Consequences of a Hot Havana Night (Passion in Paradise #6) by Louise Fuller

Consequences of a Hot Havana Night (Passion in Paradise #6) by Louise Fuller

A scorching encounter in the Cuban heat…

Now she’s carrying her boss’ baby!

The wild vibrancy of Kitty’s new home in Havana must be infectious. Why else would the naturally cautious rum distiller have succumbed to the sudden desire to seize one night with a stranger? But if it’s shocking to learn that César is actually her powerful, elusive boss, it’s nothing compared to Kitty’s latest bombshell—she’s pregnant!

Lose yourself in this sparkling pregnancy romance!

Consequences of a Hot Havana Night (Passion in Paradise #6) by Louise Fuller

This was a good little book, and has the most sensible, mature (in behaviour, not age) characters I’ve ever come across in an instalment in Harlequin’s Presents line. There was no manufactured melodrama. However, it gets a bit hard to believe in a “sexy billionaire” story set in a communist country.

Perhaps some readers will find the lack of major conflict in Consequences of a Hot Havana Night a little too tame, but it was nice to come across a Presents hero who didn’t go around treating the heroine like garbage and accusing her of random things she didn’t do. Even though he had a “bad ex” in his past, he also didn’t take those issues out on the current woman in his life.

Also, this was a heroine with an interesting career, which was a nice change!

Now…

I love Cuban culture – who doesn’t? And Havana is a colourful, exciting choice to set a Presents instalment.

However, Cuba is also one of only five communist countries left in the world (alongside North Korea, China, Vietnam and Laos). And the realities of communism are ugly – very ugly. This story could never happen, because Cuban citizens are unable to live the lives depicted in the book. It doesn’t matter how pretty Havana looks in the tourist brochures.

There is a review on Goodreads by someone who is actually Cuban that succinctly illustrates why the setting is problematic.

On the other hand, I doubt the communism issues will enter the minds of most readers (my family escaped the Soviet Union; it’s a touchy subject for me). Don’t let that dissuade you from reading this book.

 

Review copy provided by NetGalley.

Book Feature: Lady Rogue (The Royal Rewards #3) by Theresa Romain

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!

Lady Rogue (The Royal Rewards #3) by Theresa Romain

Lady Rogue (The Royal Rewards #3) by Theresa Romain

Her Secret Scandal

As far as London’s high society knows, Lady Isabel Morrow is above reproach. But the truth is rarely so simple. Though the young widow’s passionate fling with dashing Bow Street Runner Callum Jenks ended amicably months ago, she now needs his expertise. It seems Isabel’s late husband, a respected art dealer, was peddling forgeries. If those misdeeds are revealed, the marriage prospects of his younger cousin—now Isabel’s ward—will be ruined.

For the second time, Isabel has upended Callum’s well-ordered world. He’s resolved to help her secretly replace the forgeries with the real masterpieces, as a…friend. A proper sort of friend doesn’t burn with desire, of course, or steal kisses on twilight errands. Or draw a willing lady into one passionate encounter after another. Isabel’s scheme is testing Callum’s heart as well as his loyalties. But with pleasure so intoxicating, the real crime would be to resist.

What I did today.

I had a “startling” revelation a few weeks ago: I live in walking distance of one of Canberra’s biggest public libraries! Now, this is definitely a revelation I should have had years ago, but I hadn’t actually used a library since I was at university, and so here I was, happily walking to and from the nearest shopping centre every week, and forgetting I could have access to seventy-gazillion books and magazines and newspapers.

So, last Monday I finally went in and got myself a new card ($3 for library access definitely seems fair), and today I walked back (blue sky, sunshine, and temperatures in the mid-teens – not bad for mid-winter!) and took a look at everything I’ve been missing out on all this time.

My timing could have been better. It’s the first day of semester two in Canberra, which means there were teenagers everywhere (it also functions as a college library). However, I was in Heaven all the same!

Now I’ve figured out that the fancy new laser-scanner devices you have to use to check your books out are actually ten times easier to use than an ATM, I’ll go back and pick up another stack of books.

For now, here’s my stash:

Books Library Julia Quinn Miranda Neville Josephine Moon Jennifer McQuiston Lisa Kleypas Stephanie Laurens Sonya Heaney 22nd July 2019

The Week: 15th – 21st July

WinterVention Canberra Austrlaia OutDoor Ice Skating Canberra Theatre Centre Sonya Oksana Heaney 20th July 2019

burst

Winter outdoor ice skating and fairy lights in Canberra last night.

Blue Sky Sunny Winter's Day Queanbeyan to Canberra Australia Sonya Heaney 19th July 2019 Nature

Crossing the state border from Queanbeyan (NSW) to Canberra on Friday afternoon.

Crazy Cat Grey Cat Sonya Heaney Canberra Australia 19th July 2019

The neighbour’s cat napping in my office on Friday. Despite what it looks like, he does actually have a head. And he’s so big he fell off the couch just after I took this picture!

My book is on NetGalley!

The Landowner's Secret by Sonya Heaney blog-sized

Five years since MH17

298-mh17-candles

The Dancing Plague of July 1518

Die_Wallfahrt_der_Fallsuechtigen_nach_MeulebeeckEngraving of Hendrik Hondius portrays three women affected by the dancing plague

Book Feature: London’s Best Kept Secret (Midnight Secrets #2) by Anabelle Bryant

London's Best Kept Secret (Midnight Secrets #2) by Anabelle Bryant

My book is on NetGalley!

This is mildly terrifying, but if you’d like to review my September book, my publisher has now put it up on NetGalley.

Here the link.

And here’s some information:

The Landowner's Secret by Sonya Heaney blog-sized

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.

Book Feature: London’s Best Kept Secret (Midnight Secrets #2) by Anabelle Bryant

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!

I loved the concept for this one, and read the beginning before life took over and I ran out of time to finish it. Unfortunately the guy on the cover has a mullet, but ignore that!

London's Best Kept Secret (Midnight Secrets #2) by Anabelle Bryant

London’s Best Kept Secret (Midnight Secrets #2) by Anabelle Bryant

In Anabelle Bryant’s latest novel of ardour and ambition, a lord will stop at nothing to possess the woman of his dreams . . .
 
In monetary matters, Jeremy Lockhart, Viscount Dearing, is used to being in control, but from his first sight of Lady Charlotte, his carefully cultivated world is rocked to its foundations. Determined to best her other, more eligible suitors, he goes to great lengths to ensure his betrothal to Charlotte. A locked black leather box holds the dark secret that has assured his success.
 
Innocent Lady Charlotte is baffled by her new husband’s behavior. Why does Lord Dearing seem so distant one day, and so attentive the next? Her family’s dire financial straits did not allow her the luxury of an extended courtship. If only she could entice him into the marriage bed! When at last Charlotte’s efforts are rewarded, she revels in Jeremy’s unexpectedly bold possessiveness. But outside of their bedchambers, her groom’s guardedness quickly returns. Passion is no longer enough for sweet Charlotte, who vows to unlock the mystery of this complicated man. The truth, however, might be more than her principled heart is prepared to handle. . . .

The Week: 8th – 14th July

I did something spectacularly stupid on Wednesday: I tripped and fell onto the glass corner of a piece of furniture – WITH MY FACE! I’ve spent the rest of the week with the right side of my jaw badly bruised, and also sliced in two places. It’s made going out in public pretty embarrassing! I’m very lucky I didn’t do something much worse – or kill myself – so a funny-looking face is definitely the best option.

Lots of work this week – and the realisation I want to change something in my first book, but it’s far too late now! I’m having a bit of trouble balancing historical accuracy with not causing offence to twenty-first century readers:

Writing colonial Australia, and talking about Indigenous characters.

I’m also wading through the seventy-gazillion websites authors are apparently supposed to be on, such as BookBub.

Some of my travel plans have changed, and it now turns out I’d have been able to attend the Romance Writers of Australia conference in Melbourne next month, but it’s too late. (However, I definitely had an “Oh my God, I’m a published author!” moment when Harlequin emailed to ask what parties I’m attending. Apparently you get special – free – perks when you write for them!)

I’d like the opportunity to speak to certain people face-to-face about things, but it’s not going to happen this year. Instead, I’m busy stressing about pitching future books…

Oh, and here’s my review of Contracted as His Cinderella Bride by Heidi Rice.

Contracted as His Cinderella Bride by Heidi Rice

Writing colonial Australia, and talking about Indigenous characters.

There’s one thing you can’t do once your editor has sent your final, edited manuscript back to your publisher: change anything.

I’ve been agonising over a few things in my upcoming book for a while now. There will always be things some people hate that others love, and there’s nothing you can do about it.

However, what’s concerning me is how to write colonial New South Wales/Australia when there were so many ugly parts to it.

My first book mentions Indigenous Australians a number of times, but they aren’t featured characters until the next in the series. Even so, I’ve been stressing about language choices. Do you have your characters speak the way people did then, or do you modernise their speech so it sounds more like we approach discussions of ethnic groups today? (Obviously, certain words should never be used in a book written in the twenty-first century.)

Do you find a middle ground so that you’re not whitewashing and romanticising your colonial characters?

In this first book I’ve mentioned specific peoples and regions (Ngambri, Ngunnawal etc.), and will explore this more in the next instalment. However, I’m concerned about language used, and hope I’ve not managed to cause offence!

The parts I’m worrying about are all of a few sentences in an entire book, but I’m completely stressed!

Contracted as His Cinderella Bride by Heidi Rice

Contracted as His Cinderella Bride by Heidi Rice

From penniless delivery girl…

To billionaire’s bride?

The perfect summer Ally Jones spent with gorgeous French billionaire Dominic LeGrand was unforgettable, despite her unrequited feelings. Now Ally’s a struggling courier and is stunned when her latest delivery brings her to Dominic’s door. Yet what’s even more shocking is his proposal! Dominic needs a temporary wife, but with the enticing promise of his expert seduction teasing Ally to her limits, can she really just play the role?

Lose yourself in this tantalising marriage of convenience…

Contracted as His Cinderella Bride by Heidi Rice

When I picked this one up, Harlequin’s Presents line had been on my mind (due to discussions in a writers’ group). It had been ages since I’d read one of these, and I thought something by Heidi Rice was a good way to return.

The Presents line is, as some authors call it, “fairy tales for adults”. It delivers a steamy, larger than life story, with tropes galore.

Contracted as His Cinderella Bride worked for me. I actually enjoyed it a lot more than many Presents books because both hero and heroine approached their fake relationship like adults, and there was no melodrama. Rice delivered all the wealth and opulence – as well as the alpha male – without making the book seem “old school”. And this was a heroine who was a little down on her luck, but who had ambition, and a career in her future.

I loved the London and New York locations, and I especially loved that the author seemed to know her settings personally. They weren’t just window dressing. The reference to the overcrowded Trevi Fountain on the trip to Rome was also welcome, because, honestly, these days there’s nothing romantic about the place:

Trevi Fountain Rome Italy Tourist Crowds Sonya Oksana Heaney Summer 2016

From my last trip to Rome in 2016. You can’t even see the water!

There were a handful of things in the steamier scenes I could take issue with (we really need some new terms that aren’t “velvet over steel” and “bundle of nerves”!), but I did like how the author subtly changed her terminology when the characters went from England to the United States. In fact, I loved that.

This book delivered exactly the quick-read fairy tale (for adults!) I wanted.

 

Review copy provided by NetGalley.