<i>The Amish Bride of Ice Mountain</i>: Excerpt The Amish Bride of Ice Mountain: Excerpt Kelly Long "Ach, he’s so formal, maybe he’ll not attempt a kiss at all…" <i>Flaming Hot</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Flaming Hot: Exclusive Excerpt Lynn LaFleur "He tilted his head the other direction and kissed her again..." <i>Slow Hand</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Slow Hand: Exclusive Excerpt Victoria Vane "Nikki closed her eyes and parted her lips on a sigh of surrender..." <i>Maybe This Christmas</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Maybe This Christmas: Exclusive Excerpt Sarah Morgan "She tried to walk past him but lost her balance and fell against his chest..."
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Wed
Oct 15 2014 3:00pm

Dysfunctional Parents in Romance Novels from Robb, Quick, Walker, and More

The Last Breath by Kimberly BellePlenty of people joke about how dysfunctional their family is. For others, it is no joke at all, but a sad reality.

Romance novels examine this issue by looking at how coming from a tough home situation influences a hero or heroine and their love story. The shelves are full of books such as Mary Balogh’s A Precious Jewel, which shows the near crippling impact of a cruel, autocratic father and a seductive step-mother on the vulnerable hero. Others examine the high cost of having an alcoholic parent, such as Susan Elizabeth Phillips’s Natural Born Charmer. In Sweet Everlasting by Patricia Gaffney, the heroine’s father is physically and sexually abusive. The parents of the heroines of Jeannie Lin’s The Jade Temptress and The Lotus Palace sold them into prostitution. Even when the abuse isn’t horrific as that mentioned above a parent who is hyper-critical of their child can affect their self-confidence and ability to form strong relationships such as the parents of the heroine in Jennifer Cruise’s Bet Me.

Dysfunction isn’t always about direct abuse, though; sometimes the actions parents take against others can have a lasting impact on a child’s life. Perhaps the strongest of these impacts comes from having a parent who's killed. Whether they kill within the family, such as a dad killing a mom or step-mom or they are found guilty of killing others, the child forever wrestles with questions of tainted blood, guilt and that lost feeling of losing a parent even when they are still living. They also have to bear the shame and humiliation of being known as a murderer’s offspring.

Gia Andrew’s from Kimberly Belle’s The Last Breath has long known what the community thinks of her family.

[Not exactly held in high esteem...]

Wed
Jun 25 2014 6:57pm

J.D. Robb’s In Death Series Optioned for Film!

Ready for some big news, In Death fans? Amber Entertainment announced on Monday that it has acquired the film rights to the series!

Here's their tweet, which links to an announcement on J.D. Robb's official Facebook fan page:

Naturally, the fandom exploded, so Robb herself (a.k.a. Nora Roberts) took to her blog to clarify several points, including the fact that while the rights have been sold, this does not guarantee a movie will be made. (The project is in the very early stages of development, and as film buffs know, many projects do not make it all the way into production, let alone theaters. In those situations, if/when the option runs out, the rights revert back to the author/publisher/rights holder.)

Here are a few more excerpts from Robb's post (or read the full blog entry here):

I’ve met face-to-face with the producer, twice. She has not only read the books, she gets them–and the characters. I’ve turned down option offers before, for this series and for my other work because I didn’t feel it was a good fit. This feels like one.

Will it be? No absolute guarantee, but I have to trust my instincts.

...

Will the movie be an exact reproduction of the book? Again, no. It can’t possibly be. It’s based on the novel, translated from the novel to the screen, interpreted by a director, a cinematographer, a screenwriter, and far from least of all, by actors. Both the producer and I agree the film must, absolutely must, remain true to the core of the book and the characters. But yes, some things will be left out, some things will change in order to make the shift from page to screen.

...

I’m not in charge of casting–I wouldn’t know where to begin. But again, I’ll have input. Actors act, and a really good actor becomes the role. Gregory Peck became Atticus Finch, Anthony Hopkins Hannibal Lector. For me Tom Cruise became Lestat, Michelle Williams Marilyn Monroe, Jennifer Lawrence became Katniss (and Mystique!) That’s what I’m looking for when the time comes–actors who can make me believe–as their creator–they’re the characters.

What are your thoughts on a possible Naked in Death movie? Who would you like to see cast as Lt. Eve Dallas and her billionaire hubby Roarke if the project gets to that stage?

Want more? Check out all of our J.D. Robb and In Death coverage here and stay tuned for more news as we get it!

h/t to Anne Marie Tallberg for the links!

Thu
Apr 17 2014 2:00pm

10 Things I’ve Learned from J.D. Robb’s In Death Series

Concealed in Death by J.D. RobbWhen I first started reading J.D. Robb's In Death series, there were maybe just six books written in the series, and I had happened to pick up the second book. I loved it and went back the following week and bought all of the books available at that time. And have bought every one in the series since then. I love the world Robb has created, but what keeps me coming back is the characters. I adore the main and recurring characters in that series. I think of them as old friends. I actually miss them between books! The series does more than entertain; it can teach you, if you let it. Below are the top ten life lessons I’ve gleaned from the In Death series.

*Note: Beware of mild SPOILERS if you have not read the majority of the series*

1. Compromise really is the key to a successful relationship

At the beginning of the series, Eve is a no-nonsense cop with no tolerance for criminals. Roarke is a wealthy businessman with a dubious past and a healthy disdain for rules and authority, including the police. Over the series, Eve has strayed slightly from the straight and narrow and Roarke has become less shady. The compromise from them both has helped to strengthen their bond.

[Take a page out of Eve's book(s)...]

Mon
Mar 17 2014 12:10pm

Getting Your Irish Up: Irish Romance from Roberts, Heyer, and More!

Irish Thoroughbred by Nora RobertsWhether it’s a mystery with romantic elements, a historical, or a contemporary, commonalities persist when the story takes place in Ireland. An exploration of Irish romances shows that there’s often nostalgia and an old-world charm in the way Ireland is depicted.

Nora Roberts has written many best-sellers with Irish settings and/or Irish characters. According to her website, “In the summer of that year [1980], Silhouette bought Nora’s first book. Irish Thoroughbred was published in 1981.” Here’s a description of the story.

“COME TO AMERICA. YOUR HOME IS WITH ME NOW.” Adelia Cunnane's uncle had written her. So Adelia had left Ireland to join him on what he had described as the finest horse farm in Maryland. Adelia agreed with her uncle about the farm. But what should she think about its owner, Travis Grant? She knew that he could master his strongest horse. She had seen his eyes soften at the birth of a foal. Yet his lips on hers demanded a submission that she was not yet ready to give — at least not until he had spoken the words she had to hear.

And away we go! Nora lays down some themes we see over and over in Irish-based romance. Ireland is the land of horses, horse breeders, horse trainers, and the Irish racing fraternity. The Irish fan out all over the world, bringing their equine expertise to farms, ranches, and race courses. Next, there are Irish families: always close, even if a son or a sister emigrated to England or America decades earlier. Confidence in their abilities is a hallmark of an Irish character. Lastly, they don’t love lightly or fall easily. Particularly when it comes to an Irish colleen, the hero who hopes to win her love had better put a ring on it.

There’s more to Irish romance than gorgeous equine beauties and extended families. For every book or trope I suggest, I hope you’ll return with a thousand more (exaggeration, another charming Irish trait!).

[But seriously, we'll take them all...]

Mon
Feb 17 2014 4:30pm

First Look: J.D. Robb’s Concealed in Death (February 18, 2014)

Concealed in Death by J.D. RobbJ.D. Robb
Concealed in Death
Putnam Adult / February 18, 2014 / $27.95 print, $11.99 digital

In a decrepit, long-empty New York building, Lieutenant Eve Dallas’s husband begins the demolition process by swinging a sledgehammer into a wall. When the dust clears, there are two skeletons wrapped in plastic behind it. He summons his wife immediately—and by the time she’s done with the crime scene, there are twelve murders to be solved.

The place once housed a makeshift shelter for troubled teenagers, back in the mid-2040s, and Eve tracks down the people who ran it. Between their recollections and the work of the force’s new forensic anthropologist, Eve begins to put names and faces to the remains. They are all young girls. A tattooed tough girl who dealt in illegal drugs. The runaway daughter of a pair of well-to-do doctors. They all had their stories. And they all lost their chance for a better life.

Then Eve discovers a connection between the victims and someone she knows. And she grows even more determined to reveal the secrets of the place that was called The Sanctuary—and the evil concealed in one human heart.

J.D. Robb (a.k.a. Nora Roberts) has given us such dynamic characters in her In Death series, featuring the ass-kicking, killer catching, Lt. Eve Dallas of the NYPSD, and her multi-billionaire husband, Roarke. Since this series began, this pair have lived their lives far from their very impoverished and harsh beginnings.

[What's ahead for Eve and Roarke?...]

Mon
Nov 4 2013 2:45pm

Power Couples: Eve and Roarke, Mac and Barrons, and More!

Thankless in Death by J.D. RobbRomance readers are in the age of the billionaire and young, virginal, innocent heroine—many of the books being published now have a power imbalance between the hero and heroine. It is common for our hero to be powerful, rich, irresistible, seductive and a bit of a jerk. Don’t get me wrong; I love the alphahole as much as the next girl and you will never see me turning down one of those books. But isn’t it nice when you are able to find a book where the hero and heroine are equal in power? Where they are equal in influence and status? I have found a couple of examples of couples where both the man and woman are nothing to mess with.

Eve and Roarke (In Death series by J.D. Robb) — We have heard many times over that Roarke owns most of the known universe in the In Death series, but Eve is no slouch, either. She is a NYPSD detective and recently has been offered more. Both came from rough beginnings and changed their lives for the better; Eve made herself into the best cop around and Roarke made himself a lot of money. While no one can question the overriding influence of money, Eve has had a book and a movie written about her. She has taken down so of the most heinous criminals and managed to marry the hero too. ;)

[+ 3 more power couples...]

Fri
Sep 13 2013 2:00pm

First Look: J.D. Robb’s Thankless in Death (September 17, 2013)

Thankless in Death by J.D. RobbJ.D. Robb
Thankless in Death
Putnam Adult / September 17, 2013 / $27.95 print, $14.99 digital

Lieutenant Eve Dallas has plenty to be grateful for this season. Hosting Roarke’s big Irish family for the holiday may be challenging, but it’s a joyful improvement on her own dark childhood.

Other couples aren’t as lucky as Eve and Roarke. The Reinholds, for example, are lying in their home stabbed and bludgeoned almost beyond recognition. Those who knew them are stunned—and heartbroken by the evidence that they were murdered by their own son. Twenty-six-year-old Jerry hadn’t made a great impression on the bosses who fired him or the girlfriend who dumped him—but they didn’t think he was capable of this.

Turns out Jerry is not only capable of brutality but taking a liking to it. With the money he’s stolen from his parents and a long list of grievances, he intends to finally make his mark on the world. Eve and her team already know the who, how, and why of this murder. What they need to pinpoint is where Jerry’s going to strike next.

With fall approaching and the holidays soon upon us, we have something else to be thankful for—J.D. Robb's Thankless in Death, the latest investigation featuring Robb's police officer, Lt. Eve Dallas. Even if someone's feeling thankless, we ourselves are thankful for the talent of J.D. Robb (a/k/a Nora Roberts) in creating such memorable characters both in our investigating team and some pretty twisted and creative bad guys (although spoiled-brat-turned-killer, Jerry Reinhold, doesn’t appreciate his parents, his girlfriend, his friends or the luck that keeps him one close step ahead of Dallas and her team).

[He does sound pretty ungrateful...]