|Anne has never stopped loving Christian. Over the past year, her dreams seemed about to come true when she and Christian drifted into friendship with lovemaking. Now, the spectre from the past, the utterly selfish and conniving Mei-Ling, is once again destroying her dreams.
Can what Anne has with Christian be saved, or will Mei-Ling ruin their budding romance?
Reviews for Forbidden Lover
"I so like how Christian matured from the days of Mei Ling and although he slipped with Anne and hurt her, he was able to bounce back and make it up to her and give their relationship the seriousness it deserved. I also liked how strong Anne was in an understated way!" - Tangirenie
Visit Kate Hofman's web site
Read an excerpt from Forbidden Lover
About Kate Hofman
Born in The Netherlands, I lived in London, England, from the age of eighteen. BFA – Art History, Major. Interior Design, Minor. Moved to Montreal, Canada. (I figured I might as well be paid for being fluent in French). Married Arnold Hofman, a truly fabulous man. Owned and operated an art gallery for twelve years. Widowed ten years ago by Arnold's untimely death. Nina Bruhns urged me to write. I did as I was told, and in the next 4 1/2 years I wrote two dozen books. I figured that's what it would take to learn to write. And I was wrong! But Rose Brungard took pity on me and gave unstintingly of her own expertise, sending long explanatory e-mails, which helped me a lot. I also owe my grateful thanks to Thea Devine, who taught me to play "What If" when the writer wonders where to take the story next. And more recently, I have been given generous help, advice, and
encouragement by Jennifer Mueller, whose books I love. She also designed the cover art for several of my books with Romance At Heart.
Also by Kate Hofman
HER DREAM LOVER
A GREEK SEDUCTION
A SENSUAL SEDUCTION
A GREATER LOVE
A HIDDEN AGENDA – winner in my category of the Reviewers' Award,
THE SPANISH CONQUEST
CIRCLE OF LOVE
LOVE'S LOST PAST
A GREEK LOVE STORY – winner in my category of the Reviewers' Award,
ODYSSEY OF LOVE
A MARRIAGE OF CONVENIENCE
A FIRE BURNS DEEP
GABRIEL'S QUEST FOR LOVE
CASTLE IN SPAIN
MY LOVE, FOREVER
NOT WITHOUT LOVE
JULIAN'S JUNGLE BOOK
HER ITALIAN PRINCE
LOVE – LOST & FOUND
FOR LOVE OF LORENZO
LOVE FOR CHRISTMAS
ONLY IN SPIRIT
A SPECIAL CHRISTMAS
Enter Kate's Forbidden Lover Drawing
An Interview with Kate Hofman
By Holly Hewson for The Romance Studio
HH: Kate, thank you so much for talking with us at TRS. Your featured book is Forbidden Lover. Where did you get the idea for this amazing story?
KH: Julian Christian often sends me photos from a shoot in case there is something there that I'd like to have for a cover.
He sent me this stunning pic of himself with an Asian woman, and suggested I might like to write a story about a US Diplomat who falls in love with the wife of a very old, very rich Chinese merchant - all this to play in Shanghai, if you don't mind.
He suggested the title: Forbidden Lover.
No way could I find out enough information to write credibly about Shanghai...
I thought for a while and decided, if I placed the story in an American city, forgot about the diplomatic angle, but had a traditional Chinese father insist his daughter save his honour by marrying a mobster he owes money to -- that might work very well. I told Julian, and he said, I like the sound of it!
HH: What can you tell us about Anne and why will readers be drawn to her?
KH: Originally I had thought that my hero and his Chinese girlfriend would have a relationship later on, but I could not see my hero consenting to be a Forbidden Lover to someone else's wife.
And as I was writing, Mei-Ling, the Chinese girl, began to appeal to me less and less for Christian, the hero.
Yes, Julian said I could use his name for my hero.
Then I thought what if Christian was best friends with benefits, shall we say, with another woman? After all, five years had passed since his affair with Mei-Ling.
It then occurred to me that the other woman had better be half Asian at least, in order that the cover photo would be of Christian and Anne, rather than Christian and Mei-Ling.
Mei-Ling comes across as wilful and used to having her own way.
I had to make Anne different -- having her a few years older, with an MBA, and with a mature outlook gave me just the contrast that would appeal to Christian and make him realize that Mei-Ling had changed too much in the five years they were apart.
My own sympathies went strongly toward Anne, and away from Mei-Ling. Then I had to check back to make sure I hadn't overdone Mei-Ling's almost childish wilfulness.
HH: What do you like best about Christian and why will readers love him?
KH: Christian... Well, look at Julian's photo! What's not to like!
I made Christian a serious young man, he is 25 when the story begins, and has just finished his MBA at Harvard. He is serious about Mei-Ling, and devastated when she tells him that she has to marry this mobster her father owes money to.
When they meet again, five years later, it seems a miracle to him--except when he gets to know Mei-Ling again, she seems to have changed too much from the girl he remembered, and slowly he begins to realize that it is Anne, quieter, more adult, an MBA graduate herself, with whom he has much more in common, and he admits to himself that he loves her. How to get her to overlook his lapse of briefly returning to Mei-Ling and regetting it? I like Christian's attitude to the whole situation he finds himself in, and although I was writing the story, I found myself hoping that Anne would understand the instant and huge temptation when he suddenly saw Mei-Ling again after five long years.
HH: What sort of research went into your story?
KH: We writers are always told to write what we know, and in this story I wrote mostly from experience -- so far as the business part of the story goes. At university, i had an Indonesian girlfriend, and it was interesting to learn how and why her points of view were different from mine. That went into the young Mei-Ling mostly. Dealing with the more grown-up but still childishly wilful later Mei-Ling was not difficult. We've all met women who detest their husbands but stay with them for the social position and/or the limitless credit cards. Believe me, that's easy to write.
Anne was more difficult. She is more cerebral, and I had to show her as deeply but very quietly loving Christian--hoping that he was on his way to discovering that he loved her too.
Then... boom! Mei-Ling returns. That blow to Anne's heart had to be shown, so that the reader would feel it. Not describe in words what she felt.
HH: do you consider the most important elements of a good romance?
KH: A good romance should have an honorable man with a sense of humour, good looking. The woman should fit him in the reader's mind, although in the beginning they may not realize it themselves. A little tension never hurts! I don't like a hero and heroine who spend the story fighting, stopping occasionally briefly for a clinch. That is so boring and formulaic. Most of their contrived problem could've been solved by a five-year old with one question and answer...
I prefer that they get together earlyish in the story, and then let things happen to them, or to one of them, and they have to deal with this, and hopefully grow closer in the process. I dont like cliffhanging, and prefer that the tension should be psychological.
HH: What else do you have in the works?
KH: . I've just finished a Christmas story, Golden Christmas. It is one of the books in my "Golden' series, all dealing with men with gorgeous golden blond hair. C.J. Hollenbach is invariably the model for these covers. He is also very kind in giving me a man's point of view when I wonder if this or that would work.
I've been lucky with my three models, they are all friendly and helpful. I tell them the hero I have in mind, and they find the right photo for me.
DCL is readying another 'Golden' book – Golden Dreamer. This is my first venture into a slightly paranormal sphere.
The hero is somewhat clairvoyant -- that is to say, he can sense where a kidnapper has hidden his victim, e.g. His friend, a police inspector in a small, picturesque Ontario town, is very grateful for his help on occasions. Nick's housekeeper, later his girlfriend, Sylvia, is a true psychic. I was very lucky there.
My Reiki practitioner, who does wonders for my poor lower back, is a psychic, and she was interested in my book and offered her insights. This decided me to write this slightly paranormal story. Without my friend, it couldn't have been written.
DCL has also got Spanish Lover waiting to be edited and published. This is the story of an aloof, arrogant Spanish-American, who frequently goes back to Spain to be closer to his roots. He is a 35-year old widower with a 6-month old daughter, and to die for. Well, I'm writing him, I can make him stunning if I want to! The baby frets a lot, but a young woman doing interior designs for some of his reception rooms, manages to soothe the baby. Of course he asks her to stay and look after his daughter, she can name her price. She astonishes him by saying that she will be glad to look after the baby but she will not take money. Now, our hero becomes very interested...!
HH: Do you own an ebook reader or read on an electronic device? If so, what?
KH: No, I don't have one yet. I will probably buy a Kindle, since it seems the easiest to work for someone who is a total klutz with anything technical or electronic. I hope my covers can be shown in colour on it!
HH: As a romance reader, what sort of stories do you personally prefer?
KH: I am always happy when I find a story that is fresh, uncontrived, non-formulaic. I like a story that is believable, although one is willing to suspend disbelief to a certain degree. I personally like Mediterranean men -- so alpha!
I like exotic locales, and I like women who know how to bring out the best in a man without emasculating him.
This becomes more and more difficult, as big publishers are inclined to repeat and repeat what they think sells. Odd, how often the biggest of them are out of touch with reality. In the days of Women's Lib, they insisted on stories where the girl was quite dense, and lisped at every opportunity, "Whatevah you think, Cuthbert..."
Now a good 50 years later, when women have become comfortable as equals of men, these publishers all have the same stories of women who fight with the men the whole time, lippy, noisy bitches, whom no man would give a minute of his time to.
No one likes these stories, but the women continue to fight and complain and elbow him out of the way, and if he holds open a door they tell him they can do that themselves.
Rudeness is not the same as independence.
Aggression is not the same as assertion. But these publishers don't know that, and my guess is they never will find it out. They are too busy dictating the storylines to their writers. I will take good care never to be found among them!
Then there are far too many writers who are sloppy about the use of foreign languages. I would rather read, "He uttered a dreadful curse in Greek..." than see the wrong words used for a so-called Greek curse.
The other day, there was a Greek hero of a romance, who said, Dios (Spanish) mio (Italian). What he should have said was: Thee mou! (my God, in Greek) Writers who dont have the courtesy toward their readers to research the foreign expressions they use are my personal bugbear.
HH: What's your favorite guilty pleasure?
KH: My favorite guilty pleasure is writing when other things are waiting to be done, but there is this great idea that just entered my mind, and I have to just set it down... Then i think, let's try a paragraph to see if this works... Ah good, it does. Next step is, maybe I should just quickly start the first chapter, see how it flows... Oh, wait -- this will work better if I put all this in the prologue...
And all the time I'm supposed to be doing laundry with my other hand, know what I mean?
HH: Any vacation or appearance plans this summer?
KH: Since my hip replacement I find travel difficult, but I am planning to go to Woodstock in August to spend some time with my grandchildren and great-grands.
Appearances? No. I write and I am very happy if people want to read what i write. To look at -- let's face it, the readers would much rather see Julian Christian, Billy Freda and C.J. Hollenbach! Who wouldn't!
HH: Thank you!