Friday, May 21, 2010

Anything Goes Friday

Minx Joanne here on this beautiful sunny Friday.

As regular readers will know, our Friday post is a 'pot luck'. The Minxes will be blogging about films, books, industry gossip--anything and everything. On some weeks, we may just leave you with pictures of our favourite men--for no other reason than because we can!

This week I'm posting a book review. I thought long and hard about the book I'd choose for this post. Did I want to post about the most recent book I'd read, my favourite in the last month. Arrghh, so many books, only one blog post :-)

The book I've chosen is my favourite Presents from the last year. As I'm a subscriber to this line, you can imagine just how many I've read in the previous 12 months.

My favourite made me smile at the interaction between the hero and his friend, sigh at the hero and heroine together and flat out bawl my eyes at the black moment. Now all those readers of category romance know that books that make you cry and the best, they are the wonderful ones that go on your 'keeper' shelf and you know you'll return to time and time again.

Most of all, the writing is to die for. It's what every budding romance novelist aims for when they sit at their keyboard hour after hour.

I'm hoping by now, you're all jumping up and down to find out the title of this book and see if it's one you've read. If you haven't read it, do yourself a favour and get yourself to Amazon or the Book Despository--whatever you favourite book place may be.

The story of the very alpha Spaniard Tristan Romero and his English heroine Lily begins in the English countryside and transfers to Spain for the most delicious marriage of convenience story. Tristan is hiding a huge secret from Lily, but is honest enough to make sure Lily knows they are marrying because of his duty to his family, but certainly nothing to do love--an emotion he tells her he knows nothing about. Lily is the complete antithesis to the selfish stereotypical model the media portrays.

I don't want to spoil the story, but really, the black moment had me crying. In public. On a train!

The book is Spanish Aristocrat, Forced Bride and the author is India Grey.

I'd love to know if anyone else has read this fab book or if you have one you'd like to recommend to the Minxes this weekend.

Thanks for visiting!


Abbi said...


I read alot of Presents, but I haven't read this one. Love India Grey, though. Probably have it in my massive TBR pile somewhere . . .

Suzanne Ross Jones said...

I think I've missed this one - like Abbi, I'm sure my copy is lurking somewhere in a tbr pile. Will search this weekend.

Great review, Jo.


Romy Sommer said...

Thanks, Jo. I haven't read it yet either.

And thanks Abbi and Suzanne for the reminder that I should check my TBR pile before I rush off an buy it!

Jackie Ashenden said...

I liked this one too, Joanne! India Grey is a great author!

Lacey Devlin said...

Love India's books!

Francine Howarth said...


Yep, me too: big fan of India Grey novels.

But, and it's a big but, I wish the same damn names (forenames and surnames) didn't keep popping up over and over again within HM&B novels.

For anyone thinking on writing a spanish themed novel!
The name Romero (variations: Romera, Romeiros, Romeu, and other roms)is usually only one of two/three Spanish surnames that a person has.

It's meaning/origin Romero: Man of Rome! It is an Italian-Spanish name.

Also, Spanish women don't take their husbands name as first surname ie; Miss Perez marries Mr. Romero and her name becomes Mrs. Perez Romero!!! She will use Perez as every day name, and effectively Mr Romero is sleeping with Mrs Perez! Which is quite amusing, when one considers Spain is a very Male Macho Orientated Society.

Just a few tips to consider when writing a spanish themed novel. By the way, the Romero Coat of Arms is mix of red/yellow with armour (Knights) helmet inclusive face shield and two white prancing horses facing to left.

These little details are very important ;) if one wants Spanish/South American women to enjoy reading HM&B novels and to feel the author has made the effort to know a little of their cultural/historical lineage!


Maya Blake said...

OMG, Jo. I LOVED this book too. I was devastated, DEVASTATED, for Lily, but then it all came together at the end soooo wonderfully. India Grey's my Goddess!

Maya Blake said...

Thanks so much for the heads up, Francine. A little background knowledge is always welcome and we the Minxes appreciate it very much. Are you Spanish?

Maisey said...

Francine, I've noticed certain names repeat as well, but I think some of it has to do with wanting a name that fits the ethnicity of the character, but is easy for the reader to pronounce, which is tough to find sometimes!! :-)

Also, appreciate the background. :-)

Francine Howarth said...

Hi Maya,

No not Spanish, but do have a spanish male writing buddy, who incidentally used to be a Matador(bullfighter)in his spare time. ;) TRUE, I've seen him in action!!

Hi Maisie,

I know what you mean, and the "but" is the crux. I agree nothing worse than a name that jars the mind and irks the tongue! There are fabulous names out there, though, and worth the effort to stop and think variation on a theme.

Take the surname "Deravenal", this one bugged me big time and it really spoiled the reading of the novel.


Unknown said...

Maya, thanks very much for pointing me in this direction on my blog - I didn't know you minxes existed and it's fantastic to find you. I love the blog! Am deeply envious of your opulent red wallpaper and am now musing on a makeover of my own...

Joanne, thanks so much for a lovely and generous review. I'm so happy that you enjoyed the book, and thrilled that you picked it to highlight here. It hasn't yet been released in the US, which is why some people might not have read it yet. I'm assured by my editor that it definitely will be a US release at some stage, but I don't have a date yet - sorry guys.

Francine, it's an interesting point you make about Spanish names, and I did research the whole matter thoroughly - the copy editor was utterly perplexed by the different names within the same family! Tristan's father is called Juan Carlos Romero de Losada, while his mother is Allegra Montalvo y Romero Losada. I think it's only in England that Lily is called Mrs Romero, because it seemed to me that as an English woman she would simoly have taken her husband's name. Sorry if this didn't strike you as being authentic!

Francine Howarth said...

Hi India,

As a great fan of yours, can I make it clear I was not referring to your novel with regards to character names. As yet I haven't read "Spanish Aristocrat, Forced Bride", so if my comment has caused sense of distress I am truly sorry for that.

It was a generalised statement in respect of repeated use of particular names in HM&B novels. I shall duck out now. ;)


Romy Sommer said...

Francine - a real live matador? Wow! That is a resource you definitely should hang on to. Out of interest, what genre does the former matador write?

Unknown said...

Francine - that's a relief! I was worried that despite my best efforts I'd got something glaringly wrong with my Spanish names!

Your friend sounds like a very useful man to have around! (especially on a country walk when you realise there's a bull in the field you're right in the middle of...) In the upcoming M&B series 'The Balfour Legacy' Sharon Kendrick's book has an ex-matador hero. Definitely one to look out for.

Francine Howarth said...

Hi Romy,

Naldo is into daring-do thrillers: speaks for itself given his past!

Hi India,

Having lived on farms for most of my life there are only two bulls in this country I steer clear of when on the loose - Friesians and Ayrshires: the latter the deadlier of the two.

Beef bulls on the whole are fairly docile, though as the saying goes: never turn your back, unless forced into legging it!

I'm not stupid enough to be around with a fully-grown well-muscled Spanish fighting bull on the loose!

I've seen what a bull can do if it gets a human cornered in a bull pen. Luckily in the UK escape bars or slits are built into bull pens, thank god - for non religious praise be to Health & Safety.


Shall look out for Sharon Kendrick's book,