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“An elegant, poignant and joyful romance”

Thrilled to share the news that The Bride Takes a Groom has received a starred review from Kirkus!

Cover for The Bride Takes a Groom by Lisa Berne (Avon Books)In part, it says: “Berne’s third Penhallow title maintains the exquisite writing, lush emotion, and complex characters we’ve come to expect, this time with a heroine who is knocked back time and again but finds herself strengthened by the choices she makes, the people she helps along the way, and, to her pleasant surprise, the remarkable man beside her. An elegant, poignant, and joyful romance and a must-read for Regency fans.”

The Bride Takes a Groom releases on April 24. Would you like to preorder? Click here to see your various options in print, ebook, and audio.


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On voice, inspiration, and being stuck

Very honored to be interviewed for the Kirkus Romance blog! In which I discuss my writing journey, the evolution of You May Kiss the Bride, what I’ve learned from my characters along the way, some of my favorite books of 2017, and more. Click here to read! Cover for You May Kiss the Bride by Lisa Berne (Avon Books)

For more about You May Kiss the Bride and my other books, click here.

What do you think? Click here to comment.
One of the “big titles of spring”!

Wow, incredibly honored to receive this encomium from Publishers Weekly for the third book in my Penhallow Dynasty series, The Bride Takes a Groom!

Graphic: Publishers Weekly names Lisa Berne's The Bride Takes a Groom (Avon Books) one of the "big titles of spring"

Would you like to read the prologue and first chapter? Click here. And to preorder in advance of the April 24th release date, click here.

What do you think? Click here to comment.
Meet Katherine

Here’s a snippet from my next book, The Bride Takes a Groom — in which my heroine, Miss Katherine Brooke, is introduced. It takes place in June 1805, at a boarding school in Coventry, England, called the Basingstoke Select Academy for Young Ladies. Please enjoy. :)

A summer evening.

Overhead, a full, golden moon.

A soft masculine voice murmuring in her ear, “Ma chérie, je veux te toucher.”

A hand, drawn across her bosom.

Pleasure. Refuge. Connection.

She pressed herself closer, and as she did so, to her drifted the faintest scent of lavender, carried gently on the breeze that rustled leaves, caressed flowers, stirred the light muslin hem of her gown.

The cover for The Bride Takes a Groom, Book 3 of the Penhallow Dynasty series by Lisa Berne (Avon Books)Lavender, and . . . witch hazel?

A sudden, urgent warning sounded deep in Katherine Brooke’s brain, but it was too late.

“Miss Brooke! Monsieur de la Motte! What is the meaning of this?” came the outraged voice of Miss Wolfe, headmistress of the very exclusive and even more expensive boarding school at which Katherine had been immured for two long, miserable years.

Germaine — Monsieur de la Motte — gave an audible gasp of horror, and before Katherine’s equally horrified gaze the dashing music instructor who had been so bold, so eloquent, seemed abruptly to become a rather large pile of blancmange. He released her and pulled away as if he had just been holding in his arms a repulsive, bad-smelling troll he’d found lurking under a bridge somewhere, and gibbered:

“Oh, Mademoiselle Wolfe, forgive me — it was nothing — without significance — a brotherly embrace to comfort only — the poor demoiselle so lonely and far from home — and but this one time, I do assure you — it was that I felt so very sorry for her —”

“You lie, you — you weasel,” interrupted Katherine hotly. If she’d had her wits about her, she might have gone along with his inane little story and maybe, just maybe, mitigated this rapidly unfolding disaster, but there was something about the way he was babbling on, as if she was nothing, as if she was without significance, that made a crimson mist of rage rise up in front of her eyes like a vengeful wraith. What had happened to all those bewitchingly romantic words of passion?

She wrenched herself around to face Miss Wolfe. “It’s not the first time, we’ve been meeting in the garden for weeks, and he’s been kissing me!”

Germaine de la Motte, no doubt aware that his days at the Basingstoke Academy for Young Ladies had drawn to an immediate close, and that within mere minutes he would be booted out onto the street with nothing but his hastily packed valise in hand, gave Katherine a look of undisguised malice. “But recall, mademoiselle, how ardently you sought me out.”

Oh, splendid, now the cat was well and truly let out of the bag, thus making things instantly go from bad to worse. Katherine could feel her fury dissolving with almost ludicrous speed and giving way to soul-shattering embarrassment and shame. “I — I thought you liked me,” she faltered.

He smiled thinly and lifted his shoulders in a Gallic gesture of dismissal. “Ma pauvre chérie.”

His words came at her like a slap in the face, cruel, patronizing, stinging. It had all been a lie. A malign and hard-hearted deception. So much for those embraces, the kisses, the furtive touches here and there, the exciting feel of a man’s body against her own. How wrong and awful she’d been, how stupid, how bad —

And here, to emphasize just how bad, was Miss Wolfe again, very nearly sputtering in her fury:

“I can hardly believe my ears! That a pupil of mine would stoop so low! To solicit such a thing! To sneak about, like a sordid criminal! And you but barely turned fifteen, Miss Brooke! Be sure that I shall inform your parents by express first thing tomorrow.”

Katherine hung her head. She was a low, sneaking, sordid, criminal sort of girl. Hadn’t she known, underneath it all, that she was behaving dreadfully? “Yes, Miss Wolfe,” she muttered, aware, to her further horror, that tears were gathering in her eyes, had begun to roll in heavy, wet, revealing drops down her cheeks. More ashamed of herself than ever, with a kind of desperation she scrubbed at the tears with her bare hands. Oh, she hated this place. If she was lucky, her parents would have her removed at once.

But as it turned out, she would stay on for four more long, miserable years at the Basingstoke Academy, Mother and Father agreeing with Miss Wolfe’s expert (and, ultimately, costly) assessment that Katherine — so gauche, so inattentive — would need them in order to acquire even the most fundamental degree of polish, that essential and elusive je ne sais quoi, which would enable her to someday, one hoped, comport herself without committing further, dreadful gaffes.

Releasing this April (soon!), The Bride Takes a Groom is the third book in my Penhallow Dynasty series, and was recently named by Publishers Weekly in its spring 2018 announcements as one of the “big titles of spring.” Would you like to preorder? Click here. To save it on Goodreads, click here.


What do you think? Click here to comment.
End-of-year giveaway!

As we wrap up 2017, I’m celebrating with a giveaway for my debut novel of historical romance You May Kiss the Bride, which received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, and Booklist, is a Barnes & Noble Best Book of the Year, a Booklist Top 10 Debut of the Year, a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year, and a Sarah MacLean Recommended Romance. My cup runneth over!Cover for YOU MAY KISS THE BRIDE by Lisa Berne (Avon/HarperCollins)

I’m giving away three signed, print copies, and also a pretty charm necklace (which has a special meaning when you read Chapter 5) over on my Facebook page. To enter, simply add a comment by January 10th!

Gift with purchase of You May Kiss the Bride by Lisa Berne (Avon Books)

To learn more about You May Kiss the Bride, click here.


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Meet Hugo

Here’s a snippet from my next book, The Bride Takes a Groom — in which my hero, Captain Hugo Penhallow, is introduced. It takes place in April 1811, somewhere near the Canadian border. Please enjoy. :)

It had been a perfectly good day, tramping along the St. Lawrence River and leading his men in a jolly little reconnaissance through the woods, until all at once there was a crack and a slight whistling noise.

Then there was a sharp pain six inches down and to the right of his heart.

“Damn it to hell,” said Hugo Penhallow, whipping around and in a single rapid motion bringing up his own musket, sighting the French sharpshooter two hundred paces away, and targeting him rather more effectively. He watched with grim satisfaction as the other man crumpled like a puppet released from its string, then sat himself down hard on the ground. His hand, pressed against the front of his red jacket, came away red also, but unfortunately with his own blood.

If he was lucky, the bullet that was now resident inside him hadn’t struck anything of particular importance. It occurred to him now that he was very fond of his internal organs, as they’d functioned beautifully all his life, and he’d love for them to keep on doing exactly that.The cover for The Bride Takes a Groom, Book 3 of the Penhallow Dynasty series by Lisa Berne (Avon Books)

Carefully, Hugo allowed himself to slide down into a prone position. Everything was getting all hazy and woolly, and just before he closed his eyes he saw the concerned faces of his men hovering over him. A nice bunch of chaps. He was fortunate to have a group like this under his command. Too bad for them they’d have to convey him all the way back to camp, but that, after all, was one of the hazards of military life, and he was sure they’d do a decent job of it.

The pain, he noticed, was getting worse. Well, this certainly was an annoyance. How he loathed those pesky Frenchmen, and wished they’d stay in their own country where they belonged, kowtowing to that blasted little egomaniac Bonaparte and also making brandy which was, admittedly, of excellent quality. In fact, he wouldn’t object to a long swallow of that right now. But, he suspected, he was soon to be losing consciousness, so all things considered, the brandy might well have been a waste.

His last sentient thought was gratitude for the fact that the reconnaissance had been a useful one. His men would be able to confirm that yes, of a surety, there were active enemies in the area, and here was their bloodied and insensate captain to prove it.

Releasing next April, The Bride Takes a Groom is the third book in my Penhallow Dynasty series, and was recently named by Publishers Weekly in its spring 2018 announcements as one of the “big titles of spring.” Would you like to preorder? Click here. To save it on Goodreads, click here.


What do you think? Click here to comment.
“Berne scores again”

Oh my goodness, what a lovely review from Booklist for The Laird Takes a Bride!

Graphic: "Another triumphant mix of sparkling wit and sophisticated sensuality," says Booklist about Lisa Berne's The Laird Takes a Bride (Avon Books)

To read the full review, click here. And for more about The Laird Takes a Bride, including ordering options, access to Chapter 1, and additional praise, click here.

What do you think? Click here to comment.
A chat with ‘Happy Ever After’

Such a pleasure to be interviewed by Joyce Lamb for the USA Today Happy Ever After blog! In which I dish about The Laird Takes a Bride, inspiration, writer’s block, my next book, a fave TV show, and more . . .

Click here to read the interview. And for more about my books, click here.

Image: cover for The Laird Takes a Bride by Lisa Berne (Avon Books)Photo: Amy Adams and Matthew Goode in "Leap Year"Photo: Grantchester star James NortonAvon Books logo

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A PW Best Book of the year!

Thrilled to share the news that You May Kiss the Bride has been named by Publishers Weekly as one of the best 100 books of 2017! Here’s what they said:

Debut author Berne’s Regency romance sparkles with dry, subtle wit. The wealthy Penhallows have always married for duty, not love, but stuffy Gabriel Penhallow’s magnetic attraction to fiery, penniless Livia Stuart upends his plans. Berne smoothly works in social commentary on quack medicine and boorish men while championing the righteous rage and suppressed longings of mistreated women, updating Austenian sensibilities for the 21st-century reader.
Cover for You May Kiss the Bride by Lisa Berne (Avon Books)

Click here to read the full Publishers Weekly article.

If you haven’t already, would you like to order your own copy of You May Kiss the Bride? Click here.



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“A perfectly fabulous book”

Wow, what a lovely review from Buried Under Romance for The Laird Takes a Bride! In part, it says:

Lisa Berne gives the marriage of convenience trope clever, unforeseen, and fabulous twists . . . A perfectly fabulous book, intelligent, unusual, and unique; The Laird Takes a Bride is not to be missed!Image: cover for The Laird Takes a Bride by Lisa Berne (Avon Books)

Would you like to read the full review? Click here.

For more about The Laird Takes a Bride, including ordering info, a special gift with purchase, and a first-chapter excerpt, click here.

What do you think? Click here to comment.