I’ve read and reviewed several of Michelle’s books. I can’t find a complete review of my favorite, Taming Her Irish Warrior, so I’ll be posting a different one. http://www.michellewillingham.com/book/taming-her-irish-warrior/
The thing that got me most about this particularly story was how it was marketed. The title, the cover art, the blurb, everything about the marketing is typical Harlequin Historical Romance. But, it is not a typical Harlequin Historical Romance novel, in my opinion. Sorry. It’s just not. This baby would stand against any of the glossy hardback regular Historical Fiction in its accuracy, vividness, and believability. The Hero is blond and she doesn’t actually tame him. That title just not make sense. Both the hero and heroine are living, breathing creatures, not stock models. The image also doesn’t make sense after reading the story. Yes, of course, they make love, but the image doesn’t reflect how they go about it, the challenges they each face because of previous trauma. Now, I realize the marketing is geared to the brand and because that’s what the readerships is used to. I get that. But, in this case, I believe this novel could have brought in a lot of *new* readers with a few minor polishes.
Michelle has an extensive backlist and she’s still going strong. She’s done some Indie Pub too, which featured some great Time Travel. I love me some Time Travel, you know.
I messaged Michelle on Twitter and this is what she said:
“My new releases for this year include “A Dance with the Devil” which just released last month, and Forbidden Night with the Warrior, which comes out July 1st. I’m looking forward to this new medieval series that was inspired by “Indecent Proposal.”
As for valuable insights regarding writing craft:
My advice is to write every day, when at all possible. It helps to keep your head in the story. I will often put down the skeleton of a story, and if I get stuck, I’ll go back and flesh out a scene. It usually will help me to find any problems in the story and pull it back on course, if it’s gone off the tracks. But most of all, write for yourself. Entertain yourself with something you enjoy reading, and the writing will take care of itself. :)”
I was pregnant with my last child when I read and wrote the following review. That child is now big enough to steal my shoes and walk out the door in them.
HER WARRIOR SLAVE by Michelle Willingham
*It’s not your imagination. I really am reading more Romance genre novels these days. All those mushy pregnancy hormones, you know, and I gotta have a Happily Ever After. I weep over dog food commericals, okay? So, if you’re an author or an author associate with a Romance novel which needs reviewing, I’m your girl, the Blogging Book Reviewer Now On Semi-Bedrest! Any mushy Romance novel will do, the mushier the better. Not interested in Heroines who don’t absolutely adore babies and small fluffy animals. eBooks are happily accepted.*
Okay, on with the review.
HER WARRIOR SLAVE is a good one for you if graphic descriptions of naked body parts trip your personal ‘ick’ factor, but you never met a chocolate you didn’t like. The romantic tension is good and then they’re all over each other like a bad rash.
Iseult is a passionate lass who previously didn’t have a lot of sound judgment in a place and during a time when such treats were not well tolerated. She got knocked up and then her lover left her for the monastary, of all things. As you might expect, that didn’t exactly make her feel good about herself. So, she had a baby out of wedlock and her family figured her marriage prospects were pretty much shot. Since women didn’t have many career prospects back then, her life was a bust. But, it got worse. Someone kidnapped her baby. So, while Iseult is distraught and desperately searching for her baby, a chief’s son falls madly in love with her and presents her with an option too good to be true. Marriage to wealth and privilage. Her family’s thrilled for her, of course, and his mother not so much, but she agrees to it even though she doesn’t love him because, well, what else is she gonna do? Meanwhile, she keeps searching for her baby.
Then, one day her husband-to-be buys a beaten up slave whose sense of dignity isn’t exactly typical of his supposed class. When it’s discovered Kieran’s a talented wood carver, the husband-to-be orders him to carve a likeness of Iseult. He obeys. Stupid husband-to-be. You know, some guys really need to learn not to take their women for granted.
Eventually, Kieran learns of Iseult’s desperate search for her son and their romance builds as they come to know each other as human beings and man and woman, rather than mistress and slave. Soon, he becomes driven to find her baby, which, of course, would make any mommy swoon. I call it Excellent Dad Potential and if you want to be a mommy don’t marry a guy who doesn’t got it. Needless to say, they can’t live without each other after that.
If you want to see the original, click here- http://enduringromance.blogspot.com/2009/04/her-warrior-slave-by-michelle.html