Hi MK Meredith and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, Love on the Cape, an On the Cape novel, Cape Van Buren!
Hello! I’m so happy to be here! Our romance readers are so amazing, it is the coolest to be able to connect.
Please summarize the book for the readers here:
This book is full of feels. Ryker Van Buren is a growly and hurting hero with a dark past. Larkin Sinclair is devastated by the loss of her son. Attraction sparks and two broken souls recognize each other through the pain. Against all odds, love blooms on the cape. But when their pasts collide, will they choose love in the moment, or will they lose their chance at forever?
Please share the opening lines of this book:
Larkin Sinclair slid her hand down the inside of the well to the second row of bricks until the small handprint settled home under her fingertips. She promised for the thousandth time that she’d start living again. Soon. Though it seemed like an impossibility when a part of her was gone forever.
Please share a few Fun facts about this book…
- Not everyone in Maine likes Lobster! Crazy, I know. LOL!
- Having sex on a humid, summer evening in Maine is a disaster waiting to happen! Ha!
- Even though iron rusts, many lighthouses utilize it for their structural base. (My husband didn’t believe me!)
Please tell us a little about the characters in your book. As you wrote your protagonist was there anything about them that surprised you?
Larkin Sinclaire is an emotional warrior. There is nothing more tragic than the death of a child but she exhibits such strength that I was left in awe of her.
Ryker is brooding and growly but deep down wants to be loved in a way he doesn’t feel he deserves.
The townspeople, especially Maxine Van Buren, rock…that is all. LOL!
If your book was optioned for a movie, what scene would you use for the audition of the main characters and why?
The opening scene. We get such a great peek into the two main characters right from the start.
“Lady, you’re going to hurt yourself.”
Larkin jerked her head up.
The words were spoken in low, measured beats by a tall man with dark wavy hair and a few day’s growth on his jaw that left him looking like a lumberjack, though the half-buttoned dress shirt and low-slung slacks tried to suggest otherwise.
“I don’t care. It’s my locket.” She leaned over the edge, working as hard to reach the necklace as she was at maintaining some measure of composure. “I have to get it.”
“Okay, okay. Christ. The last thing I need is some crazy lady falling into the well.”
He pulled her from the rim. She didn’t care what the guy thought as long as she got her locket back. He stepped to her side, filling the space next to her, and she shifted away just a bit so she could breathe.
Glancing over the edge, he shook his head. “It’s too far.”
“Then I’ll just have to get it myself.”
“Lady—” He grabbed her shoulder.
With a jerk, she pulled away. “I didn’t ask for your help.”
If the guy wasn’t going to help, then he needed to get the hell out of her way. Where in the world was Maxine? She glanced at the house then back to the well.
“Okay, okay. Just wait a second.”
She pressed against the warm skin where the necklace had hung. He might not understand, but she couldn’t lose it. “I have to get it.” She looked for a long branch with a flat end. Anything that might hold the locket so she could pull it up.
“Was it your mother’s or something?”
“It was from my son and it can’t be replaced.” The words dragged against her vocal cords like sandpaper. Archer had given her the necklace on the last Mother’s Day they’d spent together.
The large man blew out a heavy breath. The kind of sigh that vocalized an unwilling acceptance, and she glanced at him, hoping the sound meant what she thought it might.
“Fine. Let me have a look.”
Relief rushed through her and she stepped aside. Grumbling under his breath, he cleared the few buttons on his shirt then shrugged it off his broad shoulders. She coughed into her hand with wide, watering eyes. Nothing on her to-do list from that morning mentioned anything about a bare, well-muscled chest. And the sight of him made her question why not.
He patted her on the back. At least she imagined that was his intent, but each thump almost sent her flying face-first into the ground. She spread her feet wide to gain more balance and, waving him off, swallowed a few times to get her breathing under control again.
“I’m fine. I’m fine. What are you doing?”
He glanced down at the shirt then shoved it into her outstretched hand. “This is a five-hundred-dollar Armani. I’m not about to destroy it on a pile of old stones.”
The fabric was warm and the scent of his cologne wafted up around her head as he turned toward the well. He walked the perimeter and tested the integrity of each stone with a nudge. “I might be able to get it. But promise me you’re not going to go all kamikaze if I can’t.”
She held her breath and nodded, though he was the crazy one if he thought for a second she was leaving without it.
Spreading his legs wide, he braced his hip against the edge and leaned over. With one hand holding the top row of stones, he stretched his other toward the necklace, muscles striating down his back with the effort and disappearing below his waistband.
“Hold on to me.” He barked the order and she moved without thinking.
But as she reached for him, her mind went blank on where exactly she should anchor him down. She grabbed his hips, but his slacks were slick, so she grabbed his waist, but the heat of his skin shot through her in a shockwave and she let go.
“Hold on! Goddamnit.”
“Sorry.” She gave herself a shake then wrapped her arms low around his waist and used her body weight to balance him. His surprising heat, his rich, masculine scent. She tried hard to block her senses.
“Shit.” His curse echoed from the well.
“Did you get it?”
“Not yet. The damn stones are cutting into my side.” Frustration made his words curt and more than a little accusatory.
Regardless of how scratched up he might get, she needed that necklace.
His grunts, interlaced with a few choice swear words, replaced any further conversation. “Almost…just a little farther…a little farther.” He shifted forward, and she dropped her hips lower to counterweight the movement, freaking out a little bit as his feet lifted from the ground.
“I got it,” he shouted.
“Oh God.” She pulled back on him, desperate to get his feet and her necklace safely on solid ground once again.
He straightened and dangled her locket from his fingers.
Gratitude hit her with a swift punch of reliefeig and she launched at him, almost knocking him back off his feet.
“Thank you. Thank you. I was so scared.” With her arms wrapped tightly around his waist, she kissed his cheek and squeezed hard, then kissed his cheek once again. Only this time, the rough scruff of his facial hair registered under her lips, and his crisp and spicy scent filled the senses she’d worked so hard to shut down.
She froze then carefully untangled herself from his embrace.
He stared at her with a bemused expression and slowly reached out one more time to give her the necklace.
What do you want people to take away from reading this book?
Life can be excruciating but if you learn to breathe, to find a way to love from within, you will still find beauty in it.
What are you currently working on? What other releases do you have planned for 2017?
Blayne MacCaffrey’s (Larkin’s best friend) story called HONOR ON THE CAPE.
Thanks for blogging at HJ!
Giveaway: Signed print book of LOVE ON THE CAPE. (US only)
$10 Amazon GC (everyone)
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Excerpt from Love on the Cape, an On the Cape novel, Cape Van Buren:
Here is a fun peek at Ryker with his grandmother, Maxine. She just kills me! Enjoy!
Ryker tugged the zipper of his jeans up, not bothering to cover the yawn that stretched his mouth wide as he shuffled barefoot toward the door. The bell rang a second time, and he scowled. Scrubbing his hands through his hair in an attempt to wake the hell up, he promised he’d strangle whoever stood on the other side. It was seven in the goddamn morning and he’d yet to have a peaceful night’s sleep in this godforsaken house. All he wanted was a solid twenty-four hours of brainless slumber. Was that too much to ask?
Yanking open the door, he grated out. “What in the hell do you wa—”
Maxine Van Buren brushed right past him. “You’re lucky I didn’t just use my key. But I lived with a man long enough to learn my lesson about catching him unawares.” She gave Ryker’s chest a pointed glare with an over-processed shudder.
Did his grandmother seriously just accuse him of masturbating? Talk about making a man feel like a boy. This was not what he needed when he hadn’t even had his coffee yet, but if he’d learned anything about the woman, it was that if given one inch of rope, she’d take the whole coil, then hang him with it.
He joined her in the gothic-inspired kitchen and put a kettle of water for coffee on the large gas range. Ebony cupboards, boasting recessed, white-washed decorative edging ran from the floor to the white tin ceiling that echoed the large gleaming white, marble island standing proudly in the center.
“Clearly I wouldn’t have my pants on if I was otherwise engaged.”
She snorted. “Don’t be crude.”
“Me?” His brows raised. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.
With a small tablespoon measure, he added scoops of a dark roasted coffee into his French press.
“Why don’t you use the single serve coffee maker like normal adults do these days? I bought one just for you.”
He shook his head. “And I’m sure it makes great coffee but I like the practice of using the French press. There’s a process. Order. It centers me.” He lifted the bronze coffee bean bag. “I just bought this from that new artisanal shop off of Van Buren Boulevard yesterday. Do you want some?”
“Yes, please,” she said. “It only seems new to you because you’ve been gone for so long. That shop’s been there for two years now. Eclectic Finds. Blayne McCaffey’s place.”
“Of course you’d know her.” Grandmother knew everyone. And he tried to shrug off the weight of guilt from not coming home, but it had always been easier to have her come to him. Unfortunately, years of buying her plane tickets didn’t ease the burden as he’d hoped.
She rapped her skinny knuckles against the top of the large island as she pulled up a black, grommet-studded stool. “Lived here all my life, of course I know. But even if I hadn’t run across the adorable little shop myself, Blayne and Larkin are best friends.”
The name alone sent a weird curiosity skittering across his skin. Clenching his jaw against the sensation, he remained silent and finished making their coffee. Anything he said would only invite more remarks from Maxine that he wouldn’t want to hear anyway.
Her eyes grew wide with concern. Waving her hand at him, she demanded, “What happened to your side?”
“Oh, nothing to worry about. I got a little banged up trying to save Miss Sinclair’s necklace before it fell into the well a few days ago.”
“That was kind of you.” She said it as if surprised and he rolled his eyes. “Have you been to Dr. Stanton? He’d love to see you. I’ll call—”
“No, I’m fine.”
He lifted his arm to give her a better look. “See? Larkin patched me up onsite, whether I wanted her to or not.”
A pleased smile curved her lips. “Sounds like my Larkin.”
He grunted. “Well between you and your Larkin, I’m feeling a bit smothered. You do realize I’m quite capable of taking care of myself.”
Maxine acted as if she hadn’t heard the sarcasm in his voice at all and asked, “So she saw you with your shirt off?”
Gritting his teeth, he shook his head in a what-the-fuck manner. “What the hell does that have—” He stopped and finished preparing their drinks. On second thought, he wanted nowhere near whatever was going on in his grandmother’s head. There was no telling what she might be thinkning, and the woman came up with some of the scariest ideas he’d ever come across.
With two full mugs in his hands, he gestured with his chin. “Come on. You can grab me a shirt on the way and we can get to work. I know why you’re here.”
“So Larkin passed on my message?” Her undisguised curiosity gauged his response.
“She swung by yesterday. But even if she hadn’t, a track suit is not your usual style for going out on the town, even if it is crushed velvet.”
He thought back to the times they had visited over the years. Even without him living in town, they’d spoken on the phone and made regular plans to see each other. He may not have come back to the Cape for a long time, but he’d never stopped loving his grandmother. At every visit, she’d arrive dressed to the nines with her silver hair shining as bright as the rings on her fingers.
Smoothing her hands over the light gray jacket, she grabbed the hem and gave a purposeful tug. “Well, then. Let’s get to work.”
He made his way up the attic stairs two at a time, immediately swamped by memories from when he could only take them one by one. The air was stale and particles of history swirled in the rays of the sun shining through the slats of the large circle vents in each gable.
Maxine walked to the center of the large, open room and turned in a slow circle. “Lord almighty, it’s been a few years since anyone’s been up here. I probably should have dusted, but this damn house outgrew me as the years have gone on.”
Ryker tried to look at the memories through her eyes but all he saw were his hiding spots during his father’s drunken rages.
“What exactly do you want to do?”
She put a finger to her lips as she looked around. “Well, I don’t want you to have to bother with a bunch of junk that has no meaning to you. We’ll make a pile to donate, a few things I’ll keep and put into storage, and if there’s anything you might want, you can have it.”
“I don’t need anything.”
She walked up to him, and he set his jaw. The concern shimmering in her eyes tightened the muscles along the back of his neck. A million different images flashed through Ryker’s mind and he couldn’t decide which was worse: his father’s fist as it sailed toward his face, his mother’s profile as she simply turned away and continued to knit in her rocking chair, or the hopeless sorrow in his grandmother’s eyes when he’d shown up on the doorstep of the guest house with a black eye for the thousandth time.
She and grandfather had moved to the modest cottage when he’d come along, leaving the big house for them to make a home. Too bad his parents hadn’t been better at it.
Grandmother had called the police more than once but he’d refused to admit what had happened. And though there had been an investigation and home visits from CPS, Ryker had been quite convincing. It was hard to land a conviction when the victim wouldn’t cooperate.
His father had threatened his grandmother’s life if Ryker ever said a word—and he’d believed him. His childhood had sucked. He didn’t need to talk about it. He didn’t need any pity. Maxine loved him and that was good enough.
Jabbing a finger in the air, he startled her. “I lied. I do want something. Your moonshine.”
Her perfectly manicured brows snapped together so fast he had to smother a chuckle. Nobody screwed with Maxine Van Buren’s moonshine. She’d been making it long before Ryker had even been a thought and perfected the aging process as well as a combination of berries and flowers that would make the devil himself sing hallelujah. He couldn’t remember how many times he’d stood at his bedroom window, watching her and her North Cove Mavens drinking well into the morning around the backyard fire pit and howling at the moon.
A warmth rushed across his chest. Even though they’d been drinking, he’d always felt safe hearing their cackles and laughter outside. His father left him alone when people were around. Especially Maxine’s people. And for some reason, the moonshine was one thing the old man had refused to drink.
“In your dreams. That’s going with me.”
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Love on the Cape, an On the Cape novel
Cape Van Buren
On the rocky, atmospheric coast of Cape Van Buren, Maine…
For far too long, Larkin Sinclair has been seeking solace in her memories rather than living in the present. But when Van Buren Enterprises announces plans to develop historic Cape Van Buren into a gold-plated playground for the wealthy, Larkin refuses to watch one more beautiful thing in her life be destroyed, so she sets out to preserve the historic cape—and with it, the memory of her son. Only it isn’t the company she needs to fear, it’s the dangerously irresistible CEO who has the power to derail her plans. Annoyingly arrogant one minute and beautifully wounded the next, he awakens something in her heart that had died with her son even as his actions promise to break it once again.
Ryker Van Buren needs closure from his dark childhood and the best way to do that is to level his family home. As the rightful owner of the estate, he plans on developing it into a master community—what better way to secure his future than by selling off his past? Until he locks eyes with the passionate conservationist who fights him at every turn for the rights to his legacy. He can’t keep his hands off her, but worse, he can’t get her off his land or out of his dreams.
Attraction sparks and two broken souls recognize each other through the pain. Against all odds, love blooms on the cape. But when their pasts collide, will they choose love in the moment, or will they lose their chance at forever?
Meet the Author:
#1 Bestselling author MK Meredith writes both single title and novella length contemporary romance novels, promising an emotional ride on heated sheets. She’s had a lifelong love affair with peanut butter — the only two things coming close in the battle for her affections are gorgeous heels, and maybe Gerard Butler…or was it David Gandy? Who is she kidding? Her true loves are her husband and two children who have survived her SEA’s (spontaneous explosions of affection) and lived to tell the tale.
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