Please welcome Heather Boyd to the Book Nook.  Heather was kind enough to answer a few questions for our inquiring minds….

Thank you for taking the time to visit the Book Nook, Heather.

Thanks for having me. It’s nice to meet you!  

What is the most valuable benefit of your critique partnership?

Partnerships in writing can be fantastic when they work well. It’s like sharing your New Years goals all year long. The people you work with become invested in your success, they get to know your world (regency in my case) and what you’re capable of. Honesty in a critique partnership is so important but you do have to be careful not to hurt feelings if a scene isn’t grabbing you. Always cite specific examples and be willing to talk it over. Of course, in the end it is your story and you’re responsible for how the tale ends but sometimes a writer can overlook a problem that their partner can plainly see. That’s invaluable.

Why Independent vs Agent & Publishing Contract?

I’ve been an indie publisher since 2011 and once I started I never really reconsidered my decision too seriously. I like all the aspects of independent publishing and I work full time at it. My focus is on writing the best stories I can, publishing a quality product, making it widely available, to a schedule I can manage. Freedom to set my own schedule doesn’t mean I can slack off. I work on writing and the business aspects of writing more hours than I ever did as a full time employee.  

With all the historical eras there are to choose from, why Regency?

The clothes! OMG I just love regency era clothing. They are so beautiful and the men! Breeches leave so little to the imagination. Just watch the Rupert Penry Jones version of Persuasion and you’ll see what I mean. 

Please tell us about AN ACCIDENTAL AFFAIR.

Widowed beauty, Arabella Lawson, Lady Farnsworth, knows the value of independence after being trapped in a marriage that left her unfulfilled. Although she longs for a lover at last, she’s expected to chaperone her flirtatious niece during her first season. However, given the way the girl keeps disappearing every chance she gets, there is little hope of a good or speedy result. While searching for her charge yet again, she blunders into one of Lord Rothwell’s scandalous assignations. This time it’s Arabella’s turn to be on the receiving end of his hungry kisses, and she’s far from prepared to make the most of the opportunity.  

Gossip may paint Merrick Bishop, the Earl of Rothwell, as a notorious scoundrel when it comes to women, but this season his intentions are honorable. Duty bound to marry, he’s determined to discreetly court an open-minded bride and prove the gossipmongers wrong by being on his very best behavior… until in his frustration, he mistakenly kisses the wrong lady and discovers that everything about the encounter feels so very right. Merrick never once believed he had a chance with shy Arabella, and when the unthinkable happens, she turns to him not for an affair or hopes of marriage but for his friendship and protection from her own family.    

Can a rogue with a reputation for breaking hearts convince a widow who only hopes for an affair that their feelings are not only the stirrings of desire but also the beginnings of the deepest and truest love?

Do you have a WIP you can talk about?

What happens when a runaway bride returns? The next book in the Distinguished Rogues series is out in September this year (exact date to be determined). KEEPSAKE is a reunion tale of a couple who’ve been apart their whole marriage. It’s ten years later and the bride is still angry and the groom still confused by her disappearance. Her sudden return and stubborn refusal to rebuild all aspects of their marriage make for lots of fireworks and hot, hot seductions.  

What is your favorite thing about writing?

It’s so hard to pick just one but letting my imagination riot and trying to capture the words fast enough to still make sense is an awesome way to spend my days.

Least favorite?

Writing can be a bit isolating. You need to spend time alone working on stories to get them finished and some weeks it’s only via email or social media that you get to talk writing and other real life stuff. Even introverts like me miss talking face to face.  

Have you read anything lately you’d highly recommend?

I’m a big fan of hot/erotic regency titles and I just finished Jess Michaels (as Jess Peterson) Undeniable. It’s an older title of hers that I hadn’t gotten to read until now and the romance between lost hero Julian and lonely widow Cecilia was as the title claims, undeniable. Smoking hot and so much fun. A great read!

Me too!  I discovered Jess Michaels quite a while back in an anthology & been a fan ever since.

Here’s my thoughts on AN ACCIDENTAL AFFAIR

an accidental affair Arabella Lawson, Lady Farnsworth, is pressed into service by her brother in law, the current Lord Farnsworth, to chaperone her niece’s Season.  Being a widow Arabella decides it’s perfectly acceptable to seek a lover while in London.  Of course events spiral out of Arabella’s control.

Arabella, widowed virgin, leaves Winslette, her country home, to chaperone Cecily during her Season.  While in London Arabella intends to remedy her virginal state.  After all, once Cecily is married who knows when such an opportunity will again present itself.  When Cecily proves willful and intractable it puts Arabella in dire straits she could never have imagined.  

Arabella portrays an unflappable calm to the world.  She glides through Society avoiding or smoothing awkward situations and easing those around her.  She’s naïve and trusting, perhaps too much so.  Arabella is kind, considerate, and thinks of others regardless of their station but she lacks vivacity, coming across rather bland.

As a heroine Arabella is fair to middling.   

Merrick Bishop, Lord Rothwell, is in search of a wife.  Lady Harrison, a former lover, is assisting him by narrowing down the choices.  He has certain beliefs and requirements in regards to his future wife, neither of which he expects Society to understand or believe.  He’s admired Arabella from afar for quite a while, knowing of her through mutual friends.  However, he’s never considered her a possibility due to the disparity in their reputations.  Then there’s his family, the Ford’s.  Rothwell is forever feuding with his many relations and avoids them when possible.  Rothwell is both more and less than Society credits him to be.

As a hero Rothwell is all one could wish for.   

Rothwell is the roguish scoundrel with a heart of gold, riding in on his trusty steed to save the damsel in distress, among others.  He’s handsome and urbane with a reputation as an outstanding lover.  There’s so much more to Rothwell than first meets the eye; he’s misunderstood and mistakenly painted with his father’s brush.  He possesses all the mental, physical, and emotional qualities necessary to an excellent hero.  

Arabella’s totally ignorant in the arts of seduction and flirtation.  Her ignorance, combined with her literal take on comments and conversations, means there’s no witty banter or double entendre’s, they simply go right over her head.  What Merrick believes to be an ability to avoid awkwardness and put other’s at ease is simply her incomprehension of what’s actually being said and going on.  She has a natural grace and her honesty and innocence does lend her a certain charm but sadly it doesn’t make her interesting.  Arabella is simply boring.  

AN ACCIDENTAL AFFAIR is part of a series but can be read as a stand alone.  Occasional references highlighted the fact I’ve not read the prior books but not often enough to be a problem. It lacks the witty banter and humor present in many of today’s historical romances due to Arabella’s character.  Rothwell manages to balance these drawbacks making AN ACCIDENTAL AFFAIR an enjoyable read.  

3 stars

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heather boyd

Bestselling regency romance author Heather Boyd believes every character she creates deserves their own happily-ever-after, no matter how much
trouble she puts them through. With that goal in mind, she weaves sizzling English set love stories that push the boundaries of regency era propriety to keep readers enthralled until the wee hours of the morning. Brimming with new ideas, she frequently wishes she could type as fast as she conjures new storylines. While writing full time north of Sydney, Australia, Heather collects dust bunnies in all corners of the house and does her best to wrangle her testosterone-fuelled family into submission. You can catch Heather’s news at www.heather-boyd.com

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