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Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Romance and Country House Renovations - Annie West

Dial R for Revenge…
Forgiveness is a foreign concept to wealthy investment trader Jonas Deveson. Someone has been stealing from him. He's got a good idea who it is and she's going to pay….

Seeing the harsh lines that bitterness has carved into Jonas's handsome features, Ravenna Ruggiero knows he'll never see the shades of gray in her actions.

Jonas blackmails Ravenna into working as his housekeeper to pay off her debt, but living under the same roof leads to unexpected yet forbidden temptation, and Jonas is no longer sure who is being punished

 
An Enticing Debt to Pay is a  romance about two people drawn and held together not just by revenge but by sizzling attraction and a sense of unfinished business.

It also features Deveson Hall, a crumbling old English manor house in dire need of attention. Romantic Times' 4 star review for the book said 'This is a terrific hate-into-love story, set in a dilapidated old manor that's a character in itself.' Poor Ravenna is blackmailed into becoming housekeeper at the Hall responsible for bringing the interior back from its faded glory - single-handedly. As the Hall is a rambling old place that's been uncared for, Jonas expects she'll give up and admit defeat. But Ravenna is made of stronger stuff.

Haddon Hall, copyright Anna Campbell
As the Hall gradually comes back to life under Ravenna's attentions and those of builders and heritage gardeners, my feuding hero and heroine gradually reach a truce, then an understanding that allows love to blossom. You might even say that the state of the house tells you a good deal about the state of their hearts, as they gradually work towards their happy ending. Or you might just sit back and enjoy the hard work others are putting in to transforming the Hall into a showpiece as well as what will become a family home.
 
I'm sharing here a couple of photos take by my friend, author Anna Campbell, which show the sort of place I had in mind when I wrote AN ENTICING DEBT TO PAY. When I look at these I can imagine Ravenna and Jonas inside, working and fighting and making up.

Calke Abbey, copyright Anna Campbell
As I wrote this book I was soaking up all sorts of renovation shows on television and a few about caring for stately homes. I'm sure a lot of that influenced the book. I have no desire to renovate a stately home myself - I've seen how much work is involved, but I loved the chance to use that as a backdrop for my latest story.
 
If you had a chance for a dream renovation what would it be? A rambling country house, a fisherman's cottage right on the sea, a mountain retreat, maybe an old castle or an upmarket city apartment?
 
To celebrate the release of AN ENTICING DEBT TO PAY I'll give away a signed copy to someone (drawn at random) who leaves a comment here. Come back tomorrow to see who the winner is.
 
Here are a couple of links for you to find the book at the Book Depository (free postage anywhere), Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

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43 comments:

Mary Preston said...

I actually dream all the time about having a self-sustaining eco-house. The local council built one as a show piece. It was superb. Built from re-cycled materials, solar hot water & electricity, rain water on tap etc etc. They auctioned it off for a small mint. I dream. I have got as far as the solar hot water & rain water on tap. Baby steps I guess.

Annie West said...

Hi Mary,

Wow, that sounds like an amazing house. I think it would be terrific to have a house that's built as energy efficient, especially as we seem to be embarking on a scorching hot summer. Sounds like you're getting there, slowly, Mary. That must be so satisfying.

Anna Campbell said...

Annie, I must say those photos look right at home here. So glad you like them. Huge congratulations on the release of AN ENTICING DEBT TO PAY. I've read it and I've got to say it's pretty enticing - as is the very intriguing hero Jonas!

Vanessa Barneveld said...

Congrats on your fabulous new release, Annie! Which dream reno would I love best? Hmm, such hard choices, but I think a castle would suit me best -- lol! I visited a number of palaces in the Netherlands recently and they certainly caught my imagination.

Annie West said...

Anna, I'm so pleased you let me share your wonderful photos. They really bring Jonas's Deveson Hall to life for me. I had a wonderful time imagining Jonas and Ravenna there. Glad you found the book enticing!

Annie West said...

Hi Vanessa, I bet you had a wonderful time visiting Dutch palaces. What a treat. A renovated castle sounds like fun. And just think - you'd have lots of room for visitors and a library too!

Kandy Shepherd said...

Hi Annie, can I choose a rambling country house on the sea for my dream house? Maybe on a cliff top!
Like you, I love home renovation shows and watch them avidly.
Congratulations on your new release AN ENTICING DEBT TO PAY--it sounds wonderful and I am looking forward to seeing how the house features as that passionate love story unfolds.

Helen said...

Hi Annie
Love the pictures and I think as the weather is getting warmer I would like a cottage by the sea at the moment but of course that could change with the weather lol. Huge congrats on the release of this book I so loved this story

Have fun
Helen

Annie West said...

Kandy, I'd love a home with a sea view! I'm not far from the water here but being able to look out at it would be wonderful.

Snap! on being a home renovation show fan. Aren't they fun?

Thanks for the congratulations. I hope you enjoy ENTICING when you get to it.

Annie West said...

Helen, that sounds lovely. I'm a bit like you. My dream home varies between a house near the sea and a cottage in the mountains depending on the weather. With the occasional castle thrown in for good measure!

Aly said...

A house on the beach! I love the sea/ocean so if I could I would move there.
Congrats on the new release!

Laurie G said...

Congrats on the release of your book with the renovation of an English manor house. As for a renovation project, I'd love to have a house in the mountains built into a cliff or sitting near the top. I'd like to have a wall of glass windows where you can look out and see a gorgeous view and a breath taking sunset!

Linda Henderson said...

My dream renovation would probably be a barn, cottage or lighthouse. I've always been fascinated by lighthouses. Or actually an old mill with the water wheel would be great too.

Kim said...

Hi, Annie - Congratulations on the new release. I'm reading An Invitation To Sin right now & the reviews were correct. I'm thoroughly enjoying it. As for a renovation project, either a mountainside retreat or a waterfront cottage sounds nice.

Annie West said...

Thanks for the congratulations on the new book, Aly. It sounds like several of us would love a house by the water. Imagine those long walks by the ocean!

Annie West said...

Hi Laurie, that sounds like a brilliant house! Did you ever see the old Hitchcock film 'North by NorthWest'? That featured a house perched high above a cliff. I saw the movie as a child and it always stuck in my mind as something quite fantastic. I'd love a balcony to sit out and watch the sunset.

Annie West said...

Hi Linda. What a challenge to renovate a lighthouse. But the views would be spectacular. I love the sound of refurbishing a water mill. I've seen programs about some windmills that have been renovated and they were fun, though space was tight.

Annie West said...

Hi Kim, thanks for the congratulations. I'm glad you're enjoying your current read. Wouldn't it be terrific to have your pick of renovation project?

Pat Cochran said...

A beach house or a country house? Can't decide which it would be!
Always thought about retiring to one or the other, but will probably
stay in our suburban house in Houston. BTW, I'm looking forward
to reading An Invitation To Sin! Congratulations!!

Pat C.

Jan Vanengen said...

Hi Annie. I watch those shows now and then, interesting. I would love to do up an old castle in the Highlands of Scotland or hills in Spain. Can't wait to find out why she stole money. Congrats on new book.

Kaelee said...

Well my dream renovation project would be to totally redo the house I live in right now. I'd love to add an second story and put a library there. I'd also love a bit of a greenhouse instead of the deck we have now. A finished basement would be nice as well. I'm too old to want to tackle living anywhere else.

Kim said...

Sorry about that. I meant I liked your book, Imprisoned By a Vow. I read the other one right before yours. *sigh*

Sharon Archer said...

Annie, the idea of bringing an old old house back to life with great renovations is such a great thing to dream about - but I know how much I dislike the mess of renovations so it's much, MUCH better if I leave it to other people and just watch those fab shows like Restoration House. Some of the places they tackle are just so huge, it's hard to even imagine a place to start!

Actually, reading An Enticing Debt To Pay sounds like the perfect armchair renovation to me!

Sharon Archer said...

Oh and I meant to say waht fab photos from Anna Campbell!

erin said...

a complete and totally renovation :) I lived in a very old house (from the 50's) and it desperately needed complete make over. Thanks for sharing!

Di said...

I actually completed a house renovation that I had thought and dreamed about for years - bumped out the back of the house and put in a big beautiful open kitchen!

Cheryl Leigh said...

Oooh, Annie, I love the sound of this book! It's calling to my old interior designer self. :) Give me an English country house with lush gardens to renovate and I'd be over the moon...especially if it was mine. ;)

Congratulations on the release of An Enticing Debt to Pay!

traveler said...

Congratulations. The book sounds wonderful. I would love a cottage by the sea. What a dream come true that would be for me. Just delightful.

Laney4 said...

A home with a HUGE library would be decadent for me. As for type of home, I'm quite happy right where I am. I have great neighbours and am "close enough" (or "far away enough") from family, LOL. If I could twitch my nose like on Bewitched, I'd convert our current home into a larger one, complete with indoor swimming pool and badminton courts - as long as we could afford the people to maintain both, LOL!

Cathy P said...

Hi, Annie! Congrats on your new release!

I would like to renovate a country house. I would say something by the ocean, but I don't like hurricanes.

girlygirlhoosier52 said...

I would like something on the water... lake or river, it could be a cottage and I'd be happy!

Annie West said...

Pat, there's always an allure in the idea of somewhere else, isn't there? Actually, Invitation to Sin wasn't one of mine. Turns out Kim was talking about 'Imprisoned by a Vow'.

Annie West said...

Ah, Jan. The question is DID she steal the money? Oh, what nice places to choose for a mountain retreat!

Annie West said...

Kaelee, I'd put my library on the next floor up too. Wouldn't it be lovely? It sounds like you've got it all worked out. Just need someone to help you with it.

Annie West said...

Sharon, it is a messy process, isn't it? I like the idea of watching someone else go through all the discomfort and hard work. I think that's why I enjoyed the renovation in this book - I didn't have to do it!

Annie West said...

Erin, that sounds like a huge amount of work! Good on you.

Annie West said...

Hi Di, that sounds fantastic. I've got a biggish kitchen which is one with a big family room and it's such a fantastic place to be. I bet you love using it.

Annie West said...

Cheryl, the gardens in this country house needed renovation too. Jonas brings in a specialist and I even toyed with the idea of giving him his own story. Maybe one day. I love wandering over those old places.

Annie West said...

Thanks, Traveler. I'm glad it appeals. A cottage by the sea sounds just charming.

Annie West said...

Laney, I love the idea of your private badminton court and pool, almost as much as I like the sound of the huge library. Sigh. Yes, having someone to do the work of keeping it all up would be perfect.

Annie West said...

Hi Cathy,

Thanks for the congratulations!

The country house renovation sounds great. I live near the ocean and we don't get hurricanes. You could always move here!

Annie West said...

Hi Girlygirl. I'm with you. Water views would be terrific.

Annie West said...

OK, everyone, it's time to announce a winner for a copy of AN ENTICING DEBT TO PAY. I'm sorry it's taken me so long to come back and do the random draw. Something major cropped up here and it disrupted me no end.

So, I'm happy to announce the winner is KAELEE! Congratulations, Kaelee. If you drop me a line at annie(at)annie-west(dot)com with your postal address, I'll send you your book.

I've loved sharing renovation dreams with you all!