Joanna Shupe Excerpt: A Daring Arrangement

A Daring Arrangement (The Four Hundred Book #1) by Joanna Shupe

Over the weekend Heroes and Heartbreakers shared an excerpt from Joanna Shupe’s upcoming book: A Daring Arrangement.

This is one of my most anticipated books of 2017, so go and check it out!


To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee taken off Mississippi school reading list

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee taken off Mississippi school reading list.

Article from the weekend:

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee taken off Mississippi school reading list

To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee’s classic novel about racism and the American south, has been removed from a junior-high reading list in a Mississippi school district because the language in the book “makes people uncomfortable”.

The Sun Herald reported that school board Superintendent Arthur McMillan did not answer any questions about the withdrawal. The book has been withdrawn from schools before, in 2016 in Virginia.

The Week: 9th – 15th October

Spring Flowers Canberra Australia Sonya Heaney Oksana Heaney 10th October 2017 Pink Garden Nature 1

Spring Flowers Canberra Australia Sonya Heaney Oksana Heaney 10th October 2017 Pink Garden Nature 2

Spring in Canberra this week.

It seems this was the week the Christmas ads started on television. Maybe not for the US  or Canada, with Halloween and Thanksgiving and all of that, but they did here!

This week marked a month since I returned from Spain. However, on Monday we booked a trip for next year: to Ireland and England, so I’m planning again!

We’ll take advantage of Qatar Airways’ new flights out of Canberra and fly into Dublin (where I lived and worked for a little while), and then travel up to Belfast and spend a few weeks in Northern Ireland. My surname is 100% Northern Irish. Even though I’ve only ever seen Northern Ireland in dreary late-November, I remember it as gorgeous.

After that we’ll fly to Leeds (in England) and then spend a few weeks in the Peak District and Yorkshire before flying home from Manchester. My dream Pride and Prejudice adventure…

The plans were changing for weeks. I still “have” to do a more extensive trip around Wales, and spend more time in Scotland. I also want to visit Cornwall, Devon etc. – I’ve seen quite a lot of the south over the years, but not that part. For a small place, there’s too much to see!

Interview: Rachel Brimble

My review of Pursued for the Viscount’s Vengeance by Sarah Mallory

My review of Ethan’s Daughter: Templeton Cove Stories (Templeton Cove #7) by Rachel Brimble

My review of A Baby for Christmas (Sweet Home Montana Book 2) by Joan Kilby

A Baby for Christmas (Sweet Home Montana Book 2) by Joan Kilby

Britain’s Libraries Week

Romance Books Category Romance

Ethan’s Daughter: Templeton Cove Stories (Templeton Cove #7) by Rachel Brimble

Ethan's Daughter Templeton Cove Stories (Templeton Cove #7) by Rachel Brimble

There’s safety in solitude isn’t there? Single dad and best-selling thriller writer Ethan James has no problem being Templeton Cove’s most famous recluse until a surprise visit from the past plunges him into a real-life crime drama just as feisty nurse Leah Dixon barges her way into his world. Ethan’s first priority is to protect his daughter. His second priority is to keep Leah out of this dark web and that means out of his bed. Except Leah isn’t going anywhere; she’s afraid little Daisy is in danger. Ethan couldn’t live with himself if anything happened to Leah but pushing her away may be even harder!

Ethan’s Daughter (Templeton Cove #7) by Rachel Brimble

Ethan’s Daughter is the seventh in a contemporary romance/ suspense series set in a coastal town, but there’s no problem reading these books out of order – they work as standalones.

I love that this series is set on the English coast. We have a plethora of series like this set all over the United States, but not many set elsewhere.

The focus of this book is strongly on characters and relationships: hero/heroine, father/daughter etc. It is a romance first and suspense second. I think the strong focus on a few characters, with people from past books in the background, is what makes this an easy read, no matter how many books into the series it is.

I liked the “normalness” of the characters. The hero who is distracted by his work, but trying his best as a single dad. The glasses-wearing heroine (yay!) who has her own interests outside any relationships she might have. The daughter who comes across as a real child, not a “romance book child”. The normal, everyday behaviour that goes along with the larger-than-life situations.

This is the strength of many books in Harlequin’s Superromance line: they make it feel like you could meet these people in real life. It is what sets the line apart from the publisher’s other books (and WHY are they discontinuing Superromance next year?!).

Ethan’s Daughter was a nice change from the books I’ve been reading lately – a solid contemporary romance.

Interview: Rachel Brimble

Rachel Brimble

British author Rachel Brimble writes both contemporary romance/suspense and Victorian romances. It’s always great to find an author who can write across subgenres.

Notable and unique about Brimble’s contemporary books is that they are in Harlequin’s Superromance line, where the vast majority of authors and settings are American (with the odd Australian or Kiwi tossed in).

I remember when the Templeton Cove series first began I was excited about a change of location.

I also have a bit of an obsession with the Victorian era, and am always glad to find authors of historical romance who choose to use it!

Rachel Brimble’s latest book in the Templeton Cove series is Ethan’s Daughter, which I will be reviewing here tomorrow.

What is the inspiration for your Templeton Cove books? Is it difficult to keep all the characters in order?

I’ve wanted to write a small-town series since I started writing novels in 2006 and it was a dream come true when Harlequin contracted the first book, Finding Justice, and then went on to contract 8 more! The setting is inspired by my childhood holidays in various UK seaside towns. I’ve combined aspects of Torquay, Bognor Regis, Lyme Regis, the list goes on…

The series is a mix of mainstream romance and romantic suspense stories so I hope the series is kept fresh for even the most devoted of fans of the series.

As for keeping track of all the characters… Yes! It’s very difficult, lol! I think my cast list is close to 40 now and one or more of them are always pushing themselves forward to ‘star’ in the next book.

Do you find it easier to write one romance subgenre or another? I know of authors who write historical AND contemporary romance, but say they feel more comfortable writing one of those subgenres. Is this the case with you?

I write both historical and contemporary and don’t really find one easier to write than the other – the difference for me is the time spent on research for the historical books. I tend to find a social issue I want to explore and need to read up as much as I can to make sure I have enough knowledge that the setting for the central romance is reflected accurately.

I don’t spend hours torturing myself with making sure everything is absolutely indisputable as it is the romance and emotions that my books really focus on. I just like to feel I’ve done my best to create the atmosphere and environment of the period.

What made you choose the Victorian era for your historical romances? I LOVE the Victorian era (it’s my favourite!), but most authors write Regency books.

I love the Victorian era, too! I like that it was a time of such massive change – from the industrial revolution, to the very beginnings of feminism, to medical discoveries and the huge poverty/wealth divide. All these things provide great beginnings of theme which I can go back to time and time again.

I’m just revising my first venture into the Edwardian era – wish me luck!

How much research do you have to do for your books? E.g. I wouldn’t know the first thing about police procedure.

Haha! See above – I definitely spend more time researching the historical books, but as for the romantic suspense stories, I have the most AMAZING detective contact who helps me a LOT. He’s a godsend! I don’t tend to dig too much into the forensic side of things, I leave that to the crime writers, lol 😀

What is coming up next?

Next up is a new romantic suspense, If I Want You, which is a stand-alone title set in a small UK town. It is fast-paced and gripping, combining a new crime with an old. I absolutely loved writing it! It’s out November 8th and up for pre-order on Amazon right now.

After that, it’s the eighth and final book in my Templeton Cove series (boo!) – A Stranger In The Cove is a mainstream romance and I hope it brings the entire series to a satisfying end. All books can be read stand-alone, though! Out January 2018.

Biography from Rachel Brimble’s site:

I live with my husband, our two teenage daughters in a small market town near the famous Georgian City of Bath. I have been writing contemporary romance and romantic suspense for Harlequin Superromance since 2012, and also have four Victorian romances with eKensington/Lyrical.

When I’m not writing, you’ll find me with my head in a book or walking the beautiful English countryside with my family. And in the evening? Well, a well-deserved glass of wine is never, ever refused.

Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America, and agent represented in the US.

Pursued for the Viscount’s Vengeance by Sarah Mallory

Pursued for the Viscount's Vengeance by Sarah Mallory

Beneath that puritanical dress she was quite beautiful

Viscount Gilmorton had never seduced a woman before but, as the only way to avenge himself on her deceitful brother, he was prepared to disgrace the buttoned-up Deborah Meltham.

He was planning nothing more than to shame her, but not beyond repair. Gil would ensure that she came to him willingly, because if Deborah was as lonely as he thought, she should be receptive to him. Only Gil hadn’t counted on his feelings for her changing—nor her reaction when she realised he’d been deceiving her from the start…

Pursued for the Viscount’s Vengeance by Sarah Mallory

The tropes in Pursued for the Viscount’s Vengeance are pretty common in historical romance, and the main theme is one I am not very comfortable with. However this book came with excellent reviews, and I am very glad I gave it a chance.

The idea of a man seeking to avenge the death(s) of a family member(s) by ruining his enemy’s sister is a popular one, but a difficult one to pull off. As much as I enjoy a bit of dark drama, and as much as I enjoyed this book, there’s still such a level of sexism and viciousness to it in most cases.

On the other hand, this WAS very good read. The author created realistic historical characters who came across as very “Regency England” to me. I was never bored, and I put aside some review books for this one – one I actually bought for myself.

I loved that hero and heroine take their time getting to know each other, much more than in most romances these days, and even though the hero was doing it under false pretences.

Another bonus was that the revenge plot wasn’t the entire plot. This meant that the deception wasn’t drawn out for the whole book. There is also a secondary story involving counterfeiting and crime that the heroine is inadvertently caught up in.

An interesting take on a much-used trope.

It’s just a pity none of the character’s distinctive marks (scars, way of dress etc.) made it onto the cover!