06-18 Sarah Raplee – WHY PSYCHIC AGENTS?

Thursday, April 2, 2015

What’s the craze for small town romance stories?

Dear Readers

I usually write Regency historical romances and I love the debauched, privileged, wounded, and fuddled world of the upper class. So there is nothing much ‘home town’ about any of my stories and characters.

However, I am about to branch out into contemporary romance as well. I have one contemporary romance published already, The Reluctant Wife, a story set in Tuscany, Italy. It’s sort of small town and big city. They have a villa in the country and an apartment in Florence. It won the RomCon Readers Crown in 2013 for best short contemporary.


Abby Taylor walked out on her irresistible husband three years ago. Now she has no choice but to return to Italy to ask him for a favor. To pay for her grandmother’s heart operation she needs his money, but it comes with strings attached.

Conte Dante Lombardi has it all–an Italian villa, a successful family business, and a noble title. But he needs a child to carry on his legacy and time is running out. He also hopes to satisfy the desire Abby rouses in him. As Abby uncovers why he’s in such a hurry for a child, she falls in love with him again … just as she realizes it might be impossible to keep her end of the deal.

Even though I'm writing contemporaries, I’ll still be writing my very alpha heroes, some of them a little anti-hero but always with huge hearts and inner marshmallow.

So, I’d really be interested in understanding where my new contemporaries should be set. I did ask a question about setting a few days ago on my Facebook page when I saw some statistics.

Per 2014 Romance Book Buyer Report
In Contemporary ‪#‎romance, “small town” (43%) wins popular appeal
with “big city/New York” (39%) next.

Do you agree? I think the setting of a story changes a story’s nuance. The way people are brought up, the life they experience when younger, does shape your views on life, love and work.  

If you read a romance, what setting do you prefer?

1. Setting - small town or fast paced city
2. Heat - sexy sensual or sweet or REALLY sexy
3. Hero - Billionaire or non-billionaire Alpha

I’m giving away an eCopy of my new release, A Touch of Passion, book #3 in the Disgraced Lords series to one lucky commenter.

Here’s the blurb:

In the latest Disgraced Lords novel from USA Today bestselling author Bronwen Evans, a
vivacious thrill seeker clashes with her dutiful defender—causing irresistible sparks to fly.
Independent and high-spirited, Lady Portia Flagstaff has never been afraid to take a risk, especially if it involves excitement and danger. But this time, being kidnapped and sold into an Arab harem is the outcome of one risk too many. Now, in order to regain her freedom, she has to rely on the deliciously packaged Grayson Devlin, Viscount Blackwood, a man who despises her reckless ways—and stirs in her a thirst for passion.

After losing his mother and two siblings in a carriage accident years ago, Grayson Devlin promised Portia’s dying brother that he’d always watch over his wayward sister. But having to travel to Egypt to rescue the foolhardy girl has made his blood boil. Grayson already has his hands full trying to clear his best friend and fellow Libertine Scholar of a crime he didn’t commit. Worse still, his dashing rescue has unleashed an unforeseen and undesired consequence: marriage. Now it’s more than Portia he has to protect . . . it’s his battered heart.


Judith Ashley said...

Small town, sensually sexy, and alpha not Alpha much less ALPHA hero. Too much testosterone spoils the story for me. However, I've read several of your stories (most recently the novella "To Wager The Marquis of Wolverstone" for the second time (bought the historical bundle with you and Collette Cameron, etc.).

The stats on small town settings is interesting. What are your ideas as to why that is?

Anonymous said...

Small town, sensually sexy and strong alpha male :)

Lori P

Anonymous said...

I'm going to be rebel here in answer to all the questions.

Medium town/city. I don't want New York, but I don't want farmville either. Somewhere in between. Portland is always nice. :)

Sensually sexy. My "hotness" acceptance is fairly wide as long as it makes total sense with the story and has an important impact on the character arc. Hotness for sex sake, not so much.

Alpha/Beta male. I like the independence and get-it-done attitude of the alpha male but I do not like the I-know-what's-right-for-both-of-us attitude or the you-will-do-exactly-as-I-say attitude. Though that can provide conflict, it does get tiring. So, for me a thinking, caring, strong, get-it-done male is the best. I call that alpha-beta.