Lady Octavia Dorchester is the most desired young lady in the Realm. Now that she has twenty years behind her, society has deemed her ready to marry. Although she’s not enthusiastic, she promises to act like a proper lady and look for a good husband—just like her powerful father Lord Roman Dorchester wants.
Lord Gerald Verte has been painfully shy his entire life. He’s never been comfortable in society and lives in the shadow of his older brother, the imposing Lord Tristian Verte. Despite his desires to remain indoors and away from people, he promises his older brother that he won’t shame the family name, no matter how much his anxiety threatens to overwhelm him.
After sharing a dance at a ball held in Octavia’s honor, both she and Gerald know what no one else believes—it’s love at first sight.
When their respective family members object to the match, Octavia lies about their betrothal and Gerald corroborates her story. Raising the ire of both Lords Dorchester and Verte, Octavia and Gerald are torn apart and kept from one another until tragedy strikes.
This high-heat romance with a guaranteed HEA is a prequel to Gathering of the Four: Book One of the Serrulata Saga but can be read as a standalone.
A.E. Bennett (she/her) lives in Washington, D.C.
She is originally from North Carolina.
Title: Yours And Mine
Author: A.E. Bennett
Release Date: December 1st, 2021
Page Count: 136
Start Date: September 17th, 2022
Finish Date: September 22nd, 2022
Story: This is a prequel for Gathering of the Four. The story in this book is referenced in Gathering multiple times. I was really curious about the story and was hoping to read about it, so this book made me really happy. There is a bit of steam in this book. It accents the story very well in my opinion. In some ways, I wish I’d read this book before I read Gathering. There were just so many things that I knew because of reading Gathering that I felt kind of like I knew something I really shouldn’t know about the story. Either way, I still enjoyed both books. I’m really looking forward to the sequel of Gathering!
Characters: I really loved getting to know Octavia and Gerald more. Especially Gerald. I feel like he’s really misrepresented in Gathering. At least I feel that way now after reading this book. He kind of comes off as a coward who can’t be counted on or trusted. I don’t think it’s that he can’t be trusted or counted on. I think he just knows when to make waves and when not to. Octavia is so amazing. I could see her running an entire kingdom in all honesty.
Critiques: In jest: It’s too short! I need more!!! In seriousness: Nothing.
Final Thoughts: I really loved getting to see the story of Octavia and Gerald. When I read Gathering, it was referenced so many times I started wishing I could see it in book form. I will definitely be reading this book again. I’ll also be reading Gathering again as well. Probably near the time that the second time comes out. Gotta make sure I’m refreshed on the story before diving into the sequel, of course. I definitely recommend this book. I also recommend Gathering.
INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR:
What was the inspiration behind Gathering of the Four and Yours And Mine?
Hello! Thanks so much for having me.
I think, to start, I’m going to have to answer this question backward. I never set out to write a romance, but once I got inspired, I kind of couldn’t help myself.
As I was getting Gathering of the Four ready for publication in late 2020, one of my critique partners made a comment about how they couldn’t get enough of Octavia and Gerald and it would be fun to learn how they got together.
(I think every writer dreams about hearing comments like this—“I love your characters; I want more!”)
I had recently started reading more romance and was immersing myself in the genre and so I thought, why not?
Thus, Octavia and Gerald’s “origin story” was born.
As folks may or may not know, Octavia and Gerald are side characters in Gathering of the Four, which is far from a romance. It’s the first book in my speculative fiction series, The Serrulata Saga, which combines elements of scifi and fantasy.
I’ve been working The Serrulata Saga for over twenty years now. Gathering of the Four—or GotF as I’ve nicknamed it—started off as a short story about a teenaged girl who had magical powers. (I was in high school; yes, the main character was a version of me.)
As I matured, so did the story, and now there are four main characters—Leora, Roland, Aurora, and Leopold—who have been sent out on an epic quest through treacherous lands. Lands that used to be the United States, that is.
I don’t know yet how many books there will be total in this series, but I can tell you that Test of the Four: Book Two of the Serrulata Saga will be out in November.
How long did it take you to write each book?
As I said, I’ve been working on versions of The Serrulata Saga for decades, but I started polishing GotF and researching what it would take to self-publish back around 2018 or so.
After I launched GotF in early 2021, I began work on Yours and Mine. Shockingly, I had a workable first draft/manuscript by the end of that summer and published in December, 2021.
What can we expect from the rest of the series?
I’m very excited to share that I have another Serrulata Saga romance in the works. This one was just sent off to my editor for initial edits recently and, if all goes according to plan, it will be available sometime early next year.
As I said earlier, the second book in the main Serrulata Saga story is due out this November.
I also have two other stories in various stages: yet another romance and a horror novella.
And, after all of this, I’ll need to get started on the third book in the main series.
So, long story short—a lot more Serrulata Saga is coming!
Were there any parts of the book that were harder to write than others?
Honestly? The steamy scenes were a bit of a challenge for me at first. Turns out reading smoking hot scenes and writing them are two completely different things! While writing Yours and Mine I learned that sex scenes need just as much, if not more, choreography than fight scenes!
I think I did ok, though. No one’s complained yet!
What characters were easier for you to write and what characters were the hardest?
Most of the characters in Yours and Mine were already very familiar to me since they are all side characters, or at least mentioned, in GotF. I guess if I had to pick, it was kinda hard to write Tristian Verte, but only because, well, things don’t go so well for him in GotF…
Have you written any other books under different names?
No. I’m sticking to A.E. Bennett for now.
Do you have any other plans outside of The Serrulata Saga?
Not at this time. I might eventually want to branch out but, for now, I’m all Serrulata Saga, all the time!
As an author, do you feel it’s easier to go with the flow or map your books out?
I’ve spoken about this in other forums but I initially didn’t plan much of anything with regards to GotF and it was a mess. As I got my first book ready for launch, I realized there was no way I could keep moving forward without a plan. Now, I have a rough outline for the entire series and I always outline every book before I start writing. I don’t always stick to what I originally plan with each book, but I do need a starting point. I find it saves time… and my sanity!
How much influence do your characters have over the stories you write?
Well, there are certain characters who need to be in certain places at certain times in order for the overall story to keep moving, but they don’t always get to where they need to be exactly how I planned. So, let’s just say it’s a give-and-take relationship between me and my MCs. Haha.
What advice would you give other authors who are looking to get into publishing?
I say this every time I’m asked this question, but I want to spare others the embarrassment I went through.
Please, please get your work proofread by someone other than yourself—and professionally, if you can.
The first version of GotF was full of spelling and grammatical mistakes because I thought I could do it all on my own. The version that’s out there now is corrected and all neat and tidy, but I only got it there because I paid someone to take another look at it.
You cannot proofread your own work! Don’t do it! 😀
I would also invite folks who have more questions to reach out to me via the info on my Contact page. I certainly don’t have all of the answers, but I do like sharing what I do know with others.Yours and Minehttps://cdn.woorise.com/e.js