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When lust gets in the way…

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by Abby Green, author of Rival’s Challenge

I think it’s fair to say that Rival’s Challenge is one of my favourite stories. Obviously I’m slightly biased, having written it ;). But, when I got the ‘bible’ from the lovely editors at Harlequin Mills and Boon with my cast of characters and the outline of my plot for this Chatsfield series, I knew delicious sparks were going to fly between Orla Kennedy and Antonio Chatsfield.

Orla is buttoned up and oh – so – cautious. She has spent her life determined to prove to her father that she can do the job of the son he never had, and her career as a manager for one of her father’s biggest hotels is very important to her.

As important as the upcoming vital but unwelcome merger that will save the Kennedy hotels from extinction. On the eve of an important meeting to set this in motion, Orla is in enemy territory – the infamous and exclusive Chatsfield Hotel, to try and get a feeling for their adversary.

She isn’t prepared for lust to get in the way, but it does, as soon as she lays eyes on Antonio Chatsfield in the dark and decadent hotel bar, a man with his own demons to slay.

Except, she doesn’t know who he is. They are both struck with the same bolt of physical lightning and in a bid to keep reality at bay, they decide not to reveal their true identities, both tacitly agreeing that whatever ‘this’ is, it’ll be for one night only.

The morning after, however, brings reality snapping to their heels when they realise that they were not destined to remain strangers in the night, but rather enemies of the future!

I think this is definitely a case of a ‘meet cringe’ or ‘meet disaster’ instead of a ‘meet cute’.

I’d love to know (because I’m a writer *cough*) what your worst ‘meet cringe’ experience was?

About Rival’s Challenge:

When one night with a stranger becomes more… 

On the eve of rivala business deal, nerves get the better of Orla Kennedy, and a drink with a handsome stranger ends in a night of passion she’ll never forget! Only after does Orla discover that the man in question is Antonio Chatsfield—her rival!

Antonio never wanted to return to The Chatsfield, but his sister needs his help, so he has little choice. But when he meets the woman who came apart in his bed just hours before, Antonio decides to set his sights on a different kind of merger….

Welcome to The Chatsfield, London!

 

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What’s New on Harlequin.com for October

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Are you ready for October? Fall is setting in and with that comes the beauty of the season, including warm treats and temperature-raising books to keep you from getting too cold! Here is a small peek at what you can expect for this exciting month.

Harlequin Holiday Hub

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It is never too early to start planning for the holiday season! Luckily, we’ve made things easier with our Holiday Hub, where you can find everything you need on one page including a Christmas novella for only 99 cents, free online reads and delicious recipes!

Christmas Romance

Get into the spirit of Christmas with these books that we can’t put down. We have a huge selection of holiday books to keep you in a jolly mood all the way to Christmas!

Iconic Cowboy

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Who doesn’t love a cowboy? These iconic romance heroes are noble, honest and definitely worthy of their own page on Harlequin.com. Visit our Iconic Cowboys page to discover the history of these noble heroes and share your thoughts on why you love them!

The Chatsfield

Welcome to The Chatsfield! Are you following the wealthy guests of the most elite hotel? Get ready for style, sensation and scandal with this fantastic miniseries, and don’t miss out on the latest addition by author Abby Green, Rival’s Challenge!

Foodies

1410_hp_foodie_promosquareYou know what they say–the way to a man’s heart it through his stomach! Check out some of our favorite foodie couples, plus download two free recipes from Ovenly, the new mouth-watering cookbook from Harlequin Nonfiction.

Second Chances

1410_hp_secondChance_promosquareSometimes you need to go back to discover the love of your life. The couples on this page may not have found love the first time around, but they’re taking a chance and going back to make things work. Would you ever take a second chance on an old relationship?

 

 

 

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The Not-So-Usual Suspects: Carina Press Mystery Authors Introduce Their Main Characters

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Mystery fans will love four new titles published by Carina Press this week. Each novel features unique protagonists and engaging settings, tangled webs of lies and, of course, murder.

So, whether your poison is private eye, amateur sleuth, cozy, or historical mystery, pick one (or all) of these adventures for an entertaining escape into mysterious new worlds.

But don’t take our word for it. We’ll let our sleuths speak for themselves. Introducing…

Floyd, Elvis Sightings by Ricardo Sanchez

elvissightings“My name is Floyd. I’m a private detective. I wear sequined jumpsuits. And no, I’m not an Elvis Impersonator, I’m a Lifestyle Elvis. There is a difference. I live my life the way I think Elvis would want me to, which isn’t always easy. Especially in Kresge, Wyoming, where my source tells me Elvis is alive and well and living under the assumed name Jon Burrows. Every time I turn around I run into a “dead” celebrity, a wannabe Viking, or a government thug who’s not a fan. My erstwhile sidekick claims to be James Morrison, but I’m not so sure. Then there’s Wanda…the hot bearded lady sheriff. I can’t tell if she likes me for me, or she just wants to use me. I know you’re dying to ask. Yes, I wear a cape.”

About Elvis Sightings: Book 1 of the Elvis Sightings Mysteries. Floyd is supposed to prove that Elvis faked his death, but the case gets derailed when the local sheriff blackmails him into finding a missing city councilman before her beloved town is turned into a Danish themed amusement park.

Buy Elvis Sightings

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October New Releases

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Are you looking for new and exciting reads while you stay warm and toasty this fall? Not to worry, because our new releases are here to keep you company…and even give you an early taste of the holiday season. Keep reading for new releases from Susan Mallery, Jason Mott, Delores Fossen and more!

The Christmas Bouquet by Sherryl Woods

thechristmasbouquetMIRA

#1 New York Times bestselling author Sherryl Woods always looks to the O’Briens for a little holiday magic. For medical student Caitlyn Winters, catching the bridal bouquet at a Christmas wedding has set off a chain reaction that she’s sure is more curse than blessing. Not only has she fallen in love with family medicine resident Noah McIlroy, but an unexpected pregnancy threatens her well-laid plans for the future.

Add to your shopping cart ► http://goo.gl/h6CfXc

 

The Wonder of All Things by Jason Mott

thewonderofallthingsMIRA

After a plane crashes, a thirteen-year-old girl named Ava is found huddled beneath a pocket of rubble with her injured friend. When Ava places her hands over him, his wounds disappear. Now the whole world knows, and suddenly people from all over the globe are eager to catch a glimpse of The Miracle Child. But as Ava grows weaker with each healing, she must decide how much she’s willing to give up in order to save the ones she loves most.

Add to your shopping cart ► http://goo.gl/esXcZv

 

The Christmas Wedding Ring by Susan Mallery

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New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery returns with a classic story of holiday magic! In her youth, Molly Anderson couldn’t help crushing on Dylan Black—even though he only had eyes for her older sister. When they broke up, he promised Molly they’d have an adventure when she grew up. Years later, dumped by her fiancé just before Christmas, she’s finally ready to take Dylan up on his promise.

Add to your shopping cart ► http://goo.gl/RyPvkt

 

In Your Dreams by Kristan Higgins

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Everyone loves Jack Holland, but Emmaline Neal needs him. Her ex-fiancé is getting married and she can’t go to the wedding alone. He knows the drill, so he won’t get the wrong idea. When they wind up in bed together, Em chalks it up to red wine and chocolate cake. But Jack’s pushing for more, and if she lets down her guard, she may discover that Jack’s worth more than just dreaming about.

Add to your shopping cart ► http://goo.gl/tduueE

 

Texas Born by Diana Palmer

texasbornHarlequin Special Edition

Gabriel Brandon had been her hero ever since she was a girl and he’d rescued her, an orphan, from sure ruin. And Michelle Godrey had loved him forever, the mysterious rancher with the dark eyes, her protector and guardian angel. Now she’d blossomed into a woman. But could Michelle ever cast aside the shadows that lingered between them? Could she show Gabriel that their Lone Star love was true?

Add to your shopping cart ► http://goo.gl/vD82AQ

 

Stranded with the Rancher by Janice Maynard

strandedwiththerancherHarlequin Desire

For billionaire horse breeder Drew Farrell, the day starts with the usual argument with ornery neighbor Beth Andrews. But within minutes, he and the irritating beauty are huddled together in a storm cellar praying for their lives. They call a truce…and seal it with an unexpected kiss.

Add to your shopping cart ► http://goo.gl/hNCyE7

 

Snowstorm Confessions by Rachel Lee

snowstormconfessionsHarlequin Romantic Suspense

The last man that Nurse Brianna Cole expects to bring home is her ex-husband Luke Masters. But when he needs to recuperate from serious injury, her cabin becomes his refuge. Though concussed, Luke is convinced someone pushed him off the snowy mountain he was evaluating for a ski resort. And though he can’t remember why, he knows Bri is next.

Add to your shopping cart ► http://goo.gl/khFNKo

 

Cowboy Behind the Badge by Delores Fossen

cowboybehindthebadgeHarlequin Intrigue

The last thing Texas Ranger Tucker McKinnon expects to find in his pantry is two sleeping newborns. But it’s the woman who spirited the infants to his ranch who stirs the lawman’s blood, along with haunting memories. Once, Tucker and Laine Braddock were inseparable…until murder divided their families. Now, with a killer on Laine’s trail, Tucker has never felt more powerless. Or been more determined.

Add to your shopping cart ► http://goo.gl/M3kQIW

 

Eve of Passion by AC Arthur

eveofpassionHarlequin Kimani Romance

Premier event planner Janelle Howerton swore off dating after college. Now her father wants her to make nice with an influential donor to his congressional campaign. After all, it’s just one date…. Billionaire Ballard Dubois wants to help Darren Howerton win the election. But he wants Darren’s daughter more—and his desires seldom go unfulfilled. Suddenly “one date” quickly spirals into a hot relationship, and celebrity gossip sites crown them the new “it” couple.

Add to your shopping cart ► http://goo.gl/FO6r6X

 

Big Sky Cowboy by Linda Ford

bigskycowboyLove Inspired Historical

The last thing Cora Bell wants is a distracting cowboy showing up on her family’s farm seeking temporary shelter. But she’ll accept Wyatt Williams’s help rebuilding her family’s barn—and try not to fall once again for a man whose plans don’t include staying around. Since leaving his troubled past behind, Wyatt just wants to make a new start. Dare this solitary cowboy risk a bright new future with Cora by his side?

Add to your shopping cart ► http://goo.gl/oqKSlc

 

Ghost Wolf by Michele Hauf

ghostwolfHarlequin Nocturne

When Daisy-Blu Saint-Pierre starts investigating the mysterious ghost wolf that’s been menacing hunters in Tangle Lake, she encounters a juicier sort of discovery in sexy lone wolf Beck. Beck, with his rugged, raw energy and virility to burn… A tragic accident has left Beckett Severo hungry for revenge. The lovely Daisy is a great distraction. She almost makes Beck forget the danger they’re in. Almost.

Add to your shopping cart ► http://goo.gl/kwlGEZ

 

Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley

lieswetellourselvesHarlequin TEEN

Sarah Dunbar is one of the first black students to attend the previously all-white Jefferson High School. An honors student at her old school, she is put into remedial classes, spit on and tormented daily. Linda Hairston is the daughter of one of the town’s most vocal opponents of school integration. Forced to work together on a school project, Sarah and Linda must confront harsh truths about race, power and how they really feel about one another.

Add to your shopping cart ► http://goo.gl/AR3BjD

 

The Queen of Zombie Hearts by Gena Showalter

queenofzombieheartsHarlequin TEEN

In the stunning conclusion to the wildly popular White Rabbit Chronicles, Alice “Ali” Bell thinks the worst is behind her. She’s ready to take the next step with boyfriend Cole Holland …until Anima Industries, the agency controlling the zombies, launches a sneak attack, killing four of her friends. As the surviving slayers prepare for war, Ali discovers she, too, can control the zombies…and she isn’t the girl she thought she was.

Add to your shopping cart ► http://goo.gl/wQ8YkE

 

Ovenly by Erin Patinkin and Agatha Kulaga

ovenlyHarlequin Nonfiction

At Ovenly, our philosophy is to explore culinary traditions with an unexpected twist, while thoughtfully melding salty and sweet with a touch of spice. We are committed to crafting recipes that are complex, innovative and fun. Whether you are enjoying a cookie in our bakery or making one of our cake recipes at home, our goal is to provide you with joy through flavor.

Add to your shopping cart ► http://goo.gl/Od81LD

 

Of Shadows and Ash by Dana Marie Bell

ofshadowsandashCarina Press

Dryad Ashton Ward is pissed off. His mate Selena has been tortured by humans who hunt supernaturals, and she’s flat-out refusing to let him near her as she heals. Her magic is so compromised that just being near her puts him in danger. But something is haunting her house so badly, nothing can tame it. Terrified, and out of options, Selena turns to Ash for help. The enemy needs two things to feed: Selena’s powers and her fear. And if there’s a magic that can save her, it lies with Ash.

Add to your shopping cart ► http://goo.gl/MWuaT2

 

Because I Can by Tamara Morgan

becauseIcanCarina Press

John “Monty” Montgomery has been working by his father’s side building the family hotel chain almost his entire life. His commitment to the business leaves no time for romance. But that’s about to change. Georgia Lennox has been fantasizing about Monty ever since she started her gig as handywoman at Montgomery Manor. She hasn’t dared to act on her feelings–until he offers to help fill a volunteer shortage on her latest project.

Add to your shopping cart ► http://goo.gl/1zoc0g

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First Love or First Crush?

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by Susan Mallery, author of The Christmas Wedding Ring

I adore a good first-love romance. The hero and heroine have to deal with all those residual emotions, the passion and the pain…and they fall in love all over again. Sigh!

THE CHRISTMAS WEDDING RING is, instead, a first-crush romance. We can all relate to that because every one of us has had a first crush, a one-sided yearning for an unattainable boy. He’s all we think about. We build elaborate futures together in our minds, while he has no clue.

As a teenager, Molly had a mad crush on her older sister’s boyfriend, bad boy Dylan Black. She was a girl still; he was a man. He looked at her in a “she’s a sweet kid” sort of way. When Molly’s sister decided to marry someone else, Dylan showed up at the wedding to say goodbye before leaving town for good. Touched by Molly’s tears, he made a promise. He told her to find him after she grew up, and he would take her on an adventure.

Molly did grow up, and she grew past her crush, as we all do. But when her fiancé dumps her and she loses her job and she gets news that could change her life forever, she can’t face the Christmas season alone. On impulse, she finds Dylan and asks if he’s still willing to follow through on the promise he made long ago. Will he take her on an adventure?

Her first crush is about to become a whole lot more…

What do you remember about your first crush? You don’t have to tell me his name—embarrassing!—but tell me about the things that used to make you feel all squishy inside when you thought about him.

About The Christmas Wedding Ring:

christmasweddingringNew York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery returns with a classic story of destiny, desire and a little holiday magic! 

In her youth, Molly Anderson couldn’t help crushing on gorgeous bad-boy Dylan Black?even though he only had eyes for her older sister. When things didn’t work out between them, he said goodbye to Molly as well, vowing they’d have a great adventure when she grew up. Years later, dumped by her fiancé just before Christmas, she’s finally ready to take Dylan up on his promise.

A guarded Dylan always had a weakness for Molly, and when she waltzes back into his life–grown-up and gorgeous–he’s stunned. So why not whisk her away for some no-strings-attached fun?

Laughter-filled days and late-night kisses are changing Molly’s life, for good. The only gift she truly wants now is Dylan’s love, but when he discovers the secret she’s been keeping, she may lose him again…this time forever.

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Saturday Excerpt: Her Secret Husband by Andrea Laurence

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Heath and Julianne thought a secret marriage would solve the problem of their disapproving parents, but it turns out it was just the start of an even bigger story in Her Secret Husband by Andrea Laurence.

hersecrethusbandLove, honor—and vow to keep the marriage a secret!

Years ago, Heath Langston eloped with Julianne Eden. Their parents wouldn’t have approved. So when the marriage remained unconsummated, they went their separate ways without telling anyone what they’d done.

Now family turmoil forces Heath and Julianne back into the same town—into the same house. Heath has had enough of living a lie. It’s time for Julianne to give him the divorce she’s avoided for so long—or to fulfill the promise in her smoldering glances and finally become his wife in more than name only.

***

“Your dad’s heart attack was pretty serious this time.”

The doctor’s words did little to make Heath Langston feel better about his foster father’s condition. He stood outside Ken Eden’s hospital room, listening to the doctor’s prognosis. He felt helpless, which was not the way he liked it. He might be the youngest of the “Eden boys,” but he owned his own advertising firm on Madison Avenue. He’d single-handedly developed one of the most successful ad campaigns of the last year. He was used to everyone, from his secretary to his business partner, looking to him to make decisions.

But this was serious stuff. Life and death. Not exactly his forte. Ken and Molly Eden’s only biological child, Julianne, hadn’t stopped crying since she arrived. Heath preferred to keep things light and he’d much rather see Julianne smile, but even he couldn’t find anything to make a joke about right now.
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Top Ten Reasons Dukes Are So Delectable…

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The wait is almost over for Zachary Black: Duke of Debauchery (October 2014), the first in Carole Mortimer’s Dangerous Dukes quartet, with Darian Hunter: Duke of Desire (November 2014) hot on his heels. The online prequel Marcus Wilding: Duke of Pleasure is just now raring to go, so it’s safe to say we’re getting rather excited about all things ducal.

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When we asked Carole why we’re guaranteed to find her Regency dukes just so delectable, she had this to say on the matter:

“I would hope that all my Dangerous Dukes are that ‘delectable’ combination of aristocratic good looks stamped with arrogant authority, plus an unmistakeable air of sensuality and a dangerous edge that make them irresistible. They are men of action, as well as strong passions, ready to sweep the heroine off her feet. What woman wouldn’t want this sexy, dynamic, sensual man in her bed forever?”

What a taste of things to come! We completely agree (and couldn’t resist thinking how duchess-like Carole looks posing in front of Buckingham Palace).

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But, without any further ado, here are our top ten reasons to dally with a Regency duke!

1. A duke wouldn’t be a duke without a favorite energetic sporting activity—fencing, boxing, horseback riding. And all that exercise means he’s always in peak physical condition. Excellent.

2. He knows what he wants, when he wants it. And no one is going to stop him from taking it. How delectably ruthless.

3. He’s notorious for his scandalous conquests—which makes it clear he’s well-practiced in giving pleasure…

4. He’s so arrogant it’s almost infuriating. Almost.

5.Outside the bedroom, he has a core group of devoted (HOT!) friends—which is both heartwarming (aww, the bond of brotherhood) and heart-quickening (again….a group of HOT men!)

6.Surely, with his privileged upbringing, he’s bound to be able to expertly spoil a duchess rotten.

7. He knows all the best people. The best dressmaker in the ton you say? Not a problem! The princess’s jewelry maker? Of course!

8. He’s the man all other men in society want to be and all women in society want to bed.

9. He’s always embroiled in something terribly dangerous and important. Sexy dark and brooding man, anyone?

10. He’s never too busy to sweep you into his luxurious bedchamber and kiss you senseless…

But that’s just our opinion. What about you? What would tempt you to fall for a duke?

 

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Watching Characters Come To Life

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by Jason Mott, author of The Wonder of All Things

It had started out a humdrum day—and yet, as it turns out, it would be one of the most exciting days of my life. I had begun that morning writing, doing laundry, yard work. You know how it goes. I had just come in from mowing the lawn when the email came in from my agent. The film rights for my new novel, The Wonder of All Things, had been optioned by Lionsgate and Heyday Films! Lionsgate is the studio behind such mega blockbusters as The Hunger Games and American Psycho. Heyday was responsible for Gravity and Harry Potter. HARRY. POTTER. I couldn’t believe it.

Every writer dreams of seeing their story on the big screen. Watching ABC transform my first novel, The Returned, into the TV series Resurrection has been nothing short of surreal. Luck had struck me not once but twice. I had defeated the odds and won the proverbial lottery for a second time. Honestly, sometimes it feels like I’m living in a dream.

I’ve been a fan of Heyday Films for a long time. I watch a great deal of movies and I have respected their work for years. I trust them implicitly with my story and have complete faith in their vision. I couldn’t imagine a more perfect partner in this crazy incredible journey.

Sometimes I find myself daydreaming about which actors I would cast as my characters (Billy Burke as Macon!). I can’t wait to stand in line at the ticket booth, to sink into a plush velvety chair with a tub full of silky buttered popcorn, for the lights to turn down and to see my world and characters come to life. In the meantime, if you have a chance to read The Wonder of All Things, I’d love to hear what you think. And send me your ideas for casting!

About The Wonder of All Things:

thewonderofallthingsOn the heels of his critically acclaimed and New York Times bestselling debut novel, The Returned, Jason Mott delivers a spellbinding tale of love and sacrifice

On an ordinary day, at an air show like that in any small town across the country, a plane crashes into a crowd of spectators. After the dust clears, a thirteen-year-old girl named Ava is found huddled beneath a pocket of rubble with her best friend, Wash. He is injured and bleeding, and when Ava places her hands over him, his wounds disappear.

Ava has an unusual gift: she can heal others of their physical ailments. Until the air show tragedy, her gift was a secret. Now the whole world knows, and suddenly people from all over the globe begin flocking to her small town, looking for healing and eager to catch a glimpse of The Miracle Child. But Ava’s unique ability comes at a great cost, and as she grows weaker with each healing, she soon finds herself having to decide just how much she’s willing to give up in order to save the ones she loves most.

Elegantly written, deeply intimate and emotionally astute, The Wonder of All Things is an unforgettable story and a poignant reminder of life’s extraordinary gifts.

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Five Books to Put You in the Fall Mood

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by Amy Loosemore, Harlequin.com Team

Fall is here! The days are getting cooler, the nights longer, pumpkin spice is everywhere — it’s the perfect time to curl up with a book! Here are five romances with autumn-themed covers that will make you “fall” in the love with the season.

Whispered Promises by Nora Roberts

From # 1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts come two classic tales about the promises we dare to keep…to those we dare to love!  In The Art of Deception, Kirby Fairchild  can’t shake the feeling that handsome Adam Haines isn’t quite the man he pretends to be. But what she does know without a doubt is that as the days and nights wear on, the attraction she feels for this man is only growing stronger….

When Autumn Gallagher returns to her aunt’s rural inn, she is surprised to find Lucas McLean. He’d broken her heart three years earlier, yet Autumn could not deny the love still blazing inside her. When a guest of the inn is found dead, Lucas becomes a suspect. Can she risk listening to her heart again and help Lucas clear his name in Storm Warning?

Under the Autumn Sky by Liz Talley

College football coach Abram Dufrene won’t risk destroying his career for anything. He’s sacrificed too much to see his hard work and integrity go down in flames. So when an innocent but passionate encounter with a sexy stranger forces him to choose between business and pleasure, the decision should be simple.

Too bad nothing about Louise “Lou” Boyd is simple. She’s had him hooked since the second he met her. But she’s the guardian of the athlete he’s recruiting, which puts her off-limits. With all eyes on them, it’s only right to keep his distance from Lou. Yet, for the first time, doing the “right” thing feels too wrong…

Continue reading »

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Why small-town settings are romantic—and scary + Giveaway!

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by Karen Harper, author of Shattered Secrets

20140901_101527I must admit I’ve set the majority of my romantic suspense novels in rural areas rather than urban ones. Of course, that means I lose the metro chic restaurants, cinemas, live shows and art galleries that can play a big part in dating and developing relationships. But I think there’s nothing more romantic than the countryside and small towns. Yet those same rolling hills, forests, streams, even corn fields and old farm houses that look so alluring and picturesque, can also work well for the frightening elements of romantic suspense.

In my new trilogy, The Cold Creek Novels, the stories take place in southeastern Ohio, on the edge of the Appalachian ridge. It’s a stunning but dangerous area I know quite well, not only from visits but from living there the four years I did my undergrad work in college. I also taught there and got to know some of the local families that way.

One thing that works great for a suspense novel such as the trilogy’s launch book, SHATTERED SECRETS, is that even a desperate heroine soon learns that cell phones don’t operate in some areas. When it’s dark, it’s really dark, but then how romantic to be able to navigate by moonlight and feel that you could reach up and snatch a handful of stars?

In SHATTERED SECRETS Sheriff Gabe McCord and Tess Lockwood take full advantage of the beauty of the place but must face up to the terror there. Why is there a light in that long-deserted farmhouse? Can it lead to a series of kidnapped girls, of whom Tess was the first? She was abducted from the tall cornfield behind her house. It had been a fun place to play—until someone seized her there.

So rural beauty can be a double-edged sword for a writer: alluring but lethal. Tess’s two older sisters had their lives shattered by her disappearance, but as adults, they also return to the picturesque town of Cold Creek to face a dreadful crime and find romance in the next two novels, FORBIDDEN GROUND and BROKEN BONDS.

In my earlier trilogies, I’ve used Amish country to much the same effect—the good and the bad, the romantic and the horrifying all in one place. And when people must rely on a small, stretched-thin police force, they must do some of the sleuthing themselves, which Tess, Kate and Char do, despite the deadly dangers they and their men face.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle once observed about rural settings in mystery novels, “The lowest and the vilest alleys of London do not present a more dreadful record of sin than does the smiling and beautiful countryside.” (The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, 1892.)  I certainly agree. When crime encroaches on rural areas, the enemy or villain is often “us.” In other words, it’s much more likely to be someone we know and even trust. That brings in personal treachery and betrayal—a powerful and terrible shock.

But then again, I and my heroines love those moonlit nights and settings such as the waterfall where Gabe McCord first kisses Tess, though she fears she can’t trust him and…

Hmm, I think I need to get away from the five o’clock news focusing on city crime where I live and take a romantic ride in the countryside. I hope you’ll consider that, too—but be careful!

Giveaway! Win a copy of Shattered Secrets by heading down to the comments and letting us know what you think is scarier–the city or the country? The contest closes October 2 11:59 ET and the winner by random draw will be announced October 3. Open to residents of the US and Canada, excluding Quebec. For full official rules, click here.

About Shattered Secrets:

shatteredsecretsEvery town has its secrets… 

Returning to Cold Creek, Ohio, is an act of courage for Tess Lockwood. Abducted and held captive as a young girl, she is unable to remember anything about the crime that destroyed her childhood and tore her family apart. Now a grown woman with a bright future, she is certain she has put the past behind her. But when she inherits the family home, Tess must confront the demons that still haunt her and the town of Cold Creek.

Gabe McCord has always blamed himself for what happened to Tess. He had been a teenager when she was snatched from the group of children he was responsible for watching. Now Gabe has taken on the role of sheriff and hopes to shed new light on the cold case, especially given his growing feelings for Tess.

Tess isn’t ready to recall what happened to her, and she has no intention of digging up any details that might remind her of the truth. But when another child in the town goes missing, she’s certain it’s related to her return to Cold Creek. Together,Tess and Gabe will have to work to unlock their painful memories in order to save another child and heal their damaged souls, for good….

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