I’ve always enjoyed Grace Burrowes’ regency romances, and was excited to learn she had a new contemporary series coming out. This blog tour is the perfect way to check it out – and Grace starts off with a guest post on the biggest difference between writing contemporary and Regency romance!
It’s All About the Prose by Grace Burrowes
I’m a prose fiend. I delight in dithering over whether to use “conjugal relations,” “marital bliss,” or “uxoral privileges” to describe the pleasures of a traditional wedding night—and none of those terms work very well in a contemporary American romance. After writing several dozen historical romances, I had to wean myself from historical vocabulary and syntax.
Fortunately, this process was more fun than difficult. Present day language is lively, colorful, and explicit. We ‘verb’ our nouns with great glee, have a terrific variety of dialects my Regency or Victorian characters could not have used, and don’t get hung up on forms of address or orders of precedence.
And the bliss of ditching the etymological albatross is indescribable. By this I mean: the word diaper referred in Regency times to a type of brocade cloth. The word cufflink did not exist (was born around 1890), but cufflinks were certainly in use, they were simply referred to as sleeve buttons. A British winter might feature a blizzard, but nope, that word hadn’t been invented yet. No snow flurries allowed, either, though of course, they had those too.
Same with cheeky (Victorian), nappy (early twentieth century), and a zillion others. As a historical author, a sensitivity to what a) is historically correct, b) sounds historically correct, and c) is believed by readers to BE historically correct (even if it’s not), colors every word choice. In a contemporary romance… oh, the freedom, the room to move, the confidence.
It’s the difference between lugging a dictionary with me everywhere, and simply wandering around the yard, sniffing whatever flower catches my eye. I hadn’t realized the extent to which I tiptoe through my historical prose, sentence by sentence, word by word, trying to respect the historical world, but never at the expense of the reader’s experience of the story. THAT is a tough job.
With the contemporaries, I faced different challenges. For example, I chose for all of my heroes and one of my heroines to be attorneys. The difficulty there was again, how to build a realistic world, but one that served the reader’s enjoyment of the story rather than minute depiction of courtroom realities.
Both genres have challenges, but fortunately, both are also great fun to write!
[divider]A Single Kiss by Grace Burrowes
Series: Sweetest Kisses #1
Published by Sourcebooks, Inc. on January 6th 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Purchase at IndieBound | Amazon | The Book Depository | Barnes & Noble
A single kiss can change everything...
In the first novel of the Sweetest Kisses series, Hannah Stark has set her sights on corporate law to assure her a career of paperwork, predictability, and conservative suits. Contracts, finance, and the art of the deal sing to her, while the mess and misery of the courtroom do not. But her daughter needs to eat, so when Hannah is offered a temporary position in a small town firm's domestic relations department, she reluctantly accepts.
Trent Knightley is mightily drawn to his newest associate, though Hannah is as protective of her privacy as she is competent. When their friendship and attraction heat up, Hannah's secrets put her heart and Trent's hopes in double jeopardy.
Disclosure: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Hannah Stark’s first job isn’t quite going as expected. A brand spanking new lawyer, she’s hoping for the predictability and stability of corporate law – but the firm really needs her to step in and do family law for a short time to alleviate their staffing issue.
So what’s a girl going to do? Say yes, of course. Because even if she has to do family law, it’ll pay the bills, and there’s a light at the end of the tunnel… She can keep her emotions buttoned up for a little bit, right?
I really liked Hannah, she’s gutsy and brave for doing what needs doing and facing her demons head on (even if she has a few meltdowns as a result). She’s very private, very attracted to her boss, and very bothered by the domestic court cases she picks up. And it’s not long before Hannah’s strong sense of right and wrong gets her an enemy – and quite a few fans.
Now on to Trent Knightley, Hannah’s boss. He’s pretty reserved, very sharp, and doesn’t know what he’s going to do about this attraction to his employee. I really enjoyed the Knightley brothers’ close relationship, and how they liked to tease each other – and yes, give each other a kick in the tush to get them moving (in this case, Trent’s).
Grace Burrowes’ excellent storytelling skills translate well to contemporary romance, as do her deftly-drawn characters. I liked pretty much everyone in A Single Kiss (well, except the “bad guys”), and found myself entertained throughout by the drama, plot, and especially the conversations. I’m excited that there are more books in the series, ready to go – can’t wait to check out The First Kiss, coming out February 3rd!
drey’s rating: Excellent!
Have you read A Single Kiss? What did you think? And if you haven’t, read on to win your own copy!
The publisher has a giveaway for you! This one’s open to US and Canada residents only (no PO Boxes, please). Fill out the form below before January 31st. Good luck!