Ever since I first saw the 24 series on tv, sitting cross legged in front of a tiny 11 inch tv screen, I was captivated by the idea of real time story telling. Okay – clearly I had to suspend my disbelief… not that Kiefer Sutherland’s character could pull of the amazing death defying struggle against the baddies, but that he could cross LA in less than five minutes! But still. The idea of a narrative unfolding as I watched was something thrilling, new and utterly enthralling.
And then I read the wonderful HIS UNTIL MIDNIGHT by Nikki Logan – set in Hong Kong, the hero and heroine meet once a year in December over several years, until one night, and one incredible gourmet meal, the hero must decide whether he will fight for the heroine, or lose her forever. Apart from the fact I am a massive ‘foodie’, I loved the way this story unfolded over those series of ‘one nights’, and loved the way it played with time.
And I couldn’t shake the thought… could I combine my love of 24 and real time story telling with my passion for romance? Could I really do that within a book? I will hold my hands up and most definitely agree that I’m not the first person to do so, but could I find a way for two people to fall in love in just twelve hours? The only way to find out was to try!
First, I decided that these two characters must know each other. For their love to be a deep, solid, and true love that lasted long after the last page, it would only be believable if they already had a basis for that love. So I was able to combine this idea with one of my favourite romance tropes… marriage reunited.
I LOVE a marriage reunited story. There’s so much passion, emotional tension, hurt and betrayal, but underneath it all is the one thing that first drew the hero and heroine together, love. Complicated and messy, a reunion story tells of the overcoming of those hurts and deep sense of betrayal, and more importantly how each character has changed, become the person that the other always thought they would be. It’s a journey about the individual characters as much as their relationship and to reach their happy-ever-after at the end? Ohhhh, gives me goosebumps every time!
And where to set the story that takes just one night? There are things that the location must have – and sadly with just 12 hours, there’s not really enough time for the hero to whisk the heroine away on his private jet to some exotic location. (I settled for a limo, and no – even on the page you can’t traverse London in five minutes!). I needed a hotel, a glamorous function room and a spectacular view. A few years ago a friend had invited me to a party at the Heron Tower in London. It was only when we were in the lift, flying our way up nearly forty floors did she reveal that she had a fear of heights! But even she couldn’t resist a squint at the stunning view of London at night from the glass fronted elevator. It was absolutely the perfect setting for my 12 hour romance.
And lastly the couple in question… Odir Farouk Al Arkrin worked his way in to my mind full of brooding intensity, struggling within the chains of duty and furious at the woman who threatened to undo him. Eloise was once the girl who had let others control her life, and now she was determined to live it her way! In my mind she matched him toe to toe, barb to barb, kiss to kiss. And I can only hope that this translated onto the page.
I’m thrilled with my title, and the incredible covers from Mills & Boon and Harlequin. It’s truly an incredible moment when you see the thing that is a book, a real book, that came from a little spark years before, sitting in front of an 11 inch tv screen cross legged on the floor.
I really hope that you enjoy CONQUERING HIS VIRGIN QUEEN as much as I did writing it.
In the meantime, as I’ve said, I love a marriage reunited story… but what’s your favourite and why?!
Six months ago, their marriage ended…
He has twelve hours to claim her back!
Odir Farouk is about to become king—but to take his throne, he needs his errant wife by his side! Odir denied his hunger for Eloise, refusing to compromise power for passion. His rejection drove her away. Now Odir has until news of his succession breaks to win back his queen…and pleasure will be his most powerful weapon!
Romance Contemporary [Harlequin Presents, On Sale: March 20, 2018, Mass Market Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9781335419316 / eISBN: 9781488083310]
About Pippa Roscoe
Mills & Boon author Pippa Roscoe lives in Norfolk near her family and makes daily promises that this will be the day she will leave the computer and take a long walk in the countryside. She can’t remember a time when she wasn’t dreaming of gorgeous alpha males and misunderstood heroines. Totally her mother’s fault of course—she gave Pippa her first romance to read at the age of seven! She is inconceivably happy that she gets to share those daydreams with her readers.