Behind the Scenes with…Society Weddings!

by Laura McCallen,  Assistant Editor/Editorial Assistant

Way back in November 2013 your intrepid Presents team ventured out of the office on a grand adventure for an incredibly exciting task…brainstorming ideas for 2015 editorial projects! Nestled into a corner table in a gorgeous little tea shop in Richmond we threw ideas back and forth over tea and scones, argued (good naturedly!) for our favourites and in the end came away with three particular projects that had captivated our hearts and minds and wouldn’t let them go.

You’ve already had the pleasure of seeing the Presents’ teams take on the Seven Sexy Sins with Cathy William’s To Sin With the Tycoon and Dani Collins’ The Sheikh’s Sinful Seduction. And you’ve gotten caught back up in the scandal and sensation of The Chatsfield with Maisey Yates’ Sheikh’s Desert Duty, Abby Green’s Delucca’s Marriage Contract and Carol Marinelli’s Princess’s Secret Baby.

Now it’s time to introduce you to four of the sexiest alphas you’ve ever met in…Society Weddings!

When I was handed the reins for this fun, fresh quartet I could not wait to get started. In this case that meant a lot of hours on Pinterest poring over pictures and styles of gorgeous men (all in the name of research, of course!) to help figure out exactly what kind of heroes would be at the heart of these stories. Rocco Mondelli, Christian Markos, Stefan Bianco and Zayed Al Afzal were very quickly born.

The dashing gents immediately took up permanent residence at the forefront of my mind and with a lot of thought and more fun brainstorming with the brilliant team the individual stories began to take shape. Now it was time for the challenging task of getting them down on paper. Writing what we at Romance HQ refer to as ‘The Bible” for the project was so much fun! For each book authors were provided with back story, an overview of the heroes and heroines and a roadmap for their love story. Once this was complete and it had been checked (and double checked, and tripled checked…) we officially handed things over to the authors and began our eager wait to see the stories in full!

And the Presents team was NOT disappointed! You already know that Presents authors Jennifer Hayward, Michelle Smart, Tara Pammi and Andie Brock are spectacularly brilliant at what they do so you won’t be surprised to hear that you’re in for a real treat with their Society Wedding stories! They’ve brought the characters, settings, glamour and romances of this exclusive, opulent high society world to life in a way that surpassed the wildest dreams of the Presents team. And my favourite thing about what they’ve done? They worked extremely closely to get inside the heads of not only their own characters but also each other’s. The result is an impenetrable bond of brotherhood between these four heroes that feels so incredibly real and four books that you will adore and reread for years to come!

I’m absolutely THRILLED that the first book in the quartet is now available and everyone can get their hands on Rocco in The Italian’s Deal for I Do by Jennifer Hayward.

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And I can’t wait for you all to meet the rest of the boys in their stories which are coming very soon!

Read Christian’s story in The Greek’s Pregnant Bride by Michelle Smart

May 2015

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Read Stefan’s story in The Sicilian’s Surprise Wife by Tara Pammi

June 2015

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And read Zayed’s story in The Sheikh’s Wedding Contract by Andie Brock

July 2015

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And don’t forget to read Ruby and Tate’s story in Jennifer Hayward’s Society Weddings prequel – Society Wedding Secrets – and see the boys causing a flurry of havoc in their final days of bachelorhood! Available for FREE online now!

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And in the meantime tell me…whose story are you most excited for?! And where in the world would you hold your own fabulous Society Wedding?

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Love (Or Lust) At First Sight…

by Michelle Conder, author of Prince Nadir’s Secret Heir

I have always been intrigued by the notion of love at first sight. Is it love or is it lust? For the emotionally devoid Prince Nadir it is lust but for innocently hopeful Imogen Reid it is love.

So when an unplanned pregnancy throws them both for a loop they each respond in their own way. Nadir, hardened by life, disappears on a business trip to get his head together, while Imogen, feeling rejected and alone, flees to a safe haven.

When the story opens Nadir’s life seems to be on a downhill swing so when his security team inform him that they have finally found the woman he has been looking for he relishes the chance to find out what happened to the lovely Moulin Rouge dancer he hasn’t been able to forget and put this potential problem to bed – so to speak.

Fatherhood wasn’t something Nadir had ever contemplated before. Now it seemed that the fates had other ideas and if this woman had kept his child from him…deliberately… Callously…

He glanced at her. He didn’t think he could like a person less if he tried.

‘Nadir, please, if I…’ Imogen moistened her lips with the tip of her tongue. ‘If I tell you that you’re the father can we just leave it at that? Can we just…can we just part as friends?’

Nadir reeled. Was she serious? Because she couldn’t possibly expect him to walk away from her after basically admitting the child was his with little more than “Have a nice life”. In fact, if he discovered that this child really was his then he wouldn’t be walking away at all.

He stared down at her and noticed she had the look of a frightened mouse that had just been caught in a very large inescapable trap.

Apt, he thought—very apt. From the minute he’d laid eyes on her, his first instinct had been primal. He’d wanted to wrap her up and keep her. He’d wanted to brand her as his own. Disconcertingly, that urge was just as strong as ever.

He tugged on the collar of his shirt. Somehow, in the time between meeting her and now, he had lost his equilibrium and he wanted it back.

What happens next is what neither of them expected, or planned for, and what ensues is a roller coaster ride as they deal with life and love and past wounds that have defined who they are.

I love it when life defies expectations and I always hope that people who are meant to be together find their way back to each other. What about you? Do you believe that if two people are meant to be together they will be despite the odds?

About Prince Nadir’s Secret Heir:

0315-9781460378366-bigwThe prince with the plan

Prince Nadir’s brief liaison with virginal Moulin Rouge dancer Imogen Reid was over almost before it began. And Imogen fled…carrying something very precious to Nadir. Now he’s found her again and he has a plan:

Step 1: Take Imogen and their daughter back to Bakaan.

Step 2: Ignore his body’s betraying desire for the woman he never forgot.

Step 3: Marry Imogen, thus securing his heir and stabilizing his desert kingdom.

But step two proves increasingly difficult to execute, especially when it’s clear he’s not the only one struggling. So now it’s time for plan B…finish what they started in Paris!

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Get a Very Special Look at In the Brazilian’s Debt by Susan Stephens!

I love horses. I love hot guys. I love hot guys on horseback. I love hot, wild polo guys on horseback in particular.

And now I have a confession to make. I’m sure you know my own, personal ‘Love At First Sight’ story by now, I’m sure:  met my husband on a Monday, engaged by Friday and married 3 months later…

We met in Malta—a tiny jewel of an island, packed with history in the Mediterranean Sea, just south of Sicily. And he played polo. Not the groomed variety, but the wild, no holds barred variety on the wildest of ponies. Once seen, never forgotten. Did I have to think twice? Hmmm. No.

So now you know why I have an obsession with mad, bad polo players with a dangerous glint in their eyes.

Which brings me on to my latest Hot Brazilian Nights series – did I mention that my preference is for hunky, swarthy men?

So, to Book 1. In the Brazilian’s Debt

0315-9780373133246-bigw (1)Paying for the past…

Lady Elizabeth Fane has two choices: lose her family’s Scottish stud farm or swallow her pride and beg Chico Fernandez for help. She’d never forgiven the arrogant Brazilian polo star for abandoning her years before, so instead she will collect on the debt he owes her.

Yet in the sultry Brazilian heat passions flare, revealing feelings Lizzie thought she had long conquered. That until Chico finally reveals the truth behind his desertion and Lizzie realises that he not only has power over her body, but it’s she who is in the Brazilian’s debt.

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Let’s meet my hero and heroine—for more info’ just follow this link: http://susanstephens.net/thunderbolt/index.html to the dedicated pages on my web site where you can meet the muses for the characters on team Thunderbolt! and learn more about my inspiration for this series.

Chico Fernandez. Age: 30

Single. And no wonder!

Arrogant Brazilian polo player Chico Fernandez has never had his heart broken—some say, because Chico doesn’t have a heart to break. Running the world’s top-class polo training school is more than a hobby for gaucho polo international Chico, it is his life, his passion, and his obsession. Few pupils make the grade. Few survive his relentless training methods. It would take an exceptional woman to not just to survive, but to thrive and to conquer the heart of this cold, seemingly heartless man.

 

Lizzie Fane (Lady Elizabeth Fane) Age: 26

Single

Shrewd, focused and determined, Lizzie may be young, and a difficult childhood may have made her wary, but when life gets tough Lizzie gets going. Taking on the responsibility for the stud farm her grandmother built up, Lizzie handles everything that comes her way—including an impossibly arrogant man from her troubled past. Grit, skill, and dogged determination, allows strong-willed Lizzie to go head to head with the most impossible man in the polo world, Chico Fernandez.

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Excerpt

What was it about music and sex? The rhythm, he decided. Dancing was the perfect prelude to sex. Lizzie’s breathing had quickened, and her heart was pounding furiously against his chest. What was in her head? Raw sex was swirling round them, and that couldn’t be helping Miss Prim right now. All the other dancers were intent on each other, and no doubt, the inevitable outcome of the evening for them. How did Lizzie think this would end? With a good night’s sleep?

‘Don’t fight me,’ he murmured, his mouth close to her ear. ‘Once a day during training sessions, that’s okay. Here on the dance floor? No.’

‘Stop,’ she warned him in a whisper.

‘Stop? Of course I’ll stop, if you want me to.’

Continue reading »

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The Presents Team Loves…Fairytales

by Laura McCallen, Assistant Editor/Editorial Assistant

From Cinderella’s glass slipper to Snow White being woken from an eternal sleep by true love’s kiss I’ve always been fascinated by the magical, mysterious, wondrous world of fairytales. It’s not hard to understand – in the reality-TV-drenched world we now live in, romance and happily ever after have largely been replaced with ‘shomance’ and unions that are good for the career rather than the soul. Who wouldn’t want to escape the cynicism and doubt of today to live in a far off kingdom of daring princes and fairy godmothers where you can find the kind of love that lasts a lifetime?

It’s the same reason why I’ve always loved Harlequin Presents stories! Think about it – those daring princes take the form of tycoons and billionaires (and, on occasion, actual princes!) with tough, brazen exteriors that hide a heart of gold and a desire to passionately and completely love one woman for the rest of his life. And those far away lands? From Singapore and Russia to Brazil, Australia, London, New York and the dazzling Mediterranean coast Presents stories transport you, bringing these dream destinations to life. And though there may not always be a fairy godmother it’s wonderful to see the beautiful, vivacious Presents heroines making their own dreams come true, fighting for what they want and the man they love. And the best part of all? You’re always guaranteed a happily ever after in these fairytales!

So, what adventures will our brilliant Presents authors be taking you on next? Well, in March…

Carol Marinelli’s innocent Princess Leila takes a risk with major consequences in Princess’s Secret Baby

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Carole Mortimer’s injured bad boy Xander Sterne is at the mercy of his gorgeous caretaker in The Taming of Xander Sterne

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Caitlin Crews’ Paige Fielding must face the man she betrayed and finds herself At the Count’s Bidding in Tuscany…

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Dani Collins’ Sheikh Zafir’s iron will is tested by feisty Fern Davenport in the desert heat of The Sheikh’s Sinful Seduction

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Cathy Williams’ Lucas Romero takes to the slopes in the French Alps but when midnight comes The Real Romero will be revealed…

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Susan Stephens’ Lady Elizabeth Lane thinks she’s owed but she’ll soon learn it’s she who is In the Brazilian’s Debt

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Jane Porter’s Sheikh Mikael will have his revenge but soon he’ll realize there’s more to His Defiant Desert Queen than expected…

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Michelle Conder’s desert prince finds his brief liaison with a Moulin Rouge dancer produced more than just a blazing passion in Prince Nadir’s Secret Heir

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One thing is certain – with these spectacular Harlequin Presents reads you’re guaranteed an emotional rollercoaster from start to finish and the happily ever after we’ve all dreamed of since reading those fairytales as children.

So tell us, what’s your favorite fairytale? And which of our Presents heroes would you love to have carry you off to a faraway land for a happily ever after of your very own? I call Lucas Romero! ;)

 

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Feeding the Hungry Tabloids…

by Caitlin Crews, author of At the Count’s Bidding

Every now and again someone releases intimate MeganCranenewM&Bphotographs—or worse, videos!—to the hungry tabloids, and I cringe.  Don’t you?  I can’t imagine sharing something so personal, so private.  I assume all sorts of terrible, mercenary things must be true about the person who sold them.

When I started writing At the Count’s Bidding, I knew that Paige had to have done something pretty awful for Giancarlo to hate her so much.  Given that his mother was a famous star in the Old Hollywood Glamor sense of the term, I knew that this betrayal had to have been something connected to fame or celebrity.  And it seemed an easy step to take—that a poor girl in a desperate situation would make the better of her bad choices and do something unforgivable.

And here’s the funny thing about unforgivable acts: they’re only unforgivable without love.  Introduce love into the equation and who knows what miracles might happen?

But that’s not to say it’s an easy road to forgiveness…

Here’s a little excerpt:

“Come here.” His voice was a rasp, thick and hot, and it moved through her like joy.

Paige obeyed him and this time, she was happy to do it. She walked toward him, reveling in the way her blood pounded through her and her skin seemed to shrink a size, too tight across her bones. Because he could call this revenge. He could talk about hatred and penance. But it was still the same thick madness that felt like a rope around her neck. It was still the same inexorable pull.

It was still them.

He took her mouth as if he was already deep inside of her. As if he was thrusting hard and driving them both toward that glimmering edge. It was more than wild, more than carnal. He bent her back over her own arms, pressing her breasts into the flat planes of his chest, and he simply possessed her with a ruthless sort of fury that set every part of her aflame.

She thrilled to his boldness, his shocking mastery. The glorious taste of him she’d pined for all these years. The sheer rightness.

Paige kissed him back desperately, deeply, forgetting about the games they played. Forgetting about penance, about trust. Forgetting her betrayal and his fury. She didn’t care what he wanted from her, or how he planned to hurt her, or anything at all but this.

This.

I hope you enjoy this sizzling tale of revenge and forgiveness and love.

Always love, no matter how hard it is to admit it.

About At the Count’s Bidding:

At The Count's Bidding“It’s the surrender. It’s all about the surrender.”

Paige Fielding has waited ten years for Giancarlo Alessi to walk back into her life. But the man she was once forced to betray isn’t interested in asking questions, or hearing apologies…

Shocked to discover Paige working as his mother’s PA, Giancarlo sees his thirst for vengeance reignite. So he lures her to Tuscany, where she will bow to his every pleasurable command.

But the lines between payback and passion quickly blur. And when Giancarlo discovers Paige is pregnant he must ask himself: Is it really revenge he so desperately craves—or her?

 

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