Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Liana LeFey | What Does Love Look Like?
Author Guest / March 4, 2019

I’ve explored many themes over the years while writing historical romance. In doing so, I discovered the potential obstacles to two people falling in love and being together were pretty much the same in the periods in which my stories are set as they are now—family issues, economic/class disparity, job demands, etc. I’ve written about all of those. Another, perhaps stickier challenge when writing period romance is tackling societal approval for a so-called “unconventional” love. Except…it’s not an issue restricted to period romance. It’s an issue for romance, period. Although humanity has (generally) made great social progress over the last three hundred years, there are still some big societal hurdles to be leaped—for some, hurdles that have existed for millennia. I address one of these in my new release A Wicked Reputation. A Wicked Reputation features not one, but two romances, one revealed in the back cover copy, the other more subtly implied. Without spoiling too much, I can tell you that while both couples encounter immense challenges to achieving their happy ever after, the danger for one of these is far greater. For this couple, because of societal intolerances of the period (which, unfortunately, haven’t yet been entirely eradicated),…

Jane Ashford | Earl to the Rescue Exclusive Excerpt
Author Guest / November 28, 2018

Alone in her bedchamber later in the day, Gwendeline thought over what the countess had told her. Why had such a sought-after gentleman, the type her father had called a real out-and-outer, taken an interest in her? Why had he been the one to come and fetch her, or the infant he said he’d expected? If he was a leader of the ton, and Gwendeline saw no reason to doubt his mother’s description of his position, what was his interest in her? Friendship with her parents seemed the only possible explanation, but he never spoke to her of them or appeared eager to answer when she tried to do so. Quite the opposite, in fact. This thought reminded Gwendeline of a series of odd remarks she’d caught since coming to town. Both Lady Merryn and her son had made references she didn’t understand to her “situation.” Gwendeline hadn’t been aware that she possessed a situation in the sense that they used the word; seemingly, it was an awkward one. And she was becoming more and more interested in finding out exactly what it involved. She didn’t relish the thought that the people surrounding her knew more of her circumstances than…

Vanessa Riley | The Desire to Be Perfect
Author Guest / October 24, 2018

I read a tweet this week that went something like this: “Meghan and Harry have met, fallen in love, married, and are now having a baby in under three years, and I haven’t put up the fallen towel rack in my bathroom.” Life is hard and comparing our self to others is a difficult exercise, often ending in futility. In The Butterfly Bride, I was able to explore the quest of trying to be perfect in the most unlikely vessels, Frederica Burghley. Frederica is the illegitimate daughter of the Duke of Simone. In the Regency, this was a scandalous pedigree but depending on how the duke acknowledges his daughter, she would not necessarily be rejected. But Frederica’s situation is worst. She is the love child of the duke and his courtesan, a black woman he setup as his exclusive mistress. Alas, 1820 was not 2018. In that year of our Lord, you can imagine the rejections, Frederica faces as she struggles for acceptance. Classism, racism, sexism, and ignorance are slights she endures. She does so not with grievances but from the perspective of being one of the lucky ones. For now, she’s escaped following in her mother’s footsteps of becoming a…

Robyn DeHart | My Top Five Favorite Tropes
Author Guest , Top 5 / September 12, 2018

Fake relationships: Fake fiances, marriages of convenience – however you work it, I love me some fake relationships. I’ve written quite a few MOCs because I write historicals, but I read a lot of contemporary fake fiancé books and I can never get enough of them. It reminds me of that scene in Leap Year where they’re at that farmhouse and the family makes them kiss – totally cliched, but it works! Best friends to lovers: Admittedly I’ve never written one of these myself, but I read a bunch of them. I’ve always been a sucker for this trope. Frankly I think it stems from the fact that my sister married her best friend when I was like 13 so right at that ripe age for falling in love with falling in love. You get my gist. But it’s just the best for people who already love each other to realize that love can now involve sexy times. Nerds in love: OMG! I’m not sure this is an actual trope, but we’re going to call it one for my purposes. I don’t care if it’s the hero or the heroine that’s the nerd, there’s just something about the awkward sexiness…