<i>Since I Saw You</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Since I Saw You: Exclusive Excerpt Beth Kery "If he knew anything, he knew how to read a woman’s body..." <i>Laugh</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Laugh: Exclusive Excerpt Mary Ann Rivers "He wanted to take her someplace quiet and kiss her and get his hands... under that orange dress" H&H Reads <i>A Breath of Scandal</i> (6 of 6) H&H Reads A Breath of Scandal (6 of 6) Elizabeth Essex Are you ready to be reckless? Join us for the FINAL installment of the H&H Reads A Breath of Scandal <i>Uncensored Passion</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Uncensored Passion: Exclusive Excerpt Bobbi Cole Meyer "Kayla wrapped her arms around his strong neck and hugged him close."
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April 24, 2014
Anticipating Laura London’s The Windflower
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April 23, 2014
Best Reads of April 2014
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April 23, 2014
Jennifer Crusie’s Various Temptations
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April 22, 2014
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When Authors Mess with the HEA
Tori Benson
Showing posts by: Myretta Robens click to see Myretta Robens's profile
Mon
Mar 17 2014 4:33pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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...]

Thu
Dec 13 2012 7:00pm

Christmas with Holly poster

It's probably no secret that I'm a huge Lisa Kleypas fan, so when Lisa Kleypas announced that Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor was to be adapted for television by Hallmark Hall of Fame as Christmas with Holly, I was filled with equal parts excitement and trepidation. Who doesn't want to see a favorite novel on the screen? How many of us have done fantasy casting of J.D. Robb's In Death books and how many of us think that Colin Firth was exactly the right man to play Fitzwilliam Darcy in Pride & Prejudice? Then again, how many of us cringed watching Gary Oldman and Demi Moore take on The Scarlet Letter (how many of us even got to the travesty of an ending)? You get my point.

When I first saw pictures of the cast, I was a little taken aback. Yes, I'm one of those people who visualizes heroines and heroes (and heartbreakers) in my mind. And, being a woman of a certain age, I frequently visualize them as older than they probably should be. So Mark and Maggie in Christmas with Holly initially looked like babies to me. I mostly got over this, because they really did look like the right type and, when I finally saw the movie, had the necessary chemistry in spades. One obstacle disposed of.

[Onto the next...]

Sun
Dec 9 2012 3:00pm

The Lady of Secrets by Susan Carroll

Susan Carroll
The Lady of Secrets
Ballantine Books / December 11, 2012 / $10.20 print, $9.99 digital

Queen Catherine de Medici is dead, and for Meg Wolfe—successor in a line of legendary healers and mystics known as “daughters of the earth”—it is a time of new beginnings. She strives to be ordinary, invisible in the mists of Faire Isle, and is determined to put the terrifying days of a wicked mother and turbulent childhood behind her. But soon a summons from King James will rekindle a menacing power from the past, bringing haunting visions of a nightmare already unfolding—and a shattering mystery steeped in magic that will determine a destiny from which she cannot hide.

Meg’s task: Save the king from the most insidious form of treachery, invisible to those who do not possess Meg’s extraordinary gifts. But as Meg discovers, there are more sinister motivations at play in the king’s world. Torn between two very different men whose motives and secrets are tied inexorably to her own fate, Meg learns that she can no longer trust anyone or anything—not even her own heart.

In Susan Carroll's The Lady of Secrets, we finally get the story of Margaret Wolfe, whom we first met in The Silver Rose (published in 2006), when she was a young girl with extraordinary powers, being manipulated by her evil mother. Many years have past and the former Silver Rose is now Margaret Wolfe, Lady of Faire Isle, striving to live a quiet unobtrusive existence.

[But when does that happen in Romancelandia?...]

Wed
Nov 21 2012 10:30am

The Importance of Being Wicked by Miranda NevilleMiranda Neville
The Importance of Being Wicked
Avon  / November 27, 2012 / $7.99 print, $4.99 digital

The rules of society don't apply to Caro and her coterie of bold men and daring women. But when passions flare, even the strongest will surrender to the law of love . . .

Thomas, Duke of Castleton, has every intention of wedding a prim and proper heiress. That is, until he sets eyes on the heiress's cousin, easily the least proper woman he's ever met. His devotion to family duty is no defense against the red-headed vixen whose greatest asset seems to be a talent for trouble . . .

Caroline Townsend has no patience for the oh-so-suitable (and boring) men of the ton. So when the handsome but stuffy duke arrives at her doorstep, she decides to put him to the test. But her scandalous exploits awaken a desire in Thomas he never knew he had. Suddenly Caro finds herself falling for this most proper duke…while Thomas discovers there's a great deal of fun in a little bit of wickedness.

In The Importance of Being Wicked, Miranda Neville has created two engaging characters who are the perfect foils for one another. Widowed Caroline Townsend,  part of a rather fast, artistic set in London, is chaperoning her wealthy cousin who is being courted by the oh-so-correct Duke of Castleton, a match highly desired by both the cousin's family and the duke's.

[And then Caroline happens...]

Wed
Oct 24 2012 2:30pm

’Twas the Night After Christmas by Sabrina Jeffries

Sabrina Jeffries
'Twas the Night After Christmas
Gallery Books / October 30, 2012 / $11.75 print, $9.99 digital

Dear Sir,

. . . I feel I should inform you that your mother is very ill. If you wish to see her before it is too late, you should come at once.

Sincerely,
Mrs. Camilla Stuart

Pierce Waverly, the Earl of Devonmont, has led an unabashed rogue’s life, letting no woman near his heart. Inexplicably abandoned as a child to be raised by distant relatives, he never forgave his parents, refusing to read any of his mother’s letters after his father’s death. Then came a letter that shook his resolve. A Christmas visit to Montcliff might prove his last chance to discover the truth of his past, and come to terms with the stranger he calls “Mother.”

But two surprises await him at Montcliff. His mother is perfectly healthy, nowhere near a deathbed, as her meddling lady’s companion led him to believe. The second is Camilla Stuart herself, a lively vicar’s widow, too bright and beautiful not to arouse the scoundrel in Pierce. Though she alone is reason enough to prolong his stay, he is soon faced with other tantalizing riddles: What secrets lie in his mother’s past to explain his childhood abandonment? Why is the captivating Mrs. Stuart so determined to mend the breach between mother and son? Meanwhile,

Camilla herself is caught up in love’s complications since the arrival of the irresistible earl. As his bold flirtation and suggestive whispers draw her dangerously close, can anything protect her vulnerable heart? If they are destined to share real happiness, there must be honesty between them—yet telling him the truth about her own life may shatter that chance.

None of them can predict the startling revelations to come. Or the secrets, both heartening and shocking, divulged between a mother and son, and between two lovers haunted by their respective pasts, that will make Christmas night at Montcliff one to remember—and the glorious night after, one to treasure for a lifetime.

'Twas the Night After Christmas is classic Sabrina Jeffries: rakes, good girls, family misunderstandings, and a heart-warming denouement. The perfect Christmas fare.

[Rakes and good girls! Fun ahead!...]

Wed
Sep 12 2012 10:30am

David GandyOn August 7, H&H asked Which Romance Billionaire Dominates the Competition?  and the overwhelming response was J.D. Robb's Roarke (no first name—it's part of his mystique) from her In Death series.  Although I was not one of the people who posted a response to that question, Roarke was, without a doubt, the first billionaire to sprang to mind. And I'm here to tell you why.

First, some background:  The In Death series began in 1995 with Naked in Death, in which it is 2058 and we are introduced to Eve Dallas, New York City Police Lieutenant, whom we will get to know very well, and Roarke, New York City billionaire, whom Eve will get to know very well. This month,  Delusion in Death, the 35th book in the series, was released. This doesn't count the nine novellas included in anthologies. As you might have noticed, we still wait anxiously for the next in the series.

So, here we go.  The top ten reasons Roarke is the man:

[Roarke or bust!...]