This is one of my most anticipated books of 2017, so go and check it out!
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!
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.
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…
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!
Floriade in Canberra over the weekend.
Monday sunshine for Labour Day in Canberra.
Well. What an awful week in the news.
The rest of the world looks on in horror at America’s out-of-control gun problem, and shakes their heads in bewilderment at why nobody will do anything about it.
When preacher Hugh Arness advertises for a marriage of convenience, the single father’s not expecting Annie Marshall to apply. She’s too vivacious–and far too pretty. Yet Annie connects with his withdrawn young son, Evan, and he agrees to a trial period–which her grandfather will chaperone–until Christmas. By then he’ll have found a candidate who doesn’t make him long for more than he feels worthy of…
Security and her own home…Annie wants both, without the heartache love brings. Soon she’s earning little Evan’s trust, eager to show his papa that their partnership can work. She knows that Hugh needs tenderness, too. And maybe this Christmas could mark the end of their practical arrangement…and the start of a true union and real family.
This was a sweet little story, set in Montana in 1890. These Love Inspired Historical (Christian romance) books almost always come with children at the centre, but the boy in this one stood out from the crowd because of his unusual challenges.
There’s rather a lot of religion in Montana Bride by Christmas – that might either appeal or turn you off it. Seeing as the hero is a pastor it’s to be expected, but at the same time he’s not a particularly preachy guy. I just skipped some of the praying and got on with the rest.
I liked the Montana setting, especially with a Christmas theme. Most of the books in this line seem to be set in other, more southern US states.
Overall, this was an easy read with likeable characters. Even though it’s Christmas-themed I didn’t find it overwhelming. Linda Ford is a solid writer.
Review copy provided by NetGalley.
Today is our Labour Day holiday in Canberra (we have public holiday after public holiday at the moment!).
Here’s Labour Day in Australia in 1911.