Jen: Please help me welcome Rachel Brimble back to Romancing the Book. Rachel, will you share a short bio with us?
Rachel: Rachel lives with her husband and two teenage daughters in a small town near Bath in the UK. After having several novels published by small US presses, she secured agent representation in 2011. In 2012, she sold two books to Harlequin Superromance and a further three in 2013. She also writes Victorian romance for Kensington–her debut was released in April 2013, followed by a second in January 2014 and the third is released Jan 2015.
Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America, and was selected to mentor the Superromance finalist of So You Think You Can Write 2014 contest. When she isn’t writing, you’ll find Rachel with her head in a book or walking the beautiful English countryside with her family and beloved black Lab, Max. Her dream place to live is Bourton-on-the-Water in South West England.
She likes nothing more than connecting and chatting with her readers and fellow romance writers. Rachel would love to hear from you!
Jen: Please tell us about your newest release and where the idea came from.
Rachel: What A Woman Desires is the third Victorian romance I have written for eKensington/Lyrical Press and is set in a small village near the famous city of Bath. The heroine, Monica, was a secondary character in the previous book, The Temptation of Laura, but the more I wrote about her, the more I knew she needed her only story. What A Woman Desires takes Monica from her happy life on Bath’s stage back to the home from which she escaped. There is only one aspect of Biddestone she loves…her family’s groom, Thomas Ashby. It is a reunion romance where the hero and heroine have to fight hard for their happy ever after…
Monica stared at the man’s partially revealed profile, obscured by the shadow of his hat. Familiarity she couldn’t place swept over her. He was tall, almost a foot taller than her, his shoulders broad and his biceps thick. Her gaze drifted along the sinewy forearms revealed by his rolled shirtsleeves. A laborer. She lifted her gaze to his face as he glared at their attackers. His jaw was chiseled despite the stubble that grazed it. She swallowed as shameful intimidation and attraction rolled through her. She imagined his eyes were the deepest blue. . . .
The sound of his deep, rough voice a second time sliced through her appraisal and Monica stiffened.
“Get up now,” he growled.
Her breath knotted in the center of her chest. “Thomas?”
He turned and their gazes locked for the briefest moment before he looked to the men once more. It was barely a second, maybe two, that he’d looked at her, but the intensity of his gaze lingered on Monica’s skin, burning white-hot heat through her clothes to sear deep into her flesh just the way it had years before. Her heart picked up speed and her body warmed with a desire she hadn’t known in so very long. To trust a man implicitly, to know he cared for her and those closest to her was a rarity she’d taken for granted throughout the years she’d lived in Biddestone.
Her time away had taught her more than Thomas would ever understand. Shame pinched hot at her cheeks. No matter her previous connection with him, the men she’d met since had made her doubt her instincts and not dare to trust again. Yet, the life lessons she’d endured would do nothing to soothe the undoubted scar she’d left on Thomas’s sense of loyalty by leaving Marksville and not once looking back.
Jen: Do you have a writing routine?
Rachel: Yes! I am lucky enough to be a stay at home who tries to treat her writing as a full-time job. When my two teenagers are at school, I have a strict writing routine of working from 8.30-5.30pm during the weekend and whenever possible at the weekend. I have written around my family since my daughters were five and three so things are definitely getting easier!
Jen: If this book was made into a movie, who do you see playing the main characters?
Rachel: Ah, this is an easy one because I start all of my books trawling the Internet for pictures of my hero and heroine. Monica Danes is inspired by Emily Blunt and Thomas Ashby by Tom Hardy as he appears in Lawless.
Jen: Who are some of your favorite authors? What are you reading now?
Rachel: Some of my favourite authors are Nora Roberts, Jill Shalvis, Philippa Gregory & Alex Grecian. I am currently reading two brand new authors to me and enjoying their books very much. The first is Liane Moriarty’s The Husband’s Secret and the other is Melanie Clegg’s From Whitechapel.
Jen: What’s the most interesting comment you’ve received about your books?
Rachel: It always makes me laugh when people ask me if the love scenes are from personal experience…also when people who have met me read my books and say they read the entire novel with a Bristolian accent, lol!
Jen: What do you do in your free time?
Rachel: I, of course, read A LOT, as well as knit and walk the beautiful English countryside where I live. Socializing is very high on the agenda too…as well as a chilled glass of white wine.
Jen: What’s next for you?
Rachel: My next book will be my fifth Harlequin Superromance set in the fictional UK town of Templeton Cove – I don’t have a confirmed title as yet, unfortunately, but can tell you this is a mainstream contemporary romance featuring Tanya Todd and Liam Browne who appeared in the third book, What Belongs To Her. This next book should be released in early Autumn.