danger, conflict, and surprising memories, help Darius to see the hand of God at work in his life-and even in his marriage?

A hidden message, treachery, opposition, and a God-given success, will lead to an unlikely bounty.

REVIEW: I must say that if I haven’t read ‘Harvest of Rubies’ first, this story would have not been as enjoyable, so I highly recommend you read it first. Sarah and Darius’s story begins with that book and to understand it better, you need to know its beginning.

This beautiful tale is not just for all of those that are fans of Biblical fiction. It’s a tale for everyone who enjoys a well told story of  times past, women that lived in them and loved their people and their men.

In ‘Harvest of Gold’ we continue to follow the marriage of Sarah and Darius as they build upon it. These were some complex characters and times in which they lived, so I didn’t envy either the characters or Ms. Afshar’s telling of their tale.

There were times I was frustrated with both, but in the end this well-written, well-researched book won me over with its time period, its secret plots, and perfect pace.

*Melanie for b2b.

*Book provided by publisher through NetGalley.

‘Bride for a Knight’ by Sue-Ellen Welfonder

BFAK SEWSTORY: On the eve of his return to BaldreaganCastle, Highlander Jamie Macpherson cannot believe his eyes: a golden-haired beauty haloed in the moonlight of St. Bride’s glade, so delicate and fair she can only be a faerie. With his desire rising like a wave, the knight longs to see her again. The next time is even more surprising: Aveline Matheson is the flesh-and-blood bride of his arranged marriage, a woman eager to discover the pleasures of wedded bliss. And woe to those who would stop their lovemaking!

Yet danger threatens the newlyweds. Jamie’s darkest foe has already murdered his brothers and now threatens to destroy every Macpherson. But the enemy hasn’t counted on one thing: Jamie will do whatever he must to keep his bride alive and in his arms forever…

REVIEW: This was a re-read for me and one of my favorite stories by Sue-Ellen Welfonder. Jamie Macpherson and Aveline Matheson have been calling to me for some time now and I answered their call.

The Western Highlands, 1325-

Jaimie is the 10th son of Monro, one of the lessor Highland Chieftains. His mother died birthing him which sent Munro into a deep depression. He named his son Jamie of the Heather saying it was where he was spawned and where he would return when he was old enough.

1347-

Aveline’s father, Alan Mor Matheson wants her to marry Jamie to make sure the future and fortune of Clan Matheson. Her older sister, Sorcha, was to have married Jamie’s older brother, Niall, who was killed along with the other 8 brothers when a bridge collapsed. Alan wants to keep the alliance with this new marriage agreement.

Sir Kenneth MacKenzie is Jamie’s liege lord. It’s here that he learns of the deaths of his brothers. He is shaken to the core. Jamie heads home with his aged dog Cuillin, a gift from his brother Niall years before, to see to his father and to stop and visit Alan Matheson about the alliance and marriage. Everyone is saying Munro had gone mad over the loss of his sons. Jamie thinks his father hates him and his feelings are all over the place about what he will find when he arrives home.

This starts the adventure that Jamie and Aveline must take to find their happiness and love. It not only is about a love sweeter than ever and full of passion but their journey is smack full of treachery and pain. Someone is out to hurt Munro and Jamie means to see it put to an end. There are ghosts and mysteries to uncover along the way. Through all the heartache and anger that have accumulated over the years comes an understanding that all things aren’t as they seem….that love and acceptance are there for all who open their hearts along with their eyes.

*Leah for b2b

‘Better Off Without Him’ by Dee Ernst

BOWH DESTORY: Mona Berman is an expert at Happily Ever After – after all, she’s a best-selling Romance writer and happy endings are what she does best. So when her husband of twenty years leaves her for somebody 15 years younger, 30 pounds lighter, and French, she’s got a lot of adjusting to do, both personally and professionally.

Lucky for her she’s got three savvy teen daughters, a few good friends, and Ben, the world’s sexiest plumber, to help her along the way. First she decides that her next book will be the anti-romance – her heroine finds the best part of her life AFTER getting dumped. Next her daughters tell her she needs to start practice dating, and summer at the Jersey shore is the perfect place for that.

She’s also juggling her soon-to-be-ex, a loony aunt, and a match-making neighbor, while Ben is sending her romance-driven imagination into overdrive. Can Mona’s life imitate art? Can she write her own happy ending?(

REVIEW: Mona (Quincy) Berman is a wife, mother and very successful romance novelist who writes under the name, Maura VanWhalen.  After a typical morning of herding her three young teenage daughters off to school, her husband, Brian, returns home to tell her that he is leaving her for Dominique, his assistant.  Completely dumbfounded, Mona calls a couple of her good friends to console her and soon the word has spread throughout the family.

Trying to pull herself out of her pity-party, Mona realizes how strong she truly is and how Brian has literally never participated in keeping the house going and in raising the girls.  She gets back into her writing as she has a book due soon and decides to change the theme of the book from a romance to one that somewhat mirrors her current situation.  Knowing this theme will be a challenge, she really works hard to get the book written.

Ah, but her lack of sex is starting to drive her nuts so she decides to find a “practice buddy” to help her through this “dry period.”  The guys she meets are all great characters and the one she ends up with is a “truly meant to be.”

I cannot tell you the number of times I was nearly rolling in the floor with laughter reading this book.  Funny, Funny, Funny!!  You have to read it and since Mona is an author, I think even romance authors would love it, especially with the discussions of the life of an author.  This is a really terrific novel!!

*Connie for b2b.

‘The Scandal in Kissing an Heir’ by Sophie Barnes

TSIKAH SBSTORY: He is the next Marquis of Wolvington…
She is a lady with nothing but beauty and wits…
Together they share a forbidden kiss.

Lady Rebecca is determined to find a husband on her own terms, rather than marry any of the aging suitors her greedy aunt and uncle foist upon her. Her chance comes at the Kingsborough Ball, where she meets several potential grooms…yet no one compares to the dangerously handsome Daniel Neville.

Daniel Neville, notorious rake and heir to the Marquis of Wolvington, is in need of a bride, but finding a lady who’s willing to accept his past, is an entirely different matter. When he spies a stunning woman across the ballroom, Daniel believes he’s found her…until scandal erupts around them. How can he convince Rebecca to take a chance on him…and on the love that could be theirs forever after?

REVIEW: Lady Rebecca has spent the last two years locked up in her room pretending to be mad so that she can avoid marrying one of the two old men her aunt and uncle are pushing on her. She manages to escape from her room and attends the Kingsborough Masquerade Ball hoping to meet a young gentleman. With her black hair, unusual bronzed skin and dressed in a gorgeous red dress, she has immediately taken the eye of many eligible men.

Daniel Neville, Marquess of Wolvington, has just been given some very sobering news from his uncle. His days of being a devil-may-care rake are over. It is time for him to settle down and take a wife and he has one month to carry this out . So when he spots Lady Rebecca across the room, he is entranced with her.

They enjoy a fun repartee that results in them eloping to Gretna Green and agreeing to a marriage of convenience so Rebecca can escape marriage to one of the lecherous men chosen for her, and Daniel can satisfy his uncle’s demand that he marry right away.

Their eloping results in them being ostracized by the ton. When Daniel finds out that his uncle is cutting off his funds due to this embarrassment, he seeks ways to make money to support Rebecca refusing to use her dowry money. In addition, Lord Grover who had wanted to marry Rebecca and get her into his bed is livid at losing her and is out for revenge. When Daniel is shot and almost dies, he and Rebecca concoct a scheme to trap Lord Grover and see that he pays for his crime.

This was a well-written novel that shows the reader how a man can change from a rake to one whose newly found love can change him to a responsible man. As with all of Sophie Barnes’ books, I enjoyed this one immensely and look forward to reading the next book in the series entitled “The Trouble with Being a Duke” (At the Kingsborough Ball”.

*Connie for b2b

*ARC provided by the author.