GUEST BLOG: Melissa West On Why Southern Romance Shines

Hi, Miss Ivy! My name is Melissa West and I am the author of RACING HEARTS, the first in the Hamilton Stables series, featuring three Southern brothers and their struggles through life…and love.

To give you a brief history, I grew up in a small town in South Carolina and currently live outside of Atlanta. I was raised on Southern food and sweet tea and the importance of family.

So, while RACING HEARTS is about horse racing and the excitement and thrill of the sport, it’s also about family and community and how a town can become a part of you. Which, in my opinion, is one of the great things about Southern fiction and particularly Southern romance.

In a true Southern romance, you will often meet a sassy heroine and a good ole boy hero, but you will also meet the town gossip, the baker who’s been rolling flour since she was a girl, the mayor who’s always just a little bit confused, and many, many more. By the end of one of these stories, you feel like you’ve watched a TV show or movie that is certain to become a favorite.

For my series, Hamilton Stables, you’ll meet each of the Hamilton brothers, watch them struggle through love, but you’ll also meet characters who have loved and lost, who long for love, those who depend on their family and those who wish for a family.

The Hamilton Stables series is a melting pot of Southern goodness that I can’t wait for you to gobble up!


In the lush heart of Kentucky, the Hamiltons are horse racing royalty, born to produce champions. To win takes heart and soul—and to love takes the wild spirit of the land itself…

The oldest of three headstrong brothers, Trip Hamilton is considered the best horse trainer in the world. But he learned long ago to keep his focus on the horses and away from the riders. He’s seen the way heartbreak can waylay a career, and he’s determined not to risk it—until a stubborn, sexy rider thunders into his life, breaks his resolve, along with several of his rules, and takes his heart right out of the gate…

Emery Carlisle has a point to prove. She’ll be the first woman to win the prestigious Kentucky Derby, if only Trip will hire her, and let her ride the spirited colt she fell for at first sight. He won’t—unless she agrees to train with the horse at Hamilton Stables, under his guidance. It’s supposed to be strictly business, but as the race approaches, and their undeniable chemistry builds, Trip and Emery may be headed for the greatest win of all—as long as the losses of the past don’t gain on them…

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Melissa West writes heartfelt Southern romance and YA sci-fi romance, all with lots of kissing. Because who doesn’t like kissing? She lives outside of Atlanta, GA with her husband and two daughters and spends most of her time writing, reading, or fueling her coffee addiction.

Connect with Melissa at or on Twitter @MB_West. And for sneak peeks at upcoming titles, prizes, and more, join Mel’s Madhouse:



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