Celebrating 50 Books! by Melanie Milburne

by Melanie Milburne, author of Never Say No to a Caffarelli (Those Scandalous Caffarellis series, Harlequin Presents, September 2013)

I am so excited to be sharing with you the story behind the story of my 50th book. I am a tea addict. I drink at least eight cups a day, starting with English Breakfast first thing, moving through to Earl Grey or Lady Grey in the afternoon and then back to English Breakfast at night. I have different cups for different times of the day. Yes, I know, very OCD, isn’t it? My husband just rolls his eyes and brings the right cup each time now. He knows I won’t ( can’t) drink it if it’s in the wrong one.


Here are my cups in order of preference for the day from breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and supper.

 One of my most treasured possessions is my grandmother’s tea set. She came to Australia from Yorkshire in England in 1914 and brought the tea set with her.


And because of my love of tea and teacups, I absolutely adore tearooms, especially old-fashioned ones. One of my favourites is The Hopetoun Tearooms in the Block Arcade in Melbourne. Their lemon meringue pie is to die for!

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My older sister Coralie (a wonderful baker who makes the most amazing apple pies and sponges) and I used to dream of opening our own tearoom one day but we never got around to doing it.

I wanted to write another trilogy and I wanted my heroine to love tearooms too so I gave her one. That’s the fun of being a writer- you can live out your own fantasies through your characters!

Poppy Silverton runs Poppy’s Teas in a sleepy Oxfordshire village but there’s talk a French-Italian super rich rake is about to turn the gracious and stately Dalrymple Manor in to a party central playboy mansion. Poppy lives in the manor’s dower house, bequeathed to her and her late grandmother by Lord Dalrymple. She refuses to sell her home but Rafe Caffarelli — along with his equally rich and ruthless brothers Raoul and Remy — has a credo: Goal. Focus. Win.  There is no deal he hasn’t fought for and won.

Oh, and by the way– he hates tea.

 Poppy handed him the menu to bridge the little silence that had ensured. ‘Um, we have a special cake of the day. It’s a ginger sponge with raspberry jam and cream.’

The dark-haired man ignored the menu and sat down. ‘Just coffee.’

Poppy blinked. She had forty varieties of specialty teas and he wanted coffee? ‘Oh… right. What sort? We have cappuccino, latte-’

‘Double – shot espresso. Black, no sugar.’

Would it hurt to crack a smile? What was it with some men? And who the hell went to a tearoom to drink coffee?

I love opposite attract stories, but in the case of Poppy and Rafe it’s more a case of opposites attack! Poppy might be a soft-hearted pushover when it comes to the locals in her tiny village, but when it comes to an arrogant rich man who thinks he can buy whatever he wants just because he wants it, she’s determined to teach him a much needed lesson.

Her eyes narrowed to hair-pin thin slits as she planted her hands on the table right in front of him so firmly the fine-bone china cups rattled in its saucer. ‘Let’s get something straight from the get-go, Mr Caffarelli. You can’t buy me.’

He took a leisurely glance at the delectable shadow between her breasts before he met her feisty gaze with his cool one. ‘You misunderstand me, Miss Silverton. I don’t want you. I just want your house.’

Her cheeks were bright red with angry defiance as she glared at him. ‘You’re not getting it.’

Rafe felt a quiver of primal earthy lust rumble through his blood that set off a shivery sensation all the way to his groin. He couldn’t remember the last time a woman had said no to him. It spoke to everything that was alpha in him. This was going to be much more fun than he’d thought.

He would not stop until he got that house, and her with it.

He rose to his feet and she jerked backwards as if he had just breathed a dragon’s tongue of fire on her. ‘But I will.’ He laid a fifty-pound note on the table between them, locking her gaze with his fiery one. ‘That’s for the coffee. Keep the change.’

 I hope you enjoy reading Never Say No To A Caffarelli as much as I loved writing it. And I hope you’ll watch out for Raoul and Remy’s stories coming in October and November. I have an extra special giveaway to celebrate my 50th book.  I have five signed copies plus a gift pack. Tell me about your favourite place for afternoon tea. Have you been somewhere extra special? I would love to hear all about it!

Best wishes,


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Update: Melanie”s giveaway is now closed — please check the comments to see who won!

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Comments ( 66 )
  1. Melanie Milburne
    August 29, 2013 at 12:13 am

    Hi Kai W,
    Thanks so much for the congrats. I hope to write many more so lovely readers like you can enjoy them. Thanks for taking the time to post. x

  2. Annie West
    August 29, 2013 at 2:34 am

    Melanie – HUGE congratulations on your 50th release! That’s just fabulous!

    I love the excerpt of this story too. Such chemistry and such a sense of anticipation…yum!

    As for favourite tea rooms, I have to agree about Hopetoun being fun. Their raspberry tartlets are gorgeous. I’ve also got a soft spot for Claridges in London which does wonderful high teas. And then there are some of the gorgeous tea rooms in Devon where you get the delicious clotted cream. Hm. I think you’ve struck one of my favourite things!

    Thanks for sharing with us.

  3. Helen Sibbritt
    August 29, 2013 at 2:49 am

    Hi Melanie

    Huge cograts on your50th book it must be so exciting

    I normally drink coffee but I do enjoy tea especially if is from a teapot and I have been to a couple of high teas and they are so much fun I have yet to visit a tearoom but I would love too

    Have Fun

  4. Melanie Milburne
    August 29, 2013 at 4:18 am

    Hi Annie!
    You are making my mouth water. I love raspberry tartlets and the Hopetoun ones are fab. I have Claridges in London on my wish list. Maybe I could meet my editor there!
    Thanks for celebrating with me. I loved catching up with you in Fremantle. xxx

  5. Mary Preston
    August 29, 2013 at 4:27 am

    My favorite place for afternoon tea was always my Grandmothers. She would put out a spread that would make you want to weep with joy.

  6. Jane Porter
    August 29, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    Melanie, huge congrats on 50 books!! What a fantastic accomplishment!
    I love Afternoon Tea and try to get together with friends over tea every chance I get. 🙂
    Next time I see you, we must make time to enjoy some together! xoxo

  7. bn100
    August 29, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    no fav place for tea

  8. Melanie Milburne
    August 29, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    Hi Helen,
    Thanks for the congrats.
    I love coffee too, but only decaf now as I get too hyper on the real stuff! There’s nothing like tea out of a tea pot with real leaves, not tea bags. See what a stickler I am!

  9. Melanie Milburne
    August 29, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    Hi Mary,
    Ah yes, grandma’s baking. Who doesn’t love that! Baking was becoming a lost art until very recently with the rise of cooking shows. Now it is a badge of honour to whip up a sponge or a dozen high rise scones.
    Thanks for posting!

  10. Melanie Milburne
    August 29, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    Hi Bn100,
    Thanks for dropping by. I hope you find a favourite place soon. There’s nothing like a favourite haunt to hang out.

  11. Melanie Milburne
    August 29, 2013 at 6:19 pm

    Hi Jane!
    Thanks for the congrats. It doesn’t seem that long ago I first started out. I still remember the first tea we had together, I think it might have been in Dallas. Loved the one in New York in 2012 at the Plaza. If you come to Sydney next year I will take you to my favourite place. xx

  12. Kim
    August 29, 2013 at 8:06 pm

    Congratulations on your 50th book. We don’t really drink a lot of tea in the States. I make some at home on rare occasions, but I’ve never ordered it out. I have ordered ice tea, however.

  13. Melanie Milburne
    August 30, 2013 at 4:00 am

    Hi Kim,
    Yes, I’ve worked that out by my visits to the States. You’re big coffee drinkers instead. But tea is catching on.
    Thanks for posting!

  14. Lynn Raye Harris
    August 30, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    Huge congratulations on your 50th book, Melanie!!! I love tea too. I don’t drink 8 cups a day, LOL, but I do love it. And I also understand that the water has to boil properly and tea should be served in a ceramic or china mug, not a Styrofoam cup (God forbid!).

    The last tea I went to was at the RWA conference in Atlanta. A group of us went to the Ritz and had tea — it was so lovely! I love going out for tea. One of the best places I ever had tea was in a castle in Germany that was the home of one of Queen Victoria’s daughters when she was the Empress of Germany. It was held in the wood-paneled library, the books were in English, and there was a pianist. So gorgeous and special. 🙂

  15. Kaelee
    September 1, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    I love your tea mugs and I do understand the need for a different mug at different times of the day.

    I’ve been to Chateau Lake Louise for tea. I enjoyed it a lot. My group was in hiking gear as were a lot of others but the sandwiches and tea cakes were delicious.

  16. Amy
    September 4, 2013 at 10:43 am

    Hi everyone,

    The giveaway is now closed & congrats to Melanie’s 5 winners:

    Joanne Dannon

    Please check your email for a message from Melanie about your prize.

    Thanks all for your comments & celebrating Melanie’s 50th book!