Please give a warm welcome to Jack Macintyre, hero of Coleen Kwan’s Baiting the Boss.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in five words or less.
[Jack Macintyre] Stubborn, independent, pain in the ass.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you share a typical day in the life of Jack Macintyre?
[Jack Macintyre] When I was working for my grandfather, my days were filled with business meetings, paperwork, and clambering over construction sites. I worked insane hours because I was so caught up in my career. Now I’m living on this tropical island, my life is very different. Each day I wake up to a picture perfect sunrise. I might go for an early swim in the ocean or a paddle in my canoe before breakfast. Then I spend the rest of the day on construction work. First I repaired my bungalow, and now I’m working on a village hall. It’s hard, physical labour, but I enjoy it a lot. At the end of the day I might go fishing and chat to the locals. Often I have dinner with my friend, Tupua, his wife, Mary, and their kids. I love my life as it is now—simple, industrious, honest.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words come to mind when you think of Grace?
[Jack Macintyre] Tenacious, sweet, sexy.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you find most exasperating about her?
[Jack Macintyre] Is she going to read this interview? Okay, one exasperating thing about her is that she can be very stubborn. When she first landed on the island I thought it would be a piece of cake refusing to return to Sydney with her, but I didn’t count on her hanging around, trying to make me change my mind. In a way I admire that, because as I already said I’m a stubborn bastard myself. But it’s hard, too, because I can’t help noticing how gorgeous she is, and that’s interfering with my resolve to make her go away.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you could change one thing you’ve done in your life, what would it be?
[Jack Macintyre] I wouldn’t have been so obsessed with my career. I was raised by my grandfather, who’s a self-confessed workaholic. He also pushed me harder than most because he said I had to prove myself worthy to take over the helm when he retired. Well, I bought into his line and I worked crazy hours. If I hadn’t been so work-focused, Becky might still be alive today. I’ll always regret that.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What’s one thing you won’t leave home without?
[Jack Macintyre] Nothing. When I quit the Macintyre corporation and cut ties with my family, I learned to do without. I’m self-sufficient. What I don’t have, I learn to do without.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you find so appealing about your tropical hideaway?
[Jack Macintyre] The people here are really great. They’re friendly and open, and they’ve welcomed me into their community with open arms. I owe a lot to them. I was in a bad space when I initially arrived here, and they’ve helped me turn my life around. Not by giving me any preachy advice, but rather by simply letting me be, putting up with my little eccentricities.
I thought I could stay in this hideaway indefinitely, but now Grace has arrived and shattered my peace. She’s reminded me that the outside world still exists, that my family are there, that I have other responsibilities. She’s also reminding me that she’s a beautiful, sexy woman. I’m fighting the temptation to kiss her like crazy, but it’s so damn hard when we’re in this tropical paradise.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you share your dreams for the future in five words or less.
[Jack Macintyre] I don’t have ‘dreams for the future’ but I hope to god Grace will quit trying to change my mind and leave me in peace. (A part of me is also hoping I’ll kiss her soon, but that’s probably not what you mean by ‘dreams for the future’.)
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!
[Jack Macintyre] No worries. Now I’m going back to work on the village hall. Hopefully Grace won’t be too much of a distraction, but the unresolved sexual tension between us is getting very hard to ignore.
About the book:
For years Grace Owens harbored a secret crush on her boss, Jack Macintyre, the heir to the Macintyre Corporation. But Jack relocates to a remote tropical island after tragedy upends his life, cutting off all contact. Now Grace’s new boss issues an ultimatum: return Jack to the family fold or pack her briefcase and move on.
When she turns up at Jack’s bungalow, he can’t deny his attraction to the fiery woman determined to lure him out of his tropical paradise. Little does she know that returning is the last thing he wants—he’s nobody’s boss, and he likes it that way.
If he stays, she’ll lose her job. If he goes, she’ll lose her heart.