Please give a warm welcome to author, Jenna Harte, joining us with her contemporary romance and mystery novel, Deadly Valentine.
Combining Passion and Mystery Into a Series
I’m a hopeless romantic. I love to read about couples finding each other, trying to decide what to do with their attraction to each other, and finally, after some angst, committing themselves to forever after. I especially like romance stories involving mystery or suspense. What I hate is when they end. What happens after that final “I love you” and the decision to spend their lives together? Unfortunately, most romances don’t let us know. Sure, sometimes featured characters in one book show up in another book, but they’re always secondary characters. And some mysteries have romantic couples, but most mysteries are short on the sensual aspects that make romances fun. So I decided to write my own romantic mysteries series.
The Valentine Mysteries feature Tess Madison, a chocolate and French lingerie connoisseur and her rich, handsome, tree-hugging love interest. We meet them first in Deadly Valentine, in which Tess has spent three years rebuilding her life after walking away from a two-timing fiancé, a multi-million dollar trust fund and a cushy corporate law job. That new life comes unraveled at dinner party when she stumbles on the host’s dead body. Now Tess is in the middle of a murder investigation pitting her wannabe-boyfriend police detective against Jack Valentine, a man from her past with blue-green eyes and sinful smile that causes her to rethink her self-imposed celibacy. Tess has many reasons to avoid Jack including the fact that he’s the prime suspect in murder. But Tess doesn’t believe Jack’s the murderer and with an honest attempt to keep her hormones in check, she agrees to represent him. With Jack’s help, she uncovers a 30-year-old secret someone is killing to keep hidden and discovers sensual delights that don’t include chocolate or French underwear. But when her professional and personal relationship with Jack threatens to ruin her career and end her life, Tess has to decide if Jack, is worth the risk.
In most romantic mysteries, Tess and Jack’s story would end there, but I wanted to continue their romance and adventures. So far I’ve added two more books to the series, Old Flames Never Die, and With This Ring, I Thee Kill. I’m currently working on a fourth book, Until Death Do Us Part, and have several more planned. Although Tess and Jack are in a committed relationship, you still see their characters grow individually and together through the series. I also continue the passion and banter that makes them fun and interesting, while involving them in murder and mayhem.
For any readers who are like me and wish they could continue to read about their favorite romantic characters once the first book has ended, the Valentine Mysteries are for them. The books combine the best of both worlds; romance and mystery into a series format.