Category : Contemporary Fiction

Contemporary fiction books

Of Ruins and Romance by Rosie Chapel

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Of Ruins and Romance

by Rosie Chapel

 

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On her penultimate day at University, Kassandra Winters inadvertently overheard herself described as “…too shy, too plain, a bit ungainly if you must know and rather on the plump side, not at all what’s needed for such things…Kassandra would be far more suited to a job in an archive office…” Worse still she was subsequently knocked flying by the exceedingly tall and drop-dead gorgeous man to whom this description had been delivered. Adding insult to injury she ran into the same man the next afternoon and, justifiably upset by what she had heard, refused to indulge his somewhat perplexing determination to engage her in the oddest conversation and gave him short shrift.

Fast-forward two years and contrary to expectations, Kassie is not hidden away in an archive office. She is in Rome; employed by one of that city’s famous International Schools, as well as a tourist agency. One day, while escorting a group of visitors around the ancient Roman port of Ostia, she bumps into the same man — the man whose seemingly random remarks still puzzle her — and he introduces himself as Gabriel St Germain. This unexpected encounter leads to a job offer, the role of assistant tour guide for a three-week tour of ancient sites in and around Rome. Unable to resist such an opportunity, and against her better judgement, Kassie agrees.

Kassie has intrigued Gabriel St Germain since he ran into her, literally, outside her professor’s office. Despite her rushing off the following day, giving him no chance to apologise for what she had heard, Kassie left a lasting impression and her face haunts his dreams. Never expecting to see her again, Gabriel is astounded when she appears right in front of him — as though destined to do so — in the middle of a ruin and, resolved not to lose her a second time, he concocts a plan to win her heart.

Gabriel’s old-fashioned courtship touches something deep inside Kassie and, although struggling to believe that someone as handsome as Gabriel could possibly be interested in her, she soon realises she has fallen irrevocably in love with him. It seems he returns her feelings and for a brief moment, Kassie allows herself to trust that they have a chance at a happily ever after. However, just as Kassie shares everything of herself with Gabriel, her world comes crashing down and those callous words uttered that fateful day return to torment her. Can Gabriel save their romance or will it fall in ruins, like the relics of antiquity that brought them together.




A Word from the Author

Rosie Chapel authorRome and its fascinating history is an enduring passion of mine, and when the voices in my head decided they would quite like a modern romance – should I see my way to writing one – the setting was a given. Thus Of Ruins and Romance was born but, as I am always drawn to the past, my contemporary setting ended up with some antiquity thrown in. It seemed logical to draw on my own experience of the Eternal City, and its surrounds, so other than one or two places, I have visited everywhere mentioned in the book. My hope is that anyone reading it, experiences the same magic I feel whenever I hear the word Rome.

This story is about Kassie, a reticent young woman who never expected a great love to be hers, and Gabriel – the man determined to prove her wrong. Their initial meeting is not particularly auspicious, and although Gabriel’s seemingly random questions occasionally rankle in Kassie’s head, for the most part she has forgotten their encounter. Two years later they meet again, and Gabriel hatches a plan to win Kassie’s heart. As they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions and their journey hits a few bumps as well as one very large crater.

Discovering Kassie works part-time as a tour guide, affords Gabriel the perfect opportunity to arrange for three weeks in her company, hoping this will be enough to persuade her of his feelings. Thus, their romance unfolds against the backdrop of a myriad of ancient sites, including Pompeii and Herculaneum. Part of my inspiration, was the chance to visit all these incredible places without leaving the comfort of your armchair.

This novel was refreshing to write as, for once, I did not need to consider language, technology, and methods of transport or communication. I do believe however, the romance has an old fashioned quality to it, as I prefer not to use explicit terminology in any setting. Perhaps this makes me the exception rather than the rule, but it is a deliberate choice. My introduction to romance novels, when I was a teenager, was Mills and Boon and, while many consider them to be passé, I enjoy a gentle blossoming of love, leaving something to the imagination, as opposed to having it rammed down your throat (so to speak…). That’s not to say things run smoothly, Gabriel will have his work cut out for him – Kassie is no pushover, despite an undeniable attraction.

(Rosie Chapel, September 2017)

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Under A Namibian Sky by Angelina Kalahari

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Under A Namibian Sky is the first book of the contemporary romance series A Desert Love Novel  by Angelina Kalahari.

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Beautiful, vivacious, independent young Naomi grew up on the edge of the Namib Desert. After she becomes a safari guide, nothing is more exciting than showing off her desert’s fierceness, its raw beauty, and its exotic wildlife to guests staying at Desert Lodge.

Luca, the heir apparent to the Armati supercar dynasty, is blessed with the beauty of an Italian god and born to a life of wealth, power, and influence. In Namibia for a short holiday, he wants to fulfil his dream of photographing and painting African elephants.

Used to the wiles of such spoiled princelings, Naomi is suspicious of his motives. Begrudgingly, she feels drawn to his kindness, charm and aura. Impossibly, it appears he is equally drawn to the girl from the African desert.

But will the pain of their past experiences prevent them from being courageous enough to admit their soul mate connection? Will their love overcome the challenges they face when Luca ends up in hospital after a dangerous anti-poacher raid, and Naomi has to confront her fears about falling in love with him?

Compulsively readable, Under A Namibian Sky is an emotionally riveting romance that will enchant, fascinate and delight.




A Word from the Author

Author Angelina Kalahari pictureOriginally, I wrote Under A Namibian Sky as an experiment to see if Mills and Boon (Harlequin to many of you) would accept it. Initially, they seemed very excited by the synopsis and three chapters I’d submitted. They sent a long email with suggestions for changes, and I felt encouraged by this. I spent several weeks implementing their ideas and suggestions and resubmitted, only to receive a rejection letter from them soon afterwards.

I wasn’t downhearted, however. Receiving notes and rejections in my previous career as an operatic soprano, was just part of the job.

By now, the characters were alive and talking to me. They wouldn’t shut up. I had no choice but to write their story in Under A Namibian Sky. More than the characters’ incessant chatting, the other reason I had to write the novel, is because Namibia is where I was born. As I seldom return there, it was such an unexpected joy to visit the place I love so dearly in this way. I know those people. I know Desert Lodge, the setting for the book. Writing the novel took me back completely. It felt as though I was on holiday there during the writing process.

I don’t know if it’s the familiarity of the people and the place that promoted such ease of flow. One chapter flowed into another so effortlessly. I could hardly believe it.

The story, while a contemporary romance, retains the integrity of the desert, and the purity of the people who live there. It is perhaps the reason one reviewer on Amazon wrote: “What a lovely, old-fashioned love story. It reminded me of M.M. Kaye and Mary Stewart. It was an enjoyable read, allowing me to escape to a distant, exotic land.”

The fact that those two writers are well-loved and have been read by millions of readers can only bode well for Under A Namibian Sky.
(Angelina Kalahari, September 2017)

 

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The Second Cup by Sarah Marie Graye

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The Second Cup is a contemporary women’s fiction novel by Sarah Marie Graye.

new cover The Second Cup by Sarah Marie Graye

Blurb

Would your life unravel if someone you knew committed suicide? Theirs did.

University was years ago, but Faye’s heart still belongs to her first love from her days as a student. She knows Jack might have moved on, but when she decides to try and track him down nothing prepares her for the news that he’s killed himself.

With the fragility of life staring them in the face, Abbie finds herself questioning her marriage and Faye her friendship with Ethan. And poor Olivia is questioning everything – including why Jack’s death has hit Beth the hardest. Is she about to take her own life too?

The Second Cup is the first novel by London South Bank University postgraduate scholarship holder Sarah Marie Graye.



A Word from the Author

Author Sarah Marie Graye pictureYou’ve killed yourself in your dreams.And now someone else has committed suicide in the same way. Only they’ve done it in real life.

Beth shouldn’t be falling apart; it’s Faye’s true love who has killed himself, not hers. But the way Jack died is filling her head with noise. Will Jack’s actions push her over the edge? And what about Faye? Is Ethan the reason she’s coping? And is she really coping – on the inside? Why does Abbie need to walk away at the moment Beth needs her the most? And is the usually timid Olivia strong enough to support them all?

The Second Cup follows the lives of four friends as they each struggle to come to terms with Jack’s suicide.

(Sarah Marie Graye, August 2017)

Our Review

I rarely read women’s fiction and I felt somewhat apprehensive before I started reading the book, but after a couple of chapters I couldn’t put it down – the story is that enthralling.

Sarah Marie Graye has crafted very interesting characters; you have these four friends: Faye, Beth, Olivia and Abbie. They are very believable characters masterly fleshed out by the author. They have their quirks, early life traumas to cope with – their own marked personalities that sometimes clash with each other but they overcome all problems and stick together helping one another no matter what – what real friendship is about and these days this is getting rarer and rarer! This novel won’t leave you indifferent it will make you think about life, death, relationships and all that surrounds you. It certainly did that for me, during the day I found myself thinking about Faye, her friends and their dilemmas!

I like the way Sarah has put the novel together, from each chapter we get a different character POV and this is one of the reasons I find the novel so interesting because you can go into the mind of the different characters we then we can appreciate how good the author is at weaving all the story together.

The plot is centered around Faye and a lost love, she suffered greatly with this loss and she never completely overcomes it and one day after an incident she decides to look for that man and see how’s he doing…

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