Power struggles and romantic tussles ...
Three Farraday cousins meet their match when they take on the Claibourne sisters in a boardroom battle for control of London’s most prestigious department store.
Back in 2002 I’d just won a RITA for The Best Man & the Bridesmaid and I was looking for new ways to stretch myself. The obvious choice seemed to be a trilogy and with my editor onside, I set to work. The big difference about a trilogy is that you need an ongoing plot/problem that will run the course of three books, while at the same time writing a story that is whole in itself. Not as simple as you might think. All the most obvious devices -- the “crucible” -- to keep the characters locked together seemed to have been tackled and I needed something new.
I finally came up with the idea of using a classy, upmarket London department store as the backdrop – believe me, the research was fabulous! – and set to work. And I do mean work. The schedule is a killer as the books have to be published in consecutive months – and my editor tossed in a novella half way through book one, just to keep me on my toes.
So, Creighton & Farraday rose from the pavements of Knightsbridge. It had a touch of Fortnum & Mason, for the history – and the history was important; the look of Liberty’s for the Art Deco glamour; and for the sheer size of the place I spent an awful lot of time in Harrods. (Did you know that Harrods employ 3000 people?)
Then for the characters. Three half-sisters – same father, different mothers gave me the chance to vary colouring and character – for my heroines Three male cousins for the dynamic tycoons hell bent on displacing them in the boardroom. I had thought to use brothers, but realised that having three sets of characters with the same surnames would confuse me, let alone the reader!
Then I set the Creightons, Romana, Flora and India, and the Farradays, Niall McCaulay, Bram Gifford and Jordan Farraday, in a battle for control of the store. The story that would run through the entire trilogy. And to keep them together, I had India, in a time-delaying tactic, throw down a challenge to the men. Come and see how good we are at this, shadow us for a month, see if you could do better, nwittingly playing right into Jordan Farraday’s hands.
I was half way through the second book when my editor emailed me to say that I couldn’t use the name “Creighton” as there was, apparently, already a family series with that name. You cannot believe how difficult it was to find another name, something that fit in with all the other names. It took me a week, but oddly, the minute I’d finished all the global search and replace stuff, I liked it better.
Then there was the dawning realisation that three books set in a department store might just be, well, a bit samey.
Romana, the PR princess, rose to the challenge and in THE CORPORATE BRIDEGROOM leads banker, Niall McCauley, a merry dance as organiser of a week long charity event. They get off to a very bad start, but he quickly learns that writing her off as a “dumb blonde” is not a smart move, especially when she’s running a charity auction. Beneath that cute haircut the brain is razor sharp, Beneath those lovely curves beats a heart warm enough to defrost his grief-stricken body and bring it back to life. But it’s not all one-way. Romana has her own pain to work through and with Niall’s help she finds an unexpected truth. A future she never expected.
Jewellery designer and academic, Flora Claibourne is less than enthusiastic about getting involved in this power play and in THE MARRIAGE MERGER she attempts to avoid a month in the company of international corporate lawyer, Bram Gifford, by accepting an invitation to explore the newly discovered treasures on the tropical island of Saraminda. It’s out of the frying pan and into the fire for Flora as Bram outflanks her escape bid and she finds herself sharing a beach-front cottage with this playboy. Her least favourite kind of man. Not that prickly blue-stockings come high on the list of women with whom he’d most like to share a tropical paradise. But there’s a mystery and since Flora seems hell-bent on getting herself into trouble, Bram has no option but stay very close.
While to her sisters, Claibourne & Farraday is important, for India Claibourne, this elegant department store is her life and she’ll do anything it takes to defeat THE TYCOON’S TAKEOVER plans. She’s certain that arrogant venture capitalist, Jordan Farraday just wants to sell the store to the first big chain that makes him offer, and she’s right. That, she discovers, too late, is the least of her worries. Jordan is looking to settle old scores. To redress a terrible wrong. He doesn’t just want her department store, he wants India Claibourne. At his feet. On her knees.
For excerpts click here.
To buy online at Mills & Boon click here.
To buy online at Amazon click here.
Reviews in template
Here’s what ROMANTIC TIMES had to say about these books:
THE CORPORATE BRIDEGROOM (4.5) is a page-turning, feel-good read sure to put a smile on your face all day.
THE MARRIAGE MERGER (4) will keep you on the edge of your seat with an adventurous story about two characters who can really strike up a spark.
Everything about THE TYCOON’S TAKEOVER (4) was simply wonderful, from the intensity of the way that the characters react to each other to the fabulous story that won't let you put the book down.
And All About Romance, not noted for their love of my books said –
…her character is well-drawn for the short space of the book. What I found particularly intriguing about her was the way her corporate attitude clashed with Jordan's. They both had different ways of looking at business practices and ethics, and both were in keeping with their past jobs and experience. Her love for her business and her desire to hold onto it was very believable, and author Fielding sneaks in some fun details about the store into the book.
THE TYCOON’S TAKEOVER was also nominated for a RITA®