Anne Gracie and The Winter Bride

Anne Gracie is our guest today to tell us all about her latest, The Winter Bride, second book in her Chance Sisters Series. It was just announced that Anne’s first book in the series, The Autumn Bride, is a RITA finalist for Best Historical!

Here’s what reviewers are saying about The Winter Bride:

“Gracie has created a wonderful cast of characters…lively dialogue and tender emotions compel readers to relish every moment of the developing romance” —RT Book Reviews

“Charming…thoughtful and tender.” —Publishers Weekly

“…another delightful, emotionally complex romance…a romantic winner, with Gracie’s typical witty charm and sweeping emotion.” —Kirkus Reviews

Anne will be giving away a copy of The Winter Bride to one lucky commenter, chosen at random.

Anne! Welcome back to Risky Regencies.

Tell us about The Winter Bride and the Chance Sisters series.

The Chance sisters series are about four girls who come together in Regency-era London. Two are real sisters, but, being orphans and without any means of support, they band together to become a family, “sisters of the heart” rather than by blood. When they meet an elderly aristocratic old lady who is in an even more desperate situation than they are, they rescue her—and their fortunes change for the better. That happened in The Autumn Bride, the first book in the series.

Now we have — surprise surprise — The Winter Bride. This is Damaris’s story — she was raised in China as the daughter of a missionary, and came back to England as a penniless young woman. With secrets in her past, she has no desire to marry; a cottage of her own — security and safety— is all she wants.

Freddy, our hero, is a lighthearted rake, an elegant bad-boy with no interest in marriage. In line to inherit his father’s title, he’s rich, well connected and a catch. Freddy is pursued by muffins – his term for the kind of respectable, eligible girls bent on marrying and reforming him.

To keep the muffins at bay, Freddy offers Damaris a cottage in exchange for pretending to be his fiancée for a visit to his parental home. Of course it backfires.

What is risky about The Winter Bride?

Freddy isn’t the usual kind of romance hero — he’s very much a beta hero — a lightweight, funny rake, and women often get the better of him. Even Damaris’s employer says this of him:

“Tomcat in gen’leman’s clothing, that’s what ’e is—a rake through and through.”
“Rake? You thought—”
Mrs. Jenkins snorted. “I knew what he was the instant I clapped eyes on him! Dressed like that in his fancy duds at this hour of the mornin’. The cheek of ’im, thinking he could seduce away one o’ my girls in broad daylight.”
“But he wasn’t—”
“Bless you, my dove, you’re too young to recognize a Wicked Seducer when you see one, and I grant you that one is an ’andsome devil, and charmin’ as an oiled snake, I have no doubt!” She fixed Damaris with a gimlet eye. “But it don’t do for a girl like you to catch the eye of a gentleman, take it from me. He’ll soften you up with sweet words and little gifts and . . . and poetry, and you’ll think ’e’s ever such a nice fellow, then in the twinklin’ of an eye, he’ll ’ave your skirts over your ’ead, and there you’ll be, rooned forever!”
“But Mrs. Jenkins—”
“Rooned forever!” Mrs. Jenkins repeated firmly. “And we don’t want that, do we? Now, I’ve given him a piece of me mind—blistered ’is ear’oles good and proper, I did—and if ’e knows what’s good for ’im, he won’t be back to bother you again, so let’s get to work.”
Damaris nodded and resumed her seat at the bench. She had to press her lips together to hide the smile that kept threatening to break out. She could just imagine Mr. Monkton-Coombes’s face when he was confronted with Mrs. Jenkins, four foot eight of Righteous Indignation.

But Freddy comes into his own, and grows into a hero I hope readers will love.

You asked fans on Facebook to pick a favorite The Winter Bride book cover – North America or Australia? Which one won?

I think the Australian one, by a whisker. But why not let the Riskies readers decide?

Share with us one memory of your own “sisters of the heart.”

I’m the baby in my family and am far in age and geography from my blood sisters, but I have some wonderful friends who are my “sisters of the heart.” I have two friends I went to school with and we’ve celebrated every birthday since we were fifteen, and been there for each other for all that time. And right now I’m away with a group of writer friends who are very much my “sisters of the heart” — we go away for a week each year and write, and in between, there’s email and phones. We’ve been there for each other through death, divorce, illness and for all the joyful occasions. I love my “sisters of the heart.”

What do you like best about the writer’s life?

The wonderful friends I’ve made, some of whom I’ve only met in person several times. And it’s a blessing to be able to have the stories that blossom in my head come out as books and have readers enjoy them.

What is next for you?

You probably find this surprising, but I’m working on a book called . . . wait for it . . .The Spring Bride. (You’d never have guessed that title, would you? )
This is Jane’s story, but her hero is a surprise — a bit of a wild card.

Thanks so much for letting me visit, Riskies and Diane. I’m currently writing The Spring Bride, and since I know so many people are desperate for winter to be gone, here’s a question: what do you most love about Spring?

Remember. I’ll give a copy of The Winter Bride to someone who leaves a comment.

Diane here. Be patient. Anne is “Down Under” and may be asleep when you comment. She’ll drop by when daylight reaches Oz.

We’ll select a winner and announce on Wednesday.


About diane

Diane Gaston is the RITA award-winning author of Historical Romance for Harlequin Historical and Mills and Boon, with books that feature the darker side of the Regency. Formerly a mental health social worker, she is happiest now when deep in the psyches of soldiers, rakes and women who don’t always act like ladies.
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42 Responses to Anne Gracie and The Winter Bride

  1. HJ says:

    I like both of the covers! I love the sound of Freddy. It’s amazing the difference “lighthearted” makes when used to modify “rake”!

  2. KH says:

    I like the Australian one better. Good market research perhaps, since I am from Australia

  3. Barbara Elness says:

    I’ll tell you what I like least, oak pollen. That stuff is doing a number on everyone right now here in Central Florida. What I like most about Spring is all the lovely flowers blooming. They brighten my mood whenever I see them.

    • Anne Gracie says:

      Barbara, I used to have very bad hayfever in Spring too, but then I went on the “liver cleansing” diet and it really helped. Haven’t had it as bad ever since (touch wood) 🙂

  4. Elena Greene says:

    Thanks for joining us, Anne. Congratulations on the new book and for finaling in the RITA!

  5. bn100 says:

    like the flowers

  6. Congratulations on the RITA nomination again, Anne! I am just so very thrilled for you as I LOVED The Autumn Bride! And Freddy sounds like such a doll !

    The thing I love about Spring is the light! I love blue skies that go on forever and sunshine without the oppressive heat of summer. I love the colors of my azaleas when they are in bloom and my tulips when they pop up on the hill. All of that green with those splashes of color always make me smile.

    • Anne Gracie says:

      Waving madly to Louisa — thanks for those good wishes. I hope you like Freddy and Damaris as much as you liked Abby and Max.

      The light — that’s so interesting. When I was a little girl and we went to live in Scotland for a year I couldn’t believe how dark it got in winter. Here is gets a bit gloomy on some days, but not nearly as dark. Even so, a friend of mine from Malaysia finds it quite hard, without so much sun in winter. Thank you.

  7. I received notice, this morning, my copy of Winter’s Bride has shipped. I’m looking forward to watching this interesting couple. Thanks for the great interview.

  8. CrystalGB says:

    I like the warmer weather. The flowers blooming and the grass getting green. I love the first cover.

  9. Pingback: A Lock of Wellington’s Hair » Risky Regencies

  10. patty says:

    I love the idea of the beta male! we know there are a lot of them, but they are so overlooked! it should be another fun read.

  11. Karen H says:

    Congratulations on the RITA nomination. I like the sound of this series…reads like a whole lot of fun. I like the American cover best.

    • Anne Gracie says:

      Thanks Karen, it was a thrill to final in the RITA, though this year there’s a whopping 17 finalists in the historical section. Good excuse for a party, I say. 😉 Yes the US cover is very pretty. There are things to love about both covers, I think.

  12. Lorraine says:

    I like the Australian better.

    • Anne Gracie says:

      Thanks Lorraine – I think that cover is more evocative of the story, but both are pretty, which is very nice. A good cover can make a big difference.

  13. Readsalot81 says:

    I have to admit, I like the Australian cover better as well. 😀 Oh, Freddy sounds a bit like Gideon from The Rake (which remains my favorite book of yours to this day)! Can’t wait to read The Winter Bride!

    • Readsalot81 says:

      err, the Perfect Rake – sorry!

    • Anne Gracie says:

      You’re right — Freddy is a bit like Gideon, I think, though they’re not the same. But they’re both funny and IMO very lovable heroes.

      I imprinted very young on Georgette Heyer’s rattles and rakes and the lighthearted rake is a character type I enjoy from time to time. Not that I have a lot of control over how my characters turn out — they seem to have a mind of their own.

  14. peggy Quidor says:

    Spring makes me feel like a new begining.And it’s time to start a flower garden

    • Anne Gracie says:

      Peggy, I’m sure it is a new beginning. We don’t have that clear-cut seasons where I live, so we don’t get that sense of life renewed in spring so much. But I felt it when we lived in Scotland when I was a child. I was 8 and I had a “Secret Garden” kind of experience, watching green shoots push through snow. Magic.

  15. Susan/DC says:

    Sometimes a lighthearted rake is just what we need, especially after the prolonged winter we’ve had here in the eastern US. Plus sometimes it’s the lighthearted ones who seem to truly like women, and that too is a treat. All romance heroes wind up in love with their heroines, but some heroes have to be dragged kicking and screaming to admit it because some Deep Dark Secret in their past has led them to mistrust and dislike women. The fact that they condemn all women due to one woman’s sins is the topic for another discussion, but for now I’ll just say that lighthearted heroesi can be a welcome change of pace.

    • Anne Gracie says:

      Susan, I was a bit worried that the bitter winter experiences by so many people would put people off buying a book with such a chilly looking cover and title, so I’m glad you think my Freddy might be a good reward. Freddy likes women, and deep down he’s a bit of a softie, so women usually get the better of him. But I think he’s a darling, and I hope you do too.

  16. Lynne says:

    Both covers are an invitation to read more Anne Gracie magic! Now to find a copy. Could the Spring Bride possibly match Jane with Marcus??? He would be a worthy opponent for Jane.

    • Anne Gracie says:

      Lynne, Marcus has a very special heroine — I know I haven’t written the book yet, but I’ve had his story —and his heroine—in mind for such a long time. I’m trying to write faster, I promise.

  17. Marcy Shuler says:

    I love the house in the background of the Australian cover, but I do also like the N. American cover. I’m also a big fan of the beta heroes. I believe they have a bit of alpha lurking underneath when they fall in love.

    What I like best about Spring is the warmer weather (in the US) and the birds singing.

    • Anne Gracie says:

      Marcy, yes, I love different things about both covers, too. And you’re right about the lurking alpha — it comes out when needed, and Freddy proves himself at the end.

      I never think of things like missing birdsong, in Northern hemisphere winters. Where I am, we get birds all year round. Thank you.

  18. Hi, Anne Gracie, my name is Eudiran Lima and am a voracious reader of your wonderful books.Are, dynamic and very funny. Are books that make me very happy.I like the infernal Knights series, but miss the book of Count Marcus Renfrew, that here in Brazil I didn’t think to buy.I’ m disappointed not to have his story, because in book by his brother Nash Renfrew it was lovely! But anyway is a lovely series and reread whenever I can.

    • Anne Gracie says:

      Hi Eudiran, thank you for your lovely comments. I haven’t written Marcus’s story yet — I’d started it, but it wasn’t in the original contract and my publisher wanted to contract me for a new series. So I’ll write it when I can find the time. I have had so many requests for his story. When I do, I’ll put a message on my website and send out a newsletter — you can sign up on my website. Thank you for visiting.

  19. Linda says:

    I love the Australian cover, the background is beautiful. I live in the tropics & we don’t get the 4 seasons but the idea of spring & rebirth is wonderful. The flowers must be lovely!

    • Anne Gracie says:

      Hi Linda, where I live we do get seasonal change, but nothing like Nth America or Europe. One day I’d love to be there for a Nth American autumn or spring. I like snow, too — we almost never get it, so the idea of it is exotic and exciting to me (she says, hearing all the wails of “you can have it!” from my Nth American friends who are still snowbound. 😉

  20. Denisia says:

    Hi Anne, I am so happy that I can share my few thoughts via this blog with you. The “Autumn Bride” was a remarcable book that I enjoyed reading. Your writing is special and kept me good night hours reading on. I’m looking forward for many more (reading-hours), when “Winter Bride” would be available in the bookstore. I like better the first picture (no house in the background) posted as for the book cover choice. Seems more elegant and crispy winter feeling, which I got plenty this past season up here in Wisconsin – US. I thing everybody loves spring for the nature rebirth and more daylight in our lives. Myself, I like spring because the beauty, and delicateness of the flowers. My favorite: the snowdrops. From the place I was born 1st March is celebrated as the Spring Day, and every female receives from the males (father, brother, significant other,…) a little jewerly craft as a portbonheure, which it’s pinned on their blouses by the chest. It also has a mini bow attached made by weaved red and white silk threads. Once I had received that little portbonheure my day was completed. And I would were that with great pride and content. I wish you my best regards and a long and successful literary career.

    • Anne Gracie says:

      Thanks, Denisia — what a lovely comment. I love snowdrops, too, and for me, the ones in my garden have a special significance because they’re from my father’s garden, and were from my grandparents before that. So they’re family snowdrops. 🙂
      I also love the sound of your portbonheure — what a beautiful tradition. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

  21. Heidi Kneale says:

    I love serials based on the seasons, I love Regency Romances, and I love heroines named Damaris!

    Beta-hero. Not quite an anti-hero?

    Not sure which cover I prefer. I like the heroine on the NA cover, but the background on the Aus cover.

    • Anne Gracie says:

      Thanks Heidi. Freddy isn’t an anti-hero — but he certainly does develop through the course of the story. I’m also very fond of the house in the background of the Australian cover — part of the story takes place at Freddy’s parents country house, so I like it on the cover.

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