Today it is my pleasure to welcome New York Times bestselling author Monica Murphy to HJ!
Hi Monica, welcome.
If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title of the book should be? Why?
Would you rather…be invisible or be able to read minds? Why?
Invisible I think. I don’t know if I want to read minds. I might not like what I can read! At least if I’m invisible and they’re talking about stuff I don’t want to hear, I can leave.
Let’s talk about your newest release: Savor
If you had to summarize the book for the readers here
SAVOR is the third and final book in the BILLIONAIRE BACHELORS CLUB series with Avon Impulse. It’s a boss/assistant story. Bryn works for Matt and they’re attracted to each other but they fight it. Because he’s her boss. But they can only fight it for so long…
Please tell us about the characters in your book?
Matt is a former pro baseball player who retired early due to an injury. He took his friends’ advice and invested in a winery in the Napa Valley. He realized quick he was in way over his head but thank goodness he had his trusty new assistant, who came with the winery when he bought it.
Bryn is trying to be something she’s not. She’s normally loud, a little flashy. That sort of behavior has gotten her in trouble in the past so she gives herself a makeover and tries to blend in. Of course, Matt notices her. And then the fun begins.
As you wrote your protagonist was there anything about them that surprised you?
When I originally set out to write this book, I had no plans to have Bryn trying to change her persona so badly. She feels like the true her gets herself in trouble. And once I realized that I wanted to explore that further, I ran with it. Bryn was a lot of fun. I think she might be my favorite of the three heroines in the BBC series.
What scene did you most enjoy writing? Why?
Matt and Bryn’s second kiss. I really enjoyed writing that scene:
“Trust me. You’re a distraction I absolutely do not need,” he says, his voice low. Sexy.
A tremble moves through me, but I stand my ground. “I’ve done nothing but work my tail off for you the entire day, so please don’t tell me you’re suddenly angry with me now,” I retort, wincing the moment the words leave me. I blame my mounting frustration over our ridiculous situation. The push and pull is getting old, and I’m not sure I can take it much longer.
I’m tired, I’ve done nothing but live and breathe this winery reopening for the last few weeks if not months, and I’m ready to go home and crawl into bed when I’ve only just arrived here. Pull the covers over my head and sleep for a month.
But if a certain someone wanted to join me in my bed, there wouldn’t be any sleeping involved—just plenty of nakedness and kissing and hot, delicious sex.
My entire body flushes at the thought.
“And I appreciate you working that pretty tail of yours off for me, Bryn, really I do,” he drawls, his gaze dropping low. Like he’s actually trying to check out my backside. His flirtatious tone shocks me, rendering me still.
Our relationship isn’t like this. Strictly professional is how we’ve kept it, minus the one incident we haven’t really talked about. I can still taste his lips on mine, not that I’d ever bring it up now.
His last remark though was most definitely what I would consider flirting. And the way he’s looking at me . . .
My cheeks warm when he stops directly in front of me. I can feel his body heat, smell his intoxicating scent, and I press my lips together to keep from saying something really stupid.
God, I want you. So bad my entire body aches for your touch.
Yeah. Again I sound like those romance novels. The ones I used to find on my grandma’s bedside table when I was young. I always thought those emotions were so exaggerated. No way could that actually occur in real life.
But I’m feeling it. Right now. Again. With Matthew DeLuca. And the way he’s looking at me makes me think he’s feeling it too.
“So um, h-how have I been driving you crazy?” I swallow hard. I sound like a stuttering idiot, and I’m trying to calm my racing heart but it’s no use. We’re staring at each other in silence, the only sound is our accelerated breathing, and then he reaches out. Rests his fingers against my cheek. Lets them drift along my face.
Slowly I close my eyes and part my lips, sharp pleasure piercing through me at his intimate touch. I curl my fingers against the wall as if I can grab onto it, afraid I might slide to the ground if I don’t get a grip and soon.
I can smell him. Feel him. We’ve been close to each other before but not like this. Never like this. The first time was an accident and had turned into an opportunity—a rushed opportunity that had ultimately ended in utter disappointment.
I don’t want to risk that again. I don’t know if I could survive it again.
But I want it. I want him.
“You look so damn beautiful tonight,” he whispers, his rough voice sending a scatter of goose bumps across my skin.
“Thank you,” I say because I don’t know what else to do. I crack my eyes open to find he’s moved even closer, one hand braced against the wall, the other still touching my face. Tilting my head back, I meet his gaze, my lids flickering when he strokes his thumb across my lower lip.
“It’s taking everything inside of me not to just give in and kiss you,” he admits gruffly, his hot eyes roaming over my face, then dropping lower, settling on my chest. I can feel my nipples tighten beneath the silk fabric of my dress and I’m suddenly achingly aware of what little clothing I’m wearing. No bra, no panties . . .
My dress is the only barrier between Matt’s hands and my skin.
God, I want that. I do. I want to feel his hands roam all over me. I want his mouth on mine, I want his mouth everywhere. I’m tired of resisting him, especially when he so clearly wants me as much as I want him.
For once, I’m going to be bold. I want to see what he does when I invite him to do exactly what he wants to me.
“What’s stopping you? We’ve already kissed before.” I reach out, slip my fingers down the length of his black tie. I can’t believe I just said that. I can’t believe I’m touching him though really I’m only caressing his tie. Big deal.
But I can feel all that hot, hard strength beneath his shirt, the beat of his heart, the scent of his skin. Relief floods me. We’ve been dancing around this attraction, especially the last few days, and it feels like we’re finally giving in. Again.
Well, I’ve been dancing around it. He always seemed mostly oblivious to me.
Maybe he isn’t. If his current behavior is any indication, he definitely isn’t.
“I’m stopping me. Or at least I should be,” he says, resting both of his hands on my waist as he steps so close, our legs tangle, our chests brush. I hold my breath, waiting for what I know will be a totally disappointing conclusion to our conversation.
He doesn’t say anything at all. Instead, he lowers his head, his mouth settling on mine, softly. Sweetly. His kiss obliterates everything, all of my thoughts and worries and concerns, until I’m consumed by the sound and the feel and the smell of him. He surrounds me, overwhelms me, and when he thrusts his tongue deep inside my mouth, I’m lost.
And only Matt will be able to find me.
What scene was the hardest to write? Why?
The very beginning. I wanted to get it just right!
“Can you become addicted to someone’s smell?” My voice is nonchalant, my thoughts turbulent. I keep my gaze locked on the woman I’m talking about. The one I think I’m slowly becoming addicted to though my brain is screaming at me that this particular addiction is a huge mistake. Bad for me. Bad for everyone.
Ivy Emerson turns to look at me, her expression incredulous. My friend’s fiancé and the mother of his future child also happens to be one of the best interior designers in all of the Napa Valley and she’s working for me. “Who exactly are you talking about?”
Hell. I actually said that aloud? I didn’t mean to.
We’re sitting in my office, the door wide open, allowing me the perfect view of the outer lobby, where my assistant’s desk is. Bryn James. Miss James, she of the intoxicating scent that makes my head swim and my body hard.
Also she of the bland wardrobe and quiet ways, meaning she’s not my usual type. So why the attraction? Why does her scent drive me crazy?
It makes no damn sense.
Who would you cast in the role of your characters if your book was optioned for a movie?
Well, Bryn’s friends tell her she looks like Angelina Jolie so that would work (though a younger version). Hmm and how about a younger Brad Pitt? I’m just going for full on fantasy mode here.
If you could have given your characters one piece of advice before the opening pages of the book, what would it be and why?
Pay attention to what’s happening around you! These two are almost ignorant about how the other feels. They probably need a few knocks upside the head.
What are you currently working on? What other releases so you have planned for 2014?
FOUR YEARS LATER, the last in my ONE WEEK GIRLFRIEND series is coming out March 4th. I have other things in the works as Monica and hopefully I can announce soon!
Thanks for blogging at HJ!
Giveaway: Digital (Kindle or Nook) copies of all three books from the BILLIONAIRE BACHELORS CLUB series – CRAVE, TORN and SAVOR.
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“Have you seen my room?” Matt asks the moment he pulls me into the empty elevator, my hand clasped in his.
I slowly shake my head, loving how close I’m standing next to him. I can see the dark stubble dotting his cheeks, the scar just on the underside of his chin. He glances down at me, smudges of darkness just below his eyes show that he hasn’t been sleeping very well. Considering how busy he’s been lately, this doesn’t surprise me.
“I’m pretty sure we have identical rooms,” I say, hoping he realizes I’m teasing.
“Ah, mine is better. I can almost guarantee it.” He squeezes my hand and tugs me close, so I’m standing in front of him, my back to his front. Releasing his grip on my hand, he settles his big, warm palms on my shoulders and starts rubbing. “You’re tense.”
I don’t have the heart to tell him he’s the one making me tense. All the sexual tension that’s swirled between us for the last few weeks and months—it’s overwhelmed me.
The elevator doors slide open and Matt gives me a push so I exit with him right behind me. We go to his room, and I wait with jumpy anticipation as he slides the keycard into the slot, the little light above the handle turning green. He opens the door, and I trail behind him inside, a shocked gasp escaping me when he turns and presses me against the door.
His hands rest at my waist as he pins me in place, his head dipping toward mine. Our mouths meet. I exhale against his lips, feel him smile before he takes the kiss deeper and then there’s no time for breathing or thinking or saying a word.
All I can do is savor. Savor the sensation of his mouth on mine, his fingers digging into the fabric of my dress, my skin. The cool metal of the door is shocking against my backside, paired with the pure heat radiating from Matt’s big body as he steps in so close to me, he’s all I can see and feel and smell. His tongue thrusts, his hands tug at the fabric of my dress, lifting, lifting, until I feel cool air on my thighs and realize he’s pulling my skirt up.
I tear my lips from his, desperate for us to slow down. My brain needs to catch up with my body before I do something really crazy and stupid. “I thought you were going to show me your room.”
Matt drifts his mouth down the length of my neck, covering it in hot, wet little kisses. I grow slick between my legs with just his mouth pressed against my neck, and I clutch at him for fear I might fall. “I thought you said your room is exactly like mine,” he whispers against my skin.
“I’d still like to see it.” I press at his shoulders, trying to get him to back off just a little without having to say it. I need the space. I like having him in my space but still . . .
I’m not real good at this sort of thing. As in, I don’t have a lot of experience. Especially with a man surely as experienced as Matthew DeLuca—in his previous life as a ballplayer, he must’ve had beautiful women constantly throwing themselves at him.
He lifts his head, his dark gaze meeting mine, and then he drops his hands from my waist as he steps away. “Come on, then. I’ll show you around.”
I pull my skirt back into place as I follow him deeper inside the room, my legs still shaking from the potency of his kiss, his touch. The effect he has on me is so powerful, so unbelievably overwhelming, I’m not sure what to think, or how to think.
“So? Is it just like yours?” he asks as we approach the window that overlooks the city.
I glance around, notice the orchids, the bright pink throw across the foot of his bed, the sleek, glass furniture. “Definitely. It’s almost identical.”
“You must have a really great boss then,” he says, a smile playing at the corners of his mouth. God, he’s sexy. “Putting you up in a fancy hotel like this.”
New York Times bestselling author Monica Murphy concludes her sexy Billionaire Bachelors Club series with a fiery romance that refuses to be left at the office…
Bryn James can’t take much more. Smart, sexy Matthew DeLuca is everything she wants in a man, but he’s also her boss—the youngest, hottest vineyard owner in the Napa Valley—and he doesn’t see her as anything more than his shy assistant. That’s all about to change. Armed with a hot new look and an attitude to match, Bryn is determined to catch Matt’s eye… professionalism be damned.
With his winery’s grand reopening approaching, Matt is trying to stay focused, but Bryn is suddenly making it very difficult. He’s always thought her prim demeanor effortlessly sexy, but Matt can’t deny that her transformation is jaw-dropping …and going to make it very difficult to keep his hands to himself.
But when one thing leads to another and suddenly Matt is stripping Bryn bare, he’ll be faced with the biggest risk of his career—and his heart. Can he convince her—and himself—that this might just be more than a no-strings office affair?
Monica Murphy is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the One Week Girlfriend series. She writes new adult and contemporary romance for Bantam and Avon. She also writes romance as Karen Erickson. A native Californian, she lives in the foothills below Yosemite.
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