Always a Bridesmaid…

Pippa Hearts Presents

The journey of one (relatively) young, single girl’s romance with Harlequin Presents!

 by Associate Editor Pippa Roscoe

Hard as it may seem to believe, with Christmas feeling like only yesterday, spring has sprung!! (And thank heavens for that!) And with spring comes another magical time of year.

The start of the Wedding season!

And in Romance HQ – London, we do love a wedding! This year our fearless leader, Joanne Grant, is set to be Maid of Honor, Assistant Editor Laurie Johnson is heading off to a magical honeymoon in Hawaii, and I am reprising my role as bridesmaid!

I am preparing myself for another island wedding – not Greece this time, but a little island off the English coastline. This will be a wedding with not one but TWO brides sharing their love and commitment in front of friends and family. And two brides means…

MORE BRIDEMAIDS!!!

One of the things I love about being a bridesmaid is the dress. It brings to mind the film 27 Dresses, and heaven forbid – Bridesmaids! But my lovely friends have outdone themselves. They have found a dress that can be worn 20 different ways! The nine (yes, nine!) bridesmaids, will all be able to add their own distinctive style. So I will be set to indulge in a mini makeover all of my own.

Yay!

But the thing I love most about being a bridesmaid?

The wedding dress: (Or dresses in this instance!)

I LOVE helping the blushing bride go in hunt of the perfect wedding dress. You enter the exquisite boutique where everything is spoken in hushed tones as if to raising your voice would upset the dresses…and there are so very many of them! Miles and miles of perfect white, off white, oyster and cream-colored silk, satin, tulle and lace.

It seems to me that the bride always has an idea of what she thinks she wants from a dress. But as she tries on different styles, fabrics and colors, you see the change… the dawning realization that what she really wants is what she never expected to love. And then, there she is – one of your closest friends having her perfect Cinderella moment. And when she finds ‘the one’ her eyes lit up, and you are pressing your eyes closed to hold back the joy. Because that’s the moment it becomes real.

And isn’t that what is so wonderful about our Presents books? Each and every heroine finds that moment, when she is taken from her day to day life and transformed into the beautiful swan who knows that she is in love and loved. It’s the happy-ever-after that we’re all looking for.

(Aside from that, of course, there’s always the chance that I might meet – okay, no best man here, but still – my ‘one’!)

So ladies, tell me. How long until you found your perfect dress? Or do you have any bridesmaid stories, you’d like to share?! Did anyone happen to meet their very own hero at a wedding? Please? Anyone?

Xx

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What are you favorite locations for a Presents story?

by Abby Green, author of When Christakos Meets his Match

My latest Presents, When Christakos Meets his Match, is the second book in my Blood Brothers trilogy. It features Greek aviation tycoon Alexio Christakos, who happens to be an inveterate playboy. Unlike his more intense half – brothers, he’s hidden all of his vulnerabilities under a devastatingly sexy smile and the lure of fun with no strings attached.

He’s addicted to beautiful women and allergic to commitment ;) .

That is, until he takes a seat on one of his planes in economy class and finds himself beside Sidonie Fitzgerald, the first woman, ever, to try to get away from him…

In this book Alexio takes Sidonie on a whirlwind fairytale trip to Santorini in Greece.

Now, when it comes to settings in Presents, the more glamorous the better, right? And, even better if, as the writer, you’ve actually been there. I however, have the unfortunate tendency to write about a place and then go there afterwards.

And this was exactly the same. I wrote my scenes in Santorini before I’d been there. But luckily I happened to be traveling to that island shortly after I’d written the book and when I got home I was able to change one of the scenes to more accurately reflect the island.

Obviously it would be lovely to be able to travel to every place you write about for these books, but alas more often than not it’s with a helping hand of Google Earth or a travel book/program!

What are you favorite locations for a Presents story? The idyllic azure setting of the Mediterranean? Or the desert sands of a fictional Sheikhdom? Or is it the glittering glamour of cities like London or New York?

I think Santorini was one of the most romantic places I ever visited so for me for now, it’s got to be the Greek isles!

About When Christakos Meets his Match:

meetshismatchLet the games begin!

The seat-belt sign hasn’t even switched off before the chemistry is mile-high between airline CEO Alexio Christakos and Sidonie Fitzgerald! Accustomed to brief encounters with aloof socialites, her unaffected innocence has him hooked and determined to enjoy a night of pleasure in her arms.

Sidonie is meant to be sorting out her life, not starting an affair with a Greek tycoon! But Alexio is the ultimate distraction…until he learns of her strained finances and, to her horror, accuses her of wanting more than just his body! But Sidonie’s innocence masks a backbone of steel, and she won’t take his accusation lying down…

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How do you feel about office romances?

by Maya Blake, author of What the Greek’s Money Can’t Buy

When I toyed with the idea of writing a trilogy, two things immediately jumped to mind – a steaming office romance…and an equally red-hot Greek hero. Don’t get me wrong, I love, love, love all Presents heroes but there’s something about the words Greek Shipping Magnate that just gets my romance addict heart racing!

Throw in a PA/Executive assistant with a HUGE secret past which you just know is going to blow up in her face and well, I was so excited I pitched it to my then editor very quickly after I sold to Harlequin Presents almost, gosh, 2 years ago tomorrow!

Happily, she said yes and the idea of Sakis, Arion and Theo Pantelides – three superhot brothers, championship-winning ex-rowers and my “Untameable Greeks”, was born. Untameable Greeks…doesn’t that just send a delicious shiver down your spine? It certainly does mine, lol.

What The Greek’s Money Can’t Buy is Sakis and Brianna’s story. It starts with a bang when one of Sakis’s oil tankers runs aground off the Coast of Africa (and I had so much fun researching this location, which was a fabulous bonus!). But it was the explosions within their own personal relationship that made this story one of my favourite to write.

Here’s a little bit about What The Greek’s Money Can’t Buy:

whatthegreeksmoneycantbuyThe forbidden tastes all the sweeter…

Oil magnate Sakis Pantelides always gets what he wants – after all, he’s drop-dead gorgeous, powerful, and wealthy beyond words. But the one thing he can’t have is his stunning assistant, Brianna Moneypenny – because she’s the only woman this cynical Greek can trust.

When an international crisis throws them together twenty-four-seven, intriguingly buttoned-up Brianna reveals a sensual hunger that rivals his own, and he realises just what he’s been denying himself for so long. But when his perfect PA’s secret is discovered will he pay the price for taking what he wants?

What’s your personal view on office romances?

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GIVEAWAY! Visit Harlequin’s Facebook Page to Win A Copy of Engaged at The Chatsfield by Melanie Milburne

Have you checked into the Chatsfield? This opulent hotel is full of the wealthy elite, and with that comes scandal!

Now you have the opportunity to dive into this brand new continuity…for free. Head over to the Harlequin Facebook page to see how you can win 1 of 25 print copies of Engaged at The Chatsfield, the prequel by Melanie Milburne. The giveaway is open until 9pm, ET.

Good luck!

About Engaged at The Chatsfield:

engagedatthechatsfieldA whisper, a rumor, a scandal!

Glitz, luxury and decadence—Juliet Montague should be having the time of her life. Her friend’s hen party is being held at the extravagant Chatsfield Hotel, London, but when she is surrounded by perfect, ultra-stylish women, each with rings on their fingers, a fake fiancé seems her only defense.

Until that very same fake fiancé arrives at the party! Now she must persuade Marcus Bainbridge, her older brother’s gorgeous best friend, not to give the game away. But as the charade deepens, will the lines between what’s real and what’s fantasy start to blur?

Welcome to The Chatsfield, London!

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Do you like a hero who struggles with his belief in himself?

by Tara Pammi, author of The Last Prince of Dahaar

I saw a review on Amazon UK that touched my heart so much and I think summarized my April release The Last Prince of Dahaar very well, so I’m going to put it here:

This story is about the passionate yet determined Zohra and Ayaan, a tortured soul who needed her feistiness and tenacity to get through to him to accept her love.

lastprinceofdahaarZohra and Ayaan bring everything that’s missing from each other’s life. Ayaan gives her honor, respect that Zohra’s always lacked as her father’s illegitimate daughter, and Zohra brings the tenacity and love and belief that Ayaan needs to realize he’s deserving of love and happiness.

Harlequin Presents are all about the Alpha heroes whom I do adore. But for me, it’s also the heroines that tug at my heart. And it was the same in case of Zohra too.

I thought she would be a martyr but she surprised me when, half way through, she realized what she had lost by letting her prejudices color her. And then she went for what she wanted. She challenged Ayaan, she told him that she wanted a life with him, that she would stick by him no matter what.

Ayaan Al Sharif, the hero of the book is the most noble hero I’ve ever written. At the beginning of the story, he’s just back in his home country Dahaar after five years of being mad following a terrorist attack that killed his siblings. His belief in himself is low, his is wrecked by nightmares of that horrible day and the worst of all, he’s facing the prospect of ruling his country and taking a bride. But duty means everything to Ayaan, so he will do it.

Do you like a hero who struggles with his belief in himself?

 

About The Last Prince of Dahaar:

A vow to break?

She’s a bullet point on the list of things he’s agreed to for duty. And as it is the only way to restore order in Dahaar and quash whispers that name him The Mad Prince, Ayaan Al Sharif will marry Zohra Naasar.

Zohra knows something of duty’s destruction—it’s stolen her freedom before, and it won’t happen again. She’ll convince Ayaan not to marry her—by refusing to sleep with him! Even if he does evoke a desire she’s never felt before.

Ayaan may have agreed to her outrageous demand, but is this the one promise the last prince of Dahaar can’t keep?

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