His Poor Little Rich Girl, by Melanie Milburne

by Melanie Milburne, author of His Poor Little Rich Girl (Harlequin Presents, January 2012)

Before I begin a new book I spend a lot of time thinking over how I can take a much loved and well-used romance theme and bring it to my readers using a fresh and innovative approach. It’s a constant challenge for any writer in any genre to pique interest and intrigue in the reader, but in series romance the challenge is monumental.
It’s all been done before and thousands, if not millions of times!

I had a revenge and rags to riches plot percolating in the back of my mind for a while. I decided that my hero Alessandro Vallini would have very good reasons for wanting revenge on the young woman who spurned his heartfelt proposal five years ago. Spoilt socialite Rachel McCulloch chose money over Alessandro’s love and he has spent every year since building an empire to show her what she missed out on by rejecting him so heartlessly.

Sound familiar so far?

Yes, that’s what I thought too, so I decided to up the stakes a bit.

What if Alessandro wanted revenge but not right now?

Got your attention? Good. Then hopefully you’ll be asking: Why not right now?

Have you ever had someone turn up at your house when you were least expecting it? Have you been in your pajamas or without makeup, your hair in a mess (roots showing!!!) and dirty dishes in the sink?

Yes, me too. It’s an awful feeling to be caught off guard and unprepared, which is exactly what Alessandro felt when Rachel turned up at his villa, demanding a face-to-face meeting with him.

Rachel has a very big axe to grind. She believes Alessandro has extracted revenge on her by sabotaging her bid for financial backing in Italy for her fashion label. The investor she had lined up pulled out at the last minute. Rachel is determined to get Alessandro to change his mind but he flatly refuses to see her! That is, until his housekeeper takes pity on Rachel when she succumbs to the searing summer heat and brings her inside the private fortress of Alessandro’s villa.

I know what you’re thinking. Rachel will meet with Alessandro and he will give her money for her label and blackmail her into an affair, right?


Alessandro has to get rid of Rachel before she finds out how truly vulnerable he is right now. He doesn’t pay her to stay with him. He pays her to leave!

There are a few more surprises in store but I don’t want to spoil it for those who haven’t yet read the book.

I really enjoyed crafting Alessandro as a hero. He is dark and brooding and complex and utterly gorgeous. Rachel too, was a heroine who was so real to me I often felt like she was in the room with me as I wrote!

I hope you are captivated by their journey through bitterness and hatred into lasting love.

Warmest wishes,
Melanie Milburne

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Comments ( 9 )
  1. Annie West
    January 6, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    Hi Melanie,

    I love the idea of the hero being caught out when he’s not ready for the heroine! Talk about turning the tables. As for paying her to stay away – I’m sitting here grinning at the thought. I can’t wait to read this one. It’s alwasy fascinating to see how other writers take familiar themes and change them.

  2. Lynn Raye Harris
    January 6, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    Well I’m intrigued! Off to download…. 🙂

  3. Christina Hollis
    January 7, 2012 at 1:59 am

    Great twists, Melanie. I love the thought of catching a hero off guard!

  4. Melanie Milburne
    January 7, 2012 at 7:30 am

    Hi Annie,
    I love reading how other authors play with themes too. I love being surprised!

  5. melanie Milburne
    January 7, 2012 at 7:32 am

    Hi Lynn,
    Don’t you just love being able to download? So instant! I’m in a reading fest at the moment as I’m recovering from more back surgery. Not much else I can do but lie around and read. Ah, bliss! Apart from the pain, that is!

  6. melanie Milburne
    January 7, 2012 at 7:35 am

    Hi Christina!
    I usually have the heroine caught off guard. It made a nice change. One up for the girls, right?!!

  7. Natasha Tate
    January 8, 2012 at 1:26 pm


    Oooh! I love it when authors take a familiar theme and twist it, and it sounds like you’ve written lots of delicious surprises into Alessandro and Rachel’s story! I can’t wait to dive in!

    I’m also glad to hear you’re home after your surgery and that your recovery is progressing apace (apart from the pain, that is!) May you have lots of good meds to give you hours of blissful reading as you heal!


  8. Melanie Milburne
    January 8, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    Hi Natasha!
    Thanks for posting. I have your second book on my TBR pile. Can’t wait!

  9. Sarah Morgan
    January 9, 2012 at 5:59 am

    ooh this sounds great Melanie, can’t wait to read it!