An open confession

Against Her RulesAn old Scottish proverb says, “Open confession is good for the soul.” Well, I have a confession of sorts to make. First, though, some background information is in order.

I am a voracious reader. A wag once said to me, “And you read a lot of books, right?” Yep, I do.

Some years ago, I came up with a statement to describe my love of books: “When God was giving out looks, I thought he said books, so I asked for a library.”

I read virtually any- and everything. Theology immediately grabs my attention. History is right up there with it. Biography and memoir make up a large portion of my personal library.

However, when I want a respite from nonfiction, I dive into novels. After all, I cut my reading teeth on the Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew and other mysteries. Today, I read the Classics. I also read contemporary stuff, like everything John Grisham writes. I am in eternal debt to C. S. Lewis and Tolkien for their fascinating fiction.

Here’s my “open confession”: sometimes I read romance novels. I remember the Grace Livingstone Hill novels in our family home. My sister, Karen, tells me, “There were some around, but only ones bought when we came on the scene.” My sisters read them, as did I.

Hard as IceSo, after Flanker Press of St. John’s sent me a review copy of two of Victoria Barbour’s novels, Against Her Rules and Hard as Ice, I made it a point to start reading them.

Both volumes are part of the author’s Heart’s Ease Series, which she initially self-published. She is already a USA TODAY bestselling author for an earlier Newfoundland-set romance novella.

Born in St. John’s, Barbour was raised above her family’s fish and chips restaurant. She has travelled and lived elsewhere in Canada but, according to her current publisher, “chose to make her home where her heart has long resided.” She “is fiercely proud of her home,” which serves as the backdrop for her works. She hopes “readers will one day come to witness Newfoundland and Labrador’s rustic beauty for themselves.”

The mother, wife and marketing communications specialist has a degree in history from Memorial University, with a minor in Newfoundland Studies, which adds a realistic flair to her books.

In Against Her Rules, Campbell Scott goes to the Newfoundland wilds with one thought in mind: sketch some birds before returning to his playboy lifestyle in London. But a single glance at his sexy hostess and there’s much more going on. He determines to convince Elsie Walsh that he belongs by her side at the Heart’s Ease Inn.

In Hard as Ice, the first time Daphne Scott met hockey superstar Jack Walsh, she was more than a little irritable. Still, it was hard to deny that he was hotter than Adonis — even if he did know it.

I leave the rest of the plots to the interested reader.

Flanker has now released the third and fourth books in the Heart’s Ease Series, Play Me and 21st Century Rake.

In Play Me, sparks fly between lawyer Fiona Nolan and folk singer Dillon O’Dea. Little do they know that they know that they’re about to turn a long simmering family feud into an all-out scorcher.

In 21st Century Rake, rock superstar Asher Corbin is back in Heart’s Ease. And he’s not alone. This time he’s brought the entire cast and crew for his upcoming film debut to the small town for a retreat back in time.

So, are you able to keep my “open confession” a secret between the two of us?

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