1. Name your all-time favourite male character.
If there aren’t any limits, then it’ll have to be David de Abyndon (Madeline Hunter’s central character in her medievals), Nick Gentry (Lisa Kleypas’ hero in Worth Any Price), Richard Maitland (the Intelligence chief who makes cameo appearances in many of Elizabeth Thornton’s historical rom suspense and gets his own story in The Perfect Princess, finally!). Ohh, and I can’t possibly not mention Mr Darcy (Pride & Prejudice) and Mr Knightley (Emma).
2. What is your favourite setting? Historical / Contemporary or otherwise. Why? What draws you in?
Historical, or medieval. Because I’m a history buff. Especially when the author draws on historical characters to set the story and takes pain to make the period come alive with vivid details of the era. Madeline Hunter, Gaelen Foley, Susan Wiggs and Julie Garwood (when she was writing historicals) are some of the authors who made royal intrigues, medieval and Regency London as well as Scotland come to life for me.
One of the most powerful scenes for me was Marsha Canham’s staggering description of the horrific Battle of Culloden. I had to put down the book and observe a moment of silence for that unnecessary massacre of many a brave Highlanders. It was bloody, tragic and sobering, and totally grips you.
3. What trait in a hero can you not abide?
It’s definitely wimpiness. I can’t stand whinny heroes. Yes, you think you’re unworthy of the heroine’s love, but for God’s sake, just go all out and try your hands at winning, don’t just write off all heroines as grubby rich-husband-only huntress. Give her a chance to surprise you with her open mind, and unconventional way of thinking.
I don’t mind domineering and controlling streaks, so long as the hero also proved that he is an open-minded, forward-thinking male who treats women as equals.
4. Favourite heroine of all time? What makes them special or a stand out to you.
Again, if I can only name one it’ll be Penelope Featherington aka Lady Whistledown (created by Julia Quinn). For the longest time, she’s always been written off as a plain Jane wallflower, destined to be left on the shelf. I like how she took charge and forged a career of her own as an elusive but highly successful gossip columnist and widely acknowledged wit. All the more remarkable because many of the people write her off as just a spinster destined to be left on the shelf, not realising that she doesn’t need to land a loaded husband to keep her living.
My other favourite heroine would be Lady Anna de Leon from Madeline Hunter’s The Protector. She is so totally unaffected and clueless about her attraction, yet she picks up her duties as lady and protector of her people very stoically and man, can she fight!
[Edited: sheesh! can’t believe I said ‘destined to be left on the shelf twice!]
5. Favourite genre? Have you analyzed why it is your favourite? Do you care?
[Edited: Do we really have to narrow it to just one?] If yes, then it’s historical, but I do like contemporary every now and then, as a little ‘breather’ between my heavy historical romance reading.
6. What genre do you dislike the most? What is it that grates?
I don’t really care for paranormal romance, although I’ve read a few. The thing that grates most is for the fantastical plots to get way too inventive. C’mon, if you’re going to write about the paranormal, you not only have to have a creative imagination, whatever theory proposed must make sense too.
7. If you have ever read books from the genre you don’t like is there at least one book from that genre that you could recommend?
8. List some examples of books that represent the best of the romance genre.
Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
By arrangement by Madeline Hunter
The Indiscretion by Judith Ivory
Worth Any Price by Lisa Kleypas
1. What romance book do you secretly love?
A Woman of Passion and Enslaved by Virginia Henley. She doesn’t’ mince her words, and she doesn’t hold back from describing what goes on between man and woman graphically.
2. Name a hero that had you at ‘Hello’.
Haven’t met him yet. But James Bond came very close to claiming this title.
3. Name your favorite 80s bodice ripper.
I usually won’t touch those with a ten foot barge pole. But if you’re referring to the ones with a raunchy steamy plot behind a decent cover, then it’ll have to be Virginia Henley’s Enslaved. Hey, if you’re clueless about tantric sex, boy this book’s going to give you a good lesson in that.
4. What kind of heroine do you wish could be eradicated from the earth?
The doormat who lets the hero walks all over her and doesn’t learn to fight back even right until the end. Grow a spine, gal!
5. Forced Seduction.
It’s going to be Enslaved again. The heroine, Lady Diana, was transported back to Roman England, and mistaken for a slave by the hero, Marcus, who’s a peer during her time but a Roman general in this era. He took a fancy to her, and discovering that she was still virgin, swore to have her begging for him to take her, and then started his seductive ploys, including the above-mentioned educational.