Perfect Romance Interview: Lisa Dale

Lisa Dale’s third contemporary romance, Slow Dancing on Price’s Pier, was released on April 5. The author drops anchor with Perfect Romance to discuss writing the book, what drew her to her fiancé (they’re getting married this summer!), coffee…and scandalous tattoo placement!

1. Tell us a little bit about Slow Dancing on Price’s Pier. There are a lot of emotional moments; was it a particularly personal story for you?

All the stories I write are personal in some way. I think if a book wasn’t personal to me, it would fail.

Donald Maass has a great quote which I keep stuck to my computer: “[A premise is] any single image, moment, feeling, or belief that has enough power and personal meaning for the author to set her story on fire, propel it like a rocket for hundreds of pages, or perhaps serve as a finish line: an ending so necessary that every step of the journey burns to be taken.”

Whew! It leaves me breathless. I repeat it often, to myself and to others. A book has to have intense, personal meaning for me—meaning that is so compelling that it won’t burn itself out over the many long months and even years of revisions.

2. In Slow Dancing you explore teen love versus mature, adult love. What made you fall in love with your fiancé, and where do you think you two fall on the spectrum?

I don’t think there was one blinding and earth-shaking moment when I thought, “I love this guy.” Instead, it was the kind of realization that happens so subtly and quietly—like when you’re not looking—and then you just sort of look around one day and think, “Oh, so I’ve been in love all this time!” I think I was a little scared of falling—as so many adults are—so falling for my fiancé was a bit like being ever so slowly and yet inevitably swept into love. It was like walking and walking, only to realize that, at some point a few miles ago, my feet had come off the ground.

We are definitely on the adult side of the love spectrum (that sounds like the title of some erotic French film, doesn’t it?). We work well together. We live well together. We understand each other. And there’s passion. When he comes home from work, I can’t wait to see him and hear what he has to say. And it’s always been that way. That’s why we’re getting married in July!

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Perfect Romance Review: One Night is Never Enough, by Anne Mallory

There’s a growing trend in historical romance to write about more common people, and I rather like it! Not that I don’t enjoy stories about the ton, but there’s only so much Lord Whosit and Lady Whatsherface you can read before it all blurs together. I often laugh that if you packed every Regency author’s noble cast into London, the overcrowding problem would be epic. Anne Mallory’s One Night is Never Enough doesn’t leave the confines of the ton but focuses on characters who aren’t quite a part of it: coolly reserved Miss Charlotte Chatsworth, who longs for freedom, and Roman Merrick, a notorious owner of several gambling establishments.

Charlotte’s father is an inveterate gambler and, well, really just a horrible human being. Charlotte’s whole life has been about retaining her self-possession, an illusion of control and class, while her family is pulled every which way  because of her father’s behavior. She’s a saint…who is suffocating. And when her father bets her in a high stakes card game at one of Roman’s hells, Charlotte finally begins to breathe.

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Perfect Romance Review: Pale Demon, by Kim Harrison

Pale Demon, the brand-new, ninth installment of Kim Harrison’s The Hollows series, takes Rachel Morgan and her offbeat, dysfunctional band of merry men on the road — and what a long, strange trip it is! Shunned witch Rachel has but a few days to get to a crucial meeting on the west coast that will determine her fate — but, as it goes with everything in Rachel’s world(s), nothing comes easy! Partners Jenks and Ivy are along for the ride… and so is Rachel’s quasi-nemesis Trent Kalamack, who has a mission of his own! Throw in some homicidal demons, witches with grudges, and elven assassins and it’s an explosive road movie playing out on the page.

I’ve always been a huge fan of The Hollows books, finding Harrison’s books more consistent than a lot of other ongoing urban fantasy series. What I appreciate the most is that while Rachel is undeniably attracted to Trent, involved in a complex friendship with Ivy, and entangled in relationships with fellow witch Pierce and her demon teacher Al, there’s never a sense that Rachel has lost herself. She may fear what’s happening to her, but Rachel’s struggle with her identity is, to me, the overarching thrust of the entire series. What is she…and what does that mean about who she is? Pale Demon digs deeper into that, and unearths some very dark things in the process.

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Perfect Romance Review: When Beauty Tamed the Beast, by Eloisa James

Eloisa James’ brand-new release When Beauty Tamed the Beauty managed to effortlessly tame this reader! A delightful story with vivid, genuinely funny characters, When Beauty Tamed the Beast combines elements of the classic fairy tale with the more modern story of House M.D.‘s cantankerous doc, Gregory House.

Linnet Thrynne is the kind of beautiful woman that brings men to their knees. Unfortunately, it’s her own sullied reputation that brings her low, and her flighty father and melodramatic aunt Zenobia decide to pack her off to Wales as the bride of a beastly earl (and physician) Piers Yelverton. What nobody counts on is that beauty doesn’t mean “biddable” and beastly doesn’t mean “brooding.” (Yes, Piers isn’t some crabby loner hanging out in a turret.) As their preconceived notions are set aside, Linnet and Piers form a friendship, engaging in early morning swims and day-long banter. They really get to know each other, and the reader gets to know them, as well as Piers’ parents and his eccentric household/hospital — including his rather awesome butler, Prufrock, who isn’t very butler-ly at all.

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