Hidden Gems from Harlequin Presents!

by Carly Byrne, Editor for Presents

I’ve survived my first year of motherhood (and have the food-stained clothes and gray hairs to prove it!) and am excited to be back in the much more glamorous and sophisticated world of Presents. As this is my first I Heart Presents post since my return, I wanted to make a splash, and I’m thrilled to reveal some hidden gems from Harlequin Presents…

In September 2014, alongside our usual eight Presents offerings on Harlequin.com, you will find even more alpha males, decadent glamour and jet-setting lifestyles to curl up with as the nights get longer… These are brand-new stories, never before published in the US, from a selection of your favorite Presents authors: Carole Mortimer, Abby Green, Kate Hewitt, Caitlin Crews and many more!

Among these titles you will be swept away to a variety of enticing exotic locations from breathtaking Brazil to irresistible Italy to the dark heart of the desert. Your companion could be a gorgeous Greek, a sensual sheikh or a ruthless royal. And if one ruthless royal isn’t enough for you, you will find three in The Prince Brothers trilogy by Carole Mortimer. These are the stories you love by the authors you love, and now they’re available to download for the first time in the US!

While these stories deliver the passionate, powerful read you expect from Presents they have their own distinctive look, with the unmistakable red of Presents that’s hard to miss:

Carole Mortimer - Prince's Passion.indd Kate Hewitt - Bound to the Greek.indd Abby Green - The Call of the Desert.indd Caitlin Crews - In Defiance of Duty.indd

So now you can really immerse yourself in the sensational, sophisticated world of Harlequin Presents, where sinfully tempting heroes ignite a fierce and wickedly irresistible passion! Don’t miss out! Your alpha males are waiting to be claimed now at Harlequin.com.

What do you think of our hidden gems? And their unique looks?  

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Meet the Presents Team: Introducing Isabelle Gormezano Marks

by Isabelle Gormezano Marks, Editorial Assistant

Bio picHello everyone!

I’m more than pleased to introduce myself as the most recent addition to the Presents team. Though I’m hardly shy of writing, it always strikes me as a far more difficult task when it’s about myself, so please bear with me!

Where to start…

Since I was at school I had always hoped that publishing would be where I would end up, and after reading English for three years at university, I still can’t believe that I’m here!

I love cheese and wine (yes, my mother is French) and have climbed mountains in Peru, Tibet, Ecuador, Northern Pakistan and Kazakhstan purely for the fun of it.

However, despite scaling mountains at altitude and growing up with my nose in a book, I’ve found that at times, it’s been difficult to be taken seriously. On my first day of Sixth Form at a new school – a charming cliché of inner-city London education, where the corridors were dominated by mini-men in suits and assemblies took place in an old church hall, wall-papered with regal portraits of past headmasters – I was more than aware that I had to prove myself.

It was when I first walked into my classroom and met my tutor, a fountain of knowledge who had been moulding the minds of students for over thirty-five years, that I realised this was not a place for fluffy pencil cases and bright pink post-it notes. I’m more than certain that my too-long blonde hair, red nails and bright suit jacket may have been where I lost Sir’s confidence. But as those who know me would say, a challenge is always where I have the most fun.

And this is where my moment of nostalgia finds some relevancy to publishing. It was through the fun and love of words that I managed to win over one of the longest standing tutors who knew everything about anything, and who probably thought I was just another silly girl traipsing into school to swoon over boys (although that was fun too). How did I manage this? By bringing the free newspaper from tube to classroom and conducting the ‘clockword’ puzzle every morning, of course. Gradually, registration transformed from a sleepy and sombre half-hour before classes began, to a daily slot of literary chaos. Bizarre, silly and some just-plain-fictional words would hurl across the room in order to find as many as we could from a diagram of letters before our time was up. And Sir loved it.

As you may have gathered, I feel at home with words no matter where I may be. So, finding myself in an office and at a desk where I am part of making stories ready to be enjoyed by lovely and loyal readers is more than reason enough to wake up on a Monday morning with a smile on my face.

So, thank you for having me Harlequin Presents and a very warm hello to everyone who keeps us having fun and busy in the office!

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“Sometimes it’s the little things that brighten someone’s day”: Rachael Thomas on A Deal Before the Altar

by Rachael Thomas, author of A Deal Before the Altar

How far would you go to ensure a family member’s happiness? Throw a party? Pay for something? These are fairly tame suggestions in comparison to what Georgina Henshaw does.

She wants to secure her younger sister, Emma’s, happiness. But there is one thing standing in the way and that one thing is the unrelenting determination and pure arrogance of Santos Ramirez. Georgina meets him head on, offering him a solution to what he considers an irritating problem. Marriage, but only one of convenience. Of course she gets much more than she ever bargained on!

I had such fun writing Georgina and Santos’s story and was thrilled their story did so well in So You Think You Can Write. I hope you will enjoy meeting them in A Deal Before The Altar, my debut Presents.

Ensuring those around us are happy doesn’t always involve massive gestures or drastic action. Sometimes it’s the little things that brighten someone’s day. What has recently brightened your day?

About A Deal Before The Altar:

adealbeforethealtar“I have a deal to put to you, Mr. Ramirez.”

Georgina Henshaw will do anything to ensure her younger sister’s happiness—even marry the darkly enigmatic Santos Ramirez! She has just one condition—she’ll wear his ring, but she’ll never share his bed!

Santos has earned his ruthless reputation, but even he isn’t sure whether to be shocked or awed by Ms. Henshaw’s proposal. He can’t deny marriage would solve his current problem, but to truly secure his family business, the delectable Georgina must provide him with an heir….!

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Do you know where you’re going to?

by Diana Ross Lucy King, author of The Party Starts at Midnight

So I’m nearly at the end of writing the book I imaginatively call ‘Leo & Abby’ (and which will eventually be called The Party Starts at Midnight) when I get an email from my editor about a suggestion I made to develop Abby’s character. In it she remarks that while Abby’s capable character is something to be proud of, her relationship history and tendency towards perfectionism shows how she can take it too far – a great way to set her up on her emotional journey. Which immediately makes me panic and think, huh? Emotional journey? What emotional journey? Help!

When I write I don’t think too much about what I’m supposed to be doing, let alone consider things like journeys (unless it’s to the kettle and back). I’m too busy getting the story on the page before I forget that vague-but-fabulous thing that happens two chapters ahead.

But my editor was, as usual, absolutely spot on. Characters need an arc. Maybe not always one quite as awesomely dramatic as Walter White’s (guess who’s just finished the Breaking Bad box set?!) but they need to somehow develop and change. If they stand any hope of dealing with what the story’s throwing at them – or maybe because of it – they have to be aware of who they are, who they’re becoming and who they need to be.

As a perfectionist with stratospheric standards – which I’d totally missed, although it was there – what Abby has to realize is that perfectionism can be a flaw and that expecting so much of everyone around her because she expects so much of herself isn’t always very fair. And as for Leo, well, given that he was once jilted at the altar he has to re-discover how to trust and let go of the past.

For me, the resistance the characters put up to this dawning self-awareness is a big part of what makes the books so much fun to write. And read. Leo and Abby struggle. They kick. They stick their heads in the sand. But eventually they have no option but to give in when they realize their lives will be so much richer when they do. And then hopefully the next journey they’ll be going on is a nice long honeymoon!

And what’s the best character journey you’ve ever come across?

About The Party Starts at Midnight:

thepartystartsatmidnightThis was not the itinerary that events planner Abby had intended:

8:00 p.m.: Leave the spectacular party you’ve organized in search of Leo Cartwright—international playboy, notorious tycoon and your most prestigious new client.

8:10 p.m.: Find Leo asleep, half-naked, in a penthouse suite that just screams decadence—and battle a wildly-out-of-character impulse to kiss him awake.

8:30–11:30 p.m.: Return to the party. Spend all evening avoiding Mr. Cartwright—and trying to forget his tempting demands…

11:59 p.m.: Assure Leo that you will not be mixing business with pleasure.

Midnight: Break your own vow… All. Night. Long…

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“She’s been in love with him all along…”: Caitlin Crews on His For A Price

by Caitlin Crews, author of His For A Price

His For A PriceI’m very excited to introduce you to the Whitaker siblings—the stars of my Vows of Convenience duet—my very first duet from Presents!  Mattie and her brother Chase aren’t close, but they know they have to work together to save their late father’s company from destruction—no matter what it takes.

And in the first book, HIS FOR A PRICE, it might take everything Mattie has.

While on the outside heiress Mattie Whitaker appears to have everything, on the inside, it’s a different story.  Her guilt over her mother’s death in a car accident when Mattie was little has led her down a number of dark paths—and it seems as if Nicodemus Stathis, the broodingly handsome bane of her existence that she’s been avoiding for ten years, has been there to witness every twist and turn.

His for RevengeBut now Mattie has to marry him when she knows—when she’s always known—that letting Niocodemus close means giving him access to every last one of her explosive secrets.

Like the fact she’s been in love with him all along…

Here’s the blurb…

Greek tycoon Nicodemus Stathis was never able to forget beautiful heiress Mattie Whitaker.  And now, ten years of delicious tension later, Nicodemus finally has her right where he wants her.

Mattie’s once powerful family dynasty now lies in ruin, and only Nicodemus can offer them a solution—a solution with vows!  She might not have a choice, but Mattie refuses to be the sacrificial queen to his king.

But Nicodemus’s slow, deliberate seduction wears down his new bride, and the word “checkmate” lies on his lips like a promise…

And stay tuned: Chase’s story, HIS FOR REVENGE—the exciting conclusion to the Vows of Convenience duet—will be out in December!

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