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…
There’s nothing quite like a romance that plays with a fairytale, and Shirley Jump’s If the Red Slipper Fits… does this perfectly:
Missing: One Red Stiletto, Reward For Safe Return
New York gossip writer Sarah Griffin has lost a shoe. However, this isn’t just any shoe – it is a custom-made design that she was supposed to be taking care of (not wearing! ) and losing it could mean her job.
When notorious playboy Caleb Lewis, best known for creating column inches in the paper Sarah writes for, shows up at her office with a dangerous glint in his eye, Sarah is suspicious. It seems her shoe’s kidnapper is none other than this unconventional Prince Charming.
Now Caleb, owner of the most deliciously wicked reputation in New York, has a proposition for Sarah – one she cannot turn down. Let her modern-day fairytale begin…
This is a Cinderella story with a difference… Sarah is no drudge, oppressed by an evil stepmother, but rather a living breathing woman, with healthy career aspirations!
I think one of the aspects I most love about this book, comes in the form of Sarah and Caleb’s family… Caleb is suffering a loss, and the impact that that has on him permeates the narrative, as it would in real life; and Sarah’s father being ill, works well with her character’s arch.
It’s entertaining and sweet and really quite lovely.
Jump’s other Modern Tempted books include:
- The Love Lottery (When Sophie’s name somehow finds it’s way into the love lottery that she’s running, she can’t believe her bad luck. And then things go from bad to worse when her annoying neighbour Harlon’s name follows hers…)
- The Princess Test (Carlita’s never really felt like a proper princess, so when award-winning journalist Daniel comes to quiz her about her down-to-earth way, will she win him over?)
- One Day to Find a Husband (In order to adopt her best friend’s baby, Ellie needs to find herself a husband, and fast! So when she approaches her business rival Finn, this merger is about to merge things in more ways than one!)
- How the Playboy Got Serious (When Riley gets cut off from the family trust fund, he ends up applying for a job at Stace’s diner. But she’s got no intention of falling for his playboy charms…)
- Return of the Last McKenna (When Brody returns from Afghanistan he’s got one more mission to fulfill, and it involves sweet shop owner Kate Spencer…)
So what’s Shirley been up to since the end of Modern Tempted?
She’s written a number of Cherish novels for Mills & Boon:
- The Christmas Baby Surprise (What started off as one last night together, turns into a whole lot more when Cole finds out that Emily’s pregnant…)
- The Homecoming Queen Gets Her Man (Meri’s back in town to look after her elderly grandfather and try to realise her dream of becoming a photographer! But when Jack, the man who broke her heart, also returns home, can they help each other heal?)
- The Instant Family Man (Luke’s life has been pretty damn easy until Peyton turns up on his doorstep with a little blond four year old. Will he step up and become the father his daughter needs?)
- The Tycoon’s Proposal (Savannah’s willing to gamble everything to keep her father’s company, and so she makes a bet with Mac to see if she can turn things around…)
- The Firefighter’s Family Secret (Colton didn’t realise that he had a family of half-brothers, all of whom are making him feel right at home, but not quite as much as wedding planner Rachel!)
- Maverick vs. Maverick (It’s Lindsay’s first case as a lawyer, and she’s going up against gorgeous millionaire cowboy Walker Jones…)
There’s also the Sweetheart Sisters trilogy, about a trio of well-meaning grannies who can’t help meddling, in an attempt to bring about happy ever afters:
- The Sweetheart Bargain (Olivia is running from a bad marriage and a terrible job, and is determined to save the dog shelter she’s inherited. The Sisters want her to find a happy ending with wounded helicopter pilot Luke…)
- The Sweetheart Rules (When Coast Guard Lieutenant Mike discovers that hi ex-wife has abandoned their two children on his doorstep, he’s got to become a family man in a hurry. But when he returns to Rescue Bay, he keeps on bumping into single mother veterinarian Diana, the one-night stand he just can’t forget!)
- The Sweetheart Secret (Once upon a time , Daisy was Cole’s wife, and she technically still is… So now that she’s back in town, will he risk losing her forever?)
She’s also got the first two books in her new Fortune’s Island series:
- And Then Forever (Darcy can’t afford to fall in love, but when her first love steps off the ferry, wanting a second chance, she’s going to have to decide whether she should let him know about his secret daughter…)
- Can’t Get Over You (When Jillian breaks up with Zach, he can’t believe that the love they had is over, especially when a new guy appears on the scene… Will he be able to persuade her to give their love a second chance?)
Jump’s also got a new Cherish book out in January, Winning the Nanny’s Heart, which is available for pre-order now:
Katie’s not entirely certain how it is that she’s ended up looking after Sam’s family, instead of the figures that she usually works with, but she just couldn’t turn the desperate father down… But will she still leave when she realises how Sam feels about her?
New York Times bestselling author Shirley Jump didn’t have the willpower to diet nor the talent to master under-eye concealer, so she bowed out of a career in television and opted instead for a career where she could be paid to eat at her desk—writing.
She started out in journalism, selling her first article at the age of eleven and dreaming of being the next Jane Pauley. She hosted two of her own shows on the local cable channel and co-hosted a late-night comedy show. After writing 3000 articles and two non-fiction books, Shirley grew too dependent on her robe and fuzzy slippers, and decided a career as a freelance writer suited her better.
After having two kids, she sold embarrassing essays about her children to anthologies such as Chicken Soup for the Working Woman’s Soul and Chocolate for Women II.
Then she turned to the world of romance novels, where messes are (usually) cleaned up before The End and no one is calling anyone a doodoo head. In the worlds Shirley gets to create and control, children listen to their parents, husbands always remember holidays and housework is magically done by elves.
Though she’s thrilled to see her books in stores around the world, Shirley mostly writes because it gives her an excuse to avoid cleaning the toilets and helps feed her shoe habit.