<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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Showing posts by: Myretta Robens click to see Myretta Robens's profile
Wed
Oct 22 2014 9:30am

First Look: K J Charles’s Flight of Magpies (October 28, 2014)

Flight of Mapgies by KJ CharlesK J Charles
Flight of Magpies
Samhain Publishing / October 28, 2014 / $4.50 digital

Danger in the air. Lovers on the brink.

With the justiciary understaffed, a series of horrifying occult murders to be investigated, and a young student who is flying—literally—off the rails, magical law enforcer Stephen Day is under increasing stress. And his relationship with his aristocratic lover, Lord Crane, is beginning to feel the strain.

Crane chafes at the restrictions of England’s laws, and there’s a worrying development in the blood-and-sex bond he shares with Stephen. A development that makes a sensible man question if they should be together at all.

When a thief strikes at the heart of Crane’s home, a devastating loss brings his closest relationships into bitter conflict—especially his relationship with Stephen. And as old enemies, new enemies, and unexpected enemies paint the lovers into a corner, the pressure threatens to tear them apart.

Less than a year ago I read KJ Charles's The Magpie Lord, the first book in her Charm of Magpies series. This was my first male/male romance and I fell instantly in love. I loved her writing. I loved her characters, I loved the world building. Now I can't get enough of this series, so I was delighted to do a first look on Flight of Magpies, the third book.

For me, the key to any romance is the characters and the Charm of Magpies series has it in spades. By the time we have reached the third book, Stephen Day and Lucien Vaudry have established a solid relationship, although each has his concerns.

[Not trouble in paradise, though, right?]

Wed
Aug 13 2014 4:30pm

First Look: Maggie Robinson’s The Reluctant Governess (August 19, 2014)

Maggie Robinson
The Reluctant Governess  (Ladies Unlaced #3)
Intermix / August 19, 2014 / $4.99 digital

A secretary for the renowned Evensong Agency, Eliza Lawrence may have a pretty face, but she’s much prouder of her mind and her morals. When she’s pressed into temporary governess duty as a favor to her boss, she doesn’t expect to bend one bit for the rakish Nicholas Raeburn. Not even when he opens the door to her half-dressed...

Despite his bad reputation, Nicholas is a man of honor. To Nick’s way of thinking, he doesn’t need any help raising his daughter, Domenica. If only he weren’t so drawn to the meddlesome woman’s sparkling wit and uncommon beauty...

But when an act of misplaced chivalry goes seriously awry, resulting in mayhem and almost murder, Eliza becomes the only woman he can depend upon. Nick will do anything to protect his family, but who will protect him from falling in love with his reluctant governess?

The Reluctant Governess is the third in Maggie Robinson's Ladies Unlaced Series. I heartily recommend them all.  In this one, our heroine is Eliza Lawrence, newly hired as a secretary for the Evensong Agency, which is the locus of all the Ladies Unlaced books. When Nicholas Raeburn, an artist with an “artistic” reputation, and brother of the hero of the preceding book, In the Heart of the Highlander, returns to England in need of a governess for the daughter of his late mistress, whom he assumes is also his, Eliza takes the job until the agency can find a permanent one.

[Temporarily his?]

Fri
Jul 18 2014 9:30am

First Look: Molly O’Keefe’s Between the Sheets (July 29, 2014)

Between the Sheets by Molly O'KeefeMolly O'Keefe
Between the Sheets (Boys of Bishop)
Bantam / July 29, 2014
$7.99 print / $4.99 digital

After years of running, Wyatt Svenson has now parked himself in Bishop, Arkansas, trying to do the right thing and parent a son he didn’t even know he had until recently. Over six feet tall and packed with muscles and power, Ty likes to get his hands dirty, fixing his motorcycle at night and keeping his mind away from the mistakes he’s made. Then his pretty neighbor shows up on his driveway, doesn’t bother to introduce herself, and complains about the noise. First impression? She should loosen up. Funny that she turns out to be his son’s elementary school art teacher—and the only one willing to help his troubled boy. Ty needs her. In more ways than one.
Though Shelby Monroe is safe in her structured life, she is drawn to Ty’s bad-boy edge and rugged sexuality. What if she just lets it all go: her worries about her mother, her fear of heartbreak, and her tight self control? What if she grabs Ty and takes a ride on the wild side? “What if” becomes reality—intense, exhilarating . . . and addictive. But Ty wants more than a secret affair. He wants it all with Shelby. But will she take a chance and open her heart? Ty is determined to convince Shelby to take the biggest risk of her life: on him.

Between the Sheets is the third in Molly O'Keefe's Boys of Bishop series. Before we look at this book, I encourage you to read the entire series, beginning with Wild Child.

I chose to write about Between the Sheets because of its fascinating heroine. Shelby Monroe appears in the first two books of this trilogy, but you never really understand her. It's obvious that she has some underlying problem that keeps her from establishing a lasting relationship, but all we see before this book is Shelby screwing up.

[What makes her tick?]

Sun
Jul 6 2014 12:00pm

Going to the Dogs in Kristan Higgins’s Romance Novels

Catch of the Day by Kristan Higgins **Spoiler Alert: This post may contain some spoilers about Kristan Higgins's books and some of the very cute companions within.**

Sometimes you pick up a book with a dog on the cover and think, “Please God, not another cute romance facilitated by a cute pet,” and put the darned thing back down. This is not what happens with Kristan Higgins books. Granted, her covers all have dogs on them (except for The Next Best Thing—more about that later).

It's obvious that Kristan Higgins loves dogs and they usually play rather prominent roles in her books, but they're not just a cute addition. Kristan Higgins's dogs have a lot to tell us about their owners.  

In Catch of the Day, Higgins's second book, Colonel, a golden retriever, is the heroine's best friend. He's the repository of all her love and the being she turns to for solace.

When the humiliation and grief over Skip threatened to overwhelm me, Colonel would come over and nudge my hand with his nose until I petted him. Or he'd drop a ratty tennis ball at my feet, and if I ignored him, he'd repeat this ten or twelve times until I got the hint. He slept on my bed each night, his big head resting on my stomach as I fought off loneliness and tried to come up with a plan for my adult life.

Maggie's relationship with her dog says so much about Maggie's big heart. Her conversations with Colonel help the reader understand her loneliness. Her friends' grief at Colonel's death help us understand the close friendships she engenders. Colonel is an important piece in understanding Maggie. 

[Oh, Colonel!]

Thu
May 8 2014 4:30pm

Jane Eyre’s Edward Rochester: Hero or Not?

Michael Fassbender as Mr. RochesterEdward Rochester is nothing if not divisive. I spent last weekend harassing Megan Frampton about whether Edward Rochester (the ostensible hero of Jane Eyre) is actually heroic. We disagree. However, to do justice to a book that I read repeatedly during my teenage years, I present the five reasons Rochester is a hero, as well as the five reasons he is not. You decide.

Yes—Of course he's a hero:

5. Edward Rochester keeps his wife in the attic. What? You don't think that's heroic? Have you considered the alternative? What would life be like for poor Bertha Rochester in a Victorian insane asylum? Rochester at least has the grace to see that his wife is well cared for.

4. Edward Rochester is tortured. This doesn't necessarily make him a hero, but it makes him appealing in a heroic way. We find we can often forgive a man for past mistakes if he is tortured by them.

3. Edward Rochester is kind. He has taken in Adele, the child of a former paramour, and given her a home without even being convinced she's his.

[He's at least the hero of his own story...]

Mon
Mar 17 2014 4:33pm

Behind Closed Doors: The Romance of Kristan Higgins’s Fade-to-Black Scenes

Fools Rush In by Kristan Higgins

Sexy doesn't necessarily have to include explicit sex. In my opinion, some of the sexiest writing in modern romance occurs before and after the actual act. No one does this better than Kristan Higgins.  In fact, I read two or three of her early novels before I realized that she shuts the bedroom door in the readers' faces. It works for me, and I'd like to take you on a journey through some of my favorite love scenes.

In Higgins's first book, Fools Rush In, Millie Barnes finally admits that the man she loves is not the fantasy she'd been chasing, but her sister's ex-husband.

Because I had known Sam all my life, I knew his goodness and kindness and I knew that I loved him with all my heart, and really, why on earth should we wait?
“I love you, Millie,” he whispered, tucking a strand of hair behind my hear, and I actually felt dizzy at the words.
“I love you, too,” I breathed.
And I disentangled myself from his arms, stood up and led him down the hall. To bed.

There you have it.  The first love scene between Millie and Sam.  You don't get to see the sex, but you just know it was great.

[Imaginations rule!]

Thu
Jan 9 2014 3:15pm

Lost Senses Awakened: Judith Kinghorn’s The Memory of Lost Senses

The Memory of Lost Senses by Judith KinghornThe Memory of Lost Senses is my first Judith Kinghorn book. It won't be my last.  This book tells the overlapping stories  of two women, Cecily and Cora. Cecily Chadwick's story begins in 1911, when Cora, a mysterious countess with (possibly) at least three former husbands, moves into the neighborhood with her handsome grandson.  

It takes a while for the two intertwining plots (Cecily's and Cora's) to get going, but the language in this book is so beautiful that the wait is no hardship.

We start with Cecily, at a cricket match on a summer afternoon and about to meet Jack (the handsome grandson).

In the middle of the green the yellowing grass turned to molten silver, the players blurring into the pool of liquefied metal: like a mirage, Cecily thought. Only a few wore white flannels, the majority were in their usual working clothes, with shirtsleeves rolled back and braces exposed. And beyond them, at the other side of the field, clear and solid, and dazzlingly white, stood Bramley's new pavilion.

The scene is set for Cecily and Jack's first meeting and you can almost feel summer and sense the mirage-like effect of the heat.

[Yes, yes, we could use some heat...]

Mon
Dec 16 2013 3:00pm

10 Things I Learned from Jane Austen

Jane Austen portrait by Cassandra AustenI have spent most of my adult life with Jane Austen, whose birthday is today, and she has taught me a great deal about life in general. Oddly, a lot of it has nothing to do with Fitzwilliam Darcy.  

1) Derive satisfaction from your wardrobe.

“Next week [I] shall begin my operations on my hat, on which you know my principal hopes of happiness depend.”

Jane Austen to Cassandra Austen on October 27, 1798

2) Take enjoyment from being an aunt while you can.

“I give you joy of our new nephew, and hope if he ever comes to be hanged it will not be till we are too old to care about it.”

Jane Austen to Cassandra Austen on April 25, 1811

“I shall think with tenderness and delight on his beautiful and smiling countenance and interesting manner, until a few years have turned him into an ungovernable, ungracious fellow.

Jane Austen to Cassandra Austen on October 27, 1798

[More excellent advice this way...]

Fri
Dec 13 2013 3:30pm

It’s Impossible Not to Love Him: 6 Reasons Mr. Impossible’s Rupert Carsington Is My Imaginary Boyfriend

Mr. Impossible by Loretta ChaseLoretta Chase has provided me with many imaginary boyfriends. Surprisingly, Dain from Lord of Scoundrels was not my type, but I did fall in love with his friend Vere Mallory, the Duke of Ainswood, in The Last Hellion.

As much as I still love Vere, I'm afraid that his place in my heart has been usurped by Rupert Carsington, hero of Mr. Impossible. And here's why:

1) He's rich, or rather his family is rich, and his father, the Earl of Hargate, loves his sons enough not to let them starve. In fact, if Rupert marries well but not wealthily, I suspect his father would see to it that he's set up for a comfortable life.  (Damn you, Daphne). I know this is a pitifully superficial reason to choose a boyfriend, but a girl has to live well.

2) He's up for anything. Do you need a big, brawny Englishman to accompany you down the Nile to retrieve your kidnapped brother? Although he knows nothing about Egyptian customs, Rupert's game. Take him along.

[This list is just getting started...]

Tue
Dec 3 2013 10:30am

First Look: Karen Doornebos’s Undressing Mr. Darcy (December 3, 2013)

Undressing Mr. Darcy by Karen Doornebos

Karen Doornebos
Undressing Mr. Darcy
Berkley Trade / December 3, 2013/ $9.49 print / $7.99 digital

Thirty-five-year-old American social media master Vanessa Roberts lives her thoroughly modern life with aplomb. So when her elderly Jane Austen–centric aunt needs her to take on the public relations for Julian Chancellor, a very private man from England who’s written a book called My Year as Mr. Darcy, Vanessa agrees. But she’s not “excessively diverted,” as Jane Austen would say.

Hardbound books, teacups, and quill pens fly in the face of her e-reader, coffee, and smartphone…

…Until she sees Julian take his tight breeches off for his Undressing Mr. Darcy show, an educational “striptease” down to his drawers to promote his book and help save his crumbling estate. The public relations expert suddenly realizes things have gotten…personal. But can this old-fashioned man claim her heart without so much as a GPS? It will take three festivals filled with Austen fans, a trip to England, an old frenemy, and a flirtatious pirate re-enactor to find out…Thirty-five-year-old American social media master Vanessa Roberts lives her thoroughly modern life with aplomb. So when her elderly Jane Austen–centric aunt needs her to take on the public relations for Julian Chancellor, a very private man from England who’s written a book called My Year as Mr. Darcy, Vanessa agrees. But she’s not “excessively diverted,” as Jane Austen would say.

Undressing Mr. Darcy by Karen Doornebos is a love story between the heroine, Vanessa Roberts, and...wait for it...Jane Austen. Yes, there's a hero and a not-so-much-a-hero in the book. There's the heroine's beloved aunt (a rabid Janeite, naturally) and her aunt's belated but true love. But this story is really about a modern woman who had deliberately eschewed learning about Jane Austen, learning to love her.

[Getting to know her...]

Tue
Oct 29 2013 11:00am

First Look: Kristan Higgins’s The Perfect Match (October 29, 2013)

Kristan Higgins
The Perfect Match 
Harlequin HQN / October 29, 2013 / $4.79 print, $6.15 digital

What if the perfect match is a perfect surprise?

Honor Holland has just been unceremoniously rejected by her lifelong crush. And now—a mere three weeks later—Mr. Perfect is engaged to her best friend. But resilient, reliable Honor is going to pick herself up, dust herself off and get back out there…or she would if dating in Manningsport, New York, population 715, wasn't easier said than done.

Charming, handsome British professor Tom Barlow just wants to do right by his unofficial stepson, Charlie, but his visa is about to expire. Now Tom must either get a green card or leave the States—and leave Charlie behind.

In a moment of impulsiveness, Honor agrees to help Tom with a marriage of convenience—and make her ex jealous in the process. But juggling a fiancé, hiding out from her former best friend and managing her job at the family vineyard isn't easy. And as sparks start to fly between Honor and Tom, they might discover that their pretend relationship is far too perfect to be anything but true love….

Kristan Higgins's The Perfect Match takes us back to Manningsport, New York, where we met Faith and Levi in The Best Man. In this book, our heroine is Faith's older sister, Honor, thirty-five and single, who has just been to the doctor and told that her eggs are starting to decline and is soon thereafter dumped by the man she thought she loved.

[But her luck's about to change...]

Tue
Oct 1 2013 1:30pm

10 Regency Romances You Should Read (An Opinionated Opinion)

Lord of Scoundrels  by Loretta ChaseTo follow Megan's example, I have chosen ten seminal Regency Romances for you. These are not my top ten best Regencies but books that have had an impact on the genre. In fact, if I were trying to convert a reader to Regency Romance there are one or two here I would not recommend. And believe me, it was not easy to hold this to ten.

10. Judith McNaught,  Whitney My Love

This is a love it or hate it book (I hated it). Here at Heroes & Heartbreakers people have both loved it  and hated it.  Regardless of your response, however,  it’s a book that elicits strong reactions and is a classic example of the 1980s “bodice ripper.” If you're going to talk about the evolution of Historical Romance, you should probably include this book. 

9. Stephanie Laurens, Devil's Bride

The first of Stephanie Laurens's Cynster Books (and, in my opinion, the best) is a first-rate example of the sexually insatiable alpha hero. Of course, Devil Cynster is also totally irresistible so any priapism is immediately forgiven. Published in 1998, this was the precursor of many, many hot Historicals.

[Are you up on your classic Regencies?...]

Thu
Jun 20 2013 10:45am

Top Five Bluestocking Romances from Chase, Ashworth, Ivory, and More!

Breaking Up of the Blue Stocking Club by Rowlandston

Let's start right out with the basics. The Oxford English Dictionary defines bluestocking as “Of, belonging, or relating to a series of assemblies or salons held c. 1750 by a group of London society ladies, notable for the informal dress worn by the male attendees and for the intellectual conversation engaged in by women and men equally.” It goes on to say that “The term blue stocking was originally a non-pejorative nickname, but was later used to connote the excessively feminine literariness or intellectualism seen as characterizing these gatherings.”

[Excessively feminine literariness sounds like a good thing!...]

Wed
Mar 27 2013 2:00pm

Light and Dark: The Shades of Connie Brockway

Bridal Favors by Connie Brockway

It's a rare delight to find an author with a wide tonal range. Frequently, I can pick up a book by a beloved author and know that I'll find something light and fun. When I want something a little darker, with a bit more angst, I'll reach for another author. But occasionally an author can handle both ends of the spectrum with style and grace. Connie Brockway is one such author. She has written some of my favorite light-hearted Historicals and has also written the deeply angsty All Through the Night. She pretty much covers the range in between but today I'd like to talk about the extremes.

All Through the Night, published in 1997, is a dark historical romance (quite literally, as much of it takes place after sundown). The hero, Col. Jack Seward, was rescued from a workhouse by his mentor and trained to be a weapon, doing his mentor's bidding in service of the government. The heroine, Anne Wilder, while the widow of a nobleman, was the daughter of a thief and learned well at her father's knee.

At the other end of the spectrum, we have The Bridal Season, published in 2001. Our hero in this is Elliot March, a war hero who is now the local magistrate in the small town of Little Bidewell where the heroine, Letty Potts, a music hall entertainer and former con artist, arrives impersonating Lady Agatha, a Victorian wedding planner who has been hired to manage the wedding of a local girl to a marquess.

Let's compare some scenes.

[Spot the differences!...]

Thu
Feb 28 2013 5:30pm

First Look: Simone St. James’s An Inquiry into Love and Death (March 5, 2013)

An Inquiry into Love and Death by Simone St. James

Simone St. James
An Inquiry into Love and Death
NAL Trade / March 5, 2013 / $10.99 print, $9.99 digital

In 1920's England, a young woman searches for the truth behind her uncle’s mysterious death in a town haunted by a restless ghost…

Oxford student Jillian Leigh works day and night to keep up with her studies—so to leave at the beginning of the term is next to impossible. But after her uncle Toby, a renowned ghost hunter, is killed in a fall off a cliff, she must drive to the seaside village of Rothewell to pack up his belongings.

Almost immediately, unsettling incidents—a book left in a cold stove, a gate swinging open on its own—escalate into terrifying events that convince Jillian an angry spirit is trying to enter the house. Is it Walking John, the two-hundred-year-old ghost who haunts Blood Moon Bay? And who beside the ghost is roaming the local woods at night? If Toby uncovered something sinister, was his death no accident?

The arrival of handsome Scotland Yard inspector Drew Merriken, a former RAF pilot with mysteries of his own, leaves Jillian with more questions than answers—and with the added complication of a powerful, mutual attraction. Even as she suspects someone will do anything to hide the truth, she begins to discover spine-chilling secrets that lie deep within Rothewell…and at the very heart of who she is.

An Inquiry into Love and Death is Simone St. James's  second book and the first that I've read. It won't be the last. This book is outside my normal reading choices on several levels. It's a ghost story, for one, a mystery, and set in the 1920s. And yet, a good book is a good book and there is, of course, a love story.

[All good stories have a love story somewhere!]

Sun
Feb 17 2013 3:00pm

First Look: Kristan Higgins’s The Best Man (February 26, 2013)

The Best Man by Kristan HigginsKristan Higgins
The Best Man
Harlequin HQN / February 26, 2013 / $7.99 print, $6.71 digital

Faith Holland left her hometown after being jilted at the altar. Now a little older and wiser, she's ready to return to the Blue Heron Winery, her family's vineyard, to confront the ghosts of her past, and maybe enjoy a glass of red. After all, there's some great scenery there.... 

Like Levi Cooper, the local police chief—and best friend of her former fiancé. There's a lot about Levi that Faith never noticed, and it's not just those deep green eyes. The only catch is she's having a hard time forgetting that he helped ruin her wedding all those years ago. If she can find a minute amidst all her family drama to stop and smell the rosé, she just might find a reason to stay at Blue Heron, and finish that walk down the aisle.

One thing you can depend upon Kristan Higgins for (aside from a terrific story and not a whole lot of explicit sex) is great settings. In fact, her setting becomes another character in each of her books. The hero and heroine would not be who they are without their town: its geography, its history, its commerce, its people. Because Kristan Higgins is a New England girl, I recognize a lot of the characters in her books, including the towns.

[It's like reuniting with an old friend...]

Fri
Feb 15 2013 1:30pm

Jo Baker’s Longbourn Will Take Pride and Prejudice Belowstairs

Luckington Court

What are we to think of the announcement of Jo Baker's forthcoming book (and possibly film), Longbourn?

The announcement states: “Riffing off the Jane Austen tale, Longbourn will highlight the constant chaos swirling downstairs, the preparation for lavish balls, and the housekeeper’s real thoughts about the family patriarch. But it will also reveal the tragic consequences of the Napoleonic Wars and focus on a romance between a newly arrived footman and a housemaid, the novel’s main characters.”

On the one hand, this seems like a brilliant marketing idea: Pride & Prejudice meets Downton Abbey. How many readers and viewers can you entice with that? Take a look at the posts on this site. Do a Google search on either. They're everywhere (at least in my Internet world) and everyone is talking about them or writing like them or including them in their own world in some way.

[But on the other hand...?]

Tue
Feb 12 2013 10:45am

First Look: Liz Carlyle’s A Bride by Moonlight (February 26, 2013)

A Bride by Moonlight by Liz Carlyle

Liz Carlyle
A Bride by Moonlight
Avon / February 26, 2013 / $7.99 print, $6.64 digital

Royden Napier, Baron Saint-Bryce, is tall, dark, and ruthless—and on the hunt for a dangerous beauty . . .

On the eve of her escape to the Continent, bold, beautiful Lisette Colburne accepts a proposal she dare not refuse: masquerade as the future bride of the steely-eyed Royden Napier and help him solve his most dangerous case. Soon Lisette is in even greater danger—of losing her heart to the one man with the power to destroy her . . .

Estranged from his aristocratic family, the enigmatic Napier has forged a reputation as Scotland Yard's most relentless police commissioner. He's vowed to bring Lisette to justice—but with every forbidden kiss and every tantalizing touch, he finds himself becoming less convinced of her guilt . . . and more certain he must have her. But when danger touches Lisette, can he save her?

I love so many things about Liz Carlyle's  writing: her rich description, her fascinating characters, her sense of humor, her intricate plotting. You get all of that in A Bride by Moonlight, Royden Napier and Elisabeth Colburne's story in the St. James Society series.

This book revolves around a mystery (or two—possibly three). Reading it is like playing an enjoyable game of Clue.

[Who could resist?...]

Mon
Jan 28 2013 11:30am

Pride & Prejudice 200 Years Later

Pemberley Shades by Dorothea Bonavia-Hunt

On January 28, 1813,  publisher Thomas Egerton released Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice. In the 200 years since, this single novel has become a sizable industry, spawning not only repeated reprints of the original and foreign language editions (the first French edition of Pride & Prejudice was published the same year as the book's debut) but thousands (yes, thousands) of  novels based on the book and even more web-based fan fiction, not to mention children's books, comic books, annotated editions, picture books, movies, television mini-series, spoofs (both written and filmed), and YouTube videos.

Rather than reel off numbers, let's take a look at some examples of what Jane Austen hath wrought.

It's hard to draw the line between fan fiction and sequels or retellings, but I guess we'll use whether or not the work in question has been published and is for sale. I'm afraid that, otherwise, it's not always possible to make the distinction. When I first engaged with Janeites online, Pride & Prejudice fan fiction was rampant. We still have remnants of those halcyon days at The Republic of Pemberly Bits of Ivory Archive. And it's still going strong at other sites like The Derbyshire Writers' Guild. Some of these “inspired-by” stories have been quite good (and some not).

[You win some, you lose some...]

Thu
Jan 3 2013 10:30am

Torn Between Two Lovers: Picking Out the Hero

The Lady of Secrets by Susan Carroll

In my First Look on Susan Carroll's The Lady of Secrets ,  I talked about the fact that, in the beginning of the book, it was not possible to tell which of the two men introduced in the first chapter was the hero, although it was obvious that one of them was. [SPOILER ALERT!]

It is not unusual to find two men vying for the heroine's attention but it is less likely that you won't be able to pick out the hero pretty early on. In The Lady of Secrets I really thought that Sir Patrick Graham with the sad eyes would end up with Meg, our Lady of Secrets. It turns out I was wrong. Meg's preference for the less-refined Armagil Blackwood, foster son of an executioner, becomes apparent after several chapters. And, truth be told, I had the same preference. Sir Patrick turned out to be a more problematic character. You'll have to read the book to get the whole story.

There is closure at the end and both Sir Patrick and Armagil find a measure of peace. And Meg? Here is what Armagil Blackwood has to say as they sail away from England.

“I do love you, Margaret. I thought I should tell you that in case you are still having trouble reading my eyes.”

She placed her hand along his cheek, smiling mistily up at him. “I fear you will always be a difficult man to read. So I am very pleased to hear you say you love me. You should mention it more often.”

“Every day, milady. You may depend upon it.”

[Everything worked out for the best, then...]