This is historical romance author Sonya Heaney’s blog. For information about her books, please visit her website, or one of the links below.
“You will go to the ball.”
And be seduced by a billionaire…
Hotel maid Tabitha is stunned to be gifted a ticket to an elite ball hosted by Greek tycoon Giannis Basinas. It’s meant to be a night of pure luxury. But this untouched Cinderella ends up in Giannis’s bed—utterly pleasured! Making a hasty morning exit out the window, Tabitha expects to return to her ordinary life. Until she discovers her midnight mischief had nine-month consequences!
Lose yourself in this enchanting Cinderella story…
“Fairy tales for adults” is what this Harlequin/Mills and Boon line is all about, and The Greek’s Pregnant Cinderella goes one step further by actually making this a (steamy) Cinderella retelling.
I won’t lie: I’m not the biggest fan of pregnancy storylines, but the gorgeous blue dress on the cover won me over. I read this book on a trip to and from Sydney, and it was exactly the entertainment I wanted to break up the journey.
Packed full of popular tropes, and with all the elements a fairy tale retelling should have, I’m glad I picked it up.
Naturally, with the Cinderella storyline featuring some over-the-top nasty female characters, you are also going to get that here. However, because of the precedent, I – someone who hates negative stereotyping of women more than any other trope – was willing to forgive it. I also appreciated that the “bad” women were balanced out with plenty of nice women.
I liked the way everything came together, and while the alpha male characters in this line can be a bit too cruel, I do think the issues between hero and heroine resolved themselves well here.
Also appreciated was that the downtrodden heroine really came into her own at the end.
Finally, I loved that the hero’s Santorini house. I stayed in something similar (but much, much smaller!) when I was there, and the whole feel of the place was well-described.
Review copy provided by NetGalley.
We’re getting scarily close to being halfway through the year! I have so much to do, and no time to do it.
I handed in my manuscript on Friday, after a few rounds of edits. I think I’m owed some champagne! Yesterday I had another read through my contract to see what I’m actually allowed to do when it comes to sharing excerpts etc., so hopefully I’ll be able to do some of that soon.
I’d been reading Brynn Kelly‘s international, French Foreign Legion-themed romantic suspense books, and got to thinking: now I’ve read those, who else writes amazingly-researched, suspense-heavy military romance?
The obvious answer: Kaylea Cross.
Gunship pilot Captain Candace Bradford has worked long and hard to earn her rank and position within the male-dominated world of Air Force Special Operations. She’s not about to let anything or anyone jeopardise that, let alone one sinfully tempting man who seems determined to cause her nothing but trouble. Even if she’s starting to fall for him.
As an elite Combat Controller, Staff Sergeant Ryan Wentworth is used to overcoming adversity in order to complete a mission. Breaking through Candace’s prickly exterior and into her heart is a challenge he can’t let go. But just when he’s begun to gain her trust, they’re thrown together in the field facing an overwhelming enemy force.
Candace and Ryan find themselves on the run, searching the skies for an emergency extraction. But one dangerous enemy has an agenda in mind and he’ll use whatever means necessary to achieve it, including using American forces to do his dirty work.
My attempts to get back into urban fantasy and paranormal romance this year have so far been to reread old favourites.
Patricia Briggs is amazing. Her Mercy Thompson series is a little more in the urban fantasy realm, and Alpha and Omega is a little more paranormal romance (but the romance is still subtle).
These are still my favourite werewolf books; Briggs knows her world inside-out.
Despite the listing, I thinking nobody – NOBODY – should read this one without reading the introductory novella first, where main characters Charles and Anna meet and become mates.
I have a slight problem with the “nasty blonde” secondary character, but Briggs also gives her some complexity, so she gets away with my #1 pet hate – just.
If I’m going to be reintroduced to all things paranormal, this is a good way to start.
Cry Wolf (Alpha and Omega #1) by Patricia Briggs
Anna never knew werewolves existed, until the night she survived a violent attack… and became one herself. After three years at the bottom of the pack, she’d learned to keep her head down and never, ever trust dominant males. Then Charles Cornick, the enforcer—and son—of the leader of the North American werewolves, came into her life.
Charles insists that not only is Anna his mate, but she is also a rare and valued Omega wolf. And it is Anna’s inner strength and calming presence that will prove invaluable as she and Charles go on the hunt in search of a rogue werewolf—a creature bound in magic so dark that it could threaten all of the pack.
It is recommended you read the prequel “Alpha & Omega” before reading Cry Wolf.
Note: I am featuring some of the review books I’ve had for a while, but run out of time to do a review for. That’s not to say I’m not going to read them; it’s just that I’ve fallen behind, and think the authors deserve an appearance here!
Ever since Emma read Pride and Prejudice, she’s been in love with Mr Darcy and has regarded Jane Austen as the expert on all things romantic. So naturally when Emma falls for Blake Hampton and he invites her home to meet his parents, she is positive an engagement is in her future. After all, Blake is a single man in possession of a good fortune, and thus must be in want of a wife.
But when it turns out that what Blake actually wants is more of a hook-up than a honeymoon, Emma is hurt, betrayed, and furious. She throws herself deeper into her work as CMO of Kinetics, the fastest growing gym franchise in the nation. She loves her work, and she’s good at it, which is why she bristles when her boss brings in a consultant to help her spearhead the new facilities on the East Coast. Her frustration turns to shock when that consultant turns out to be Blake’s younger brother, Lucas.
Emma is determined not to fall for Lucas, but as she gets to know him, she realises that Lucas is nothing like his brother. He is kind and attentive and spends his time and money caring for the less fortunate.
What she can’t understand is why Lucas continues to try to push her back into Blake’s arms when he so clearly has fallen as hard for her as she has fallen for him. It isn’t until Lucas reveals to Emma that he was adopted into the Hampton family that she begins to understand his loyalty to Blake as well as his devotion to the child April-she is Lucas’s biological niece.
Emma opens up to Lucas about the feelings of abandonment she has harboured ever since she was a child and her mother left the family. As she helps Lucas deal with his past demons, she is able to exorcise some of her own.
Realising that her love life is as complicated as anything Jane Austen could have dreamed up, Emma must find a way to let Blake know that it’s time for him to let her go and to let Lucas know it’s time for him to love her back.
Here are a couple of images from the day-long 50th anniversary commemorations for the Battle of Binh Ba in Canberra on Thursday, which were broadcast live on TV. (If you’re an avid war history fan, you can still watch the whole thing online!)
The first one shows the Minister for Veterans and Defence on the left, and Vietnam veterans from the official party on the right. My father is the veteran in the centre. It was SO sunny that we were all blinded and melting by the end, despite it being the first week of winter!
The second image is from the Last Post ceremony at the Australian War Memorial the same evening. The ceremony was dedicated to Binh Ba veterans in general, and to the sole Australian killed in the fighting in particular. (There was also a British D-Day veteran present.) Afterwards, veterans and their families were lined up for a photograph – I’m one of the dots on the left of the picture!
We had a formal dinner that night. You don’t know what it’s like to party until you’ve done it with Vietnam veterans! We overstayed our welcome in the ballroom, were moved up to the rooftop bar – and then overstayed our welcome there!
I now have a high-resolution, un-watermarked cover for my upcoming book to show you. I love it, and I think it really represents the story.
Here’s what my book is about:
New South Wales, 1885
When Alice Ryan wakes to find thugs surrounding her cottage, on the hunt for her no-good brother, she escapes into the surrounding bush.
It is wealthy landowner Robert Farrer who finds her the next morning, dishevelled, injured, and utterly unwilling to share what she knows. With criminals on the loose and rumours that reckless bushrangers have returned to the area, Robert is determined to keep Alice out of danger, and insists on taking her into his home-despite the scandal it may cause. Convincing her to stay on with him for her own safety, however, is going to take some work.
What Robert doesn’t expect is his growing attraction to the forthright, unruly woman staying in his home. Before either of them can settle into their odd new situation, their home and wellbeing come under threat and they will need to trust each other to survive. But they are both keeping secrets, secrets that have the potential to ruin their burgeoning love, their livelihood … and their lives.
Here are some preorder links:
And here it is!
Everyone in Australia: at 2pm tomorrow the 50th anniversary commemorations for the Battle of Binh Ba – a major battle in the Vietnam War – are going to be broadcast live on television from Canberra, and then repeated the day after.
My father has played a huge part in organising this event, and hundreds of soldiers, past and present, are flying in to participate. My parents are in the official party, and will be obvious on TV, and I’ll be sitting… somewhere…! We’ve all been too busy to finalise this.
Afterwards, there’s a function at the Australian War Memorial, and then there’s a huge dinner tomorrow night, and I’ll be staying at the hotel in the city, because there’s just so much going on!
Never Underestimate the Power of F*ck It
It’s the motto I live by, and it’s what made me the Navy SEAL I am today. I’ve learned the less you care, the better. But when I wake up in a hospital in India with no memory of the last few months, I’m at a loss. Everything points to me being involved with some dangerous people.
People who kidnapped my little sister’s best friend Charlotte—who’s haunted my dreams, and now is making my reality a living hell.
I can’t remember what I’ve supposedly done, or who’s trying to kill us. All I know is that I have to find Charlotte and get us both out of this mess alive.
Only I hadn’t counted on Charlotte having her own agenda…
This is a quick read that’s part of a series, but the author promises can be read as a standalone. However, I’ve seen other reviewers mention a person will get much more out of the story by reading them in order (this is book three).
One thing that won’t appeal to all readers of adult (as in, not YA or NA) romances: Resurgent is written in the first person.
Is amnesia making a comeback as a theme? This book uses the trope, and it’s the first one I’ve come across in years that does. However, I have seen at least one editor recently requesting amnesia manuscripts. Everything old is new again…
Because of its length, this is a fast-paced book (appreciated in the romantic suspense genre), and I do think because of that, reading in order is preferable so that you know the characters better.
The series seems to have a devoted following, but I must admit I prefer books about the over-twenty-fives to be written in third person.
Review copy provided by NetGalley.
I have a cover for my book! I can’t share it yet, but it’s FANTASTIC, and I keep randomly opening the file to look at it. I had to fill in a multi-page cover brief to give the designer an idea about what to do, and I was cautiously optimistic, but it is SO much better than I could have hoped for.
The last day of autumn in Canberra.
So, now it’s winter in Australia. However, we’re still having such beautiful days.
The coming week is A BIG ONE for me. The Battle of Binh Ba 50th anniversary commemorations are going to take up all of my time (the 6th of June is the big day), so any plans to write/read/blog won’t happen. I know it’s the same date as the D-Day commemorations, but this battle was much more significant for the Australian military.
Binh Ba was one of Australia’s iconic battles in the Vietnam War, and my family is heavily involved in all aspects of the anniversary. (I know “iconic” is a bad choice of word, but I don’t know how else to describe it.) My father is one of the organisers of the whole thing – obviously, he fought in the battle – and I am going to have a chance to talk with the man who won a Military Cross for Binh Ba, a man whose book I am currently helping to write.
I am actually “moving into” a hotel here in Canberra for the duration of the events.