in this post: misleading miss verity
Happy February – official (according to me) KissingBooks month! And welcome to another Love Stories giveaway post! This LOVE STORIES giveaway series is thusly named for two reasons – first, because I love stories and second, because I love Love Stories.
Throughout the entire month of February, I’ll be spotlighting swoony Christian fiction & ‘clean read’ romances. Three cheers for KissingBooks!!! So… grab a fan or two, your trusty fainting couch, and maybe a freezer just to be safe and start making your KissingBooks tbr list! Oh… and did I mention there are GIVEAWAYS with EACH POST in this series??!! (Because authors are awesome!)
Today’s featured book is Misleading Miss Verity by Carolyn Miller – and the author shares what makes the best kind of love story!
MISLEADING MISS VERITY
SERIES: Regency Brides – Daughters of Aynsley #3
GENRE: Inspirational Historical Romance
PUBLISHER: Kregel Publications
RELEASE DATE: November 19, 2019
Verity Hatherleigh has a mind of her own—but her actions do not impress her viscount papa. When she gets into one scrape too many, he sends her off to the wilds of Scotland to rethink her headstrong ways.
Anthony Jardine relished his role as curate, but his new duties as laird of Dungally aren’t always to his liking. Though he thought his new inheritance would be a blessing, somehow he’s finding nothing but trouble on these estates. And the intelligent, compassionate, feisty lass who was sent to rusticate in his territory is one of the biggest problems. He’s falling in love with her, but she doesn’t share the faith that’s his foundation—not to mention he’s been lying to her about who he really is. For the truth-loving Verity, that may be unforgivable.
The tangled web these two have woven may spell disaster for their happiness—and for the tenants of Dungally.
the best kind of love story
by Carolyn Miller, author of Misleading Miss Verity
What do you think of when you think of romance? Starlit nights in a magical fairytale castle? Perhaps a delicious meal followed by dancing, Bachelorette style? Perhaps it involves ‘true love’s kiss’?
While my ninth novel, Misleading Miss Verity, contains Regency-era equivalents to these romantic elements, and my books tend to be shelved in the ‘Romance’ section of a bookstore, I have to admit that ‘true love’ for me isn’t some Disneyfied ideal, but something that resonates more as ‘real love’ – forged in tough choices rather than fickle feelings. That’s not to say I don’t like romance – I love rom coms, and romance is my fiction of choice – but I guess practical me wants to ensure my characters have enough depth in their relationship for it to last beyond the ‘true love’s kiss’ to the ‘real love endures,’ something to which I can relate a bit more these days.
My husband and I have been married for 23 years. We have four children (three of them are teens – pray for me!). And if I’m being honest, the past 23 years haven’t always been sunshine and red roses (I personally would be happy to see more red roses. And a puppy. J). There have been challenges, like miscarriage, and depression, and job loss, and deep frustration, times which involved gritting teeth and bearing with one another, far more than a fictional fairytale princess singing about ‘True Love’s Kiss.’ True love, real love, is actually kind of hard.
For me, romance is different to real love. I suppose I regard romance as being the feelings surrounding the giddy excitement of getting to know someone, and the events and experiences that promote the deepening of a relationship. I look at love, at marriage (the ultimate goal of most romance books) as a commitment, something that requires choices to prioritize that relationship above self, so while there are still moments of giddiness, there are far more moments of having to remember kindness, to practice patience, to choose to love than simply be led by my feelings.
I love my husband. He loves me. I see his love for me in so many ways, not least of all in his support for my writing journey. I started writing when my youngest was 18 months old, and it’s funny looking back and seeing how various aspects of our relationship have wriggled into my books.
Just like Anthony and Verity, my hubby and I were friends first. Good friends. We shared (& still do share) faith, values, similar ministry and mission goals.
Just like in many of my books my hubby and I share a fantastic sense of humor. 🙂 We laugh at similar things, banter, and enjoy each other’s company (mostly). I think it’s important that the other person gets – and laughs – at your jokes. Humor is an underrated quality that helps lighten darker days.
Just like Nicholas wooed Lavinia in The Elusive Miss Ellison with Shakespearean quotations, my hubby-to-be wooed me by quoting great sections of King Henry V’s speech to Catharine (So literate! So clever! So romantic!). Yep. It worked. 23 years.
So, similar interests (but not living in each other’s pockets), similar values, and understanding each other is really important for me to try to convey in my books. I want my readers to feel like each of my couples will have the happily-ever-after that romance promises. Call me practical, but it’s true.
Let’s be clear: I’m definitely not averse to creating kissing scenes or romantic moments in my books. Here’s a snippet from Misleading Miss Verity (the book with the fairytale castle on the cover that I’ve actually visited! Link to previous post here), from a scene following a masquerade-style dance:
“What can I do to repay you?”
A bawdy cackle came from the woman dressed as a shepherdess. “Give ’im a kiss, hen!”
“Miss Hatherleigh, you do not . . . you should not . . .”
But in that moment everything within demanded she did. She drew as close as she dared, pushed to her toes, and moved to brush her lips against his cheek. Somehow, in that precise moment, Mr. Jardine moved, so instead of tanned cheek she encountered warm lips.
Fire swept through her senses, tingling each nerve ending. After a moment’s shock, she felt his lips soften, his hands trace her cheekbones, before settling behind her shoulders. Oh, the sweetness! She sighed, leaning in to him, allowing his arms to support her as the kiss deepened. The fluttering became more demanding, heat pooled inside, insisting on more—
He pulled away and grasped her shoulders gently, his chest heaving. “You should not have done that.”
Before she’d realized what was happening, he had swept her inside, virtually thrusting her at James, then stalked off.
Her mind was awhirl, the sensations of his kiss cocooning her. She ignored James’s recriminations, ignored Helena’s upraised brows, ignored the speeches and cooling air as the memory of that kiss warmed her with shivers of delight.
Perhaps proper young ladies did not kiss young men. But oh, she was so glad she had!
Ah, romance. We love to read about swoonilicious kisses, but give me books that solidify the relationship with a 1 Corinthians 13 type love, something that seeks the others’ best interests, that is kind and patient, that bears all things, hopes all things, and a love that never ends.
That’s the best kind of love story.
Carolyn Miller lives in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children. Together with her husband she has pastored a church for ten years, and worked as a public high school English and Learning and Support teacher.
A longtime lover of romance, especially that of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer’s Regency era, Carolyn holds a BA in English Literature, and loves drawing readers into fictional worlds that show the truth of God’s grace in our lives. Her Regency novels include The Elusive Miss Ellison, The Captivating Lady Charlotte, The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey, Winning Miss Winthrop, Miss Serena’s Secret, The Making of Mrs. Hale, A Hero for Miss Hatherleigh, Underestimating Miss Cecilia, and Misleading Miss Verity, all available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Koorong, etc
Carolyn Miller is offering a print copy of Misleading Miss Verity to one of my readers! (Void where prohibited by law or logistics.) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? What interests you most about Misleading Miss Verity? What would you say is the difference between romance and love?