Seducing the Groom by Cheryl Holt-Review and Interview
ebook only .99¢ at time of posting: Amazon link not available until release date
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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date October 30, 2014
Stephen St. John, Viscount Banbury, is in a bind. His father has cut off his allowance, so he’s had to rein in his decadent habits and split with his beautiful, spoiled mistress whom he can no longer afford. When an American heiress comes to London and dangles her fortune in Stephen’s direction, he sees it as the answer to his prayers. He’ll wed the pretty, delectable heiress, but he won’t let her interfere with his decadent lifestyle. He’s a confirmed bachelor and determined to have a marriage of convenience.
Ellen Foster has traveled to London for the express purpose of buying a titled husband. She’s been husband shopping for months and can’t make up her mind. All the available candidates seem tepid and boring. But when she lays eyes on handsome, dashing Stephen St. John, she knows he’s the one, and with her large fortune as bait, he’s easily snared in her web.
When he suggests a marriage of convenience, she pretends to agree. But she has no intention of living separate lives. She plans to enjoy every delightful, wicked minute that marriage to a rake can provide. With Stephen determined to avoid her, seduction seems the only choice.
Though Stephen doesn’t realize it, Ellen always gets her way, and as she turns their bedchamber into a den of erotic pleasure, poor Stephen doesn’t stand a chance…
4 out of 5 for this reader folks!
Well that was a sassy, naughty historical read. I enjoyed that!
Seducing the Groom by Cheryl Holt is a historical erotica novella about a bride taking care of her business on her wedding night. Ellen Foster, American heiress has just married notorious English rake Stephen St. Jean. Stephen has been cut off from his family and is in dire need of a prosperous union. When he agrees to marry Ellen, little does he know that this seemingly proper heiress has been spinning her web and will ensure that this so called “proper marriage” is more naughty than proper. On their wedding night, Ellen poses as the aloof bride while parading around tempting her groom. Stephen is taken back when his bride appears to be anything but interested, which funny enough, gets his clock ticking. Off we go on a naughty cat and mouse chase that stirs the blood, makes you smile and believe that a little deceit can go a long way.
A pretty quick read. I did find it a little flowery at times, but that is complimentary to the historical genre. I suppose that means I like my smut a little more modern even when it’s displayed in a different genre. That being said, I have discovered a new author in one of my fave genre’s and I look forward to reading more by her.
Like a quick yummy read with a splash of vixen and rake … check this one out!
Copy supplied by the publisher
Reviewed by Rachel T.
TRC: Hi Cheryl. Welcome to The Reading Cafe. Congratulations on the upcoming release of SEDUCING THE GROOM.
We would like to start with some background information. Would you please tell us something about yourself?
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Cheryl: I have been writing for twenty years and published for 14 of them. I am a New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon “Top 100” author. I’m considered one of the masters of the romance genre, and for years, I was hailed as the “Queen” of erotic romance. I don’t write erotics anymore. But I do write some of the most wicked, driven characters in the world, so I’m also known as the International Queen of Villains. I’m currently writing Novel #38.
TRC: With the numerous degrees to your name including a career as a lawyer, who or what was behind your decision to become an author?
Cheryl: I started writing novels because I had two babies back to back, and I was suddenly stuck at home, and trying to figure out how to earn an income at home to replace the one I’d lost by leaving the workforce. There aren’t many options for a woman who wants to work at home, and most of them involve selling cosmetics or something like that. I don’t have the skills to sell things, and I’d always thought I might write a book someday. I jumped into it—when I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. I just forged ahead and figured it out in a big way.
TRC: Would you please tell us something about your latest release- SEDUCING THE GROOM?
Cheryl: My new book, SEDUCING THE GROOM, is a sort of “lost” book for me. I originally wrote it in 2004, when I was just starting to be acclaimed as the Queen of erotics. It was published in an erotic anthology, but the price was $15.00 so very few people bought it or read it. The rights recently reverted to me, so I’m releasing the book myself, and I’m excited that everyone will finally have a chance to read it.
My books are set in Regency England, which is early 1800s London. The hero is a rake and confirmed bachelor who—due to his extravagant living—has had his allowance cut off by his aristocratic father. He’s desperate to refill his bank accounts, and he meets and weds an American heiress who’s in London and looking for a husband.
He hardly knows her, but weds her merely to spite his father. Before the wedding, he tells her that he’d like to have a marriage of convenience, and she pretends to agree. In reality, she has no intention of living through a chaste marriage, and she sets about to seduce him on their wedding night.
TRC: Is SEDUCING THE GROOM a stand alone storyline or part of a series?
Cheryl: The book is a stand-alone story.
TRC: What are your thoughts on historical accuracy when writing a fictional historical romance novel? Do you believe the readers want historical accuracy in the storyline?
Cheryl: I think readers want and like historical accuracy in a book, but in my case, my plots aren’t ever dependent on a historical event. They are simply set in a certain time period—the Regency Period in England, which is the favorite time period for romance readers—so I know all the fashions and carriages and that sort of thing. I don’t have to do research for each book, because I know the historical details to put into the story. My historicals have more to do with the historical setting (particularly the restrictions placed on women during that era) than actual historical events, and the plots never revolve around historical events. However, during this period, there were plenty of wars raging, so many times, my heroes are war veterans or have fought in famous battles.
TRC: When writing a storyline, do the characters direct the writing or do you direct the characters?
Cheryl: I direct the characters; the characters never direct me. I always have several storylines in a book, and I have lots of plot twists and turns, so I can’t let the characters just go off on their own, or they’d never arrive at the places they’re supposed to be at the appropriate plot points.
I do an enormous amount of prep work before I ever start writing the rough draft. I write in-depth storylines, and I block out chapters and scenes before I ever type the first word. When I finally sit down at the computer to write, I know exactly what will happen in each chapter and each scene.
TRC: The mark of a good writer is to pull the reader into the storyline so that they experience the emotions along with the characters. What do you believe a writer must do to make this happen? Where do you believe writer’s fail in this endeavor?
Cheryl: In my books, I always use larger than life characters, and the stakes are always very high for the characters—particularly the heroine. I like her to be in dire straits because it pushes her to make choices she wouldn’t usually make. I also always use very macho, very tough heroes. They’re the kind of men who bluster through life, taking what they want without regard to the consequences. And I use very wicked, very driven villains who will do whatever is necessary to achieve their goals.
These bigger choices mean that I can include much bigger “scenes”, with lots of emotion, heartbreak, and betrayal. Lots of “stuff” happens in my books. People get killed, people get betrayed, people have their dreams dashed. I use big issues and big characters and big events, so that when readers get to a certain plot point, they’re shocked or hurt or enraged or emotionally drained right along with the characters.
I think writers fail at raising the emotional temperature in their books because they don’t make big choices. They don’t raise the stakes for their characters, and if the stakes are low or non-existent, there’s very little “feeling” to the writing. I think this is a particular problem in the romance genre, where the books are more often simply a character study that examines how two people meet and fall in love. But if the characters are nice to each other in the beginning, nice in the middle, and nice at the end, there’s no character arc and nowhere for the story to go.
TRC: Writer’s Block is a very real phenomenon. How do you handle the pressures and anxiety of writer’s block?
Cheryl: I don’t ever suffer writer’s block. I have been doing this for many years, and I’m very experienced as a writer. As I mentioned above, I block out my books before I ever start writing the first page. So when I sit down at my computer in the morning to get to work, I know precisely where I am in the story and what has to happen in the scene I’m writing.
I always tell new writers that the “cure” for writer’s block is to get more experienced as a writer. Finish the book you’re working on, then start the next one. Finish it, and move on to the next one. With each book a writer finishes, he or she becomes much more experienced and has a clearer of idea of how to get from the beginning to the end. Experience will insure that you don’t get lost in the middle.
TRC: What challenges or difficulties (research, logistics, background) did you encounter writing this particular story and series?
Cheryl: I didn’t have any challenges or difficulties.
TRC: Many authors bounce ideas and information with other authors or friends and family. With whom do you bounce ideas?
Cheryl: I don’t bounce ideas off anyone. I constantly have new ideas pop into my head, and I always jot them down. When I get ready to start a new book, I go to my list of ideas, pick one, and get started. I have a great “feel” for story and characters, and I know what works and what doesn’t in my stories. I don’t need to bounce ideas off anyone.
TRC: On what are you currently working?
Cheryl: Currently, I’m working on my next trilogy, which will be novels #37, #38, and #39 for me. I’m calling it the “Lost Lords of Radcliffe,” but I’m not ready to release much more info than that. I have a big book launch coming in January, and I’ll spread all the details then What I can tell you is that when I finished my last trilogy, my Reluctant Brides, the 3rd and final book was titled, WONDERFUL. I left a plot line dangling, so I could move one of the characters into my next series of books.
The three books of the Lost Lords trilogy tell the stories of the Blair siblings. When they were very young children, their mother was convicted of a crime and sent to the penal colonies in Australia. Her four children were left behind in England and cast to the winds of fate. In WONDERFUL, two of the siblings cross paths by accident. In the new Lost Lords trilogy, they begin the search for their other lost siblings, and they begin the fight to reclaim their stolen heritage.
TRC: What three things would you like to accomplish in the next five years?
Cheryl: I have a three-year goal right now—rather than a five-year one. My main goal over the next three years is to finish 11 more novels, so that in three years, I will have written 50 novels. I can write 3-4 books per year now, so I think I should be able to get there with no problem.
TRC: What is something that few, if any people, know about you?
Cheryl: If I’d known how to make a different life happen for myself when I was younger, I would have been a singer and songwriter.
Favorite Food—potatoes, cooked any style
Favorite Dessert—anything chocolate
Favorite TV Show—Chopped on HGTV
Last Movie You Saw—Guardians of the Galaxy
Dark or Milk Chocolate—Milk Chocolate
Secret Celebrity Crush—none
Last Vacation Destination—Oahu in Hawaii
Pet Peeve—people who read their emails, but don’t answer them! Or who read their text messages but don’t answer them! Or who never listen to their voicemail!
TRC: Thank you Cheryl for taking the time to answers our questions. We wish you all the best.