Goodreads Giveaway for MY FAIR PRINCESS!

My Fair Princess 2

Are you on Goodreads? My publisher, Kensington Books, is giving away 25 Advanced Reading Copies of MY FAIR PRINCESS, my next historical romance, on Goodreads. This is the first book in my new Improper Princesses Series, to be released on August 30th. If you’d like the chance to read the book before anyone else, just click here to enter the Goodreads giveaway!

For more info and to read the first five chapters from MY FAIR PRINCESS, please visit the Book Page.

And for those of you who read and review through NetGalley, MY FAIR PRINCESS is now loaded up and ready for review! Just click here to request a review ARC.

Happy reading!

Two Authors & Two Giveaways for the price of one!

My Kensington Books co-author and pal Theresa Romain and I both had books released last week.  By sheer coincidence, they’re both Christmas-themed, Regency-set historical romances.  Cool!  We thought it would be fun to do a joint interview, so that’s what we did.  Even better, we’re giving away copies of our books, Season For Surrender and His Mistletoe Bride!

Part One of the interview is on Theresa’s blog.  Hop over there first, and then come back here for Part Two.

Part Two:

Vanessa: The characters came first. When I started to think of the heroine for this book—the hero had already appeared in a previous book so I knew he was a soldier—I wanted to create a woman who could really stir things up. Phoebe, a gentle but very principled person, was the perfect match for a tough guy like Lucas. The plot then naturally evolved out of the various points of conflict and agreement in their personalities, and it rolled from there.  It also helped to have a great example in the previously mentioned classic movie, High Noon.

And since we’re talking about the classic tropes—which I always enjoy—I love the setup for your novel: the rake and the bluestocking. But you brought such a fresh twist to it. Louisa is a woman who loves books and is not shy about that at all, even though it does make her an outsider in aristocratic society. But she doesn’t care, and that’s fabulous. Did you start out wanting to do your own take on the rake and the bluestocking?

Theresa: When I was writing my debut, I knew I wanted to write a follow-up story for Louisa and Xavier. You’re absolutely right that their pairing is a take on the rake and bluestocking romance—though that tale has been done so often, and so well, that I knew I needed a twist on it.

In SEASON FOR SURRENDER, it was a fun challenge not just to bring together these two seeming opposites, but to show how they’re not really opposites at all. As my husband (always one of my first readers, bless him) said about an early draft of SFS, “I don’t see them lasting long-term if Xavier doesn’t like books.” “Keep reading,” I told him. Because I agreed: a true rake and a true bluestocking don’t have much in common, but a rake with an intellectual heart and a bluestocking who’s ready to push her own boundaries can find points to build a relationship on, and they can respect each other’s strengths.

Vanessa: Yes, exactly. He’s really an intellectual masquerading as a rake—so great!

Theresa: Thanks! He actually became more so as I was writing, and I went back and planted clues and hints once I was done. Louisa loves puzzles, and she just can’t figure him out like she expects to.

How about Phoebe and Lucas? They make a good partnership since she balances his sense of duty with a wonderfully warm heart. And she herself is an unusual heroine because of her background. When she was introduced to society, I really enjoyed the way she saw everything from the outside and didn’t take customs for granted. How do you see her fitting into English society? Would it be more of a challenge for her being American, or being a Quaker?

Vanessa: The interesting thing about Phoebe is that she never felt entirely at home in her American Quaker community, either. Although she was raised by a Quaker father, her mother was an English aristocrat who married against her family’s wishes and left her life behind for a new one in America. Subsequently, Phoebe always felt pulled in two directions and she has a driving need to find her true place in the world.  After her father dies, she sets out for England to meet her estranged relatives and discover her place in the world once and for all.

Unfortunately, life in London and in the ton feels alien and false to her, so that’s a disappointment. But when she marries Lucas and moves to their estate in the country, that’s when Phoebe comes into her own. She grew up in the country and she understands the quiet beauty of a simpler way of life, while Lucas finds himself struggling to adapt. He’s a very sophisticated man, very used to being in control, and initially he flounders. Phoebe is the one who shows him the way, and helps him reconcile his conflicting emotions about their new life together.

Theresa: Well put. I absolutely loved Phoebe as a heroine, and her romance with Lucas makes for a beautiful holiday story.

Speaking of the holidays, I think we ought to give away some books now. What say?

Vanessa: Excellent idea! Why don’t I give away a copy of HIS MISTLETOE BRIDE on your blog, and you give away a copy of SEASON FOR SURRENDER on my blog?  That way, folks have two chances to win the books!

And while we’re in the giving mood, I think it’s time to talk about the spectacular holiday Gala we’re planning for November 30. Along with the fabulous Victoria Alexander and Grace Burrowes, Theresa and I will be hosting an all-day festive gala, Romancing the Holidays, on the romance blog, The Romance Dish. We’ll be giving away prizes every hour, from 9 am to 9 pm ET. All four of us will be blogging throughout the day, talking about our books, the holiday season, and chatting with our readers. We’ll also be giving away some spectacular prizes throughout the day, including a grand prize basket featuring an ereader. Zounds! You do not want to miss that.  Dash on over to the Romancing the Holidays website for all the details and to sign up.

Theresa: Zounds is right. There’s a special “giving back” element to this event too: books will be donated to randomly selected libraries or women’s shelters nominated by readers. So readers, please visit the Romancing the Holidays site ( by November 30 to enter yourself and your favorite library/shelter for a chance at prizes!

Season for Surrender


Alexander Edgware, Lord Xavier, has quite a reputation—for daring, wagering, and wickedness in all its delightful forms. But the wager before him is hardly his preferred sport: Xavier must persuade a proper young lady to attend his famously naughty Christmas house party—and stay the full, ruinous two weeks. Worse, the lady is Louisa Oliver, a doe-eyed bookworm Xavier finds quite charming. Yet to refuse the challenge is impossible—he will simply have to appoint himself Miss Oliver’s protector…


Louisa knows her chance for a husband has passed. But she has no desire to retire into spinsterhood without enjoying a few grand adventures first. When Lord Xavier’s invitation arrives, Louisa is more intrigued than insulted. And once inside the rogues’ gallery, she just may have a thing or two to teach her gentlemen friends about daring…

Book order links:

Order print book: amazon barnes & noble • book depositorybooks-a-millionchapters indigo • indiebound • powell’s

Order e-book: kindlenook

Vanessa, here.  I really enjoyed chatting with Theresa today, and I hope you did too.  For a chance to win a copy of Season For Surrender, just tell us what you’re doing for the holidays this year – anything from Thanksgiving on through the New Year works.  Got any interesting plans, or are you staying close to home?  One person who comments will win a copy of Theresa’s fabulous book.

And don’t forget to visit Theresa’s blog for a chance to win a copy of His Mistletoe Bride, if you haven’t already done so.  The giveaway on both our sites will end on October 11, and this contest is open to international readers, too!

NEWS ALERT:  I’m also participating in another fun event today – Lucy’s Online Reader’s Retreat.  There are over 40 authors participating in the retreat, and I’ll be there today at 7 pm, EST.  Drop by and say hello!



Guest Author: Tina Gabrielle & Her New Series!

I’m very happy to have fellow Regency author Tina Gabrielle guest blogging today.  Tina has an awesome new series out, revolving around four sexy barristers.  Here’s what Publisher’s Weekly had to say about it:

“Former attorney Gabrielle launches a Regency series with legal backbone…the tale is bolstered by tantalizing love scenes, enthusiastically detailed portrayals of England’s Regency-era legal system, and witty comradely repartee.”

I’m turning the blog over to Tina, to sweep us away to the wonderful world of the Regency.  And since it’s almost Valentine’s Day, Tina is going to tell us…

Why Regency Heroes are Perfect for Valentine’s Day!

First let me thank Vanessa for inviting me to blog. It’s wonderful to be here!

I’m Tina Gabrielle, and I write rich Regency historical romances full of passion and emotion for Kensington Books. My new Regency Barrister series, launching with In the Barrister’s Chambers, is about four sexy barristers and the women who wreak havoc in their chambers and steal their hearts.

In 2011, I attended a national writer’s conference and listened to an agent tell a group of aspiring writers that Regency heroes are very popular in historical romance. Now as a Regency romance author, this was great news to hear, but it did make me wonder why. What makes the Regency heroes so attractive to avid romance readers? Here are my thoughts:

The Dress

The Regency look is a fabulous one—and not just for the women. Who can resist a man with a well-tailored coat, an elaborately tied neckcloth, breeches, and gleaming hessians. Accessories might include gloves, a quizzing glass, cane, or beaver hat. It’s similar to Hollywood’s red carpet. No sweatshirts, ripped jeans, or old sneakers for the gentlemen of the Regency. Men dressed well, whether in town or in the country.

And for the women? An upper-class Regency woman could change three to four times a day. Morning dresses, walking dresses, carriage dresses, evening dresses, and ball gowns. It’s enough to make the head spin, yet as romance readers, we love it. It is French lace and fantasy!

The Transportation

Carriages, elegant town coaches, barouches, and phaetons. But the daring and sporting curricle was the ultimate Regency race car. It must have been exciting and romantic to have been taken for a ride around Hyde Park in a handsome gentleman’s conveyance of choice.

Drinking, Gaming, and Partying, Oh My!

The upper class could lead a life of partying that would put any college fraternity student to shame. Drinking to excess was common, gambling a way of life, and balls and soirees during the height of the Season expected. Starting with the Regent himself, who spent vast amounts of money on fine wine, food, clothes, and entertainment. Who else could build a pleasure palace like Brighton Pavillion and host such lavish dinner parties? As for gambling, gentlemen had private clubs such as White’s, Brooks’s, Boodle’s, and Waiter’s where it was not uncommon for them to place bets on just about anything. Women could indulge as well, and they attended parties that lasted well into the morning hours.

Titles or the Self-made man?

We’ve heard them all: dukes, earls, viscounts, and marquesses. There are so many romance novels involving titled lords and ladies. Yet as a romance reader, each book is unique and I find myself swept away. But what’s so special about the Regency period is that you can have the sexy self-made hero as well as the titled one.

Which type of heroes do I like to write about? Both, of course! The heroes in my Regency Barrister Series all start out as—you guessed it—barristers and self-made men. Jack Harding from In The Barrister’s Chambers is a top criminal barrister who has an eye for Lady Evelyn, the daughter of an earl and his former mentor. James Devlin from In The Barrister’s Bed always believed he was an illegitimate son of a duke until a twist of fate reveals he is the true Duke of Blackwood.

Here’s a sneak peek at both Barrister Books:


Courting Danger

Lady Evelyn Darlington’s first love was the law. But since a woman scholar meets nothing but ridicule from men, she has given up and chosen a future husband. Randolph seems adequate for the task: to provide intelligent conversation and not annoy her too much. Of course, before they can be engaged, she’ll have to do something about the murder charge hanging over his head. If only London’s top barrister wasn’t Jack Harding, object of all her unattainable girlhood fantasies…

And Seducing Scandal…

Jack Harding remembers Evelyn well—but the idea that the gorgeous woman standing before him is little Evie, the professor’s daughter, is incredible. He knows better than to enter a business relationship when he wants to pursue pleasure. Yet however desirable she is now, Evie is still Evie—stubborn, smart, and never willing to take no for an answer. Even though proving her fiancé’s innocence might just cost her her own…

IN THE BARRISTER’S BED (Coming July 2012)

 A Hotly Contested Claim

A bastard by birth, James Devlin lives on his own terms—until a twist of fate reveals that he is the true Duke of Blackwood. Though the brooding bachelor swears to hold on to his freedom, he does intend to take back his childhood home. But once at Wyndmoor Manor, he discovers an arresting adversary in Bella Sinclair. Her hot-blooded claim to his home is amusing…and arousing. Which is why he isn’t leaving until he takes possession of everything—starting with the bewitching Bella…

A Sensual Surrender

Bella is furious when the Duke barges into her home, declaring it rightfully his! The willful widow is not about to give up her haven without a fight, no matter how determined the Duke is—or how sensual the battlefield. But once she’s sharing a house with the beguiling barrister, she is in danger of losing everything—one deep, slow kiss at a time…

So tell me: What do you love most about Regency heroes? The clothes, the titles, or the lifestyle?

For a chance to win a signed copy of IN THE BARRISTER’S CHAMBERS, just leave a comment. Good luck!

Tina Gabrielle, an award-winning author, is an attorney and former mechanical engineer whose love of reading for pleasure helped her get through years of academia. After multi-publishing for a prestigious Law Journal, she fulfilled her dream of writing fiction. She is the author of In The Barrister’s Chambers, Lady Of Scandal, and A Perfect Scandal from Kensington Books. The second book in her Regency Barrister Series, In The Barrister’s Bed, is scheduled for release by Kensington in July 2012. Visit her website at

Vanessa, here.  Get cracking, you Regency lovers!  Tell us what you love about Regency heroes for a chance to win this wonderful book!