Hi Katee and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, Prom Queen!
Thank you so much for having me!
Please summarize the book for the readers here:
Please share the opening lines of this book:
“I can’t do it. I won’t.” Jessica Jackson backed around the kitchen table, feeling like seven different kinds of a fool when Brooklyn Jameson followed her, waving the invitation that had caused all of this. “Stop it. You’re being ridiculous.”
Please share a few Fun facts about this book…
- It’s part of a five author series that all surround the events of the high school reunion. All the books are somewhat connected, and they’re all second chance romances!
- I took the inspiration for Jake’s dating business from an article a reader shared with me about a company that hires out gorgeous men to clean houses.
- There’s one side character that appears in all five of the Bad Boy Homecoming books, and we had a little too much fun poking at her. 😉
Please tell us a little about the characters in your book. As you wrote your protagonist was there anything about them that surprised you?
Jake Davis was a star quarterback in high school, until an accident took away his dreams of college, the NFL, and his girlfriend in one fell swoop. He landed on his feet, though, and now runs a successful dating business in Texas. He’s mostly well adjusted these days, but the one unresolved thing in his past is Jessica, and when he sees an opportunity in her coming back to town, he jumps on it without hesitation.
Jessica Jackson was a mean girl in high school, but life has a way of evening those things out, and she’s hit rock bottom a time or two since graduation. She’s afraid to face all the people she was such a jerk to ten years ago–and the boyfriend she left in the dust–so she books a fake date to give her some courage…except when she shows up in Texas, it’s Jake who’s waiting for her.
If your book was optioned for a movie, what scene would you use for the audition of the main characters and why?
It would be the scene where they see each other for the first time in ten years:
“A lot’s changed since you left.”
Her gaze jumped to his right shoulder. There was no outward sign of the injury that had started the end of it all, but then, he was wearing a light-weight black T-shirt, so it wasn’t like it would show. Focus, Jessica. “What are you doing here? Are you picking up someone for the reunion?” There you go. Nice and casual.
“You might say that.” He kept looking at her like he could see the inside of her head. Another new trick.
She glanced around, trying to be subtle. The baggage claim had started to clear out, and there weren’t any conveniently gorgeous men standing around alone. Where was her date? Now would be the perfect time for him to sweep in and do the job she’d hired him for. “I’m here with someone.”
She frowned. “What are you talking about?” On second thought, escaping Jake before she met her date was probably a better choice. She didn’t want to have to deal with meeting this new guy and trying to pretend they’d been dating forever. And how was she going to explain how she’d magically lost him between getting off the plane and the baggage claim.
Cora’s so-called perfect plan was teetering toward disaster.
“Your order from Diamond Dates.” He gave her a slow, knowing grin that she felt all the way to her toes, and offered his hand. “Jessica Jackson, I’m your date for the reunion.”
What do you want people to take away from reading this book?
That second chances are for everyone, no matter what kind of jerk you were in your past.
What are you currently working on? What other releases do you have planned for 2017?
I’m currently writing the final O’Malley book (Dmitri and Keira). Next month, I’ll have the second Hidden Sins book, The Hunting Grounds, releasing. This September I have a duology spin off from Prom Queen, Ties that Bind and Animal Attraction. We’ll be rounding out the year with the fifth O’Malley books (Aiden’s book), Undercover Attraction!
Thanks for blogging at HJ!
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Excerpt from Prom Queen:
Jessica couldn’t believe she’d gotten herself into this mess. Oh wait—yes, she could, because Cora and Brooklyn had helped her get in over her head. They were good like that, and she couldn’t even be mad, because she’d ultimately agreed to this of her own free will. Because she made poor life decisions.
She shot a look at Jake, tracing the side of his face with her gaze. Now that she’d had a little time to get used to the sight of the scruff, she could admit that it suited him. It gave him a rough look that had nothing to do with the hipster beards she saw everywhere she looked in LA.
No, Jake looked like he’d be at home chopping wood out in the forest somewhere while the snow fell softly down around him. Not that she’d ever seen snow in real life, but the image still fit.
She pressed her lips together and jerked her gaze forward. What was wrong with her? She liked fantasies as well as the next woman—and had a stack of romance novels to prove it—but fantasizing about Jake was strictly forbidden territory. For a number of reasons.
And he was supposed to be her date. She’d never doubted that karma or the universe required balance, but this was taking things too far. Even if he didn’t tell a single soul about it, he would know that she was pathetic and cowardly enough that she wouldn’t attend the reunion alone, and when she couldn’t dredge up a date for herself, she’d hired one.
Maybe hitting rock bottom five years ago was just a precursor to what she was going to go through this weekend.
Stop it. What’s going to happen will happen regardless of if you mentally flog yourself for the next three days. All you can do is keep your chin up and keep moving forward.
For the first time in years, she actually missed the little brat she’d been in high school. That girl hadn’t bothered to worry about reality not lining up with the picture in her head. If life didn’t feel like cooperating, she forced things to go her way.
Then again, she also hadn’t cared if people got in her way or were hurt in the process.
Jessica leaned her head against the back of the seat and closed her eyes. At least she’d be home soon. Maybe she could talk her brother into driving her…anywhere. If she was lucky, maybe she could convince him to let her stay with him instead of their parents.
Lost cause for sure.
She opened her eyes, her heart sinking at the familiar sight of the house where she’d grown up. The white paint looked brand new and the shutters were white and green, but everything was mostly the same. The same wraparound porch that her mama had picked out of a magazine. The same big Southern style that managed to communicate both country home and money at the same time. The same carefully cultivated flower beds with bright yellow and white flowers—all to create the picture of perfection.
It was something her mama valued above all else. Perfection.
Nothing had changed. “It’s like stepping into a time warp.”
She finally twisted to look at Jake. His half-smile had her heart picking up despite herself. She swallowed hard. “What?”
“I figure you owe me one.”
Talk about the understatement of the century. She probably owed him more like a couple hundred. She’d never counted all the times she’d done him wrong, mostly because she was afraid of the answer.
Admitting that didn’t mean she liked where this was going. “Mm-hmm.”
“I’m calling it in. Right now.” His grin widened, his green eyes twinkling. “I’m going to be your fake boyfriend for the duration of your time here, just like you planned.”
What? She shot straight. “I didn’t plan on you.”
“And yet I’m the one you got.” Jake moved faster than he had any right to and looped an arm around her waist, pulling her across the bench seat until she was almost in his lap. “Look infatuated, love.”
She narrowed her eyes even as her skin heated. One man shouldn’t smell so freaking good—like he’d burst straight out of an Old Spice commercial. And the possessive way his hand spanned her hip put her in mind of times when he’d held her like that while they were doing other things. Her body was different now. She eyed his shoulders—his body was different—but it didn’t take much to slam her ten years into the past.
The feeling was a lie. They didn’t have anything left of the intimacy they’d shared the entire time they were dating. Jake was the longest relationship she ever had, and so she was reacting on a chemical level to him. End of story.
She tried to pull back, to put some much-needed distance between them, but he held her fast. “Jessie, look at me.”
She couldn’t look at him, because if she looked at him, she’d forget all the bad stuff between them and only remember how good it had felt to be in his arms. Then she’d do something unforgiveable, like try to kiss him, and he’d politely remind her that this was just pretend and… She couldn’t. Panic welled, giving her voice a hysterical edge. “If you don’t let me go right now, I’m going to punch you in those perfect teeth.”
He released her instantly, though he laughed. “Drew taught you a mean right hook.”
“Yes, he did. And Brooklyn taught me the rest.” She scooted a few inches back. “What the hell are you doing, Jake? You want revenge? Fine. Have it. I won’t pretend like I don’t deserve it. But this is just…cruel.” It hurt to remember how good things had been—more than she could have anticipated. It was so easy to focus on the way things ended, but there were six years of history between them as boyfriend and girlfriend—and another six of friendship. A decade of separation couldn’t erase that.
Jake touched her chin with a single finger, drawing her back to the present. “Maybe I just miss you.”
He chuckled. “Maybe. Don’t you worry your pretty head on the ‘why.’ See this through with me, or maybe someone will get a little too drunk down at The Grange and let it spill that Jessica Jackson had to hire a date for the reunion because she was too chickenshit to come back to Catfish Creek without a shield.”
“You wouldn’t.” She narrowed her eyes and slapped his hand away. He totally would. “God, you are such a bastard.”
“Not according to my mama.”
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
A high school reunion is about to get down and dirty and a whole lot more complicated in this new erotic romance from NYT Bestselling Author Katee Robert.
Jake Davis had it all in high school—a scholarship to his college of choice, a promising football career, and the gorgeous prom queen for a girlfriend. And then he lost it all when he was injured right after graduation. Ten years later, he’s mostly made his peace with that, and now runs a company that provides women with dates for special events. Imagine his surprise when he discovers that the ex who left him in the dust needs a fake boyfriend for their high school reunion…
Jessica Jackson used to be the mean girl to end all mean girls. But life didn’t turn out like she’d thought it would, and now she’s twenty-eight, single, and works as an insurance agent to A-listers instead of being the A-lister like she’d always dreamed. She can’t go back to her home town and admit just how thoroughly she’s failed, so she lets her friends set her up with a fake date for the reunion.
The second Jessica realizes that her fake date is Jake, she tries to call the whole thing off. The problem is the chemistry between them is even hotter now than it was when they were teenagers. Against her better judgment she lets herself get drawn into Jake’s arms again—and into his bed. But time doesn’t heal all wounds—sometimes, it actually makes them worse—and if Jessica and Jake can’t learn to forgive each other, their second chance might not last the weekend.
Meet the Author:
New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Katee Robert learned to tell her stories at her grandpa’s knee. Her 2015 title, The Marriage Contract, was a RITA finalist, and RT Book Reviews named it ‘a compulsively readable book with just the right amount of suspense and tension.” When not writing sexy contemporary and romantic suspense, she spends her time playing imaginary games with her children, driving her husband batty with what-if questions, and planning for the inevitable zombie apocalypse.
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