The Charmer in Chaps by Julia London
(Princes of Texas, #1)
Publisher: Berkley Books
Release Date: July 24, 2018
The first in a sexy new contemporary western romance series from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Julia London where cowboys and true love brings you home…
Cimarron County knows the youngest son of the fabled Prince family as a womanizing hell-raiser, but Luca has another side to him. He intends to turn the overworked pasture land his father left him back to its natural beauty. There’s just one problem–a woman with sparkling eyes and more fight than a barnyard cat is grandfathered into some acreage on his portion of Three Rivers Ranch.
After years of living in foster homes, Ella has exactly three things to her name: A dog, a pig, and the rundown house she just inherited. Luca may not remember her from high school, but she definitely remembers him. He is as seductive as he was then, but Ella isn’t about to fall for his flirting–if only she could stop melting at his touch.
What begins as a game of seduction for Luca quickly turns into something more, but Ella has learned the hard way to trust no one but herself–especially when it comes to her deepest secret. Yet the closer Luca gets to Ella, the more he wants to be the one she leans on. For once, Luca is determined to do something right and give the woman he loves the home she deserves.
The Differences Between Writing Contemporary and Historical Romances
I have been very fortunate in my career to write both historical and contemporary romance. People always ask me how I’m able to do that—isn’t it hard to write both? Don’t I have to do a lot of research? Aren’t the characters really different given the different time periods?
The real difference in these novels is the set design. In historicals, the history is the backdrop. In contemporaries, the modern world is the backdrop. But no matter the time period, the story between two people is center stage, and love stories are timeless.
What I have noticed, however, is the differences in the heroes. The heroes in historicals tend to be wealthy and powerful. In the time periods I explore, which includes the 18th century and early 19th century, women had no true rights to own property or work or vote. They often didn’t get the same education as men. Their value was in their ability to keep house and produce heirs. They had to rely on men, so the fantasy is obviously that the best of men would fall for our girl and give her a life of luxury.
In contemporaries, the heroines are always self-sufficient. They might be struggling, but they are making their own way in this world. They are savvy, they are smart, and they aren’t settling for any Also Rans. The heroes are powerful in physical strength and sometimes, in their jobs—and they like a woman who can give as good as she can get. He may be able to pluck our girl from obscurity, but the heroine doesn’t need the hero to do that—she wants him to.
In an historical, a man’s superior social status may be used as a plot device. She can’t have him because he is above her socially, or he can’t have her because she is his inferior, and heaven help us all if a woman of inferior social status sires his children. But when the historical hero falls for her, all that flies out the window—love is what matters, and he is willing to go to the mat to have her and he would be honored if she was the mother of his children.
In a contemporary, the man may be the inferior social partner. He may have the lesser job. He may bring more baggage to the table. What’s attractive about him is his strength, his innate kindness, and his ability to see the heroine as an equal.
In an historical, sometimes the heroes can be reflective of the times and start off believing that women are not their equals, but as the chambermaid/governess/widow/totally unsuitable miss begins to best him in the affairs of the heart, his eyes are opened. A woman can be his equal partner. She can be a lot smarter than him. He is humbled that she can see the good in him, and not only recognizes all his folly before he met her, he very clearly sees his good fortune in having found her. He emerges an enlightened male. And if he lives in a castle, that’s okay.
In contemporaries, the hero better understand right up front that women are his equal in both intellect and spirit. The hero and heroine’s circumstances may be unequal, but differences in money and power do not define their relationship, because the heroine has autonomy. In other words, she comes into the story already an equal partner, and if he can get past the roadblocks that pop up in their relationship, he will have a partner for the ups and downs of life. He will emerge an enlightened male.
In The Charmer in Chaps, my first book in the Princes of Texas series, Luca Prince has everything a guy could want to the casual observer. He is handsome, he is rich, he is a cowboy. He understands the intrinsic worth of women in the modern world, he understands the concept of consent, and most importantly, he practices it. But beneath the surface, it’s not all rainbows and unicorns for Luca. He has a few demons. It takes someone like Ella Kendall, a woman who had been down on her luck, but is making her own way and refusing to let adversity get in her way, to help him be a better man. And because Luca is kind, and an excellent lover, and can make her laugh, and respects her more than anyone ever has, he is the best man for Ella. If he wins her hand, he will hold her in his heart forever. Swoon.
That’s what we all want. It’s what women have always wanted. It’s what women will always deserve.
Julia London is the New York Times and USA Today best selling author of more than two dozen romantic fiction novels. She is the author of the popular historical romance series, the Cabot Sisters, including The Trouble with Honor, The Devil Takes a Bride, and The Scoundrel and the Debutante. She is also the author of several contemporary romances, including Homecoming Ranch, Return to Homecoming Ranch, and The Perfect Homecoming.
Julia is the recipient of the RT Bookclub Award for Best Historical Romance and a six-time finalist for the prestigious RITA award for excellence in romantic fiction. To keep up with all the Julia London news, please visit http://www.julialondon.com. Follow her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/julialondon