accidental countess (2)

Talking PLAYFUL BRIDES with Valerie Bowman

As the latest in Valerie Bowman’s Playful Brides series, The Accidental Countess beautifully juxtaposes a mischievous ruse played during a house party with devastating emotional consequences. And the deepening romance between Cassandra Monroe and Captain Julian Swift is intensified by a lively supporting cast who practically bounce off the page.   R@R: Cassandra Monroe, your heroine, is reluctant to confide her true feelings to Julian. At the urging of her friend, she adopts the identity of the fictitious “Patience Bunbury,” and under that guise pushes herself to take emotional risks. What would you say are the major differences between Cass and “Patience”? VB: The plot idea is from Oscar Wilde’s fun play, The Importance of Being Earnest. All of my Playful Brides stories are based on famous romp plays! But you’re exactly right, as Continue
An American Duchess

Talking AN AMERICAN DUCHESS with Sharon Page

Today Sharon Page talks to R@R’s Julia Tagan about her novel AN AMERICAN DUCHESS, which publishes today. The story opens in 1922, and New York heiress Zoe Gifford longs for the freedoms promised by the Jazz Age. Headstrong and brazen, but bound by her father’s will to marry before she can access his fortune, Zoe arranges for a brief marriage to Sebastian Hazelton, whose aristocratic British family sorely needs a benefactor.  Once in England, her foolproof plan to wed, inherit and divorce proves more complicated than Zoe had anticipated. RR: Tell us a little about your inspiration for the character of Zoe; she’s a catalyst for change in so many ways. SP: My first idea was to write a romance with a brash American heiress shaking up a staid British duke, but the 1920s is… Continue
julietsnurse

Talking JULIET’S NURSE with Lois Leveen

Today author Lois Leveen talks with R@R about her novel JULIET’S NURSE, a re-telling of Romeo and Juliet told from the perspective of Juliet’s nurse. RR:  Where did the idea of retelling the story from the point of view of Juliet’s nursemaid – one of Shakespeare’s bawdiest and most beloved characters – come from?  I was actually working on another book, or trying to – it just wasn’t coming together – and the title Juliet’s Nurse came smack into my head, totally out of the blue.  I thought, wow, what a great idea, surely someone else has already written that novel.  Or maybe it’s a movie?  So I checked:  no book, no film.  I pulled my copy of Romeo and Juliet off the shelf.  I’m sure I hadn’t read it since high school. … Continue
gameandgoverness

THE GAME AND THE GOVERNESS by Kate Noble

This delightful romp of a story from the RITA Award-nominated author Kate Noble should be devoured in one sitting, if at all possible. The Earl of Ashby, an incorrigible sweetheart who immediately brings to mind the actor Simon Baker from The Mentalist with his lopsided, rakish smile, switches places with his secretary in order to prove that his easy life is due to good luck, not his title. The two wager a bet during a business trip to the town where Ashby was raised. The gambit: each man must win over the heart of a lady. For one man, it’s a silly distraction. For the other, the stakes are serious. Noble drops the two men at the Puffington Arms, home of a hilarious cast of characters ranging from the blow-hard Sir Nathan Widcoate to the… Continue
TheFallofLadyGrace

THE FALL OF GRACE by Julia London

Grace Cabot, Julia London’s latest heroine, is full of surprises. She talks far too much, rarely thinks her schemes through, and in a lesser writer’s hands she’d be a wacky sidekick to the saintly, well-mannered protagonist. Instead, her endearing traits lift her off the page and into our hearts. Desperate to save her family from financial ruin, Grace throws herself upon a suitable marriage prospect. But instead of ensnaring the fun-loving Lord Amherst, she finds herself betrothed, under scandalous circumstances, to his brother Jeffrey, the tortured Earl of Merryton. Cautiously, Grace and Jeffrey begin to get to know each other beyond their fiery hot first encounter, although both have secrets they loathe to reveal. The sexual heat between the newlyweds only intensifies as Jeffrey begins to explore his dark, twisted desires with his beautiful new… Continue
aquestionofclass

Scandal, Society & Historical Romance

I was inspired to write my debut historical romance after a visit to the splendid Morris-Jumel Mansion, located in New York City’s Washington Heights. Imagine an estate from Alabama or Georgia, complete with solid white columns and lush gardens, dropped onto the island of Manhattan, and you’ll get a good idea of the place. Startling, to say the least. But even stranger than the existence of the house was the story of the woman who lived there through the 1800s. Eliza Jumel was born into poverty in Providence, Rhode Island as the daughter of a prostitute, and used her beauty and wit to become the richest woman in New York City by the time of her death in 1865, at the age of 92. It couldn’t have been easy, to say the least. In the… Continue