by Anna Campbell
Annie West is one of our lair favorites and I'm delighted to have her back again to talk about not just one, but TWO new releases. Oh, lucky Romancelandia!
PRINCE OF SCANDAL is a luscious royal romance with touches of Pygmalion - you'll love these two characters right from their first meeting which is an absolute doozy.
RAFE'S REDEMPTION was originally published in the U.K. as THE BILLIONAIRE'S BOUGHT MISTRESS. It's one of Annie's sexiest and most compelling love stories, full of drama and emotion.
You can find out more about Annie and her wonderful books on her website: www.annie-west.com And don't forget if you click on the covers, it takes you right to Amazon. We make it so easy for our Bandita Buddies!
Annie has very generously offered two prizes today so two lucky commenters will win either RAFE'S REDEMPTION or PRINCE OF SCANDAL. Good luck!
So without more ado, here's ANNIE!!!!
Annie, delighted to have you as my guest again on the Romance Bandits.
You’ve been really busy lately with not one, but TWO U.S. releases in the last few weeks. Let’s start with your wonderful PRINCE OF SCANDAL featuring the gorgeous and very tortured Prince Raul (that’s RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRROWL to any red-blooded woman). Can you tell us about this story?
Hi Anna, it’s fantastic to be here with the Banditas again. Thanks for slipping me into the packed schedule! Waving here to all the Banditas and guests. I feel I’ve been missing in action for a while due to a recent tough schedule and severely limited time online (advice to all other computer users – NEVER neglect a back problem – it won’t magically fix itself, as I’m learning to my cost).
Ooh Anna, I’m so pleased you like Raul (I can hear that RRRRROWL from here!). But of course, as he’s tortured he’s right up your alley. I know you have a fondness for wounded heroes. I suspected you’d like him even while he gave me a difficult time as I wrote. What is it with princes wanting things to go their own way?
Ahem, OK – that question again? Well, no prizes for guessing it’s a royal story. Plus it’s a Marriage of Convenience story (no, I wasn’t ticking off themes – it’s just the way the story worked out). Take one serious, and seriously gorgeous prince who must marry (not just anyone but the woman specified in a dynastic marriage contract) before he can inherit the throne he’s spent his whole life preparing for. Ensure his past and present circumstances make it imperative he do his duty by inheriting. Mix with an independent business woman who wants nothing to do with her mother’s long lost aristocratic family or the perks of royalty (she’d seen the negative side of that world of privilege and position as a kid). Stand back and enjoy the sparks.
I have to admit (and Anna will bear me out on this) that I snickered with anticipation over this story from the moment I imagined Raul and Luisa meeting on her farm. He’s all Armani tailoring, serious shoulders and lean, dark looks. Luisa’s in dungarees, a battered hat and head to toe mud after an altercation between a cow and a flooded creek. He’s expecting a princess. She doesn’t own a dress. He’s come looking for his bride to be, expecting excitement and gratitude. Being ordered off the property comes as something of a shock. But being a true alpha hero he recovers quickly and sets about getting what he wants.
There’s a touch of Cinderella to the story but Luisa isn’t a woman to be ‘made over’ and quietly defer to other people’s expectations of how she should look and behave. That was part of the fun of this story – watching Luisa do things her way, not taking the tried and true route expected of her. She takes the wind out of Raul’s sails more than once, which is fair since he plays havoc with her expectations of a buttoned up royal. She’s never sure what to expect next. There’s a fair bit of sizzle in this story and reader feedback so far has been very nice indeed.
I'm not surprised. It's a brilliant classic love story. American readers have a bonus Annie West available now in your wonderful RAFE’S REDEMPTION which was originally released as THE BILLIONAIRE’S BOUGHT MISTRESS. Can you tell us about this story?
Oh, I’m so very pleased Rafe and Antonia are finally crossing the Atlantic to visit North America. This book was written in response to a request from my editor for a three story anthology to showcase new authors. It was one of my favorites to write – it kept me on the edge of me seat all the way through – I think that’s a good thing. Speaking of sizzle, this one has it in spades. It’s available now from the eHarlequin site but don’t look for it in other bookstores as it’s a limited release.
Rafe Benton is planning revenge against the man he’s grown up hating – his estranged father. He will do whatever it takes to succeed, including using a stranger as a pawn in his plans. He sees Antonia as his father’s latest favorite and decides to steal her from under his nose, flaunting her as his mistress while he brings down his father’s business empire. Antonia is between a rock and a hard place, not because of what she’s done, but because of her beloved, recently dead father. Why else would she even consider accepting a position as a rich man’s mistress? It’s a story about redemption and the power of love.
This book was a real challenge to write and I’m so glad I did. The clash between these two is so strong, as are their feelings. Frankly I was a little scared about whether I could do Antonia justice as it would be too easy to write her into a situation where she was simply a victim. I needn’t have worried though as I discovered the more difficult her position the stronger she grew, finding new and inventive ways to assert her independence even when Rafe thought he was the one in control. It’s had a few reviews already including “Sizzling, emotional and poignant…” Pink Heart Society (5 stars) and "will keep you turning the pages late into the night with its captivating blend of drama, passion, intrigue and romance”(CataRomance 4.5 stars).
Congratulations on the wonderful reviews. It has to be asked – what is it with you and heroes whose names start with ‘R’? Was your first boyfriend a Rasputin or a Rattlepate?
If only my first boyfriend had been anything like so interesting! No, I wasn’t going through an R phase. The books were written a couple of years apart so it’s coincidence. But I do like R, I have to say. Just think about Rupert Carsington or RRRRichard Armitage.
What's next for you?
I’m putting the finishing touches (fingers crossed) to what I hope will be my first Beauty and the Beast story. In the meantime, my next release is for those who enjoy a sultry hot sheikh romance. GIRL IN THE BEDOUIN TENT begins with my heroine being given as an unwilling sex slave to a visiting prince. Again, Anna will confirm I couldn’t wait to get started on that one – it was a treat to write.
GIRL IN THE BEDOUIN TENT is up for pre-order at the Book Depository at a bargain price - check out this link: http://www.bookdepository.com/Girl-Bedouin-Tent-Annie-West/9780263886900
I don’t know when the North American release will be but I’ve seen the UK edition (it’s out in September) and the cover is my fave so far. Here’s a link if you want to check it out. My next American release is THE SAVAKIS MERGER in November – about a clash between two very passionate Greek lovers. The opening scene from this story is one my writing group will never let me forget (in a good way!).
Ooh, I remember that steamy opening scene! A little bird (well, you, actually!) tells me you’re about to embark on another wonderful European trip. Given the last one inspired your beautiful fairytale romances PROTECTED BY THE PRINCE and PRINCE OF SCANDAL, we avidly await the fruits of the inspiration you’ll find from your journeyings. Can you tell us about your travel plans?
Try to stop me, Anna! We’re away a little over a month. During that time I’ll be in London catching up with my editor and some other authors (can’t wait!). I’m hoping for time to visit the Faberge collection at Buckingham Palace as well as see some other sights. There’ll be a week in a tiny Parisian apartment with, I hope, lots of strolling and window shopping and café sitting while I people watch. Did I mention tasting the marvellous food and wine? A short stay in the Loire Valley learning about Chateaux, a longer stay in the Dordogne which I think will be a real highlight, and a quick visit to Germany where my daughter will be studying. Jealous yet? Yes, I’m already thinking of using some of this in an upcoming story or two. How could I not be inspired?
Ooh, I'm envious! Have a wonderful time. So do you have a question for the Bandits and Bandita Buddies?
Thanks so much, Anna. I’m looking forward to chatting with everyone.
I’m giving away two books so maybe I should combine two questions to give people a chance to win.
Since I’ve been spending so much time lately thinking about fantastic heroes, and just a little time looking forward to my next vacation, how about telling me your perfect match – who you’d feature as the hero of your perfect romance and where they’d be.
Since the letter R was mentioned I’ll venture an example – Anna’s personal fave, RRRichard Armitage in a castle in Romania, surrounded of course by dark woods that harbour wolves and at least one daredevil heroine. Of course it would have to be a gothic romance.
How about you? What combination of hero and location match. Of course you can throw in the heroine too if you like.
A signed copy of PRINCE OF SCANDAL and a signed copy of RAFE'S REDEMPTION are up for grabs today. So let's get this party started!