Monday, 7 April 2014

Guest post by Nicole Helm + Giveaway

I have to confess I am a blackmail romance trope junkie. Don't ask me why that is, when in real life I abhor any coercion or force against free will, but somehow this trope adds some tingle to the romance. Today's guest new release, Risky Return, also features blackmail at its core, so please welcome Nicole Helm as she tells us why she finds blackmail such a sexy romantic trope. (There is also a giveaway waiting for you at the end ;-).

Why is blackmail such a sexy romantic trope?
by Nicole Helm

Thanks so much for having me here today! I was tasked with answering the question "why is blackmail such a sexy romantic trope?" Since my current release, Risky Return, starts with, you guessed it, blackmail, it seems I should have some kind of answer for that question!

Personally, I don't think blackmail is really romantic. So, why would I write a romance with blackmail in it? It may not be romantic, but I think blackmail in a story offers deep emotional conflict that makes a story compelling.

First you have the reason for the blackmail. For our hero, the reason is all about doing right by his grandfather's legacy and helping his brother. It's about family, and the feeling of owing his family something. When you love your family, when you feel indebted to them, it causes a deep emotional need for the character, and I think that makes the character interesting.

In the case of Risky Return, Ryan, the hero, doesn't think he's asking for much. Just a little bit of time and a little bit of his sort-of-ex-wife's fame. Unfortunately for our heroine, Celia, she's hiding a lot of things and Ryan's blackmail puts those secrets in jeopardy, unbeknownst to him.

So, that blackmail that complicates Celia's life far more than Ryan expected, is a deep emotional conflict between them and their happily ever after. That added emotion makes it all the much conflicted as the hero and heroine develop feelings for each other, and act on those feelings. Adding tension and emotion to the romance.

Luckily, Ryan works to redeem himself once he knows the truth, and I think that redemption in a blackmail story can be romantic.

So, is blackmail romantic? Maybe not as such, but the emotional impact it can have proves for an emotional read.

Blackmail never felt so right.

Celia Grant has spent the last ten years keeping her past at bay, building her Hollywood reputation as America's Sweetheart. When ex-boyfriend Ryan Harrington threatens to reveal her darkest secrets, she has no choice but to return to Demo, Kansas, and the people she left behind. In exchange for Ryan's silence, she will appear in a reality television show that promises to save his family's legacy.

Ryan Harrington knows an opportunity when he sees one, and using Celia to save his family is one he can’t ignore. But he didn’t count on the pull they still have on each other.
Celia reminds herself that she and Ryan were never destined to have a happily ever after ending like in the movies she stars in. But even as the ghosts of her past refuse to be suppressed any longer, she finds herself tempted by the hopes of a love she never thought she could have.
 Between secrets, fame, and love, Celia’s made the riskiest return of all.

Buy at Amazon - Kobo

Nicole Helm grew up with her nose in a book and a dream of becoming a writer. Luckily, after a few failed career choices, a husband, and two kids, she gets to pursue that dream.

Nicole lives in Missouri with her husband and two sons, and writes her novels one baby's nap at a time. She's slightly (okay, totally) addicted to Twitter, loves watching the St. Louis Cardinals, and her dream is to someday own a barn.

Connect with Nicole at her website - Facebook - Twitter - Goodreads


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