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Michele Stegman has loved history all her life. When she was studying history in graduate school, one of her professors quipped that she put too much romance in her research papers. She decided to put in more romance and write historical romances.
Her Fortune series is following the adventures of the Fortune family through piracy and war in the 1700’s.
Conquest of the Heart, her upcoming book, takes place in England in 1067, just after the Norman Conquest. It is quite different from most books that are set during the Conquest. For one thing, her hero is not a big, brash Norman conqueror. He’s a Saxon. It’s the heroine who is the Norman. Her people conquered his country, now she must conquer his heart!
Michele was never interested in writing contemporary novels. But one day she was driving along, thinking of nothing in particular, when the entire plot for Mr. Right’s Baby popped into her head. She couldn’t stop thinking about it and finally decided it was a book that had to be written.
Michele lives her history every day. She lives in an 1840’s log cabin, and sleeps in a 200 year old bed with her very own hero, her husband, Ron. She spins, weaves, makes her own soap, and bakes her own bread and crackers.
Two cats, Chopstix and 5, demand lots of petting, but her two daughters, Kira and Shana, are the delight of her life.
Michele also dabbles in art, and is a member of the Southeastern Indiana Art Guild.
on Feb. 23, 2012 :
Adrian Wright never knew he was a dad until seven years after a brief encounter. Not until she was on her deathbed did his old fling get him the message that she'd gotten pregnant, and given the baby up for adoption without ever contacting Adrian. Now he's determined to find his 6-year-old daughter and get to know her, even if he can't reveal who he really is to her, and takes a position as a substitute teacher to get close to her.
Carly is every bit the charming child every parent wants, but it's her widowed, adoptive mother who really tugs at Adrian's heartstrings - and more. He can't figure her out, and this leads to many humorous moments. Kate shows up to pick up Carly from school looking a mess from cleaning out the gutters and reeking of alcohol. Adrian later runs into her at the grocery store where she's buying a cart full of cigarettes and alcohol and he can't help but think she's a drunk when in fact, she's buying the smokes for a neighbor and the booze is for a party she's catering.
The characterization is where this book really shines. In the hands of a lesser author, Carly would be too cute, too precious, and saccharine sweet, but here she's just mischievous enough to counter this and be realistic. The gradual development of Adrian and Kate's relationship is poignant and sweet as Kate tries to figure out what Adrian's really up to while he tries to keep his original motivations secret. Although their relationship isn't consummated on the page, there's plenty of sexual tension, and their attraction for each other zings off the page while keeping the reader constantly wondering what will happen when Kate learns who Adrian is.
I don't normally read much contemporary romance, but with the characters, the humor and the emotion, this one had no trouble keeping my interest. Highly recommended!
(reviewed 4 months after purchase)