Maisey Yates on His Diamond of Convenience and Not Giving Characters Everything They Want

by Maisey Yates, author of His Diamond of Convenience

“Yes, but is (insert character name here) going to get a book?”

This is the most common question I get from readers. Will one of their favorite side characters get an HEA of their own? I don’t always know the answer to that question. Sometimes because I’m not certain if the series is going to continue, and sometimes because I just can’t decide what sort of person that particular character needs. Or what their story might be.

By far the most commonly asked about character was my hero from Pretender To the Throne, Xander. He was introduced in the first two books in the Call of Duty series (there were only supposed to be two!) and though he never appeared on the page, he was often talked about, and readers were curious. The existence of his book is reader driven.

Very often, when people asked about Xander there was a second question that followed it. Would he get a book, and would he end up with Victoria?

If you haven’t read my Call of Duty series, or it’s just been a while, you might not remember Xander or Victoria. Xander was the long lost heir to the throne whose absence caused a lot of trouble for his sister and brother, and Victoria was engaged to Prince Stavros in At His Majestys Request. Stavros ended up married to their matchmaker, not to her.

I gave a lot of thought to putting Xander and Victoria together. After all, she was perfect queen material. She wanted to marry royalty. Perfect, right? I sat on that for a long time, thinking it over. Then realized she couldn’t be with Xander, because I would be giving her everything she wanted.

So Xander ended up with a scarred nun in Pretender to the Throne (because I couldn’t very well give him everything HE thought he wanted either), and Victoria languished in the back of my mind.

But, she wouldn’t leave me alone. Even while I was working on other books, I thought about her. I thought about why she felt like she needed to marry royalty. What kind of woman might make that decision, even though she didn’t love the Prince she was engaged to? And I thought a lot about what kind of man she would need, not just what kind of man she thought would be perfect.

I found her hero after I asked myself: who is the worst person she could possibly end up with?

The answer came to me in the form of a tattooed Russian ex-MMA fighter-turned businessman (like you do), Dmitri Markin.

Through that, I realized that Victoria wanted to marry royalty because she was trying to atone for a mistake in her past. Attempting to make herself acceptable to the father she had so badly disappointed. So, I dropped her salvation into Dimitri’s hands, and happily watched their story unfold.

I ended up with a fake engagement, a massive gala set in moody, atmospheric New Orleans, an ice princess heroine and a rough hero from the wrong side of the tracks made good, in every way but his reputation.

Whether you read the other books or not, I hope you enjoy this story. And if you were one of the people who asked about Xander OR Victoria…know that your emails really matter. Because it was all the reader interest that spurred me to write both Pretender to the Throne, and His Diamond of Convenience.

About His Diamond of Convenience:

0415-9780373133307-bigwDmitri Markin meets his match!

Twelve years ago, Victoria Calder made a mistake that cost her father his business. Now she finally has a chance to atone. And if that means going toe-to-toe with the arresting Dmitri Markin she’s prepared to step into the ring…and put his on her finger!

Dmitri—former martial arts fighter, present-day pleasure seeker—is a man who likes to win. The beautiful Ms. Calder might have initially shocked him with her proposition, but there’s more than one advantage to the deal she’s proposing… If this dedicated bachelor is going to surrender to marriage it certainly won’t be in name only!

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What’s the happiest part of happily ever after?

by Caitlin Crews, author of Greek’s Last Redemption

One of the things I love about writing “marriage in trouble” stories is that it really lets me dig deep into what I think is the hardest thing in the world: intimacy.

Oh sure, the rush when we fall in love is intense!  We’re giddy!  The highs and lows are wild—and then comes the Happily Ever After part.  And the truth is, that can be a lot more difficult.

Holly and Theo Tsoukatos are a perfect example of this.  They met and married in a whirlwind—and neither one of them was prepared for what would happen once the fairy tale was over and the marriage was all they had.  Holly’s difficult past and her inability to discuss it made her feel she had no choice but to try to escape Theo and all the things he made her feel.  So she told the one lie she knew he would not only believe, but be unable to forgive.

Intimacy is tough.  It means not only knowing another person, but knowing yourself, and it’s not always pretty down deep in there, is it?  It’s not always pleasant—or even possible—to dredge all that muck up and then let someone else look around at all the things you’ve been hiding.  But that’s marriage.

Holly and Theo were a lot of fun to write.  They fell in love so fast that they missed a few steps along the way—but what better place to work through that than the glorious, luxurious hotel where they honeymooned years ago, the Chatsfield Barcelona?

I hope you enjoy their story—I loved writing it!

Tell me: what do you think is the happiest part of happily ever after?

 

About Greek’s Last Redemption:

0515-9780373133352-bigwReturning to the marriage bed

Waiting outside her estranged husband’s lavish office, ready to demand a divorce, Holly Tsoukatos can’t remember ever being so scared. Not even when she told Theo the words that destroyed their union.

Seeing Holly again, Theo hates how much he still desires her. If she wants to talk, he’ll choose the venue: The Chatsfield, Barcelona, where they spent their honeymoon!

Being so close again is delicious torture. Holly might have fled their all-consuming chemistry once before, but this time, Theo won’t let her run away so easily…

Welcome to The Chatsfield, Barcelona!

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Sin…or Virtue?

By Kim Lawrence, author of The Sins of Sebastian Rey-Defoe

It wasn’t until I was asked to take on the pride-themed story in the Seven Sexy Sins series that I realised that pride comes in as many guises as love.

Sure pride can be arrogance and superiority, but it can also be dignity and self-respect.

I asked myself what would happen if I threw together a hero and a heroine, from totally different backgrounds, and the only thing they have in common is pride.

We all remember our first love, but I suspect that many of us can also still taste, an occasion, when our pride got crushed…especially if the humiliation was painfully public!

That’s certainly the case with Mari Jones. She never forgot the man who was responsible for the most humiliating moment in her life. The epitome of arrogance and pride Sebastian Rey-Defoe trampled on her pride and walked away. He didn’t know her and he judged her, she despises him with all her heart. Now while her life is in crisis, he’s there again.

She can’t escape coverage of “the wedding of the year”…his perfect life…his perfect bride—they deserve one another! Maybe it’s time he got a taste of his own medicine?

Seb believes that realistic expectations, not love, are the basis of a successful marriage, and it was all going according to plan until a gorgeous redhead from the past stands up in the middle of the marriage service and says “I object,” and announces he is the father of her unborn child!

Mari ruined his perfect day, tarnished his precious name, but what will be the cost? I hope you enjoy finding out!

When I finished this book, I—yes, I admit it—felt a sense of pride, though if I’m perfectly honest there was some relief involved, too! See it all play out in:

The Sins of Sebastian Rey-Defoe

Available May 2015

And in the meantime, tell me, what do you think—is pride always a bad thing? Or like me, do you think can pride be a virtue, too? Is it a sexy sin?

 

About The Sins of Sebastian Rey-Defoe:

0515-9780373133383-bigw (1)“Yes, I do. I object!” 

Standing at the altar, Sebastian Rey-Defoe has resigned himself to a marriage of convenience, until a flame-haired siren interrupts the ceremony! Worse, he recognizes her, and this must be her idea of revenge…

Mari Jones is determined to put a dent in Sebastian’s insurmountable pride—and to make him pay for his sins. But she hasn’t bargained on the sparks that fly the instant she and the arrogant tycoon meet again.

Nor did she ever imagine that the consequences of her plan would see her walking down the aisle…toward Sebastian!

Seven Sexy Sins—The true taste of temptation!

 

 

 

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Harlequin Presents Author Maya Blake is a 2015 RITA Finalist!

0614-9781460333150-bigwThe Romance Writers of American have announced the 2015 RITA award finalists today, and author Maya Blake is a finalist in the Contemporary Romance: Short category for What the Greek Can’t Resist. Please join us in congratulating Maya!

Visit the Harlequin Blog for a full list of Harlequin finalists, and click here for the full list from RWA.

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Michelle Smart on Her First Presents Continuity + Giveaway!

by Michelle Smart, author of The Greek’s Pregnant Bride

When I was asked to write a book for my very first Presents continuity, I didn’t even have to think about it—of course I was going to say yes! When I was then told who the other three authors in the continuity would be my excitement doubled, mainly because they’re all good friends (as well as fabulous authors!). And I was so right to have been excited because we had a blast collaborating on it. Four books featuring four gorgeous billionaire bachelors with no wish to ever be tied down? Perfect!

Our dedicated bachelors have been best friends since their uni days. They work hard and play hard and believe their bond to be unbreakable. But even the strongest steel can be broken…

My book, The Greek’s Pregnant Bride, carries on where the first book of the continuity, Jennifer Hayward’s The Italian Deal for I Do, finishes, and is set in the glamorous city of Milan and the ancient, cosmopolitan city of Athens.

Alessandra Mondelli is a fun, sophisticated fashion photographer with a scandalous past that still haunts her and a penchant for five-inch heels. She is also the sister of Rocco Mondelli, the hero from The Italian’s Deal for I Do and, as such, is considered off-limits to his playboy bachelor friends. Except a one-night stand with the Greek Adonis, Christian Markos, leaves her pregnant—and leaves Christian facing the destruction of his oldest and closest friendships.

Christian has had to fight for everything he has, casting aside a poverty-stricken past where love was always denied him. He is determined to do everything in his power to give his child the security he never had. Indeed, that’s the only thing he and Alessandra agree on; that they will both do everything in their power to love and protect their unborn child. To this end, Christian demands marriage. Now all he has to do is get Alessandra to agree…

Now we come to the giveaway, which consists of two signed copies of The Greek’s Pregnant Bride. To be in with a chance of winning one of them, all you have to do is answer this question in the comments section below—if you were to be forced into marrying a gorgeous Greek Billionaire (or any other nationality of billionaire!), which city in the world would be your preferred choice to hold the nuptials and why? And as we’re talking of cities across the world, there are no geographical restrictions over who can win—everyone can enter!

Giveaway: Giveaway closes April 2, at 11:59 p.m. ET. Two winners will be selected from all eligible comments and announced here on April 3. For full official rules, click here. Good luck!

Update this contest is now closed.

About The Greek’s Pregnant Bride:

0515-9781460380895-bigw (1)The Gorgeous Greek: Married for His Heir 

Christian Markos swapped the streets of Athens for the world’s top boardrooms. Now, with enough riches to indulge his every whim, there’s only one luxury he can’t buy: stunning, sensual Alessandra Mondelli.

His best friend’s sister is strictly off-limits…until their forbidden attraction consumes them both, leaving Alessandra pregnant!

After a youthful mistake, Alessandra is no stranger to public scrutiny. Christian’s honorable proposal offers her and their baby protection, but she must push all thoughts of love aside. Except their dishonorable hunger for one another is threatening their convenient arrangement!

The world’s sexiest billionaires finally say “I do!”

 

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