Interview with Monica Tillery, Author of Kiss Me, Katie

Please welcome Monica Tillery to the virtual offices this morning!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Monica Tillery] Wife, mother, friend, writer. I’m a reader lucky enough to have the best job in the world, and I’m totally living my own happily ever after.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Kiss Me, Katie?

[Monica Tillery] Kiss Me, Katie is a sweet, fairy tale romance set on a national country tour.  A young, talented fiddler goes with her band to join national superstar Blake Jackson on his tour.  They’re scheduled for a dozen shows and then they’ll head back to Texas.  Unfortunately for Katie, our young fiddler, she’s fallen in love with Blake, and their tour buses are driving off in opposite directions.  They must figure out how to make their relationship work, and they can’t do it without lots of hurt feelings, frustration, and all-out mistakes.  When they finally find their way back to one another, it’s nothing short of magic.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Monica Tillery] Kiss Me, Katie is the product of my deliberate decision to write a romance.  I had never tried it before, so I did a ton of research about romance and how to write them.  I brainstormed ideas and concepts until I came up with the idea of placing a musician on tour with a bigger act and went with it.  I love the idea of falling in love with a celebrity, the exciting life on the road with a major act.  We love romance because of the rush of being chosen by someone, of being the one above all others to that special person.  With Kiss Me, Katie, I took it a little further.  You get the rush of falling in love and being chosen, but when you’re chosen by the someone that everyone else wants, it’s that much more exciting. 

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Katie?

[Monica Tillery] Driven, talented, but sweet.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Blake had a theme song, what would it be?

[Monica Tillery] Mud on the Tires by Brad Paisley.  Blake is a huge star, but at his heart he sees himself as a country boy who loves simple pleasures.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Katie is never without.

[Monica Tillery] Probably her phone.  When she’s on the road she wants to keep in touch with friends and family.  When she’s away from Blake, of course she’ll want to stay connected.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find on Blake’s tour bus?

[Monica Tillery] Groupies (he’s a one woman man),candy (no sweet tooth here), lots of fancy health & beauty products.  His space is his sanctuary, and he keeps it manly. :)

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Katie’s greatest regret?

[Monica Tillery] Hmm..maybe that she never went to college?  Playing in a band is literally the only thing she’s qualified to do professionally.  I think that can be very frightening for her sometimes.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Monica Tillery] My fellow authors.  I read romances with an eye towards craft, and I take advantage of the educational opportunities that abound with writing. 

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Monica Tillery] I wrote Kiss Me, Katie in a recliner, so I honestly don’t need much.  I’ve since upgraded to an actual desk and find that I most often use a white board (so I can keep people and details straight), my iPod, and something to drink.  I always have coffee, tea, or something while I work.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Monica Tillery] The book I’m reading right now is pretty amazing, but it’s not yet released and I’m not sure if I’m supposed to be talking about it.  Watch for my reviews on Goodreads in September…I’ll definitely spill it then.  I read a lot of great books, but the last one to suck me in and drag me under was The Good Daughter by Jane Porter.  Start with The Good Wife and then read that one and you’ll fall in love with the Brennan sisters and that whole crazy family.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Monica Tillery] Do I have to pick one?  I honestly can’t remember the book that started it all–I’ve been a voracious reader since I was a kid.  I was reading Stephen King books before I was really old enough to be reading Stephen King books, though.  I read Firestarter when I was way too young and still remember how brilliant I thought it was.  I haven’t read it in decades, so it may not be as mind-blowing as I remember, but that one does stick out.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Monica Tillery] Read!  Of course, I’m an avid reader like most authors.  I also love hanging out with friends–I have a movie group, a book club, a bunco group, and love to go out to dinner, play games, and shop with friends.  My family and I love to do game nights at home, watch movies, and hang out. 

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Monica Tillery] I’m always on Facebook and can be found at www.facebook.com/monicatilleryauthor.  You can follow me on Twitter, @MonicaTillery, and email me monica@monicatillery.com.  I love connecting with readers.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

Purchase Link:

About the book:

Talented fiddler Katie McCoy finds out that her band, Sterling, will join the very famous, extremely handsome, Blake Jackson on his Country Summer Nights tour. Her career is taking off, but after dating too many guys who let her down, her love life is going nowhere.

Blake is America’s biggest country star, and he can date a different beautiful woman every night of the week. After years on the road, each woman starts to seem the same and none of them ever want more than the experience of dating a celebrity. In Katie, he finally finds a woman who is interested in who he is as a man, someone who loves him for his true self. Being on tour together is a bit like being in a relationship pressure cooker, and things get serious. Everything moves faster than outside in the real world. Theirs is a match made in music heaven, but in three short weeks, Katie’s band leaves the tour and she’ll be out of his arms.

Katie wants true love more than anything else, but her tour bus is heading back to Texas with or without her. Sterling’s new level of success means that her career must take top priority and any man she’s with will have to respect that. She’s done with guys who don’t take her career seriously, and Blake can’t leave his own tour. How can they stay together when their paths have them moving in opposite directions? Will they find a way to make it work or say goodbye?

About the author:

Monica Tillery has been a social worker and a massage therapist, but is now living her dream as a romance novelist. She loves nothing more than to get lost in a beautiful love story, holding her breath as the hero and heroine fight their way through obstacles to get to their happily ever after. Monica lives in Texas with her own real-life romance hero, her husband of over a dozen years, and two wonderful sons. When she’s not reading and writing romance, Monica loves playing bunco and bingo, hanging out with friends, and wasting time online. She loves hearing from and connecting with readers. Follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/monicatilleryauthor, on Twitter @monicatillery, or visit her website www.monicatillery.com. Monica maintains her website on her own, so she warns you that it’s very basic and rarely changes, but all the pertinent information is updated.

Review: Aya: Ceres Vol 1 by Yuu Watase

 

Title:  Aya: Ceres Vol 1

Author: Yuu Watase

 

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

 

Aya and her twin brother Aki thought they were going to a celebration of their sixteenth birthday at their grandfather’s home, but the funeral-like atmosphere tips them off that something’s not right. Their "birthday present" turns out to be a mummified hand–the power of which forces an awakening within Aya, and painful wounds all over Aki’s body! Grandfather Mikage announces that Aki will be heir to the Mikage fortune, and Aya must die! But Aya has allies in the athletic cook and martial artist Yûhi, and the attractive, mysterious Tôya. But can even two handsome and resourceful guys save Aya when it’s her own power that’s out of control?


Review:

Okay, I have a confession to make.  Yuu Watase is like crack for me.  She has a gift when it comes to writing angsty, action-packed series, and I just gobble her stuff up.  It’s a mix of cotton candy, corn dogs, and French fries.  That’s a lot of junk food, but it is so tasty and filling that it’s hard to resist.  And yes, I just compared Yuu Watase’s writing to carnival junk food.  That’s okay, though, because I love carnival junk food!

Aya and her twin brother Aki are turning 16.  Instead of hanging out with their friends as they had planned, their parents demand that they accompany them to their grandfather’s house.  Once there, they discover all of their relatives, somberly awaiting their arrival.  To cap off the really, really weird day, Aya and Aki are given a box to open.  inside the box is a mummified hand, and once they see it, their lives will never be the same again.

Aki collapses in a pool of blood, shredded by some magical force unleashed by the mummified hand. A power awakens within Aya, and she discovers that she’s the descendant of a celestial maiden, and now her family wants her dead!  With her entire family out to kill her, who can she trust?  The Mikage family bodyguard, Toya?  Or the martial artist chef Yuhi?  Who is going to save Aya from her family, and who is going to save her from the destructive power she can’t control?

I love this story!  I have seen the anime, but I haven’t read the graphic novels yet.  I thought it would be fun to read them all, and blog about them as I do.  Hopefully you will be inspired to read them yourself, or watch the anime, which is still one of my favorites.  When it came out, it received some flak, mainly because Aya can be irritating, especially when she gets herself in to trouble, and then has to have one of the guys come and save her.  While I prefer a more self-reliant heroine, I love how Watase brought the legend of the celestial maidens to life in Ceres.  Add in her detailed artwork with her delicate linework, and mixing in a dash of humor to the horror and action elements, and you have an engaging, fast-paced story full of mystery and weird supernatural powers.f

This first volume introduces the major characters, and sets the tone for the rest of the series.  Ceres is the story of a powerful family, and the dark secret they have been hiding for centuries. It is also the story of Aya’s coming of age.  She is a spoiled and overindulged teenager, who thinks life is one big party at the local karaoke place.  She hasn’t had many responsibilities, and she’s never had to really do things for herself.   Now that she’s lost the shelter of her family, she’s forced to deal with her mother’s betrayal, and somehow keep herself alive.  Suzumi and her brother-in-law Yuhi come to her rescue, and now Aya must navigate  treacherous waters as she tries to decide who she can trust.  If she’s wrong, she’s going to end up dead, and nothing’s she learned in high school has prepared her for this nightmare. The cliffhanger at the end made me happy that I have the next volume, and ensured that I would be reaching for it quickly.  This is a fast-paced story with many unanswered questions that beg to be answered.  Only 13 more volumes before we get them!

Grade:  B+

Review copy purchased from Amazon

Interview with Teri Terry, Author of Slated

Teri Terry is visiting the virtual offices this morning to chat about the first book in her SLATED series.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Teri Terry] Stubborn, multi-national writer with a weird accent and a silly name who talks too much and spends too much time on the internet

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Slated?

[Teri Terry] Kyla is sixteen years old and has had her memory wiped as punishment for crimes she can no longer remember. She’s been assigned to a new family for a second chance, but people are going missing, and things aren’t what they seem: she has to figure things out before it is too late.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Teri Terry] Slated started with a dream I had, of a girl, running, terrified, on a beach, afraid to look back to see what chases her. I wrote the dream down as soon as I woke up, and the dream became the prologue to Slated. The story and characters grew from there.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Kyla?

[Teri Terry] Complicated, strong, vulnerable

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Kyla is never without.

[Teri Terry] Her Levo: it is on her wrist and cannot be removed without risk of extreme pain and death. It stops extremes of emotions, and is a constant reminder that she was a criminal.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What will you never find in Kyla’s bedroom?

[Teri Terry] A mobile phone (they’re banned for under 21’s).

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Kyla’s greatest regret?

[Teri Terry] She doesn’t know, she can’t remember! I suppose this is her greatest regret in Slated: not knowing where she came from or what she did.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Teri Terry] Reading, reading, reading! When younger I read everything I could get my hands on. I’m more selective (less patient) now, and have less time, but that is still pretty much the case.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Teri Terry] Time, time and time (is that cheating?).

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What was your biggest distraction while working on Slated?

[Teri Terry] Distractor Cat. I wrote most of it in the Writing Shack in the garden, and DC likes to sit on my laptop. In fact DC is stretched out next to me in the garden right now.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Teri Terry] It’s summer: I don’t wear socks in the summer! Well….ok, let me think: I recently really enjoyed Daylight Saving by Edward Hogan. I love a good ghost story.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Teri Terry] It seems like I’ve always loved to read. One of my favourites was Lord of the Rings, but I was already a bookworm when I read that for the first time.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Teri Terry] Read! Also a glass of wine in the garden with the Man is pretty high on the list. Going to concerts and the cricket. And, of course, hanging out on Twitter.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Teri Terry] Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TeriTerryAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TeriTerryWrites

Tumblr: http://teriterrywrites.tumblr.com

Website: http://teriterry.jimdo.com

[Manga Maniac Cafe]  Thank you!

About the book:

Kyla’s memory has been erased,
her personality wiped blank,
her memories lost for ever.
She’s been Slated.
The government claims she was a terrorist and that they are giving her a second chance – as long as she plays by their rules. But echoes of the past whisper in Kyla’s mind. Someone is lying to her, and nothing is as it seems. Who can she trust in her search for the truth?

Cover Reveal: Embracing Death by D T Dyllin

embracing_death_final 
Title: Embracing Death
Author: D.T. Dyllin
Series: The Death Trilogy #2
Genre: Erotic Paranormal Romance
Expected publication: November 2013 by Dragonfairy Press

Blurb:

All of Samantha Bevan’s memories have been returned to her. But instead of bringing her peace, they’ve only brought her more turmoil. She now recalls the dark addiction to feeling other people’s deaths and every day is a struggle to control her urges. At least she has Austin to help her… or does she? Samantha will discover that even with her memories, she doesn’t know the truth of her past, and those secrets may prove detrimental to her and everyone she loves. Will she be able to unravel the mystery of who’s been pulling her strings before it’s too late? Or will Austin be the one to suffer from her mistakes?

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18168194-embracing-death?ac=1

About the Author
  
Cynical-Optimist. Chocolate-holic. Sarcasm Addict. Paranormal Believer. Self-Imposed Insomniac. Sci-Fi Geek. Animal Lover. Writer…are just a few words to describe D.T. Dyllin. She was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and now lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband and two very spoiled GSDs.

Cover Reveal! Liar, Liar by Dawn Pendleton and Giveaway!

 
 



Hazel is a freshman at Coastal Carolina and looking forward to making new friends. When she meets Roman, she’s head over heels for him. There’s one problem, though: he’s still hung up on Hazel’s roommate, Cheyanne. But Cheyanne has a secret, one that has the potential to ruin her life in college. When Hazel learns the secret, she’s determined to use it against Cheyanne to win over Roman. She never imagines her plan could backfire, leaving her as a pariah among her new circle of friends.

The BFF series follows the lives of new adults, Hazel, Miranda, Cheyanne, Destiny, Audric, Nolan, Andre, and Roman. Follow their stories as the first season of novellas are released once a week from September to March.



Release date: September 17, 2013
 
 
 



 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour – Review: Sleeping Beauty’s Daughters by Diane Zahler

Welcome to my stop on Diane Zahler’s blog tour for her newly released Middle Grade fantasy Sleeping Beauty’s Daughters.  I’m excited to be part of this tour because I love Diane’s books!  I’ve read almost all of them, and they have all captivated me with her twists on familiar fairy tales.  As the title of Sleeping Beauty’s Daughters suggests, this is an alternate version of Sleeping Beauty that chronicles the adventures of Sleeping Beauty’s daughters. They are 12 and 9, and don’t understand why they live such an isolated existence.  There are no sharp knives or scissors, or anything with a pointy end to be found anywhere in the castle. All food is sent from the local village in bite sized pieces.  Their father heads to the village to get his hair cut, and the castle guards don’t even have weapons (maybe they have mallets to fight off possible threats of attack?). 

After Luna accidentally cuts herself, giving their emotionally fragile mother quite a fright, they learn about their mother’s history.  She was cursed as a baby, and after being pricked on the finger, she fell into a deep, deep sleep that lasted one hundred years.  Their father awakened her with a kiss, and when the evil fairy Manon discovered that they were living their happy ever after, she cursed them again.  This time, it would be one of their daughters that would fall into a deep, deep slumber, only when she woke up, everyone she knew and loved would be dead and gone.  That’s really scary!  It would terrify me to find myself completely alone, so I could easily imagine how terrifying that thought was to Luna and Aurora.  When Aurora pricks her finger due to Luna’s carelessness, it becomes a desperate race to find their fairy godmother before Aurora takes a really, really long nap.

As in every Diane Zahler book, the characters made the story for me.  They are young and have little practical world experience, yet they rally together to accomplish great things.  Luna is stubborn and bold, while Aurora is more timid and hesitant to face new challenges.  Her idea of a good time, like mine, is curling up in the library with a good book.  The curse and the threat of sleeping for a century get them both moving to find a cure, and with the help of an orphan fisherman, they head off into danger.  Each adds strength to their group, and without all three working together, they would fail at their task.  They all grow and gain confidence as they face one frightening challenge after another.  They aren’t content to just sit around and wait for an adult to solve their problems; nope, they dive right into action, determined to find a way to reverse the terrible curse that’s been placed on Aurora. 

The other thing I love about these books is that the girls don’t take a backseat to the boys.  They are every bit as brave, strong, and courageous as the guys.  Probably more so, because the girls are the ones to get things moving in the first place.  I like that they wait to be rescued; they take control of their own destiny and try to figure things out for themselves.

Sleeping Beauty’s Daughters is very fast-paced, as the sisters race against time to save Aurora from her terrible fate.  Along the way they learn to embrace both the good and bad in each other.  They also make friendships that will last a lifetime, and face terrors beyond their imagining.  Through all of their adventures, they discover a new appreciation for each other, and the courage to overcome any obstacle – together.

So…did I like it?  You bet!  4.5 / 5 stars! 

 

About the book:

The classic fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty is transformed into a dazzling new story of two sisters fighting a powerful curse by Diane Zahler, the acclaimed author of The Thirteenth Princess. Briskly paced and full of lush descriptions, readers who enjoy the work of Shannon Hale and Gail Carson Levine will be swept away by this spellbinding novel.
The daughters of Sleeping Beauty, Princesses Aurora and Luna, have grown up in a cliff-top palace by the sea, where they are carefully protected by their parents. No one visits, the girls cannot stray beyond the castle walls, and all sharp objects are forbidden here.
But accidents will happen—particularly when an old curse still has power. Soon, in spite of all precautions, Aurora is struggling not to slip into an enchanted sleep.
Frantic, the princesses accept the help of a young fisherman named Symon and embark on a daring ocean voyage to find their aunt—a fairy who may be able to break the spell. From fearsome beasts to raging storms, many dangers befall them, yet they must not give up . . . for if Aurora sleeps, she will not wake for one hundred years.

Be sure to check out the other stops on the tour:

August 27: www.theresabook.com

August 28: www.bookalicious.org

August 30: http://www.iceybooks.com/

August 31: www.greenbeanteenqueen.com

September 1: http://mundiemoms.blogspot.com/search?q=zahler

You can learn more about Diane by visiting:

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Interview with Christy Newton, Author of Begin Again

Please welcome Christy Newton to the virtual offices this morning! Christy is here to chat about her Crimson Romance Begin Again.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Christy Newton] I’m creative. Purple is my favorite color, but as an artist I love all colors. I am very particular about things. I have faith and love.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Begin Again?

[Christy Newton] Begin Again is a story about loss and second chances. It’s about two people finding each other and falling in love after they thought their broken hearts would never heal.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Christy Newton] One day, I thought… what if a young woman lost everything? Her husband, her child and her home. How would she ever get over such a big loss? Then a hero popped into my head. He’d have to be genuine and sweet and patient but persistent. There were lots of tears while writing both happy and sad. Begin Again was a story I truly wrote from the heart.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Maisie?

[Christy Newton] Broken, lost, kind.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Ryan had a theme song, what would it be?

[Christy Newton] Oh, this one is perfect: Phillip Phillips song Gone, Gone, Gone. A fan told me that the song reminded her of Ryan and I agree.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Maisie is never without.

[Christy Newton] Her heart earrings.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Ryan’s bedroom?

[Christy Newton] Girlie magazines, cigarettes, beer bottles.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Maisie’s greatest regret?

[Christy Newton] Not being able to protect her family.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Christy Newton] Art and music.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Christy Newton] 7Up, dark chocolate and Post-its

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What was your biggest distraction while working on Begin Again?

[Christy Newton] My dog, Happy, of 16 years got really sick and passed away.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Christy Newton] There are so many! But the most recent was Macy Beckett’s Sultry with a Twist

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Christy Newton] Well, that would go all the way back to my childhood. My favorite series was The Baby-sitters Club by Ann M. Martin. As an adult I read a lot of Janet Evanovich, before I started writing.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Christy Newton] Read, watch reality TV shows, shop, and spend time with family. But even when I’m not writing I am still thinking about my characters and new plots.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Christy Newton] My website www.christynewton.com

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Christy-Newton/359791990763912
Twitter @CNewtonAuthor

I love to hear from readers!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

Purchase link

About the book:

What if one night changed your life forever?

Maisie Scott lost not only her husband and unborn child in a tornado two years ago, she lost her will to live. Keeping busy is the only way she can get by. This small town waitress won’t let herself get attached to anyone … until Ryan, the new veterinarian for exotic animals, starts making regular trips to her diner. As hard as she tries not to feel anything, Ryan ignites a spark in her broken heart.

Ryan Tucker craves a happy family of his own more than his Momma’s apple pie. Getting over his fiancée leaving him six months ago, he moves to Pleasant Valley for a fresh start. When he meets Maisie and notices the sadness in her eyes, he is determined to put a smile on her pretty face.

When another dangerous storm hits, Ryan stays by Maisie’s side. She fills the missing piece in his heart, but will Ryan share his secret? Can Maisie move on from the past and learn to begin again?

About the author:

I’m a hopeless romantic author, inspired by art, love, music and hope. I was lucky to have the support of my family and friends in my journey to publication. I’ve always been a creative person, but until I started writing, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. Once my first novel was complete, it felt natural to continue writing. I just might be the only writer out there that doesn’t drink caffeine. Dark chocolate and warm cookies are my weaknesses. I love to read books that make me laugh out loud or make me want to live in the place they are set in. The thought of a world without books makes me very sad.

Review: Fearless by Tawny Weber

 

Title: Fearless

Author: Tawny Weber

 

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

 

Promising career: check
Amazing apartment: check
The best of friends: check
Sex life: MIA
There’s just one thing missing from Gia Renyard’s life: sexual adventure. And the one man she’d like to have it with is her hot co-worker, Luke Monroe. If only company rules didn’t prohibit her from asking him out. So Gia comes up with a plan: make herself over into a fantasy seductress, follow Luke to a convention in Sin City, and have her way with him for one erotic weekend. The man will never even know who did him.
Everything is going according to plan—until Gia discovers that Luke is perfect for her outside the bedroom too. And suddenly she’s no longer content to let what happens in Vegas stay in Vegas…


Review:

Fearless wasn’t my cup of tea, and it’s because I couldn’t relate to heroine Gia.  She wants to have a sexual adventure, something to keep as a special memory, and oh, yeah, something to brag about with her friends.  She has her sights set on co-worker Luke Monroe, and after learning that he’s going to be in Las Vegas for  a convention, she gets a make-over, books a ticket, and flies out with one goal in mind; she’s going to seduce him.  She doesn’t want him to know who she is for a couple of reasons, the most important being that she could get fired  because dating a co-worker is against corporate policy.

The first half of the novella takes place in Gia’s hotel room after she’s enticed Luke to take the bait and follow her upstairs.  I found it boring.  There was zero character development to keep me reading, and I didn’t make a connection with either one of them.  Then the weekend was over, and Gia had to give up the fantasy and head back to work.  Suddenly, I was engaged in the plot.  I guess it’s sad that I found her daily grind as a programmer more interesting than her sexy times with a virtual stranger in a hotel room in Vegas.  Yeah.

It’s a nightmare come true when Gia is assigned to Luke’s development team for a new product.  She has to keep things low key and she has to constantly avoid him for fear that he’ll figure out who she is.  She has been working hard for a promotion, though, so she can’t turn the assignment down.  If she gets through this, she will have that promotion, and that’s really everything that she’s worked for. 

Luke is kicking himself for turning down a  job offer with another company and taking a promotion instead.  He’s under a lot of pressure to get this project completed in time, on budget, and on spec.  He’s got one team member running laps around the rest, and he is impressed with Gia’ s performance and ability to think outside of the box.  He’s puzzled why she is avoiding him and telecommuting, and as time goes by, he begins to suspect that maybe Gia is the hot fantasy woman who loved him and left in a  Las Vegas hotel room. 

I liked Luke better than Gia.  He actually wanted to make a bit of a connection with Gia before hitting her hotel room, but she had no interest in small talk, so who could blame him for taking her up on her offer for hot, sweaty sex in her room?  As he struggled to put two and two together, Gia managed to out-maneuver him, which only made him even more suspicious.  

While it took a while to warm up to the story, I did enjoy the second half of Fearless.  The beginning, though, left me unimpressed and without a connection to the story or the characters.

Grade: C-

Review copy provided by publisher