I might be sunning myself over in Rhodes but that doesn't mean I stop bringing you awesome content. Today I have a guest post from Kate Hewitt the author and I cannot wait to get you to read it.
Welcome to Willoughby Close… a charming cluster of cozy cottages, each with a story to tell and a happy ending to deliver…
After her husband unexpectedly dies, Ava moves to Willoughby Close, trying to keep her chin up and herself to herself as she’s always done—not answering questions, not making friends, and not seeing much of a future. Her marriage was far from perfect, but it offered her a much-needed security that has now been ripped away. She’s not sure what to do now that she’s thirty-five, widowed, penniless… and unexpectedly pregnant with her late husband’s child.
Jace Tucker is the over-the-top sexy caretaker of Willoughby Manor, and he can see beneath Ava’s glamor girl act to the hurt she’s been hiding for so long. She has secrets for a reason—and so does he. The last thing she needs right now is a fling with a man who hides a past as regrettable as her own.
But with a baby to think about, and neighbors determined to be her friends, Ava finds herself starting to change and even more alarmingly, beginning to hope. Can Willoughby Close work its everyday magic on a woman like her? And when the past comes calling for both her and Jace, will they have to answer for their previous mistakes?
Guest Post - An Unlikeable Heroine?
After writing 65 books, I’ve noticed some tendencies of mine, and one is to write a heroine that could be considered unlikeable. I must admit, I’ve never been interested in the heroine whose only fault is she’s too generous, or she has too many freckles, or a loud laugh. I’ts like the job interview where the candidate’s only weakness is they work too hard. No one’s really like that! I like to write about people who are real and struggle with real fears, real faults, real problems. And this does get me into trouble with readers, I must admit, especially when I’m writing in the romance genre, where readers tend to want characters who are exceedingly likeable.
Early on in my career an editor told me that the hero of a romance could have more flaws and faults than a heroine, because readers tended to be tougher on the heroine of a story. And I’ve seen that played out in books and reviews, but it strikes me as patently unfair. Yet women also tend to be harder on women than on men in real life, so why should it be different in fiction?
I suppose that is partly why I continue writing my somewhat unlikeable heroines. Because we’re all unlikeable, to a degree. We all have pet peeves and irritations and faults; we’re all selfish to some extent, and we fly off the handle in an unreasonable way on occasion. And we all can be redeemed and restored; we can learn and change and grow. That, I think, is the crux of all my stories—(somewhat) unlikeable people who learn to change.
In Kiss Me at Willoughby Close, Ava Mitchell seems quite unlikeable at the start. A sex kitten who married for money, she rolls up to Willoughby Close in her bright red convertible Mini and sashays into her house, judged by the women around her. But Ava’s used to it—she’s been judged all her life. And she’s judged herself worst of all.
On the surface, Ava seems like one of my most unlikeable characters—but early readers, as well as my editor, have claimed she’s actually my most likeable! So I feel like I’ve succeeded at least in this book—to portray the convincing change and growth of an unlikeable character into someone readers will root for.
What do you think? Do you like reading about characters with flaws? What’s unforgivable in the flaw department, for you as a reader?
About The Author:
Kate is the USA Today-bsetselling author of over 40 books of women's fiction and romance. She is the author of the Hartley-by-the-Sea series, set in England's Lake District and published by Penguin. She is also, under the name Katharine Swartz, the author of the Tales from Goswell books, a series of time-slip novels set in the village of Goswell. Other series include the Emigrants Trilogy, the Amherst Island Trilogy, and the Falling For The Freemans series.
She likes to read romance, mystery, the occasional straight historical and angsty women's fiction; she particularly enjoys reading about well-drawn characters and avoids high-concept plots.
Having lived in both New York City and a tiny village on the windswept northwest coast of England, she now resides in the English Cotswolds with her husband, five children, and an overly affectionate Golden Retriever. You can read about her life at http://www.acumbrianlife.blogspot.co.uk
1st prize: £10 Amazon giftcard
2nd prize: paperback copy of Find Me at Willoughby Close