Archive for October 15th, 2012

I love erotic romance and have ever since I stumbled across HELLION by Bertrice Small when I was 13 years old. I had no clue it was an erotic romance (I didn’t even know that existed) but I curled up to enjoy the adventures of Lady Isabelle and her Saxon knight. That’s when I read my first menage scene. And I found out about anal sex. I didn’t even know a penis could go there! I’d been living in the romance world of “throbbing manhoods” and “clenching wombs.” I was shocked and more than a little giggly. It was a few more years before I started to appreciate how the more erotic aspects built the stories. How it added depth to the characters and helped define the relationship.

From there, I moved on to authors like Emma Holly and Susan Johnson. I may not have loved all the stories but I never finished an Emma Holly book and thought meh. They all made me feel. Then about 6 years ago, I found digital books. Glory, glory! Tons of erotic romances were right at my fingertips. I found books like COLTERS’ WOMAN by Maya Banks which is totally over the top and I loved every second of it. It’s still one of my most frequent rereads. Through digital, I also found Lauren Dane and read all of her books, both digital and print. LAID BARE broke my heart. Yes, an erotic romance that many  casually dismiss as “chick porn” left me a sobbing mess and made such a huge impact. That’s just a few examples of the books I’ve loved over the years.

Unfortunately, it takes my trusted authors months to write a book and it only takes me a few hours to read them. They just can’t keep up with my reading schedule and that has me constantly on the hunt for something new. Which brings me to now. I’m about 20% into my current read, an erotic romance, and it is dragging for me. I’m feeling kind of meh about the whole thing. Then I realized this has been the norm for me for a while. I checked Goodreads and discovered in the last 6 months, I’ve only read five erotic romances that have hit over 3 stars. That’s unheard of for me. This is my go-to genre yet I’m starting to sound like a broken record in my reviews. “The sex is hot but…” That but is usually followed by me saying I didn’t connect with the characters, I didn’t believe the ending, or I felt no emotion between the lead characters.

That leaves me with a question I don’t know the answer to. Is it just me? Am I finally burning out on the genre? Or, with the 50 SHADES OF GREY popularity, is the market so glutted with erotic romance that we are sacrificing quality for quantity with the emphasis being on how hot the sex can be and no longer focused on the emotional aspect?

Thoughts? Opinions? Have you ran into this problem? Or is it just me?

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In these uncertain economic times, my girlfriends and I were sitting at the cafe talking about money or the lack thereof. A terribly mercenary topic but one that many families are struggling with. The cost of living in New Zealand is quite high compared to the USA, yet we discussed how lucky we were compared to many of our countrymen.


Because I’m a historical romance writer, talk switched to what the economy was like in the early 1800’s. It was a period of economic boom for England, what with the start of the industrial revolution, the opium-tea trade with China and of course the very profitable triangle-slave trade. However, women in this time period were usually financially dependent on men, husbands, fathers or brothers.


We got to talking about my latest Kensington Brava release INVITATION TO SCANDAL because it’s set in the seaside town of Deal in Kent and my heroine, Rheda Kerrich, finds herself penniless, with an estate on the verge of bankruptcy and a younger brother who is about to lose his inheritance. What can she do?


The first answer was of course she could marry. Find a wealthy man to take as her husband. Quite the done thing in Regency times, but what if you’d watched you mother endure just such a relationship, with a degenerate husband who treated her as a breeding vessel and she died in childbirth? No, I said that didn’t appeal to Rheda.


Turn to the oldest profession was the next suggestion, but my heroine didn’t wish to shame her young brother who was the new Baron. Rheda didn’t wish to destroy her brother’s chance to restore the Barony.


She couldn’t sell the estate as it was in trust for her brother, and she couldn’t borrow against it because it was already mortgaged to the hilt. My sister said, ‘she could become a highwayman’. True but as she can’t shoot to save herself that would be a bit risky.


Perhaps she could turn the estate around came one suggestion. Hmmm. Close. She does want to do that and she has a plan. She will specialize in breeding cavalry horses to supply the war against Napoleon. She owns two mares, but she can’t afford stud fees. No stallion means no foals.


So back to square one. Have you guessed what she does? The clue is in SEASIDE and the name of the village DEAL.  Here’s the INVITATION TO SCANDAL’S blurb, it gives you the final clue…


Her secrets are coming undone…

Plagued by scandalous rumors, Rheda Kerrich will stop at nothing to restore her reputation and make an honest living for herself-and she’s determined to do it without a husband. But times are hard, and smuggling is a risky though profitable trade. So when a dashing agent for the English government catches her in the act, she desperately resists his charms and conceals her illicit profession. Until she realizes he may be the key to her ultimate freedom-and unbridled passion.


Rufus Knight, Viscount Strathmore, has never had trouble beguiling the ladies of Kent. When his search for “Dark Shadow,” a cunningly elusive smuggler, leads him to alluring and headstrong Rhe, her objections to his amorous advances merely incite a tantalizing game of cat and mouse. Soon, they’ll find the very secrets driving them apart could ensnare them in a love they can’t escape…


So, now you know, smuggling! Deal was the centre of smuggling for over 100 years.


My hero, Rufus Knight, Viscount Strathmore is hunting a French spy who made hold the clues to clearing his late father of treason. He needs to find the local deal smuggler, Dark Shadow, for he’s sure the spy is sending his treacherous communiqués through the smuggling ring.


Here’s a snippet for you:- Rufus has just caught Rheda ‘borrowing’ his thoroughbred stallion to service her mares. Rheda is nothing if not resourceful…


The ruthless part of Rufus wanted to end it now. Force her to comply with his demand and reveal the truth. He had the ammunition. Would Father have done this? Would he have been as ruthless? As always, his conscience warred—honor was his salvation and his curse.

His discomfort fed his temper. “Come here. I do not intend to shout our conversation across the field.”


He had the irrational urge to storm the short distance between them and put her over his knee. He had never met a more irritating woman. Or more tantalizing.

He bit his tongue and refused to rise to her challenge. He would not let her crawl any farther under his skin.

Please, come here so I may converse with you.”

Rheda slowly made her way toward him. His nerves began to sizzle as he watched her smugly smile and state, “There will be no kissing tonight. Now that you know who I am. If you do not behave like a gentleman I shall inform Lady Hale.”

“Your point is?”

“She will expect you to adhere to the niceties of the ton. If not you will find yourself betrothed. She’s been trying to marry me off for years. I’m sure you won’t want me for a wife—think of the Strathmore name—scandal follows me wherever I go.”

“So I have heard. Society would not think anything less of me for a dalliance with the likes of you.”

He watched a small frown form on her lovely face. “I am infamous? I have never even had a Season.”

He was well aware of that, for he would have remembered. A beauty stands out, and Rheda was outstanding. “No. I don’t know your name from London. Lady Umbridge was indiscreet tonight.”

She drew herself upright. “Let me guess, Prince Hammed.”

“Yes, that is how I began to understand your interest in Caesar.”

She stood ramrod straight, staring him in the eye.

“Aren’t you going to defend yourself?” he said quietly.

“I do not know what she said, so how can I?” She shrugged a shoulder. “Moreover, I do not really care. Those closest to me know the truth. That is all that matters.”

He wanted to know. He wanted to know if she was a fallen woman. Wanted to know she was not a virgin. Wanted it so badly he wished the gossip were true. But then, why should he care? He had her trapped by her own behavior, and she was mistaken if she thought he was not ruthless enough to take advantage of it.

Folding his arms across his chest, he let her suffer, the silence stretched out between them. Her pulse must be racing knowing he had her trapped. Deliciously trapped by her nefarious behavior.

However, his anger leaped when he observed her more closely. She stood, calm and cool, as if she had all night and it was his time that was a wasting. With the stupid cap hiding her curls, her delicate features took on a waiflike fragility in the moonlight. The masculine clothing hugging her curves delectably emphasized that she was indeed all woman.

A woman dangerous to his senses.

A distraction—two could play that game. “I would like the truth. I want the truth about how you came by the barrel.”


Amazon               B&N       Book Depository              And other book and ebook stores


Such fun!


Tell me how Rheda plans to save her brother’s estate and be in to win a copy of INVITATION TO SCANDAL in book or ebook format. Open internationally. Closes 21 October 2012.


About Bron:


New Zealander Bronwen Evans grew up loving books. She’s always indulged her love for story-telling, and is constantly gobbling up movies, books and theatre. Her head is filled with characters and stories, particularly lovers in angst. Is it any wonder she’s a proud romance writer?


She writes both historical and contemporary sexy romances for the modern woman who likes intelligent, spirited heroines, and compassionate alpha heroes. Her debut Regency romance, Invitation to Ruin won the RomCon 2012 Readers Crown Best Historical and was an RT Reviewers’ Choice Nominee Best First Historical 2011. To Dare the Duke of Dangerfield was a FINALIST in the Kindle Book Review Indie Romance Book of the Year 2012. Look out for her first Entangled Publishing Indulgence release in Fall 2012, The Italian Conte’s Reluctant Bride.


Bronwen loves hearing from avid romance readers at romance@bronwenevans.com

You can keep up with Bronwen’s news by visiting her website www.bronwenevans.com


Blog: http://www.bronwenevans.com/bronwen-blog.html

FB:   http://www.facebook.com/bronwenevansauthor

Twitter:   @BronwenEvans_NZ

Reviews for Invitation to Scandal

RT Book Reviews 4 Stars- With snappy dialogue, lively action, a hero that believes in honor above all and a strong heroine who loves fiercely, Evans’ story will have readers laughing and crying, savoring every scene.

The Romance Reviews Top Pick 5 Stars – INVITATION TO SCANDAL was a fantastically absorbing read. It had everything I could have asked and then gave me even more. The ending was a bit of a cliff-hanger, so I’m hoping to get more of these characters very soon!

Night Owl Book Reviews Top Pick 4.5 StarsInvitation to Scandal is my first Bronwen Evans romance, and I’m glad I didn’t miss this sexy read! I was glued to the pages and hated to see it end. Invitation to Scandal is not only a must read, but most definitely a keeper!



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Back cover copy

They are Ghosts. They do not exist. Their birth certificates have been destroyed, all traces of their civilian and military pasts wiped out. They have no official military rank and wear no uniforms or insignia, save a tiny steel pin of a striking hawk forged from the rifle that killed Osama Bin Laden. Once again Lisa Marie Rice delivers a sizzling, heart-stopping new series as only she can tell it

Ghost Ops. A small team of super elite soldiers so secret only two men know of their existence-General Clancy Flynn and their commanding officer, Colonel Lucius Ward. On a mission to destroy a US-based lab working on weaponized bubonic plague, the team is betrayed by their commanding officer. The Team is massacred and only three men survive to be court martialed: the Team Leader, Tom ‘Mac’ McEnroe, tech genius John Ryan, and lethal Nick Ross. They disappear en route to prison and are never heard of again.
Mac and his men hole up in a high tech lair, completely off the grid. But when a beautiful woman somehow finds him, he doesn’t know whether to kiss her, or kill her.
Dr. Catherine Young is on a mission, propelled by forces beyond her control to find a man who has disappeared off the face of the earth. She is bearing a deadly message from a dying man. Catherine has a gift that allows her to see into the heart of others. But looking into Mac McEnroe’s heart is like looking into the heart of danger itself.

Catherine has spent her life avoiding most personal contact because her gift forces her to sense other people’s emotions and thoughts. She has devoted herself to science, studying the human mind in hopes of finding the cure for dementia. When she accidentally connects to the thoughts of one of her patients, she has no choice but to hunt down Mac, a man that doesn’t want to be found.

When Mac finds Catherine on his mountain, he is understandably suspicious. He is totally off the grid and no one should be able to find him. He takes her back to Mount Blue to interrogate her. He doesn’t understand why Catherine isn’t terrified of him like most people. He is big, ugly, and scarred. The fact that beautiful, delicate Catherine is attracted to him only makes him more suspicious but against his will, he starts to believe her. And begins fall in love.

Heart of Danger was everything I expect from a Lisa Marie Rice book. There is insta-lust turning very quickly into insta-love. The hero is big, growly and ultra alpha. The heroine is close to perfect, very beautiful and kind, and sexually inexperienced. Normally, all of that would have me rolling my eyes and complaining but Rice just makes it work. In fact, that is what I’m looking for when I pick up one of her books and what has her on my auto-buy list.

I did struggle a lot with many of the scenes from the villain’s POV. It is heavy with medical terminology. I work in medical and was able to follow most of it but after a while, it became blah blah blah.


the hypothalamus was sending massive amounts of CRH to the pituitary gland and the cortisol level rose to 1000 nmol/L

Those scenes are all that is keeping me from giving it 5 stars. I adored the romance itself. I want a Mac of my own! And when the climax of the story came, it was amazing. Rice’s most emotional and angst-filled yet, I read it with a lump in my throat. I can’t wait to see where she goes with this series. The set-up for John and Nick’s stories has me very eager to get my hands on the next book. If you’ve enjoyed past Rice books, you’ll love this one!

Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: November 6, 2012
Format: Print and Digital

Barnes & Noble

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