It’s release day!
Cameron Bennett and Simone Brooks’ story is now available. I’m excited for a couple of reasons. First, I worked on this trilogy with my good friends, Candace Shaw and Sharon C. Cooper. Each of us has written a novella about the three siblings, two men and one woman–Cameron, Harper, and Mason. For the next few days, each book is only $1.99 before going to the regular price of $2.99.
The idea for the A Passionate Love storyline came about after conversations with two of my friends–one female, one male.My girlfriend is going through a divorce. Why? She believes it’s because she earns significantly more money than her husband, and her job and higher salary have always been a bone of contention between them. I wish I could write a happy ending for them.
My male friend has had to swallow his pride and accept that since his wife earned her masters, her salary is now double that of his. Talking to him gave me a good feel for the male perspective in this type of situation which, nowadays, is happening more frequently.
Because of both those conversations, I decided that one of the conflicts in the story would center around the fact that Simone Brooks is much wealthier than Cameron Bennett.
I’m not a plotter. I free write my stories, so details about the characters are revealed to me during the process of writing. Cameron revealed himself as a 33-year-old “old soul.” At least, that’s the way Simone described him. He has a huge vinyl record collection and is conservative when it comes to spending money.
Then there’s Simone, 30 years old and the complete opposite. She comes from a wealthy family. She’s a cousin to the Johnsons of Seattle. They don’t make an appearance, but those of you familiar with the series will recognize some of the references.
As you can well imagine, Simone is used to the finer things in life and has no trouble spending a lot of money. Either on herself or on her man. Cameron makes an excellent living as a nightclub owner, but his income pales in comparison to the wealth Simone is accustomed to. Toss in a meddling mother, and you have a recipe for disaster.
But this is a romance, so of course there’s a happy ending. The relationship is a little rocky at first, but I hope you’ll be rooting for this couple. I think they’re great together, and hope you do, too.
Simone Brooks and Cameron Bennett should not be together. She’s a wealthy socialite looking for a suitable husband. A man with the right pedigree and an economic status that matches her own. He’s part owner of the hottest nightclub in Atlanta with his siblings. Someone who loves cooking, the outdoors, and women, not necessarily in that order.
After one night together, their sizzling chemistry makes it difficult to stay away. Then comes the hard part—navigating their differences to salvage a relationship that, while it may be imperfect, overflows with love and passion.
She didn’t really have to use the bathroom. She just wanted to get away from the loud music and laughter for a few minutes.
It was darker inside the club, and with the dance floor a couple of floors below, the music was not as loud. Only the distant beat of a hip hop song could be heard as blue, purple, and red strobe lights flashed across the ceiling.
A wave of dizziness hit and Simone placed a steadying hand to the wall. Groaning inwardly, she reluctantly admitted her sister was right. She shouldn’t have been drinking on an empty stomach. Maybe she should find the bathroom. Moving along the carpeted hall with slow, careful steps, she dragged her hand along the wall, eyes searching for the restroom sign.
Up ahead a man stood near one of the pillars, wearing a dark brown suit, forearms on the balustrade, head bouncing to the music as he surveyed the action below.
She couldn’t see his face. Craning her neck to get a better look in the dimly lit interior, she only saw the back of his closely shorn head and the height and shape of his body. He was a big guy, with a wide neck and broad shoulders.
Inexplicably, her heart began to race. She blinked a few times and quietly circled behind him.
Now she could see his profile, and had a good look at a strong jaw. Her heartbeat quadrupled, pounding so fast she placed a restraining hand against her chest. What the heck was wrong with her?
She continued to move, silently cursing when she staggered. She shook her head briskly to clear the dizziness, but doing so only worsened the disorienting feeling and she flailed her hands to regain balance.
The movement caught the stranger’s eye, and he turned suddenly. Simone managed to face him, legs spread apart to keep her balance. She placed a hand to her queasy stomach.
He left the railing and came toward her, his face furrowed in concern. “Ma’am, are you okay?”
“I…” She couldn’t even talk, and he remained silent, giving her ample opportunity to fully examine him.
He looked like an African god dropped into modern society, wearing a chocolate suit and matching tie. Even under the conservative attire, she could tell he had a firm body. All man, he was easily six foot three. He had a dark brown complexion, as if he’d been dipped in maple syrup, a beautifully broad nose, and lips so thick and luscious-looking they were downright indecent.
Dark brown eyes scoured her frame, dragging down the length of her body with the same intense inspection she gave him. His right eyebrow lifted a fraction higher over his eyes, and her nerve endings heightened at the attention, the hairs on her arms standing on end.
“Ma’am, are you okay?”
The sound of his voice again—deep and decadent as the finest chocolate—made her insides tremble.
Opening her mouth to speak, Simone flayed her hands in a flustered, inane movement that affirmed how rattled she was by him. Finally, she regained control of her limbs and pointed up. “I-I’m at the rooftop party.”
He nodded his understanding. “Oh, you’re a guest at the divorce party?”
“I’m throwing the party for one of my friends.”
“Oh.” He came forward, his smile friendly, its brilliance rivaling the colorful strobe lights that crisscrossed the ceiling. “I’m one of the owners of Club Masquerade. I hope you’ve been enjoying yourself.”
Simone wanted to say what a good time they were having, and how pleased she was with the service they’d received so far. She opened her mouth to speak those very words, but they didn’t come.
The building nausea chose that very moment to make its presence known in a horribly embarrassing way. Instead of words issuing from her mouth, the liquid contents of her stomach bubbled up and spewed from her lips—all over his black shoes.
Print copies go on sale September 23, 2016.
I have a couple of giveaways for you. Goodreads members, visit the giveaways page and enter for a chance to win an autographed copy of the book. It’s open to U.S. and Canada entrants.
You also have a chance to win by entering a scavenger hunt I and my co-authors have set up. Open to U.S. entrants only.
PRIZE 1: One entrant will win
– $75 in gift cards
– an autographed copy of For the Love of You by Candace Shaw, book 1 of the Precious Moments series
– an autographed copy of Blue Roses by Sharon C. Cooper, book 1 of the Reunited series
– an autographed copy of Unforgettable by Delaney Diamond, book 1 of the Johnson Family series
PRIZE 2: The authors will each select one winner from the scavenger hunt participants to receive an autographed copy of one of their books.
HOW TO ENTER: Click the link and follow the instructions on the form.
DEADLINE TO ENTER: 11:59 pm EST on September 24, 2016.
ELIGIBILITY: Open to U.S. entrants only. Winners will be contacted via email.
For those of you who like to see the visuals, visit the Pinterest page for the novel to see the images that helped me write the story.