Monday, June 2, 2014

The Contemporary Woman

Giveaway Alert!

I’m a huge Mad Men fan and love the transition Peggy has made over the course of the show from typist to Creative Director. It really brings home how far women have come in a fairly short time.

You can see the same thing in the evolution of romance novels over the decades. Many of the first stories were reflections of reality—a woman’s lack of rights and choices. Pride and Prejudice was a statement on the fact that women had to marry or face a life of ruin or destitution.

But somewhere along the line, as women gained a say in their own life, the nature of the story conflicts shifted. This is purely my opinion and I’m no sociology professor, but it looks to me that rather than seeing marriage as something to attain—and worrying about whether she’ll be happy after the fact—in today’s romances, heroines see love and marriage as a threat to their hard-won independence.

This rings true for me. For years I dreamed of nothing but having a career as a romance writer. Do you have any idea how hard it is to type with a crying baby on your lap?

I think this is why I love Harlequin Presents. Those alpha-males are extra hard to stand up to and demand some autonomy. (High stakes makes for good stories.) This is also one of the reasons I chose to make my heroine in my June release, An Heir To Bind Them, from India.

Jaya is a modern thinking woman, but her culture is still very patriarchal and traditional. This causes a lot of angst for her. She loves her family, doesn’t want to disappoint them, but she wants more from her life than an arranged marriage. On her journey to finding a career and independence, she bumps into Theo who steals her heart and gets her pregnant.

Theo, of course, wants to do all those sweet and smothering alpha things like support her financially and marry her so her family won’t judge her for their illegitimate child. He offers her the old-fashioned security that Eliza Bennett was supposed to aspire to and Jaya knows that kind of security is important, but it’s a compromise that undermines the woman she’s trying to become.

To give Theo credit, his sister is a career woman so he respects female drive. He’s instrumental in helping Jaya advance in her career before they hook up, which is one of the reasons she falls for him. When he offers her marriage, he sweetens the deal with some career advancement incentives. (He doesn’t think his good looks, money and skills between the sheets are enough, bless his heart.)

Still, it all feels to Jaya like settling. What reason does the contemporary woman have for marrying? We all know the answer. Love, of course. You’ll have to read the book to find out if Jaya gets that from Theo. (Hint: it’s a romance novel.)

But what do you think the modern woman wants? Love and marriage for security? Or do you think love and marriage can actually be a stumbling block on the way to achieving our heartfelt goals?

I’d love to hear your opinions and will draw from the comments for a signed copy of An HeirTo Bind Them.


Off the boss's payroll…and into his bed

Jaya. Her name reverberates around Theo Makricosta's head in time to the whirring blades of his private helicopter. He must find her; only Jaya can help with the care of his infant niece and nephew…. It's not because he hasn't stopped thinking about the single night of mind-blowing passion he shared with the exotic beauty.

Jaya Powers couldn't refuse her gorgeous millionaire Greek boss when she worked for him, and she can't refuse him now! Only this time she has a secret. Their night together had consequences that will change Theo's perfectly ordered existence forever!


“There’s not a woman in the world with enough training to fix me. Don’t try.” Another warning, his tone a little cooler.

She shook her head. This was about fixing herself, not him. “I just keep thinking that if I leave without kissing you, I’ll always wonder what it would have been like.”

That sounded too ingenuous, too needy, but his quietly loaded, “Yeah,” seemed to put them on the same page, which was remarkable. He stared at her mouth and hot tingles made her lips feel plump. She tried to lick the sensation away.

His breath rushed out in a ragged exhale. He loomed closer, so tall and broad, blocking out her vision, nearly overwhelming her. But when his fingers lightly caressed her jaw and his mouth came down, she was paralyzed with anticipation.

There’d been a few kisses in her life, none very memorable, but when his mouth settled on hers, unhurried and hot, she knew she’d remember this for the rest of her life.

The smooth texture of his lips sealed to hers. He didn’t force her mouth open. She softened and welcomed his confident possession, weakening despite the nervous flutters accosting her. He rocked the fit, deepening the kiss so she opened her mouth wider, bathed in delicious waves of heat. Their lips dampened and slid erotically. His tongue was almost there, then not, then—

He licked into her mouth and she moaned, lashed with exquisite delight. This was the kind of kiss she’d only read about and now she knew there was a reason they called it a soul kiss. Her hand went to his shoulder for balance. She lifted on her toes, wanting more pressure, more of him settling into her inner being.

With a groan he slid his arm around her and pulled her tight against him, softly crushing her mouth while digging his fingers into her bound hair. It was good, so good. She reached her arms around his neck, loving how it felt to be kissed and held so tightly against his hard chest and—

He was hard everywhere.


After a brilliant debut in the UK with No Longer Forbidden, a Mills & Boon Modern Book Of The Month January 2013, Dani’s first Harlequin Presents, Proof Of Their Sin, won the Reviewer’s Choice by Romantic Times Book Reviews for Best First In Series. While her focus is Harlequin Presents, Dani also writes romantic comedy, medieval fantasy, and coming August of 2014, erotic romance. Whatever the genre, she always delivers sexy alpha heroes, witty, spirited heroines, complex emotions and loads of passion.

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  1. I think modern women still want marriage and kids. Many of my younger co-workers do.

    1. oops yenastone at aol dot com

      I love your books too Dani.

  2. Aw, thanks Tammy, and I think biology demands we have kids a lot of the time :)

  3. I love the sound of this book, Dani.

    I believe women can provide for their own financial security in many cases, but what they want is a partner to share their life experiences with.

    Marcy Shuler

    1. Hi Marcy,
      Yes, you're right about companionship. I have a friend who just told me she was quitting dating in one paragraph of an email, then promptly told me about the guy she had met recently online who she was thinking of meeting up with in real life. No matter how frustrating courtship can be, we all want to have someone to talk to and do stuff with.


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