Orannia - The Greek's Convenient Mistress
Una - Blackmailed Bride, Innocent Wife
Congratulations! Please email your addresses to: annie AT annie-west DOT com
It's time to meet the second guest in my monthly series on authors from my corner of the world.
Today's guest is the lovely Annie West! Annie, a Waldenbooks bestselling author, writes for Harlequin Presents (called M&B Sexy down under). She's also an Australian, but we don't hold that against her ;-)
Please give a warm welcome to Annie everyone! And check out the presents she's bought along to share.
Hi, Nalini! Thanks so much for the invitation to come and join you. This is a real treat. I’ve been admiring your work for a long time.
This is a special time for me right now and it’s great to be able to share that with other romance lovers. Recently I sold my 10th book to Harlequin and am well into my 11th manuscript. Double digits – yay! Somehow when I got ‘the call’ for that first book I never really looked ahead as far as this. Now I feel like maybe I can make a success of writing long term, especially as I’ve just heard that my first Presents story is about to go into a ‘By Request’ omnibus of reprinted stories in the UK in August.
As well as that, I’m grinning from ear to ear about my two (count them!) current releases. The Greek’s Convenient Mistress goes on sale this week in North America and in the UK Blackmailed Bride, Innocent Wife is on shelves already (and in Aus/NZ in June). (If you’re curious and want to read an excerpt follow these links to the Harlequin sites or visit my website).
To celebrate I thought I’d give away a copy of those two titles – one book each to two contributors to the blog, chosen at random.
Both these books feature Mediterranean heroes: tall, dark, dangerous and sexy. One is Sicilian and the other from the island of Crete. I fell in love with both of them as I wrote their stories. That got me wondering what it is I enjoyed so much about these guys and why so many readers want a strong Mediterranean man in their romances.
For me there are attributes I particularly enjoy writing and reading in a Mediterranean hero. They’re strong, charismatic and sexy, with a sense of assured masculinity that just seems to ooze from them. They’re fantastic lovers and they know how to please a woman.
They may, I admit, be slower than their heroine to realise when they’re in love. Actually, one of the things I enjoy is watching a strong, self-assured hero, who’s been used to striding through his world, in charge and capable, off balance when he finds his emotions engaged for the first time, all because of one woman. Especially if that woman isn’t the sort to whom he thought he’d be attracted. Especially if he hadn’t expected to fall in love. Or maybe he didn’t even believe in love.
He’ll be a man used to taking charge. He’s powerful and pragmatic, often with a strong sense of responsibility – especially for family and friends. In protective mode, this hero will move heaven and earth to care for and keep safe those people who are important to him. He’d act swiftly, possibly ruthlessly, against anyone threatening them. Which makes life interesting if he perceives the heroine as a threat! It also means he’ll do whatever is necessary to protect the woman he loves – something I find appealing - even if a heroine is perfectly capable of fending for herself.
His strength demands an equally strong heroine to match him.
He has a sense of honour. His values may be different to those of others. He may not care what others think and may dare to do things others won’t, but he has boundaries he will not cross and standards he’ll fight to maintain.
He’s proud. And we all know what they say about pride going before a fall. Don’t you love to watch a hero realise he’s been on the wrong track in his assessment of the heroine, then fight to make things right?
He’s passionate and capable of caring deeply. He may have a dark side, which has an appeal all its own.
You could argue that he shares quite a few characteristics with heroes from some fantasy and historical novels.
Does this sort of hero appeal to you? Do you like your men dark, passionate and maybe a little dangerous? What characteristics make a hero memorable for you?