Best of both in the romance world: Smart & Steamy

I grew up on romance novels. Let me rephrase. I grew up on CHRISTIAN romance novels. These brought me an unhealthy and skewed perspective on romance that led to some pretty rough relationships in my life. Even in the Christian romance genre there is a huge emphasis on women being targeted, controlled, and led to realize that their life isn’t complete if they’re not serving the every whim of a borderline (if not overtly) abusive boyfriend/husband.

Since growing up, I have avoided the romance genre. Sure I’ve had to read a few due to my role as founder of Support Indie Authors, but many of them cater to the same thought process. That thought process that tells us that 50 Shades of Gray is romantic instead of being about an abusive stalker who we’re led to believe is capable of change once he truly falls in love. Excuse me as I roll my eyes.

And this is really how I felt about the romance genre UNTIL I met Regina Modesta.

Thank God for Regina Modesta.

I have read both of her books, Blues Chords & Office Notes, as well as A Walk Along Forbidden Drive and I am so so so glad that I did. I had no idea that smart and sexy romance books were still being written. The plot focuses on both characters maturing and growing together into a HEALTHY relationship that promotes honest communication and trust instead of relying on the all too common love triangle or violent drama that so many romances resort to.

I walked away from both books feeling happy! I don’t know that any other romance I’ve ever read has left me feeling this way. It’s because of this that I cannot promote her enough. I want this woman writing romance books for years and years to come because one day my daughter (who is only 2 now) is going to want to read romance books. And I am going to pray that she avoids Twlight, 50 Shades, and so many of the other mainstream New Adult romances and instead focuses on Modesta’s smart & sexy romances that provide examples of healthy relationships.

So if you’re looking for a book to keep your warm this Fall and Winter, pick one of these, and then breathe a sigh of relief as you realize that true romance is still possible in the fictional world.

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Blurb

“Of all days to immortalize, this one is definitely it. I officially have my dream job! The only weird thing about going back today was…well, there’s only ever been one weird thing at Helping Hands, and that’s Tav.”

When she writes in her journal, Zel Brighton can see with absolute clarity what she wants – career success – and she’s not about to let anything stand in her way. But the quiet yet attractive office recluse with the mysterious guitar in his cubicle keeps occupying her mind. She wants to penetrate Tav Fosco’s emotional wall and become friends, but she soon realizes that “friends” won’t cut it. Their deepening connection, along with some startling words of caution from Tav’s dying aunt, leave Zel confused and standing at exactly the kind of crossroads she swore she’d avoid at all costs.

Tav Fosco has never sought more companionship than his music. He’s lost a lot in his thirty years, and with his sassy Aunt Tillie getting sicker and sicker, he accepts that he’s going to lose her too. Then the magnetic new intern walks in and Tav realizes he wants much more from life – a kind of “more” he’s convinced a closed off guy like him can never have. Just as he begins to feel that he and Zel have a chance together, Zel delivers a blow that brings his hopes crashing down.

This is a stand-alone story with a moderate-to-high heat level that takes place within the Forbidden Drive fictional universe.

About the Author

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My favorite part of romance is when you feel that unbreakable connection form between the main characters, knowing they’ll follow each other to the ends of the earth. Even better is when that realization is followed by some good hot and steamy stuff! For me, this passion is where the heart of every love story lies, and it’s what I try to build my novels around.

When I was younger, I read a lot of books looking for those breathtaking moments. Sometimes I found them, sometimes I didn’t. Sometimes the plot was incredible and thrilling, yet the story seemed to lack the connection between characters that’s so dear to me. I wanted to write my own sexy, character-oriented novels that didn’t get too muddied up with violence or outrageous plot twists, but I was worried I was the only one who would like them, so I was afraid to try.

Two English degrees and a happy marriage later, I’ve finally found my voice and I’m not afraid to use it. I love exploring all sorts of social issues and questions in my writing about women’s role in romance and in life, and have done so in several genres. But as I raise two daughters, it has become especially important to me to focus on romance heroines who develop healthy relationships with both themselves and their hotties. I make as much time as I can for writing while raising my kids, and I hope to make my readers fall as deeply for my bold, intelligent characters as I do!

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