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 Lucy King’s The Reunion Lie for it’s portrayal of anxiety:
Inventing a fake fiancé was an act of desperation for Zoe Montgomery – a knee-jerk response to her horrifying high school reunion! But now that she’s convinced London’s most unattainable bachelor to play the part, her little white lie is spiralling out of control. Because everyone wants a piece of tycoon Dan Forrester.
Including Zoe! Especially once she’s seen the view from his bedroom – this might be a fake engagement, but she’s certainly not faking anything else! Now the reunion is over, and Zoe and Dan have convinced the world they’re meant to be!
But convincing each other? A whole different challenge…
I wasn’t the coolest girl at school. In fact, I was anything but, and kind of made myself a bit of a target for teasing. And so Zoe’s predicament at her school reunion really resonated with me.
The momentary fear of her high school bullies sends her into a panic and she ends up making up a fiance, and then ropes in there nearest man in the bar she can find, to help her out!
Dan finds himself going along with the madcap plan until they end up in a situation that can’t just be dropped after one night!
King’s other Modern Tempted books include:
- The Crown Affair (After finding her cheating boyfriend in bed with someone else, Laura ends up having a wild night with Matt, the gorgeous guy next door. Embarrassed as anything the next day, she finds herself a new job on the island of Sassania, only to discover that it’s new king is none other than Matt!)
- One More Sleepless Night (Nicky hasn’t been able to sleep and her doctor’s recommended rest and relaxation, but she’s ended up sharing her retreat with her best friend’s brother, Rafael. And if she can’t sleep, she might as well find something else to do…)
- One Night with Her Ex (Kit is going through the worst dry spell, and clearly his ex, Lily, is to blame… What’ll happen when they spend one, steamy New Year’s Eve together?)
- The Best Man for the Job (Years ago, Celia and Marcus nearly had a night of passion, but he’s her brother’s best friend and changed his mind. But now that he’s the best man at her brother’s wedding, there’s only going to be one way to get him out of her system!)
- The Party Starts at Midnight (Take one penthouse suite and two people who are supposed to be working together, and soon their chemistry will be keeping them up all night long…)
So what’s Lucy been up to since the end of Modern Tempted?
She’s recently joined with some of the other Modern Tempted writers to write a book for the Fairy Tales of New York series, Taming the Beast:
Inspired by the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale, the story follows the third Madison brother… Years ago, Mercedes had a huge crush on Seb Madison, but now she can’t stand him! And she certainly doesn’t ever bother wasting any time thinking about that disastrous one night stand they had…
Lucy spent my formative years lost in the world of Mills & Boon romance when she really ought to have been paying attention to my teachers. Up against sparkling heroines, gorgeous heroes and the magic of falling in love, the dissolution of the monasteries and ablative absolutes didn’t stand a chance.
Eventually realising that she couldn’t live in a dream world forever, she went on to acquire a degree in languages and hold an eclectic collection of jobs. Then a stroll to the River Thames one Saturday morning led Lucy to her very own hero. The minute she laid eyes on the hunky rower getting out of a boat, clad only in Lycra and carrying a 3-metre oar as if it was a toothpick, she knew she’d met the man she was going to marry. (Luckily the rower thought the same!)
Lucy’ll always be grateful to whatever it was that made her stop dithering and actually sit down to type Chapter One, because dreaming up her own sparkling heroines and gorgeous heroes is pretty much her idea of the perfect job.
Originally a Londoner, she now lives in Spain where she spends much of the time reading, failing to finish cryptic crosswords and trying to convince herself that lying on the beach really is the best way to work.