Tuesday, May 31, 2016

#RomanticIdea from Marianne Rice and a peek at her brand new release, Wilde for You!

Welcome, Marianne Rice! Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I’m a romance author and am married to a man who is as romantic as…a doorknob. He likes to joke about his idea of romance, “You’re so beautiful. Did that turn you on? Want to get naked now?” After twenty-three years together (we met as freshman in college) I’ve learned to be thankful for what I have: a loyal, faithful, honest, hard working, and funny father and husband, who is not the least bit romantic.

My husband isn’t into dinner out; he’d rather cook up a feast at home (we both enjoy cooking). He’d rather do projects around the house or do something active/productive. So, the only way to get him out of the house is to go on little adventures. Sometimes we go four wheeling (there are trails all around our house), or go on hikes, big and small. A backpack full of food and cozy snack and lunch breaks along the way, these are the little adventures we enjoy doing that add fun, memorable moments in our relationship. Romance doesn’t have to be big and fancy. Flowers, chocolate and wine are absolutely lovely, but sometimes getting down and dirty can be pretty spectacular as well.


The heroine of my book, Wilde for you, Sage Wilde’s idea of romance falls into the same category as my husband’s, but Luke Riley has other ideas. Here’s a peek at my latest release: 





SYNOPSIS:

Event planner Sage Wilde has lots of lists and no time for a relationship… 



Precise to a fault, Sage plans everything—meetings, meals, and sex. But when she learns her youngest sister can’t carry a child, she steps up and commits to the role of a surrogate mother. It’s not out of sentiment, because Sage doesn’t do love or touchy-feely, but out of practicality. She doesn’t plan on marrying or having children, so why not rent out her unused space, right? 



Luke Riley is a sexy firefighter who’s looking for love in all the wrong places… 



Luke’s morning gets a little brighter when he’s called to a clinic and spots a blonde beauty wearing killer red boots. Though she doesn’t seem interested, he manages to introduce himself. It’s unusual for a woman to push away his advances, but Luke is attracted to her confident nature and strong personality. It’s not long before he wears her down, and she finally agrees to a date. 



Who says you can’t mix work with pleasure? 



Sage blames her growing affections for Luke on pregnancy hormones. But one last hurrah before her belly swells sounds like a well-deserved thrill. After a few passionate nights, the line between love and lust begins to blur—leaving her more confused than ever. 



Luke is mesmerized by her keen wit and social charm. She may claim not to want children, but when she befriends his troubled foster sister, it proves there’s a heart inside of Sage waiting to be loved. 



Will Sage’s surrogacy unlock her willingness to commit? Or will Luke stand by as the woman he loves plans a future without him? 





EXCERPT:

“I have a reservation. Sage Wilde. I’m a few minutes early. Should I wait at the bar?”

The hostess looked down at her podium. “Your dinner companion is already here, Miss Wilde. Please follow me.”

Punctual. She already liked Ms. Smith. Only the person sitting at her table wasn’t British. And wasn’t a woman.

“Seriously? You’re crashing my meetings again?”

Luke’s hair looked freshly cut, cropped close to his scalp and neat. His eyes brimming with laughter, not the least bit ashamed. “Hardly.” He picked up her hand and kissed her knuckles. “You look beautiful.”

She didn’t think her navy pantsuit was beautiful. Her silver Molono Bahiks with fuschia stilheto heels, however, were stunning. Luke’s eyes hadn’t left hers, so he surely hadn’t noticed them.

“Luke, it’s lovely running into you again, but I’m meeting a client in a few minutes. You’ll have to leave.”

The hostess stood awkwardly between them. Luke didn’t seem to be bothered by her. “Lucy couldn’t make it so I’m here in her place.”

“What? You…you sabotaged my meeting?”

“Thank you, Haley, we’ll let you know when we’re ready to order.” He dismissed the hostess and pulled out a chair for Sage. “Please, sit. I would have ordered you a drink but I wasn’t sure what you preferred.”

“Nothing. I prefer to meet with my client.”

Luke pulled out his chair and sat close to Sage, his knees casually bumping against hers. “I’m meeting in her place.”

“Really? And what will we be meeting about, Mr. Riley?”

“My mother’s sixtieth birthday party. I believe Lucy already told you that.”

So maybe this was for real. Since his brothers and sisters were all adopted, most likely they had different last names as well. “Why didn’t you call me instead?”

“I believe I did. Quite a few times. And you never returned any of my calls. Not a very effective way to run a business.”

“I…You never said you wanted to discuss business. You implied…I thought…”

“You assumed.”

“Yes, well.” Sage picked up her water and scowled. Once again Mr. Sex-on-a-Stick had the upper hand. Very well. She could be professional about it. Pulling out her iPad from her bag, she clicked on to her favorite app and started a new spreadsheet while she talked business.





PURCHASE LINKS: Available on Kindle Unlimited!





THE WILDE SISTERS SERIES:

SWEET ON YOU, Book 1





THEN CAME YOU, Book 2







ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Marianne Rice writes contemporary romances set in small New England towns. Her heroes are big and strong, yet value family and humor, while her heroines are smart, sexy, sometimes a little bit sassy, and are often battling a strong internal conflict. Together, they deal with real life issues and always, always, find everlasting love. When she’s not writing, Marianne spends her time buying shoes, eating chocolate, chauffeuring her herd of children to their varying sporting events, and when there’s time, cuddling with her husband, a drink in one hand, a romance book in the other.



Social Media Links:












#RomanticIdea

I’m a romance author and am married to a man who is as romantic as…a doorknob. He likes to joke about his idea of romance, “You’re so beautiful. Did that turn you on? Want to get naked now?” After twenty-three years together (we met as freshman in college) I’ve learned to be thankful for what I have: a loyal, faithful, honest, hard working, and funny father and husband, who is not the least bit romantic.

My husband isn’t into dinner out; he’d rather cook up a feast at home (we both enjoy cooking). He’d rather do projects around the house or do something active/productive. So, the only way to get him out of the house is to go on little adventures. Sometimes we go four wheeling (there are trails all around our house), or go on hikes, big and small. A backpack full of food and cozy snack and lunch breaks along the way, these are the little adventures we enjoy doing that add fun, memorable moments in our relationship. Romance doesn’t have to be big and fancy. Flowers, chocolate and wine are absolutely lovely, but sometimes getting down and dirty can be pretty spectacular as well. #romanticidea

Sage Wilde’s idea of romance falls into the same category as my husband’s, but Luke Riley has other ideas. Here’s a peek at my latest release: 

WILDE FOR YOU



SYNOPSIS:

Event planner Sage Wilde has lots of lists and no time for a relationship… 



Precise to a fault, Sage plans everything—meetings, meals, and sex. But when she learns her youngest sister can’t carry a child, she steps up and commits to the role of a surrogate mother. It’s not out of sentiment, because Sage doesn’t do love or touchy-feely, but out of practicality. She doesn’t plan on marrying or having children, so why not rent out her unused space, right? 



Luke Riley is a sexy firefighter who’s looking for love in all the wrong places… 



Luke’s morning gets a little brighter when he’s called to a clinic and spots a blonde beauty wearing killer red boots. Though she doesn’t seem interested, he manages to introduce himself. It’s unusual for a woman to push away his advances, but Luke is attracted to her confident nature and strong personality. It’s not long before he wears her down, and she finally agrees to a date. 



Who says you can’t mix work with pleasure? 



Sage blames her growing affections for Luke on pregnancy hormones. But one last hurrah before her belly swells sounds like a well-deserved thrill. After a few passionate nights, the line between love and lust begins to blur—leaving her more confused than ever. 



Luke is mesmerized by her keen wit and social charm. She may claim not to want children, but when she befriends his troubled foster sister, it proves there’s a heart inside of Sage waiting to be loved. 



Will Sage’s surrogacy unlock her willingness to commit? Or will Luke stand by as the woman he loves plans a future without him? 





EXCERPT:

“I have a reservation. Sage Wilde. I’m a few minutes early. Should I wait at the bar?”

The hostess looked down at her podium. “Your dinner companion is already here, Miss Wilde. Please follow me.”

Punctual. She already liked Ms. Smith. Only the person sitting at her table wasn’t British. And wasn’t a woman.

“Seriously? You’re crashing my meetings again?”

Luke’s hair looked freshly cut, cropped close to his scalp and neat. His eyes brimming with laughter, not the least bit ashamed. “Hardly.” He picked up her hand and kissed her knuckles. “You look beautiful.”

She didn’t think her navy pantsuit was beautiful. Her silver Molono Bahiks with fuschia stilheto heels, however, were stunning. Luke’s eyes hadn’t left hers, so he surely hadn’t noticed them.

“Luke, it’s lovely running into you again, but I’m meeting a client in a few minutes. You’ll have to leave.”

The hostess stood awkwardly between them. Luke didn’t seem to be bothered by her. “Lucy couldn’t make it so I’m here in her place.”

“What? You…you sabotaged my meeting?”

“Thank you, Haley, we’ll let you know when we’re ready to order.” He dismissed the hostess and pulled out a chair for Sage. “Please, sit. I would have ordered you a drink but I wasn’t sure what you preferred.”

“Nothing. I prefer to meet with my client.”

Luke pulled out his chair and sat close to Sage, his knees casually bumping against hers. “I’m meeting in her place.”

“Really? And what will we be meeting about, Mr. Riley?”

“My mother’s sixtieth birthday party. I believe Lucy already told you that.”

So maybe this was for real. Since his brothers and sisters were all adopted, most likely they had different last names as well. “Why didn’t you call me instead?”

“I believe I did. Quite a few times. And you never returned any of my calls. Not a very effective way to run a business.”

“I…You never said you wanted to discuss business. You implied…I thought…”

“You assumed.”

“Yes, well.” Sage picked up her water and scowled. Once again Mr. Sex-on-a-Stick had the upper hand. Very well. She could be professional about it. Pulling out her iPad from her bag, she clicked on to her favorite app and started a new spreadsheet while she talked business.





PURCHASE LINKS: Available on Kindle Unlimited!





THE WILDE SISTERS SERIES:

SWEET ON YOU, Book 1





THEN CAME YOU, Book 2





ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Marianne Rice writes contemporary romances set in small New England towns. Her heroes are big and strong, yet value family and humor, while her heroines are smart, sexy, sometimes a little bit sassy, and are often battling a strong internal conflict. Together, they deal with real life issues and always, always, find everlasting love. When she’s not writing, Marianne spends her time buying shoes, eating chocolate, chauffeuring her herd of children to their varying sporting events, and when there’s time, cuddling with her husband, a drink in one hand, a romance book in the other.



Social Media Links:







Full Cover:

Promo Graphic:



Sunday, May 29, 2016

Have you visited The Ripped Bodice bookstore in Culver City, California?

The Ripped Bodice is a romance-only bookstore located at 3806 Main Street, Culver City, CA 90232.  On the second Sunday of every month Lady Jane Salon OC takes it over from 4 to 6 where authors read from recently published books.  I'm thrilled to have this opportunity on June 12th with three other authors-- Maggie Marr, Jenn LeBlanc, and Stacy Wise.
Today I practiced reading a couple of scenes from Deadly Alliance on my Kindle.  I'm going to set up an enlarged book cover when I read. My cover was designed by Elle Rossi, and she hit my characters' likenesses right on the dot. Below, I'm practicing. There's also a photo of The Ripped Bodice from inside the store.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Secrets of Moonlight Cove writing project-- fun but complicated.

This isn't the typical box set or anthology with stories taking place in Moonlight Cove.  Our stories intersect. That's the complicated part. We write scenes involving characters from the other books.  Our individual books are short, between 5 - 10,000 words.  We have a map of Moonlight Cove, created by Jaimee Friedl, so that we move our characters with accuracy. Our fictional small town is nested just south of Carpenteria. It is quaint and quirky with a colorful history, a friendly population of charming residents who have problems. It is home to small shop owners, grumpy cops and sassy chefs. Back in the day, it was a bustling fishing town and home to many immigrants, from both the state cabins and the lowest decks.  It has a lighthouse and lots of secrets.  Other authors completing their stories are Shauna Roberts, Barb DeLong, Jaimee Friedl, Jaimee's daughter Keeley,  Al Reid, and Janna Roznos.

Whew, mine is done.  It's a romantic suspense lovers' triangle.  We will do the usual thing-- release the box set at the same time we release individual books in September.   The box set book cover is in the works, and whatever the group decides is fine with me.



Friday, May 20, 2016

Deadly Alliance-- action-packed with a sizzling romance


Excerpt from Deadly Alliance


Finn Donahue’s break at Burlie’s Jazz Club was about to end. Familiar lyrics from the sultry tune floated through his mind long after the saxophonist stopped playing. Hold on like leaves and fall to what is left. Like the song, Autumn Leaves, he spiraled downward, failed to identify the chicken shit stealing his company’s cash. For three damn years, ten percent of the monthly deposits were sucked into a mysterious thief’s cash cow.

The crowd wandered out. Time for him to return to gloom and doom. He pressed a hand over his throbbing forehead with enough force to leave marks.  Had the thief hired a colleague? The colleague was not a car-stealing, knee-smashing, fire-setting knucklehead.  His mouth went dry at the fuck’s covert method and zest for cheating him. He’d question his snake of a partner, Les Kelly, if he weren’t already dead.

Across the room, a female patron gathered her belongings. As her ankle boots tapped toward him, a pair of shapely legs came into view.

His head snapped up.  Amy Kintyre, the late Les’s girlfriend, in the running for his bookkeeping job, spotted him.

“Finn.” She swerved his way. “What a coincidence!” This chick lacked a pick-me-up line.

“Hello, Amy.” He didn’t offer her a seat.

She tilted her head to one side, studying the expression on his face. “Are we still on for nine?” She spoke with an annoying squeak.

“We are.” He watched her lips form a tight smile as she fumbled with her little purse. Turning away, she headed for the pink-windowed door to the ladies’ room.

His stomach did a quick, discomforting twist at the thought of working with Les’s former girlfriend. As time went on, karma between the partners slipped. Les held back. Enigmatic people had motive to protect inconsistencies. He assumed Amy hid a few. He sighed and gazed blankly around the club.

Pendant lights offered a fuzzy softness except for the bar. Behind it, opaque glass shelves were lit with violet light. The warm personality of the owner gave the establishment a comfortable feel. Burlie was closing up. With more oil to burn at his office, he stood to cross the mosaic tile dance floor.

The front door opened. “Sorry, we’re closed.” Holding a broom, Burlie swept behind the bar.

Finn stepped closer. Drunken merrymakers, they were not. His heart hammered like it was stuck in overdrive.

“We offer protection.” Speaking with a Spanish accent, the shortest of the trio dressed like the others, and donned the ISIS-style  black ski mask.

“I have protection.” Burlie’s big mouth nailed his coffin.

A second thug grabbed the bartender’s hand and pulled out clippers. “You’ll change your mind, one finger at a time.”

“I just paid the Irish.” Panic burrowed into Burlie’s high-pitched cry. He thrashed his arms as he tried to pull his hand back.

“Us you pay.”  His utterance with the object in the first position identified him as an Arab speaker.  Light glinted off shiny metal.  The thug pulled a combat knife, grabbed Burlie’s arms, spun him, put the blade to his neck. Finn dialed 911 and then shouted, “Finn Donahue here. Gang trouble. Burlie’s Jazz Club.”  To grab their attention even more, he heaved in a breath and released a long whistle. His distraction worked.

Burlie broke from the hold, and Finn thanked God for the curious.

“Where are you?” Heavy boots pounded toward him.

Finn’s phone vibrated, but he killed the call and darted into the first door he saw, the one with the frosted pink window. He spotted Amy at the sink and pointed his index finger up.

He took off his coat and wrapped it around his fist. After rapping on the glass, he wound up and threw a hard punch through the window. Glass splintered as he connected with the thug’s nose. Prepared to jump aside, he opened the door.

Amy followed and jumped over the guy spread on the floor, holding a hand over his bleeding nose.

He struggled to stand. Finn patted him down, took his gun, and pointed it at him. After the guy stood, Finn walked him to a chair. “Don’t move.”

“I’ll phone the police.” A high-pitched squeal came from the back of her throat. “Never mind. Police are here.”

From the street, the blue light of a cop car radiated across the club’s interior like a strobe. Uniforms burst through the door.

The first officer made radio contact with homicide, and the second, much younger, rushed to the nearest thug and pulled out flex-cuffs.

“Stand over there, Amy.” Finn motioned toward a corner.

She rolled her eyes and dashed toward Burlie who wrestled with the Arab and tried to keep him from moving toward the young rookie. Amy pulled an item from her purse. A Swiss army knife? Out came a miniature cork screw.

The rookie cop turned the Arab around to be handcuffed and leaned him against a wall. The thug used the hard surface as leverage to throw himself against him.

Finn saw it coming. A switchblade sprung from the Arab’s sleeve. In a split second, he drove it into the cop’s shoulder, but Amy stabbed him in the back with the wine opener.

The Arab spun and pulled a knife from his jeans’ pocket. Amy dodged, but he thrust it into a cop’s gut before running.

Finn waited for an opening and shot him in the hip.

 Howling about uncivilized barbarians, he dropped.

Up from his chair, the loser with the broken nose swung his fists, raining blows and a kick to the nuts which Finn deflected.

“Don’t make me shoot you.” Finn stunned him with a chop to the neck, caught him in a headlock. With a gun at his back, he marched him forward.

Amy broke into the center of the room and turned around, taking in the menacing scene. The girl-next-door had street smarts, competency with the corkscrew, and fearless determination.

He walked over and touched her weapon-holding hand. “You didn’t have pocket-knife experience on your resume.” It didn’t make her invincible. Nor did it mean he should hire her.

She shook her head. “Never used it this way. It’s handy when hiking She looked at her pocket knife, folded and stuffed it in her pocket.  Her eyes blinked in frenzy in spite of her bravery.

Fifteen minutes later, with the injured cops heading to Bear Valley Hospital and three unfriendlies loaded into the sheriff’s prisoner-transport vehicle, Burlie signed a complaint and then gushed over Finn and Amy. “You’re good people.” After saying it several times, he asked Finn to serve as his third-party witness and then turned to Amy. “My Lord, Amy. You came to my side. Thank you.”

When Burlie handed her a gift card, she accepted it with a smile. “I saw a lot. If you need a second witness, I can run through all of it.”

“If you’re willing, yes.” His voice was tight.

She offered him a reassuring smile. “Of course, Burlie. The idea of mobsters coming in and offering protection? This makes me mad.”

Sheriff Byron McGill stood in the center of their ring. “The Irish mob has their fingers in rentals, not to mention the Harp Hotel. Burlie, I’m glad you’ll stand up.”

Finn said, “This is new, Byron. I heard them talking. Spanish and Arabs   are partnering up.”

McGill said, “This odd blend exploded in Chicago.”

“They exist for mutual, financial benefit. Together, they’re pushing the Irish.” Finn placed a hand on Burlie’s shoulder.

The older man sighed, dragged his palms down his face. “I was damn scared.”

“An Irish mobster visited the Arrowbear Café earlier.  The owner didn’t want to report it.” Amy sucked in a hard breath and turned to go.

Adrenaline spiraled through Finn’s system, leaving him jittery and pumped to high-alert; this was gangland in his backyard, not Iraq. He turned to the sheriff. “What’s your strategy, McGill?”

“We’ll pull out the stops.” McGill raised a brow. “Keep me posted, will you? We’ll arrest these motherfuckers when they come within yards of your business.”

“Yeah, yeah.” Burlie was not convinced. “If you harass them, they lash out on us.”

“Take the initiative. We’ll combat this together.” Sheriff McGill headed out.

“Not good enough, McGill,” Finn called after him.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Linda McLaughlin's summertime #RomanticIdea-- and sweet read, Lady Elinor's Escape


 

Leave it to Linda McLaughlin to remind us of a classic! 


 




“A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread—and Thou” - The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám

 

I love that quote, and it makes me think of romantic summer picnics—at the beach, by a lake, in the mountains or a park—whatever location works best where you live or vacation. But what to pack? Wine, bread, meat and cheese are a given, but don’t forget the summer fruit—ripe red strawberries, lush juicy peaches or crisp apples. There’s nothing like a taste of fruit to sweeten a kiss.

 

Lady Elinor's Escape
by Linda McLaughlin
Sweet Regency Romance 

 

Lady Elinor Ashworth always longed for adventure, but when she runs away from her abusive aunt, she finds more than she bargained for. Elinor fears her aunt who is irrational and dangerous, threatening Elinor and anyone she associates with. When she encounters an inquisitive gentleman, she accepts his help, but fearing for his safety, hides her identity by pretending to be a seamstress. She resists his every attempt to draw her out, all the while fighting her attraction to him!


 

There are too many women in barrister Stephen Chaplin's life, but he has never been able to turn his back on a damsel in distress. The younger son of a baronet is a rescuer of troubled females, an unusual vocation fueled guilt over his failure to save the woman he loved from her brutal husband. He cannot help falling in love with his secretive seamstress, but to his dismay, the truth of her background reveals Stephen as the ineligible party.

 

Buy links:






 

Excerpt:

 

Elinor looked around her. “Where shall we have our picnic?”

“I have a particular place in mind.”

A few minutes later, he reined in the horses near a small pond with a few ducks paddling on the surface. He put his hands on her waist and swung her down from the curricle. His hands lingered for a moment longer than necessary as he stared into her eyes. His were a dark liquid amber, like honey, and the warmth in his expression set her heart to racing.

Alarmed by her reaction, she stepped away from him. Oh my, this very private picnic might not have been a wise idea at all.

After tethering the horses, he spread a blanket under a nearby oak, and then produced a picnic basket. While Elinor lowered herself onto the blanket, removed her gloves and bonnet, he dug into the basket. The picnic turned out to be a hearty repast of cold chicken, cheese, bread and butter, cider and sweet, fresh strawberries.

Elinor did not realize how hungry she was until she took the first bite of chicken. Before she knew it, she had devoured a bit of everything, aware of Stephen watching her the entire time.

“I did not mean to eat so much,” she said, feeling a bit embarrassed.

“As you are so slender, I had not expected you to have such a hearty appetite,” he remarked with a smile. “I approve.”

“Everything was delicious.”

“I’ll pass your compliments on to Mother’s cook. She kindly provided the food.”

“You mean you cajoled her into it,” Elinor teased him.

He flashed her a boyish grin. “Cook always did have a soft spot in her heart for a hungry boy.”

“You must have had a wonderful childhood.”

He shrugged his shoulders. “Fairly typical, I should imagine, except for my habit of bringing home stray and injured animals. I was the despair of my mother.”

Elinor laughed softly. “Then you have not changed much, only now you collect stray females. What does your mother think of that?”

Again he shrugged. “If only I were to marry one of them, she would not object at all, or so she says.”

“I see.” So he was under familial pressure to marry. But he could hardly consider a liaison with a seamstress. Was he pursuing her as one last fling before getting married?

“There is one strawberry left.” He held it out to her.

She leaned toward him and bit into the sweet pulp. A trickle of juice ran down her chin. With one finger, he captured the moisture, and then licked it off, all the while holding her gaze. Her eyes widened at the intimacy of the gesture as heat rose to her cheeks. She was in over her head here.

 

Author bio:


 

Linda McLaughlin grew up with a love of books and history, so it's only natural she prefers writing historical romance. She loves transporting her readers into the past where her characters learn that, in the journey of life, love is the sweetest reward. Linda also writes steamy to erotic romance under the name Lyndi Lamont, and is one half of the writing team of Lyn O'Farrell.

 

You can find her online at:





Twitter: @Lyndi Lamont https://twitter.com/LyndiLamont

Friday, May 13, 2016

How much misery can your heroine take?

In Deadly Alliance, heroine Amy Kintyre needs a nine-to-five.  With week nights and weekends free, she can sew mock-ups for a sportswear buyers appointment.  Her job interview with Finn Donahue is not going as planned.  Do you enjoy writing or reading scenes that cause the characters anxiety?


Here's a brief excerpt:


Amy rapped just once before twisting the knob. “You’re in your skivvies.” Seeing him in his boxers was a gut-punch. She inhaled a breath and nudged the door shut with her back.


He slipped behind his desk and narrowed his eyes at her. A sexy smile showed on one side of his mouth. “You knocked. Did I say, ‘open?’ ” He looked darn incredible.


With the scorch of embarrassment, Amy realized she was just standing there.


“Relax. I’ve got one up on you. Remember New Years, five years ago, in the closet with Les? There you were, commando.” Finn chortled with a slap to his knee.



 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

For contemporary romance, what point of view do you enjoy most?

Last weekend I read entries for a (contemporary romance) writing contest, and two out of the three were written in first point of view. Recently I read a first person POV from a heroine, and the hero POV was third person, both in past tense. It was okay, but when both are in third person, it suits me better for one reason-- I'm bored with just one.  This is romance.  It takes two to tango. They work through problems, and I like to know how they feel and think. What is their growth arc? It is true that 85% of romance readers are women, and they want to fall in love with the hero. This is why his POV has huge merit.  Our readers want to know what he is experiencing. He needs to be appealing.
First person POV is workable for women's fiction with romantic elements. The heroine discusses love. I wrote a booklet to use when I teach Point of View.
What do you think?