Ready for an exciting new era of historical romance? The 1920s are popular at the movies, from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, to Live By Night. Now check out the Jazz Age in book form, for just $.99!
Need some jazzy historical fiction for you book club? Give If I Had You a try! Below are suggested questions for reading group discussions.
BOOK CLUB READING GUIDE for If I Had You by Heather Hiestand
Jazz music is a passion of the heroine in If I Had You. Are there songs that tell the story of your life?
- Immigration is a major factor in the hero’s past in If I Had You. Do you think immigrants should fully embrace the culture of their new country, or is there still a place for the politics, language, and lifestyle of the old country while living in the new?
- There were more women than men in the young adult population in the 1920s, due to deaths in World War I. Many women had to support themselves but opportunities were limited. Would you do anything you could to find a man to support you, or look for work? What kind?
- A “live for now” attitude existed in youth culture in the 1920s because of all the terrors in the previous decade. How would living through a war and a flu epidemic as a teenager affect your twenties?
- Which comes first, protecting one family member or saving the lives of a lot of strangers? Would you help a relative escape the police if they had committed a crime or turn them in?
- If you owned a business with a scandalous history, would you embrace that history or attempt to hide it?
- In the 1920s, contraceptive information was becoming more widely available. Who should be in charge of family planning, the man or the woman?
- If the person you are in a relationship with speaks English as a secondary language, should you attempt to learn their primary language to deepen your relationship?
Welcome to 1924, a time when youth was fast and fleeting, and the young people of the time pushed the memories of terrible war into the deep recesses of their minds in order to PAR-TAY! England didn’t have Prohibition like the United States, just a law that required food to be served along with liquor. Youth flocked to nightclubs, movie theaters, and daytime dances in order to have fun. The madcap elite of the day were called the Bright Young Things.
If I Had You is set around a Grand Hotel with an attached nightclub, the decadent Russian design bringing aristocrats, film and theater people, and travelers of all sorts to its doors. Not only that, it’s attracted the attention of Russia itself, and the new Soviet government is using the hotel to house trade delegates…or are they saboteurs, intent on bringing down the British government?
Into this glittering party arrives Alecia Loudon, a young woman ready to work as a secretary to theater people by day and live as a flapper by night. She wanders the hotel in the wee hours, listening to jazz and watching out for the handsome Russian night watchman who also prowls the corridors…
If I Had You is the first novel in the Grand Russe series. Book 2, I Wanna Be Loved By You is out next Valentine’s Day, and Book 3 will be out next September. Fall in love…in the 1920s.
Happy September! Here in the Pacific Northwest it feels like autumn already. Admittedly, so did July this year, but most of August was hot and summery. It’s time to put away the kiddie pool, though, brew some tea, and curl up with a bunch of new books! My publisher is promoting If I Had You with some other new historical romances that are coming out this month, and I can’t wait to read them all. My Kindle is recovered from its epic crash and I have them all loaded up to enjoy!
If I Had You is out September 27th, though you can preorder it, as well as the sequel, “I Wanna Be Loved By You” which is out on Valentine’s Day. I’m negotiating the title of book three in the Grand Russe Hotel series with my editor. Book #3 will be out in September 2017. I hope the series is a success so I can keep writing stories set in my exotic, sexy hotel in 1925. I have two more stories already planned, including the happy ending for the mysterious and elegant hotel manager, Peter Eyre, who is featured in all the stories, along with his doomed romance with a tragic flapper.
I can’t wait to see who the favorite secondary characters are in my new series! I always have my own favorites, and how readers respond gives my editor and I feedback as to who readers want to learn more about. That’s how Lewis Noble got his own story in the Redcakes series. Yes, Christmas Delights was written just for Lewis fans (of course, I’m one too!)
Thank you to my readers, who allow me to pursue my favorite career outside of motherhood. I hope we can enjoy the Grand Russe hotel together.
Inside the glittering walls of a famous hotel, an ingénue experiences first passion . . .
As she stands before the gilded doors of The Grand Russe Hotel, Alecia Loudon is poised on the threshold of a profound awakening. It is the Roaring Twenties, and London is buzzing with opportunities for adventure . . . and indiscretion. The young personal secretary knows nothing of the ways of men, but a chance meeting with the hotel’s handsome night watchman sets her imagination afire.
Ivan Salter has noticed the quiet Englishwoman and wonders what delicate beauty might be lurking behind Alecia’s plain clothes. As the handsome Russian draws Alecia further into the hotel’s luxurious world, he introduces her to fine food, cool jazz, and forbidden assignations. Their dalliance is tested, however, by a surprising link between Ivan’s family history and Alecia’s bosses. Tangled up in international intrigue, the lovers must decide if their sparkling new romance is worth the cost . . .