Posts Tagged ‘Irresistible Enemy’

Mary CostelloMy guest today is my release buddy and fellow Destiny Romance author, Mary Costello. Mary is one of those people that when you meet her you can’t help but like her. She is warm and funny and passionate and this is reflected in her writing. Her new novel, Irresistible Enemy, was released alongside Dark Moon last week and is a fun, contemporary romance set in farmland Victoria.

But Mary isn’t just here today to talk about her new book (although, there is room for that too!), she is here to share with us her Top 10 Turn-Ons for the romantic Hero. Take it away, Mary.

Top 10 Turn-Ons – The Stuff of Romantic Heroes

 The best thing about being a Romance writer is that you get to conjure up your own idea of a hero. By the time I was a couple of chapters into Irresistible Enemy, I was besotted with my hero, Hart Huntingdon, and that made the rest of the story great fun to write.

When it comes to heroes, readers want characters who know how to attract, and also how to connect. As women, we’re increasingly demanding about what we want from both the men we encounter in real life and the fictional heroes we dream and drool about. We can afford to be. We’re now more independent, more highly educated and more financially secure than any previous generation. We have a lot to offer, we expect a lot in return.

Our high expectations may rarely be met in our everyday reality, and that’s why we turn to our Romantic heroes who can fulfil all our fantasies, at least in the imagination.

Romance novels abound with all sorts of fascinating and desirable men, but there are some characteristics common to most swoonable heroes.

1) He must look good. 

Looks aren’t everything, and first impressions aren’t the last word, but who’s going to fall for a daggy character? A hero doesn’t have to be Beau Brummell, and he needn’t be conventionally handsome, but he must be physically attractive, and he must take care with his appearance. It’s not just about aesthetics; good grooming means he cares about the heroine’s feelings, and he’s prepared to go to some trouble to show that.

N.B. – a pleasing amount of manly stubble is very attractive. All that testosterone has got to come out somewhere…….Irresistible Enemy

2) He must have something to say.

The strong, silent type is fine, but only up to point – there’s nothing appealing about a man with no conversation.  Don’t expect dazzling wit and pithy pronouncements unless you’re reading a Regency Romance, but if our hero can talk about his ideas and opinions, and ultimately reveal the truth about his feelings, it’ll be worth hanging on his every word.

3) He must be prepared to listen.

Women, like all human beings, want attention and want to be heard; and we demand the same for our heroines. The odd bunch of flowers might make a woman feel special, but a man who listens with interest makes her feel real, and lets her know he takes us seriously.

4) He mustn’t be obsessed with money.

Sure, it makes the world go round, but a money-grubbing hero is unlikely to put many women in a spin. These days, women are financially savvy. We’ve got our own mortgages, income-protection insurance, super plans and investment portfolios. We just don’t want to talk about them all the time. There’s an old saying, a woman knows the value of love, but a man knows its cost. Our heroine is there to help teach our hero what really counts.

5) He mustn’t talk about sport all the time.

We get enough of that in real life! A hero who’s obsessed with nothing but footy/rugby/car racing will have us yawning by page 3. Okay, maybe some of us don’t mind ogling big thighs in shorts, but that doesn’t mean we want to hear details of league tables, test scores, and endless stats on everything from horsey handicaps to free-kick counts. Our hero’s got to be more obsessed with our heroine than with David Beckham.

6) He mustn’t drink too much.

It’s been claimed that beer is a contraceptive – it’s certainly no aphrodisiac; and beer breath is an instant turn-off, even on the written page. Our hero wants to spend his time and money on our heroine, not on pints and chasers.

7) He mustn’t love himself too much.

Vanity is a passion killer. No heroine wants a man who thinks he’s more attractive than any of the females in the room. As for those who flash serious muscle – a good body is great, so long as he spends more time with our heroine than in the gym.

8) He mustn’t put himself down.

A misery guts will never make a hero. If he thinks he’s a loser, he probably is. Readers crave a man who is positive, who has goals, and the belief in himself to achieve them. Self confidence in a man is more of a turn-on than a chin dimple.

9) He mustn’t patronise our heroine.

If he calls her ‘Babe’ or ‘kitten’, or refers to women collectively as ‘chicks’,  then our heroine needs to kick him in the teeth. He needs to understand that women aren’t small, helpless animals; au contraire.  Respect is a minimal requirement.

10) He mustn’t be scared of commitment.

Most heroines won’t be satisfied with a one-night stand. They may not necessarily want to have the hero’s baby in Chapter 1, but a heroine wants to know that the man she’s sleeping with sees her as something other than a temporary recreational option. As readers, we want to know that their relationship has a future – that they’ll become friends and partners as well as lovers.


Thanks Mary, that was fun and pretty well spot on! Now it’s time to tell us about your book and it’s top 10 winning hero, Hart Huntington.

Irresistible Enemy:

Cassie Bowtell is a plain, no-nonsense girl, and Hart Huntingdon is a man surrounded by glamorous women, but Cassie attracts Hart with her courage, honesty and her dedication to the injured animals in her care. Hart stands for everything Cassie despises, and having been badly hurt in love, she’s determined to repress any emotional impulses that go against her better judgement.

You can buy Mary’s books, Irrisistible Enemy and The Reluctant Wag here:The Reluctant Wag

Amazon US    Amazon Australia    Destiny Romance     itunes

Mary’s Bio:

Mary Costello is an Irish-Australian freelance writer, and despite living most of her life in Australia, she hasn’t lost her accent, or the sense of being somewhere exotic. She lives in Melbourne’s bushburbs with her husband of many years, who, oddly, bears no resemblance whatsoever to a romantic hero. They live with a flock of recovering battery hens and their two daughters, for whom Mary aspires to arrange advantageous matches to men of large property.

Mary’s first book, Titanic Town, Memoirs of a Belfast Girlhood, was published twenty years ago, but she only recently turned her pen to Romance, inspired by the heroics of the men of Aussie Rules football. The result was The Reluctant Wag.

Her new release, Irresistible Enemy, is a very different book. Set in the bushy fringes of Melbourne, it brings into collision a dedicated wildlife warrior and a high-powered property developer for whom ‘habitat’ means luxury houses.

Find out more about Mary here: Blog    Facebook

I was tagged last week by the fabulously talented Jennifer St George and then on the same day there was another tag by another wonderful fellow RWA author, Heather Garside in this series of rolling blogs where I’m asked to talk about my writing – I feel very popular! Thanks ladies for thinking of me and including me in this lovely event.

But first, before I talk about me, let me tell you a little about Jen and Heather.

The Billionaires Pursuit of Love


I have known Jen for a number of years now through Romance Writers of Australia. She is a powerhouse of a woman, talented, funny and gorgeous to boot. If she wasn’t so lovely, I’d probably hate her. 🙂

Jen was one of the first authors picked up by my publisher, Penguin’s Destiny Romance and writes sexy, exotic contemporary romances and has been nominated for best novel of the year in the Australian Romance Readers of Australia Awards (ARRA) this year. Her latest novel, The Billionaire’s Pursuit of Love, is set in London and Brunei with betrayal and a heady dose of passion and love wrapped up in a fast paced read that I devoured in a few sittings. You can find out more about Jen and her books on her website and can buy The Billionaire’s Pursuit of Love at AmazoniTunesDestiny RomancePenguin and Google.


Breakaway CreekI have actually never met Heather in the flesh, but she is a regular contributor on the RWA published author loop and from everything I’ve read and heard, a very talented author. Heather writes historical romances. Breakaway Creek, her latest release, was a finalist in the QWC/Hachette Manuscript Development Program – very impressive. It is a rural romance written with a dual timeline. You can buy Breakaway Creek at Clan Destine Press, Kindle, Kobo, Lulu, Nook and iTunes.

She works part time at the local library, at home on the farm and helps produce a local monthly newsletter, amongst other voluntary activities. Find out more about her on her website here.

Now to me. It’s time for me to sit in the hot seat and answer the questions they both posed to me.

What am I working on?

I am currently working on redrafting and polishing Healer Moon, the book that follows on from Dark Moon in the Witch-Were Chronicles. I am also writing the 3rd in the series, Blood Moon and when I get time, I am also working on completely overhauling a pet project of mine that has done well in competitions and has garnered interest from publishers and agents, but just doesn’t quite work as a whole. I think, after ruminating on it for some time, I’ve realized why and am now trying to (slowly, given everything else occupying my time) work through the story again and breathe some new life into it.

How does my work differ from others in its genre?

I am a very plot oriented person, the trickier the plot, the happier I am. I like twists and turns and unexpected happenings as well as having really solid overarching themes in individual novels and in the series as a whole. Suspense and mystery plays a big part of my work, as does mythology and history, yet I change things to suit the tone of my work and then add more suspense and more plot twists and turns. There is a lot of the fantasy world building in my paranormal novels. An editor and writer I took a class with one time were trying to place my work in a way they could market, and when I was finished explaining what I was working on, they said, ‘Oh, so it’s a dark urban epic fantasy paranormal.’ I think that sums it up.

Why do I write what I write?

I think I kind of answered that above. I write what comes to me. I write the kind of thing I would love to read. I write a culmination of all the things I love to read. I write because I have to and because I love it. I write the stories the characters in my head are dying to tell me.

How does my writing process work?

I don’t really have a writing process. I did years ago before I had children. I had to have a certain amount of time to write and I needed to do a certain series of things before I could write to get me into the mood. But after I had my eldest son (in a very traumatic pregnancy and birth) I suffered from some post-natal depression afterwards and the therapist I saw told me to stop making excuses and putting up blocks and to just take any time to write – because I obviously needed to be creative in some way to be happy. I realised she was right and I was being an idiot about it. So, now, I don’t have a ‘process’. I just write when I can. I think that’s helped by the fact I’m a pantser – someone who just writes without any clear idea where it’s going to lead, so I can just sit down and let myself go. Sometimes it’s for 10 minutes, sometimes it’s for hours, but I take what I can and go with it. However, I do prefer to have a large cup of tea beside me and my heat bags heated up and on my back when I sit to write.

Now that I’ve been in the hot seat, it’s the turn of 3 other writers. And the winners are…

Irresistible EnemyMary Costello

Mary is my release buddy at Destiny Romance this month. She is a funny, witty ex-pat Irishwoman who has come to love Aussie Rules Footy more than many Australians do and if you talk smack about her beloved team, Collingwood, you better watch out! Her first novel, The Reluctant Wag, was about that very subject – just with a healthy dose of romance and passion thrown in.

Mary’s new novel, Irresistible Enemy, features a nature loving heroine matched up against a wealthy business tycoon who has come to her little part of country Victoria to build a horrible new housing estate, but passion and an irresistible attraction get in the way of their war. Irresistible Enemy will be on sale as of the 15th March at all good eBook retailers.


Uncovered By Love

Madeline Ash

Madeline is also a fellow Destineer and a more gorgeous and talented young woman you’re not likely to meet. She says she’s emotionally allergic to spontaneity, and yet doesn’t mind the weather that drags her into rain when she’s planned for sunshine. She likes to call this her wild side. But I think her true wild side is expressed in the sweet and sexy contemporary romances she likes to write, chock full of compelling emotional conflicts.

Her first novel. Uncovered by Love was nominated for a Ruby Award last year – Romance Writer’s of Australia’s premier award. Her newest novel, The Playboy’s Dark Secret, will be out in April and features a return home story, a hero tormented by a dark secret and a young, carefree independent heroine who pushes past his carefully constructed restraint. Hmm, sounds enticing.

Threes a crowd

Edwina Darke

I met Edwina last year when she flew down from Sydney just to have lunch with the Melbourne Destineers. If that hadn’t impressed me (it did), then she certainly did. A tall, vibrant, gorgeous person like Edwina had to write something sparky and fun, and that’s exactly what she’s done. Having gone travelling at 18, working as a ski instructor and studying fine art in Florence before jetsetting off to live in New York, she certainly has lived the kind of life her heroine in Three’s A Crowd would be jealous of.

Three’s a Crowd is set among the hard and fast paced world of publishing in Manhattan, and is a funny story of life and love in New York. If Sex and the City and The Devil Wears Prada were cup of tea, then Three’s a Crowd is the perfect book for you.


Catch up with Mary, Madeline and Edwina next Monday when they answer the hot seat questions about their writing. Take it away girls.

Romance Writers of Australia