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Bosna, Valerie (Valerie King, Sarah Montrose)

BOSNA, Valerie (Valerie King, Sarah Montrose)

PERSONAL: Born in Annapolis, CA; married; children: one son, one daughter. Hobbies and other interests: Playing the piano, gardening.

ADDRESSES: Home—Phoenix, AZ. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Kensington Publishers, 850 Third Ave., 16th Floor, New York, NY 10023.

CAREER: Novelist, beginning 1989.

WRITINGS:

UNDER PSEUDONYM VALERIE KING; HISTORICAL ROMANCES

A Daring Wager, Zebra Books (New York, NY), 1989.

A Rogue's Masquerade, Zebra Books (New York, NY), 1989.

Reluctant Bride, Zebra Books (New York, NY), 1989.

The Fanciful Heiress, Zebra Books (New York, NY), 1990.

The Willful Widow, Zebra Books (New York, NY), 1991.

Love Match, Zebra Books (New York, NY), 1991.

Treasure, Zebra Books (New York, NY), 1992.

Cupid's Touch, Zebra Books (New York, NY), 1992.

(With Teresa Desjardins, Mona Gedney, and Emily Maxwell) A June Wedding, Zebra Books (New York, NY), 1992.

A Lady's Gambit, Zebra Books (New York, NY), 1992.

My Lady Vixen, Zebra Books (New York, NY), 1993.

(With Violet Hamilton, Nancy Lawrence, and Jeanne Savery) A Mother's Love, Zebra Books (New York, NY), 1993.

Captivated Hearts, Zebra Books (New York, NY), 1993.

The Elusive Bride,. Zebra Books (New York, NY), 1994.

Merry, Merry Mischief, Zebra Books (New York, NY), 1994.

(With Meg-Lynn Roberts and Olivia Sumner) A Valentine Embrace: Three Tales of Regency Love, Zebra Books (New York, NY), 1995.

Vanquished, Zebra Books (New York, NY), 1995.

Bewitching Hearts, Zebra Books (New York, NY), 1995.

(With Teresa Desjardins and Cindy Holbrook) Bewitched by Love, Zebra Books (New York, NY), 1996.

A Summer Courtship, Zebra Books (New York, NY), 1996.

Vignette, Zebra Books (New York, NY), 1997.

A Poet's Kiss, Zebra Books (New York, NY), 1997.

(With Nancy Lawrence and Jeanne Savery) A Mother's Love, edited by Violet Hamilton, Zebra Books (New York, NY), 1997

A Country Flirtation, Zebra Books (New York, NY), 1998.

(With Judith A. Lansdowne and Marcy Stewart) My Darling Bride, Zebra Books (New York, NY), 1998.

A Poet's Touch, Zebra Books (New York, NY), 1998.

(With Carola Dunn and Mona Gedney) Snowflake Kittens, Zebra Books (New York, NY), 1999.

My Lady Mischief, Zebra Books (New York, NY), 1999.

A Christmas Masquerade, Zebra Books (New York, NY), 1999.

(With Janice Bennett and Martha Kirkland) Summer Kittens, Zebra Books (New York, NY), 1999.

A Brighton Flirtation, Zebra Books (New York, NY), 2000.

(With Carola Dunn and Isobel Linton) Wonderful and Wicked, Zebra Books (New York, NY), 2000.

A London Flirtation, Zebra Books (New York, NY), 2000.

(With Jo Ann Ferguson and Jeanne Savery) A Kiss for Mama, Zebra Books (New York, NY), 2001.

My Lord Highwayman, Zebra Books (New York, NY), 2001.

(With Jo Ann Ferguson and Jeanne Savery) A Kiss for Papa, Zebra Books (New York, NY), 2002.

My Lady Valiant, Zebra Books (New York, NY), 2002.

A Rogue's Deception, Zebra Books (New York, NY), 2002.

A Rogue's Embrace, Zebra Books (New York, NY), 2002.

(With Jo Ann Ferguson and Mona Gedney) Murder at Almack's, Zebra Books (New York, NY), 2003.

A Daring Courtship, Zebra Books (New York, NY), 2003.

My Darling Coquette, Zebra Books (New York, NY), 2003.

A Rogue's Wager, Zebra Books (New York, NY), 2003.

A Rogue's Revenge, Zebra Books (New York, NY), 2004.

An Adventurous Lady, Zebra Books (New York, NY), 2004.

(With Jo Ann Ferguson and Cynthia Bailey Pratt) Valentine Kittens, Zebra Books (New York, NY), 2005.

Garden of Dreams, Zebra Books (New York, NY), 2005.

OTHER

(Under pseudonym Sarah Montrose) The Golden Heiress, Zebra Books (New York, NY), 1990.

Contributor to anthologies, including Rogues and Rakes, edited by Donna Bell, Zebra Books (New York, NY), 1996; contributor, under pseudonym Valerie King, to A Valentine's Day Treasure, Zebra Books, 1992; and A Christmas to Cherish, Zebra Books, 1992.

SIDELIGHTS: Romance writer Valerie Bosna, who writes mainly under the pseudonym Valerie King, has published over fifty romance novels and novellas since her writing career began in the late 1980s. Her specialty is the Regency romance, a specific subgenre of romance fiction in which the stories are set in the early nineteenth century. Specifically the stories are set between 1811 and 1820, when England's prince regent, the eldest son of King George III, ruled Great Britain and its empire because of his father's mental illness. The popular novel subgenre is modeled on the works of Jane Austen, the original Regency romance writer, and emphasizes manners, morality, wit, and character over gratuitous sex and passion.

"Early on," Bosna told an interviewer for the Kensington Books Web site, "I loved reading the novels of Georgette Heyer. I was in a bookstore one day many years ago and saw that there was a market for the kinds of books she wrote—the Regency romance—and I had a very simple thought, I can do this. So, here I am, some twenty years later, writing my novels and really enjoying the process."

Modern Regency romances tend to follow a pattern. Like the women featured in Austen's novels, the heroines of Regency romances tend to be aristocratic or from the upper middle class. Although they are bound by the conventions of the society in which they live, they often challenge those rules, much as nineteenth-century women challenged ideas about their status during the Regency period itself. Heroines are invariably forthright, spunky women, willing to challenge stereotypical ideas about the roles women should play in society. They often become involved with men of questionable character, who in their own way challenge ideas about appropriate behavior, especially that between men and women of their social class. These relationships create the conflicts that drive the novels.

In King's A Summer Courtship, the central conflict is between unmarried Constance Mayford, who breaks with tradition by managing her parents' estate herself in defiance of tradition. Miss Mayford has a chance encounter with a neighbor, Richard Wexham, Lord Greywell which, according to Melinda Helfer in her RomanticTimes.com assessment of the novel, "leaves her breathless." For his part, Helfer concluded, Lord Greywell "struggles to reconcile his feelings with the behavior he would expect from a wife."

In the case of Bosna's novels, the pivotal relationship is usually between an upper-middle-class woman and a man of the same or higher rank. In A Brighton Flirtation, for instance, heroine Katherine Pamberley is thrown into the company of an old acquaintance, Captain Evan Ramsdell, while she is improving herself at the posh resort of Brighton, a favorite refuge of the regent himself. Although Ramsdell feigns a lack of romantic interest in Katherine, his stolen kisses—concealed by the bathing machines along the seashore—suggest otherwise. At the same time, however, he is distracted by his real reason for staying in Brighton: to find the assassins plotting to kill the prince regent. "Katherine," wrote Linda Hurst on the All about Romance Web site, "is a courageous and bright heroine who is a wonderful match for Evan, who ultimately comes to admire her courage and overlook her occasional over-exuberance—although he fights a good fight and it isn't until he nearly loses Katherine that he realizes what a treasure he has found." Romantic Times Book Club reviewer Teresa Roebuck called the novel an "unhurried and amusing tale of friendship unfurling … and hearts unaware of the nuances of love."

Because Regency novels are frequently set against the backdrop of the Napoleonic wars, King's protagonists are often involved in the war effort, sometimes as spies forced to conceal their true natures under the cover of rakish behavior. In My Lady Valiant, for instance, Anne Delamere kidnaps the rogue earl of Staverton, a man who first toyed with her cousin Cassie and then rejected her. Unknown to Anne, however, the earl is actually a counterintelligence agent tracking a French spy who has stolen war secrets that could jeopardize the British war effort. She agrees to assist him in his work and, in the process, finds herself falling in love with him. "Anne," explained Booklist contributor John Charles, "… knowingly flouts the conventions of her time to enjoy an adventure of her own." Praising the novel for its "Rip-roaring excitement, bloodthirsty adventurers, wild escapes and laugh-out-loud humor," Teresa Roebuck wrote in RomanticTimes.com that My Lady Valiant serves as "a treat to be savored."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, February 1, 2002, John Charles, review of My Lady Valiant, p. 928; May 15, 2002, John Charles, review of A Rogue's Deception, p. 1581; March 1, 2003, John Charles, review of A Rogue's Wager, p. 1151; May 15, 2004, John Charles, review of A Rogue's Revenge, p. 1603; October 15, 2004, John Charles, review of An Adventurous Lady, p. 394.

ONLINE

All about Romance Web site, http://www.likesbooks.com/. (February 23, 2005), Linda Hurst, review of A Brighton Flirtation.

Fantastic Fiction Web site, http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/. (February 23, 2005), "Valerie King."

Kensington Books Web site, http://www.kensingtonbooks.com/. (February 23, 2005), interview with King.

RomanticTimes.com, http://www.romantictimes.com/. (February 23, 2005), Robin Taylor, review of A Rogue's Revenge; Teresa Roebuck, review of A Daring Courtship, My Darling Coquette, My Lady Valiant, My Lord Highwayman, A Rogue's Deception, A Rogue's Wager, and A Brighton Flirtation; Melinda Helfer, review of A Country Flirtation, Bewitching Hearts, My Lady Mischief, Vignette, A London Flirtation, A Summer Courtship, A Poet's Kiss, and A Poet's Touch; Angela Keck, review of A Rogue's Embrace; Robin Taylor, review of An Adventurous Lady; Joan Hammond, review of Vanquished.

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