Monday, 2 February 2009

Debby Allen writes exotic romance stories in electronic format for The Wild Rose Press.

'Hibiscus Bay'
Exhilarating sex with an Arabian millionaire is the last thing Ashleigh Brennan expects after an illicit affair with her boss leaves her unemployed and without dignity. She vows never to be misled by first impressions again—until she meets wealthy, handsome Remmao Kamal. He’s full of passion and eastern promise—but for how long?It’s hard to believe that this wealthy bachelor isn’t married, but his playboy lifestyle aboard his yacht has had its repercussions. After a succession of harbor pickups, his misjudgement of a lover’s intention put his life at risk. Since then, he has been determined to put his womanising days behind him—until Ashleigh walks into his life.Their sexual attraction is immediate and the temptation for Remmao to break his vow of harbor celibacy is as strong as Ashleigh’s desire to protect her heart. But will a one-night stand with no commitments be enough for them?'
by Rachel Lindley - Date Added: 01/21/2009
This was a gorgeous contemporary read with a heroine and hero a reader can follow for days. The hero was especially gorgeous with a sexy accent and an interesting Egyptian background. The story kind of reminded me of a Harlequin Presents in shorter version which I think is it's strength. It's a nice light read that is easy to fall into if you're looking for a great love story with some fabulous characters. I loved the setting where the hero loved to get lost in and the way the characters found solace within each other despite the hurt they received in the past. The beautiful cover, might I add, is spot on for presenting the scenery that is described for the book. A reader may have a hard time identifying with the heroine at first who has a sort of shifty background not usual in romance stories, but still her reluctance to trust again is sympathetic as is the hero's. If this was a series, I'd definitely be interested in checking out the next in line!Rating: [5 of 5 Stars]
The Long And Short Of It Reviews - Date Added: 05/10/2008
“Hibiscus Bay,” set in a lush harbor town, is an emotional roller coaster of a romance between Remmao and Ashleigh, two jaded, broken-hearted adults trying to avoid commitment. When they meet by chance in the harbor one evening, their attraction is instant. But even after they spend the night and the following day together, Ashleigh doubts that she will ever be more to Remmao than a harbor pickup. Nursing a broken heart, and guilt-ridden over her own past relationship, she simply cannot trust a stranger with her heart. And Remmao has doubts of his own, since his last harbor pickup not only broke his heart but almost destroyed his life. These characters operate mostly on lust and immediate emotion, and as such their relationship goes through ups and downs on every page. While Ashleigh is not the most admirable or likable heroine (she’s an adulteress who slept with her boss to advance her career) readers will likely understand her reluctance to trust a handsome playboy like Remmao. Readers will also understand Remmao’s frustration with Ashleigh’s unpredictable emotional outbursts. Ms. Allen develops his character well; he’s a gorgeous Middle Eastern sailor with a body to die for and a heart that needs tending. The setting of gorgeous Hibiscus Bay is a perfect place for Remmao and Ashleigh to explore their feelings further, and those descriptive details are nicely presented. (On a side note, this novella’s cover is beautifully designed and paints an idyllic picture of the paradise where these characters fall in love.)
Catherine Kimmer – Date Added: 04/11/2008
What happens when two people suffer from heart break and pain? Romance of course. Debby Allen has written a lovely story about what happens when a one-night stand needs to be more. [4 out of 5 stars]
Cocktail Reviews - Date Added: 03/23/2008
Ashleigh is on a Mediterranean holiday with her friend Laura. She’s intending to use the break to get over a failed office romance with her boss – a married man. When Laura spots an expensive yacht at a local harbour, Ashleigh only has eyes for the hot guy on board. But while her friend urges her to enjoy a holiday romance, Ashleigh is afraid of being hurt again.
Remmao is half Egyptian, half Arab, a wealthy playboy who used to have a woman in every port until a bad experience left him emotionally damaged and extremely cautious. But Ashleigh intrigues him – he’s never had to chase a woman before, and he’s determined to track her down.
While both are ready for a physical relationship, their emotions keep getting in the way. Only by learning to let go of the past and trusting one another will they find a future together.This was a great novella-length read. I loved the underplayed humour, such as Ashleigh’s embarrassment at being caught ogling Remmao on his yacht. In this scene, she’s going to great lengths to pretend she wasn’t looking at him. In the process, her sunglasses fall off and he tries to give them back to her:“I, no, it’s ok, they’re not expensive,” she stammered stupidly. He shrugged. “Well, I am sure there are litter bins around if you wanted to dispose of them.”
“I don’t! I mean, I wasn’t throwing them away. They fell off my head.”
I also enjoyed Ashleigh’s first proper conversation with him. It’s cute and breathless, and I liked the sly dig at the romance novel genre of ‘every Egyptian/Arab is a prince’.
Ashleigh is a strong character. I like the fact that she doesn’t hide or sugar-coat the truth of what she did in the past – she admits she was in the wrong with her affair. You can really feel her anger and guilt – and her fear of being hurt so easily again.Remmao is a true romance hero, but with a modern slant. He’s open about his feelings, and while he encourages Ashleigh to forgive herself and move on, he continues to hold onto his own secret – a lesson he learned a year ago and which still haunts him.
Like a short version of a M&B/Harlequin title, Hibiscus Bay delivers on all fronts with an exotic locale, wealthy foreign hunk, a good dose of angst, enjoyable love scenes and a HEA. Formulaic? Yes, of course. But that’s why I love them so much. I’d recommend this to any fan of the genre.
Simply Romance Reviews GRADE A: Date Added 03/14/2008
I can honestly say, while reading Hibiscus Bay, I was touched by the beautiful twist of fate for Ashleigh and Remmao. This is the kind of romance we all dream of. Ashleigh’s main goal on her vacation was to erase the last three years of her past relationship with Richard (ex-lover/ex-boss and married). She never expected fate to intervene and send her the love she has always dreamed of having. Remmao (dashing and sexy) never had much time for true lasting relationships since he consistently sails around the world. Suddenly, he is locking eyes with Ashleigh after her sunglasses fall onto the deck of his yacht and its’ kismet!! Throughout the story, Ashleigh and Remmao find themselves freeing all the emotional pain from the past and learning once again the meaning of trust, promises and love.’
Debby Allen captured so many heartwarming emotions of both her characters. The story inspires the reader to wish for Hibiscus Bay and a pair of sunglasses.......wonderful job Debby!!~Reviewed by Mireille

'Mistletoe and Ouzo Kisses'

Blurb: "A man is for life and not just for Christmas" – or so the saying goes! When Leah Stamford accepts the offer to spend the festive season in Greece with her co-worker, Marcus Savakis, the last thing she expects to be unwrapping is him. But after one ouzo too many, with a voluptuous ex-girlfriend tempting Marcus back into her ample bosom, Leah will stop at nothing to win his affections – but seduction has never been one of her specialties. That's what lost Leah her last boyfriend. Now it’s time to prove to herself that she can be daring and sexy. But has she got what it takes to seduce Marcus away from the desires of his ex-girlfriend? Can her timidity compete with this erotic Greek goddess?
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Ruth Nordin - Date Added: 01/14/2009
This is a cute Christmas story about two friends who discover the best love may be right in front of them. I love the way this book opens. Leah Stamford can't remember what she and her co-worker and friend, Marcus Savakis, did after the Christmas party. To her surprise (and relief), she learns that she agreed to spend Christmas with his family in Greece. I have not been to Greece, so it was a special treat to read about the place and learn about the way they celebrate the holiday. The blooming romance and jealous ex-girlfriend are the icing on the cake. I recommend this for anyone looking for a feel good Christmas story.
Rating: [4 of 5 Stars]

Night Owl Romance Reviews - Date Added: 01/08/2009
The title of this short story attracted me since I happen to love Ouzo. It’s Greek liquor, it’s very yummy (if you like black licorice, which I do) and it’s VERY potent, so I figured if the characters were drinking it things would have to be interesting. Well I wasn’t disappointed in this lovely tale about Marcus and Leah, friends and co-workers. Marcus is Greek and after Leah gets her heart broken by a cheating boyfriend he invites her to accompany him to Greece for the holidays. Ouzo drinking ensues, family gathers together, and love is finally recognized. This is a sweet short story by Ms. Allen and is a great quick read for a cold night. And of course you should have the Ouzo around to go with this story.

Long And Short of It Reviews - Date Added: 12/18/2008
'The office Christmas party can be a recipe for disaster! Free wine at the latest work festivities has left lovely Leah Stamford in the dark… especially about that night and a certain Marcus Savakis. Still, she can brush off office gossip...or can she? It seems this office party kicked off events she never remembered agreeing to. Complicating issues is the inescapable memory lapse, the incriminating tie on her bed, and Marcus, himself. Marcus–cheerful, flippant, handsome and more notably, a co-worker. Is he as good as his word...or is he manipulating her? As soon as she swears off wine forever, there he is, insisting on buying her another. And, what to do about the holidays now? Leah is faced with a conundrum, and the pressure of all the giggly girls in the office doesn’t help. Oh decisions; leap into the big, traditionally Greek Christmas via Marcus' invitation-–or celebrate the holidays most thoroughly alone? Are you kidding? Manipulative or not, you’ll be jumping up and down as she packs her bags--and that is barely the beginning! Never mind the Athenian skyline, the hot mulled cider, the glitter off the wave tops; the whole, mesmerizing Mediterranean world... Because this holiday adventure has barely gotten started! I am desperately censoring myself here, as there is so much more I’d like to mention, but the revelations are half the fun.
Do read! 4.5 books for this completely charming Christmas romance. Allen got this recipe just perfect: Wonderful characters, delightful descriptions, and exactly the right amount of mistletoe!!

Veronica Krotts - Date Added: 12/18/2008
I thought this story was very sweet. A lovely Christmas romance. Leah had trust issues and Marcus was afraid to share his feelings with Leah. It all came together in Loving Greek Family! The brief discritions of Greece brought back great memories of my trip to Greece last year...I could see and smell Greece again. Thanks Debby!Rating: [5 of 5 Stars]

'Rendezvous' (Free read from The Wild Rose Press)

Blurb: Full bodied, dark and continental. Can French men really taste as good as their coffee? Rendezvous Bar and Café is famous for its romantic encounters, but when Dana Lewis serves Luc Devereaux his café noir, she’s ready to pour the beverage over his head.

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