Please welcome Aimée Duffy to the virtual offices today. She is celebrating the release of Never Say Never, and she brought along a short excerpt for you to enjoy. Check out what she has to say!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.
[Aimée] Manic reader, compulsive shoe shopper and closet Dr Who fan—oops.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Never Say Never?
[Aimée] Singer and reality television presenter, Sander Chase is being forced into going to his ex-fiancé’s engagement party. He bribes a waitress, Chloe Butler, from his local coffee shop to go with him. Part of the deal is spending enough time together to be photographed around London.
He’s too busy to date for real, and Chloe has a bad history dating celebrities, so they are not looking for anything more. Unfortunately they’re also very attracted to each other and fighting to keep their hands to themselves is harder than it should be, especially since Sander has a dark secret that means there can’t possibly be any future for them.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?
[Aimée] Sander is one of the judges on the reality singing competition Do You Have What it Takes? in book 1, The Monster of Fame. I already had a rough idea of who he was, and what he didn’t need in his life—a relationship.
Chloe is his perfect and worst match, all rolled into one. She has the beauty to reel him in, the backbone to put him in his place and the smarts to keep him interested—which in his opinion makes her dangerous.
The story isn’t set during the show. I wanted to make the book readable as a standalone or a follow up to The Monster of Fame, so Sander and Chloe are completely separate from the other characters, although the heroine from The Monster of Fame does make an appearance.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Chloe?
[Aimée] Stubborn, compassionate, loyal.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Sander had a theme song, what would it be?
[Aimée] Green Day’s, Boulevard of Broken Dreams. He’d probably disagree, but it suits his past.
[Manga Maniac Café] Name one thing Chloe is never without.
[Aimée] Her cell phone, but only because her mum’s ill and she needs to be contacted easily.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Sander’s bathroom?
[Aimée] Anything pink.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Chloe’s greatest regret?
[Aimée] Moving to LA after college.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?
[Aimée] Gossip magazines. It’s amazing what the mind comes up with when reading about famous people’s lives.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?
[Aimée] Music, a comfy seat and Wikipedia
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?
[Aimée] Tempted by Trouble, by Michelle Smart.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?
[Aimée] Of Mice and Men, or the Goosebumps series. Probably the latter.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
[Aimée] Shop. When it’s not raining, I love to go hillwalking. Way cheaper than letting me loose with my credit card.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?
[Manga Maniac Café] Thank you!
You can purchase Never Say Never from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the link below:
About the book:
When pretend turns to desire, heartbreak is unavoidable.
Sander Chase needs a date for his ex-fiancée’s engagement party, but he doesn’t have time for a woman in his life. Between working on the TV show Do You Have What It Takes? and his band reforming, he’s too busy for a relationship. What he needs is a pretend girlfriend. He thinks he may have found the perfect woman for the job, and the bribe he offers means she’s sure to accept.
After losing her job in the film industry, breaking up with her movie star boyfriend, and finding out her mum has dementia, Chloe Butler returned to the UK determined to put her life back together. The last thing she needs is to parade around London on the arm of a celebrity, and after the heartbreak caused by her ex, she swore she’d never again date a star. But when Sander offers her a chance at her dream job, it’s not something she can turn down.
As Chloe gets to know Sander she learns he’s nothing like her scumbag ex. But she struggles to fight her attraction to him, knowing their relationship is only for show and their separation date is closing in fast.
Ignoring the insane chemistry between them should be easy for Sander, especially since he carries a secret that means there can be no future for them, but the more time he spends with Chloe, the harder it is to keep his hands to himself.
Content Warning: contains more denial than you’ll find in a courtroom, more sexual tension than most people could handle, and explosive sex that some readers may find long overdue.
About the author:
Aimée writes steamy, contemporary romance for the 21st century woman who enjoys the 21st century alpha male. She’s addicted to reading, shopping and can’t go a day without music. When she’s not writing you can find her traipsing up the Ochils (weather permitting of course) or procrastinating on Facebook and Twitter.
Chloe Butler’s mouth dropped open. She struggled to remember how to close it as she stared at the man with the expectant expression on his avenging angel face. She couldn’t have heard him right. Sander Chase would never ask someone like her out on a date.
He flashed his Hollywood smile. “Come on. Don’t make a guy ask twice.”
Nope, she’d not misheard him, nor had she gone mad. Months of serving him coffee and this was the first time he’d shown any kind of interest in her.
“I’m sorry.” She retreated a few steps. She couldn’t date a celebrity, not after what happened the last time. She was just beginning to get her life back together. Not to mention the fact her mum needed her around more than ever. “I can’t. Thank you for the offer.”
Chloe tried to smile politely, but it was harder than usual. She turned to head back to the counter to get on with her work. If her boss Richard caught her talking to a celebrity, he’d get the wrong idea and hand her a P45 before she could explain. After all, the coffee shop was a classy place. Not even the press were allowed in.
A large, warm hand ensnared her wrist and drew her to a halt. Electrified jolts shot up her arm from the contact.
“Can’t or don’t want to?”
She turned back to Sander and saw his brow was raised and amusement glittered in his baby blue eyes. Pushy, wasn’t he?
“Don’t want to,” she replied, determined not to give him any hope.
Can’t left wiggle room, and there was definitely no wiggle room. She’d sworn off men after the last one had taken her for a mug.
Her reply seemed to please him. His grin grew huge and her heart sped. She frowned at the reaction and put it down to the stress of the situation. After all, as far as she was concerned, her libido was extinct.
Was he mad? From her experience, celebrities could be a little…odd. But she’d never met a full-blown lunatic before. “I’m sorry, I don’t know what you mean.”
Why wasn’t she backing away? Better yet, why wasn’t she demanding he let go of her arm? She darted a glance around the coffee shop. Most of the customers’ attention was on their morning papers.
“I don’t need a date. I need a pretend one.”