I’m delighted to welcome back my fellow Wild Rose Press author, Rachel Brimble, with a new peek at her latest historical romance, Love’s Debt.
Tell us a little about Love’s Debt.
Love’s Debt is set in the city of Bristol, England – which is where I was born and lived for twenty-seven years. Bristol is famous for its docks and was supremely busy during the 1800s so I thought it right if I wrote a story set at that time. Joseph (my hero) spends time at the docks as well as working a second job with Milly (my heroine) at the tavern.
Their story is one of poverty and struggle but from Joseph’s point of view it is riches to rags and from Milly’s, it’s rags to a better class of rags 😉
To keep herself from the depths of poverty, Milly Shepherd needs to be appointed manager of the Red Lion Tavern. The elderly owner is in failing health and has promised her the job permanently if no one more suitable applies. Milly will fight with her entire being to make the job her own.
Joseph Jacobs needs to supplement his income to pay off his father’s creditors and save him from debtor’s prison. Though the job as manager of the local tavern looks promising, Milly is favored by both the owner and customers. Instead, Joseph swallows his pride and agrees to tend bar.
As they work together, their attraction grows, their goals cross, and both Millie and Joseph find they must face their fears …the question is whether they face them alone or together?
What are you working on now? Do you have any releases scheduled for this year?
I am currently working on book two of a two book contract I signed with Kensington back in May – the first one will be published in April and I hope this book (a sequel to book one) will be published in the winter or maybe early 2014.
Other books I have scheduled are two Harlequin Superromances (Feb & August) and a romantic comedy with Omnific Publishing which will be out in June. I have a very busy promo year ahead, lol!
What are your writing goals for this year?
This year, I hope to write at least three new books – two for Harlequin Superromance that will be, if contracted, book three and four in my Templeton Cove series. As well as that, I would love it if Kensington offered me another contract for a Victorian romance…although I quite like the idea of an Edwardian series after falling totally in love with Downton Abbey.
Do you have a favorite time of day for writing?
Morning, definitely! I am lucky to be a stay at home mom so I write as soon as my daughters are out of the door and on their way to school. I’m usually sat on the sofa with a mug of coffee by 8am. I then work through to 11ish and take the dog out for a walk. Then work through until 3pm when the girls come home. Once the house is filled with noise and coming and going, I find it harder to concentrate so usually spend that time doing household chores and taking the kids here, there and everywhere in between ‘tinkering’ with the work-in-progress.
What is your favorite scene from this story and why?
It’s probably the love scene – not just because I love writing love scenes 😉 but I found this one very emotionally poignant because both the characters are so invested in each other. Neither of them is confident or domineering, there is just a great sense of silent trust between them that I hope will touch readers as much as it did me J
Where is your favorite place in the world?
I think I’m yet to find it! I would love to travel more widely but money is always a factor as well as having to take my teenage children into account. Nothing is worse than bored teenagers on holiday, lol! We tend to make sure they are happy first because, God willing, my husband and I plan to do a LOT of travelling alone once they are grown 😉
The one place we have gone back to every year for the last five years is a log cabin in Snowdonia, Wales. It is gorgeous there and so peaceful. There is nothing to do but walk the dog, read and visit the beach but we love it. I think we might struggle to get the kids to agree this year as they’re now 14 and 12 but we’ll definitely try!
What do you like to read?
Anything and everything… except paranormal or sci-fi. I just can’t get my imagination to open enough that I embrace it. I’ve tried and tried but so far nothing has kept my interest past the first 100 pages. I have a rule that if after 100 pages, I’m bored or struggling to go on, I stop reading. There are FAR too many books in the world to waste time. Saying that, a lot of people are telling me to try the JR Ward Black Dagger series before I give up completely on paranormal. So I will have to put the first one on my Christmas list and go from there, lol!
I read every other type of romance, historical, contemporary, romantic suspense, romantic comedy…love it! As well as lots of women’s fiction, historicals and biographies.
These are few of my favorite things:
1. My shelves and shelves of books
2. Dry white wine
3. Chicken Satay
“No, I take it from here.” His jaw tightened. “I mean it, Milly. I don’t want you in there.”
“Why are we arguing about this? I thought we’d built a trust between us.”
His gaze darted over her face, lingered at her lips. “This has nothing to do with trust.”
“Pride. If I haven’t got that…if I’ve stooped so low as to put a woman at risk, then there’s no point in going on at all. I won’t do it, Milly. I won’t expose you to whatever is behind that door. If you can’t stay here, then go back to the tavern. I’ll see you there shortly.”
His face was set, his shoulders stiff and Milly’s irritation grew. She poked a finger into his chest. It was like iron. She swallowed. “Have you heard the saying, pride before a fall?” He nodded. “Good, because if people don’t reach out to other people, Joseph Jacobs, they fall further than ever with nobody there to catch them.”
She raised her hand. “Go. Do what you want. I’ve got more important things to worry about that a man full of so much pride, he looks fit to burst.”
Turning, Milly gripped her bag tightly in her hand and strode away. She did not look back, and she didn’t stop walking. Her stupid heart had let her down. Made her get involved in a man’s life and begin to care about him. Well, the buck stopped there. No more. If Joseph Jacobs ever needed her help again, he could take a long walk off the dock.
Blinking against the rare sting of tears, she tilted her chin and retraced her steps across town. Her shift at the tavern started in an hour’s time, but that didn’t matter; there was always plenty to be done and at least there, she was appreciated. Joseph certainly didn’t see what was right in front of his damn face.
Yet each step that took her across town weighed heavier and heavier. She’d seen where he and his father lived. It was little better than a hovel. She’d seen the newspapers stuffed around the window frames in an attempt to keep out the cold, the bare floorboards, and thick layers of soot from the fireplace spilling into the room. The landlady should be seeing to that, all of it. Bitter resentment furled in Milly’s stomach as her past flashed through her mind. She’d pulled her family from the gutter, and the future looked brighter than ever before.
Which didn’t help the nagging feeling that she could do more—wanted to do more to help Joseph. But she couldn’t. It would mean putting a hold on her own plans. All for a man she had hardly known more than two weeks.
She curled her hands into fists. This feeling inside her was new. This sense of wanting to fight for someone outside of her family. How had it gotten like this? To kiss him was bad enough, but to have this…this fear for him? That scared her more than anything.
Rachel lives with her husband and two young daughters in a small town near Bath in the UK. She started writing short stories about eight years ago but once her children were at school, embarked on her first novel. It was published in 2007. Since then, she’s had several books published with small presses as well as securing agent representation. Her first book with Harlequin Superromance will be published in February 2013, with a sequel following in August. She also writes Victorian romance for Kensington with her debut release coming in April 2013.
Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America, When she isn’t writing, you’ll find Rachel with her head in a book or walking the beautiful English countryside with her family. Her dream place to live is Bourton-on-the-Water in South West England. And in the evening? Well, a well-deserved glass of wine is never, ever refused…
You can find Rachel at:
You can find Love’s Debt at: