Author Kate Hardy gives us an insight into her fabulous Romeo and Juliet romance: His Shy Cinderella. Family rivalry, unexpected love and a down-to-earth heroine – what’s not to love!
I’d always wanted to write a grown-up Romeo and Juliet romance. It was while I was wandering around the grounds of a country house with my husband and saw a vintage car rally in the grounds) that the idea came to me.
Supposing my hero’s and heroine’s grandfathers were best friends, went into business together building cars, fell out, and then became deadly rivals? And so, we have the Stones, who make racing cars (and the sons are racing drivers); and the McKenzies, who make affordable sports cars.
Angel’s family business is in trouble, but she has the chance of rescuing it by building a car especially for a film franchise. (Think James Bond-ish). Her big love is designing cars, so it’s the perfect opportunity for her – except the bank is threatening to call in her overdraft.
Brandon’s rather lost his way since his older brother was killed in a racing accident and his father had a heart attack, meaning that Brandon had to take over the family business. He thinks that buying McKenzie’s (and ending the family rivalry) will make things right again. And his (rather stupid) Plan A is to schmooze Angel into doing what he wants.
What he doesn’t bargain for is falling in love with her. Angel McKenzie isn’t what he was expecting at all. She’s shy – very much a Cinderella (although there are no horrible sisters here), but as he draws her out he discovers that he really, really likes her. And although Angel tries to resist him, and challenge him every step of the way, she finds that she falls for the man behind the public image. Brandon’s more than just Prince Charming, the ex-racing champion. And the more they get to know each other, the more they find they have in common.
What I like about my heroine is that she’s followed her heart and she’s working in the industry she really loves – even though traditionally it’s dominated by men. Yes, she’s a little shy and awkward in public, particularly in big noisy gatherings (for the same reason that I am – hearing aids aren’t brilliant in noisy rooms so I have to rely on lip reading and it does mean you miss things). But she believes in her family business, she stands up for her staff and she’s someone I’d be proud to call a friend.
What I like about my hero is that he has a soft side beneath the image of the glamorous racing driver. Brandon sings in the car. He wants a dog (and actually that’s the last appearance of my beloved Byron in a book – which makes me cry even thinking about it). He makes his secretary coffee instead of expecting her to wait on him. And I rather like his take on a marriage proposal…
Don’t miss this fabulous Romeo and Juliet romance, His Shy Cinderella by Kate Hardy – on sale now!