Hi Sarah and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, His Son, Her Secret!
Howdy, everyone! As usual, it’s great to be back!
Please summarize the book a la Twitter style for the readers here:
Please share the opening lines of this book:
“This place is a dump,” Byron Beaumont announced. His words echoed off the stone walls, making the submerged space sound haunted.
“Don’t see it as it is,” his older brother Matthew said through the speaker in Byron’s phone. It was much easier for Matthew to call this one in, rather than make the long journey to Denver from California, where he was happily living in sin. “See it as what it will be.”
Please share a few Fun facts about this book…
- Byron is the older of twins. His sister, Frances, was born 8 minutes after him. That’s suspiciously like my sisters, who are also twins born 8 minutes apart! (Incidentally, because twins usually don’t like to be too far apart, Frances’ story, Falling For Her Fake Fiancee, will be out next month!)
- Byron is a chef–but I’m not a cook, so I had to ask my husband for details on how to make applesauce for babies, something he’d done but I hadn’t. Basically, you can just assume that if any character in any of my books knows anything about food or wine or beer, that information came straight from my husband. I married him for his looks but he’s a font of knowledge! 🙂
- And the restaurant that Leona designs is loosely based on our visit to a place called The Fort, which is on the far south side of Denver. We were there for a wedding almost 10 years ago, so I don’t remember much about it, but the wagon that Leona suggests putting outside the restaurant for children to play on came directly from taking my screaming 16 month old child outside so at least one of us could enjoy a fancy dinner and letting him crawl around on the wagon!
What first attracts your Hero to the Heroine and vice versa?
When the story starts, they already knew each other. They’d met when Leona had gotten a job as a hostess at the restaurant where Byron worked. Byron liked Leona because she was quiet and didn’t seem to care that he was a Beaumont–but Leona knew exactly who he was–the son of her father’s nemesis. She resisted the relationship because she’d been raised on all these horror stories about how evil the Beaumonts were–but Byron was nothing like that. However, she didn’t tell him she was a Harper. The relationship blew up when her father showed up and Byron went to Europe for a year to try and get over Leona. It didn’t work and now that he’s back, he’s still trying to put her from his mind. Leona has missed him so much and she desperately wants Byron to know he’s got a son–but he doesn’t act like the man she remembers loving, so she keeps her mouth closed…for now.
Using just 5 words, how would you describe Hero and Heroine’s love affair?
Hot, steamy, confused, suspicious, revealing! How’s that for a description?
The First Kiss…
She leaned her head against his shoulder as they walked. If only things had been different. If only…
She jerked to a stop less than five feet from her car. And the telltale car seat in the back.
“What?” Byron asked.
“I just…” She fumbled around for something to say and came up with nothing.
So she did the only thing she could think of to distract him.
She kissed him.
It wasn’t supposed to be sexual, not for her. It was supposed to distract him while it bought her enough time to think of a better exit strategy.
But the feeling of Byron against her drove all rational thought from her mind. She melted into him. His hands settled on her waist and, as the kiss deepened, the pads of his fingertips began to dig into her hips. He pulled her into him. Her bag dropped to the ground as she looped her arms around his neck and held him tight.
She hadn’t allowed herself to think about this, about how he used to make her feel. She’d made herself focus on how much she hated him, hated how he’d abandoned her—she hadn’t allowed herself to remember the good parts.
Heat flooded her body and pooled low in her stomach as she opened her mouth for him. She wanted this, wanted him. She couldn’t help it. She’d never been able to stay away from him. Some things never changed.
Without revealing too much, what is your favorite scene in the book?
I like this scene, where they’re fooling around on her patio. They’re trying to keep themselves under control because neither is sure they can trust the other–but they can’t help themselves!
Something about the way he was rubbing her back shifted and instead of just stroking her, he was pushing her toward him. It wasn’t as if there was a lot of distance between them to begin with—she was sitting on his lap—but every millimeter closer to his lips felt more intimate—more sexual—than it had before.
She knew she was going to kiss him. She knew she wanted him to kiss her back—wanted all the things that she hadn’t allowed herself to dream of for the past year.
She wanted him. She always had. Even when he’d first asked her out and she knew exactly who he was and knew exactly why she should steer clear of him—she’d wanted him then.
There was only one problem.
“We can’t,” she breathed. “Percy—May…”
“Shh,” he said in a gentle voice. His hand slid over the outside of her thigh and down the inside. “Let me take care of you.”
His fingers dipped down, rubbing against the seam of her yoga pants until she jolted in his arms. “Byron…”
His other arm circled her waist even tighter, pinning her to him. A single finger moved down farther, testing and pressing lightly until she gasped when he hit just the right spot.
“Shh,” he said again, rubbing small circles over that spot. “You have to be quiet, babe. Let me do this for you.”
She tucked her lower lip under her teeth and nodded. With a wicked grin, Byron pressed harder.
Leona tried not to make a sound, but Byron used his chin to tilt her head back and then he was kissing his way down her cheek, her neck—right to that place below her ear that had always made her shiver with need, even before she’d been able to name what that need was.
She must have made a noise because the hand around her waist squeezed tighter and the hand between her legs stopped moving and Byron whispered against her skin, “Are you being quiet?”
She bit down even harder on her lip and nodded.
“If you can’t be quiet,” he went on, his words little louder than a breath, “I’ll have to stop. Do you want me to stop?”
Before she could shake her head no, he scraped his teeth over that place. She managed to keep the moan locked down in the back of her throat, but there was no stopping the way her body shook for him.
She clutched at his forearm, the one that was moving against her. The muscles in his arms, thick and corded, moved under her hands. He’d always been so strong, moving with a coiled grace both in the kitchen and out of it. Whether he was handling his knives or handling her, he knew exactly what he was doing.
If your book was optioned for a movie, what scene would be absolutely crucial to include?
The scene where Leona stands up to her father–an abusive, manipulative man–is crucial. She and Byron can’t find their happily-ever-after with her father still hanging around.
She clung to the door for support. It was tempting to slam it in their faces and throw the bolt, but damn it all, she couldn’t overcome years of subservience to this man.
“Father,” she said, her voice a shaky whisper.
“My dear,” he replied in his most acid tone. She was not now, nor had she probably ever been, his dear and they both knew it. “I must say, I’m disappointed in you.”
What else was new? She’d always been a disappointment to him. Her name said it all. If she’d been Leon Harper, Jr., things would have been different. But no. She was Leona. A disappointment with an a.
“I gave you a chance,” her father went on, mocking condescension in his voice. “Your mother convinced me that I should let you move out—as long as you didn’t cause any more trouble than you already had.”
Oh, God—she could not believe this. This was not happening. He was still talking at her—not to her—as if she were a messy girl of six again.
No. She couldn’t stand here and take whatever he felt like dishing out. Things had changed. She was a mother, soon to be twice over. She owed it to her son, to Byron—and to herself—to be well and truly free of the blight that was Leon Harper.
“As I recall, Father, you didn’t ‘let’ me do anything. I left without your permission.”
Anger flared in the old man’s eyes—dangerous anger, as she knew from too many years of experience. But she wasn’t afraid of him, not anymore. Not much, anyway. So to make herself feel brave, she added, “And I’d do it all over again. What do you want?”
Any pretense of happiness at seeing her vanished off her father’s face. He’d never been good at pretending he cared, anyway.
“I must admit,” her father said in a calm, level voice that only amplified his rage, “that I was surprised when he called me.”
Her father shrugged in what, on any other human on the planet, would have been an innocent gesture. “He made his intentions clear—he’d won and I had lost. He said he was going to take the child and that—and I’m quoting here—‘No Harper would ever see it again.’”
“You’re lying,” she gasped. So what if Byron had said almost that exact thing last night? She couldn’t believe that he’d call her father. “You always lie.”
“You can, of course, believe what you want. You always did. You’re the one who convinced yourself that he could love you—that any Beaumont was capable of love—when we both know that’s not really possible, is it?” He managed a pitying smile.
Readers should read this book …
If you enjoy reunion romances with lots of angst, cute little babies and a man who cooks AND does the dishes, this book is for you!
What are you currently working on? What other releases do you have planned for 2015?
After His Son, Her Secret, I only have 1 more release scheduled for 2015–Frances, Byron’s twin sister, in Falling For Her Fake Fiancee. There *might* be a Christmas surprise, but it’s not final yet. And finally, Something About a Cowboy, my novella in the NotMy1stRodeo.com anthology, will be on sale in October–stay tuned for more details!
I’ll start off 2016 pretty early with His Forever Family, a Billionaires and Babies story from Desire in Feb. 2016–so look forward to that!
Thanks for blogging at HJ!
Giveaway: I’m giving away two ebooks–one of The Nanny Plan and one of His Lost and Found Family (another reunion romance!) as well as a 3 book set of the Beaumont Heirs in print–A Beaumont Christmas Wedding, His Son, Her Secret and October’s Falling For Her Fake Fiancee! (the print books are US only)
To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and Post a comment to this Q: I like writing reunion stories because a good romance has conflict–and a previous relationship comes pre-loaded with conflict! Will they get over the past or will the past get in the way? Do you like reading reunion romances? Why?
Excerpt from His Son, Her Secret:
Byron’s gaze dropped to her chest. She wasn’t wearing a bra and he could see the outline of her nipples poking through the thin fabric of her shirt. Lust hit him hard and low as his mind chose exactly that moment to remember the kiss from earlier this evening and the one from last night.
“A-hem,” she said, crossing her arms.
“Sorry,” he replied, focusing all his attention back on the pots and pans.
Leona sighed. “Are you sure we should live together?”
He tensed. Damn it, this was going from bad to worse. “As opposed to what?”
“As opposed to a regular custody agreement where we each have Percy for a week or two and then trade, with child support and the like.” She paused. “It might be better that way.”
“Better for who? Not better for Percy—not when your father can take him. No way.”
She grabbed a towel and one of the few remaining pots. “Byron, I don’t want this to be hard.”
“Hard?” He snorted. “I hate to burst your bubble, but nothing about this is easy.”
“Fine,” she snapped. “All I’m saying is that you’re obviously still mad at me and I don’t want Percy to grow up in a household where his parents are constantly sniping at each other. That doesn’t make me the bad guy here.”
“I didn’t say you were the bad guy. And I’m not mad at you.” He was, however, getting pretty pissed at himself. He couldn’t be doing a worse job fighting for what he wanted if he tried. His father was probably rolling over in his grave.
If Hardwick Beaumont were still here, he’d slap Byron on the shoulder and say, “Stop screwing around. She’s just a woman, for God’s sake. You’re a Beaumont. Act like one.”
Except Byron didn’t want to be a Beaumont if it meant bending Leona and Percy to his will just because he could. He didn’t want to rule by force and fear.
She glared at him. “No, but you don’t have to say the words, Byron. Your actions speak quite loudly.”
“Oh, yeah? Then what does this say?” He grabbed her by the arms and hauled her to him. The kiss was not sweet or gentle—it was hard and unbending. He might not be able to get her to say yes to his proposal, but he was damned sure she wasn’t going to say no.
After a moment, she bent. Her head slanted sideways and she opened her mouth for him with a sigh. He deepened the kiss. Could he kiss her like this without getting lost in the soft sweetness of her body?
Because that’s what she was now, all soft and warm in his arms. His pulse beat out a faster rhythm. When she broke the kiss, he let her. “What are we going to do, Byron?”
“We’ll do a trial run. I’ll get us a place and you and Percy can come stay for a little while—say a week or two. You won’t have to pack up all you’re things here. And if it doesn’t work…” He paused and swallowed. He didn’t want to admit it might not work. He didn’t want to be wrong. But he had to give her something, a fallback to prove that he wouldn’t hold her hostage once he had her and Percy with him. “If it doesn’t work, then we’ll go to your plan.”
He could do that. He could trust her enough to bring her under his roof. And once he had her there, then he could figure out which part of her story was the truth—or if she was still lying to him.
For some reason that could only be described as self-destructive, he wanted to take her at her word.
She leaned back to look at him. “And if it does?”
Her eyes were wide—but not with fear. Instead, she looked hopeful. And hope looked good on her. He lifted his hand and stroked her cheek. “If it does, I’ll ask you to marry me again.”
She leaned into his touch and exhaled through slightly parted lips. He’d kissed her to end the argument and remind her that he was in control, but instead of it dampening his desire for her, it’d only ramped it up. He needed her—only her. No one, not even sensual European women, could satisfy him like this woman did.
“Two weeks?” she said softly, staring into his eyes.
He could get lost in her light brown eyes. As corny as the sentiment was, it was true. “Yeah,” he said, his head dipping to meet hers. “That sounds good.”
“Mmm,” was all she could say because by then, Byron was kissing her and she was kissing him back and there weren’t any more words, any more negotiations. There was just him and her, the way it had been. The way it should still be.
The kiss deepened when she touched his lips with her tongue. It was a hesitant touch, as though she wasn’t sure what would happen next.
Byron knew what he wanted to happen. He wanted to sweep her off her feet and carry her back to the bedroom and spend the rest of the night remembering what they’d once had. He didn’t want to think about betrayal and lies. He just wanted her.
Excerpts. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Their families tore them apart. Can their baby bring them back together?
For more than a year, Byron Beaumont has tried to get over Leona Harper. Not even living overseas could erase the memory of their affair…or her betrayal. Her family has been out to destroy his for decades, and despite Byron trusting her, making love to her, Leona kept her identity hidden. Now that Byron is back—as her new employer—he wants answers.
But what he gets is another surprise. Leona has given birth to his son. He’ll do what it takes to care for his family, even if it means spending days—and nights—wanting the one woman he can’t have…
Meet the Author:
Sarah M. Anderson is an award-winning author of modern-day Cowboys-and-Indian stories. Combining snarky humor with shirtless cowboys on horseback, Sarah also strives to raise awareness of the realities of life on Lakota Indian reservations. She uses proper Lakota translations when her characters speak their native language. Sarah writes for both Harlequin Desire and Samhain, in addition to self-publishing. A Man of Privilege won Desire Book of the Year 2012 from RT’s Editor’s Picks.
Sarah lives in Illinois with her husband, son, and rescue mutts. When not reading stories to her son around or writing, she attempts to read, knit, and complete home improvement projects on her historical 1895 Queen Anne house.
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