Spotlight & Giveaway: The First Kiss by Grace Burrowes

Posted February 4th, 2015 by in Blog, Spotlight / 55 comments

Today it is my pleasure to Welcome New York Times bestselling author Grace Burrowes to HJ! 

Hi Grace and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, The First Kiss!


Maryland is for Romance! by Grace Burrowes

TheFirstKissWhat do Frank Zappa, Harriet Tubman, Nora Roberts, and Babe Ruth all have in common?

They’re from Maryland, where I make my home, and where The Sweetest Kisses trilogy is set. These are my first contemporary novels, and I chose the setting for good reasons.

We don’t have many cowboys in Maryland, and no dukes that I know of, but Maryland does have interesting terrain, a very snowy western portion, thousands of miles of Atlantic coastline, nearly flat agricultural land on the Delmarva (Delaware, Maryland, Virginia) peninsula, and lovely cityscapes in Baltimore and Annapolis. Plenty of variety in settings for a romance, and the seafood here is not to be missed.

Maryland was named the Free State when it refused to pass a law enforcing Prohibition, just one fact from Maryland’s fascinating history. Colonial and Civil War re-enactors have many battlefields to choose from, and hiking enthusiasts can pick up the Appalachian trail at several points along its forty-mile jaunt through Maryland.

This is a beautiful state, from the colonial streets of Annapolis, the capital, to the Allegheny front of the western counties (the eastern Continental Divide passes through Garrett County), to the rolling farmland in the central counties. We have four seasons, each lovely in its way—fireflies in summer, snowfall in winter, gorgeous autumn leaves, and some of the most beautiful flowering trees I’ve seen anywhere in spring.

With all this variety, beauty, and history, I’m surprised more authors aren’t setting their romance novels here.

For the Sweetest Kisses trilogy, I focused on the part of Maryland I know and love the best, where farmland lies in pretty valleys between low mountains, and the cities, while within commuting distance, seem part of another world. This is an area of small towns, C&O Canal hikes, and long memories. Nora Roberts chose this setting for her recent Inn Boonsboro Trilogy, and if you come here, yes, you can stay at the Inn, right across the street from Turn the Page bookstore.

I love this area, and my Sweetest Kisses characters love it too. Trent and Hannah, from A Single Kiss, enjoy knowing big city sophistication is just down the road, while a quiet hike with the kids is fifteen minutes up the lane. James and Vera (The First Kiss) enjoy seeing the neighbor’s heifers at grass across the driveway—until the heifers get loose—and MacKenzie and Sidonie (Kiss Me Hello) connect through a pair of orphaned draft horses lazing around on Sid’s back forty.

I haven’t had this much fun writing a series since… well, I haven’t. Maryland is a great place to fall in love, and a wonderful place for a happily ever after.


Thanks for blogging at HJ!


Giveaway: Print copy of THE FIRST KISS + the series starter A SINGLE KISS (US/Canada).


To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and Post a comment to this Q: If you had to choose a setting for a romantic series, would your home town work? Why or why not?

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Book Information

Classical pianist Vera Waltham is recovering from a bad break up by taking a hiatus with her daughter in the Damson Valley countryside. She’s content with her music, and has no interest in complicating her life with further attempts at romance.

Attorney James Knightley is a numbers guy who reads contractual fine print for lunch, and wants nothing to do with damsels, in distress or otherwise. Nobody is more surprised than James when he falls for Vera Waltham, and the only contract on James’s mind when it comes to Vera is holy matrimony.

Title: The First Kiss
Author: Grace Burrowes
Release Date: February 3, 2015
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Contemporary Romance

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Buy Links

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Meet The Author: 

Grace BurrowesNew York Times and USA Today bestselling author Grace Burrowes’ bestsellers include The Heir, The Soldier, Lady Maggie’s Secret Scandal, Lady Sophie’s Christmas Wish and Lady Eve’s Indiscretion. Her Regency romances have received extensive praise, including starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist. Grace is branching out into short stories and Scotland-set Victorian romance with Sourcebooks. She is a practicing family law attorney and lives in rural Maryland.

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55 Responses to “Spotlight & Giveaway: The First Kiss by Grace Burrowes”

  1. Glenda

    The town I currently live in wouldn’t be a good option, it is growing way to fast and has taken on a generic suburb look. 🙁

  2. Joye

    Not my home town. It was in the mountains of Colorado-maybe 1000 people live there. Nothing remarkable. about it and no jobs to be had except on ranches.

  3. Cathy P

    I live in a suburb of a large city and there are a lot of things to do here. I do prefer reading small town romances though.

  4. Jenny Dauksa Schaber

    There is absolutely nothing romantic about my home town. In fact, everything that used to be scenic has been replaced with mini-malls, it’s too big to be quaint and there are very few “Mom and Pop” places left.

  5. marcyshuler

    My hometown of Plymouth, Michigan would work. It has a small town vibe but it’s close enough to some major cities. It has historic buildings and is known for it’s festivals. The town I live in now is just small. LOL

  6. doveknoll

    The town I currently live in wouldn’t work. The area is too touristy. If you went further south into the hill country you might find a good setting but this area totally sucks. Probably one of the reasons I’m planning on relocating. Lol

  7. Ada

    Probably not, we’re growing by leaps and bounds although some would say that’s still small town compared to other cities

  8. laurieg72l

    My hometown is around 12,000 people. It is a picturesque area located on the shore of Lake Michigan. I think it would be ideal for a romantic setting. Close community, people take pride and care for their homes,fun activities for outdoor loving people: fishing, hunting, swimming, biking and boating.

    Close to Milwaukee, Madison and Green Bay for cultural events and sporting events.

  9. Pat L.

    Dont think so, my town is very small and really doesnt seem to have the warm and cozy atmosphere and shops to make a good book.

  10. Lori Meehan

    Hmm…I’m not sure if my home town would work for a fictional town in a book. I think it’s boring around here. Lol

  11. Monique D

    It definitely would work, because Montreal Canada is viewed as a rather romantic city, even considering its size.

  12. Lisa M

    My home town? No, it’s a small boring little town
    My current town might work … it’s a military town

  13. Amy Rickman

    My hometown was a suburb to a larger city and was quite and boring, I currently reside in a small town and that might be a better location.

  14. Suzanne

    Damson Valley reminds me of one of the communities that popped up in the 70’s and 80’s. Lots of people wanted to be out of the city and breathing fresh air. The land wealthy who had lived there a long time were happy to sell to the right people and life was good. My home town was good in the 1950s but it would not be a good setting for this story today. The concept of Damson Valley makes it a nice place to raise a family.

  15. We're Jumpin' Books

    I think our town could work. It has all the Mom & Pop stores, it still has some country left in it, and it definitely has the romantic walk around the square of downtown 🙂

  16. Leanna

    My hometown is Minneapolis and I think a good story could be set there, a couple could get snowed in.

  17. Kim

    It would probably work. It has beach property in the summer and secluded cabins in the winter.

  18. Jennifer T

    Yes! I live in historic Harpers Ferry, WV. It’s rich with history, and we have the Appalachian Trail Headquarters. I think it would be an ideal setting for a couple types of books 😉

  19. Pennie M

    Where I grew up or went to college maybe but not where I live now. Now I live at the corner of no and where and really there is nothing here…

  20. Tammy Y

    I am from Santa Barbara, CA – A beautiful beach town,, It was make a wonderful setting for a book

  21. Ellen C.

    I think it would work. Small town feel with some touristy attractions, local shops and not too far from a big city.

  22. Brooke

    No, it wouldn’t. I live in a very tiny town that doesn’t have anything other than a post office, a little convenience store, and 2 bars.

  23. Martha B

    Maybe but not sure it would work. Then again, I am NOT a writer. I have a hard time imagining it as a scene of a romance.. You create magic with your words, so you could make it happen!

  24. mrsmac19

    My home town is a NYC suburb. I wouldn’t set it in Staten Island, but possibly a similar setting in concept.

  25. Diane Sallans

    I think it would – it’s a cute small town with a lot of activities in the area.

  26. taswmom

    I grew up in Anaheim, CA, and, yes, maybe in the 50’s or 60’s, but not now. Any time I go back to visit, it is just so huge and overgrown. I don’t think so now.

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