A few weeks ago, after writing thirty-four historical novels and novellas, I finished my first book for Harlequin Desire. I’m still sweating bullets. And my respect for authors who write contemporaries has grown by giant leaps.
Let me explain. Yes, historicals take a lot of research. The Westerns I mostly write are easier than most because the Wild West is bred into my bones. The Mountain West is home to me. I grew up on my grandparents’ stories of what it was like to be a pioneer, a settler, a cowboy. I wouldn’t think of trying, say, a Regency, which involves a feel for England and enough historic minutiae to fill a shelf full of encyclopedias. But the West just flows for me. And when I get to a blank spot in my story, I can always throw in a gunfight, a prairie fire, an Indian attack or a rhapsodic description of a desert sunrise.
A contemporary, on the other hand…What can I say? A story for a line like Harlequin Desire is bare bones plot—a hero, a heroine, a compelling situation and some (lots of) sizzle. There may be a child, as there is in my new story. But there’s no arch-villain, no historic tidbits, no grave physical danger, no spilled blood, chases, races, or cliffhangers to keep a reader turning those pages. Just the intense, evolving relationship between a man and a woman. What a challenge.
But then, as I keep reminding myself, isn’t that what romance is all about?
THE LAWMAN’S VOW, my new book from Harlequin Historicals has all of the above. San Francisco lawman Flynn O’Rourke has sworn justice for the murder of his sister, a celebrated music hall singer. Aaron Cragun, the man seen pocketing her jewels, lives up the coast, in a remote cliff-top hideaway. Heading north in a small sailboat, Flynn is cast ashore by a violent storm. A blow on the head robs him of his memory.
Beautiful, innocent Sylvie Cragun is caring for her little brother and waiting for her father to come home from San Francisco. When she finds the handsome stranger, with no memory, on the beach, she takes him into her home and, ultimately, her bed and her heart. What will happen when Flynn’s memory returns? Will the lawman keep his vow?
The book’s available in both electronic and hard copy. You can read an excerpt on my web site.
Tell us what appeals to you about historical romance. And/or what do you look for in a contemporary romance?
Readers who post comments will be entered in a drawing for an autographed paperback copy of THE LAWMAN’S VOW. Good luck and happy reading!