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Monday, August 6, 2012

Guest Post with Author Manda Collins and Giveaway

Today I am super excited to welcome back author Manda Collins. Manda is super nice and has quickly become one of my favorite authors. Manda is celebrating the release of her newest book in her Ugly Duckling trilogy, How To Romance a Rake and has stopped by to chat. Before I give the floor over to Manda, lets get to know her a bit.

Manda Collins spent her teen years wishing she’d been born a couple of centuries earlier, preferably in the English countryside. Time travel being what it is, she resigned herself to life with electricity and indoor plumbing, and read lots of books. An affinity for books led to a graduate degree in English, followed by another in Librarianship. By day, she works as an academic librarian at a small liberal arts college, where she teaches college students how to navigate the tangled world of academic research. A native of coastal Alabama, Manda lives in the house her mother grew up in with three cats, sometimes a dog, sometimes her sister, and more books than strictly necessary.
Places to find Manda:

A FINE BROMANCE: Our Favorite Male Friendships in Regency Romance

Thank you so much to Danielle, for having me here at her blog again!

One of the things I love about my job (the writing one, not the librarian one) is the opportunity it affords me to totally indulge myself in writing bromance. There is just something endearing and amusing and utterly satisfying about watching men be men together.

In my Ugly Ducklings trilogy, some of my favorite moments are the ones shared between Winterson, Monteith and Deveril. Not only does it allow me to offer some comic relief amid the very serious business of falling in love and solving mysteries, but it also lets me show what these guys are like when they aren't crushing bad guys and wooing their women.

But mine is not the first metaphorical pen to dabble in writing male friendship. Plenty of other authors have paved the way for me, and I thought I'd share some of my favorites with you. Without further ado, I give you…

MANDA'S LISTICLE OF FAVORITE BROMANCE IN ROMANCELANDIA

Simon Darby and Rhys Godwin in Eloisa James' Duchess Quartet—Eloisa James has long been one of my favorite authors of bromance. She captures quite well the way that men, and most especially gentlemen, relate to each other. One of my favorite instances of male friendship in her books is the scenes between Simon Darby (hero of Fool for Love) and Rhys Godwin in Your Wicked Ways. Rhys is rather famous in Romancelandia for being one of the first heroes to be terrible at sex. Looking for pointers, he goes to his good friend Simon for advice, with hilarious results. Fortunately for his wife, Helene, he gets better at it.

Summerhays, Hawkeswell, Castleford of Madeline Hunter's Rarest Blooms Quartet—There is a particularly entertaining moment in Ravishing in Red, Summerhays' book, when he and Hawkeswell walk in on Castleford…uh…with a prostitute in his own bedchamber. Summerhays and Hawkeswell are skeeved out, but Castleford being Castleford, is unfazed. But despite their discomfort at their friend's behavior both men know that when the chips are down they can rely on Castleford to stand with them. And vice versa. They can also rely upon him to insult them and vice versa. And when Castleford finally gets his romantic comeuppance, both Summerhays and Hawkeswell make sure to tease him as mercilessly as he teased them. True bromance, it would seem, is cemented with a mixture of trust and cutting remarks.

Spencer, Rhys, Julian of Tessa Dare's Stud Club Trilogy—One of the most interesting aspects of Tessa Dare's bromance in the Stud Club books is the fact that Spencer, Rhys and Julian aren't really friends before the start of the trilogy. That doesn't stop the three of them from trading insults and jibes over the course of the first two books, and joining forces in Julian's book, Three Nights with a Scoundrel, to hunt down the murderer of their fourth member, Leo Chatwick. Three very different men, from very different walks of life, they manage to put aside their differences when the chips are down. And the finale when they finally get the man who killed their friend is utterly delicious, not least because of their constant bickering.

So, gentle reader, what are some of your favorite bromances? Which male friendships in Romancelandia make you laugh, cry or shake your head in exasperation? One commenter will win a copy of How to Romance a Rake!


You can lead a wallflower to the ball, but you can’t make her bloom—unless one daring young bachelor turns up the heat…

DANCING WITH DANGER

What’s a nice girl like Miss Juliet Shelby doing in a place like Lord Deveril’s ballroom? With her shy demeanor, she’s a total stranger to the dance floor and a source of mockery for the ton. So imagine her surprise when Deveril gallantly comes to her defense—and offers to teach her to dance! Juliet can hardly believe the most handsome bachelor in London would notice her, until he takes her in his arms and sets her heart ablaze…

PLAYING WITH FIRE

Lord Alec Deveril has never felt such a spark of attraction for an unmarried lady before. Unlike the “fashionable” women he’s accustomed to, Juliet possesses a generous spirit, a fiery intelligence—and an explosive secret. Deep in the London underworld, a dear friend has vanished, and Juliet fears the worst. Deveril insists on helping, escorting her through the darkest alleys in town. But he too is hiding a shocking secret—and the only way he can defeat the devil in his past is to seduce the angel in his arms …

Check out my review here.

Places to Purchase:


Check out the other books in the Ugly Duckling trilogy
Click on cover for more info. 

1 lucky commenter (International Shipping Available) will win a copy. 

To Enter:
  • Leave a comment answering Manda's question: What are some of your favorite bromances? Which male friendships in Romancelandia make you laugh, cry or shake your head in exasperation?
  • Fill out the Rafflecopter form below.  

Good Luck =)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

70 comments :

  1. I enjoy all bromances, whether they are in a book, my favorite tv show or in my personal life.

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  2. My favorite bromances have been in the BDB series by J.R. Ward... they do all that they are intended to do in any bromance in Romancelandia which is to make the reader laugh, cry, and shake my head in exasperation:)

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    1. Good pick, yadkny! J.R.Ward does write some awesome bromance. My favorites are the scenes where Hollywood jumps in to relieve the tension with something funny. He's great at comic relief.

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  3. The bromance that first came to my mind were from TV's Boston Legal: Alan Shore (James Spader) and Denny Crane (William Shatner). William Shatner was also part of one other fav bromance of Capt Kirk (Shatner), Spock (Leonard Nimoy), and Dr McCoy (DeForrest Kelley).
    winnie968 at yahoo dot com

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    1. Winnie, I was an infrequent watcher of Boston Legal, but I do remember enjoying those Spader/Shatner conversations out on the balcony! Shatner just makes everything good. And excellent pick of the Star Trek guys!

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  4. I like alot of them but I can't think of a favorite one right now. Thanks for the chance to win!

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    1. No problem, Natasha! Thanks for coming by!

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  5. Well, I absolutely agree that Madeline Hunter's books have that solid friendship though each character is the opposite of others. I also enjoy the friendship in JR Ward's BDB, Gena Showalter's Lord of the underworld. I can imagine how hard it is for Aeron not to kill Danika, Rhyes' woman and the lords feel despicable after Baden's death. They protect and guard their friends like brothers

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    1. I haven't tried the Showalter books yet, Juliana! I'll have to check them out. I love those strong male bonds!

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  6. The only one I can think of is The Elusive Lords series by Beverley Kendall. The men in this series have been friends for years and are there to help each one through their ups and downs with finding love.

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    1. Hmm, I'll have to give those a try, Mary! I'm woefully behind on my regency reading because I try not to read it while I'm writing it. And these days I'm always writing it! I might have to break my rule though...

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  7. I'd have to say I love the "bromances" in Anne Gracie's Devil Riders and Hoyt's Four Soldiers. All scarred (emotionally if not physically) men who had been through horrible and tragic circumstances through war, and came out with strong bonds and loyalty to each other.

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    1. Ooh, Sharon! I love Anne Gracie and Elizabeth Hoyt. Great examples. I really loved that Hoyt's heroes in the Four Soldiers books didn't really spend a lot of time together after the war, but as soon as they saw each other again they fell back into their old camaraderie. And I'm always there for an Anne Gracie story!

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  8. JR Ward's book, Gena Showalter's book :)

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    1. Another rec for Showalter! I'm gonna have to get some of her books!

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  9. I really like the Bromance relationship in the impossible bachelor series. I mean those guys go through thick and thin.

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    1. Ooh, Melody! I love Kieran Kramer's books! The impossible bachelors are hilarious together, too, which is one of my favorite parts of bromance!

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  10. bromance? all that comes to my mind is BDB, at that bromance is quite deep

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    1. It is, Sienny! Those BDB boys are quite close!

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  11. Some of my favs are jr wards bdb. Bones, spade, ian from jeaniene frost. Madeline hunter is a good one also, love castleford. Also like jason and nathiel from anita blake series. Kat martins raines bros series. All of the men are great friends. Love a great friendship, either a man or woman. This book sounds great. Loved how to dance with a duke and 3excited to read this one.
    Christinebails@yahoo.com

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    1. I haven't tried Frost yet, Christine. I've been seeing her everywhere lately (in cyberspace) so I think the universe is giving me hints;) And I'm always happy to "meet" another Castleford fan. He just made me laugh. And when he fell, he fell hard!

      Thanks for the kind words about HOW TO DANCE WITH A DUKE. :)

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  12. I love the Lords of the Underworld series and how the men would do anything for the others. Thanks Carin
    mawmom(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Hi Carin, I definitely need to put the Lords of the Underworld on my TBR pile. Thanks for coming by!

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  13. Yes, yes to the Queens of Bromance listed above: Madeline Hunter, JR Ward and our guest blogger Manda Collins!

    For contemporary I also nominate Tara Janzen and her "Steele Street" Series (Crazy Hot, Crazy Cool, etc.) These alpha-hotties have an electric bromance that sizzles even more with each book.

    For historical: Elizabeth Hoyt's "The Legend of the Four Soldiers" series. Like Manda's male characters, they behave like proper gentlemen around ladies and then morph into darling, humorous scamps with each other.

    Thanks for the Romancelandia question, Manda...answering makes me sound very well-read! LOL!

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    1. Thank you, Sarah! Great examples! I need to get the Tara Janzen. She's been on my radar for a while and this is a good reminder, since my TBR is growing exponentially today!

      LOL about sounding well read! That's because you are, darling!

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  14. Manda: Love your books! What a fun topic. I like the relationships between the guys in Suzanne Brockmann's Troubleshooters series, especially Decker and Nash. Also Adrian (Hawker) and Doyle in Joanna Bourne's books.

    I second your picks from Madeline Hunter and Tessa Dare above. Will have to go find the book from Eloisa James. Thanks!

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    1. Gwen! Great example from Brockmann's Troubleshooters! That was one of the things I adored about her books when I first "discovered" her! And yes, to Adrian and Doyle in the Joanna Bourne books! She also writes some kickass bromance.

      The James is one of those problematic books for Romancelandia, because Rhys is not an easy hero to love. But he tries. And I loved the fact that he was so terrible at sex, given how most of our heroes seem to olympic champs at it right out of the box...so to speak;) And it's not like he doesn't get better!

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  15. I can't think of any favorite bromances in books. But my ultimate favorite bromance on a television show is Shawn and Gus from Psych (best bromance EVER!).

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    1. Aw, great example, States of Decay! Shawn and Gus are great. USA just has some great bromance all around. White Collar comes to mind too.

      If I start listing TV shows that I love for the Bromance, I'll be writing all day! Though I will give a shoutout to the guys on Criminal Minds. When Morgan and Hotch and Rossy interact with Reed it gets me every time!

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  16. When I think of series I think of brothers like Jennifer Ashley's Mackenzies and Jill Shalvis Animal Magnetism series which is about foster brothers.

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    1. Brothers work, Maureen! I love the Mackenzies! And I haven't read Shalvis's Animal Magnetism series but I love her Lucky Harbor series. Great picks!

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  17. My favorite bromance has to be from the Lords of the Underworld series by Gena Showalter. As horrible as their lives are, they'd do anything for each other, even take on more pain and suffering. Also, from the Demonica series by Larissa Ione, gotta say the brothers are just great examples of a good bromance.

    Adria

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    1. Dang, I've really got to read those Showalter books! And the Demonica series too! I don't read too much paranormal but these sound great. Thanks, Adria!

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  18. I have a few favorite bromances. One of my favs is V and Butch from the Blackdagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward. Thanks for sharing with us today

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    1. V and Butch are definitely a bromance, Johanan! Thanks for coming by!

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  19. Congrats on the new release, Manda. I love the bromances in Pamela Clare's I Team series. It's fun to see them ribbing each other.

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    1. Thank you, Jane! And OMG, yes! The iTeam guys are hysterical! When they were bickering over whose branch of law enforcement was the most powerful in her last one, I giggled like a little girl! Love those books!

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  20. My favorite bromances are The Bridgertons boys, Anthony, Benedict and Colin!

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  21. Excellent choice, Ileana! And don't forget Gregory! Though he got left out of the the fun with the older brothers since he was so much younger. Some of my favorite Bridgerton scenes are when the brothers are being snarky with each other.

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  22. I did like the Tessa Dare series that you mentioned (anything Tessa Dare works!) & also Lisa Kleypas' Hathaway series - Cam & Merripen, how delicious are gypsy brothers?!

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    1. Ooh, Linda! Cam & Merripen were great, weren't they? And I totally agree about Tessa Dare:)

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  23. I like the relationships of Gina Showalter's Lords of the Underworld and Lara Adrian's Breeds.

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    1. Another vote for Lords of the Underworld! I haven't tried Lara Adrian either. I'll add them to my list. Thanks for stopping by Barbara!

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  24. Oh, dear. I always love bromances in almost every novels and I just couldn't help myself to choose because I love'em all, especially when they made laugh. It's definitely one of the reason when I decided to buy a book, including How to Dance with a Duke. Guess what I could think of right away were Bridgertons from Julia Quinn and the Mackenzies from Jennifer Ashley.

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    1. The brothers Bridgerton and MacKenzie definitely count, Diah Didi! :)

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  25. My favorite bromances are Anthony and James from Malory series written by Johanna Lindsey. Oh boy they always make me laugh when they bantering until I literally shed tears. Not only that but the bond between the two of them are very close. Love'em ;D

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    1. A blast from the past, Izz! But a great one! :)

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  26. Hi, Manda :)
    Talk about bromance, I know this one had been mention before, but I love bromance between I-Team husbands (from I-Team series by Pamela Clare), especially between Marc Hunter and Julian Darcangelo. From enemy to frenemy, lol! Yes, they become partner and love their bantering. Both are sexy and dedicated. One particular scene that make me love their bromance is when Marc help Julian in Breaking Point.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

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  27. Yes, Ren! Those two totally did a turn around. And I loved the way they bantered in Breaking Point!

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  28. The Black Dagger Brotherhood and Lords Of The Underworld have the beats ones in my opinion

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  29. One of the first "Bromances" that came to my mind were from Victoria Alexander's Last Man Standing series. These four friends make a bet who will be the Last Man Standing and keep from falling into the marriage trap (even if that is what at least one of them secretly want).

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    1. Excellent choice, June! I love it when men have to deal with the consequences of their bets! :)

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  30. My fave bromances? Hmm, the first which comes to mind is Julia Quinn's Bridgerton Bros. Oh, they are adorable.

    I also love the heroes from Judith McNaught's historicals. Couldn't resist those delectable dukes, especially when they get together and brag about their wives. So cute!

    Also the football guys from Susan Elizabeth Phillips' Chicago Stars team. They are hilarious!

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    1. Can't dispute the Bridgerton love, Aline! But man it's been so long since I've read McNaught! I do remember there being some fun interaction among the men, though.

      And yes! SEP's Chicago Stars guys are hilarious. I loved Cal and Kevin's posturing in Nobody's Baby But Mine. Hilarious.

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  31. I always love the bromance between Joey & Chandler on TV's FRIENDS.

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    1. Aww, I loved those moments too, Marybelle! Especially when Joey made Chandler spend Thanksgiving in a box. ;)

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  32. That is a tough one. WHile I really enjoy bromances, they don't ever really stick out as much as the actual romance does so it's hard to pick one that really stands out.

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    1. I understand, Jasmyn. When you're reading for the couple everything else tends to fall away. Thanks for commenting!

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  33. My favorite bromances have been in the Guild Hunter series by Nalini singh and Lords of the Underworld series from Gena Showalter. I have another to, and i really enjoyed read them all :)

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    1. Hmm, Filia, I'll have to add Nalini Singh to my list too!

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  34. BDB have the best Bromances! oy they make me laugh so hard haha

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  35. Hi Manda!

    When you asked what male friendship made me laugh, cry and shake my head in exasperation I immediately thought of the male duo from the first "historical romance" I ever read - The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha by Miguel de Cervantes.

    The story is about Alonso Quijano, a retired country gentleman nearing fifty who decided he's a knight-errant in search of adventure and dons an old suit of armour and renames himself "Don Quixote de la Mancha". His "side-kick" is the uneducaed Sancho Panza, and who he asked to be his squire.

    Whether the two of them are tilting after windmills or Don Quixote is trying to charm the "beautiful and pure" Dulcinea, who is neither, whether you read the original story, see the movie or go to the musical you to will laugh, cry and throw your hands up in exasperation as the two of them bumble their way around.

    I've read the story, seen the play on Broadway as well as performed by a local theater group as well as seeing it in the movies. No matter which one you read or see you'll laugh, you cry and throw your hands up in exasperation while experiencing the work of the very first author of historical romance!

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  36. I like the ones in the BDB series.

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  37. Favorite Bromance? It will be and will always be the Winchester Brothers Sam and Dean from Supernatural. Apart from being a crazy Jensen, Jared and Supernatural fan, I'm also a big fan of the supernatural stuffs. Hehe. :D

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  38. Hi

    I love series with bromances weaved into the stories. Some of my favorites are Madeline Hunter's Rarest Blooms, Courtney Milan's Turners, Elizabeth Hoyt's Maiden Lane series and of course your Ugly Duckling series(just to name a few).
    I really enjoyed Madeline's Rarest Blooms and those boys made me laugh several times.

    Thanks for the chance.
    Pam
    tpibrew@msn.com

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  39. I'd choose the Gypsi-mixed brother, Kev Merripen and Cam Rohan, although they didn't knew each other since young age, but they really get along together, how they are really helpful and 'what a heaven's angels' they become for Hathaway family.

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  40. Hi Manda, thank you for this awesome giveaway and making it international.
    My favorite bromance is the Bridgertons brothers by Julia Quinn. Loved reading about them, their brothership and friendship is so strong.

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