[Manga Maniac Cafe] Good morning, Marie! Describe yourself in five words or less.
[Marie Harte] Funny, entertaining caffeine addict.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about The Troublemaker Next Door?
[Marie Harte] Maddie, an independent and hardworking woman, loses her job unexpectedly, throwing her life into a tailspin. Then she loses her lukewarm boyfriend. She’s in a “men suck” frame of mind when she meets Flynn McCauley, the poster boy for male perfection. Through family and friend connections, they continue to run into each other. They spend a lot of time not dating, then having sex, then not dating while having sex. Until Flynn wants more from the stubborn redhead. Maddie thinks she wants more too, but she’ll have to overcome her fears for a future with Flynn. (And I soooo wish I was Maddie.)
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you share your favorite scene?
[Marie Harte] I love their first kiss.
Silence settled between them, one fraught with a tension Flynn could only describe as sexual. He would have been content to stare at her all day. She had a darker complexion than he would have expected on a redhead. Not pale, her olive skin turned a delightful pink when she was embarrassed. Her face could have graced any of the magazines stacked neatly on her coffee table, yet her nose had a smattering of freckles at the bridge that stopped her short of perfection.
And her eyes… He was drowning in them, caught in the amber color that looked gold one minute, deep brown the next. He wondered what she saw when she looked at him. Did she feel the attraction? Was his interest flattering, or was he one more creep like all the rest who no doubt fell at her feet when confronted with such beauty?
“I should put these in water,” she said in a husky voice that made him want to take her in his arms and carry her upstairs.
“Yeah.” He cleared his throat and followed her into the kitchen, unable to look away from her curves. Man, that ass just begged to be held. “Ah, so the reason I stopped by. My mom and dad are having a picnic next Saturday and wanted to invite you guys. Think you all could swing by around two?” He hadn’t confirmed the date or time yet, but he knew his mother wouldn’t say no, and whatever she wanted, Dad agreed to.
“Oh. A picnic?”
“I’d say I have to check my calendar, but not anymore. I’m free for the immediate future.” She paused. “Man, that doesn’t sound good, does it?”
“You being free?”
“Me whining about my job again. I’m done with that. I’d love to go to a barbecue. I haven’t been to one in years. That’s really nice of your parents.”
“I can’t answer for Vanessa or Abby, but if they’re not working, I know they’d love to be there.”
“Great.” Good, great. She reduced him to one-word answers. He couldn’t think about more than her mouth, watching her form each word with those plump, red lips. She’d been so soft yesterday, and that brief kiss had given him some wet dreams last night. Hell, he hadn’t come in his sheets since he’d been a teenager. But this morning he’d had to dump his sheets in the washer before joining his family for church. Church—talk about a buzzkill. Yet here he stood, across from the object of his fantasies.
“You okay, Flynn?” She frowned. “You look a little funny.”
“Mike told me to leave you alone,” he blurted.
“Cautioned me not to screw over his neighbors, because he didn’t want to deal with a bunch of annoyed women.”
“What do you mean?” She took a step back and bumped against the counter.
He closed the distance between them and caged her between his arms. It gratified him to hear her breathing as raspy and uneven as his. “I know you hate men. That you had a crappy day on Friday. And that you have some things to iron out. I just wanted to thank you for yesterday. Nothing more than that. Okay?”
She licked her lips, and he forced himself to keep an inch or two between them. Fucking her on the counter would have to wait, because her roommates would be back soon.
“Thank me for apologizing? But you don’t have to—”
“Yes, Maddie. I do.” She didn’t understand. He did have to, or he’d lose his ever-loving mind. His lips met hers, and he forgot his own name.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What gave you the most trouble with the story?
[Marie Harte] The title. I had originally titled it A Flair for Flynn, then Casually Yours. Sourcebooks asked for a bunch of title possibilities, and they came up with The Troublemaker Next Door—which I love!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What’s one thing you won’t leave home without?
[Marie Harte] My iPhone (but only in case the school calls about my kids)
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name three things on your desk right now.
[Marie Harte] My monster pen holder, my coffee warmer, my glasses
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you could trade places with anyone for just one day, who would you be?
[Marie Harte] Thor. Just for a day.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] You have been granted the use of one superpower for one week. Which power would you choose, and what would you do with it?
[Marie Harte] Teleportation. I’d go to all the places around the world I haven’t been to yet but want to visit. Rome, Egypt, London, Sydney, Tokyo, and too many more to count.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are some books that you enjoyed recently?
[Marie Harte] Jennifer Estep’s Poison Promise, a reread of Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison (a fave)
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?
[Marie Harte] Via my website, Facebook, and email
About the book
A Publishers Weekly TOP 10 ROMANCE for Spring 2014
SHE’S SWORN OFF MEN
It’s been the day from hell for Maddie. Instead of offering a promotion, her boss made a pass. She quit, then got dumped by her lukewarm boyfriend. As the fiery redhead has a foul-mouthed meltdown, her green-eyed neighbor Flynn McCauley stands in her kitchen…completely captivated.
UNTIL HE THROWS A WRENCH INTO HER PLANS
He was just there to fix the sink as a favor. He’s not into relationships. She’s done with idiots. But where there are friends…sometimes there are benefits. And sometimes the boy next door might be just what you need at the end of every day.
INTRODUCING…THE McCAULEY BROTHERS
Welcome to the rough-and-tumble McCauley family, a tight-knit band of four bachelor brothers who work hard, drink beer, and relentlessly tease each other. When three independent women move in next door, all hell breaks loose.
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