Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Christmas Presents with Anna Campbell

Sometimes a Harlequin Presents is all that will fit the bill when it comes to what I want to read!

I was hoping for a reading binge over the Christmas break. Didn't quite happen, sadly. Real life got in the way. But I did manage a few days ago to snatch a day and a half where I read nothing but Harlequin Presents! Ah, what bliss! Those crazy titles! Those high stakes plots! All that operatic emotion! Just what I felt like.

I started with an author whose work I hadn't read before. Sarah Morgan's The Brazilian Boss's Innocent Mistress (see what I mean about those crazy titles? Sheesh!). Really great story about a woman unjustly accused of embezzlement and the growling alpha male who decides to make her pay for her 'crimes'. Grooviest element? Probably the hero's glass mansion in the middle of the Brazilian rainforest. Seriously cool! Almost James Bondish. Will definitely read Sarah Morgan again. This was great.

Then a great Lynne Graham. I've long been a fan of this writer - her Prisoner of Passion is one of my all-time favorites. This one was called The Petrakos Bride. It had all those elements I look for in a Lynne Graham - an overbearing hero who finds himself flummoxed when he falls in love, a match of opposites who somehow find common ground, great sexual tension. A lovely Cinderella story just right for a post-Christmas romance binge.

Then a feast of two wonderful Jane Porters. I love Jane's work - she manages to pack more emotion into a 50,000 word book than most writers manage over a 10-volume series. These two were no exception. There was The Latin Lover's Secret Child and Hollywood Husband, Contract Wife. Both cut right to the heart and were beautifully written with such passion (and I don't just mean the passion in the bedroom, although there's certainly plenty of that!).

My binge ended with a debut book by Jennie Lucas called The Greek Billionaire's Baby Revenge. Another classic presents although with some unusual elements that added a piquant edge to my feast. Russian gangsters and Las Vegas entrepreneurs, how fantastic! And again lots of passion.

So thank you, Presents authors. You gave me just what I wanted in spades.

Do you ever find yourself in need of a fix of Harlequin Presents? Are there any authors you turn to at such times? What appeals to you about Harlequin Presents?


Annie West said...

Anna, I know exactly what you mean about reading Presents. Is it too obvious to say that the reason I write them is because I love reading them? I adore the incredibly intense emotion, the satisfaction of that growling alpha hero (love that description) finally accepting and giving everything he has to win the woman he loves. I enjoy the locations, the energy, the fast pace. As for favorites - too many to mention, I'm afraid. I'd have to give a plug though to Aussie Trish Morey and to Irish Abby Green. It's great that there are favorite authors writing whose books I've been enjoying for years and others who are brand new. Lots of variety!


Anonymous said...

Well what a pleasant surprise. I was wondering around cyberspace between working and reading and found Aunty Anna chatting (quietly) about presents. I’ve had this problem well I have several actually. But one relates to a need to read several oldies. I decided for Christmas I’d buy the missing 5 for 5c and pay the $39 postage to get them here. A Kate Hoffmann, a Brenda Novak, an Anne McAllister, a Penny Richards and another problem I’ve forgotten what the other one is, and it’s bothering me. They didn’t arrive so I read, ‘Claiming the Courtesan’ instead. Yes I stole it back and replaced it, without being caught. I loved it Anna, thank you. Than I read three Ozzie desires I’ve been sitting on. See I’m getting enough Romance. ----- Eric

Anna Campbell said...

Hiya Annie! I actually think that if you adore reading something, it's a good start towards writing it. Although not always - I love a great romantic suspense like a Linda Howard but I couldn't write one in a fit! Well, perhaps being in a fit would help. I haven't read Abby's books. I'll have to check them out. Trish, of course, is a favorite. Her Christmas book is next on the list!

Eric, as always lovely to see you! Glad you enjoyed CTC and also that you managed to wrestle it back from she who must be obeyed ;-)

Estella said...

I love Harlequin Presents because they are quick to read. My favorite Presents authors are Lucy Monroe, Kate Walker and Jane Porter.

Wolfy said...

I enjoy the authors that you have already listed. But I also enjoy Sandra Marton's books.

Anna Campbell said...

Estella and Cryna, those are great authors you mention. I think that's another thing I love about Presents - the line really attracts amazing writers. A couple of others I really like are Annie West who commented before and Anne McAllister. Both GREAT writers!

Kate Walker said...

Hi Anna

I was thinking of you today - I was in York - in Bettys - and the BM and I were talking about that great day we all met there. It was such fun - if a little wet ;-)

I'm so looking forward to reading Untouched because I just loved Claiming the Courtesan.

You see, you give great reading pleasure to Presents authors too



PS It was raining in York again today - does it ever stop I wonder.

Maureen said...

I do enjoy them and will read several of them. I like Jane Porter and Lucy Monroe best but they are all great. I like alpah heroes and the emotional relationships in faraway places.

Anna Campbell said...

Actually, Kate, how funny. We're in the middle of our first wet summer in at least 10 years (as you know, the drought here has been awful!). And I was thinking about that terrible day in York when I nearly got stranded because all the trains were cancelled with the rain. The highlight far and away of that soggy visit was lunch with you and your dh at Betty's, a place I hadn't visited but will definitely visit in the future. Thanks for those kind words about CTC. Delighted you enjoyed it. By the way, your Sicilians warmed up the rest of my holiday in a big way. I read them when I hit Scotland - end of June and the temperature was a massive 0 Celsius! But there was a lovely tropical microclimate in my hotel room, thanks to your sexy reads!

Maureen, thanks for your comment. I think you're right that a huge part of the appeal is the alpha heroes and the glamorous settings! It's just pure fantasy, isn't it?

Unknown said...

I read them sometime for a different pace. They are a quick read and are really good. I enjoy Kate Walkers, Liz Fielding, Jane Porter and a lot of others. I love to switch around with differents types of books to keep from getting bord.

Anna Campbell said...

Virginia, one of the things I love about romance at the beginning of the 21st century is the huge variety of reading experiences it offers. I mean, do I want to be scared and thrilled? Give me a great paranormal. Do I want to be on the edge of my seat for the heroine's safety? Give me a great romantic suspense. Do I want a luscious story that takes me away to another world and time? Yay, a fabulous historical will do that. Do I want to live the fantasy for a couple of hours? Give me a Harlequin. Honestly, going to the bookstore is like a buffet these days!

Nathalie said...

Presents... I find them appealing when we change themes... not the tycoon in love with the innocent... so the newest by Annie West seems to be a nice change!

I usually like anything by Kate Walker or Lynne Graham.

Anna Campbell said...

Nathalie, lovely to see you here! I too love it when someone takes the tried and true and gives it a piquant twist.

Lily said...

Hi Anna,

Presents are always a confort when you are feeling down! I am not picky about them because mostly all that I read... I have won them - I know, I should be ashamed!! but I won once ThePinkHeartSociety Hamper... and it had at least 15 presents, including 2 by Annie :-) maybe it is because they are more difficult to find in bookstores in Canada.

However, I prefer the older ones (in the 80s) I think they were less stereo-typed and more diversified!

Anna Campbell said...

Lily, interesting comment about the older Presents. One thing that does make me laugh is that when I read my first Mills & Boon, you could give one to an eight-year-old. I think you'd have to reconsider that now ;-) And congratulations on all your contest success!

Lily said...

Giving them to a 8 years old... so true, that is maybe what I loke about them... they are less agressive and sensual, which can sometimes be a nice change :)