Mills & Boon, Reading, Romance, Small Town Perfection

Small Town Perfection: Larkville

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The Larkville Legacy follows the aftershocks of a letter that affects the ranching Calhoun family in Larkville, and New York high society family, the Pattersons…

In The Cowboy Comes Home by Patricia Thayer, Jess Calhoun’s been avoiding men in Stetson’s since her young son’s father left them, but when Johnny Jameson swaggers into town, she can’t help but notice him!  Their attraction is fiery and soon Johnny starts wondering whether he could put down roots in the quiet town of Larkville, of all places…

When ex-ballerina Eleanor Patterson discovers that her family history is a lie, she heads to Larkville for answers in Nikki Logan‘s Slow Dance with the Sheriff.  But she’s not exactly country material and ends up getting rescued from a herd of cattle by handsome Sheriff Jed Jackson…

In Marion Lennox‘s Taming the Brooding Cattleman, Alexandra Patterson heads to the Australian outback to work with stallions on a ranch.  Only rancher Jack Connor’s in for the shock of his life when the man he thought he hired, Alexander, turns out to be Alexanda!

Holt Calhoun hasn’t said anything other than “no” since his marriage ended.  But in The Rancher’s Unexpected Family by Myrna Mackenzie, that’s put to the test when he’s faced with pregnant Kathryn Ellis, who’s determined to get him to save the local clinic…

After years of hiding in the shadows, Megan Calhoun finally reaches Hollywood in His Larkville Cinderella by Melissa McClone.  Her role as costume designer brings her together with A-list actor Adam Noble, and soon their chemistry threatens to deconstruct the facade he shows to the world…

In Lucy Gordon‘s The Secret That Changed Everything, a devastating family secret sends Charlotte Paterson to Italy, fed up of being in the shadow of her prettier, more popular sisters!  But when she seeks solace in the arms of widower Lucio Constello, their one night of passion has more consequences than they could possibly have imagined.

Soraya Lane‘s The Soldier’s Sweetheart sees Special Forces soldier Nate Calhoun return to Larkville, accompanied by traumatic memories and bourbon.  It’s only his childhood sweetheart, Sarah Anderson, who can see the pain beyond his gruff exterior…  Will racing horses and relaxing together on the ranch bring old emotions back to life?

When Matt Patterson, businessman extraordinaire, finds himself guardian to baby Bella in The Billionaire’s Baby SOS by Susan Meier, he needs help – and fast!  Social worker Claire Kincaid agrees to help out, but soon Matt finds himself drawn towards their fake little family…

Even though not all of the books in the series are set in Larkville, the impact of the letter and secret on the two families resonates through every book.  Utterly charming.

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

Whatever Happened to Modern Tempted? A Spotlight on…Nikki Logan

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…

Nikki Logan

His Until Midnight is one of the best books I’ve ever read:

Each year, notoriously beddable Hong Kong tycoon Oliver Harmer allows himself one Christmas present: a lavish meal with off-limits Audrey Devaney. Keeping her at arm’s length – quite literally! – is a battle of epic proportions for Oliver, but also an irresistible temptation.

Until the year she doesn’t come. Now the rules have changed!

This Christmas, Audrey is single, and Oliver must decide if he will let her run away at midnight for good, or fight for her to stay until morning!

 

This book is full of romance, heartbreak, and manages to make me cry every single time.

There’s an intensity to the connection between Audrey and Oliver that they ignore year after year.  she’s unhappily married, and he’s her husband’s best friend!  Each Christmas they have dinner together, as friends, until the year she’s single…

I can’t quite explain all the emotions that this book made me experience, but suffice to say, it’s outstandingly written and beautifully constructed.

Logan’s other Modern Tempted books include:

  • Shipwrecked with Mr Wrong  (Marooned on an island with a beautiful woman would have been the perfect way for Rob to spend some time, in theory, but Honor wants to focus on her conservationist work.  Though she may discover that resisting the playboy’s charms may be more difficult than she imagines…)
  • Rapunzel in New York  (When Nathan kicks in Tori’s door, she’s furious, and doesn’t need saving at all, thank you very much!  But perhaps she needs rescuing after all!)
  • Mr Right at the Wrong Time  (When Sam abseils into Aimee’s life after a terrifying car crash, what will she do if he belongs to someone else?)
  • Once a Rebel…  (When Shirley’s mother passed away, she and her mother’s student Hayden agreed to fulfill her bucket list wishes.  Ten years later, and Shirley’s the only one who’s been doing it, and she wants to know!)
  • My Boyfriend and Other Enemies  (Tash and Aiden’s families have been rivals for years, and they can’t stand each other!  Or are the sparks that fly when they’re together caused by something else…?)
  • How to Get Over Your Ex  (When Georgia’s proposal gets turned down on-air, she decides to live on the wild side, and radio producer Zander’s the guy to help her!)
  • The Morning After the Night Before  (Izzy finds herself in bed with her ex-boss, Harry after having quit her nightmare job and getting horrendously drunk…  Harry really doesn’t sleep with his employees, but Izzy is no longer his employee…)

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

She’s been writing novels for Mills & Boon’s Cherish line:

  • Her Knight in the Outback  (Eve is searching for her brother, when biker Marshall decides to help…only will she be be able to resist him?)
  • Bodyguard…To Bridegroom?  (Sera hates Christmas, so this year she decides to escape to a desert paradise!  However, she can’t help but be distracted by her bodyguard Brad…)
  • Stranded with Her Rescuer  (Since losing his wife, Will’s spent all his time alone in the Canadian wilderness, but when he ends up rescuing Kitty, has he found the one person who could bring him back to life?)

Logan also is writing the y Ddraig fantasy series of fantasy books, under the pen-name Gwendolyn Beynon:

beynon

  • Sacrifice  (Melangell is a Lifebringer, a dragon-maiden, whose sole responsibility is to guard the dragon egg; but she ends up being abducted by Cai ap Cynyr, the brother of the King, who wants the dragonling for Artwr…)
  • Ascension  (Nyneve’s heritage has been shrouded in mystery, but when a traveller arrives in their valley, Gwanaelle and Eifion are going to have to face the realities of their daughter’s true heritage!)

Nikki Logan lives amongst a string of wetlands in Western Australia with her long-suffering partner and a menagerie of furred, feathered and scaly mates.

She studied film and theatre at university, and worked for years in advertising and film distribution before finally settling down in the wildlife industry.

Her romance with nature goes way back, and she considers her life charmed, given that she works with wildlife by day and writes fiction by night–the perfect way to combine her two loves.

Nikki believes that the passion and risk of falling in love are perfectly mirrored in the danger and beauty of wild places. Every romance she writes contains an element of nature, and if readers catch a waft of rich earth or the spray of wild ocean between the pages she knows her job is done.

The idea for her ‘y Ddraig’ series came while on a pilgrimage to Wales—the land of her fathers—where she was visiting holy wells and ancient yew trees. She grew captivated with the way that the ancient stories of Welsh literature, myth and history still co-existed comfortably in contemporary Cymru, and by the atmosphere of mystery that still saturates Wales’ natural spaces.

Find out more about her and her writing on her Facebook pageTwitter, on her Gwendolyn Beynon website and on her Nikki Logan website.

Guestpost, Mills & Boon, Romance, Writing

Guestpost – Nikki Logan’s Love Affair with Deserts

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In 2014, I was lucky enough to take two big overseas trips from Australia—first to the United Arab Emirates and later also to Canada. K’ching! But when you’re a writer every trip, everywhere, is a research opportunity (and deductible) which makes the expense more palatable.

My UAE stop-over was a functional one, at first, mid-route to Wales. Of all the states on the Arabian peninsula, the collected Emirates are the least conservative (which is not to say they’re not still quite conservative by our standards) and perhaps the most accessible to and tolerant of Westerners. I flew into Dubai but I just had no interest in the glass and chrome spectacle of the world’s most consumptive city; I was more keen to hit some of the natural spots. In the UAE, nature pretty much comes in three flavours – marine, mountain and desert.

UAE

I picked desert.

In July.

What a noob!

Some simplistic context…. Saudi Arabia, Oman and Yemen make up the bulk of the Arabian peninsula (sand making up the bulk of them), and, years ago, a number of smaller Emirates grouped together politically to form the United Arab Emirates along the southern shores of the Persian Gulf. The whole peninsula was once the floor of a vast ocean, and all that golden desert sand is actually ancient sea sand that has been shifting about on the surface ever since. As our present mini ice-age locked up all the water, the land there lost much of its original green oasis and wildlife and—over millennia—it has baked and blown to its present dry state.

UAE_Desert

The temperature gauge on the expensive limo that whisked me out of the city and out into the desert toward Oman read 58 Celsius. Celsius! Off the asphalt it was a little cooler (50C) and, perhaps unsurprisingly, the 6-star resort I stayed at was virtually a ghost town. On the up side, the scorching heat meant I had the resort’s amazing facilities— and the entire desert— practically to myself. But I understood a little better how I had managed to get such an accessible price on such an exclusive resort.

desert geometry

For the record, desert—most particularly the sort comprising 99% of the UAE—is completely awesome. It is nothing like you imagine. I expected to find it interesting from a wildlife and conservation standpoint, but I had no idea it would seep into my heart like its sands seeped into my luggage. Its colour, the geometry, the light… *sigh*

I sat on the edge of a massive, fenced wildlife reserve in my private Bedouin tent with my private plunge pool, where the wildlife came virtually to my door feeling like it was all for me, and I had the most magical, restorative and inspiring few days of my life.

Desert pool (2)

I immediately knew that I’d be setting a book there. If not more than one. Out of respect for the culture and the beautiful people I met, I created my own fictional Emirate and history, but the rest of the wildlife experiences I included in my December release ‘Bodyguard…to Bridegroomwere real. I knew it was the sort of place where a woman could go to find herself and maybe find love while she was out there. Because I both found myself and found a new love (for the desert!) while I was there.

I blogged extensively about my experiences at the luxury resort here if you would like to learn more about it, the deserts and wildlife of the UAE  (scroll down to the deserty stuff).

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Nikki Logan lives amongst a string of wetlands in Western Australia with her long-suffering partner and a menagerie of furred, feathered and scaly mates.  Her romance with nature goes way back, and she considers her life charmed, given that she works with wildlife by day and writes fiction by night–the perfect way to combine her two loves.

Nikki believes that the passion and risk of falling in love are perfectly mirrored in the danger and beauty of wild places. Every romance she writes contains an element of nature, and if readers catch a waft of rich earth or the spray of wild ocean between the pages she knows her job is done.

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