By Katherine Bone, author of Duke by Day, Rogue by Night and Lost Treasure, Captive Princess
Why do you read romance? Is it to spend time with Alpha males and the women strong enough to love them? For me, reading romance is about escaping the day to day grind we experience, diving headfirst into adventure, discovering love for the first time again and again and again. The popularity of romantic fiction proves love is the most sought after emotion in the world. I, for one, am in love with this notion. I guess you can say I’m in love with love. When I was an Army wife raising four children, oftentimes alone when my husband was called away on duty, I turned to romance novels as a means of coping with the solitude and stress of military life. Romance novels offered me adventure, excitement and escape. Heroines assured me I could endure anything, anywhere, anytime. Alpha heroes promised undying devotion to their heroines, helping me believe my own Alpha would soon return to me. That’s why I read romance.
Aren’t those great promises? Heard the phrase “blondes promise what brunettes deliver?” Well, as a brunette, I propose “love promises what romance writers deliver.” As an author who normally writes historical romance, I hope to continue the same with my contemporary debut Lost Treasure, Captive Princess. This book, about an Italian prince searching for his mother’s stolen necklace and the American jeweler who has copied it in great detail, came into being, in part, because of the 2011 HQN Mills & Boon New Voices Contest. Written like a HQN Presents, what struck me about this storyline is the escapist theme. Who wouldn’t want to jet to Italy, expenses paid, for the deal of a lifetime, and end up captured by a charismatic and passionate Italian prince? Me! (Hand flail!)
Here’s a snippet from Lost Treasure, Captive Princess:
Senore Moretti swirled her around in dizzying circles until nothing else mattered but
his glimmering mask, sights and sounds of celebration, or the touch of his hand within
hers. Her head began to spin. Cameras flashed. Strobe lights flickered, momentarily
blinding her, confusing her. Deafening cheers rose from the crowd. She held onto Senore Moretti as if he was her lifeline.
“Why are photographers taking pictures of us?”
Laughter rose from Moretti’s throat. “I suspect my people have seen something they
like, Signorina Beugre.”
“Your people? Oh,” she said, understanding his attachment to his country. She was
just as attached to everything American. “Have we accomplished something worth their
The mask turned downward. His arm twitched and his eyes hardened. “Something
every male in my family has done.”
“Does my necklace have anything to do with the attention we’re getting? People are
staring at it,” she said. “You did mention my necklace was to be a gift, didn’t you?”
“Do you mean my necklace?” he said, turning the tables on her.
She missed a dance step. “I’m afraid I’ve considered the emeralds mine for so long,
it’s hard for me to think of them any other way.”
“Capito.” He nodded, as if understanding. His facial features were well-hidden
behind the mask. Though the tone and cadence of his voice soothed, she could tell she’d
hit a nerve.
“So the necklace is to be a gift?” she pressed on, her suspicions confirmed.
He leaned down until the cold surface of the mask grazed the side of her face.
“Something like that.”
I had the great fortune of living in northern Italy for three fabulous years. Carnivale, Italian art and architecture, Sunday markets and centuries of history fascinated me beyond imagining. Italians are passionate people with an unmatched zest for life. They prize family above and beyond anything else. When I decided to write a contemporary romance about power, passion and persuasion, I knew Italy was the place to start. I hope you enjoy reading Lost Treasure, Captive Princess, dear readers. May the fictional world of Monte Blanco, the Tyrrhenian Coast, and the season of Carnivale offer a luxurious and rich escape into adventure, fantasy, and romance that will satisfy long into the night.
Ciao! ~ Katherine