In 2013 Mills & Boon relaunched their RIVA line with Modern Tempted (called Harlequin KISS in the States), an imprint that held echoes of the Temptation novels of the 80s and 90s, and the sexiness of the Modern Heat series from the 00s.
Whether as RIVA or as Modern Tempted, I adored the books and was incredibly upset when the line stopped publishing two years ago.
So this month I’m taking a look back at the authors of Modern Tempted, at the books they wrote then, and what they’re up to now…
I love the fact that Kelly Hunter has essentially perfected the law-breaking hero in Flirting with Intent:
Ruby’s Relationship Rules…
Ruby Maguire’s done with being messed around by men. Now she just needs to know three things about a potential bedmate: his name, where he’ll be in a week’s time, and what it is he wants from her. Damon West knows plenty about subterfuge and secrets, and nothing about being truthful with women.
But Ruby demands honesty between them so Damon gives her as much as he can: I’m Damon West. I’ll be leaving Singapore in a week. And I want you to touch me. At least, that was the intent…but something’s telling normally bullet-proof Damon that one week with Ruby might not be so easy to recover from…
Ruby’s a PA for a top businessman in Asia, and she’s determined to put her father’s disgrace behind her; all she wants to do is focus on her job, and possibly a have a fling or two. But then she meets Damon and their attraction is off the chart!
I really love the conflict here; Damon is a genius computer hacker, and Ruby’s been stung by men with no respect for the law before (ie. her father), so it makes for really great intensity between the two of them, and a fantastic black moment!
Also, the balance between the two of them, with Ruby being all bubbly and cheerful, contrasting with Damon’s more solemn approach to life really works.
Hunter’s other Modern Tempted books include:
- The Man She Loves to Hate (Jolie hates Cole. His father took her mother as a mistress and his family turned her into a social pariah. The only problem is, is that she’s found herself stuck with him in a cabin during a snow storm, and he’s not as repulsive as she’d have liked…)
- Cracking the Dating Code (Nerdy Poppy needs peace and quiet to crack the code that she hopes will reveal her missing brother’s whereabouts, but when Sebastian – the owner of the island she’s staying on – appears, she finds it difficult to concentrate on anything else!)
- What the Bride Didn’t Know (Trig and Lena have always been attracted to each other, although his being her brother’s best friend makes things a little more complicated. But when a bump on the head makes her think they’re married, will Trig be able to stay away?)
- The Party Dare (Breanna loves throwing parties – it’s the best way for her to forget about her past – but will she be able to resist her uptight new neighbour Leo?)
So what’s Kelly been up to since the end of Modern Tempted?
There’s her Modern novel for Mills & Boon, The Spy Who Tamed Me, the sequel to Flirting with Intent, Cracking the Dating Code and What the Bride Didn’t Know:
Jared’s been undercover for so long that returning to his old life seems completely surreal, but all he wants is to get back to work. And it’s the job of the new Director of Operations, Rowan, to make sure that he’s ready to return to duty…
She’s also written a number of books for Tule Publishing, as part of various mini-series:
- What a Bride Wants (When Ella’s father puts an ad in the paper for a husband for her, she’s furious. A couple of drinks later and she posts an ad of her own: lover wanted. Cam Sawyer knows he could be the lover that Ella needs, but will he also end up answering her father’s ad as well?)
- What a Bachelor Needs (Skiing champion Jett is expecting to take whoever bids for him onto the slopes, but when single mum Mardie’s friends realise that he’s also got handyman skills, he finds himself fixing up her dilapidated house…)
- Pursued by the Rogue (Dawn doesn’t do relationships, but she can’t resist Finnbar Sullivan and so sets up a casual, sex-only arrangement with him. But Finn wants more than just sex!)
She’s also just completed The Jackson Brothers trilogy:
- The Courage of Eli Jackson (Eli has just married the perfect woman as part of an online role-playing game! But when his brothers bestow a real-world honeymoon package for him and Zoey, he can’t quite believe his luck…)
- The Heart of Caleb Jackson (Only one woman ever tamed Caleb Jackson, and when Bree Tucker returns home to Brunswick Bay, he won’t let anything get in the way of them both!)
- The Downfall of Cutter Jackson (Cutter Jackson really isn’t having the best time. All of a sudden he’s discovered that he has a half brother, his father’s refusing to give up his secrets, and there’s the most frustrating woman in the world come into his life, in the form of Mia Blake! )
Accidentally educated in the sciences, Kelly Hunter didn’t think to start writing romances until she was surrounded by the jungles of Malaysia for a year and didn’t have anything to read. Eventually she decided that writing romance suited her far better than throwing sterile screw-worm flies out of airplane windows, and changed careers.
Kelly now lives in Australia, surrounded by lush farmland and family, 2 dogs, 3 miniature cows, a miniature pig, a 3-legged cat and a small flock of curious chickens. There are still flies, but their maggots don’t feed on flesh. Bargain.
Kelly is a USA Today bestselling author, a three-time Romance Writers of America RITA finalist and loves writing to the short contemporary romance form.