Spotlight & Giveaway: Hitched by Jessica Hart

Posted February 12th, 2013 by in Blog, Spotlight / 36 comments

Today it is my pleasure to welcome one of my long time favorite Harlequin romance authors Jessica Hart to HJ!

Jessica, welcome to HJ, I’m a big fan of your writing and it is such a pleasure to host you here today.!

Thank you for having me, Sara! It’s great to be here.

For my readers who may not be familiar with your work, could you tell us a bit about yourself and your books?

Jessica Hart smallI live in York, a historic city in the north of England, and I’ve been writing romance for over 20 years (hhmmnn, wish I hadn’t worked that out now!) The honest truth is that I started writing to fund a PhD, but the more I write, the more respect I have for romance as a genre, and the more interested I am in how and why romance works. I’ve now written 59 books for Harlequin, and am just about to embark on my 60th …

I love to write light-hearted romances about ordinary characters – I’m not big on beautiful, good, sweet virgins (how can I identify with them??) and not mad about domineering alpha heroes either – in believable situations. My characters are people I’d like to be friends with, my heroines women like me (only a bit younger, obviously) and I hope readers feel the same.

In your opinion, what ingredients are needed to make up a good love story?

A strong believable emotional conflict and characters realistic enough to make the reader understand why they behave the way they do.

If you had to pick one book that made the biggest impression on you in 2012… ? Why?

Tough question. If we’re talking romance, I’d have to pick The Great Escape by Susan Elizabeth Phillips, because she is such a brilliant writer, and I always put down her books feeling uplifted – and wishing I could do what she does!

What are you currently working on? What can we expect from you in 2013?

I’m just about to start my 60th book, which will be also be for the new KISS line. It’s a sort of Cinderella in reverse, with the hero in line for transformation (although he’s digging his heels in about that) and the heroine, Allegra, working for a glossy magazine. I haven’t written a word, but the story’s in my head, and I think it’s going to be fun.

I’m also going to be self-publishing five of my very early books in February/March as the Jessica Hart Vintage Collection. It’s been interesting to reread them and see what’s changed about my writing – and what’s stayed the same!

Let’s talk about your new release ‘Hitched’, If you had to sum up the book for the reader here…

HitchedKISScoverEngineer Frith is a woman with a plan, and it doesn’t include weddings of any kind. But when she’s roped into organizing a hen party for her spoilt half-sister, she ends up relying more than she wants on her annoying neighbour George … and before long a wedding doesn’t seem quite such a terrible idea after all.

What was your inspiration behind this story?

I was reading a celebrity mag (it just leapt into my hands, honest) and it had a story in it about a billionaire’s younger daughter who was having some incredibly ostentatious wedding. She was described as being the apple of her father’s eye and almost as an aside the article mentioned that her older sister was going to be a bridesmaid. I couldn’t help wondering what it would be like to be that sister who was clearly NOT the apple of her father’s eye, and so Frith started to come to life. I wanted her to be someone who didn’t belong in her family, so I made her a half-sister and gave her a fraught relationship with her father and a determination to prove that she could manage by herself. And then I thought about the kind of man who would challenge everything Frith thought she wanted, and along came George …

If you had to pick your favorite scene from ‘Hitched’…

George has an infuriating habit of changing the ring tone on Frith’s phone. I like the scene where she has to admit that it hasn’t ruined her professional reputation the way she claimed it would, but gets her revenge by telling her sister that he’s madly in love with her – in George’s hearing, of course.

Who would play Frith Taylor and George Challoner in the movie version of your book? And why?

Hhmmnn, tricky. I never think about my characters looking like anyone but themselves, but Hugh Grant would probably make a good George – he’s got the right humorous tone – and maybe Katherine Heigl for Frith.

Jessica thanks for the fab interview 🙂

Giveaway: 2 copies of Hitched (1 print, 1 digital)


To Enter giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form below and post a comment to this Q: The way George fiddles with her phone drives Frith mad. If your partner or best friend had to pick the one thing that irritated you more than anything else, what would they say?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Would you please share an excerpt from ‘Hitched’

George and Frith are in his cottage, sharing a takeaway curry, while they plan the hen party for Frith’s sister, Saffron:

Sitting up, he propped himself against the chair opposite mine on the other side of the fire.
Our legs were stretched out side by side. If I moved my left one just a little, it would be pressed up against his right one.
‘So you’ve got the food – and the wine! – sorted now. What else have you got to do?’
‘Loads,’ I said, ‘but I did have a thought about games.’
‘Strip poker?’ George asked hopefully and I poked him with my foot.
‘No, not strip poker. It’s not going to be that kind of party.’
‘Since Jax is now definitely coming, I thought we could make him and Saffron play Mr and Mrs. It’s a sort of test,’ I added when George raised his brows enquiringly. He was scraping out the last of the lamb dopiaza and I pushed the container of rice towards him. ‘I ask Saffron and Jax a series of questions about each other in advance, and then read out their answers. Then we’ll see how well they really know each other.’
‘Sounds dangerous to me,’ said George. ‘What sort of questions were you thinking of?’
‘I don’t know, what’s their favourite book, that kind of thing.’ I hadn’t given the matter much thought. I wasn’t at that stage of planning yet.
‘Saffron didn’t strike me as a great reader,’ he said which was a tactful way of putting it. My sister had lots of good points, but a razor-sharp intellect wasn’t one of them. I had only ever seen her flicking through glossy magazines, and even then I suspected she only looked at the pictures. I couldn’t see Jax spending much time buried in a book either.
‘Mmnnn, good point,’ I acknowledged. ‘What about favourite meal?’
George licked his fork thoughtfully. ‘I get it. So if Jax thinks that Saffron’s favourite meal is sausage and mash, and she says it’s actually a lettuce leaf, hilarity will ensue when you compare their answers.’
‘That’s the idea.’ I hunted round for a pen and turned my list over so that I could write on the pack. ‘I need some more questions. I thought favourite meal, favourite colour – What?’ I broke off as George made a face.
‘No self-respecting bloke is going to have a favourite colour! Why don’t you ask something interesting like, what does he/she do when they’re nervous?’
I frowned. ‘What do you mean?’
‘Well, for instance, if we were getting married, I’d say that you tucked your hair behind your ears whenever you weren’t sure of yourself.’
‘I do not!’
‘It’s a dead giveaway,’ said George kindly.
‘Or they might ask what your most irritating habit was,’ I countered, ‘and I would say the way you change my ringtone every day! I got a cow mooing today,’ I remembered grouchily. ‘You do realise the joke’s wearing very thin?
‘You promised you wouldn’t do it again,’ I reminded him crossly. ‘Scout’s honour, you said. I distinctly remember it.’
‘It doesn’t count if you were never a scout,’ said George. ‘Besides, I’m having much too good a time imagining your face when your mobile rings every day.’
‘I’ll stop using it,’ I threatened, but he shook his head.
‘Can’t be done, Frith. A professional woman like you without a mobile phone? What happens when someone wants to get hold of you and you’re on site? No, I think you’ll keep it.’
He was right, curse him.
George smiled. He could read my expression without difficulty. ‘I’m surprised you haven’t worked out how to change it yourself,’ he said. ‘You being an engineer and all.’
‘I deal with big structures,’ I said loftily. ‘Not all engineers are nerds, you know. I’ve always been hopeless with fiddly technology. I can switch on my computer and send a text, but that’s about it.
‘Looks like you’re stuck with me choosing your ringtones then, doesn’t it?’

© Jessica Hart 2012



36 Responses to “Spotlight & Giveaway: Hitched by Jessica Hart”

  1. Alicia Jespersen

    My one pet peeve is the sound of someone chewing food. It just grates on my last nerve!

  2. Kai W.

    My best friend always have something in her hands. Her hands just can’t keep still. The worst thing is if she sees a paper or plastic bag, she will be crinkling it for a whole hour without realizing that her restlessness is driving me crazy. I once, had to grab the bag from her and she can’t realize that her crinkling of the bag was irritating me.

  3. Chris Mead

    My boyfriend has a habit of throwing out things that belong to others without asking if it is okay with the owner of the item. It drives me absolutely crazy to go looking for something I wanted only to find that he threw it out!

  4. Evelyn

    Hmm! Tough one since I have lots of pet peeves, but the one that irritates me the most would people that like to tell a long winded story instead if getting to the point. I just want to tell them say what you mean without all the drama.

  5. Sue Peace

    My husband would probably tell you that after night shifts I find him annoying, lol…that and people who are always late!

  6. Mary Preston

    I have a lot of pet peeves too. My biggest peeve would be people standing in doorways, or blocking supermarket aisles etc and talking, oblivious to those who want to go through or past.

  7. roslyngroves

    My pet peeve is people who drive incredibly slow on the freeway. I was stuck behind a car doing 60 in a 100 zone today. I don’t want people speeding at all, but the slow pokes just hold up traffic.

  8. DebraG

    I hate tapping. Someone tapping their pencil or their foot or anything else drives me crazy.

  9. Michelle Harlan

    My husband would say that it’s the “shaky leg or tapping foot” that irritates me most & he’d be right! I know he can’t help it, but it drives me absolutely crazy. I have to work very hard at just placing my hand on his knee to draw his attention to it. What I’m doing inside my head is screaming!

  10. Rita Wray

    My pet peeve is people who ask to borrow stuff. I don’t borrow anything so I don’t want to lend my stuff out. I know if I do it will come back broken if it comes back at all.

  11. Joanne B

    My biggest peeve is when people go on and on telling a story and just don’t get to the point. It irritates me to no end. Thanks for the giveaway.

  12. Jennifer Zorko-Legan

    When I am trying to talk to someone and they cannot look up from the screen on the phone.

  13. Christine Merritt

    I’m an Artist, I make my living painting and working in clay… my pet peeve are those people I hardly know and worse people who knows someone who knew me when my kids went to the same preschool are having a fundraiser and can I just donate a painting or sculpture.

    They even ask if I will give free paintings lessons for six weeks I love kids and I do give hundreds of hours a year donating my time to the public school my girls attend. My paintings take hundreds of hours and sell for thousands of dollars.

    No one asks a Doctor to give a free surgery or my husband the computer god to give them a free computer because he develops software. When I say “I’m sorry my donation of time and supplies go to my own kids school and our families chosen charities” – people are so not nice about it. These are people who only have my information because they’ve found my family on Facebook! ARGH… sorry to vent here… and thank you for asking.

  14. Marcy Shuler

    I hate when people say they’re going to do something and then don’t do it. If you can’t do something just be honest and I’ll understand.

  15. Sharlene Wegner

    Oh, the one thing that gets on our nerves about each other is the way we drive. I think he has a habit of delayed braking.

  16. Cindy H

    The thing that bugs me is my husband, he is hard of hearing and he will cut in the conversation when myself or other people are talking.

  17. Veronica

    When I ask someone to remind me of something later, and they tell me like 10 seconds later. I freak every time lol


    My honey tends to over analyze things. Sometimes I wish he would just go with the flow. After being together for over 20 years, I guess it’s a small thing. <3

    Thank you for sharing your work! 🙂

  19. chey

    I hate trying to have a conversation with someone who refuses to look up from their electronic device.

  20. Shannon G.

    Oh, wow, not even sure where to start. Maybe my habit of recycling everything – including paper straw wrappers and the plastic sleeves takeout utensils come in. Can’t help it LOL

  21. Kim

    There’s alot of little small things which bug me. The one thing I would say would be….people being pushy.

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