Magic, Murder, and Lost Love Found – Guardian Launch Party!

Guardian is out today!  Woot!  Some of my favorite heroes have started out as the best friends of other heroes.  That’s what happened with Dr. Stefan Harper, the hero of Guardian, who first appeared in Renegade.  

The hero of that book, Griffin Dare, made a passing reference to him at the end of Chapter 1.  I hadn’t given him much thought at that point.

GuardianA couple of days later, I got to the second second scene of Chapter 2.  Griff (the renegade of the title and the top guy on the mages’ Most Wanted list) stepped out of the bedroom, where he’d been talking to the Valeria Banning, the injured heroine. 

There stood Stefan, waiting to tell Griff just how many ways rescuing the sheriff could go sideways but ready to help any way he could, no matter what the risk.  Stefan seemed to know who he was from the moment he and Griff made eye contact.

I decided I liked him.  So I left him pretty much as he was.  What I didn’t expect was that other people would like him enough to email me and tell me they hoped his book was next.   I can tell you, that was a huge and unexpected thrill.

I hate disappointing people, so I’m happy to say his book is not only next, it’s here!  Woot!  I am so excited.  Fill a plate from the buffet, give Sven your drink order, and pull up a chair because we’re partying to celebrate the arrival of Stefan and Mel’s book.

In Guardian, the ghoul threat intensifies as we learn more about them.  We also meet the woman Stefan loved, lost, and never forgot.  Here’s the blurb:

TORN APART BY MAGIC

Sworn to protect the mage world, Stefan Harper was forced to hide his powerful magic from the beautiful Mundane woman he loved as a student.  Backed into a corner one painful night long ago, he let Mel believe he’d been unfaithful rather than put her at risk by revealing who—and what—he was.  Now she’s back, and the attraction burns hotter than ever. 

REUNITED BY MURDER

FBI agent Camellia “Mel” Wray has vowed to avenge an old friend’s brutal murder. When the investigation requires forensic consultation by the only man she ever loved—and lost—one look at the gorgeous doctor makes Mel realize he’s still impossible to resist—and still harboring a secret.

A SECOND CHANCE AT LOVE

Caught in a deadly ghoul trap, Stefan has one chance to save the woman he loves.  He must take the risk he once avoided and reveal the full extent of his powers. Can Mel accept the unbelievable and trust him? Or will love cost them everything?

Creating Mel, I worked backward from Stefan.  He loved music, so it made sense that maybe she did, too.  He’s a member of the mage Council, enmeshed in that world, but not everybody wants to believe such things are possible.  If the woman he loved didn’t…then all sorts of possibilities opened up.

A lot of writers pick actors and model the characters after them.  I’ve never done that.  I tried it once, and the characters felt less mine.  So I come up with descriptions and then, when asked go looking for actors who resemble them.

With Stefan, again, no looking or work was involved.  I turned on the TV show Haven, Det. Nathan Wuornos, Haven PD, stepped into frame, and I grabbed the dh’s arm.  “Stefan,” I cried.  “That’s Stefan.”

Startled, the dh tried to make appropriate noises.  But I knew he didn’t really get how fortuitous it was that I just happened to look up and see Lucas Bryant.

He looks so much like Stefan, it’s uncanny.  Stefan’s hair is very dark and worn longer, and his eyes are brown, not blue, but he’s the same tall, lean but muscular body type and has the same angular, rugged face.  Here’s a link, which should open in a separate window, to Bryant’s photo on IMDb .

For Mel, I had to go looking.  I found Kathleen Munroe, also, coincidentally from Haven as well as  Alphas.  Here’s another IMDb link, which also should open in a separate window, to a photo of her.  Mel’s hair is shorter now, per FBI regulations, but it’s about the same color.  Munroe’s eyes could be Mel’s gray ones, they’re so light.

Before we get to the excerpt, is everybody having a good time?  Anyone need anything?  Sven’s making the rounds with petit fours.

Everybody good?  Okay, then.  Here’s a short excerpt:

“There’s other strange factors we’ve managed to keep a lid on,” Burton said.  The Wayfarer County Sheriff shook his head. “Report’s in the file, but I’ll go ahead and tell you, most of Miss Baldwin’s blood was gone, and what was left had a strange substance in it Milledge couldn’t identify. Like the Great Dismal case.”

Mel shook her head. “Curiouser and curiouser, as the saying goes. But you think the yard is the murder scene, even with no blood?”

“We do.” Rubbing his chin, he added, “There’s signs of a struggle in the grass. Anyway, Milledge recommended a toxicology consult, so I phoned the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Their top choice is a fellow who’s just an hour or so away.” His glance shifted past her. “And here he is.”

 Before Mel could turn around, a man spoke in a rich, clear baritone behind her. “Good morning, Angela, Corey,” he said to the clerk and dispatcher.

A shiver of recognition rocked through Mel. But surely this couldn’t be Stefan Harper. She risked a quick glance over her shoulder at the man strolling around the end of the counter and into the territory reserved for those with badges and weapons.

Oh, God, it was him.

Her heart skipped a beat. A buzz filled her ears, and she lost the thread of the sheriff’s comments. Stefan Harper. Voice of an archangel, hands of a sex god. Or so she’d once described him, back when she’d thought he was the one person who loved her completely, who was wholly in her corner.

Her mistake.

“Hey, Stefan.” Sheriff Burton walked forward to meet him.

Mel turned hastily back to the desk, toying with the paper in the file. She was over him, had been for years. So why wouldn’t her breathing settle? It must be the shock of seeing him. It could only be that.

Instead of the jeans and T-shirt combo he’d favored in med school, he wore a charcoal suit that fit as though it’d been tailored for him. Otherwise, he hadn’t changed in the past nine years. Same thick, dark hair neatly combed but in need of a trim. Same strong chin and straight, aristocratic nose. Same serious brown eyes with gold glints that never showed in photos.

Same generous mouth so adept at rousing her body.

Breathe, damn it.

“Thanks for coming,” Sheriff Burton said, his gravelly voice a sharp contrast to Stefan’s almost liquid one. “I don’t guess you’ve had a chance to go to the hospital yet.”

“No, sorry. I’ll listen in on the press conference from the back, then talk to the crime scene unit before I go to the morgue. Milledge agreed to meet me there.”

“That works. Come on, I’ll introduce you to the FBI agent working with us on this.”

Footsteps came closer. Mel steeled herself. Deep breath. In. Out. In.

“Stefan, this is Special Agent Wray. Mel, meet Dr. Stefan Harper, our medical consultant.”

Mel squared her shoulders and turned to greet the man who had broken her heart.

And things get tougher for them both from there.  If you want to read all of Chapter 1, it’s on my website.

renegade_finalIf you missed the first book, Renegade, Griff and Val’s story, this is the cover, which I truly love.

If you looked at the blog earlier and it’s not the same now, that’s because I did some editing.  I was informed I had buried the lead. *g*

I never posted my winner from the 26th.  Jane wins NetGalley access to read Guardian for free!

Forever Romance is giving one commenter today a chance to read Guardian for free via NetGalley.  So tell me, do you have a favorite hero you first met when he was serving as another hero’s best friend?  Do you have a favorite second chance at love story?

Jul 2 2013, 12:31 am in , , , , , 112 Comments

Comments

112 responses to “Magic, Murder, and Lost Love Found – Guardian Launch Party!”

  1. ki pha says:

    Well gosh, I love secondary characters who get his own book to become a hero. Isn’t that what series are all about? I love the friends turned heroes in Sarah MacLean’s The Rules of Scoundrels series and Jillian Stone’s heroes in The Gentlemen of Scotland Yard series. And of course Anna Randol’s Sinners Trio series, which starts off with a heroine and her two partners in crime heroes; which they too get their own stories told.

    • Ki, I think we ought to write a book about the Golden Rooster. Not sure it would be a romance. Perhaps a crime thriller!

    • Ki, I’ve had my eye on the Gentlemen of Scotland Yard but haven’t actually dived in. Are they best read in order?

      Congrats on the snagging the Golden Rooster.

      • ki pha says:

        Wow, Thanks for the Golden Rooster ladies. As for Jillian’s books in the Gentlemen of Scotland Yard, they don’t have to be read in order but Yes, I would prefer to read them in order. This way you get to see and know the friends before they get their own stories.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Uh-oh, Ki! You like series! The Golden ROoster may choose to be a series-ous threat to your peace of mind today! Hahaha!

      Have a good day with him. I’ll be interested in your answer to Nancy’s question as I too have been interested in that series…

    • Cassondra says:

      ki pha, you got the rooster!

      Congrats!

  2. Nancy, congratulations on your new release! Can’t wait to read it – as you know, I loved RENEGADE. Stefan was such a great character. I’m so glad he’s your next hero. There’s something about that protective alpha type, isn’t there? And I love that music’s such a bond for him with Mel. Love books featuring music, perhaps because it’s so important in my own life.

    OK, boys, point me at the margaritas!

    • Thanks, Anna. The music didn’t turn out to be as much of a motif as I’d hoped it would be, but there’s still some of it in there.

      I tend to go for alphas who are protective over those who are more disengaged. It’s fun to see Mr. Lone Wolf open up and care, too, though.

  3. Helen says:

    Nancy

    Huge congrats on the release I have been lucky enough to read this one and I loved it there is so much going on and I too loved Stefan in the first book so I was really pleased that he got his own and although a murder bought them back together it was great.

    I am loving this series 🙂

    I have read lots of characters from books that have gotten their own book but I can’t think of anyat the moment just got home from work to a drink and a massage would be awesome

    Have Fun
    Helen

  4. Beth Andrews says:

    Huge congrats on your latest release, Nancy! Can’t wait to read it *g* Loved the excerpt!

    I’m heading to the writing cave so I’ll just take a coffee to go, but I’ll be sure to pop back later to enjoy more of the celebration 🙂

    • Thanks, Beth! Good luck in the cave. I can’t wait to read the finished book!

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      *Waving at Beth’s departing back* Bye Beth! Go, write well! (I’m looking forward to the next Beth book too, Nancy!)

      I need more coffee, Beth has reminded me. Maybe Paolo will have some of that Coffee Additive I’m so fond of….Oh, Paolo!!

  5. Deb Marlowe says:

    Hooray! I’ve been waiting for this book! Read the first chapter in the back of one of the novellas and was hooked!

    Congrats, Nancy!

  6. gamistress66 says:

    Yahoo! Happy release day! 😀 great cover & sounds like a fab read 🙂 There’s been many a secondary char that I’ve fallen for & delighted in him getting his own hea (Joanna Bourne’s Hawker for instance), think that’s part of the charm of the series. Though there is one or two gents who I’m still waiting to read more on (Ms Campbell — hint hint). Enjoy your party Nancy, it’s well deserved 🙂 now to figure out how to move this from wish list to tbr without the pile toppling 😉

    • Thanks, Gamistress! Joanna Bourne is on my must-read list. I fear she’ll be like Lois McMaster Bujold–one look and I was sucked totally into everything she wrote.

      And I know what you mean about series and waiting. We have a lot of those who do that to me in the Lair.

      (I need to email you about something and will send it from my website email today–just a heads up to let you know in case it lands in spam. Thanks!)

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Yeah Anna! What she said!!

      Hey Gamistress66!! Isn’t that cover of Nancy’s just slurpy good? Love it!! Had to LOL about the toppling TBR, but this one will be SO worth the topple. I LOVE Stefan’s story!

  7. Dianna aka Hrdwrkdmom says:

    Hey gang, I scored a day off and I kept my backside in bed as long as possible. I could go with a little drink and something low carb to munch Sven.

    I was thrilled with Stefan’s story, he is so drool worthy!
    I have loved them all of course, I can’t wait for more. Write faster Nancy, you know how these addictions are. You have already kept me up so many nights now I think my sleep schedule has changed.
    I really liked the pictures matched to Mel and Stefan too, they were almost exactly how I had them pictured in my mind.

    • Dianna, I’m all in favor of sleeping in. I would’ve but, hey, launch day! *g*

      I’m so glad you’re enjoying the series–and so pleased to have kept you up at night! *g*

      It’s nice that your mental images of Stefan and Mel match the photos. I find that mine often don’t. I’ll read a book, imagine the characters, and then see the author point out someone who doesn’t even come close to the picture in my head!

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Le Sigh! The best compliment to a writer – we kept you up! Yeah!!

      (And yeah, Nancy, write faster!!)

  8. Deb says:

    OOOOOH, Nancy! Hurray for you and hurray for Stefan! I think Stefan was already in the back of your mind for a story, but perhaps you didn’t quite realize that? He sounds like a super hero (or would that be superhero?)!

    I think that JQ’s Colin Bridgerton seemed to always be a perfect hero and I liked the glimpses I got of him in the books before his own.

    Congrats again!!!!

    • Thanks, Deb! Maybe you’re right about Stefan being in the back of my mind already, just waiting for his chance.

      I’m glad you think he’s a super hero. I love him, too.

      I had to laugh at the spelling thing because as you used it, two words. But as a type of character (like with x-ray vision, flight powers, etc), I think it’s superhero.

      The Bridgertons are another series I need to read!

  9. Beth Miller says:

    Hi Nancy, I don’t need a free copy, but I’m just popping in to say congratulations and to have a margarita. I know it’s early, but hey, as my dad likes to say, “It’s 4 o’clock in the Canary Islands.”

    I love Stefan’s story (and Lucas Bryant’s sexy photo), and am so thrilled that Guardian is out in the world!

    • Thanks, Beth! Sven will be right over with that margarita. You know, Jimmy Buffet (I think it’s Buffet) has a song with the refrain “It’s 5 o’clock somewhere.” *g*

      I’d never heard of Lucas Bryant until I saw him on Haven, but he’s now one of my favorite actors. And not only because of Stefan!

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Heehee…Canary Islands…heehee…

      Yup, Buffett and I are on the same page! It’s 5 o’clock SOMEWHERE (usually in Aus, when I’m justifying things, but the Canary Islands will do too!!)

      SVEN!! Is he still massaging Helen? Rascal! Paolo can’t find the high-test Coffee Additive (also known as Baileys).

      JT, did the Goddess Sangria drink all the Baileys again?

    • Cassondra says:

      Welcome Beth!

      Watch out for the dragon. I think she saw some of the mages tossing lightning bolts around in the back yard, and it’s gotten her all riled up.

  10. Cassondra says:

    Wooohooo! Release party in the lair!

    I love this story, Nancy, and so happy to see it out in the world.

    In truth, lean guys like the picture of Stefan are more what I like than the beefy built-up guys.

    • Thanks, Cassondra. I love it, too.

      I also tend more toward the lean types than the linebackers, who have a huge following too. To each her own!

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Hahah! I’m an equal-opportunity ooogler. Snork!

      Love men in all shapes and forms – with the possible exception being really short men – but hey, to each her own.

      Nancy, I can’t wait for you to see Man of Steel. There’s a scene in the opening where Clark is having to steal clothes from a clothes line…..ohhhhhh, chest hair!! Muscles! Yum!!

      • Okay, it is so unfair to taunt me with super-powered eye candy. I can’t wait for me to see it, either, though it has gotten mixed reviews.

        And no S on the cape. And no red trunks.

        Just sayin’…

        • Jeanne Adams says:

          Yep, lots I didn’t like, and a bunch of connundrums I couldn’t help but wonder over, but hey….eye candy. And Kevin Costner being…Kevin Costner, midwestern farmer. :> He’s great. Then there’s Russell Crowe….ummmmm.

      • Best scene in a SUPERMAN movie ever!! Yum. But then Henry Clavill stole my heart in the TUDORS!

        • I saw him in an interview on YouTube. Unless it was totally scripted, always a possibility, he was able to discuss the Tudor period with surprising depth.

          And he really does look the part of Superman.

  11. Jeanne Adams says:

    Nancy!! FInally!!! I’m so, so excited that GUARDIAN is out today!

    Like Anna S., I awoke to the trill of my Kindle signaling a download…GUARDIAN!! Even tho I’ve already read it, I’m so excited to read it again. I can’t get enough of Stefan. I loved Griff – still do! – but Oh! Stefan! Grins. (I feel this way about Matthew, from Anna’s Untouched, as you already know)

    Sometimes one of those heroes just gets to you and Stefan’s it for me. Grins. Yummy. As I said, if Mel hadn’t gotten there first….

    CONGRATS on the fabulous Launch of GUARDIAN. And big cover love for this one too. Slurp!!

    • Thanks, Duchesse! I do love that cover.

      I revised after you read, so there may be things that’re new to you. We’ll see.

      I love Stefan, too, and it’s gratifying that people respond to him this way.

  12. Woot! Woot! Party in the Lair!!! Congratulations, Nancy!

    I would’ve been here sooner but I was over on another page, staring soulfully into the eyes of Stefan–er, Lucas Bryant. I’m pretty sure he was staring soulfully back at me…

    Where was I? Oh yeah! Party! Paolo, pass me the pupu platter please? And I’ll have one of those lovely pink fruity drinks. You call it Pink Peril? Then I most definitely will have one. 🙂

    Sooooooo excited to finally get my hands on GUARDIAN! I love to see wonderful secondary characters get their own story and Stefan deserves his own happy ending. 😉 Yay! I’m off to check my Kindle. Congrats, again, Nancy!

    • Thanks, Kate! I hope you enjoy Guardian.

      Oooh, Pink Peril sounds yummy.

      I’m not surprised you were distracted by that photo. The rest of the slideshow on that page isn’t bad, either. 🙂

      Thanks again!

  13. Dianna Love says:

    Congratulations, Nancy, on your latest release!!! So ready to settle down with The Guardian, as soon as I’m at my next reading break. Sounds wonderful!!!

  14. Anna Sugden says:

    Popping out of my writing cave for a couple of mojitos to celebrate the launch of Guardian! I’m so thrilled this book is out as I’ve been a fan of Stefan’s for ages! [when I read a rough draft of Renegade ages ago! So, I feel really he’s mine *g*]

    As you know, I loved the whole Nightkeepers gang and was eager to find out how they partnered up and who would fall for whom. I think the character that stands out for me though is Linda Howard’s Kell Sabin from a really old Silhouette novel called Diamond Bay – he also appeared in Midnight Rainbows and White Lies – something about him caught my attention and I had to chase up Diamond Bay to read his story.

    • Anna Sugden says:

      Oh, and Lorraine Heath’s Jack Dodger from Between the Devil and Desire, who appeared in earlier books in the series. 😉

    • Anna, thanks for popping out to join us! I’m so glad you like Stefan. He seems to have more fans than I suspected. 🙂

      You know I loved the Nightkeepers, too, and I’m glad to see Jess may be revisiting that world.

      I don’t know these others you mentioned, but they sound intriguing.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      So THAT’s where the hockey hunks have been dashing off to! They’re keeping you supplied with nosh and beverage down in the writing cave, I see! :> Wondered about that!

      All to the good, though. We’ll soon have your debut (Sept. right?) and then MORE! More! More!

  15. Woohoo – Guardian is OUT!

    Loved that excerpt, Nancy – very, very hot.

    Loved the cover as well.

    You know – I was just thinking that I haven’t done a second chance at love book. I need to correct that – maybe with Phineas 🙂 I do love second chance stories though So much great instant conflict and you can get to the “good stuff” so much faster.

    Now let’s get to some serious partying!

  16. Nancy, congrats on the new release! I got the notice late last night that it had downloaded to my Kindle. Woohoo!

    And even if I didn’t know you and didn’t already love the ideas involved in your series, you would have had me at Lucas Bryant/Nathan Wuornos! 🙂 I love him on Haven. Speaking of, when does Haven come back on? I want to know what happens next!

    • Thanks, Trish! I hope you enjoy Guardian.

      Yeah, Lucas Bryant is great. He is not, however, on Twitter, unlike his costars.

      I think Haven comes back in the fall. I’m eager to see it, but I bet the sojourn in the barn squashes the Lucas/Audrey thing, seeing as she usually returns as someone else.

      There’s a great blog about Haven: havenmaine.blogspot.com

      I wish they were coming to Dragon*Con!

      • I know. Wish he were on Twitter, and yes a Haven panel would be awesome at Dragon*Con. I’m hoping that for some reason Audrey comes back as herself, or at least there’s something still there with Nathan. I would HATE to see that go away.

  17. Caren Crane says:

    Hooray! Guardian is on my Kindle now! I’ve been anxious for this book ever since I read Protector. I’m so glad my wait is over – and just in time for the holiday, too!

    I do love when the best friend (or brother) from one book gets his own book. Those are my favorite kinds of series! I loved Rance Welham, the Earl of Lazonby, in Liz Carlyle’s The Bride Wore Pearls (the half-Indian heroine is also amazing!). He was a friend and colleague of Lord Bessett in the St. James Society.

    Actually, I adore this series and wish there were many more of them. All the men (and women!) in the Society are fascinating characters.

    • Thank you, Caren! I hope you like it.

      Funny you should mention The Bride Wore Pearls. I just picked that up. Isn’t Rance Wellham a cool name? This is my introduction to the Society. Is there another I should read first?

  18. Heathercm2001 says:

    Congratulations!!!!

  19. Terri Osburn says:

    *slides into the party, snagging a drink off Sven’s tray*

    I love this book! Actually, I love the whole series. Finished Protector last week, then slid into my ARC of Guardian, which I’m loving. I knew the minute Steph showed up in Renegade he was hero material. So happy you thought so too.

    I’m writing the best friend of my hero from book 1 right now, and he’s a little more reluctant to be in the spotlight. But he’s a good guy and doing his best to cooperate. Now if the heroine would stop fighting to stay in the shadows, this could work.

    What’s up next in this series? It’s Will Davis, right? RIGHT??

    • Cassondra says:

      Hi Terri!

      I’ll let Nancy spill the beans, but I”ll tell you that I’ve gotten a little preview of some of the upcoming heroes and Oh. My. Gosh.

      Will is just yummy, btw. He’s one of my favorites. I love the way he and Griff snipe at each other. It’s so clear that they ‘d each step in front of a bullet for the other, but it’s constant “You are so lame.” “You know you want me” “Yeah, I’ll kick your a**” Guy speak for “I care.”

      • Terri Osburn says:

        Exactly. And with a guy like Will, who enjoys women but keeps them at a distance to avoid commitment, you know he’s going to fall hard. I can’t wait to watch that happen.

        • Thanks, y’all, for having such faith in Will. As Cassondra says and Terri points out, he’s Mr. Keepin’ it Light pretty much all the time in his personal life, but he’s a good man to have at your back.

          If you want to see what Will looks like, the closest actor I’ve seen–and he’s pretty close–is Eric Christian Olsen of NCIS: LA.

    • Thank you, Terri. I appreciate that.

      I loved Meant to Be, so I’m wondering, is this Randy? ‘Cause he’s sooo cool.

      And yes, Will is next. There may or may not be a novella first, but the next full-length book is Will’s. The working title is Warrior. There’s a pivotal discovery in the swamp, and we’ll see what kind of woman it takes to get past his shell of breezy charm and touch his heart.

      • Terri Osburn says:

        Yes, I’m writing Randy. He’s so low-key, it’s been hard to get into his head. But we’re working on it.

        Oh good! Now I need to go google that actor. I admit, I see Steph as a lot broader than that actor you mention. That’s why it’s nice we all get to picture them how we want. I can’t use model/actor stand ins either.

        • I’m glad it’s Randy! He’s great.

          I think we all have images in our heads. The author of a series I love mentioned the actor who inspired the hero…and he was SOOOO not my mental picture! But that’s the joy of reading, owning part of the creation.

  20. Jane says:

    Sorry I’m late to the party. Happy Release Day, Nancy. I just read Jill Shalvis’ “It Had to Be You” and we met one of the hero’s best friend. He’s going to be the hero in the next book in the series.

    • Cassondra says:

      Jane, I just got this book on my kindle. I LOVE Jill Shalvis. Her friendships and relationships in Lucky Harbor are my favorite thing about her writing. I love the first three Animal Magnetism novels for the same reason. Those three brothers just make me want to go to work at that vet clinic.

      • Cassondra, I’ve forgotten which brother is which, but my favorite is the one who does search and rescue. Great series! And the duck in the first book was sooo funny–used just enough to add humor and not enough to become annoying.

    • Thanks, Jane! I hope you noticed you won last week, and I’ll be in touch about that by email from my website email.

      I discovered Jill Shalvis after winning one of her books off a blog, and I love Lucky Harbor. And Animal Magnetism. I haven’t read the other two series, but these are great.

  21. Janga says:

    Congratulations, Nancy! Guardian is on my Kindle already, high on the TBR list.

    One of the upcoming books I’m most excited about is Connie Brockway’s No Place for a Dame, which releases September 10. I’ve been waiting sixteen years for Giles, Lord Strand to get his book.

    Second chance at love is one of my favorite tropes. Many of the books on my all-time top 100 list use this theme. Among them Jane Austen’s Persuasion, Eloisa James’s This Duchess of Mine, and Kathleen Gilles Seidel’s Till the Stars Fall.

    • Thanks, Janga! I hope you enjoy Guardian.

      I love Connie Brockway. The book I’ve been waiting for would be a followup to Dearest Enemy, my favorite of hers.

      Till the Stars Fall is on my keeper shelf! I so love that book–and that song, Cinnamon Starlight–and how there is, in fact, life after rock and roll. A fabulous book!

      I also loved Seidel’s Again, though it’s not a second chance at love story, and the one about film preservation–Maybe This Time?

      I haven’t yet read This Duchess Mine. I got confused about where I was in the duchesses series.

      • Janga says:

        Nancy, This Duchess of Mine is the fifth book in the Desperate Duchesses series. It is the book in which Jemma and Elijah finally reconcile. There was much discussion before its publication about whether or not they should reconcile. Some readers wanted her to end up with Villiers. As a committed Jeli (a term coined by Elyssa Patrick to describe readers who wanted Jemma and Elijah to reunite), I practically hyperventilated waiting for TDOM.

    • Janga, I love Connie Brockway’s books so I’m thrilled to hear that! Thanks for letting us know!

  22. YEAH!!! GUARDIAN is here!!! Whoohoo!! Congrats, Nancy!

    Love the excerpt! And Stephan…Oh my!

    Heroes I’ve fallen in love with? Well, yes. But unfortunately, they’re all waiting their turns right now for their books. (Isn’t it fun when readers write and ask if so-and-so is next?)

  23. Cassondra says:

    Okay I should answer the questions.

    Lessee…Favorite hero who started as secondary best friend?–That’s a tough one, but yes. In the Animal Magnetism series by Jill Shalvis, Dell’s story is my favorite so far. I fell in love with Dell in Brady’s story. I have the third in that series, but haven’t read it yet.

    I also like her three pilots in the Sky High Air series. I’m on the second book in that series too, but so far I’m loving this hero. I think I’m going to like Brody’s story more than any though…there’s just something about spending time with a character in a supporting role that makes it so much more powerful when he gets his own story.

    I don’t know if I could choose a favorite second chance at love story. They are one of my favorite kinds though. I never get tired of them. The history makes for such great conflict.

    • Cassondra, as you know, I recently discovered Jill Shalvis and love her books. I’ve only read the Lucky Harbor and Animal Magnetism series, though. I’ll have to look at Sky High Air.

  24. Hic! Emerging from margarita-fueled slumber to check out the shenanigans! And shenanigans there are – Paolo get down off that plinth. I know Christina Brooke has a thing for naked Greek Gods (you’ll have to read her LONDON’S LAST TRUE SCOUNDREL to find out why) but that doesn’t mean you need to go waving in the breeze like that. What’s that? NANCY asked you to pose! Nancy, you wicked thing! I always thought you were the voice of common sense in the lair. Clearly the release of GUARDIAN has gone to your head! I wondered why Sven ran past me with a scared look on his face. I thought Ermingarde had got frisky again!

  25. Minna says:

    I’ve read many, many books about hero’s best friend, but only one I can think of (since I just read it) is Midnight Sins (and of course Hotter After Midnight, the 1st book in the series) by Cynthia Eden.

  26. Wow–I go out to run some errands, and the party swings into high gear!

    Y’know, this is actually a multi-release day in the Lair. Christina Brooke’s London’s Last Scoundrel is out today, and she’s chatting about it on http://www.theromancedish.com, today and here tomorrow.

    Anna Campbell’s newest novella, Days of Rakes and Roses, is also out today. Anna’s talking about that over on Liz Fielding’s blog: http://www.lizfielding.blogspot.com.au/2013/07/revelling-in-reunion.html

  27. WAHOOO!!!!!!!!!! GUARDIAN is out today! I’ve been looking forward to this book ever since I melted all over the pages of RENEGADE for the love of Dr. Stefan.

    My favourite stories to write and read are reunion stories. I think it’s because the depth of emotion is right there from the start, as exemplified beautifully in your wonderful excerpt, Nancy. I can’t wait to read this one! Happy release day!

  28. Susan Sey says:

    Hey, Nancy! Congrats on the big release day! I can’t wait to get my hands on Stefan’s story! I love a second-chance-at-love story! And I’m such a sucker for the best-friend-gets-his-own-story thing! Most of my favorite heroes come along that way. In fact, my VERY favorite trope is the villian-to-hero story line. I just love a guy in need of a good redeeming….

  29. Joan Kayse says:

    Yay Nancy’s next Mage book is out!!!!!

    Read it people.

    I mean it.

    Ahhh…that’s what I like..the sound of downloading, online buying and the engines starting to go to the bookstore.

    Congrats Nancy!

  30. pjpuppymom says:

    Congratulations, Nancy! As you know, I loved GUARDIAN. Have to say, Stefan was so worth the wait! ♥

  31. Yay!! Congrats, Nancy!!! I can’t wait to read this one! I’ve been waiting forever for it!

  32. Congratulations on your release, Nancy!! I just love books where the secondary characters get their own story. It’s fun as a reader, but also as an author. You come to know these people so well, that it is very natural to give them their own obstacles to love and happiness. I truly enjoyed Mel and Stefan’s story. Wishing you the best of success with the release.

  33. Allison W says:

    This sounds like a great new series! Congrats on the release, Its added to my TBR!!

  34. Sorry I’ve been gone a while. My guys took me out to dinner to celebrate. 🙂

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