Hi everyone! Today I'm very excited to bring to you one of the authors I write with at Roses of Prose, the fabulous Jerri Hines. She's going to talk about Romantic Suspense today, and show off her book, THE JUDAS KISS, available from Whiskey Creek Press.

Cathryn Blankenship has no desire for a season in London! Why on earth would her father want her to leave her home in Charles Town? Upon Cathryn’s steadfast refusal, Governor Blankenship is forced to assign a young lieutenant to watch over Cathryn on the journey and ensure his daughter’s appearance in London. Cathryn finds Lieutenant Jake Pennington the most aggravating, maddening man she has ever met...a man Cathryn soon admits she is in no hurry to see leave. But fate has other plans for her in a world she is ill prepared to enter. She descends into a place where love and betrayal go hand and hand, where greed and treachery are second nature, but moreover the threat her father believes he has sent her is awaiting her arrival. When fate tears her apart from her Lieutenant, Cathryn finds herself desolate and alone. Soon Cathryn makes fateful decisions that will eventually send her back to her home where she will have to fight for her life. And the only one that can save her is the one she believes deserted her.

The Historical Pull of Romantic Suspense

When I pick up a romance novel, I’m certain of one thing. Boy…I mean man meets woman; man wants woman; woman discovers the man is her knight in shining armor; they fall in love and live happily ever after. A happy ending. A celebration of their love. The formula has been used for years upon years. And when I’m in the mood for a light read, I greatly enjoy a good romance.

Although to be honest, I can’t write a simple romance. I’ve tried. Every time I try, the book takes a turn, a wide turn back to what I’m comfortable with- romantic suspense. I can’t help throwing my heroine into danger and more often than not in the past. Yes, I’m one of those historical romance suspense authors. I also follow a formula. Conflict. Conflict. Conflict.

Historical novels fascinate me. I’m drawn to the past. Maybe it’s the constraints society placed upon females during that period of time that pulls me to write a story. Although I have faith in the characters I create to overcome adversity, it is a challenge to weave a tale where the heroine can survive and conquer. History has a violent past. People were more likely to take matters into their own hands. In some cases, a woman caught in a situation had no where to turn. At times, society would spurn a victim. The unfairness of it all! And these women didn’t have advocates back in those days. But when I write, I remember that all the hardships my heroine must face will only magnify the love she will eventually find.

To me the suspense and tension adds to the romance making it more deeply fulfilling when you come to the happy ending. The question really becomes in any historical is how to make it fresh and original. What would make a reader pick my book up?

I believe I have opened up a door not many have taken when it comes to my Tides of Charleston series. I love the mystic of Charleston. Sweeping my characters back and forth from Charleston to Regency England adds a different dimension to the Regency romantic suspense genre. Charleston and England had close ties before the American Revolution. In the Tides of Charleston series, the books come from two different points of views. The first two, The Judas Kiss and The Promise center on a former Royal governor’s beloved daughter, Cathryn Blankenship, who stays loyal to the British crown. The last one, Another Night Falls, follows her bastard brother’s stance for the American cause.

Intrigue, love, betrayal…suspense.

The Judas Kiss is available now. The Promise is set to be released, May, 2012; Another Night Falls, September, 2012. If you like historical suspense with a touch of paranormal, I have Daughter of Deceit set to be released early February, 2012, under my pen name, Carrie James Haynes.

Well let's take a closer look at The Judas Kiss while you're here, Jerri!


Cathryn stepped out. The night air felt refreshing in itself. She had needed air.

“It’s about time,” a voice said to her side. She turned quickly to find Jake, smiling, waiting in the shadows. Others walked by; Cathryn politely acknowledged all, but her eyes stayed upon Jake. Reggie sauntered over slowly.

“I can cover for a few minutes,” he whispered. “Don’t tarry.”

Jake took her hand and they walked down the stairs leading to the garden. Finding quickly a bench away from prying eyes, Jake pulled her down beside him. Her hand reached his and she held it.

“Oh, Jake, please take me away,” she pleaded.

“What is wrong, Cathryn? Your grandparents?”

“No, it’s just I can’t stay in this house. Oh, Jake, I have missed you. Why can you not take me away?”

“You know the answer, Cathryn,” Jake uttered.

He reached over and gently caressed her cheek. His fingers touching her face were feather-light sending warmth through out her body. Leaning over her, he cradled her face in his hands before he kissed her. His lips pressed to hers, which he touched softly, coaxing her to respond in the same manner. Her breath caught while his tongue touched her lips, sliding deep into the cavity of her mouth.

And then his arms captured her. She lost herself in his arms. Every part of her body awakened with desire. They shared a deep, hard, openmouthed kiss that provoked something inside of her that yearned for more.

“I can’t do this anymore, Cathryn. I can’t hide my feelings when I’m around you.”

“Why then hide anything? I don’t care about what anyone thinks. I know what I feel, Jake,” she cried. “I’m miserable without you and have only survived this month with the thought of seeing you again. I don’t belong here, Jake. They haven’t paid attention to Father’s instructions. Why that detestable man just only informed me that he thinks we are to be married! I would never! They can’t make me marry that man.”

“Marry? I thought you said...Is something arranged, Cathryn?” Jake stuttered.

“Not by me or Father,” Cathryn said, startled by his reaction. “He just told me. I have no knowledge of such. I don’t believe him.”

“You are talking of Edmund.” Jake paused and pulled away. Cathryn grabbed his hand.

“What is wrong, Jake?”

He had no time to answer for in the next moment Reggie’s voice resounded through out the garden. “No, I haven’t seen her, Edmund. Are you certain she came this way?”
Jake grabbed Cathryn's hand and led her through a path toward a different entrance. Before he let go of her hand, he turned her to him, “I have to go, Cathryn. I’m sorry.”

“I can tell something is wrong, Jake,” she pleaded. “Don’t do this to me. I need you so. I love you. Don’t leave me like this. Don’t you know I won’t stop loving you even if you leave me? I can tell you think you are trying to be noble. There is no need. I will never be happy without you. What more can matter?”

“You are so innocent to the world, Cathryn,” he said, taking her in his arms once more. Her lips parted to meet his, sharing a different kind of kiss. He needed not to say the words. His kiss told all. Tears welled in her eyes for she felt his pain, hers.

“Please, don’t leave me, Jake,” she whispered as their lips parted.

“I do love you, Cathryn.” It was the last words he uttered, leaving her desolate in the garden.


You can find out more about Jerri here:

Jerri's Blog
Facebook - Novel Works
The Roses of Prose Blog

To purchase her books go to Amazon.com and Whiskey Creek Press

Thanks so much, Jerri for stopping by the blog today! Best of luck with the upcoming release, Daughter of Deceit!


"Victorians used the term 'limbs' as a euphenism for legs, which were thought to be so sexually exciting to a man, even a glimpse of a table leg could incite him to sexual frenzy. Table skirts were invented to prevent any unnatural unions between men and furniture."
(History Channel International)



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