tessa books backstory fun stuff collage blog contact



Silhouette Desire, June 2007

I read a lot of suspense—and a lot of romance. So it seemed natural to write a romance with a touch of suspense. Not a Silhouette Romantic Suspense or Harlequin Intrigue but rather a shorter book with an atmosphere of edgy danger and a dark, brooding Italian hero.


My heroine Danielle had grown up in a sheltered environment. Her sister was the bad girl. Danielle was the good sister, who worked in the family firm in Auckand.

Danielle tried her hardest to be perfect Daddy's Princess—even living at home in a Paritai Drive mansion with sea views all the way to Rangitoto Island.


I had an absolute blast creating Rico D'Alessio, my dark, brooding Italian hero. Then I threw in a stalker, a revenge plot...a bit of danger and double cross and my story came to life. So when Danielle is sent a threatening photo after her sister's wedding, of course Rico reluctantly comes to the rescue.


I tried to re-create the mood of simmering passion and imminent danger that that I imagined. So there are security guys in the background (like the one in the photo below)...


…investigators…and, of course my rough tough guy, Rico.

The truly thrilling thing about this story was how many readers enjoyed it. In 2004 it finalled in a couple of very prestigious contests, RWA's GOLDEN HEART CONTEST and THE EMMA DARCY AWARD. Part of the perks of finalling in the EMMA DARCY AWARD was a personal session with the wonderful Emma Darcy. She discussed MY book with ME. I flew all the way to Australia for that and met Emma Darcy at the Romance Writer's of Australia conference. She was so gracious and enthusiastic and encouraging…I love the woman, as much as I love her books!

When I sent RICH MAN'S REVENGE off to my editor, I didn't think it would sell to Desire, mainly because Desire do not encourage a lot of suspense elements. But it did.

So I think you can understand why I feel as though RICH MAN'S REVENGE has been a bit of a good luck charm for me…if you read Danielle and Rico's story, let me know what you think.