Thursday, January 17, 2013

Review & Interview: The Reluctant Countess by Wendy Vella

Please welcome author, Wendy Vella.  She is promoting her debut book, The Reluctant Countess.  Make sure to check out our interview with her after my thoughts on the book.

Publisher: Loveswept
Date of Publication: January 14, 2013

Regal, poised, and elegant, Sophie, Countess of Monmouth, is everything that a highborn lady should be. But Sophie is hiding a past that is far from royal. When Patrick, Earl of Coulter, realizes that her story doesn't add up, he resolves to find out the truth of what Sophie and her sister-in-law are concealing. Although Sophie has every reason to avoid him, the handsome and charismatic Patrick awakens something wicked deep within her soul . . . a powerful need that Sophie must stifle in order to protect her place in society.

My thoughts:

Oh, Loveswept..what would I do without you?  I know I can always count on you to give me a great and well written book!  I devoured this book. The Reluctant Countess is the debut offering for Ms. Vella.  I can see a bright future ahead for her. 

This is a neat take on the Cinderella story. Once you find out what secret Sophie holds, you have to admire her for doing what she did, especially when it helped to protect Timmy and her sister-in-law.  Sophie and Patrick are a couple that you find yourself rooting for from the beginning.  Despite believing that Sophie is up to no good, Patrick finds himself attracted to her.  Once he gets to know her, the attraction quickly turns into a deep caring and a fierce need to protect. Sophie doesn't feel that they can ever have a HEA, so she avoids him at all cost.  This makes for some amusing scenes.  I loved them together. 

We are also treated to a cute side romance. My only regret is that Amelia and Stephen didn't get their own book.  I would have loved to see more of their story.  I highly recommend this book to any lover of historical romance.  It has adventure, humor and a sigh-worthy and very steamy romance.  Who could ask for more?

Welcome, Wendy!
Kari& Autumn: What inspired you to become a writer?

Wendy: I was raised in a family that loved to read and talk, coincidentally both things I now excel at! My husband said if the latter was an Olympic sport I would be a triple gold medalist. I read from as early as I can remember and moved from Jill’s pony club manuals into Mills & Boons and then my first Regency. I remember it was Georgette Heyer, These Old Shades, and from the opening page I was in love. The Regency Era intrigued me from the start, the nuances that make up polite society, the scandals and intrigue. So if I had to say one thing in particular I would say Georgette Heyer motivated me to start writing and my love of books kept that going.

Kari& Autumn: Where do you come up with the ideas for your books?

Wendy: Actually characters come to me first. They just appear in my head demanding to have a story told about them and then I spend ages finding them the right names. Once I’ve got the hero and heroine worked out I then move on to the story. I usually start with some kind of conflict for one of the characters, something that determines the path their life is taking or will make a monumental change in their lives. The rest of the story evolves from there.

Kari& Autumn: What exciting projects are waiting in the wings?

Wendy: I’m working on a series about three sisters at the moment. It’s interesting writing a series because each book has to tie them together in some way and there has to be a uniformity to the characters which keeps the consistency. I’ve always just been someone who sits down and writes but now I have to make notes as I go along to make sure I’m not getting any of the details wrong. Hopefully the end result works out ok.

Kari& Autumn: Who is your favorite literary character and why?

Wendy: James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser from the Outlander series written by Diana Gabaldon is my favourite literary character. I loved watching him grow into the man he became. He always had integrity, strength and a bone deep honesty that he never compromised. He was sometimes shy and had a naiveté that I would say was rare considering the times he lived in and challenges he faced. His love for Claire was a wonderful thing to experience, (sigh) and let’s not get away from the main point that he was a seriously handsome man in a kilt!

Kari& Autumn: Just for fun, if you could be any animal, what would it be and why?

Wendy: I’d be a Cheetah because I have never been considered sleek or fast in my life! I would love to fly across prairies and leap over things and out run everyone who annoyed me.

About the author:

Wendy Vella is a lover of all things romantic. She started reading her first Georgette Heyer book at a young age and instantly fell in love with the Regency era. Writing is something she has always found time for; she penned her first novel at eighteen though she says it will never make an appearance further than the closet in which it currently resides.

After having her two children Wendy then joined RWNZ and started honing her chosen craft by entering competitions with some success and attending conferences. Her Clendon and Readers Choice award-winning historical romance The Reluctant Countess will debut in Jan 2013 with Random House in their Loveswept line.

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