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Daniel’s True Desire
By Grace Burrowes
Release Date: November 3, 2015
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
An honorable life
Daniel Banks is a man of the cloth whose vocation is the last comfort he has left-and even his churchman’s collar is beginning to feel like a noose. At the urging of family, Daniel attempts to start his life over as vicar in the sleepy Kentish town of Haddondale, family seat to the earls of Bellefonte.
Challenged by passion
Lady Kirsten Haddonfield has resigned herself to a life of spinsterhood. Then the handsome new village vicar, Reverend Daniel Banks, becomes a guest of the Haddonfield family while the vicarage is being renovated, and Kirsten finds herself rethinking her position. Lady Kirsten does not know that Daniel’s past is about to cast a shadow on love’s future.
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Writing Realistic Children Characters
Every reader who picks up a romance novel was once a child and knows children. They might have children, grandchildren, or even great-grandchildren. The many, many children expected by the end of romance novels are said to symbolize the wholeness and potential of people who have redeemed their wounds, and earned their happily ever afters. All very true…
For me, including children in a romance novel is just plain fun. Little people have a way of winning our hearts without trying, and rightly so. As a child welfare attorney, I’m convinced the basic nature of the child is kind and honest, and these are the qualities of a hero or heroine by the end of the book. It’s as if the child characters can say to the adults, “You’re trying to figure out what it is that you’ve misplaced, or what’s been taken from you. I can help you solve that riddle but you have to share that biscuit with me first.”
Children also bring out our protective instincts, and a hero or heroine who won’t let anybody get past his or her defenses, who trusts nobody, not never, not no how, will go out of their way to keep a child safe. I had great fun in the first scene of Once Upon a Tartan, when my imperious, charm-free, downright sneaky (at first) English lord of a hero came upon not simply a damsel in distress, but a very young damsel. Had to cancel all of his self-important plans, did our hero, and while he wasn’t gracious about it, he hero’d up despite himself.
The children in Daniel’s True Desire are all boys, all the time. Like many rural vicars, Daniel Banks is expected to prepare the sons of the local gentry for public (boarding) school. Daniel will earn extra coin with his tutoring, get to know some of his parishioners, stay busy, and find himself in the hands of the very best teachers when it comes to how to woo the fair maid. More significantly, through the eyes of the children in his care, Daniel gets to re-evaluate his own upbringing.
As Daniel becomes a role model for the boys, he can finally make sense of some of the sentiments his own curmudgeonly father expressed long ago. Better still, Daniel can forgive himself, and his father, for decisions made out of rebellion on Daniel’s part, or out of paternal fear that came off sounding judgmental, harsh, and narrow-minded on his father’s.
Children are such a rich source of insight, warmth, humor, and surprises that I love to include them in my romances. Readers apparently love reading a well written child character too… though I’m not sure about all those toads the boys caught. Lady Kirsten was fine with them, but we’ll see what the readers think!
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Grace Burrowes’ bestsellers include The Heir, The Soldier, Lady Maggie’s Secret Scandal, Lady Sophie’s Christmas Wish and Lady Eve’s Indiscretion. Her Regency romances have received extensive praise, including starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist. Grace is branching out into short stories and Scotland-set Victorian romance with Sourcebooks. She is a practicing family law attorney and lives in rural Maryland.