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Monday Musings…Romance Questions Pt I

As you may remember, last week I introduced a four-part interview where I have asked four different authors the same questions about romance. I thought it would be fun if I asked you, the readers, some of the same questions. I’ll give an answer, but I definitely want to see yours!

Question #1 In your opinion, what is one thing that a romance novel should have in order to be successful?

To  answer this question I have to think about all of my favorite romance novels and what they have in common: no secrets, no hidden agendas, respect, self-sacrifice, and to a degree, infatuation. In my own novels, I always shoot for that underlying layer of deep friendship; that idea that the couple “gets” each other, even if no one else does. But this maybe because I think romances based on friendship are some of my favorite to read.

Now, it’s your turn! Tell me your thoughts!

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Romance Interview with Lynne Gentry

Thank you for willing to be interviewed!

1. In your opinion, what is one thing that a romance novel should have in order to be successful?

Great question, Embassie. I think a successful romance novel is a lot like a successful marriage. It is very difficult to put your finger on one key element of the success. However, I think that both the hero and the heroine have to see something good in the other, something that person may not even see in themselves.

2. When it comes to writing romance in novels, is there any kind of formula that you follow? Or does it just come together organically?

I never intended to write romance, but somehow I knew that an organic attraction between two people seeking the same goal strengthened a story. I’m always studying craft books and other successful writers for tips and techniques. As my writing has progressed, so has my romance writing ability.

3. Of all the novels that you have written, which one would you say was your most romantic and why?

I’d have to say that my third book in The Carthage Chronicles series (VALLEY OF DECISION, release September 2015) is my most romantic book to date.

4. Do you have a favorite romantic trope? A least favorite trope?

Had to look that one up, Embassie. Wasn’t sure if I had a favorite trope or not. If you mean predictable romantic scenarios like good girl falls for bad guy, or hunky guy falls in love with ugly girl, or barbarian falls in love with his captive, then I can’t say I have one preference over another. I guess you could say I used the marriage of convenience trope for throwing Lisbeth and Cyprian together. My least favorite trope would be the secret baby. I tire easily of stories of misunderstandings or lies between two people who are eventually supposed to be each other’s trusted soulmates. I think the best relationships are ones based on truth and trust.

5. What are some authors/books that you read when you just want to enjoy a good romance novel?

I have many authors I think do an amazing job with romance, but my new favorite is Nicole Deese. Her new book, A Cliché Christmas if fabulous. Nicole is one to watch.

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T.L. Gray’s Mercy’s Fight

He feared no one…but himself.

Recovering from a past shaped by violence, Matt Holloway has sworn to live a different life than his parents did. Matt has found a purpose that keeps his lingering pain and fear at bay: helping others to heal. Yet the nightmares continue to haunt him.

Grace has lived a life of luxury, sheltered by her family’s money and connections. When a betrayal forces her to question everything, she leaves her family and accepts an ambitious position in a career for which she may not be ready.

When the two first meet, they cannot deny their instant, intense attraction. While Grace is willing to take another risk with her heart, Matt remains chained by his past and struggles to trust their future together. Fighting to save the children they’ve pledged to help, Matt and Grace must learn to overcome the pain in their past and find their true courage.


I stumbled across this novel because the author’s name kept popping up in my Twitter feed as one to read if you like romance. Of course I had to try one of her books! So glad I picked this one. Here’s why:

What I liked:

What didn’t I like? I loved the plot. I loved that you have an already reformed “bad boy” who loves Jesus all by himself and doesn’t need the love of some “good girl” to save him.

I love that the “good girl” already had a relationship with Christ so that they were not necessarily two broken people trying to figure out life, but two whole people who already had purpose and goals.

I loved the romance. Generally speaking, I don’t like men who waffle (he didn’t waffle long), but for some reason I loved Matt almost from the first page. Most likely due to his relationship with Christ, I felt like I could trust him, even when he messed up. Because I knew when he messed up he would make it right. I loved the way Matt was there for Grace, the way he took care of Grace, and the way that his love for her was more action and less talk. In regards to Grace, I liked that she was bold. She liked Matt and she wasn’t afraid to show it. Together their romance just worked for me. I’ll be honest, as much as I love romance, as a single woman in her late 20s I read these romance novels with a skeptical eye. This book, for me, made me forget skepticism and just enjoy the love. In the words of book bloggers, I shipped this couple hard (comes from the phrase ‘I will do down with this ship’).

Now, Grace. I liked that she was so wealthy and raised in such a sheltered life and yet still wanted to pour out her energy and love into a community that desperately needed it. No, I was not raised nearly as wealthy as she, but I could completely relate to her and the decisions she made.

Spiritually, there is a theme that faith is a journey that takes time and it’s okay that you might not get set free from everything right away, but you keep on going in Christ.

What didn’t I like:

For a moment, Grace got all secretive with Matt. While I could see the pitfalls ahead with keeping secrets and it did bother me,  to a certain degree, in real life maybe you wouldn’t confess all to a guy you just met…and thankfully, she doesn’t keep her secrets too long.

Romantic scale: 10

Overall, I just loved this book. While there was a genuine plot in this novel, it was also pure romance and I did not want to leave their world. Definitely a favorite of mine this year!

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Lee Tobin McClain’s His Baby Bond


Battle for a Baby . . .

In this Christian romance novel, poor-but-proud Kendra Forrester doesn’t need an arrogant millionaire to tell her how to raise her sister’s baby. But when handsome Zeke King arrives at her Colorado cabin demanding custody of his brother’s child, strategy dictates that she let him stick around.

Battling mountain weather and the baby’s illness brings these two opposites together, but their own insecurities, their dead siblings’ secrets, and a jealous former boyfriend threaten their tentative bond.

Only the Lord and the Sacred Bond Brotherhood can help Kendra and Zeke form a family for their baby.

This first-in-a-series book is a free Christian romance for your Kindle! Try out this Christian romance series with no risk. It’s your introduction to the Sacred Bond series of contemporary Christian romance novels, featuring alpha males who live to serve others.


I first heard of this book from a post the author did here. After reading the post, I thought, now there’s an author I can get behind because she doesn’t use her faith to limit her writing, but instead to enhance her writing. Then I downloaded the first free book of the series and saw the kid on the cover. You all know my thoughts on kids bringing people together….so yeah…I waited almost a month before actually reading it. Well, I didn’t need to. My thoughts:

What I liked:

Zeke. I liked who he was, what he was about, and the actions he took. He’s a man who runs a big business, makes a lot of money, but loves God very much. He got sidetracked for a minute, but once he made up his mind to put God first, he went all the way. Zeke also comes across as very real and very straightforward in a way I like.

Real Issues. I like that the author tackles the very real issue of chemistry and attraction and the right way to act on it.

The romance. Initially, I felt like the way Kendra and Zeke come together has been done a thousand times, but the writing felt fresh. I liked that Zeke was years older than Kendra, and that Kendra wasn’t a complete pushover and that no one came up with the idea that they should get married to raise the child. The baby was there, but she wasn’t exactly the reason Zeke and Kendra fell for each other.

Easy reading. I read this book so quickly and it was a light and fun read that had me turning the pages.

Spiritually, the novel deals with trusting God when everything seems to fall apart and it also shows what a life looks like that relies on God daily.

What I didn’t like:

For the most part I did like Kendra, but sometimes she would act or do something and then expect Zeke to think the opposite. There are no mind readers here! It just felt like she needed to grow up some. But again, once she gets it together, she’s a fine heroine.

Romantic Scale: 8

Overall, a very good, entertaining read and I hope to get to the other books in the series soon!

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Monday Musings…The Love Post

This month being February can mean a couple of things to people, like Black History Month, or say for instance a birthday (Yay me!), or Valentine’s Day. This month, because I love all things romance, I’ve decided to do a little something different. Starting this Friday, and continuing it every Friday this month. I have asked four authors five questions about romance and writing romance. Their answers will go live:

Lynn Gentry-Feb 6th

Paula Vince- Feb 13th

Elizabeth Camden- Feb 20th

Dani Pettrey-Feb 27th.

Dani Pettrey has graciously offered to giveaway an autographed copy of her novel Sabotaged. The rules are as follows:

If this book has captured your fancy (and I hope it does!), there’s an opportunity for you to win your own copy! *Note you must be a US or Canadian address. All you need to do is leave a comment in the comment section of one of the interviews with your email address. The giveaway ends on March 13! The winner will be randomly selected. If you win, you have 48 hours to respond to the notification before I will choose another winner. Happy Reading!