Romance – Main Course or Side Dish? by Kate Hill – Guest Blog and Giveaway

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Kate Hill, whose latest book The Red King, was recently released. Check out the giveaway at the end of the post.

Romance – Main Course or Side Dish?

From the time I was a kid and saw the movie Love at First Bite, romantic stories have been my favorite. If romance is food, then I generally prefer it as a main course. I enjoy other types of stories too, but I still like a little romance mixed in.

Though a die-hard romance fan who loves to watch a relationship grow between the main characters, I believe a good romance generally needs other elements as well. What are my favorite side dishes that complement romance? For me a story usually requires some kind of action. I enjoy battle scenes and one-on-one fights. If characters go on an adventure, whether it’s a hike through a forest or a trip into outer space, it’s fun to go along on their journeys. I also enjoy historical or fantasy settings and paranormal elements. Vampires, aliens, shapeshifters, ghosts and magic add a fantastic layer to the story and take me away from the real world for a short time. Even subtle paranormal elements in a story are enough to add spice to an already deliciously romantic dish.

What is your preference? Do you like romance as the main course or a side dish? Either way, what other ingredients make a story even tastier for you?

If I could create a recipe for favorite fiction, mine would be:

Kate’s Fictional Smoothie

1 cup of romance
1/4 cup action
1 tablespoon paranormal
Historical (to taste)

Blend and enjoy!

What fictional recipe would you create?

7_23 theredkingkatehill200x300Part of the Knights of the Ruby Order series.

Torn from her beloved convent home, Delia is forced to marry Areus of Lortia. The contract states she must deliver an heir within a year or the marriage can be annulled. Delia vows to control her fate by ensuring there will be no child–until she is mesmerized by Areus, the proud, virile warrior king.

Areus agrees to marry Delia to gain her father’s army to continue his fight against Hypatios, the mad prince of Zaltana. He doesn’t expect to fall in love with a convent-reared mouse, but from the first, Delia rouses his lust and touches his heart.

Their life together hangs in the balance as the war with Zaltana advances and Areus discovers Hypatios is far more than just his sworn enemy.

Enjoy an Excerpt:

Seated at the high table between her husband and her father, Delia had never felt more angry or frightened. She had thought to escape this fate.

She told herself that she still could. All she needed to do was see that there was no heir. Katerina had again been helpful by providing an herb that prevented pregnancy. Delia must be careful with that secret, however. If Areus and her father found out–she didn’t want to think about it.

Yet she would be mistress of her fate. If they wanted to treat her like a broodmare, then they deserved to be lied to and tricked. Areus had already proved himself inconsiderate and disrespectful. He hadn’t even spoken to her since the meal started. He and her father engaged in conversation while Delia, like her mother, sat in silence.

Delia lifted her gaze to that of her maid, Echo, the only person at the ceremony to whom she felt close. When Delia had been sent to the convent, Echo had gone with her. To Delia, she was much more than a servant, but her closest friend, despite a seven year difference in their ages. The maid offered an encouraging smile and Delia tried to return it, but didn’t quite succeed.

Finally Areus said, “You haven’t asked why I was late, but you deserve an explanation.”

He had spoken to her father. Not to Delia.

Urion waved his gnarled hand. “Not necessary. I’m sure you had good reason.”

“I’d like to know,” Delia said in a loud, clear voice.

“Silence, girl,” Urion snapped. “If you don’t–”

Areus held up his hand and Urion stopped mid-sentence.

No one had ever silenced her father before and certainly not with a mere gesture.

“My wife has the right to ask,” he said. His green gaze held hers. “Before I left, a group of Zaltanian soldiers crossed our border. There was a skirmish and I couldn’t leave until it was settled. I sent a messenger to tell you, but his horse went lame halfway here. We found them on our way. My apologies, Delia.”

“No. It seems I’m the one who should apologize,” she said, hoping she didn’t look as taken aback as she felt. She had assumed the worst, that their wedding meant so little to him that he hadn’t cared about showing up on time. “I hope the casualties were minimal.”

He nodded. “No one on our side was killed. This time. We were lucky. Zaltana pushes harder all the time, trying to wear us down.” He turned back to her father. “Now that our kingdoms have allied, we can discuss strategy against them.”

Urion looked rather surprised. “Strategy? You mean defensive, of course.”

A slight but almost wicked smile tugged at Areus’s lips. “Now isn’t the best time to discuss it.”

“Agreed,” Urion said. Despite his gruff demeanor, concern shone in his eyes.


Did Areus plan to attack Zaltana? Doing so would be suicidal, yet he couldn’t hold them off forever and two kingdoms united against them were stronger than one. Not to mention Areus had connections to the Knights of the Ruby Order. Still, during the battle for Tanek even the knights had suffered severe casualties and they were among the strongest warriors in the world.

The feast continued long after dark. Despite the dry meat, everyone ate and drank freely–everyone except Delia. She didn’t have much of an appetite. Areus didn’t overindulge, either, though he seemed to have a healthy appetite. Of course he and his men had ridden hard to arrive and they had fought a battle just before leaving.

Most people were still celebrating when Areus glanced at her and said, “We should retire.”

“Of course,” Urion said with a leering grin. “You traveled hard today and I’m sure you want the comfort of a soft bed and a softer wife.”

Delia’s felt a bit ill. Such an innuendo from her own father was disturbing.

Areus ignored the remark, his attention fixed solely on Delia.

Enter the Giveaway:

You must be 18 or over to enter this giveaway. Void where prohibited by law.
To enter for the chance to win a pdf download of one backlist book in the Knights of the Ruby Order series (winner’s choice of title), leave a comment below stating that you would like to be included in the giveaway. Three days from the time this post goes live, a winner will be chosen at random from the entries. The winner will be contacted by email and also posted in a comment here. Thank you!

About the Author:

Always a fan of romance and the paranormal, Kate Hill started writing over twenty years ago for pleasure. Her first story, a short erotic vampire tale, was accepted for publication in 1996. Since then she has sold over one hundred short stories, novellas and novels.

When she’s not working on her books, Kate enjoys reading, working out and spending time with her family and pets.

She enjoys hearing from readers and she can be contacted at Kate also writes under the name Saloni Quinby.

Website | Twitter | Facebook.

Buy the book at the author’s website.


  1. Please enter me

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  2. Loved the excerpt! I added this to my TBR pile! It sounds so good!
    I like romance any way that I can get it. Lol.
    Your recipe sounds perfect. 😉
    Thank you for sharing.
    If it is not too late, please enter me into the contest.

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