Alyssa J Montgomery Uncovered

Tell us about your new release The Irredeemable Prince. How did it come into being? What was your Eureka! Moment?

Kate Cuthbert, Managing Editor at Escape Publishing, spoke to me last August about building on the success of The Defiant Princess and writing a royalty series. The Irredeemable Prince is book 2 in the Royal Affairs series, The Formidable King will be book 3 and I’m currently working on the fourth book.

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The story actually grew from the idea I had from the heroine’s job. The reviewers on NetGalley and Goodreads have nearly all commented on the twists and turns in the plot and how events “blindsided” them “in a good way”. I’ve really tried to keep the plot fresh and unpredictable. It was interesting for me to write the story as I actually had some “AH! Really? Is that what happened?” moments myself as the plot suddenly took a turn that I hadn’t even seen coming until I was there writing it!

Can you give us a little tease of the relationships we should expect Prince Devereaux to have? Devereaux really isn’t in a position where he’s able to have a serious relationship, yet he’s drawn to the heroine anyway. Not only does he find her very physically attractive, but he also admires her spunk and professionalism. He’s used to women falling at his feet, and finds the heroine’s unwillingness to do so a definite challenge. Sorry to be cagey, but I really don’t want to say too much more!

What draws you to Prince Devereaux’s qualities as a hero?

He has a strong sense of family loyalty and a commitment to justice. He wants to protect those around him. He’s confident and doesn’t need to broadcast his achievements to the world. But, he’s also in a rut—focussing too hard on one goal and in danger of damaging his relationship with his brother in the pursuit of that goal and that’s where the heroine steps in and makes him re-evaluate his priorities.

What kind of heroine/s can we expect within the pages of The Irredeemable Prince?

She’s smart, determined, very capable professionally, very intuitive and more than capable of giving back everything she gets in a battle of wills. On a personal level, however, she’s been very disillusioned and that has shaken her confidence, especially her ability to trust her own judgement in a personal relationship arena.

What came first, the plot or the characters?

The characters.

What began your romance writing career?

One of my sisters and I started writing a romance together when I was home from university on summer break. We didn’t finish it, but she always encouraged me to write. It was when I had my first children (twins) that I started back into writing in earnest while I was on maternity leave from my speech pathology practice.

What draws you to the glamorous world of billionaires and royalty we see in your other books?

It is the glamour. Who wouldn’t want to have all the luxuries at their fingertips? However, it’s delving into the psyche of these characters and understanding that they’re “real” people with flaws and fears and insecurities that all their royal titles and billions of dollars can’t address. I’m drawn to “understanding” them and “helping” them to find love so they can work through their fears/insecurities or any baggage they have. Yes, I talk as though they are real people, and whilst I know they’re not, they do become very real in my mind.

What are your favourite books/authors to read? What draws you to those books?

My all time favourite author is Tom Clancy, but unfortunately his works are all so huge that I’ve only read one of his stories since I had my first children, as I’m a dreadfully undisciplined “have to finish the book” reader. I stayed up until 4.30am with the last Tom Clancy I bought, then had to function with twin babies the next day! Now, I favour quicker end-of-the-day reads. I love the humour in Julia Quinn’s regency books (also try Cassandra Samuels for regency humour!); and Harlequin author Julia James. Romance is a great genre where I’m guaranteed a HEA ending, and an escape from the manic pace of my day…and also from the heaviness of the day sometimes, as I work with some children in my private speech pathology practice who have very significant communication needs and that can be heavy going and sometimes heart-wrenching.

Where do you like to write? What is your process like?

I mainly write in my dedicated writing room. I snatch time whenever I can—sometimes it’s until the early hours of the morning. I don’t tend to sleep for long, so if I go to bed by 10.30pm, I’m usually awake by 3am and might start at the computer then. Process? That would be good! I’m all over the place. Sometimes I start with a clear character in mind, other times it’s a scene or it might be a trope I set out to write. Sometimes I plot, other times I sit down and just write and write…then I go back and look hard at the plot and do an analysis of each chapter…I wish I had a set routine, but I don’t.

Tigger under my desk photo - Alyssa

Tigger, under my writing desk

Can you give any advice to aspiring authors out there?

Know your characters well. Keep writing. Enter contests and read through the feedback (some will resonate with you and some won’t, but if you keep getting the same comments from judges/readers, then you need to strengthen those areas). Join RWA and a local group or the distance mentoring program, and go to as many workshops/conferences as you can. Look at your writing as a craft. I hope that each book I write, I improve. Be objective—your writing doesn’t define who you are, it’s just one small part of you, so don’t take critical comments to heart…learn from them, grasp them thankfully.

What is some of the best writing advice you have received?

From Melanie Milburne: The “Delete” key can be your friend!

What do you do when you’re not writing?

I still have three children (well two are now 18 and in their HSC year…so technically adults!) at home. I wanted most in life to find my soul mate and be a mum and I have been fortunate enough to be living the dream. Both my husband and I are very involved with our kids and all they do. Just this week, I’ve been up at a state cross-country carnival, will be at two netball carnivals, two netball training sessions and one club netball game, an athletics carnival and ferrying the youngest to swimming squad (thankfully the older two have their licences now and drive themselves!).

I’m a speech pathologist in private practice and I’ve attended a national conference in the last week in Sydney.

We live on five acres and there’s always gardening to do, animals that require attention twice a day, and I enjoy meeting with girlfriends for lunch at least once a term, and having friends over for dinner as often as possible.

Any quirky hobbies?

Nothing quirky. I enjoy tennis, gardening, snow-skiing, sailing and horse-riding. I’ve done quite a bit of international travelling with my family over the last ten years and I love experiencing different countries and cultures.

I hear you have quite a menagerie of animals at home? Do they help or hinder the writing process?

Bugsy at the front door! - Alyssa

We have two horses and a Shetland pony, almost 50 hens/roosters (although the population is decreasing thanks to a local fox as our poultry is free range during the day and they wander all over our 5 acres and up the road and into the neighbour’s paddocks, only returning to their houses at night to be locked up safely), four goats (we had to give a couple away as they were the ring leaders in getting the mob out and into the garden!), and our beloved dog Tigger, who will often keep me company in my writing room and puts up with my ecstatic happy hugs when I finish a story or have an idea that makes me really ecstatic!

the goats - Alyssa

We were horse-riding at a local beach recently and an off-leash dog attacked one of our horses and locked on to his chest. That was a horribly fraught and frightening episode and our poor horse required a lot of medical attention and daily injections for over a week afterwards, so things like that happen with animals and definitely hinder the writing process as I have to find more time in the day to deal with animal needs.

With our horses - Alyssa


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The ultimate royal bad boy is about to meet his match…

If one ever needs to find Prince Devereaux of Santaliana, one needs only look for the nearest newspaper: His Royal Highness is sure to be splashed across the scandal pages…

But enough is enough, and Prince Devereaux’s formidable brother King Gabriel is stepping in. No more night clubs, no more drinking, absolutely no more one-night-stands with up-and-coming models. Devereaux will step into his responsibilities, or he will be cut off.

For his own reasons, Devereaux submits to the stipulations that his brother sets out, even as he chafes at the restrictions. But the recalcitrant prince is about to find out that self-improvement can be surprisingly seductive..

Available now!

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Feed Your Reader: A Scandalous Royal Romance

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The ultimate royal bad boy is about to meet his match…

If one ever needs to find Prince Devereaux of Santaliana, one needs only look for the nearest newspaper: His Royal Highness is sure to be splashed across the scandal pages…

But enough is enough, and Prince Devereaux’s formidable brother King Gabriel is stepping in. No more night clubs, no more drinking, absolutely no more one-night-stands with up-and-coming models. Devereaux will step into his responsibilities, or he will be cut off.

For his own reasons, Devereaux submits to the stipulations that his brother sets out, even as he chafes at the restrictions. But the recalcitrant prince is about to find out that self-improvement can be surprisingly seductive..


Available Now!

Exclusive Excerpt: The Irredeemable Prince

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The ultimate royal bad boy is about to meet his match…


Your bad boy image isn’t something the press has over-exaggerated, is it?’ Mackenzie accused.

Prince Devereaux crossed his arms over his broad chest and an unrepentant smile spread across his mouth. ‘No.’

She hesitated. ‘It’s going to be very difficult to change public perspective.’

So, you’ll be tearing up the contract, refunding the huge deposit my brother has already paid you and flying back to England?’

Although the words were drawled lazily, she detected an energetic undertow designed to pull her in the direction he suggested. His words were a temptation, but he was in for a hell of a shock.

Mac was no quitter.

Despite every shred of sense that warned her that ripping up the contract was the safest course to follow, a stubborn streak bubbled to the surface.

I said it would be difficult to change public perspective. I didn’t say it would be impossible.’

He uncrossed his arms and his smile thinned. ‘But, be honest, that’s what you’re thinking.’

You’re going to resist any change I suggest, aren’t you?’

Absolutely.’ His tone was resolute, his expression unapologetic.

So, I may as well quit now?’

He smiled. ‘You’ve got the picture.’

She stared him down. ‘I intend to fulfil this contract and there are a few things we need to get straight from the outset. You’re my client, but make no mistake about who’s in charge. From now on you’re going to do what I tell you, when I tell you, and exactly how I tell you to do it.’

He held her regard for the longest ten seconds of her life, his expression one of idle amusement. ‘I like a woman who wants to be on top of the situation.’ There was no missing the double entendre. ‘In fact, I can picture you there.’

Mac tried to ignore the prickling heat which spread across her chest like a blazing bushfire. ‘Really? I can picture you with a tomahawk through your skull.’ He burst out laughing, but she ignored him. ‘I’m sure I’m not the only one to have visualised the image. It’s probably only been the presence of your royal bodyguards to have saved you from such a fate.’

Oh, Mackenzie. So much unhealthy aggression coiled up inside you, and I know the perfect way to release it.’

Stop it, or the only thing I’ll need to be released from is a prison.’ She glared at him.

He reached out and ran the tip of his index finger right down along the delicate slope of her nose. ‘You need to relax, sweetheart. In my experience, it’ll work better if you follow my lead.’ How was it possible that his deep voice lowered another octave? ‘I promise you it’ll be very, very good between us.’

Common sense warned her to place as much distance as possible between them. But, oh … the heady sensual promise in his bedroom blue eyes …

She held out a hand to his chest to push him away.

Big mistake! For a crazy half-second, she wanted to pull him towards her instead of thrusting him away. Thrusting … Oh Lord. She shook her head to dispel the X-rated mental images the word conjured.

I generally succeed with my clients because I find something good about them. You’ll be much more of a challenge.’

So leave.’

No. I’ve never failed an assignment and I’m not going to fail with you either.’

For a few moments his expression was shuttered. Finally, he said, ‘Like hell!’

Friday Five: Alyssa J Montgomery

2215Author: Alyssa J. Montgomery
First published with Escape: November 2013
Favourite romance trope: Contemporary
Ideal hero (in three words): Alpha yet sensitive
Ideal heroine (in three words): Sassy, Determined, Loyal
Latest book: The Billionaire Meets His Match

What began your romance writing career? Why do you write romance?

About thirty years ago, whilst on University break, one of my sisters and I decided to co-write a romance. We didn’t ever finish it, but had a lot of fun with what we did. Over a decade later, she suggested I write a romance, and I decided to give it a go. Although I read widely in other genres, I’m a romantic who loves a happy-ever-after ending. I love the challenge of having characters overcome seemingly unsurmountable differences or obstacles to find their soul mates.

How do you write? What is your process like?

I don’t have a set process other than that I identify and ‘interview’ my characters first and get to know them. As for the storyline…At times a character forms very clearly in my head and prompts me to write his or her story, other times it’s a scene that springs vividly to mind and the story grows from there. Sometimes the story evolves as I go, other times I plot it out, but there are times when my characters/storyline deviate from the planned plot line. Everything is fluid. The time of day or days of the week I write vary depending on my family and work commitments!

What do you do when you’re stuck with a scene?

Talk to the characters and find out why it isn’t working. Sometimes they’ll tell me something I didn’t know and with that piece of the jigsaw everything falls into place!! If they’re not cooperating, I phone my sister, Kathy. I tell her the problem and sometimes she’ll provide a solution, or she’ll suggest something that then leads me to think of something else that I think will work. Other times, in just voicing the problem aloud to her, I come up with an immediate solution as I’m speaking.

Where is your favourite place to write?

I’m very fortunate to have a dedicated writing room. Sometimes I write at my desk, sometimes on the couch in the room. My husband designed the stained glass window, and despite the timber in the room, my writing space is light and airy. I have a beautiful rural view and glimpses of the lake and ocean in the distance. It’s lovely to look up from my computer screen and look out. One of the neighbours has a dressage area on the hill, so I can sometimes see her riding. Otherwise I see horses in the paddocks, or watch our goats at play! And always, I have flowers in the room from my garden.

What’s the thing about writing that surprised you the most?

That my characters have a mind of their own and I can sit down to write a particular scene, and in the first few minutes of my fingers hitting the keyboard, I’m writing something else.

After I’d written The Defiant Princess, Kate Cuthbert asked me to write a series titled Royal Affairs. The Irredeemable Prince is the second title in the series, and I’m currently working on the third story. The heroine in the latest W.I.P. wasn’t the one I’d planned. As I was ‘interviewing’ my characters, I had the present heroine intruding constantly. I took notice of her and did her backstory and decided to her story next, but she has just pushed her way into this story and the heroine I planned for my hero has disappeared into the ether! Even the hero’s backstory changed in the first two pages…Sometimes I wonder just who is writing the story!!


Mista25826ken Identity

Greek tycoon Alex Kristidis will do anything it takes to prevent his brother marrying pop star Susie Hamlin, and Susie’s twin sister Leah will do whatever it takes to stop him. But, posing as Susie to throw Alex off the trail as she and her lover rush away to get married has unexpected consequences: Leah is attacked by a drug dealer’s henchmen, whisked off to Alex’s private island, and becomes entangled in a web of lies.

Something is different about Susie, and Alex can’t put his finger on it. No longer the self-absorbed, selfish celebrity, she is warm and innocent and inspires feelings in him that he thought impossible. But the last thing he will do is indulge in an affair with his brother’s manipulative cast-off. He just has to find the strength to stay away…

Echoes Of The Heart

Australian media tycoon Jake Formosa does not believe in forgiving…or forgetting. So when he discovers that Amanda — the woman who once broke his heart — is newly widowed, he immediately enacts his revenge.  Jake is intent on making Amanda remember him, and making her suffer for what she did. He will leave her broken and alone, and finally have his closure.

But Amanda is not the sweet girl that Jake remembers, and her life is far from perfect. As the web of lies surrounding her begins to unravel, Jake finds himself once again ensnared. Can he learn to overlook the past and risk his heart again?

Roses For Sophie

To convince the court that his playboy days are over and to keep a desperate promise, Australian billionaire Logan Jackson needs a wife…fast.

To make her grandfather happy and sway him into making her managing director of the family company, mining heiress Sophie Hamilton needs a husband…fast.

With common goals, similar values, and a very definite end date, there is no reason why Logan and Sophie shouldn’t be able to strike a deal to satisfy them both. No reason except that the sizzling attraction arcing between them is too hot to trust.


 

Bundles of Joy!

Do you like big books and you cannot lie?

So do we.

So. Do. We.

So we put together some bundles, just for readers who won’t deny…

Australian Historical Bundle!

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Two thrilling stories about Australia’s convict past and the path to true love.


Billionaire Bundle!

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From the passionate, pacy pen of Alyssa J Montgomery comes a trilogy about powerful men, and the women who own their hearts.


A Bundle to Treasure!

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For the first time in one place, award-winning Kendall Talbot’s fresh new Treasured series is available in one convenient box-set!


The Next Season of Outlander is still months away Bundle!

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May we humbly suggest Allison Butler’s Sexy Scots as a more than suitable stand-in?


The I Really Only Read For The Heroes Bundle!

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From the critically acclaimed Ainslie Paton comes three men you’ll never forget – in one convenient package.


We Want More Billionaires Bundle!

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Look, we get it. We can’t get enough of the high stakes romance of billionaires either. So we put together three of our top authors for a billionaire sample pack – satisfaction guaranteed.

My book settings: flight attendant edition!

by Alyssa J Montgomery

What seems to have been a lifetime ago, I took a break from my full-time position as a speech pathologist and became an international flight attendant with Qantas Airways. Ever since, I’ve had the travel bug!

So many wonderful memories are tucked away, but these days when I travel, I have a writer’s appreciation for the places I visit and always keep my pen and notebook handy. My brain goes into overdrive imagining different scenarios playing out in some of the places I visit.

greeceDuring my stint as a flight attendant, Qantas flew to Athens twice a week and I used to have five days off every time we landed in Greece. I did a lot of travelling through the countryside. Basing Mistaken Identity in Greece was inspired by my love of the Greek islands and culture and also by my interest in Greek mythology

I’ve set stories in London and Barcelona, but my entire storyline of The Defiant Princess was inspired by my musings on a night I spent at a Bedouin camp. Gazing up at an endless galaxy of twinkling stars with the lingering scent of spicy food and the camp fire was bound to fire my imagination! Having ridden by camel across the dunes and into the desert camp that afternoon, I reflected on a rich culture so very different from my own. I’d been entertained by traditional dancers, held a bird of prey and my daughters and I had our hands painted with henna.

hennaI conjured up a princess heroine and began to wonder… What if this desert land was my heroine’s native land—one she’d been born to rule—but she’d lived in Australia most of her life? What forces would have torn the princess from her birth land, how would that have impacted upon her emotionally and what would it take for her to return? How difficult would it be for her to make the necessary cultural adjustments? Most importantly, how would she find her true love and HEA when the circumstances surrounding her return meant her very life was in danger? How would she be drawn to her hero, even while some sort of conflict kept them apart?

I ‘interviewed’ my defiant princess and discovered her story. I especially adored being introduced to her prince.

Venice is one of my favourite places, and one I believe lends itself naturally to romance. I’d go back there in a heartbeat and will definitely revisit as I plot a contemporary romance. Stay tuned!

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What is the country or city that most appeals to you as the setting for a romance novel? Have you ever found romance in a far-flung land? I’d love to hear your responses!


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When faced with the choice between the life she’s built and the duty she’s left behind—what’s a reluctant princess to do?

Reformed (billionaire) Hero

by Alyssa J. Montgomery

He’s super-confident, sexy as hell and is committed to not committing! He can have just about any woman he wants in his bed—except our heroine…unless he reforms. In regency novels he’s a rake eg the Marquess of Leath in A Scoundrel by Moonlight by Anna Campbell: in Roses for Sophie, he’s Logan Jackson, a lethally handsome, billionaire playboy.

Whatever the time period, the reformed hero is frustrating as hell—making our heroine want to shake him even while she wants to kiss him, and yearning to have him as her lover even while every shred of common sense tells her to run in the other direction in world-record time!

Yet, even with all that push-pull of mental angst and physical and emotional need, there’s an overriding and intrinsic appeal for the heroine to know she has what it takes to make this strong, powerful bad boy reform. It’s empowering to know she’s so precious to him that he’ll change his mindset and his lifestyle in order to win her love.

As a writer, there’s also the appeal of being able to give the hero an emotional backstory that allows the reader to empathise with him and understand why he’s in need of reform in the first place, so that he is likeable and not loathsome!

roses

Logan in Roses for Sophie is an unrepentant playboy who needs to appear to have reformed in order to win a custody case, but in reality he has no intention of settling down. He’s sworn he’ll never put himself in a position where he’ll make regular appearances at the divorce courts like his father did. It’s only when he meets Sophie that he realises the risk is worth it.

He has an incredible ability to make her laugh when she’s at a point where she really wants to throw something at him, and he slowly strips her of her defences—and her clothes—in his single-minded determination to gain her trust.

‘You’re deliberately trying to rattle me,’ she snapped.

‘Am I succeeding?’

The man had incredible cheek. ‘I don’t care if you offer me a two-for-one deal, there’s no way I’m having sex with you.’

He raised his eyebrows in an expression of sardonic amusement and laughed. ‘Two-for-one? Honey, I promise you, if I’m your one, you won’t need two.’

‘I’ve never met anyone who…who…’

‘Who turns you on so much?’

Damn it, if that weren’t the truth!

Like all popular tropes, the reformed hero has been written countless times. As with any trope, the challenge is to keep it fresh. The motivation for the reform is one way to mix up the plotline and emotional impact a little. In Roses for Sophie, the custody case Logan needs to win is what triggers his need to appear reformed, rather than an initial, straightforward need to change his ways to win Sophie.

I’ve aimed to make this story a little different is by making both Sophie and Logan incredibly wealthy, whereas in many romances it’s the hero who is the billionaire. In these, the heroine is often unsure how she will fit into the hero’s world. In Roses for Sophie, the fact that both hero and heroine are powerful and wealthy business people means they understand the pressures of the other’s professional and social spheres. The strength of the characters, hilarity of their initial meeting and the romance I’ve been able to weave through the tale—particularly by using the meanings of roses to show the deepening of this reformed hero’s feelings for Sophie—makes it my personal favourite of the contemporary romances I’ve written to date. I hope you’ll love it just as much.


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From the polished, pacy, passionate pen of Alyssa J Montgomery come a delicious billionaire, a mining heiress, a marriage of convenience and a very inconvenient attraction.

Enemies to Lovers: kiss or kill?

by Alyssa J. Montgomery

To kiss or to kill – that is the question.

Maybe that might have been a line Shakespeare could have used, because the Enemies to Lovers trope has age-old popularity and he certainly used it to effect in Much Ado About Nothing. Certainly there have been great romances since then, which have absorbed us as readers and entertained us in theatres.

JK Rowling is a more modern exponent of this trope with Ron and Hermione in her Harry Potter series. She could have used the Friends to Lovers trope and had Harry and Hermione falling in love, but somehow to me the whole scenario of antagonists becoming lovers makes things much spicier and far more fulfilling. Using the premise that all is fair in love and war, Enemies to Lovers can be highly entertaining with a great deal of sexy—and sometimes hilarious—one-upmanship.

ron

Alex and Leah in Mistaken Identity are enemies because each is playing to win a high-stakes game with single-minded determination, where their agendas conflict. To make matters more complicated, their goals are vitally important to each of them because they involve safeguarding the personal happiness of their siblings. So, when they meet sparks fly. There’s loads of energy and antagonism leaping from the page and an imperative need for them to resist the slow-burning sexual attraction they feel. Throw in an identity swap, a dangerous drug dealer and a kidnapping, and there’s a roller-coaster ride that rivals a theme-park attraction.

I love the challenge of bringing the hero and heroine together in this trope – of having them overcome all the obstacles lying between them that made them enemies at the outset. In fact, I love it so much that I can’t, at this point, ever see myself writing a Friends to Lovers trope.

It takes some crafting to shape enemies into lovers so their characters grow believably and don’t switch too dramatically. I think the best authors do this gradually by peppering little signs through the dialogue or plot as the story progresses. It should be a slow transition to bend the mindsets of the hero and heroine so they start seeing characteristics in each other that they can admire, respect and grow to love. There needs to be a very good reason to get rid of their prejudices apart from just giving in to the sexual chemistry between them. If done well, the slow build up to the HEA ending makes the resolution much more satisfying.

The lines-drawn-in-the-sand, hands-ready-at-holsters, obvious friction can also lend itself to some dynamic, snappy dialogue, which is also fun to write and to read. Toward the end of Mistaken Identity, it seems as though Alex has won the battle but lost the war. But the slow burn that was ever-present between him and Leah simply will not be extinguished, and the walls are finally broken down, proving that the making up can be very sweet.

I hope you enjoy reading Alex and Leah’s transition from enemies to lovers in Mistaken Identity. I’m fairly certain it won’t be my last foray into this trope!


mistaken An irresistibly indulgent novel about identical twins, an autocratic tycoon, and the sensual, sophisticated Greek seaside.

A Second Chance at Love, part 3: the one that got away

This is the third ‘A Second Chance at Love’ post in our series about tropes in romance literature


 

by Alyssa J Montgomery

Katy Perry sings In another life, I would make you stay so I don’t have to say, You were the one that got away, and as we’re singing along to this upbeat song, there’s something that pulls at our emotions at the thought of losing such an intense love.

Life doesn’t always go according to plan and, being human, we screw up. Part of the appeal of the very popular ‘second chance of love’ trope is the recognition of human imperfection, which to me can make the trope more believable.

As a true romantic at heart, it also appeals because I like to think that true love can win through and that people can be forgiven for their mistakes and find their way back to each other. Rachael Johns uses this trope in her wonderful novel, Jilted. It’s also the trope that dominates Jake and Amanda’s story in Echoes of the Heart.

When a couple have already been lovers, sparks fly instantly because they’ve already shared a deep connection – and, in Jake and Amanda’s case, an explosive chemistry. Because it ended the first time with a bang that left them both emotionally wounded, the risks seem higher the second time around. Conflict abounds as the plot zigzags and the reader is asking will they or won’t they, and how can they possibly?

There are many challenges for the author in writing this trope. Firstly, why will this couple end up together now when they didn’t earlier? This becomes even harder if the backstory isn’t merely a drifting away or missed opportunity but some emotionally explosive circumstance that has opened up an incredibly wide chasm between them. Another challenge is to make the characters worthy of having that second chance.

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I think the story can be more satisfying if the author is able to bring the reader to a point of disbelief initially – to make it seem impossible that the couple can ever resolve their differences and move forward from the heart-rending circumstances that tore them apart – but then to show the character growth and the changes made so the resolution and happily-ever-after ending is believable.

I find the HEA ending deeply satisfying after having suffered alongside the hero and heroine on their harrowing emotional journey – their remembered love but painful memories of separation; their inner conflict and agonising recriminations, bitter accusations, and all the tension and drama of their former relationship as it flows into their present circumstances and must be overcome.

Jake has never forgotten Amanda, nor forgiven her for leaving him and marrying a much older man, and believes she has always been a gold digger. As soon as she’s free, he finds it impossible not to pursue her and tells himself he wants the chance to have her again as his lover so he can achieve the closure on their relationship that was denied him. There’s so much angst and bitterness in him that he’s harsh and unforgiving initially when they’re alone, even though he can’t help but be heroic and stand by her publicly when she needs his defence. He tells himself he wants revenge, yet very quickly, he rediscovers all there was that had him falling in love with her in the first place. He has a lot to deal with because he’s built such barriers around his heart because of their initial break-up, so he not only has to learn to open up to loving her again, but has to learn how to get back to being the same loving guy he once was.

Even though the passionate sexual chemistry is still at hazardous high-octane levels, there’s much inner conflict and tension as each struggles to recognise and come to terms with feelings that have never been extinguished. They must find the courage to communicate, to trust and to expose their hearts again. After the rough ride, the resolution in Echoes of the Heart becomes sigh-worthy and, happily, Amanda and Jake don’t join the ranks of ‘the one that got away!’


 

echoesShe betrayed him and left him to be with another. Now that she’s alone again, nothing is going to stop him from coming for her.

Feed Your Reader – January Releases

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A sexy new adult duology about falling in love with completely the wrong person. Best friends do everything together—including falling in love …


 

Now available, two new bundles at fantastic prices…

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From the passionate, pacy pen of Alyssa J Montgomery comes a three-book bundle about the most powerful men in the world – and the women who bring them to their knees…


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From Lena Dowling comes two emotional, heart-wrenching, heart-warming stories about second chances at life – and love.