Tag Archives: romance

True Love and Tragedy

Jenna Harte

I perused a couple of “great romantic couples” lists, and found, to my surprise, that nearly all them featured romances that ended tragically. However, when I did a poll about favorite romantic couples the only tragic couples on the list were Scarlett and Rhett (3.5% vote … and who I think probably did ultimately end up together even without the sequel), and Romeo and Juliet, who didn’t get a single vote.

That got me thinking:

 

What makes a great enduring love story?

You can check out the lists here:
Top 20 Most Famous Love Stories in History and Literature
Classic Romance Novels Worth Reading

What do you think makes a great love story?

Worth the Risk is FREE at Your Favorite Ebook Store

Who doesn’t like free ebooks? Especially if you don’t know the author. I’ve given free and low-low cost ebooks out for some time as a way to introduce myself to readers or as a gift to my email subscribers and SweetHarte street team.

Now, I’ve made one of those books available for free at the top ebook retailers.

In Worth the Risk, Max and Madeleine meet, but it’s not love at first sight.

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There isn’t a woman in the world who wouldn’t want to get up close and personal with sexy, self-made millionaire bachelor, Max Delecoeur, except Madeleine Hainsworth. Madeleine knows all about men like Max; rich, arrogant and willing to do anything and hurt anyone to achieve profits.

Max is initially intrigued by Madeleine’s disdain of him, until she accuses him of business practices that involve child labor. He demands Madeleine show him her proof and then enlists her as a guide to the silica mines of Nigeria.

Together they put their lives in danger as they trek through the jungle to expose child labor abuse, but as attraction and respect draw them together, will a chance at love be worth the risk?

Worth the Risk is free at Amazon, Nook, iBooks and Kobo! Grab your free copy now.

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If you like getting free ebooks and other cool stuff, consider signing up for my email subscribers and/or joining the SweetHarte street team.

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A Second Chance at a Love that was Meant to Be

Meant to Be

I love second chance love stories. My all time favorite is Persuasion, by Jane Austen. I’m not sure why I’m so drawn to them, except I love the idea of a soulmate, and that even problems and time can’t prevent that love from existing.

On September 27, 2016, my homage to second chance at love hits bookstores. It tells the story of Mitch McKenna (Lexie’s brother from Drawn to Her) and Sydney Preston, who in college thought they had their lives all planned out, but it all came apart. Ten years later, they meet again, and while the attraction and longing is there, Mitch isn’t about to let his heart be broken again.

Stay tuned for excerpts, advanced reviews, and launch day plans that will include fun and freebies!

Meant to Be: Southern Heat Book Two

Meant to Be, by Jenna HarteCharming and sexy, detective Mitch McKenna lets women into his bed—not into his heart. When his first love left him in a lurch, crushing his soul, Mitch swore off relationships and love. After all, any woman who chooses what her parents want over what she wants is not worth fighting for.

Or is she?

Successful New York doctor, Sydney Preston left the only man she ever loved to follow the path that her parents paved for her. When a tragic incident at the hospital threatens her life, Sydney moves to Virginia to rekindle the spark with her ex-fiancé.

But Mitch isn’t interested in reigniting the flame that fizzled out long ago. Will they both allow resentments and misunderstanding spoil their chance of discovering what was meant to be?

Meant to Be is available for pre-order at all your favorite online retailers:

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Haven’t read Drawn to Her: Southern Heat Book One?

You don’t have to read Drawn to Her in order to follow Meant to Be, but you’ll be introduced to all the characters, and enjoy a fun, southern romance if you do. Learn more and read an excerpt of Drawn to Her.

Writing Great Love Scenes

Writing Love Scenes

I’ll be on a romance writing panel with fellow authors Ellen Butler and Kelly Eadon at the Virginia Writers Club annual symposium. While romance doesn’t get much respect in the writing field, it’s the most popular genre fiction. Why? I think it’s because it’s loaded with emotion. But many might argue it’s sex, even though not all romances have, or even allude to, sex.

However, while many romance readers like intimate scenes, sometimes kinky ones even, they don’t want them just for sex sake. If that was the case, they’d read erotica or watch porn. Good love scenes in romance aren’t just there for the titillation; they serve a purpose to the plot and character development. Love scenes shouldn’t be written as a play-by-play of a technical manual: Touch here, insert there.

After studying my favorite romance authors, I’ve learned that what makes a great love scene isn’t so much the mechanics, as much as it is the emotions and sensuality. Some of the best love scenes in books don’t mention body parts hardly at all, and yet, they’re sexy and sensual.

Today, when I write love scenes, I start with the frame of mind of the characters. Are they making up? Are they feeling sad and lonely? Are they playful? Are they needing connection? In Worth the Risk (free novella with my newsletter subscription or membership in my street team), Max and Madeleine have several love scenes. The first is about discovery and finally giving in to the attraction. The second reveals deeper feelings, and yet, a fear of sharing them. The reunion scene is all about connecting, filling the void at the loss they felt when they separated. So not only are their bodies touching, caressing etc, but their minds are at work as well. We can feel the longing and the desire, which increases the sensuality of the mechanics. At least that’s now I see it.

With the release of Fifty Shades of Gray, we’ve seen the popularity of highly explicit romances rise. Having read a few of these, I find my concept of a good love scene holds true. Yes these books show more and provide more diversity of positions and courser language, but ultimately, what makes them sexy and romantic is what’s going on in the characters’ heads and hearts, not just between their bodies.

What do you think? What aspects do you like best about a great love scene?

Drawn to Her Excerpt Plus Win a Kindle

Drawn to Her Release

The release of Drawn to Her is quickly approaching… April 12! I’m in a flurry of activity preparing for a big launch that includes:

faviconAn all-day Facebook Party with many of my author friends and lots of chances to win great stuff, including a Kindle!

faviconFree e-books with every pre- and day-of-release order of Drawn to Her .

faviconSweetHartes can also win a new Kindle Fire, Amazon giftcards, books and other cool stuff. If you’re not a SweetHart, you can learn about this FREE  exclusive group here, and then join the SweetHarte group at Facebook. You’ll find details about contests, some cool free stuff and much more.

Advanced reviews are positive 4 and 5 Stars:

Wow. What a roller coaster ride of emotions! This book will hook you and take you for a ride. I was frustrated, angry, upset, sad, elated at various points within the story and I LOVED it! ~ Kelly’s Book Blog

This book was absolutely brilliant and I thoroughly enjoyed it.~ PLeslie at Goodreads

Overall, I found this North vs. South clash of cultures/wills quite entertaining. The writing style flowed, and I was so fully engaged I couldn’t put it down. ~ A Klue from Goodreads

Drawn to Her was definitely a fun read that left me in a good mood when I was done. ~ Lauren from Goodreads

Wondering what Drawn to Her is all about? Why not check out this opening chapter excerpt:

Drawn to Her Chapter One

“Rummy again.” Lexie McKenna laid her cards on the table over Oliver Carmichael’s hospital bed.

“You wouldn’t be trying to take advantage of a dying man, would you?” He grinned at her, despite the fact he was indeed dying. At least he is dying on his terms. Lexie admired his courage to abandon his life of riches in New York to live out the rest of his days in his quiet, childhood home, in Charlotte Tavern, Virginia. He was comfortable, or as comfortable as could be expected when dying of lung cancer.

“Oh, please, you’re richer than God.” She gathered the cards and prepared to shuffle them. “I couldn’t win enough dough to dent your stockpile of money.”

He laughed. “You got that right.”

“Since you can’t take it with you, I might as well pad my pockets with your loot.” She dealt them each seven cards, glad he was in good spirits today. Being his personal nurse hadn’t always been card games and banter. Oliver was the definition of cantankerous with his brusque demeanor, quick temper, and low tolerance of others. His illness hadn’t improved his attitude. Lexie understood it was difficult for a larger-than-life man such as Oliver to accept his mortality and the limitations imposed by his illness, but that didn’t mean she was going to put up with his surly behavior. Over the six weeks she’d been his private nurse, they’d come to an understanding; whatever he dished out, she gave back. As a result, Oliver’s behavior had improved, and they’d become friends.

“Double or nothing?” Oliver picked up the cards she dealt him.

“It’s your money, Warbucks.”

“What the hell?” A man stepped into the room.

Startled by the intrusion, Lexie turned to the man behind the deep, harsh voice. “Great day!” She drawled the southern expression of surprise and dismay, under her breath as a scowling, very tall, broad-shouldered man approached. In Lexie’s world, nearly everyone was taller than her, but this man was humongous, not just in size but in presence as well. He swallowed up space with each step until the room shrunk to the size of a closet. His narrowed gray eyes moved from her to Oliver. His dark foreboding stare reminded her of Oliver when he was in one of his moods.

Finally, someone has come to visit. Except that a glance toward Oliver told her neither man seemed particularly happy.

“What are you doing here?” Oliver’s scowl matched the man’s although his voice, raspy from cancer, didn’t match the dark intensity of his features.

“I’m here to see you, and I’m not leaving until we talk.” The newcomer stood at the end of the bed in a casual stance, belying the expectant look in his face. Lexie couldn’t deny there was something compelling about him. He was handsome for sure, with short, jet black hair, and dark, steely gray eyes made more attractive by the long lashes rimming them. He exuded a power that suggested he always got what he wanted without much effort, and an energy that said “keep your distance.” Typical New York businessman.

“I’m sick.” Oliver slunk down in his covers, letting his eyes drop to half-mast.

Lexie frowned. Oliver wasn’t one to take orders or be intimidated by others, and yet, instead of telling this man to take a flying leap, he hid under his blankets.

The change in Oliver’s demeanor concerned her. “Who are you?”

“Who are you?”

Lexie’s hackles rose. Who did Tall, Dark, and Brooding think he was coming into her home, well, Oliver’s home, making demands like he owned the place?

“Harrumph.” Oliver straightened in his bed. “Lexie McKenna, this is my grandson, Drake Carmichael. Drake, this is Lexie, my nurse.”

Lexie’s annoyance was lessened slightly knowing someone in Oliver’s family had finally come to visit. She’d made so many calls and sent several letters, all of which had been ignored. She stood and extended her hand. “How wonderful that you’ve finally—”

“Nurse? What the hell kind of nurse jokes about dying and taking your money?” Drake stepped close to her, towering his imposing body over hers, causing a shiver that had nothing to do with fear or intimidation. She should have been wary. Instead, she was intrigued. “Your bedside manner is lacking.”

“Now wait a minute.” Lexie ignored the crackle of electricity zapping within the narrowing gap between them. She wasn’t going to let some stranger, no matter how big, mean, and gorgeous, intimidate and insult her. Unfortunately, at five-three, she only came to his chest. Not a good vantage point to make a statement.

“Hold that thought.” She grabbed the step stool next to Oliver’s bed and gained the extra foot she needed to look Drake in the eyes. “You have some nerve.” She poked him in the chest with her index finger, ignoring the jolt of heat zapping her each time she felt the hard, firm muscle underneath his starched white shirt. “Where have you been all this time your grandfather has been sick? You never once called or sent a note.” She glared at him, pleased at the surprise in his steel gray eyes.

His surprise quickly changed to disconcertedness as his dark stormy eyes sized her up from head to toe and back again. He glared at her with such intensity, she worried she’d whither into nothing. But she wasn’t a delicate flower. She gathered her resolve and turned her stare on him, openly assessing him back. At first, his eyes remained hard and cold but, upon closer inspection, there was something smoldering and compelling hidden behind them. As quickly as it was there, it was gone, and his gray eyes turned flat and unreadable.

“Ahem.”

Lexie ignored Oliver’s attempt to get her attention because she couldn’t turn away from Drake no matter how forbidding his eyes. She wasn’t about to give him the satisfaction of flinching first. At least that was what she told herself as she continued to hold his gaze. It wasn’t easy with her heart hammering and her knees turning to jelly.

“I hate to interrupt this moment, but I’d hate for someone to get hurt,” Oliver’s voice cut through the standoff.

Drake’s gaze held Lexie’s. “I’d never hurt a woman.”

“It’s not Lexie I’m worried about.”

Drake looked at Oliver, breaking the impasse.

Lexie’s lips curved in satisfaction. That’s right, buster. You don’t scare me. You might make me swoon, but you don’t scare me. With the battle of wills over for the moment, she turned on the charm southern women were famous for.

“Let’s try this again. It’s a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Carmichael.” She held out her hand.

He looked at it as if she had cooties. Finally, he grasped her hand, his long fingers wrapping fully around her hand in a firm, although not crushing grip, as she might have expected.

“Ms. McKenna.” His voice was rough, laced with annoyance. Even so, he held her hand, his gaze boring into hers as if searching for something. Her heart skipped a beat at the heat of his gaze. It was oddly thrilling, yet terrifying.

“Why don’t you sit here?” She disentangled her hand from his before she turned to mush, motioning to a chair near Oliver’s bed. “And, you.” She fixed Oliver’s covers and moved the over-table out of the way. “Be nice.” Casting Drake one last glance, she left the room.

~ End Excerpt~

You can pre-order Drawn to Her and have it on your device on release day, April 12, 2016! And don’t forget to keep your receipt and check in her for details on getting some free goodies!

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