Today it is my pleasure to welcome New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lori Foster to HJ!
Hi Lori Welcome back to HJ! Thanks for celebrating release day of GETTING ROWDY with us!
What would you say are the defining characteristic of your Novels?
Hmmm… Well, I’d say honorable, caring, intelligent Alpha heroes are #1. It disturbs me that so many equate Alpha with jerk. That’s so not true. Alpha just means leader of the pack – the guy who step up and put it on the line to help others, to take charge of a situation, to make the right decision to protect others even if it puts his life in danger.
Also, I like to think that I write smart heroines who aren’t door mats.
And I strongly believe that any good, lasting relationships has to include really awesome sex. So that’s always in there too.
Please summarize your latest release Getting Rowdy for the readers here ….
Readers first met Rowdy in “Run the Risk,” his sister’s story. Now he finally has his own book, and it’s my absolute favorite ever. I hope readers enjoy it as much as I do.
Rowdy grew up on the streets and has spent his life protecting his sister. For him, sex is just relief from the reality of life. Until he meets Avery, and she changes his outlook on everything.
They’re both very strong personalities, but while Avery is fleeing danger, Rowdy is in the habit of openly embracing it. I think this is one of my sexiest stories ever – because Rowdy is one of my most carnal heroes.
Please introduce your characters Rowdy Yates & Avery Mullins:
Now that Rowdy Yate’s sister has married a cop and settled down, Rowdy, who is never far from her side, decides to stick close, which requires him to settle down some too. He buys a bar in the same area where his sister lives – and where Avery Mullins works. Unused to real lasting relationships, Rowdy is still coming to grips with his new, more domestic life complete with family and friends, when he starts to fall for the very stubborn, smart, and determined Avery.
Avery, too, has made a new life for herself and it doesn’t include involvement with an overly sexual man like Rowdy. Despite his rough upbringing, she trusts him – just not with her heart. The very last thing she wants is for Rowdy to again be put in the line of danger because of her. But now that Rowdy realizes a problem from her past has come back to haunt her, he’s not about to leave her unprotected.
How would you describe your Characters in one sentence?
Rowdy is street smart, hard, coarse and capable, with a core of honor and loyalty.
Avery is determined, intelligent, motivated, fair, and a good judge of character.
What do you like best about your characters? Least? Admire most/ Least?
I like that no matter how harsh his life has been, Rowdy has retained his sense of honor and loyalty to his sister. It’s admirable that, although he can be lethal, it is never unfairly. What I like least about Rowdy is his enjoyment of violence, the fact that he often turns to violence to relieve tension. Not that he ever hurts anyone innocent, but if there’s a fight brewing, he’s happy to be in the middle of it.
I love it that Avery wasn’t afraid to give up her comfortable lifestyle in order to prove herself when necessary. I especially admire it that she could see through Rowdy’s dark exterior to the golden hero underneath – and the fact that, even though he’s more than capable, she doesn’t want him putting himself at risk for her. I also admired her backbone. It wouldn’t be easy to stand toe to toe with a man like Rowdy, but she did!
What do your characters do for a living?
Rowdy bought a bar and turned it around from a real dive to a thriving and popular hang out. Avery was a waitress but Rowdy promoted her to the bartender because she’s hardworking and great with people.
Are your characters ruled by emotion or logic or some combination thereof?
A combination, I’m sure! Rowdy is a very savvy, smart guy, but Avery repeatedly throws him for a loop and more than once he reacts emotionally instead of thinking things through.
Avery is more emotional, but she’s definitely smart too, and she’s able to reason out most of Rowdy’s reactions so that she can truly understand him.
Was it love at first sight for your character? If not what was the pivotal moment of change?
I think for Rowdy it was “something” at first sight, he just didn’t know how to label it. He wanted her, couldn’t have her, but didn’t walk away. He went against his own usual reactions by hanging around, trying again and again, and even buying the bar where she worked.
For Avery, she was flattered of course, and intrigued, but too prudent to complicate her life with a player like Rowdy – until she got to know him better. Then she had the smarts to know that being with Rowdy could be a highlight of her life, and she didn’t want to miss out.
What are your characters most proud of about their life?
Rowdy is very proud of his sister, Pepper. They’re as close as two siblings can be.
Avery is proud that she was able to leave her old safe, secure life behind and make it on her own.
How do your characters feel about life right now? What, if anything, would they like to change?
Rowdy is uncertain, and that’s a very alien feeling for him since he tends to see things in black and white. He wants Avery, but for how long? And could she ever be happy with him long term?
Avery knows that she’s in love, but Rowdy has had such a difficult life that she doesn’t want to complicate it further with her own baggage.
It takes them each a while to realize that if they’re together, everything else will work itself out. But they’re both smart, so eventually they get there. 🙂
Thank you for stopping by HJ!
GIVEAWAY: Winner’s choice of 3 available titles + a T-shirt + bookmark + magnet and door hangar.
To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form below and post a comment to this Q: If you had to pick an actor to play Rowdy, who would you choose? Why? If he could be serious enough, I could see Ryan Reynolds in the role, especially if he buffed up again like he did for the Blade Trinity movie!
Inhaling in a bid to regain control, Avery said more calmly, “What you do in your own time is your own business.”
“That was my own time – time I wanted to spend with you, but you weren’t interested.”
Dropping the uniform shirts, Avery propped her hands on her hips. “That’s your excuse?”
He eased closer. “Sorry honey, but I don’t need an excuse.” Oh so gently, he smoothed back a curl that had escaped her ponytail. “I’m a grown man, it’s my bar, and I wasn’t expecting anyone to show up so early, especially not you.”
“Perfect!” She snatched up the shirts again, anxious to be on her way. “I guess that’s settled then.”
Rowdy caught her arm. “Hold up.” She started to jerk free, until he said, “Come on, Avery, give me a chance to explain.”
It wasn’t the smartest move, because every second with him chipped away at her resistance, but she paused anyway.
“All right, let’s hear it.” This ought to be good.
But then again, maybe not.
* * *
To give himself a moment to think, Rowdy took the garments from Avery and tossed them back on the breakroom table. With her looking so mulish – and so damned cute – he would prefer backing her up to the wall and following his instincts instead of talking.
But he could just imagine how she’d react to that.
Rubbing a hand over the back of his neck, he tried to figure out what to say, and how to say it.
Overflowing with belligerence, Avery crossed her arms. “Any day now.”
“Give me a second, will you?” He propped a hip on the tabletop and scrutinized her. “You might not know this, but I’ve never explained myself to a woman before. That is, a woman other than my sister. But even with Pepper, it was generalizations. Never anything detailed about when, where, or who I had sex with.”
Avery bristled. “You don’t have to explain to me either.”
“I think I do, but it’s complicated by the fact that you work for me.”
When he said no more, she lifted her chin. “How so?”
Rowdy had never had a problem with plain speaking. He saw no reason to start complicating things now. “I have a major jones for you, Avery. You know that.”
Her jaw loosened. “Oh my God. You are so –”
“But as your employer,” he interrupted, “I could cross a line here if I’m not careful.”
She choked. “Seriously, Rowdy? This is you being careful?”
To hell with it. Brushing his knuckles over her cheek, down her throat, he said, “I want you. All the fucking time.” Even when I’m with other women. He opened his hand on her shoulder, urged her closer. “And it’s not going away any time soon.”
She softened the tiniest bit, but still said, “Looked to me like it went away just fine this morning.”
Seeing the hurt she tried to hide with sarcasm, he shook his head. “No honey, not even close.”
Her mouth tightened. “So your date was just –”
“You’re confusing things now. I don’t date. What you saw was sex, plain and simple.”
“Oh my God.” She pressed her hands to his chest, but not with any real conviction at pushing him away. “I don’t want to hear this.”
“She knew what it was.” Rowdy easily held on to her. “I didn’t sugarcoat things, and she agreed one-hundred percent.”
Anger darkened her blue eyes and lowered her voice to a rasp. “I can’t imagine why you’re telling me this.”
Because what you think of me matters. Rowdy slid his hand to the back of her neck, keeping her near. “I get the feeling you saw me with her and you took it personally.”
“Your ego is showing.”
Knowing he’d hit a nerve, Rowdy dipped his head, brushed his nose over her hair. “You think it was a rejection or something.” He inhaled her scent, and tightened all over. God Almighty, the way she stirred him…
“Honestly,” Avery whispered, “I don’t know what to think.”
“Think about saying yes instead of no.”
She drew back a small fist and punched his ribs.
Grinning, Rowdy hugged her. After the long day at work, it felt better than good to hold her. “I shouldn’t tease?”
“Okay.” He kissed her temple and leaned her back so he could see her face. “Seriously then, I’m sorry if it hurt you in any way. Never my intent, believe me.”
She looked up at him, her blue eyes big and soft, her hands now curled into his shirt – holding on to him. “Then why did you do it?”
At least she wasn’t storming off, Rowdy told himself. She sounded far more reasonable than he could have hoped for. “I didn’t want her in my new place, and she didn’t have any privacy in hers.”
Eyes flaring, Avery finally shoved him away. “Ass!”
To be on the safe side, Rowdy moved to lean in the doorway, but she didn’t try to leave.
She only went to the other side of the table – out of his reach. “That’s not what I meant. Yes I’m surprised you’d do such a thing here at work. But I was asking…” She shook her head. “Never mind.”
No, he wouldn’t let her do that. “Why was I with her in the first place?”
After a long hesitation, she gave one sharp nod.
He didn’t want to detail the extent of his own failings, but he also didn’t want to end the night with her pissed off. He considered making up a believable story, but he knew he wouldn’t lie to her.
What he saw in her beautiful eyes touched him.
She wanted him to have a good excuse because she wanted a reason to give in to him.
To chase off his personal demons he’d spent the night in a sexual marathon. He should have been well spent, and he had been.
But now, with her so close, being alone with her, seeing that particular look in her eyes, he instead felt like he’d spent a month being celibate.
He’d tell her the basics and it’d have to be enough. “Women have usually come easy to me.”
“There’s a newsflash.”
From the day they’d met, before he’d bought the bar, Avery had seen him picking up women. Not something he was proud of, but not really anything he’d try to hide either. He was a grown man and he more than enjoyed sex.
Determined to stay on track, Rowdy ignored the jibe. “When I get turned down, it doesn’t matter.”
“Why would it?” Like an accusation, she said, “There’s always another woman waiting.”
He shrugged, accepting the inaccurate claim. “That’s not the point.” Once again, he moved toward her. He couldn’t seem to help himself. From day one, Avery had drawn him, not just physically but in other, more disturbing ways – ways he didn’t want to analyze too closely. “I’ll try to explain if you let me.”
She crossed her arms. “I’m all ears.”
No, she was all backbone and pride and, even when trying to conceal it, hot sensuality. “When I get turned down, and believe me, I do, it doesn’t matter because I don’t care enough for it to matter.”
She half turned away. “Guess I should remember that, huh?”
Rowdy brought her back around, and though it unnerved him, he admitted the truth. “With you, it matters.”
She searched his face, but wasn’t convinced. “That’d be easier to believe if I hadn’t busted you just this morning.”
He had to get her past that. “I needed a distraction, that’s all.”
Dubious, she asked, “Sex?”
“Best distraction I’ve ever found.”