Anne Calhoun Guest Post & GIVEAWAY


Thea and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Ex…Or Not.


“He sounds like a great guy,” Ronan said finally. He knew better than to get in a battle with a dead man. He’d lose. Or worse, he’d win and in the process defeat something vital in Thea.


 — BREATH ON EMBERS, out 12/3/12


I don’t use much from my “real life” for books (because my real life is deadly dull and I like it that way), but BREATH ON EMBERS, my release in the Carina Press holiday anthology RED HOT HOLIDAY is a flagrant exception to this rule. The setting is the Upper East Side of New York City, where I used to live, and the heroine, Thea Moretti, is a woman who knows exactly how a wonderful, long-term, loving marriage feels.


But so often heroines in romance novels have astonishingly horrid ex-boyfriends or ex-husbands. They’re violent, homicidal, verbally abusive, alcoholic/drug-addicted wastrels who drain the heroine’s bank accounts and kill her cat. But I’m married to a man who’s done nothing but love, nurture, cherish, and protect me (mostly from myself) for over twenty years, which got me thinking. What would it be like to lose a man like that, and then start dating with that as the standard by which all future suitors would be evaluated? Moving past an abusive jerk leaves you with nowhere to go but up. Moving past a good, loving, smart man whose eyes brighten every time he sees you leaves you with lots of room to fall into a well of despair.


When the story opens Thea is lost in a dark space between her former life and her growing feelings for Ronan, the FDNY lieutenant she’s sleeping with. Thea wants to forget that she’s alive. Ronan wants Thea. He’s got a hard battle to fight, because, as he says, he can’t win a battle with a dead man, especially not one who loved Thea, and loved her well. All he can be is himself in the hope that Thea will choose the light of the future over the darkness of loss. Ronan’s using every tactic at his disposal to show her that life does go on and it can be a good, beautiful, love-filled life.


Have you read any other wonderful, fabulous, very good exes in romance novels? What do you prefer – a clear choice, or a bite-your-nails battle? Comment to win BREATH ON EMBERS! Giveaway open internationally until 12-19-12 @ 11:59 EST with winner announced shortly after.



Book blurb —

Christmas is the perfect time for Firefighter Ronan O’Rourke to take things to the next level with his sexually adventurous girlfriend. He knows she has feelings for him—and he’s sure of his feelings for her—but when Thea refuses his invitation to sample Christmas in New York City because what they share is nothing more than sheet-burning sex, Ronan sets out to change her mind.

Deep down Thea Moretti knows she cares for Ronan, but she can’t move past her grief over her late husband. Loud music and sex with Ronan are the only things she’s got that her feel alive, so she takes as much of both as she can get. She knows Ronan wants more, but during the darkest time of the year finding her way won’t be easy.

Ronan gambles everything and challenges Thea: one night of passion with him and another man. Can he prove to her that what they share isn’t just great sex but an emotional connection strong enough to last forever?


Anne’s info —



  1. I’m not a big fan of triangles. I much prefer it when there is a clear choice. As for exes, it’s pretty rare that one is written sympathetically which is a shame because in real life, the ex often isn’t a villain. A person can be great, but just not the right one for you.

  2. The book sounds great Anne.
    I can’t say I proffer one over the other. I like to read both. That’s what keeps reading interesting for me. I like to mix it up. It all comes down to the authors ability to take me into there world with fabulous writing.

  3. I must admit I enjoy a good nail biting battle, especially when the ex is a bad guy that gets his LOL Thank you for the fun and making me smile today 🙂

  4. The only “good exes” book I can recall is Twice Loved by LaVyrle Spencer. I do love the concept, though. I can’t imagine ever finding someone who can love me like my husband does, but I also think that if tragedy were to ever strike, I wouldn’t want to give up on the idea of ever finding love again.
    I love good nail-biters. For me, the better the build-up, the better the HEA!

  5. I like a little of both as long as it is not predictable. When the story gets predictable I get bored. Although I usually have a clear idea who I like as the hero so I don’t always get my way.

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