Excerpt: Damaso Claims His Heir by Annie West

Do you believe opposites attract? The latest book from Annie West proves that this might be the case, when Damasco falls for Marisa, a princess with quite the reputation…

About Damaso Claims His Heir:

damascoWhen opposites attract! 

Damaso Pires should have known better than to get involved with Marisa—the scandalous princess of Bengaria! Yet soon he sees her true beauty and flawless virtue, which touches a place in him he thought ruthlessly destroyed by his childhood on the streets of Brazil.

But their brief affair becomes permanent when Marisa reveals she’s pregnant.

Damaso knows the sting of illegitimacy and, having fought tooth and nail to claw his way up to the dizzying heights of international success and financial infamy, he won’t let his child slip from his grasp. There’s only one way to claim his heir, and that’s marriage!


Damaso saw her and his breath snagged in his lungs.

He who’d had women dancing to his tune well before he made his first million.

How long since one had quickened his pulse? He’d known divas and duchesses, models and Madonnas. In the early days there’d been tourists by the armful, and one memorable tango dancer whose sinuous body and blatant sexuality had made his teenage self burn with need. None had affected him the way she did—without effort.

For the first time she was alone, not laughing with her coterie of men. He was surprised to see her crouched, photographing flowers on the rainforest floor. She was so engrossed, she didn’t notice him.
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Excerpt: More Precious than a Crown by Carol Marinelli

What happens when a prince has a second chance with the woman he walked away from? Find out in the latest book from Carol Marinelli!

About More Precious than a Crown:

crownThe woman he shouldn’t crave 

Desert prince Zahid once walked away from Trinity Foster and the fire blazing in her eyes. As heir to the kingdom of Ishla, he was required by duty to return home, but even the heat of the desert was unable to burn away memories of their scorching kiss….

A chance encounter results in one earth-shattering night that brings more than just passion. As painful truths of the past are revealed, Zahid realizes that Trinity needs his protection. His only option is to bring her back to Ishla, and though she’s strictly forbidden, walking away from her again is impossible!



Sheikh Prince Zahid’s response was immediate.

The king, his son and Abdul, the king’s chief aide, were walking through the second palace of Ishla, discussing the refurbishments that were necessary if it were to be inhabited again. As they walked Abdul discussed the diaries of the royal prince and king and raised the matter of Donald Foster’s wedding.

The Fosters had always imbued a certain discomfort in Zahid—loud, brash, their egos and need to further themselves at all costs had not sat comfortably with Zahid. As he had matured he had done his best to politely sever contact but Donald had remained persistent and they still occasionally kept in touch.

‘But Donald has asked you to be his best man.’

Zahid’s jaw tightened a fraction as Abdul spoke on. Zahid had not told his father that just last week Donald had called, asking him if he would be his best man at his wedding to Yvette. Zahid had said to Donald that, while flattered, he had duties in his homeland at that time and would not be able to attend. He had rather hoped that that would be the end of it, but of course Donald had persisted and it would now appear that a formal invitation had been sent, along with a repeated request that Zahid be Donald’s best man. ‘I have already explained that I cannot attend his wedding,’ Zahid said to Abdul. ‘Offer my apologies and arrange a gift…’

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Poll: How would you spend the fall season if you were a Presents heroine?

Autumn is just around the corner, and while the icy weather isn’t here yet, there is a definite chill in the air. Luckily, Harlequin Presents is here to keep things warm and toasty. How would you spend the Fall season if you were a Presents heroine? Pick your answer in the poll below, or sound off in the comments!

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“What more could a Harlequin Presents writer ask for?”: Victoria Parker on the 21st Century Gentleman’s Club

by Victoria Parker, author of The Ultimate Revenge

A hero to die for…?

When my Q Virtus compatriots and I (waves to Maya and Dani) received the official nod to create a 21st Century Gentleman’s Club, my brain took its usual excitable spin and whipped up a hero who would blend and merge into that astoundingly powerful, complex world. And since I’m an adjective queen, I’ll throw in a few more for good measure because Q Virtus was a concept I fell madly in love with. It’s ostentatious. It’s daring. Dazzling. Evocative. Glamorous and so absolutely extravagant, it will make your head spin. So really, what more could a Harlequin Presents writer ask for? I was in seventh heaven. Especially when Nicandro Santos burst into my imagination—stunningly handsome, charming, yet fiercely arrogant and limitless in his wants and desires. Before I could blink, I knew his main agenda. It was dark and devastating. He wanted to destroy the very world we had spent months creating: Q Virtus and ultimately Zeus, the man behind the phenomenon “himself.” A plan ten years in the making. Total annihilation.

Unless someone stopped him, of course.

But who on earth would be strong enough to give this guy a run for his money? She had to be unique. Strong. So strong that she could handle anything he threw her way. Because I knew for a fact this man had darkness in his soul and revenge on his mind. Nothing would stop him. Nothing on earth.

Or is the female of the species truly deadlier than the male…?

Enter Olympia Merisi.

I have been incredibly lucky to have met and known many strong women in my life. I tend to be drawn to their strength and success, their intelligence, their sincerity and their usually dry wit. Where some may find these women intimidating, I find myself wanting to know what makes them tick. How they came to have a steely inner core that radiates a pure kind of feminine power. Since I first began writing, I have tried many a time to create such a heroine of my own. But it wasn’t until The Ultimate Revenge where I realized this was my chance. The perfect opportunity. And so Olympia Merisi was born. A woman with the bleakest, most horrendous past I have ever touched. A phoenix rising from the ashes to become one of the most successful businesswomen of her time. The secret face behind the Q Virtus mask. The “woman” behind the enigmatic persona of Zeus.

Oh, she’s Nicandro’s perfect match. In every way. The only woman on the planet who could derail him. The only woman who could make his heart beat once more. Ease the blackness from his soul. The only woman who could tie him into knots—literally, with ropes and all—and bring him down to his knees.

Such a shame Nicandro has no clue who she really is. That he’s toying with the enemy “‘herself.”

So what happens when you realize you’ve single-handedly destroyed the woman who has given your life new meaning? The woman who holds your heart.

On the flip side, for Olympia, what happens when you realize that everything you’ve worked so hard for has been ripped away by the man who shared your bed? The only man you’ve allowed to see behind the femme-fatale exterior to the real woman beneath.

Find out in the final installment of The 21st Century Gentleman’s Club: The Ultimate Revenge. I hope you enjoy Nic and Pia’s story as much as I loved writing it.

About The Ultimate Revenge:

the ultimate revenge“I will annihilate your world. As you destroyed mine.” 

For over a decade Nicandro Santos, heir to a legendary diamond legacy, has lived with one unrelenting purpose: to infiltrate the ultraprestigious Q Virtus gentleman’s club and bring it, and its leader, Zeus, down.

What he doesn’t know is that Olympia Merisi, the daughter of his enemy, is now in charge. Olympia has her own reasons for wanting to keep Nicandro close, and she will stop at nothing to protect what’s hers. But what happens when the battle lines between them blur and they enter more dangerous—sensual—territory?

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From SYTYCW…To Publication!

by Laura McCallen, Assistant Editor/Editorial Assistant

It’s that time of year again…the time where we editors greedily watch our inboxes as the So You Think You Can Write entries start to flood in and we delve into them eager to find the next Harlequin Presents author!

lastheirIn order to whet your appetite (and hopefully inspire you to submit!) we’re looking back on Andie Brock’s journey from the competition to Harlequin Presents author. I had the pleasure of reading Andie’s story quite early on in the So You Think You Can Write 2013 competition and thought it was fantastic. We all loved her voice and her fresh take on the classic marriage reunited theme and were so pleased for her when she placed 2nd overall in the competition. I was particularly delighted because it meant I got the opportunity to work with her to make the most of the terrific potential of her winning manuscript! The first time I called Andie was to tell her she had won 2nd place and she was standing at a bus stop which we both found rather amusing!

Coming off the high of that initial phone call Andie and I were both eager to get started. Even though we threw her in at the deep end with her revisions she kept a smile on her face the whole time, committed herself to the process and the revised manuscript we received back absolutely made my jaw drop. Andie had taken the revision suggestions and run with them in a way I never could have anticipated making changes that brought the story together beautifully and left me both laughing out loud (literally!) and crying (happy tears!).

Once I got the official go-ahead to offer Andie a contract I got in touch only to find out she wouldn’t be available for hours. When the time (finally!) rolled around I called Andie who answered in a whisper as she was at the academic library where she works. I immediately launched into all the things we loved about her revisions and what a fantastic job she had done and then casually dropped in that there were still a couple things still to be done with the manuscript. (After she had put in so much hard work and waited so patiently to get feedback I did wonder if Andie might be cursing me in her head…) And then I got to say the magic words:
“But, Andie? We absolutely love this book and would like to offer you a two book contract”

…and there was silence on the phone. Just as I was beginning to get concerned I heard – in the most dignified British whisper you’ve ever heard – “Thank you so much. I’m absolutely thrilled!” We chatted through some details but we were both so excited I don’t think either of us could tell you what was said! After we had hung up I got to share the great news with the rest of the office and there was lots of celebration. We editors love ‘The Call’ moment just as much as authors do and there’s always a ton of excitement in the office whenever anyone gets the opportunity to do it!

The Presents team is ecstatic to have Andie on board and can’t wait for you to read her debut!

Watch for:

The Last Heir of Monterrato

Coming from Harlequin Presents in January 2015


In the meantime, we want to know. Are you participating in this year’s SYTYCW competition? What dazzling new take on our readers’ favourite themes can we look forward to? :)

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