Monday, December 19, 2011

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year...

I love this time of year, although it must be said the winter of  2010/2011 was a trying time here on the border between England and Wales. It started snowing in December in a way it hadn't done for decades. That was lovely for the village children, but not so brilliant for commuters. We were completely snowed in for ten days, and nobody could go anywhere. Then a tractor blazed a trail through from the main road half a mile away, and we were able to get the cars out. We managed to deliver all the Christmas presents and cards to relatives on the other side of the Severn, but it started snowing again as we started for home, and we only just got back before the lanes were blocked again! That was the last time anyone left our part of the village for another couple of weeks. 
It's a good job we all get on well as a family.  A family of writers in a house with plenty of chimney corners is a lovely combination. The snow made it really romantic, too. Once or twice my husband and I tried a moonlit walk, but with temperatures down to 12 below freezing, we didn't get much further than the field gate. Hot chocolate in front of the fire tasted even better than usual after that but we were all very glad when the thaw finally set in!
We've already had a few snow showers this month, but now the schools have broken up and DD is home from university, I've stopped worrying. The weather can do what it likes. We've got plenty of supplies of everything, including writing paper and printer cartridges. Where we live it's safer not to try and travel when the weather's bad, so we just keep an eye on our neighbours and feed the birds.
I hope all your dreams come true this Christmas. Happy Holidays to Presents lovers everywhere, and here's to a peaceful, productive and passionate 2012 for us all!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

December 2011 Release

The Real Rio D'Aquila by Sandra Marton

Italian by birth, this street urchin lived a life of extreme poverty until he escaped to Brazil—where he cast off his roots, took a new name and pulled himself up from the streets.

Now Rio D'Aquila is beyond wealthy, with a reputation for being uncompromising in business…and incomparable in bed! But on meeting vulnerable Isabella Orsini, he feels something deep within him stir, and he finds himself pretending to be that long-forgotten man.

Passion flares and their affair spirals, but Isabella still doesn't know that her lover has lied to her. Who is the real Rio D'Aquila?

For more information, please visit

Monday, November 7, 2011

A Touch of Luxury - Annie West

Have you ever craved a touch of luxury in your life? A rare treat away from the everyday world of juggling responsibilities? I think most of us have.

Personally I think a little indulgence once in a while is a wonderful thing - a memorable chance to relax and experience something completely different. I suspect it could become addictive except real life always manages to intervene. After all, real indulgence costs. I suppose it's partly the novelty that makes indulgence such fun.

I was recently in London (a huge treat in itself given the fact that I live in Australia). As well as catching up with my editor and some wonderful, wonderful British Presents authors, I also managed to fit in an extra special treat: high tea at Claridges, one of London's most prestigious hotels. I'd read about the place in books for years and wondered if it would be up to expectations. Browsing the website it looked terrific but in reality it was even better.

The red brick facade is pleasant but doesn't really give an inkling of what's inside, though the very smart and friendly doorman was a bit of a giveaway. Afternoon tea was served in a lovely, bright, elegant room. Service was impeccable and the staff were fantastic. Nothing was too much trouble. I didn't get to pour my own tea - not once in several hours, and though they were at hand and very attentive, they didn't intrude and were delightfully friendly. The food was superb, the setting fantastic and the result - sheer pleasure.

Whiling away an afternoon indulging in a quintessentially English pastime - afternoon tea, was a perfect way to spend my first afternoon in London. As well as tea there were sandwiches (of course) - Scottish salmon, cucumber, ham, etc, etc. There were perfect scones, both fruit and plain with house-made jam and clotted cream (my fave!). Then there was the tray of...I don't dare call them anything as ordinary as cakes. Yes, there was cake with rich chocolately layers. But there were tarts with fresh fruit, macaroons stacked with raspberries dusted with sugar and the most amazing tropical fruit dessert. The sad thing was that despite multiple offers, we were just too full to have seconds!

As well as being a terrific treat, the experience was perfect fodder for the author in me. Just thinking about the people who take such service in their stride as a matter of course set me thinking about new stories. As for the setting - I suspect something like it is going to appear in a future book.

In the meantime my current book THE SAVAKIS MERGER, is out now in North America as a Presents Extra release. It features a couple who've lived with luxury, though neither is exactly what they seem. I wondered when I wrote my heroine, Callie, if readers might find it hard to identify with a woman who had a wardrobe stacked full of designer gowns. I needn't have worried. So far reader feedback has been terrific. Maybe it's got something to do with the fact that those gowns come with memories she'd rather avoid, and a future she's trying to build which is as far away from A list glamour as she can get. As for Damon, he might look like he was born and bred to a tuxedo but nothing could be further from the truth. It was fun writing a story where the outward trappings of wealth hid so many secrets. Here's a taste:

From untouchable socialite...
Only hours ago she was a wickedly tempting, sexy stranger. Now Damon Savakis knows who she really is - Callie Manolis, society ice-queen and duplicitous niece of his arch enemy. his unwilling mistress!
Yet when Callie's avaricious uncle loses the Manolis money, she becomes the bargaining chip in the Savakis merger. Damon is unprepared for her bravery, poise and purity in a world full of greed. Once she's paid her dues in his bed he'll make her his willing bride for free.

To find out more about the story, read an excerpt or some reviews of it, head over to my website.

In the meantime, since I've been talking about luxury indulgences, I'm wondering what your perfect luxury indulgence would be. Something big or something small? Is there a special treat you've always wanted to try?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

November 2011 Releases

The Man With The Money by Lynn Harris

Notorious gambler Jack no longer gets a buzz from the risks, or the money, he takes at the card table. In fact, it bores him. Until one night he wins more than he ever bargained for.…

His prize is the stunning Cara Taylor—she might be down on her luck but she certainly doesn't need rescuing by a maverick card-shark like Jack! Now she's stuck with him and she doesn't know whether to love him or loathe him. But, cut from the same pack, playing Jack at his own game is the most fun she's ever had!

Visit for more information.

The Ice Prince by Sandra Marton

Prince Draco Valenti, known as the ice prince, bears his title reluctantly, and wears his icy exterior like a suit of armor that no opponent can penetrate….

Except Anna Orsini. She isn't any ordinary adversary, she's a high-flying, straight-talking lawyer in a no-nonsense suit and killer stilettos—conflicting signals that perplex, frustrate and attract Draco all at the same time.…

While they're at odds in business, in the bedroom Draco's desire for Anna has the power to melt his defenses. The temptation to play with fire is overwhelming.…


Visit for more information.

The Night That Changed Everything by Anne McAllister

Nicholas Savas is tall, dark and too gorgeous for anyone's good. To shield her wild-child sister from Nick's intoxicating gaze, sensible Edie steps into his eyeline instead!

Nick's fascinated by the defiant, beautiful Edie—she's a challenge, and he'll thoroughly enjoy sweeping her down-to-earth feet out of the ballroom and into his bed! But one night with Edie Tremayne is unforgettable, hot as hell—and not nearly enough…


Visit for more information.

A Royal Engagement by Trish Morey & Caitlin Crews

The Storm Within by Trish Morey

Dr. Grace Hunter seeks an ancient text beneath the castle of Count Alessandro Volta.

The reclusive count wasn't expecting scientist Grace to be a beautiful woman who stirs his scarred soul. Outside, a media storm is brewing, but inside the count's world the heat between them is sizzling!

The Reluctant Queen by Caitlin Crews

Stolen away years ago, Princess Lara is offered an ultimatum by new King Adel. Return to her kingdom as his queen or pay back the bride price! Feisty Lara refuses, but remembers how Adel used to make her heart race.…

Visit for more information.

The Savakis Merger by Annie West

Only hours ago she was a wickedly tempting, sexy stranger. Now Damon Savakis knows who she really is—Callie Manolis, society ice-queen and duplicitous niece of his arch enemy.

Yet when Callie's avaricious uncle loses the Manolis money, she becomes the bargaining chip in the Savakis merger! Damon is unprepared for her bravery, poise and purity in a world full of greed. Once she's paid her dues in his bed…he'll make her his willing bride for free!

Visit for more information.

Monday, October 31, 2011

The Man with the Money - Lynn Raye Harris

I love this video! I think it's so sexy and compelling. Who doesn't want to read about those bad boy Wolfe brothers and their sister, hmm? Harlequin did an awesome job making this trailer, and I'm so thrilled to be a part of the series.

Book 5, The Man With the Money, is in stores now! Jack Wolfe is a hot renegade, a loner, a man who has cut himself off from everyone and who doesn't forgive easily. He gets his thrills by playing for high-stakes--cards, the financial market--but on the night he meets Cara Taylor, he may have bitten off more than he can chew.

When I was writing about Jack, I thought of him as being rather like Daniel Craig's James Bond. No, he doesn't look like Craig -- but he's that tough, that hard and brooding and lonely. Makes me all shivery to think of it!

This is my first continuity, my first time writing to a plot I was given rather than making up everything on my own. It was fun, and surprisingly freeing to be told what to write! I had to include certain elements, and things had to happen a certain way -- but I also had a lot of freedom to make Jack and Cara into the people they are. It was my job to take their flaws and conflicts and make them come alive.

I hope I've done that! For a fun excerpt where Jack tells Cara he wants to play strip poker with her, click here to visit my books page. RT Book Reviews magazine gave this story 4 Stars and said it has, "intense emotional turmoil, a tortured hero and toe-curling intimate encounters." Rawr!

Jack…Red-Hot. Renegade. Restless.

Notorious gambler Jack no longer gets a buzz from the risks he takes at the card table. In fact it bores him. Until one night he wins more than he ever bargained for…

His prize is stunning Cara Taylor – she might be down on her luck but she certainly doesn’t need rescuing by a card-shark like Jack! Now she’s stuck with him she doesn’t know whether to love him or loathe him.

Hope you enjoy this story!

Lynn Raye Harris is a USA Today bestselling author who writes glamorous, sexy romance for Harlequin Presents. You can learn more about Lynn and her books at You can also follow Lynn on Twitter @LynnRayeHarris or visit her author page on Facebook,

Monday, October 24, 2011

THE ICE PRINCE, the newest book in Sandra Marton's THE ORSINI SAGA

Hello, and welcome to the exciting world of the Orsini family!

I began writing about this Sicilian-American family two years ago, though the characters had been in my head longer than that.

A Mafioso Don. His seemingly-compliant wife. Their four sons who despise their father and have made their own ways in the world.

The characters came alive with breathtaking swiftness. I could see them, hear them; I could hardly wait to get them on paper.

I planned four books, one for each Orsini brother. Almost as an afterthought, I decided to include two sisters, mostly to give this powerful family some feminine counterpoint.

I had no plans for telling their stories—and no idea that neither Anna or Isabella would tolerate being overlooked! But as I told their brothers' stories, the sisters began to elbow their way in. And then you, my wonderful readers, took up their cause.

You e-mailed. You snail-mailed. You stopped me at conferences. You said you'd adored Rafaelle and Dante, Nicolo and Falco… and their sisters. You wanted to know their stories, too.

I know you'll understand when I tell you that Anna (and Izzy) were starting to tell me the same thing.

Well, I finally got the message.

The Ice Prince is Anna's story.

Anna's a tough, smart New York attorney. She's also a bundle of conflicting signals. She wears no-nonsense  business suits and killer stilettos. She has a healthy attitude about men and sex but she's not interested in love.

Prince Draco Valenti can't figure her out. The only thing he's sure of is that they're adversaries… and that he wants her more than he's ever imagined wanting a woman. How can that be? Draco is sexy; he's an incredible lover, but he's always been a man in tight control of emotions.

Until he meets Anna.

Their hot, tempestuous affair unfolds in Rome, surely one of the most beautiful and romantic cities in the world.

Draco has a villa on the Via Appia. He has a tough time convincing Anna to move in with him. He knows he's going to have a tougher time convincing her to live with him once they're back in the States. Anna's not into commitment. She's seen what happens to women when they let themselves fall in love with strong, powerful men.

Draco comes up with a plan he's certain will solve the problem.

Unfortunately, he neglects to share that plan with Anna.

And, just that quickly, their affair is over.  Or is it?

Can a fiercely independent woman and a man accustomed to running an empire find happiness together?

Find the answer in THE ICE PRINCE, available right now!

And when you have time, come visit me at where you'll find news about me and all my books.

Lots of love,

P.S. Isabella's story will be on sale next month. It's called THE REAL RIO D'AQUIA, and I think you'll find it equally exciting!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

European Inspiration - Part 1

Hi, Trish Morey here, fresh from six weeks travelling around Europe and home with so much inspiration I could burst and I have no doubt that many of the locations I visited are going to become the settings for some Presents reading to come. So here's a first glimpse of a couple of the fabulous places I visited and some of the sights I saw. Maybe you might recognise some of them in a future Trish Morey story?

First stop was London. What isn't there to love about London? Here's a picture of the Liberty of London Building, a gorgeous Tudor revival building built in only 1924, but from the timbers of two old ships, so it really has a much longer and richer history.

I can imagine a heroine from a Presents novel inside, wandering through the rooms, searching for inspiration for that special piece or fabric with which to redecorate some old family pile in the country, for a reclusive and distant billionaire who is as mysterious as he is strangely compelling...

And here's the tiara she might wear on their wedding day once she's found and melted his heart, a tiara spotted in a shop window and which spoke to me.

Of course, it's been in the hero's family for generations, probably via the Austrian Princess connection (it's amazing what a little imagination can do with a shop window display:))

(And no, I didn't buy the tiara. I was actually afraid what the answer might be if I asked how much.)

Next stop was Tuscany and more fuel for the writer's imagination. The best kind of fuel...

Would this do for a hero's family home? Or maybe the home he was never invited to because he was the illegitimate son? Or maybe he was the housekeeper's child, maybe even the love child of the rich owner?

I love Tuscany (gosh, who doesn't?) I loved the misty sunrises and colourful sunsets, I
loved the local sparkling Prosecco we had with dinner on the terrace on warm autumn nights, I loved the discovery of large frozen octopuses in the supermarket freezer section and I adored the flower and plant stall in the nearby market in Fivizzano.

So much to see and this was just my first week! I will have to come back and include some more pictures in a Part 2 post soon. Meanwhile, I should get in a plug for a story I adore, The Storm Within, coming out in Presents in November (but is probably already on shelf now) in a 2-in-1 with the fabulous and talented Caitlin Crews, and called, A Royal Engagement.

The Storm Within is my first Gothic style story, albeit with a happy ending, but still with so many of those Gothic elements that we've come to expect of the genre - a crumbling castle atop a rugged cliff on a storm-tossed island, dark tunnels beneath the castle filled with ancient pirate history, and a reclusive Count, scarred both physically and mentally. Into this world comes a beautiful young conservator, whose presence on the Island is as unwanted by the Count as the discovery of the pages from the ancient book that has brought her to his isolated Island.

I had a fabulous time bringing these two characters together. I hope you enjoy reading their journey too!

With much love,


Monday, October 3, 2011

Married in Las Vegas! - Jane Porter

As some of you may know from Facebook and my blog, I got married last month! My surfer guy, Ty Gurney, and I tied the knot on September 17th in an Elvis style wedding in Las Vegas. We’d originally planned on a small wedding with just a few family and friends but as it happens with these things, it got bigger and better.

Being a romance writer, I love weddings. I write them in my Harlequin Presents, but also love them in real life. I love dressing up and having a party. I love having a reason to celebrate with family and friends and just rejoicing about all the good things in life.

I had so much fun in Las Vegas. I never would have thought I'd do a Vegas wedding but it was perfect! I loved my gorgeous dress and pretty red heels. I loved Elvis singing to us in the little Vegas wedding chapel, and all the fun Vegas themed touches we included for the reception. Ty loves black, and I love red so we combined the colors for a glamorous black and red color scheme. Our cake was one of my favorite things, as well as the a poolside cocktails with the sun setting in the background. It was great to have my family and closest friends there (including the fabulous Caitlin Crews) to help us celebrate the special day.

There’s one more thing I want to share – my new novella, One Christmas Night In Venice is featured as one of the stories in the anthology Mistletoe Wishes. It’s a story set in Venice during Christmas and I had such great fun writing it. I love Venice just as much as I love Christmas. My characters, Domencio and Diane find love together for a second time under the stars in this gorgeous city. I hope you’ll look for it and hopefully enjoy reading it!

Jane Porter

Saturday, October 1, 2011

October Releases

Doukakis's Mistress by Sarah Morgan

With her family business in crisis, Polly Prince does her best to keep calm and carry on. But hard work alone can't save her London company from a takeover by the infamously ruthless Damon Doukakis…or her traitorous body from the lethal sensuality of her boss!

As his new apprentice, Polly accompanies Damon to Paris to negotiate the most challenging business deal of her life! Worse still, Polly must at all costs resist Damon in the most dangerously romantic city in the world.…
For more information, visit

The Kanellis Scandal by Michelle Reid

"It is not wise to make him angry …"
…But Anton Pallis is livid! As the adopted son of the Kanellis patriarch, he's set to inherit the vast family fortune. Until it's revealed there's a true heir—in the rather appealing shape of Zoe Ellis.

Zoe's Greek heritage means nothing to her—and to be involved with the Kanellis dynasty is to be cursed with scandal! Except now, it's pounding on her front door—or rather, Anton is, in all his dark, chiseled glory. And she has no idea what he's going to do next.…

For more information, visit

The Return of the Stranger by Kate Walker

Standing high on the windswept moors, the lone figure of Heath Montanha vows vengeance on the woman who destroyed the last fragments of his heart…
Lady Katherine Charlton has never forgotten the stable hand with dangerous fists and a troubled heart from her childhood. Now the rebel is back, his powerful anger concealed under a polished and commanding veneer.

When ten years of scandal and secrets are unleashed, with a passionate, furious kiss, Heath's deepest, darkest wish crystallizes: revenge—and Kathy—will be his!

For more inforation, visit

Monday, September 26, 2011

Stories that Never Leave You - by Kate Walker

When I was eleven, I was  at a very small junior school that was in an old building, where the wiring wasn't very reliable. The was in West Yorkshire where the weather was often wild, and storms could break over the hills with great drama and  force.  One day there was a huge thunderstorm, great flashes of lightning, and the lights in the whole building fused.  We were sitting in darkness, with  a lot of the girls getting scared and screaming when the thunder roared and the lightning flashed. (Not me - I have always loved storms and still do.)

To distract us from getting worried and while waiting for the electricty to be restored, the teacher - a Mr Grogan  - told us to sit quietly and he would tell us a story.  The story he told was a bout a man who returned home to his farm, high on the Yorkshire moors, bringing with him an orphan gipsy boy he has found in the streets of Liverpool . The farmer already had a son and daughter, Hindly and Catherine - and the gipsy boy's name was of course Heathcliff. This story was the beginning of the classic romantic novel  - Wuthering Heights.

I never got to hear the end of the story that day because the lights came back on before my teacher had got past the point where Heathcliff and Cathy fight, and Heathcliff runs away,  to go and make his fortune. I never learned what happened when he came back - because it was  obvious that he did come back - and I always wanted to know.  But of course most of the story of Heathcliff's revenge was probably not suitable for young children.

But the story stayed with me and I wanted to know so much about it.  It was some years later that I found a book on my mother's bookshelf and, opening it, saw the names I remembered so well. I started to read  - and didn't put it down until I had finished. It was an amazing story - but  it never had the happy ending that I had hoped for. 

I've read Wuthering Heights many times again and again since that day. I've studied it at school and at university  and never tired of it. It's a story that never really leaves my imagination, specially as the place I grew up was so close to Haworth village where the Bronte sisters  lived and where Emily Bronte  wrote Wuthering Heights in the parsonage there.

So when editorial suggested a special mini series where Presents Authors took the themes of classics of romantic fiction - Jane Eyre, Emma, Pride and Prejudice - and Wuthering Heights, I was thrilled to be asked to take part in it.  Specially when I learned that the book they wanted me to work on was my own favourite - Wuthering Heights. I've had an amazing time looking back at this great book and  honouring it by using it as the inspiration for my own Presents version of  this amazing story. I've had to make changes of course - Wuthering Heights isn't really a love story. It's a story about passion and possession and  power -  so while all those other books had happy endings already set, I had to create one for my characters. I also had to take wild, willful Cathy and dark, dangerous Heathcliff and give them the happy ever after ending that Emily Bronte's story never had.

I found it a challenge - but I loved doing it. I created the story I had always hoped for all those years ago. I didn't copy or steal from Wuthering Heights, just used the basic themes that are in the book and created a romance that stands on its own. You don't have to have read Wuthering Heights to enjoy The Return of The Stranger - you can read it entirely on its own and enjoy it. 

Last week I was back in Haworth village, talking to The Bronte Society about writing The Return of The Stranger. I met a lot of people there who had never been able to get the story of Wuthering Heights out of their minds too - and I was trilled to find that so many of them felt that way about Return of The Stranger too They loved this modernised, Presents version.  (I'm going to be sharing some of my pictures of Haworth on my own blog soon - and on the I Heart Presents blog at the begining of October.)

Oh yes - and they loved the cover too. I've posted the Presents Extra cover of The Return of the Stranger because that's the one that will be in the shops in October - but I have to share the UK cover with you as well - because  . . . . well - look at it! It's fantastic - isn't it?

I hope you enjoy The Return of the Stranger as much as they all did.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Family - Helen Bianchin

My last release was"Alessandro's Prize" which came out in July of this year.  Northern Italy became the setting of choice ... A little sentimentality on my part as my husband was born in the province of Treviso in northern Italy. I have to admit to admiring the culture, cuisine, fashion; gregarious temperament; above all,  famiglia - family.

Our marriage produced three children, who were aged 3, 5 and 8 years of age when I wrote my first book. Consequently they've grown up with a mother who spent a lot of time initially keying words onto a typewriter, then into a computer.   Even now, my daughter will 'phone me, sigh heavily as I answer, and offer 'you're in the zone, Mum, I'll ring back later'. She can tell just from the tone in my voice?  Really?  Even after all these years when I'd thought I'd mastered the smooth switch from writer to mother?

Perhaps I can lean back a little from the slight edge of guilt that while I was always there for them, in truth I was inevitably a little distracted by the current opus and a hero and heroine who refused to comply with my direction. Sound a little familiar?

At the moment I'm currently working on my 61st manuscript, as yet untitled, which should be completed by November.  The hero is of Greek/American heritage, the heroine third generation Russian on her mother's side, and the theme is revenge. It's sizzling nicely ...

All the best


Thursday, September 1, 2011

September releases

Too Proud To Be Bought by Sharon Kendrick

The humble waitress and the Russian billionaire…
Waitress Zara Evans doesn't belong in glittering high society. That is until she finds herself unexpectedly at an exclusive party, and manages to captivate the most sought-after man in the room—Russian oligarch Nikolai Komarov.

For Nikolai, there's something about Zara's beauty that makes her stand out from the first-class crowd. Experience has taught him all women have their price, but he has never encountered anyone like Zara—a young woman who is too proud, too independent, too willful to be bought…

For more information, please visit

The Secret Baby Scandal by Jennie Lucas & Kate Hewitt

The Count's Secret Child by Jennie Lucas
Theo St. Raphael summoning Carrie to his castle means only one thing to her—he's finally ready to accept their baby son. So as she walks up the grand steps, the last thing she expects is to discover that all Theo wants is her back in his bed—and a paternity test!

The Sandoval Baby by Kate Hewitt

For Rafe Sandoval, discovering he has a three-year-old son by his late ex-wife is a shock. Max's nanny, quiet, beguiling Freya Clark, is a godsend. One night, the growing tension between them turns to passion, and soon Rafe discovers he's to be a father again.… This child will have two parents from the start—and Rafe wants marriage!

For more information, please visit

Maharaja's Mistress by Susan Stephens

Monte Carlo is abuzz with news that Ram Varindha—young, hot and royal—is without a co-driver for the biggest rally event of the year. Though it's been years since she last saw him, Mia leaps at the chance to get up close with the maharaja!

With time to spare before he takes on more serious royal duties, bedding this beauty is top of Ram's list. But Mia has long known Ram's reputation. Is she just in for the hottest few nights of her life, or could her dream of finally taming Ram's playboy ways become reality?

For more information, please visit

Monday, August 1, 2011

That First Romantic Kiss - Annie West

I have a new book out this month. PRINCE OF SCANDAL is a twist on the Cinderella theme. A long lost princess holds the key to inheriting a kingdom. A handsome, ruthless prince is determined to secure his birthright, and the safety of his subjects - by marrying a stranger.

Raul, my prince with a past, is determined to get his own way and can't understand why his chosen bride would object to a marriage that brings her wealth, status, security and all the luxuries of life, not to mention a handsome, charismatic prince into the bargain! But Luisa has other ideas and they don't include tying herself for life to an arrogant if gorgeous aristocrat who's far too used to getting his own way.

As I wrote I began to wonder what sort of first kiss this pair would have. Would it be a chaste salute in front of a huge congregation and the world's cameras on their wedding day? Would it be a tentative caress? Would Raul decide to seduce his bride in order to make her more amendable to his plans? Would Luisa kiss him to prove the point that there was no attraction between them and marriage would be a mistake? Romance writers can spend a lot of time mulling over a kiss. On the left is one of my favourites, from the TV adaptation of 'North and South'. That Richard Armitage definitely knows how to kiss! That kiss was so long coming, so slow in the build up, and full of delicious anticipation. Here's another sort of kiss entirely, not quite so chaste, but with definite possibilities!

In the end Raul and Luisa's first kiss happens in a gorgeous, romantic place: aboard a private boat cruising through Paris at night. Their conflicts haven't been resolved and disagreement rather than romance leads to that first kiss. Luisa takes Raul to task for his high-handed ways, telling him in no uncertain terms that he's not a man she wants to marry. She wants a man she can respect and love. A man who makes her heart race...which is when Raul decides to show her he's exactly to the man to make her heart race and more. But instead of that being a victory for him, it becomes a turning point as he realises what he feels for her is more complex that he suspected.

Raul's mouth claimed Luisa's, pressing, demanding, till on a gasp her lips parted and he took possession.
Too late he realised his mistake.
The spark of indignation that had urged him to silence her grievances flared higher. Hotter. Brighter. He tasted her and heat shimmered, molten in his blood. He delved into her sweet lush mouth and discovered something unexpected.
Something unique.

If you want to read more about PRINCE OF SCANDAL, including background on how I came to write it, reviews and a longer excerpt, visit my website at Or you could buy it at Harlequin, Amazon or the Book Depository.

Is there a screen kiss or a romance book one that stands out for you? Alternatively, do you have a romantic kiss story of your own you'd like to share? Even a suggestion on the perfect location for a romantic first kiss.

Annie will choose at random one person from those who leave a comment to receive a copy of PROTECTED TO THE PRINCE - a linked story to PRINCE OF SCANDAL, or if they already have that book, a surprise gift.

Excerpt from the title: Prince of Scandal by Annie West. The excerpt is posted by arrangement with Harlequin Books SA. ISBN: 9780373130108 Copyright ©: 2011 by Annie West.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

August 2011 Releases

The Disgraced Playboy - Caitlin Crews

Lucas… Playboy. Rebel. Rogue.

No one denies Lucas anything. Women fall at his feet and into his bed at the click of his fingers. His life is charmed, reckless and carefree—he is definitely a bad boy.

Grace Carter knows uncontrollable Lucas could ruin her career, and she won't tolerate his wayward behavior, despite their chemistry. But working with Lucas is thrilling, and after just a small dose of his magic, even Grace's prim-and-proper shell begins to splinter…

For more information, please visit

The Impoverished Princess - Robyn Donald

Prince Charming, or a dark knight in disguise?

Billionaire Alex Matthews's sights are set on penniless "ice" Princess Serina of Montevel. His job is to keep her brother under surveillance, but it's Serina who has caught Alex's eye!

Whisked to his secluded tropical retreat, Serina finds her outer shell of royal decorum crumbling at the power of Alex's presence. Before the impoverished princess realizes, she's drowning in Alex's glacial-blue eyes and…waking up in his king-size bed!

She thinks Alex is her Prince Charming, but has he led her astray under false pretences?

For more information, please visit

The Matchmaker Bride - Kate Hewitt

Will love conquer…her boss?

Beautiful, clever, rich—and determinedly single—Emily Wood is the youngest ever head of HR at her company. Whether dousing corporate fires or matchmaking lonely colleagues, Emily's at the top of her game. Only her handsome, sardonic boss, Jason Kingsley, appears to remain immune to her charm…

Jason is used to women falling at his feet, but relationships, with all their illogical demands, are not for him. So why does he find Emily so attractive? She's a highly unsuitable target for his seduction and merger skills—what with her misguided belief in the power of love…

For more information, please visit

A Dark Sicilian Secret - Jane Porter

Lethally attractive Vittorio d'Severano was everything Jillian Smith wanted—until she discovered his secret life, and her dreams of a happy-ever-after crumbled into dust… Brokenhearted and terrified, Jill disappeared.

Now Vitt has returned—to claim the tiny son Jill has sworn to keep from him! But to stay with her child, she must put Vitt's ring on her finger. Yet what kind of relationship can they have when it's based on secrets and a heat impossible to resist?

For more information, please visit

The Untamed Argentinean - Susan Stephens

What Nero wants, Nero gets—doesn't he?

Reigning polo champion Nero Caracas bows to no man…and certainly not to women! With red-hot Latin blood coursing through his veins, what he wants he gets…

Bella Wheeler has followed in the footsteps of her horse-trainer father—though, determined to eclipse his disreputable legacy, she remains professionally distant from everyone! This aloof beauty has two things Nero wants—the best horse in the world…and a body as pure and untouched as her snow-white ice maiden's reputation!

For more information, please visit

Prince of Scandal - Annie West

Ruling prince…

Raul, Prince of Maritz, is furious that an archaic law is forcing him to wed. But scandal and unrest has dogged this prince for years, and a marriage to recently discovered princess Luisa Hardwicke will help bring stability to the monarchy.

…reluctant princess

Only, Luisa is an outspoken, mud-splattered farm girl, who isn't going to come quietly! Even as she's reluctantly transformed into polished perfection, Luisa challenges Raul at every turn—and he finds himself anticipating their wedding night with an excitement he never imagined he'd feel…

For more information, please visit

Monday, July 11, 2011

Be Careful What You Wish For...

...or you might get it, goes the old saying. My grandmother was cook in an aristocratic household back in the nineteen twenties. Her finest moment was when she was presented to the Duke and Duchess of York (later King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, of The King's Speech fame) after a formal dinner. There was no doubt Gran was good enough to be given the title Chef these days, and at one stage I was keen to follow in her footsteps. Then I discovered how long the hours are when you work in the hospitality business. It wouldn't have left me with either the time or the energy to write, so I soon gave up that idea.
In my July Presents Extra release,  The Count's Challenge, heroine Gwen has no illusions, but a lot of determination. Despite a terrible setback, she is going to make a success of her restaurant in the South of France if it kills her. Aristocratic Etienne isn't going to let things get that far, but her independent streak means he can be nothing more than a sleeping partner in her business - until a shocking discovery makes them both reassess their lives and dreams. Gwen was only too glad to escape from her large and boisterous family back home in Wales and follow her dreams. Feeling isolated and alone, she is too proud to reveal her true feelings to Etienne until it's almost too late. But he has secrets of his own...
I thoroughly enjoyed working The Count's Challenge as it is sheer, sun-drenched escapism full of nightingales and champagne. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it! For a chance to win signed copies and other goodies, visit my website, for details of how to enter my Summer Competition. Good luck!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Man versus Movie Star

A few years ago when my children were very young we were visiting a theme park when a certain Hollywood ‘A’ list actor turned up with his children. It was early in the morning, out of season and the park was really quiet. In this particular area it was just me….and him (and a couple of muscular security men but let’s forget about them). Being well mannered, I ignored him but I couldn’t help noticing how gorgeous he was with his children and I knew in that moment that I was seeing the ‘real’ man, not the movie star. That encounter stayed with me and when I was asked by my editor to write the opening book for an exciting new series for Harlequin Presents called The Notorious Wolfes and saw that my hero was a world famous actor, I knew instantly what his conflict would be.

Nathaniel Wolfe has secrets. Black, dirty secrets buried deep within his family and kept carefully hidden from the world. He’s the ultimate bad boy, a Hollywood superstar who uses his incredible acting ability to conceal the shocking truth about his past. But secrets, especially nasty ones, have a way of escaping and when his carefully protected world fractures and he realises his past is about to be exposed, Nathaniel needs somewhere to hide. He turns in desperation to the first person he sees, costume designer Katie Field.

Katie lives alone. Coping with family problems of her own, she works hard, spending all her spare time drawing and designing costumes and trying to follow her dream. The closest she comes to glamour is when she dresses other people …….until the night Nathaniel Wolfe begs her for sanctuary. The only red carpet Katie has ever walked on is threadbare and her budget doesn’t allow for meals in expensive restaurants but suddenly she’s entertaining Hollywood royalty in her cramped London flat.

A Night of Scandal is the story of an ordinary girl who finds herself swept into an extraordinary world. Daunted by Nathaniel the movie star, Katie wants to know Nathaniel the man but he fights against revealing that dark, damaged side he’s successfully hidden all his adult life. As their relationship deepens she wants to trust him but how do you believe the words of a man whose greatest skill is his ability to become someone else?

With his past closing in on him, Nathaniel is forced to make a difficult choice. He can continue to hide behind the roles he plays and risk losing the woman he loves or he can finally play the one part he’s always avoided – himself.

I hope you enjoy reading Nathaniel and Katie’s story as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Love Sarah


Friday, July 1, 2011

July Releases

Alessandro's Prize by Helen Bianchin

He'd longed to claim her…
A vacation in Milan sounds ideal to Lily Parisi. Her world was rocked to its core when she found her fiancĂ© cheating on her, but now she is determined to get on with her life—on her own! But not for long… She bumps into someone she knows—Alessandro del Marco—and her plans come a little undone…

Darkly, smolderingly enigmatic, Alessandro has long wanted Lily but never pursued her. He's always kept his cool. However, now that Lily—the prize he's always wanted—is in his reach, he's finding it impossible to keep control… The time has come to stake his claim—especially since the passionate chemistry appears to be mutual!

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The Count's Challenge by Christina Hollis

Struggling chef Gwen flew to France to fulfill her dreams—she'd rather work herself into the ground than return to her smothering family. But all her determination can't help her resist the intense gaze of Count Etienne Moreau.…

After an explosive night, Etienne wants to keep Gwen by his side, and in his bed—she's the perfect antidote to cold-blooded business deals. But proud Gwen is outraged. In Etienne's world money might buy him anything, but this girl is not for sale!

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Reckless Night in Rio by Jennie Lucas

"All you need to do is… pretend to love me."
The task should be easy for Laura Parker— after all, Gabriel Santos is outrageously good-looking, it's for one night only and he is offering her a million dollars.…

There are just three things to consider, however:

1. They've already had one steamy, unforgettable night together in Rio.

2. Laura's been in love with Gabriel ever since.

3. Gabriel's never wanted children, but he's not aware he's the father of Laura's baby.

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The Wedding Charade by Melanie Milburne

Her trust fund is dwindling. If Jade Sommerville is to continue living in the manner she's become accustomed to, she has only one option…make the notorious Nic Sabbatini marry her!
The youngest of the Sabbatini brothers, Nic doesn't suffer fools, or respond well to ultimatums—especially those in his grandfather's will! But when the stunning, willful Jade breezes into his office and announces their upcoming nuptials to the world's media, Nic might have finally met his match.

He's turned Jade down once before. But this time?

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A Night of Scandal by Sarah Morgan

Nathaniel… Icon. Celebrity. Heartthrob.
But underneath his movie-star good looks, he's battling with the demons of his past. No one knows the real Nathaniel, they only see the pinup, the illusion he pretends to be.

Then one night he is forced to rely on Katie Field, an ordinary young woman from a very different world. She may be starstruck but she isn't blinded by the bright lights of fame. Can Nathaniel trust her enough to reveal the real man behind the mask?

Let the seduction begin….

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After Their Vows by Michelle Reid

Broken vows don't necessarily mean a broken marriage…
Angie de Calvhos meant every word of the vows she shared with husband, Roque, at the altar. Pity he didn't return her sincerity… Expecting happy-ever-after, instead Angie found herself going through a mortifyingly public separation!

Now Angie has finally built up the courage to put an end to her time as a de Calvhos wife once and for all. But she's forgotten the magnetic pull that devilish Roque possesses. and as the past collides with the present, Angie realizes she owes it to Roque—and herself—to give Roque another chance.

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Rafe's Redemption by Annie West

For love or money…
Brooding tycoon Rafe Benton sees beautiful Antonia Malleson as a pawn in his plans to avenge his family's mistreatment by his brutish father. He decides to use his wealth and devastating sex appeal to get this delectable ice queen—and his father's newest favorite—into his bed….

Now Rafe has Antonia right where he wants her, but her innocence changes everything. Suddenly he's forced to question his own behavior.and the depth of his feelings for Antonia. Could it be that this dark and dangerous man has finally found the woman to melt his frozen heart?

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