Guest Author & Giveaway: Karin Harlow featuring Enemy Lover

Tuesday, May 11

***This giveaway has ended, but you should still read the's worth your time:)  Thanks for joining the fun!***

Are you burnt out on vampires and/or paranormal romances in general?  I know many of you are not (hence the new top baby names inspired by Twilight), but I have to admit that I can count on one hand the number of paranormal romances I've read in the past year....and of those I don't think any of them had a vampire hero.  However, I think I've found a new series that could change all of that for me in Karin Harlow's L.O.S.T. seriesENEMY LOVER is the first book in an exciting new series (Last Option Special Teams) that promises to bring readers "the dark edge of romance".  What intrigued me the most was that it combines a paranormal aspect with a romantic suspense plot.  I'm really looking forward to reading it.  Karin Harlow is my guest today to talk about the differences between a love story and a romance.  Read and enjoy!

Love Story vs Romance

Thank you, for the invitation to stop and chat.  I love to hang out with fellow readers, because at our core, that’s what we are, readers, who happen to share the common love of romance stories.  

Which brings me to the topic of my blog today.  Some very successful writers (whom I will not name) have balked at the mere thought that they write, gasp, romance.  “No no! It’s a love story, not a romance. There is a difference.”

When I first heard this, I was immediately incensed.  What’s wrong with romance?  Nothing of course. So when I got over my little hissy fit at such a perceived derogatory comment directed at the genre I love to read and happen to write, I had to admit, there is a difference. I also had to admit that maybe it wasn’t a slam either.  So here’s my take on this controversy: Love stories don’t necessarily have a happy ending.  Just read some of them. They’ll break your heart.  Romeo and Juliet comes immediately to mind.  A beautiful, tragic love story that still makes me get all teary.  Don’t even get me started about Cold Mountain! Are they romances?  Nope. Why not?  It’s the HEA factor. That happily ever after we romance writers and readers live for.  Romance is a guarantee that at the end of the story, you the reader, will be satisfied, not crying your eyes out and reaching for that second and third box of tissues.  It also won’t piss you off.  I cannot tell you how many love stories I have read only to experience extreme anger by "The End".  I have emotionally invested in this couple and one either dies or they break up for some reason.  I want to shout at them, “Don’t you know that love conquers all! Get. With. The. Program!”  

But they don’t listen to me, so I get angry, slap the book closed, put it down and swear I will never be tricked again!

Look, I’m a sucker for a tearjerker.  Marley and Me comes to mind.  Cried like a baby, but it was a good cry.  Hell, I’m getting all emotional just picturing that sweet lab face as he curled up and died.    

But when it comes to love stories and romance, I want to be smiling, or sighing as I turn the last page and bring the book to my heart, feeling as if I have shared something special with the characters.  I do not want to be angry, and I certainly do not want to be in the pit of despair.  It’s why I love to write romance.  I can send my characters to hell and back, then do it again, but know they will end up together—forever.  Their love, their link, their bond, their souls are forever connected by the time I get through with them and there is nothing, nothing that will tear them apart.

It’s exactly what I did to Jax and Marcus in ENEMY LOVER.  As their storyteller, I had my doubts, I truly was not sure as I wrote their tempestuous story how they could possibly end up together.  I mean Jax is a mortal on top of her game, who is very happy to stay that way, and who happens to be clearly focused on her mission: Eliminate assassin, Marcus Cross, and his maker. Marcus is a powerful vampire who owns it, his goal is to eliminate Jax Cassidy before she destroys him and all he has worked for.

It’s a page turner to be sure, and they kick and scream all of the way to "The End", but it’s a really triumphant "The End".

Sigh.  It’s all about the love and happily ever after for me.   How is it for you?

When you have no alternative, then you call in L.O.S.T. Because with the Last Option Special Team, it’s do or die. . . . 

It’s Jax Cassidy’s first mission for L.O.S.T.—one that will give the former cop who went rogue a chance to prove herself. Her assignment: gain the trust of assassin Marcus Cross . . . eliminate him . . . then take down Marcus’s mentor, Joseph Lazarus, a man with a bold eye on the White House. But the woman who’s known by her team for being a femme fatale succumbs to passion, only to discover Cross’s deadly secret. He’s a vampire, and Joseph Lazarus is his creator.

Left for dead by his platoon in the violent hills of Afghanistan, Special Ops sniper Marcus Cross was given a second chance at life. His newly heightened skills make him the perfect killing machine, and as Lazarus’s right-hand man, he’s quickly rising to the top of his dark empire, purging enemies with speed and precision. Only when dangerous beauty Jax Cassidy is sent to bring him in does he begin to question Lazarus’s motives and his own actions. But when Jax’s life is threatened by the one thing that can destroy them both, Marcus must make a bitter choice—her death or his.

Many, many thanks to Karin Harlow, her assistant Bonnie, and the publicist at Pocket books for introducing me to what promises to be an amazing new paranormal romance series.   Congratulations!!!!  

You can find out more about Karin, ENEMY LOVER, and her new L.O.S.T.  series (Last Option Special Team) on her website, her blog, on Facebook, and on Twitter .

To celebrate the release of ENEMY LOVER Karin is giving away a very cool, black and red L.O.S.T. bistro mug, AND her publisher Pocket books has offered to giveaway two copies of ENEMY LOVER.  Woo hoo!  Here's how you can enter to win one, or both of these prizes:

Ways to earn entries:
  • MandatoryLeave a meaningful comment AND answer a question based on the excerpt.  Read the excerpt, then enter to win here.  Please don't place your answer in your comment otherwise your entry will be invalid. (good for 1 entry) 
  • Mandatory:  You MUST be a Google Friend Connect (GFC) follower in order to be eligible to win (unfortunately an email subscriber, or subscription in Google reader, and a follower are not the same thing so make sure you are signed up as a follower if you'd like to win this book)
  • Blog about this author's giveaway on your blog and leave a link with your comment (good for 15 entries)
  • If you don't have a blog, don't worry you can earn extra entries by telling your friends. If they leave a comment on this post and mention that you sent them you can each earn extra entries (good for 5 entries for the referrer and the commenter for each friend) 
  • Purchase any item from the Seductive Musings Amazon store by using this link, or the Amazon widget contained within this post and email a copy of your purchase receipt to me no later than the deadline to enter (email available in sidebar). Sorry purchases made prior to this date do not apply, and link contained in this post must be used. No faxes or snail mail copies are allowed. No purchases are necessary to win. (good for 25 entries, or 50 entries if a purchase is made from the featured author's available titles)
How to enter:
  • You can choose to enter as many different ways that you want, but please place all of your entries in ONE comment
Rules and disclaimers: 
  • This contest for the book is open to US addresses only, however the contest for the L.O.S.T. mug is open to US and International addresses
  • The contest will end on May 15 at 11:59 pm EST and winner will be posted after they have been selected
  • Winners will be selected using
  • The winners will have THREE days from the date they are posted to provide a mailing address. If you do not contact me within three days a replacement winner will be selected. NO EXCEPTIONS
  • The book(s) will be mailed directly from the publisher or author and no substitutions are allowed
  • Seductive Musings is not responsible for prizes that are not honored, distributed in a timely manner, lost, stolen, or damaged during transit 
  • All giveaways are subject to change/cancellation without prior written notice 
Good Luck!

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*I am an Amazon affiliate and receive a small (and I mean very small) referral fee for purchases made using a link on this blog. I don't use Amazon to earn money, I use it because the widgets are cool, easy to use, and serve my purposes to showcase books & such with minimal effort, but most importantly they have great prices and offer both new and used items. As a book addict I love that I can find just about anything I want in one place. If you are going to purchase a featured book anyway, and you know you won't pay more by using the links on this blog than you would by visiting Amazon on your own, I will be eternally grateful for supporting this blog by using the links, and don't forget that the referral fees from your purchases will sponsor the "Reader Rewards" giveaways :)


jeanette8042 May 11, 2010 at 1:03 AM  

Marcus and Jax's story sounds and looks like an interesting read, I'm definitely loving the cover. This post was definitely intriguing because I never distinguished and realized there was a difference between romance and love. I definitely have to agree with your post and how readers, such as me, get super mad if there is no HEA.

I filled out form and am GFC follower!

lilazncutie1215 @

stacey May 11, 2010 at 3:03 AM  

The Book look like it will be a good one and a hot sexy one Two.And a New To me author is always good to find.
I did the contest ?
and i'm a Follower


Edie Ramer May 11, 2010 at 9:45 AM  

I'm already a Harlow fan! I read a galley of Enemy Lover (so no need to put me in the contest), and as I read I kept thinking WOW! It's hot and intense and a page turner. I'm already looking forward to the next book in the series.

Anonymous,  May 11, 2010 at 1:03 PM  

Ok, let me start by saying - Edie, I promise I'm not stalking you! LOL I'm actually stalking Karin ;D
Seriously, once again I agree with Edie (btw don't enter me in the contest)
Also, I'm DEFINITELY a fan of "romance", not "love stories" (have to have my HEA) HOWEVER one of my favorite books is The Time Traveler's Wife, and it is totally tragic. I cry my eyes out every time I read it (why do I torture myself?) no HEA there - but it's like crack or something and I can't give it up!!
Congrats on the upcoming release, Karin - and thanks for sharing!

Harlow May 11, 2010 at 1:44 PM  

Sorry for showing up so late, but I was up very late last night watching Dracula 2000, staring Gerard Butler as good ol'd Dracula!

It could have been sooo much more sexier! Ok, let go back and read comments.

Harlow May 11, 2010 at 1:47 PM  

HI, Jeanette, I love the cover too! Add me to not distinguishing between a love story and romance! But the way everything is labled these days, it makes sense after that certain author got all icky about being called a romance author. As *if* that were a bad thing!

Harlow May 11, 2010 at 1:49 PM  

Stacey, ENEMY LOVER, is hot and sexy, it's also a heart pounding suspense with some action adventure thrown in. One thing I can guarantee, you, you won't be bored reading it..

Harlow May 11, 2010 at 1:51 PM  

Edie, I love that you loved the story! I'm working on book two of the series and finding I'm having to work really hard to measure up to ENEMY LOVER.

Harlow May 11, 2010 at 1:53 PM  

Bonnie Jean thanks for stopping by. I keep telling myself I'm going to read TTTW, and I will, when I get brave enough!

Estella May 11, 2010 at 3:53 PM  

I need the romance for the book to be a good read.
You are a new to me author and your book sounds great.

GFC follower
I filled out the form.

Artemis May 11, 2010 at 5:15 PM  

Ms. Harlow,

I am very excited that you have taken my top two favorite Romance Genres and blended them. I cannot wait to read this. How many books will be in the series?

I too need an HEA. Why add intentional heartache (even if it is a love story) when we're surrounded with it every day on the news. Not me!

Read the excerpt, entered to win, old follower!

Harlow May 11, 2010 at 5:47 PM  

Estella, the romance in ENEMY LOVER, is reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeal good! I promise!

Harlow May 11, 2010 at 5:49 PM  

Hi, Artemis, so happy to hear you love the blending of paranormal and suspense. I do too! I have one more book contracted. But I'm crossing everything ENEMY LOVER does well enough that my editor screams for more books. I have lots of L.O.S.T. operatives who need their story told!

Jusy May 11, 2010 at 9:50 PM  

Don't enter me in the contest...

I love your explanation about a "love story" vs. "romance". Does this mean a love story always have a unhappy ending? Is there a love story that ends happily?

Martha Lawson May 12, 2010 at 12:15 AM  

I loved the excerpt! I've already got this one on my to buy list, if I'm not lucky enough to win it!! I definitely want the HEA in my books.

+5 I follow on gfc
filled out the form

mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

Harlow May 12, 2010 at 2:25 AM  

Hi, Jusy, Yes! Because the love stories that end happily are romances! lol. Ok, seriously, many love stories end up happily. I think...

Harlow May 12, 2010 at 2:27 AM  

Hi, Martha, glad you enjoyed the excerpt. Let me know how you like ENEMY LOVER! And good luck winning the mug!

ps if you friend me on fb i keep everyone posted on how they can win one on another day.

librarypat,  May 12, 2010 at 12:06 PM  

I left a nice long comment yesterday, but it is not here? Knowing me I probably forgot to hit publish.

I read the excerpt and answered the question.

I am a GFC.

I am still relatively new to the paranormal genre. At the moment, I am in sampling mode trying out the different types of books to see what I like best.

As to the difference between love stories and romances, I like both. I do like love stories, but they so often end badly and I have a headache from crying. Good story, but depressing. Romances are to be enjoyed. You know there will be a HEA, so all the trials and tribulations will be worth it. Not to worry. It depends the mood I'm in as to which I prefer to read.

This series sounds good. I like a book with danger, suspense and intrigue. Romance is a bonus.

librarypat AT comcast DOT net

Sweet Vernal Zephyr May 12, 2010 at 2:18 PM  

Antagonistic lovers are always wicked fun to read! And your swag is awesome. How great would it be to have that mug on my desk and get to explain your story to every one that asks! :D

I follow via GFC

I've blogged about your contest here...

Thanks! Miranda

Jane May 12, 2010 at 5:30 PM  

Congrats on the upcoming release, Karin. I'm looking forward to reading your L.O.S.T. series.

I filled out the form and answered the question.

I'm a GFC follower.

Robin K May 12, 2010 at 7:17 PM  

Great contest! I filled out the form and am a follower.

mbreakfield May 13, 2010 at 1:28 AM  

I have to have a HEA. I get so mad, when I'm surprised by an unhappy ending. I refused to see COLD MOUNTAIN.
I'm a new follower.

Mitzi H. May 15, 2010 at 1:18 PM  

I've just started to read more of this type of romance. This book sounds hot....just the way I like them.

I'm a follower on GFC

I filled out the form and answered the question

mitzihinkey at sbcglobal dot net

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