Hello Lovelies! Please excuse our dust while we do a bit of construction on the blog. We will still be posting exciting reviews, brilliant guest posts, and exciting giveaways but we are in the process of transforming the blog and adding new content and features for you to enjoy.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Mia Marlowe Interview & Giveaway

Hello Lovelies! Please help me in welcoming Mia Marlowe to Royal Reviews!

1.    Welcome to Royal Reviews! Tell us something about yourself, so that we can get to know you a bit better…
Mia: I’m married to my college sweetheart, mother to two grown daughters and “beloved person” to two needy dogs. I love to travel and see new places, which is a good thing because I’ve lived in 9 different states, 4 time zones. My favorite Christmas present of all time was ballroom dancing lessons from my DH, because it was the promise of a long string of date nights.  

2.    Your Regency romance novel, A Rake By Any Other Name, is out now—congrats! Could you tell us about it?
Mia: This is the first book in my new series. It starts out with Richard Barrett, Lord Hartley, being recalled to Somerfield Park because his father, the marquess, took a nasty tumble off the manor house roof and has pretty much lost his marbles. Unfortunately, Richard discovers the family fortunes are in as much a shambles as his father’s wits and the prevailing opinion is that he needs to marry Miss Sophie Goodnight, a great heiress. However, Richard is half convinced he’s already in love with Lady Antonia Pruett, and Sophie Goodnight shows no interest in cooperating with their parents plans to make her the next marchioness.  

3.      How do you find just the right blend of history and romance?
Mia: History is in the setting, in the background. It informs the customs and dress and mode of thinking of my characters. Romance is about the journey from one heart to another and that has to take precedence because it transcends its time period to speak to our hearts now.

4.    Do you do anything special to get into the right frame of mind for writing?
Mia: I just get into my “writing chair”—a comfy leather recliner with a lovely view of the pasture and woods behind our house. Quite often, I have a writing buddy. Mack, my rat terrier, has shown an amazing ability to lie perfectly still, imitating an armrest, for hours while I type away on my laptop.

5.    What can readers expect next in Somerfield Park Series?
Mia: Book Two, Never Resist A Rake, comes out next May and features the return of several characters from A Rake by Any Other Name. It would be hard to say more at the risk of spoiling the ending of Book One!

6.      What inspired you to become an author?
Mia: I’ve always been an avid reader, but I never thought about writing a novel until I met a romance author. Her husband worked with mine at the same IT firm and we met at a company picnic. She was witty and lots of fun and I thought to myself, “If she can do it, I can do it.” The Greeks have a word for that. It’s called “hubris.”  

I had a very steep learning curve, but I dived into the writers’ craft with abandon. I produced 1 ½ sad, practice manuscripts (I say ½. It was 300 mortal pages of waffling on that was beyond salvation!). Anyway, my second completed manuscript sold and I’ve been in print since 2006. A Rake by Any Other Name is my 26th published work. 

      8. Do you have any words of wisdom for aspiring authors?
Mia: Have a teachable heart. Try to learn something from everyone. Writing is an ocean and no one has plumbed its depths yet.

Thanks for having me here today, Royal Reviews! I’d like to open up to questions from your readers. Let’s have an “Ask Me Anything” day. Of course, you need to remember that I write fiction for a living. If I don’t know the answer, I’m likely to make something up!

A Reluctant Lord. A Resistant Lady. A Superfluous Fiancée.
And a Devastating Family Secret…
When Richard Barrett, Lord Hartley, is abruptly called home to take the reins of the estate, he discovers the extent of the family’s financial straits. The remedy: marry the heiress their families have picked out for him. Unfortunately, he’s already planned to marry someone else.
Miss Sophie Goodnight isn’t too keen on becoming his purse with feet…and she sabotages all attempts to woo her. But when Lord Hartley discovers the shenanigans in his father’s past, he realizes that deciding between two beautiful women is the least of his problems.
Buy Links for A Rake By Any Other Name:
Mia Marlowe is a rising star whose Touch of a Rogue was named one of Publishers Weekly‘s Top Ten Best Romances for Spring 2012. Mia learned about storytelling while singing professional opera. She knows what it’s like to sing a high “C” in a corset, so she empathizes with the trials of her historical heroines. Mia resides in Boston, Massachusetts. For more visit www.miamarlowe.com.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Seven Letters From Paris by Samantha Verant

Title: Seven Letters From Paris
Author: Samantha Verant
Publisher: 3rd November 2014 by Random House Australia 
ISBN: 9780857984647
Pages: 304 pages
How I Read It: eARC
Genre: memoir, non-fiction, travel, relationships, cultural-France
My Rating: 2.5 crowns


In the best romantic tradition of ALMOST FRENCH, a woman falls madly in love with a Frenchman in Paris. But it takes her twenty years to find him again …

Samantha’s life is falling apart - she's lost her job, her marriage is on the rocks and she's walking dogs to keep the wolf from the door.

But when she stumbles across seven passionate love letters from the handsome Frenchman she fell head over heels for in Paris when she was 19, she can't help but wonder, what if?

Surely it wouldn’t hurt to try to find explain why she never wrote back. Closure is a good thing, after all.

One very carefully worded, very belated email apology later, it’s clear that sometimes love does give you a second chance.

Jetting off to France to reconnect with a man you knew for just one madly romantic day is crazy - but it’s the kind of crazy Samantha’s been waiting for her whole life.

Truth may be stranger than fiction but sometimes it's better than your wildest dreams.

My Thoughts:

Nineteen eighty-nine. Twenty years ago. Paris.  And just like that … we reveled in our past, reliving each moment by glorious moment in a wild romp down memory land.”

Memoirs often make interesting reading and this one appealed especially so, as the prospect of getting a second chance at love, a second lease on life, would make for an entertaining story. Add to that a window into the lives of two seemingly down-to-earth people, for many it would be a journey, a path they too may have travelled. Although a real connection with the characters is difficult due to the style of writing, it still made for a very easy read.

The memoir is written in an easy going, friendly conversational tone, and true romantics will love how it unfolds. It’s a lovely lighthearted story that will restore your faith in love and life – second chances do exist and it’s never too late to change course and go after your dreams.

By searching my past, I figured, maybe I could figure out my future …. If there was ever a time to change everything in my life it was now.”

An engaging aspect of this book is the dual genre of both romantic tale and travel book. The detail provided of French locations and cuisine is very appealing for any Francophile and serves as a bit of a ‘virtual vacation’ as you follow along with Sam’s experiences.

As the title of the book suggests, a highlight is the seven initial letters sent from Jean-Luc – definitely French and definitely swoon-worthy! And these letters are cleverly interspersed throughout the book – touching, sweet, and 100% romantic.

If life was the sum of the choices I’d made, I was just going to have to make better decisions. Starting now.”

Seven Letters from Paris is a light read that will restore your faith and inspire you to: 

Now put this book down and live and love your life to its fullest – without fear, without anger, and without regret.”

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The quoted material may have changed in the final release.