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THE TOWN SQUARE by AVA MILES
The Dare Valley Series
1960 is ushering in a new decade of change, and journalist Arthur Hale is determined to be on the forefront of it. A successful New York City journalist, he returns to his hometown of Dare Valley, Colorado to start a new newspaper that will channel the voice of the West, joining the ranks of prestigious papers like The New York Times and The Chicago Tribune.
But the bigger the dream, the higher the price. Arthur’s ambition and drive isolate him, and the only person who can break through his self-imposed solitude is Harriet Jenkins, his talented and mysterious secretary. Though Arthur’s sixth sense as a journalist tells him the beautiful and complicated redhead is hiding something, he can’t stay away.
What he doesn’t know is that Harriet Jenkins is actually Harriet Wentworth. A newspaper article ruined her father and sullied her family name, and now she’s out for revenge on the journalist who wrote it: Arthur Hale. As she gets to know Arthur, Harriet discovers he’s not the monster she thought he was. He’s a man of integrity, committed to uncovering the truth at all costs. Soon the impossible happens, and she finds herself falling for the man she set out to destroy, but can the two build a future on a foundation of lies and ugly truths?
A Note from AVA Miles….
My Very “Mad Men” Office Romance
So happy holidays! I’m Ava Miles, a new contemporary romance writer who kicked off her Dare Valley Series with NORA ROBERTS LAND a few months ago. I’m here to talk about my newest release, THE TOWN SQUARE, which is set in the early 1960s and finally tells the story my readers have been begging for: the love story of the wonderful Arthur Hale, the loveable grandpa and journalistic legend, in my other books. Thanks to Karen for hosting me today.
THE TOWN SQUARE has been one of my most fun books to write. It’s my “Mad Men” in a small town with a happy ending. I’m a huge fan of the show, especially the dark and handsome, Don Draper. Well, I was able to craft my own Mad Miss, my heroine, Harriet Wentworth, who arrives in Dare Valley, Colorado right as Arthur is setting up his newspaper operation, having returned from working for The New York Times. Like Don Draper, Harriet has taken an assumed name. A newspaper article ruined her father and sullied her family name, and now she’s out for revenge on the journalist who wrote it: Arthur Hale.
Like the TV show, THE TOWN SQUARE is an office romance that packs a punch. Harriet applies for the position of Arthur’s secretary. And right off the bat, she shows that she’s a woman ahead of her time. Here’s a snippet:
No one else around town could offer her skills, and even without a resume or any background information, she was his best candidate. He couldn’t stand to do administrative work, and if she insisted she wouldn’t answer any questions about herself, he could suck it up. Plus, there were piles of boxes someone had to file, and that someone wasn’t going to be him.
“Okay, you’re hired.”
A secret smile appeared on her lips, and then she stood, pulling her gloves on once again, slowly and deliberately. God, how did women stand the bother of all that fuss about fashion?
“Wonderful,” she murmured. “I only have one other request.”
He took a step closer, studying her amused face. “Name it.”
“I’ve heard some bosses like to call their secretaries ‘sweetheart.’ Don’t.”
Well, she’d just let something slip about her background. She’d never been a secretary, or she would have used the word “seen,” not “heard.”
“Oh, and I don’t make coffee.”
That was interesting. Didn’t most secretaries do that? To get her goat, he simply said, “So what should I call you?”
“Harriet,” she informed him, turning toward the door and walking out. “Or Harry, if it makes it easier to remember not to call me ‘sweetheart.’”
As he watched her gorgeous body stroll out of his office, one thought crossed his mind.
There was no way this woman could be mistaken for a Harry.
Just what is it about office romances anyway? The proximity? The intimacy established through knowing someone’s daily schedule and sharing their professional highs and lows? Well, whatever it is, Arthur and Harriet are wildly attracted to each other. Harriet tries to tell herself it’s the proximity, but as she gets to know Arthur better, she sees he’s a man of integrity in addition to being downright steamy. But how can she reconcile this side with what he did to her father?
I hope you’ll check out THE TOWN SQUARE and find out for yourself. In the meantime, tell me, what do you think of office romances? Good idea? Bad idea? Any personal stories to share? Come on, I’d love to hear them.
Ava Miles burst onto the contemporary romance scene after receiving Nora Roberts’ blessing for her use of Ms. Roberts’ name in her debut novel, NORA ROBERTS LAND, which kicked off The Dare Valley Series and brought praise from reviewers and readers alike. Much to Ava’s delight, BlogCritics says “It [NORA ROBERTS LAND] captures the best of…a Nora Roberts novel,” while USA Today’s Happily Ever After blog praises the series noting its “wonderful, idyllic setting… [and] great characters.” Ava continued The Dare Valley Series in FRENCH ROAST, which Tome Tender says “raised the entertainment bar again” and then THE GRAND OPENING, which reviewer Mary J. Gramlich says “is a continuation of love, family, and relationships.” The fourth book in the series, THE HOLIDAY SERENADE, was met with high praise, and now Ava shares her ode to the early 1960s, THE TOWN SQUARE, what she calls Mad Men in a small town with a happy ending. A descendant of generations of journalists, Ava—a writer since childhood—now lives in her own porch-swinging-friendly community with an old-fashioned Main Street lined with small businesses. Much like Dare Valley.
THE TOWN SQUARE, Book 5, The Dare Valley Series, by Ava Miles
Romance and Popular Culture & Social Sciences/Fiction/Original
December 2013/On Sale 12-16-13/$3.99 (eBook), ISBN: 978-1-940565-03-3
Links to Ava’s website, blog, books, etc.
NORA ROBERTS LAND
THE TOWN SQUARE
**SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Ava will give away one ebook copy of THE TOWN SQUARE to one of her lucky readers who comments on her Monday Interview or Wednesday Book Bench blogs!! Don’t miss this chance to read this story!! Thanks, Ava, for sharing your stories with us!