Michelle Conder on Her Favorite Moment in Romance + Giveaway

by Michelle Conder, author of Living the Charade (Harlequin Presents, February 2013)

The heroine of Living the Charade, Miller Jacobs, is ambitious and hardworking and in dire need of a fake boyfriend to accompany her on a business trip for the weekend. Just when she thinks all is lost she finds herself agreeing to let a stranger – who turns out to be Valentino Ventura, sexy racing car driver extraordinaire – accompany her.

In almost every way these two are opposites. Valentino is relaxed where Miller is not, he doesn’t care what people think about him when she does, and he’s following his dream job when she isn’t. Most of all Miller is someone who likes to be in control at all times but Valentino is an alpha male who is always in control. Writing the scenes where these two came up against each other was loads of fun!

Miller huffed out a breath and eyed him with utter disdain. ‘Please remember that we are playing by my rules this weekend, not yours. When we’re in company just…’ She smoothed her brows. ‘Just follow my lead.’

She pinned a frozen smile on her face and sailed through the door, leaving a faint trace of summertime in her wake.

Valentino breathed deep. He didn’t understand how a woman so intent on behaving like a man could smell so sweet. Then he wondered if she had sex like a man as well: enjoyed herself and moved

on easily.

The unexpected thought made him snort as he followed her down the hall.

He might not know the answer to that, but he was damn sure they were bound to have another argument when she learned he played by no one else’s rules but his own.

And as for following her lead…


While their differences are marked, they are also similar in that that they both hate to feel vulnerable. Unfortunately for Valentino every time he tries to get Miller to open up to him he finds that she unwittingly stirs up a well of emotion in him that he hadn’t expected to feel.

This is one of my favourite moments in a romance novel. When the hero and heroine get to a point where they knowingly make themselves vulnerable to the other

person and then seeing how each of them deals with it. Okay, that and the lead up to the first kiss! Sigh.

But of course we all love different things about romance novels. What are some of your favourite moments in a romance and why?


Giveaway: Michelle has a signed copy of Living the Charade for one lucky winner! To enter to win, please leave a comment in answer to Michelle”s question above. A winner will be drawn and announced on Monday, February 18.

UPDATE: Giveaway is now closed. Please check the comments to see if you won!

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Comments ( 19 )
  1. Melanie Milburne
    February 11, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    Hi Michelle,
    Another gorgeous hero from you. Looking forward to reading this.
    My favourite moment in a romance novel is when they first meet, or meet again if it is a reunion plot. You can tell they belong together from that first eye-lock.
    Oh and I especially like an opposites attract theme. xx

  2. Melanie J
    February 11, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    I agree with Melanie. I think I like reunion stories more then first meetings.

    The books sounds great!

  3. Kaelee
    February 11, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    I like the light bulb moments when either the hero or the heroine discover that they are in love. I sometimes want to give then a shake and say wake up what you are feeling is real. I love that even though I know there is going to be a Happy Ever After, authors keep finding ways to make me wonder how the couple will ever get together.

  4. bn100
    February 11, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    the HEA because that’s the whole point of reading these books

  5. Michelle Conder
    February 11, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    Hi Melanie, I loved writing this hero! And oh yes, that first eye lock is wonderful. I still remember when I met my husband and my mind spinning so fast trying to take him all in at once!

  6. Michelle Conder
    February 11, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    Hi Melanie J,

    I am attracted to reunion stories as well. My first was a reunion story and so is my current work in progress!

  7. MIchelle
    February 11, 2013 at 9:47 pm

    I do love it when an author can string out the moment the hero/ine realise they’re in love as well, Kaelee, because it reminds me that falling in love is an uncertain and vulnerable process. I love not knowing who will admit their feelings to who first!

  8. Michelle
    February 11, 2013 at 9:50 pm

    Sigh, bn100! And don’t you love it when a book sucks you in so completely that you are hanging onto every word right up until the final one. That’s when I know I’ve read a great romance!

  9. Tanya
    February 11, 2013 at 10:36 pm

    This story sounds like a fun read! I love when an alpha male is pitted against a feisty heroine. It’s explosive! Hmmm…my favorite thing about romance novels…I’d say the tension. I love when the tension is building between them. That’s what keeps me turning the page, even if its 3am and I need to be up in a couple hours 🙂

  10. Kai W.
    February 11, 2013 at 11:43 pm

    I like story where the girl get so frustrated with the guy, she just met. The guy that she met, already know that she is “the girl” and goes on to pursue her. Girl does end up falling for the guy and the guy ends up learning that he does in fact loves her.

  11. Veronica
    February 12, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    For me my favourite moment is when the couple sees eachother after having both realized that they can’t live without the other. So sweet!

  12. Michelle Conder
    February 12, 2013 at 10:32 pm

    Oh yes, Tanya! And when they are forced to be together somehow… I think this is even “worse” when the tension is explosive and the couple takes AGES to kiss or make love for the first time… I can’t sleep until at least one of those happens and then I often keep reading because I want to see what happens afterwards!

  13. Michelle Conder
    February 12, 2013 at 10:36 pm

    Hi Kai,

    And also I love when the guy gets frustrated with her right back and loses her in the end and still thinks he’s okay – but then alas, realises that he’s not and goes after her. That final resolution with the man on his knees can be priceless.

  14. Michelle Conder
    February 12, 2013 at 10:39 pm

    Hi Veronica,

    I hadn’t really thought about that moment before. Now you’ve got me thinking and I’m going to check back through some of my favourite romances for just that moment! Ah, so many happy moments to read romance…

  15. Rebe
    February 14, 2013 at 11:28 am

    I’m a big fan of reunion romances, especially when the guy dumped or overlooked the heroine when she was younger, only to realize later how fabulous she is!

  16. Linda Henderson
    February 14, 2013 at 8:28 pm

    I like the first look, the first touch and the moment they actually realize they’ve found their soul mate. I like those moments. I also like the ones where two people who had a past meet again and discover that they have a future together.

  17. Amanda Polanco
    February 16, 2013 at 9:30 am

    I like the moments when they realize they’ve fallen in love with that person and are scared to death of it.

  18. Wondergirl
    February 18, 2013 at 9:55 pm

    I like reading about love at first sight. Just because we don’t seem to get a lot of these in real life (at least I haven’t experienced it).

  19. Amy
    February 19, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    Congratulations to the giveaway winner: VERONICA!

    Please check your email for a message from me 🙂
    ~Amy from Harlequin