Character Interview–Melissa from Inara Scott’s The Boss’s Fake Fiancée

I had the opportunity to sit down and chat with Melissa Bencher, protagonist of Inara Scott’s latest romance, The Boss’s Fake Fiancée.  Melissa had just started working for Garth Solen, human computer, when we got together, and I hear that things have changed drastically for her since then.  You will have to read all about it in Inara’s book!

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

[Melissa Bencher]  The person I want to be, or the person I am? :-) Let’s see….

Trusting (naive?), loving (to a fault?), little sister (saddled with THREE big brothers), propensity for falling hard–for the wrong guy.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you share a typical day in the life of Melissa Bencher?

[Melissa Bencher]  It’s not too interesting, unfortunately! I get up, drink too much coffee and take the train to work. My job is fast-paced and sometimes grueling–I work for Solen Labs, doing software design and research related to artificial intelligence. I’d say on an average day, I spend at least 12 hours in the office. It’s a lot, but I love my job, and I love living in New York and being on my own. As a huge bonus, when I’m at work I get to oogle my cute boss, Garth Solen.

But if anyone asks, no I don’t have a crush on him. Seriously. No way. That would be silly, because Garth is totally out of my league.   

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words come to mind when you think of Garth?

[Melissa Bencher]  Sexy, smart, hot. Shoot, did I really just say that? I meant to say inspiring, intelligent, creative. Because he’s my boss. And there’s NO WAY I have a crush on him. 

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is his most annoying fault?

[Melissa Bencher]  The man has no idea what "small talk" is! I tried to ask him what his favorite movie was once and he looked at me like I was crazy. When we’re in the office, he’s totally focused. And no one sees him out of the office. I mean, no one other than those ice queens he’s been known to date.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the sweetest thing he’s ever done?

[Melissa Bencher]  He remembers every project I’ve ever worked on, and always says thank you. And he always listens to my opinions. I get the feeling he respects me for my brain, and that’s the best feeling in the world.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Is Garth a difficult man to work for?

[Melissa Bencher]  Ha! Do you think a tornado would be hard to work for? Honestly, he’s inspiring. I just wish he would stop wearing those pants that fit his backside like that. Very distracting. 

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is your biggest regret?

[Melissa Bencher]  My EX-boyfriend. But let’s not talk about him. (Loser!!) 

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you could change one thing you’ve done in your life,
what would it be?

[Melissa Bencher]  See above. 

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What’s one thing you won’t leave the house without?

[Melissa Bencher]  Garth. No, ha ha, just kidding. This is real life, so I’d have to say my computer. I’m addicted Minecraft. You’ve probably never heard of it, but it’s big among, um, geeks like me. ;-) 

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Share your dreams for the future in 5 words or less.

[Melissa Bencher]  That’s easy.

Love. Happily ever after.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

You can read all about Melissa and Garth in Inara Scott’s very fun The Boss’s Fake Fiancée.  You can order a copy from your favorite digital bookseller, or by clicking the link below.

About the book:

Is she his worst nightmare…

No relationships, that’s billionaire Garth Solen’s rule—especially not with a woman like his new employee Melissa Bencher, who thinks with her heart and not her head. But all bets are off when Melissa tries to make her jerk ex-boyfriend jealous by suggesting that she’s dating her gorgeous boss. How could she have imagined all the trouble one impulsive act could cause?

…or a dream come true?

To protect his ailing grandmother, Garth is forced to play the part of Melissa’s adoring fiancé. Now they’re trying on rings and posing for the paparazzi. The game is clear: for one month, they play the part of an engaged couple, and then they part ways. No emotions. No entanglements. But when it comes to matters of the heart, Melissa’s never been good at following the rules…

Interview with Barbara DeLeo, Author of Contract for Marriage

Barbara DeLeo stopped by the virtual offices today to chat about her new release, Contract for Marriage.  Check out what she has to say about her new Indulgence romance!

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

[Barbara DeLeo]  A short, blonde Scorpio with four kids, a husband, dog and a thousand stories in her head, who loves long weekend lunches with friends.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Contract for Marriage?

[Barbara DeLeo] Contract for Marriage is about what happens when you have to compromise your own needs for those of someone else. Christo wants to acquire the villa where his mother’s been housekeeper for forty years so she can stay on in the only home she’s known. Ruby wants the same house too—for her unborn baby so it can have links to a family that’s been lost. Both Ruby and Christo must trust each other to get what they want, but first they must revisit a past littered with lies and deception.

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

[Barbara DeLeo] I started with the characters and how they could have come from the same home that meant so much to them. Having Christo as the son of the housekeeper and Ruby the daughter of the estate owner threw up a whole set of “what ifs” when I began thinking about a teenage relationship between them. Creating a believable situation where they were both entitled to an equal share of the house was a challenge, but once I’d done that the whole story came into focus.

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

[Barbara DeLeo] Determined, Creative, Vulnerable

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three activities would Christo never engage in?

[Barbara DeLeo] Flower arranging, Gossip, Giving up

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

[Barbara DeLeo] I did it my way.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Ruby won’t leave the house without.

[Barbara DeLeo] A piece of jewelry that she’s made herself.

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

[Barbara DeLeo] Books and movies. I’ve been a big reader since I was very small and I love the feeling of being lost in a story. When I was very small my dad used to go to the library every Friday night and we’d wake up Saturday morning to a pile of books on each of our beds. I still feel that excitement when I open a book for the first time. I’m also a very big movie fan —not action or adventure or sci-fi, but stories of real people living real lives. Seeing the way other authors, screenwriters and directors tell their stories has a big influence in me finding my own creativity.

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

[Barbara DeLeo] Silence, a tidy space, my super-dooper Scrivener writing program.

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

[Barbara DeLeo] The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.

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

[Barbara DeLeo] The Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton.

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

[Barbara DeLeo] I love walking in the hills behind my house, catching up with my girlfriends over a glass or three of wine, and reading.

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

[Barbara DeLeo] I’m at these places:

Website Facebook Goodreads Twitter

Thanks so much for having me, Manga Maniac Cafe!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

You can order  Contract for Marriage from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the widget below.

Barnes and Noble or  Kobo

Barbara’s Bio

Barbara DeLeo’s first book, co-written with her best friend, was a story about beauty queens in space. She was eleven, and the sole, handwritten copy was lost years ago, much to everyone’s relief. It’s some small miracle that she kept the faith and is now living her dream of writing sparkling contemporary romance with unforgettable characters.

After completing degrees in Psychology and English then travelling the world, Barbara married her winemaker hero and had two sets of twins. She still loves telling stories about finding love in all the wrong places, with not a beauty queen or spaceship in sight.

Interview with Robyn Thomas, Author of His Unexpected Family

I’m excited to have Robyn Thomas, author of His Unexpected Family, visiting the virtual offices this morning! Robyn’s book was recently released by Entangled Publishing, under their Indulgence line.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Good morning, Robyn! Thanks for stopping by!

[Robyn Thomas] Thank you so much for inviting me to stop by for an interview. I’m thrilled to be here.

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

[Robyn Thomas] Wife, mother of two, writer, keen observer, introvert, cake eater, movie watcher, sassy sister, caffeine addict, Melbourne girl.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about His Unexpected Family?

[Robyn Thomas] It’s a story of redemption, acceptance and starting over. My commitment phobic hero, Cole Matthews, feels responsible for the deaths of his brother and his best friend. They perished in an avalanche, and he should have been there with them, filming their expedition. He’s haunted by the thought that his life wasn’t the one worth saving, and he’s searching for a way to make it up to them. He’ll do anything. Almost anything. Discovering that his best friend has a baby daughter changes everything in an instant, but he doesn’t do families, emotions, or relationships.

Ren Jamieson lost her mountaineering husband in an avalanche. Now she has a tiny baby, crippling debts, and a housing crisis… and the only person willing to help her is another extreme sportsman. Her late-husband’s best friend, Cole, is half dream/half nightmare. The line between him and her late husband blurs dangerously, and often. It’d be so easy, and so wrong to fall for him. And regardless of whether she and Cole remain friends or become lovers he WILL let her down. It’s a certainty. She’s already made the mistake of relying on an adventurer, and just look where that got her. However tempting Cole is, she can’t afford another lapse in judgment.

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

[Robyn Thomas] I watched Touching the Void and thought that the filming of it must’ve involved considerable risks. I wondered what sort of person would film an expedition like that, and how they’d differ from the mountaineers they were filming. What if they were a team and had worked together before? What if being delayed for a few days saved the life of the cameraman while both his brother and his best friend perished? I had a flawed hero on my hands, and I knew straight away that his penchant for extreme sports was going to be a problem.

I made Cole wait for his story until Ren “arrived” in my mind, already named, recently widowed and with a newborn daughter. I was surprised to find that her life had been turned inside out by the same tragedy that had ruined Cole’s. It gave the two of them common ground and opposing perspectives and a whole world of guilt to navigate through.

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

[Robyn Thomas] Sexy, tortured, determined.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are three things Ren would never have in her purse?

[Robyn Thomas] Condoms, a flick knife and a hip flask Smile

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

[Robyn Thomas] Fighter – Christina Aguilera, or maybe I will survive – Gloria Gaynor.

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

[Robyn Thomas] Movies, listening to music, people watching, and window shopping. Reading also helps to fill the creative well, but it’s not the main source.

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

[Robyn Thomas] The determination to do it, a computer or pen and paper, and a drink (preferably coffee although water or the occasional wine work just as well.)

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

[Robyn Thomas] It’s difficult to single one out, but I recently re-read Till We Meet Again by Judith Krantz.

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

[Robyn Thomas] The Folk of The Faraway Tree – Enid Blyton. Those books are such a great source of inspiration when you’re at the right age to get swept up in them.

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

[Robyn Thomas] Spend time with my family, go to cafes, cook, watch movies, browse at markets and visit galleries.

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

[Robyn Thomas] I’m online here http://www.robynthomasromance.com/ or follow me on Twitter https://twitter.com/robynsromance and Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6450177.Robyn_Thomas.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

You can purchase His Unexpected Family from your favorite etailer or by clicking the widget below.

 

About Robyn Thomas

Robyn is a cheesecake connoisseur, caffeine addict, and mother of two boys. Happily married, she lives in Melbourne, Australia. Writing romance helps her balance the effects of living in an all-male household. Robyn loves movies, art glass and browsing in quirky gift shops.

Author Website ? Twitter ? Goodreads

About the publisher

Indulgence is an innovative line of category romance novels, priced at $2.99 and sold digitally only. Indulgence features fresh voices and realistic stories that reflect how women live and love in the new millennium. Whether funny, mysterious, dramatic, snarky, sexy, or heartfelt, these stories are active, fast-paced, and dialogue-heavy. Be bold. Be daring. Get out of the box.

For more information, please visit http://EntangledPublishing.com.

Interview with Carmen Falcone, Author of A Vengeful Affair and Giveaway!

Carmen Falcone is the author of A Vengeful Affair, a new offering from Entangled Publishing under their Indulgence imprint.  Carmen dropped by the virtual offices for a chat, and she brought a present! She has a digital copy of A Vengeful Affair for one of you to win!

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

[Carmen Falcone] I’m a new author, translator, wife, mother, dog lover, and an avid reader. I own three pugs, I live in Austin, and I love all things Ryan Gosling. Smile

[Manga Maniac Café] Can you tell us a little about A Vengeful Affair?

[Carmen Falcone] Vivian Foster plots to steal insider information from Spanish tycoon Javier Rivera as revenge for the murder of her best friend, for which she believes he is responsible. But he catches her before she can do so – and vehemently denies any wrongdoing. As they work together to find out what really happened, they also must come to terms with a sizzling attraction to each other, as well as the emotional bond that begins to form between them despite their best efforts to ignore it.

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

[Carmen Falcone] I read lots of category romance growing up – unapologetically so – and I’ve always enjoyed the revenge theme. It’s such a good setup for a wide range of emotions and sexual tension, and it’s just an all-around fun read. But I wanted to give it a twist and have the heroine want revenge – not the other way around.

[Manga Maniac Café] What three words best describe Vivian?

[Carmen Falcone] Resourceful, loyal, goal-oriented.

[Manga Maniac Café] What are three things Javier would never have in his glove box?

[Carmen Falcone] He wouldn’t have any possible information on his coveted merge, or any personal objects like an iPad or anything that could jeopardize his business deal.

[Manga Maniac Café] If Javier had a theme song, what would it be?

[Carmen Falcone] “Turning Tables” by Adele. I’m not sure he’d agree, but that’s it. Smile

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

[Carmen Falcone] I grew up reading Sandra Marton’s short romances, and I simply love them. She has that fast-paced, addictive writing style that I strive for. I like books that give you that endorphin rush and keep you on the edge of your seat.

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

[Carmen Falcone]  I need a cleared desk. No clutter around me. I usually turn my cell phone off and have a bottle of water nearby. I don’t want to have an excuse to dash off when my characters misbehave.

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

[Carmen Falcone] I really enjoyed A Night of Southern Comfort by Robin Covington.

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

[Carmen Falcone] Jacqueline Baird’s revenge-themed books that I read growing up.

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

[Carmen Falcone] I like to spend time with my daughter and hubby, shop, take the dogs to the park, read, watch movies.

[Manga Maniac Café] How can readers[Carmen Falcone] connect with you?

[Carmen Falcone] I love to connect with readers and aspiring writers. My info:

twitter: www.twitter.com/carmenexpress

facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/carmenauthor
Blog: http://carmenfalcone.blogspot.com/
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/7803136-carmen-falcone
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/carmenfalcone/

[Manga Maniac Café]Thank you!

Giveaway Time!

To enter for a chance to win A Vengeful Affair, fill out the widget below.  Extra entries for following.  Open Internationally.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Didn’t win? You can purchase A Vengeful Affair from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the widget below.

Click here to read the first chapter free.

Bio:

Carmen Falcone learned at an early age that fantasizing about fictional characters and places beat doing Math homework any day. She traveled the world, achieved a B.A. in Tourism in her hometown in Brazil and was soon invited to work in the USA, where she met her Swiss husband. She’d always dreamed of becoming a published writer, and after her daughter was born, she revisited that dream of writing – this time, unwilling to give it up. She lives in Austin and enjoys reading, traveling and spending time with her family and three high energy pugs.

Interview with Michele de Winton, Author of The Boss and Her Billionaire and Giveaway!

Michele de Winton is the author of The Boss and Her Billionaire, a recent release from Entangled Publishing under their Indulgence imprint.  Michele stopped by the virtual offices recently for a chat, and she brought a copy of her book for one of you to win!

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

[Michele de Winton] I’d like to think I’m like my characters: with sass, style and smarts. Love yoga, books, food, sun, girlfriends, my boys. Words are my drug.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about The Boss and Her Billionaire?

[Michele de Winton] Life is complicated and it’s too easy to forget our dreams when family, life and work get in the way. This is a book about following your dreams, for both characters. Michaela’s aspirations are focused around getting the dream job, having the perfect career trajectory, but along the way she finds that life without people in it is much harder work than she figured. For Dylan, his dreams of dancing (muscle rippling, sweat inducing, fabulous body making, dancing) have been on hold because of all the people in his life, his family and his brother specifically.

In The Boss and Her Billionaire I wanted to bring two people from completely different worlds together, but in order for them to meet at all, Dylan being a workaholic, I needed him completely outside his comfort zone. I needed to get a man who hadn’t taken a holiday in years to stop a moment, and smell the palm trees. Solution? Cruise ship. It’s set in and around the Pacific Islands so there’s plenty of scope for a ‘holiday affair’ to spark into reality, the difficulty for both characters is negotiating the tensions of real life verses holiday life realities. Both of these characters are strong willed so it takes some good advice and butt kicking to get them to see sense but in the end their dreams win out. Oh and the chemistry is untamed, unstoppable, and wonderfully unprofessional.

I like to ‘cast’ my characters early on so I have a solid picture of them in my mind. So if I was casting the film of the book I think Maggie Gyllenhall would play Michaela, with a blond wig. She’s definitely got enough sass to pull it off, and can play strong and sultry as well as soft and hopeful. And for Dylan, I’d cast Channing Tatum (although he’d have to wear green contact lenses). He’s got a great bod, some real smarts and he really can dance. Defiantly one to sweep ladies of their feet – literally.

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

[Michele de Winton] I was a guest writer on a Cruise ship last year. I know. Dream! I didn’t even know there was such a thing, but I had been doing a reading at an event and the CEO of a cruise ship company happened to be there. She asked if I’d be interested doing something similar. A free cruise? Count me in! Of course I said yes! It meant that my husband and I had a sort of hybrid cruise, having a full guest experience with a lovely stateroom and full access to the onshore tours etc, but also going backstage and into the staff offices and quarters of the ship. The Cruise Director was a man (there really are very few women in that role for some reason) and I never even met the Captain. But watching the dancers interact with guests and being involved with some of the onboard shows sparked something in my mind. I have also been a professional dancer so felt I definitely knew what my characters would be thinking and feeling. They burst almost fully formed onto my pages when I sat down to write them. Dylan takes a little while to see the light, but he’s my kind of hero—smart, generous and loyal. He just needed a bit of time to see that his priorities were off target. Michaela is like so many modern women that I know at the moment. She’s very focused, smart and driven, but is a little immobilised at times by the multitude of options that are available to her. Once she’d made up her mind though there’s no stopping her.

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

[Michele de Winton] Smart. Driven. (and at the beginning of the novel,) Adrift.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are three things Dylan would never have in his luggage?

[Michele de Winton] A guidebook. He always knows where he’s going and has made sure he’s done the research before setting out.

Cigarettes. His brother is a smoker and he hates the way non-smokers wrinkle their noses when the faint waft of smoke enters the room.

A Star Trek pin. Sorry, Trekkie lovers. Dylan isn’t into anything sci-fi.

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

[Michele de Winton] Mr. Scruff’s Get a move on. It’s got a good driving beat, makes you want to tap your toes, and well, get moving. It’s funky, with a little bit of acid jazz and a little bit of old school cool. Dylan would like to think it reflects his personality, in that he likes to be modern without being too commercial, but there is plenty that is old fashioned about him he can’t help playing a note or two of in his day to day life. And the lyrics are typical of Dylan’s need to keep moving, keep working, making sure that everyone he surrounds himself with is alright and not left behind.

The song itself is built around "Bird’s Lament (In Memory of Charlie Parker)" by Moondog and samples Shifty Henry‘s "Hyping Woman Blues" You can listen to it here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MS_CLIF1h-o

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

[Michele de Winton] Everyday occurrences. That sounds a bit lame, but reading newspapers and magazines, shows just what amazing stuff there already is out there in the world. When I’m ‘in the zone’ gahh, sorry that’s sounds so lame, but when I’m in that place where my entire focus is on a project, everything around me becomes writing fodder. Snippets of people’s conversations, strange names from the phonebook, a story about a property developer that threw in his job so he could build a school for some Nepali kids. All gold. The world is an amazing, juicy, rich place. And even when it’s not, I enjoy reading about ordinary people, women with wobbly bits, or too small bits, or too big bits. So I like to write about them too.

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

[Michele de Winton] Redbush tea with milk and honey, quiet, and a deadline! I do write a lot without deadlines, but there is nothing like a looming date on the calendar to focus the mind and the fingers.

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

[Michele de Winton] Her Best Worst Mistake. By Sarah Mayberry.

“The urge to strike out at him was so visceral, so powerful that she could feel her calf muscles tensing in preparation for a really good, solid kick. She had her pointy-toed Louboutin stilettos on. If she landed a good blow, she might even leave a scar.” Nice.

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

[Michele de Winton] I was a voracious reader when I was young and I have very clear memories of devouring books quite quickly. But the first book I really remember is Watership Down. I cried. And I was there with those rabbits. What an adventure for a bunch of furry friends. Not very romantic I’m afraid, but the world building and characterisation was done really well in that book, all important to me as I learn more and more about the craft of writing.

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

[Michele de Winton] I write copy for a bunch of magazines and literary novels as well as romance as Michele de Winton so I do write a lot. And I have a small boy (eleven months) so at the moment I don’t really have much free time that isn’t full of working, washing, feeding or playing. But we do manage to get out for walks, there are plenty of parks and beaches close to us and I love the sound of the ocean. I love to read and reckon it is part of my job so I have a wonderful excuse to curl up with a book as often as I possibly can. And I also love to cook. I’m vegetarian but my husband is a meat eater so I try and make every meal delicious so he forgets he’s missing what he would consider the main ingredient! Happily he loves my cooking.

Other than that, I am part of a children’s writing collective and started making soft toys as prizes for our junior “guest” writers. It’s a hobby that has stuck. All my friend’s kids now have strange monster soft toys to sleep with!

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

[Michele de Winton] I love to hear from readers so do please get in touch!

You can find me on

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/michele.dewinton

Twitter https://twitter.com/MicheledeWinton

Drop me a line or post a comment on my blog through www.micheledewinton.com

I also blog at The Naked Hero as The Luna goddess:

www.thenakedhero.com

And on the Indulgence blog:

http://entangledindulgence.wordpress.com/

[Manga Maniac Café] Thank you!

GIVEAWAY TIME!!

Thanks to Michele and Entangled Publishing, I have a digital copy of The Boss and Her Billionaire to give to one of you! Entering is easy! Just fill out the widget below.  Earn extra entries for following.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Didn’t win? You can order The Boss and Her Billionaire by clicking the widget below.

The Boss and Her Billionaire

Cruise director Michaela Western has everything she wants—everything except a sex life. But there are no secrets on cruise ships. She risked her job once for a dalliance with the Captain, and won’t do it again for a few minutes of toe-curling pleasure. Until a devilishly handsome new staffer with a body made for sin tempts her to walk on the wild side…
Investment billionaire Dylan Johns always gets what he wants. He is used to giving orders—not taking them—until he’s forced to go on hiatus from his investment company. To bide his time and carry out an old dream, he takes a job on a cruise ship—and ends up taking orders from his gorgeous, but uptight, new boss. He is determined to loosen her up with a fun onboard romance, but their no-strings fling turns serious and Dylan is forced to confess his lies.

When the affair threatens to shatter Michaela’s own career dreams, she finds herself caught between the devil and the deep blue sea.

Review: The Oil Tycoon and Her Sexy Sheikh by Ros Clarke

Title: The Oil Tycoon and Her Sexy Sheikh

Author: Ros Clarke

Publisher: Entangled Publishing

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

His duty, her dreams, undone by their desire…

In the male-dominated oil industry, executive Olivia McInnes plays a careful game – she’s cold, uncompromising, and ambitious as hell. Once she seals the deal to drill in the clear waters of Saqat, she’ll finally prove herself worthy to take the reins of her father’s oil company. Her only obstacle is marine biologist – and Saqat’s royal heir – Sheikh Khaled Ibm Saqat al Mayim, who’s determined to protect both his people and his country from environmental devastation…

It’s not long before Olivia’s icy cool exterior is shattered by the intelligent and wickedly hot sheikh, and business is surpassed by sweet, stolen pleasures. But outside the bedroom, there’s reality to be faced. Soon Khaled must return to his obligations – and his betrothed – in Saqat.

Caught between duty and ambition, can an oil tycoon and a sexy sheikh find room for love… or will this business deal spell disaster for them both?

Review:

I wanted to read The Oil Tycoon and Her Sexy Sheikh because I was curious to see how the conflict between the characters would be portrayed.  Olivia is an executive at a successful oil company, and in order to ensure that she will take her father’s place  when he retires, she needs to land the contract to drill for oil in the waters off of Saqat.  Khaled is next in line to rule the country, but he is also a marine biologist.  He has studied the long term effects of oil spills on marine life, and what he has learned is discouraging.  It takes far longer than originally thought for the aquatic ecosystem to recover from the devastating consequences of a spill, and he is reluctant to allow any corporation to set up shop in his coastal waters.  He doesn’t believe that safety precautions go far enough, and he thinks that the cleanup efforts outlined in the contract are also lacking.  But tempering his reluctance to open up Saqat to oil investors is the need to alleviate the poverty of his  people.  The money from oil production would help bring education and improvements in medical care, and it is very difficult for him to turn that down.  I enjoyed this conflict between these two driven people.  Olivia is gung-ho to prove herself to the naysayers at her father’s company, and Khaled wants what’s best for both his country and his people.  This puts them at odds with each other, and it is a heavy weight on Khaled’s shoulders.  Does he allow these foreigners into the pristine waters, when there is a potential that they will bring ruin to the fragile ecosystem?

While I found the business negotiations interesting, I was not convinced about the romantic conflict between Khaled and Olivia.  They are instantly attracted to each other, but because Khaled is next in line to inherit the throne, he tries to put the brakes on their budding relationship.  It just can’t work out for them, because he has a duty to his people.  Their relationship can’t go anywhere, because he is expected to marry a quiet, respectable Muslim girl from Saqat, and Olivia just doesn’t fit into the mold he has imagined his future wife must fit  into.  I didn’t buy into this conflict because the only person who had a problem with them being a couple was Khaled.  Once Olivia arrived in his country, almost everyone was open and friendly with her.  Everyone seemed to accept her.  There was no opposition to her being in the palace, other than the opposition that Khaled brought into their relationship, so I didn’t feel that there was a sense of tension or suspense about their romance.  I was a little dismayed that it took Khaled so long to question his own concerns, because he is certainly smarter than that, and as a scientist, it should have been in his nature to re-evaluate his conclusions.

Despite that complaint,  I found The Oil Tycoon and Her Sexy Sheikh a quick, satisfying read.  I gobbled this one up, was annoyed by Olivia’s distant, clueless father, and cheered her on as she sought to find a purpose in life beyond the one she had envisioned for herself.  Olivia, like Khaled, put pressure on herself to be something that she thought other people expected of her.  She wanted to succeed in her father’s business so much because she sought his approval, something that she never felt he had given to her.  Until she meet Khaled and traveled to Saqat, she never questioned her life goals.  Once she met him, though, she was forced to admit that maybe the career path she was pursuing wasn’t really the one she wanted.  The final resolution ties up all of the loose ends, and finds happiness and a new purpose for both protagonists and the citizens of Saqat.

Grade: B-/C+

Review copy provided by publisher

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Interview with Ros Clarke, Author of The Oil Tycoon and her Sexy Sheikh and Giveaway!

Ros Clarke is visiting the Café today to chat about her new release, The Oil Tycoon and Her Sexy Sheikh.  After the interview, Ros brought along a digital copy of her book for one of you to win! 

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Hi, Ros! Thanks for dropping in!

[Ros Clarke] Hello and thanks for welcoming me to the Manga Maniac Cafe today!

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

[Ros Clarke] Fun, fat, fabulous, happy, British, clever, silly, creative, colourful, addicted to adverbs, chocolate, romance novels and daytime TV.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about The Oil Tycoon and Her Sexy Sheikh?

[Ros Clarke] It’s a traditional category romance, with truly twenty-first century characters. The Oil Tycoon is Olivia McInnes, a fiercely determined career woman who intends to take over the running of her father’s oil company. And Her Sexy Sheikh is Khaled Saqat, a marine biologist and expert on the long-term effects of oil spills. The problem is that there is oil in Saqat waters and Olivia wants the contract to drill. Khaled can’t think of anything worse – but his country needs the money, so he has to find a way to negotiate with Olivia to come up with a solution that works for them both. Their romance is just as complicated to negotiate as their business partnership but of course there is a happy ever after – eventually!

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

[Ros Clarke] I love a good sheikh story, but most of them seem to bear absolutely no resemblance to the real world of the Middle East. I wanted to try to write something a bit more realistic. Oil was the obvious place to start. And if you’ve got oil, then you’ve got environmentalists protesting about it. The lightbulb moment for me was when I realised that the sheikh could be the environmentalist which let the heroine be the oil executive. Everything else followed from there.

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

[Ros Clarke] Ambitious, independent, lonely

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are three things Khaled would never have in his bedroom?

[Ros Clarke] A hot water bottle, a cute picture of a baby dugong, a cat. Actually, I don’t know about the cat, but I wouldn’t have one, so I am projecting.

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

[Ros Clarke] Whale Song, Pearl Jam

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

[Ros Clarke] I suppose it’s the authors I’ve read most: Dorothy L Sayers, Dick Francis, Georgette Heyer. They all wrote genre fiction but they all wrote intelligent, interesting books with believable characters and realistic settings. They are books you can fall into and inhabit. I don’t think my writing is anywhere like as good, but that’s what I’m aiming for.

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

[Ros Clarke] Time, lack of stress, laptop

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

[Ros Clarke] Kate Hewitt’s The Darkest of Secrets. I loved the way she explored the taboo subject of adultery in romance and I really loved the way she made the hero work for his happy ending. I don’t want to say any more because it will spoil the story, but if you haven’t already, go read it!

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

[Ros Clarke  ]Peter and Jane. I honestly can’t remember a time when I haven’t loved reading. Anything and everything. One of my earliest memories is watching my mother attempt to teach my brother (a year older than me) to read. He wasn’t interested at all, but I was fascinated and sped through the beginning-to-read Ladybird books. From then on, one of my dad’s party tricks was to pick a book at random off the shelf and get me to read it aloud, to the amazement of everyone else. As a kid, I read everything I could get my hands on. As a teenager, I read a lot of detective fiction. And as an adult, I’ve grown to appreciate romance more and more.

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

[Ros Clarke] Oh, everything! I do lots of crafty things – knitting, sewing, colouring, cooking, gardening. I also have a job working for my church. Oh, and I am supposed to be finishing my PhD dissertation…

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

[Ros Clarke] I’m on twitter, at Goodreads, and at my own blog. Come and say hi!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

Giveaway Time!!

Thanks to Ros and Entangled Publishing, I have a digital copy of The Oil Tycoon and Her Sexy Sheikh to give to one of you! Just fill out the widget below for your chance to win.  Extra entries for following.

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Didn’t win? You can purchase The Oil Tycoon and Her Sexy Sheikh from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the widget below:

About the book

The Oil Tycoon and Her Sexy Sheikh is part of Entangled’s Indugence line of contemporary category romances.

His duty, her dreams, undone by their desire…

In the male-dominated oil industry, executive Olivia McInnes plays a careful game – she’s cold, uncompromising, and ambitious as hell. Once she seals the deal to drill in the clear waters of Saqat, she’ll finally prove herself worthy to take the reins of her father’s oil company. Her only obstacle is marine biologist – and Saqat’s royal heir – Sheikh Khaled Ibm Saqat , who’s determined to protect both his people and his country from environmental devastation…

It’s not long before Olivia’s icy cool exterior is shattered by the intelligent and wickedly hot sheikh, and business is surpassed by sweet, stolen pleasures. But outside the bedroom, there’s reality to be faced. Soon Khaled must return to his obligations – and his betrothed – in Saqat.

Caught between duty and ambition, can an oil tycoon and a sexy sheikh find room for love…or will this business deal spell disaster for them both?

More details and an excerpt are available here.

About Ros

Ros is a writer, a student, a church worker, a crafter, a blogger, a twitterer, a lazy gardener, and an appalling housekeeper. She lives in a sixteenth century shed in England and is very glad that it has twenty-first century plumbing. She is interested in almost everything except cricket and football (US and UK) and mostly she likes happy endings in fiction and in real life.

Ros has been writing stories for as long as she can remember, never dreaming that other people would be interested in reading them. A few years ago, she discovered a writing forum on the internet, and has never looked back. Her head—and her hard drive—are full of ideas for fresh, fun, contemporary romances that she hopes you’ll love as much as she does.

Review: Rodeo Rebel by Debra Kayn

 

 

Title: Rodeo Rebel

Author:  Debra Kayn

Publisher:  Entangled Publishing

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

When widower and land baron Cole Reardon acquired the Turner Grain Corporation, he didn’t know the company sponsored a bull rider. He refuses to support thrill-seekers dumb enough to get on the back of a crazed animal. He’s not willing to risk his fortune and livelihood when he has his daughter’s well-being to consider. Not even when the bull rider is the sexiest woman he’s ever seen.

Bull rider Florentine McDougal plans to turn pro after the season championship, fulfilling her lifelong dream of succeeding in a man’s world. That is, until Cole Reardon shows up and threatens to break his sponsorship contract with her. Now everything she’s worked for is less than eight seconds away from being destroyed.

Cole distracts Florentine with his sexy mouth and unreasonable demands, and he’s not going to compromise his integrity. But she’s not going to let him loose until she has pro status. And neither will come away from this dust-up unscathed.

Review:

This was a fun read because of the role reversals.  Cole, a widower, has withdrawn from risk after his wife dies in a tragic accident.  He doesn’t condone dangerous behavior in any form, and he shelters his young daughter from all possible harm.  When he purchases Turner Grain Corporation, he is appalled to discover that he is now the unhappy sponsor of a bull rider.  A female bull rider at that!  Determined to buy out her contract, Cole and Florentine shoot sparks from their very first encounter.  He doesn’t want to send a message to Sarah, his daughter, that he supports stupid, dangerous behavior.  Little does he know that he’s met his match in Florentine.

Florentine is just as determined to make it in the male world of bull riding.  She wants to make it to the top, so she can mentor disadvantaged girls, proving to them that anything is possible with the right attitude.  When handsome Cole shows up demanding that she release him from her contract, she gets a major bug up her butt.   Cole grated on both my nerves and Florentine’s with his unwillingness to see her side of things.  While I don’t think that trying to ride a large, pissed off beast is very intelligent, I had to at least give her props for sticking to her guns and going after what she wanted.  I would have been more comfortable with her career choice had she donned proper safety gear, you know, a helmet  and a face mask, but then she probably wouldn’t have suffered from a concussion, which set up their courtship at Florentine’s family’s ranch.

While I would have liked more time on the rodeo circuit, I did enjoy meeting the McDougal clan.  Florentine comes from a large family, and they exert a great deal of influence over their small town.  Florentine developed her desire to help others while growing up on the large cattle ranch and watching her father give generously of his time and money.  I liked this.  Everyone was nice; there are no douchebags in Rodeo Rebel, no real bad guys to get ticked off at.  Instead, you have a family that cares for each other, and an emotionally remote, seriously uptight dude who doesn’t know what’s just hit him.  Cole is extremely slow on the uptake, and that frustrated me about him.  He is so afraid of taking chances that he is willing walk away from Florentine and the chemistry zinging between them.

This is a quick, fun read.  I loved Florentine’s drive and her ability to embrace risk – both emotional and physical. Cole needed a kick in the pants to re-engage with life, and Florentine gave it to him.  While I have some concerns that he will remain a fuddy duddy,  I am confident that Florentine will quickly set him straight again.

Grade:  B/B-

Review copy provided by publisher

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