Reading, Romance, Small Town Perfection

Small Town Perfection: Magnolia Beach

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Kimberly Lang had made a number of her category romances’ heroines Southern belles before she made the move to full-length romances, and Magnolia Beach was born.  It’s a small waterfront town in Alabama, where Southern hospitality is a staple, and where people seem to find themselves whenever they need a second chance or a new start.

In Something to Prove, former wild child Helena returns home from Atlanta after her grandmother has a fall, and has to face everyone who knew her back then.  And to top it all off, she’s discovered that she’s now got a thing for mayor and town golden boy Ryan.  But will her reputation in the town keep them apart?

Sophie’s family left Magnolia Beach years ago, when her father’s affair and resulting scandal threatened to ruin their lives.  In One Little Thing she returns to open a B&B, and to fall in love with the one man who let her father’s secret out of the bag all those years ago, Quinn Haslett.

Everything at Last sees Molly escape from her unhappy life and settle in Magnolia Beach, opening a coffee shop.  But will her attraction for local vet Tate last when the secrets from her past coming flooding back?

And the latest instalment in the series, More than Anything follows unexpected visitor to Magnolia Beach, Declan, fall for the tomboy who runs the Bay Breeze marina.  He’s supposed to be heading to Miami, but there’s something about the town, and Shelby, that’s captured his heart…

Magnolia Beach is the perfect setting for redemptive romances that’ll capture your heart.

Mills & Boon, Romance, Whatever Happened to Modern Tempted?

Whatever Happened to Modern Tempted? A Spotlight on…Kimberly Lang

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…

Kimberly Lang

Who doesn’t love a Southern belle heroine?  Especially when she appears in Last Groom Standing:

Marnie Price’s guide to surviving the bridesmaid blues…

1. Get a new man

2. Find a new job

3. When in doubt, drink wine!

Having watched her three closest friends all find love, Southern belle Marnie Price feels as if she’s the only single girl left. Luckily she’s found a solution – one sizzling night with Dylan Brookes.

This man wears a wedding tux better than anyone, but all Marnie wants to do is get beneath it!

Dylan is all about making the sensible choice, and a fling with his ex’s friend Marnie is about as far from sensible as he can get! Marnie might prove to him that taking risks is worth it, but that doesn’t mean he’s ready to give up his bachelor status quite yet, does it… ?

 

Marnie is a flawed character – the best kind of heroine!  It’s interesting to see her reactions.  She’s been so repressed for so many years, that she’s discovered that she hasn’t really been living.   She’s lost her job, realised that a mistake she made years ago nearly ruined the lives of the people she most cares about, and so gets rip roaring drunk with one of her best freinds’ ex-fiance.

Dylan is a sensible guy.  He’s all about making the right kinds of decisions.  And Marnie couldn’t be the worst decision for him…and yet that doesn’t stop him from pursuing her, and encouraging her to live life unafraid!

Lang’s other Modern Tempted books include:

  • Girls’ Guide to Flirting with Danger  (Take one marriage counsellor, make her the ex-wife of America’s most infamous divorce attorney, and throw the two of them together, and there’ll be sparks!)
  • The Privileged and the Damned  (Lily’s got her ideal job, working as a stable manager, even if it is for the Marshall estate.  But will she be able to resist Ethan Marshall himself?)
  • No Time Like Mardi Gras  (When Colin offers to show Jamie around the hedonistic party atmosphere of New Orleans, she can’t resist, even though she’s sworn off men!)
  • The Million-Dollar Question  (Evan’can’t believe that ballerina Olivia’s got in contact with him after all these years, but she’s got a secret that she’s keeping…)

So what’s Kimberly been up to since the end of Modern Tempted?

She’s been writing the Magnolia Beach series, set a small waterfront town in Alabama:

  • Something to Prove  (Former wild child Helena’s come home to look after her grandmother, and she keeps on bumping into football player-tuned mayor Ryan.  Back in school, her reputation kept him well away from her, but will he be able to resist her now?)
  • One Little Thing  (Novella.  Quinn’s greatest regret has always been exposing the affair that Sophie’s father was having with their physics teacher…  And when she comes back to open a B&B, he’s determined to make things right!)
  • Everything at Last  (Molly could tell that Magnolia Beach was the perfect place to escape her unhappy life when she arrived.  And now she’s got her own little coffee shop, and she’s dating veterinarian Tate, everything seems perfect.  But then her past begins to haunt her…)
  • More than Anything  (Declan wasn’t intending on spending any proper time in Alabama, when he got stranded on a boat near Magnolia Bay, he found himself being rescued by tomboyish Shelby!  Will he move on, or will Magnolia Beach – and Shelby – capture his heart?)

Kimberly Lang isn’t one of those people who always knew she wanted to be a writer. She actually wanted to be a ballerina, but puberty failed to deliver the required swan-like elegance. That dream scuttled, she went on to get her Master’s Degree in English – and she has the bartending skills to prove it. At her husband’s insistence, she quit teaching in 2007 to write full-time, and in May 2008, sold her first book to Harlequin’s London office. That book, The Secret Mistress Arrangement, debuted at number nine on the Borders Series Bestseller list and won the 2009 National Readers’ Choice Award for Best First Book.

Since then, Kimberly’s books have appeared on the USA Today, Amazon, Borders, and Bookscan bestseller lists, and have been translated into more than two dozen languages. (And, yes, that’s really cool.)

She’s married to her college sweetheart, whom she affectionately (but appropriately) calls her Darling Geek, and is Mom to the most brilliant and beautiful child on the planet (aptly nicknamed Amazing Child). She started taking yoga-based fitness because she eats way too many jelly beans while writing, and became an instructor once she figured out that spending time with her butt over her head helped spark her creativity. More than one sticky plot point has been solved in the Down Dog position. She has no hobbies because she doesn’t have time, but if she did, they’d include knitting, skiing and ballroom dancing, because they sound like they might be fun.

Find out more about her and her writing on her Facebook pageTwitter, and on her website.

Guestpost, Release Post, Romance

Guestpost – Kimberly Lang and the Small Town Romance

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After fifteen or so books set in big cosmopolitan cities, it came as a bit of a surprise to some of my readers to find out the new series was set in a small southern town. Honestly, y’all, it was a bit of a surprise to me, too. But it’s been so much fun getting to know the people of Magnolia Beach.

I’ve been asked what attracted me to the small town setting, and after some serious thought I realized it was the same thing that attracted me to reunion and second-chance romances: the history.eal_us_cover

In a reunion romance, our hero and heroine are forced to face parts of their past they’d really hoped they’d get to forget. Whether it’s that unfortunate (but temporary) obsession with Adam Sandler or that strange thing you did to your hair that time, we move on and conveniently forget. Stupid things said and done and bad choices made can be filed away under “Lessons Learned” and we can believe we are no longer that person.

Hook up with your ex (like in The Girl’s Guide to Flirting with Danger and The Million Dollar Question) or even that person you went to school with and haven’t seen since (like in The Downfall of a Good Girl or Grace Felt the Heat), and you’re faced with the person who witnessed those questionable choices and may still see you as the person you were then. In a small town, that’s multiplied: everyone remembers those knee-high moccasins and the time you had to be pulled off the bar and sent home in a taxi. You may be forgiven, but it’s not forgotten, and while you may be an improved version of that younger person, it’s all still you.  It’s baggage you get to carry everywhere, all the time.

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That history, those connections to the past and other people, are catnip for me. I love to explore the way characters handle that history — whether it’s the guy who’s still living his high school football glory days, the reformed wild child who’s moved on, the guy who’s never gotten over his high school crush, or the couple who’s passionate affair fizzled out and they’re okay with it. (Really. Stop asking. They’re just friends.)

Some do it gracefully; some don’t always handle it well. The same goes for the folks around them. But there’s always a story there, waiting to be told.

And that’s what brought me to Magnolia Beach. I hope you come to love the place as much as I do.

The first book in Kimberly’s Magnolia Beach series, Something to Prove, is out now, and she’s just released the One Little Thing novella!

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Kimberly Lang is a USA Today bestselling author and Southern belle with a troublemaking streak. A former ballet dancer and English teacher, she now does yoga and writes the kind of books she always loved to read.

She’s married to her college sweetheart, is mom to the most amazing child on the planet, and shares her office space with a dog named Cupid.

Find out more about Kimberly and her books on her website; and follow her on Facebook and Twitter for regular, nature-filled, updates!