Hi Joss and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, The Nanny Proposal!
Hello from a chilly South Africa!
Please summarize the book a la Twitter style for the readers here:
With his brother missing and his niece temporarily in his custody, a raging attraction to his assiatant is the last thing that Aaron needs!
Please share the opening lines of this book:
Standing in the shadows of the balcony encircling the ballroom of the Texas Cattleman’s Club, Kasey Monroe looked up at clear night sky. Why had she thought attending a New Year’s Eve Ball in Royal, Texas, knowing no one but Aaron Phillips—who might, or might not, become her new boss—was a good idea?
Aaron, as a member of the Texas Cattleman’s Club, knew nearly everybody in the room. He’d introduced her to his gorgeous sister Megan and her equally good looking husband, Will Sanders, CEO of Spark Energy Solutions. And while Aaron had made an effort to include her, she felt woefully out of place.
Please share a few Fun facts about this book…
- This is the sixth installment of The Texas Cattleman’s Club: The Imposter series.
- Sam Hunt, one of my favorite artists, was the inspiration for Aaron. I spent far too much time looking at Sam pics on Instagram!
- In the book, Aaron buys Savannah, his niece, not one but two, Newfoundland puppies. I tried to get my husband to agree that we needed a Newfoundland but he wasn’t convinced.
- This was my first book set in Texas! As I write this, I am preparing to vist Texas in July. I can’t wait!
What first attracts your Hero to the Heroine and vice versa?
In Kasey’s words….
In a room filled with some very fine eye candy, Aaron was handcrafted chocolate.
And in Aaron’s words…
That night, God, it was still burned into his brain. His memories of her were so strong that he could almost feel her endlessly, addictively soft and fragrant skin, hear the small murmurs of appreciation she made, taste the spicy sweetness of her mouth. As for those pretty, feminine places she hid from the world, they’d rocked his world.
She’d been so tight, warm…. ridiculously responsive.
How bizarre it was that the hottest sexual experience of his life had been with his executive assistant at the start of the year. His best and last sexual experience…
Using just 5 words, how would you describe Hero and Heroine’s love affair?
Complicated, hot, intense, overwhelming, consuming.
The First Kiss…
“Kasey.” Her name was both a warning and a plea. As her boss he wouldn’t initiate anything but she could, she had to. Kasey placed her fingersher fingers on his jaw and reached up to touch her mouth to his.
They both needed this connection…
Aaron made an appreciative sound in the back of his throat as his tongue slipped past her teeth to slide against hers, long, sexy strokes that heated her skin and made her head swim.
She’d missed this. She’d missed being the object of a man’s desire, of being held and kissed, of feeling feminine and powerful and so, so sexy. Despite only sharing a few, pleasure-saturated hours with him, she’d missed Aaron. When she thought of pleasure and sex and desire, his was the face that came to mind, his hands, his kisses, his touch. And hadn’t that been the point of that night so long ago?
She shouldn’t be enjoying his kiss so much, her hands shouldn’t be exploring the hard muscles under his bare skin. She shouldn’t be pressing her breasts into his chest. And she most certainly should not be twisting her tongue around his, making those sounds of appreciation low in her throat.
My God. What was she thinking? Rationality filtered in asin as she remembered that he was her boss. What they’d had was a one-time thing. She was moving into his house to avoid Michelle, to help him with his niece, not to warm his bed. Pull away, Kasey. Now.
Just five minutes more…
Aaron jerked his mouth off hers, his fingers digging into her hips. He rested his forehead against hers and she was pleased to see that his face was flushed, that he, also, was short of breath. That they were both struggling for control. At least she wasn’t alone in this madness.
Without revealing too much, what is your favorite scene in the book?
One of my favourite scenes happens after Kasey move in. Kasey has been doing everything– laundry, looking after Savvie, as well as her work for Aaron– around the house and she’s wiped. She loses it her temper. Aaron and Savannah step up and she falls asleep on the couch watching a movie. She wakes up and she and Aaron go for a walk…
This their banter before a very sexy scene outside…
They walked on in silence, reaching the wood bench under the live oak that shaded a koi pond. Kasey looked down into the dark, still water but couldn’t see any fish moving. “Are they asleep?”
“The fish?” Aaron asked, humor lacing his voice.
“Yes, the fish.”
“I remember the landscape designer saying something about them hanging out on the bottom of the pond at night. They might be sleeping or they could be playing poker…who knows?”
Kasey grinned and bumped her shoulder into his. “Ha, ha.”
Roo, not understanding the concept of said creatures needing their sleep, ran down the bank and belly-flopped into the pond. Kanga followed two seconds later. Aaron yanked Kasey back to avoid the splash of water, his low laugh rumbling over her.
Kasey looked up at him and thought that he looked ten years younger, and, for a brief moment, that he looked like he didn’t have a care in the world. She desperately wanted to keep him laughing. “What did the fish say when it hit a concrete wall?” Before he could answer she dropped the punchline. “Dam.”
Aaron’s lips twitched and, without missing a beat, he lobbied his own back. “When you have any really good fish jokes, let minnow.”
“Not bad, cod do better,” Kasey quipped.
Aaron wrapped his arm around her waist, pulling her close, and she felt laughter rumbling through him.
Kasey tipped her head up in a silent challenge but he shook his head, looking rueful. “I’ve got nothing.”
“Lightweight,” Kasey murmured, her hands on his biceps. “I have about a million stupid jokes.”
“Save them for later, sweetheart. Right now I have other plans for that mouth,” Aaron murmured. As she expected him to, he hesitated before asking. “Are you okay with that?”
Again, his integrity, his need to do right by her took her breath away. She wanted to tell him how much she appreciated his offer, him, but the words stuck in her throat.
Unable to speak, she simply nodded.
If your book was optioned for a movie, what scene would be absolutely crucial to include?
Because the story of the imposter spans the entire series, the scene where Aaron and Kasey travel to the Sierra Nevada mountains is crucial.
Well, then. “My name is Kasey Monroe and we’d like to ask you some questions about the plane crash.”
“Nothing to say. It crashed into the side of the mountain. The victim’s wallet was in his pocket. Body and photo ID looked alike. Did a search, no next of kin, not fixed abode, no money.”
“You didn’t think it strange that someone with minimal resources was flying an expensive aircraft?” Kasey asked. “And that the aircraft wasn’t registered to him?”
The sheriff looked bored. “People hire planes all the time.”
“Can we see your reports? The photo ID, pictures of the man who died in the crash?” Kasey persisted, annoyance at his lack of cooperation turning her voice as sharp as a knife blade.
“What else can you tell us?”
Before she could blink, Aaron stepped up to the sheriff and slammed his hand on his chest, pinning him to the door of his office. “Start talking.”
Something cold and malicious appeared in the sheriff’s eyes. “Take your hands off me or I’m going to arrest your ass!”
“You and whose army?” Aaron growled, not dropping his hand. “You know more than you’re saying and I want to know what you’re hiding.”
“Get your hands off me.” The sheriff dropped his hand, pulled out his weapon and placed the barrel against Aaron’s chest.
Kasey sucked in a horrified breath but Aaron, nerves of cold steel, just held his eyes.
“Aaron, back off before you get hurt,” Kasey snapped.
Aaron kept the sheriff pinned to the door with just the force of his hand on his chest and ignored the gun. “If he shoots me, he has to shoot you, and two dead bodies would be tricky to explain. Drop the gun, moron.”
The sheriff dropped the gun to his side but Aaron’s hard eyes didn’t waver from his face. “Tell me about the crash.”
Kasey saw fear flash in Sheriff Orson’s eyes. She thought he was about to speak when he closed his eyes and the color disappeared from his face.
“Nothing to tell.” Kasey had to strain to hear his words. “Nothing I can tell.”
Readers should read this book …
According to one reviewer, it’s sexy, sweet and emotionally raw!
What are you currently working on? What other releases do you have planned?
In July, Friendship on Fire will be released. It’s the first book in a new series, called Love in Boston, for Harlequin Desire. It’s a best friends-to- lovers story, one of my favourite tropes.
And look out for two Christmas romances– Hot Christmas Kisses from Harlequin Desire and
Christmas Magic from Tule Publishing.
Thanks for blogging at HJ!
Giveaway: I’m giving away three ebook copies of THE NANNY PROPOSAL
To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and Post a comment to this Q: I mentioned earlier that friends-to-lovers is a favorite trope of mine. What is yours? Or what tropes do you absolutely hate?
Excerpt from The Nanny Proposal:
Aaron asked whether Cole had any news.
“Nothing concrete since the last time we spoke, Aaron.”
Nothing concrete… Did that mean Cole had found something? “Do you have a hunch about what happened?”
“I have nothing concrete, Aaron,” Cole repeated. “I make it a policy not to share my hunches or suppositions without anything to back them up.”
Crap. Aaron gripped the bridge of his nose and ignored the burning in his eyes. “What can I do, Cole? Just tell me. I need to do something…the waiting is killing me.”
“If there is anything, I’ll let you know. Hang tough, Aaron. I’m hoping to have some solid answers for you soon.”
“Okay. Keep me updated.”
“You will be the second person I call,” Cole promised him.
Aaron wanted to protest but remembered that Cole was working for Will. He wasn’t calling the shots, wasn’t Cole’s client, and that burned him. He liked being in charge, but he was somewhat pacified by the knowledge that he was in the loop, that he’d get the information as soon as Will did. Besides, he instinctively trusted Cole. He knew he was doing everything he could to track down Jason.
Aaron saw the tiny feet next to his size thirteens and slowly lifted his head to look into Savannah’s worried face. They shared the same green eyes, he thought, the Phillips chin.
“Were you talking to someone about my daddy?” Savannah demanded, fear and worry in her eyes.
Aaron felt like he was looking into his own soul. He thought about lying then decided she deserved, and needed, the truth. “Yeah, Savvie, I was.”
“Is he coming home soon?” Savannah asked, her bottom lip wobbling.
Aaron took her hand in his and sat straighter. His gut clenched at the mixture of hope and fear he saw in her eyes. “I don’t know, honey. We’re trying to find him.”
“Something’s wrong, Uncle Aaron. Daddy always calls me and it’s been so long.”
Tears just made the green of her eyes more brilliant.
Aaron reached up and touched her cheek with the back of his knuckle. “I know, honey. I’m worried, too.” He gestured to his phone, conscious of Kasey standing a few feet behind Savannah, her body stiff with tension. Did she think he should be more upbeat? That he should be more optimistic? Was this one of those times when he should be lying his ass off?
He met her eyes and saw her concern for Savvie. She was clearly holding herself back, resisting the urge to sweep the little girl into her arms and soothe away her pain.
Aaron was grateful for her reticence. This conversation, as hard as it was, was the first real conversation he’d had with Savannah since she’d moved in full-time.
He picked up his phone and tossed it from one hand to another. “The man I was just talking to? His name is Mr. Sullivan, and his job is to find people who have gone missing.”
“Will he find my daddy?”
Aaron lifted his broad shoulders in a weary shrug. “He’s trying, honey. I just called him to ask him if I could help him, but there’s nothing I can do. I would if I could, but this is his job.”
Savannah moved so that she was standing between his legs. Aaron slid his arm around her, being careful to keep his touch gentle. His eyes burned when she laid her head on his shoulder. “Your job is to look after me…I heard you saying that to Kasey.”
“It is my job. Nobody is more important to your dad than you and he’d want me to make sure that you are safe.”
Savannah pushed her face into his neck and he felt her warm breath on his skin. “I miss him, Uncle Aaron.”
“I do, too, Savvie.” Aaron rested his cheek against her head and closed his eyes. God, Jay, where the hell are you?
He heard Kasey’s footsteps and lifted his head to look at her. Her expression was pure sympathy and he managed a quick, half-baked smile
Kasey placed a hand on Savvie’s shoulder. “Hey, sweet pea, if you don’t run upstairs now to change, you’re going to be late for your ballet lesson.”
Savannah pulled back and her eyes widened. “And if anyone is late, Mrs. Pitman goes red and her mouth goes all funny.” Savannah made a face and both he and Kasey laughed at her squinty eyes and pursed lips. “I’m going to change real fast, Kasey.”
“You do that, Savvie. Aaron is going to take you to your lesson and he’ll pick you up, okay?”
Savannah looked at Aaron and, for a long moment, he thought she might demand that Kasey take her. “`Kay,” she said before running across the outdoor living area and into the house.
Aaron stood and looked at Kasey, who was wrapping a piece of gauzy fabric around her hips and looking thoughtful.
“Should I have patted her on the head and told her that everything is going to be okay?” he demanded as Kasey pulled a strapless T-shirt over her bikini top.
He was annoyed to find himself holding his breath, waiting for her answer. He didn’t want to mess this up and he didn’t want Kasey to think that he had. Why he was concerned about her opinion? He didn’t, generally, give a rat’s ass about what people thought about him. But he respected Kasey…
“I think you did the right thing,” Kasey said softly and his stomach unraveled an inch or two. “I’d far prefer that you hurt me with the truth rather than comfort me with a lie.”
Aaron sent a glance to the empty house. “But she’s so little…”
“Kids respect honesty, Aaron. You made progress with her by telling her the truth.”
“Honesty is a big deal for me,” Aaron said, looking into her lovely face.
“It’s a big deal for me, too,” Kasey replied, picking up the towel Savvie had left on the patio floor. When she straightened, Aaron caught the flash of deep-seated pain in her eyes, in the way her lips thinned, and wondered who’d lied to her and why. He opened his mouth to ask her but then remembered he had no right to go digging into her life. For eight months he’d managed—just barely—not to cross that line from business to personal, but since he’d kissed her in her bedroom, that line was out of focus and fuzzy.
Aaron picked up his T-shirt and pulled it over his head. “I’d better change.”
Kasey folded the towels she was holding, paying the menial task much more attention than it deserved. “And I need to catch up on my day job.” She turned away but Aaron caught her elbow and sighed at her soft skin, the scent of her perfume mingling with the chlorine smell of the pool. “Kase?”
Whiskey-honeyed eyes threatened to buckle his knees. “Yeah?”
He wanted to kiss her, to yank her to him, to plunder her sexy mouth and fill his hands with her plump breasts. He wanted to strip her out of her clothes and lay her down on that lounger and make love to her in the afternoon sun. Then he wanted to take her into the pool to see if pool sex was as good as he remembered.
Aaron noticed the tremble in Kasey’s fingers, the way her pulse fluttered in her neck. She’d let him. He knew this as well as he knew his own handwriting. It was a fantastic fantasy but it was a crap idea. “Nothing. I’d better go.”
Kasey nodded, started to speak, but then gave the tiniest shake of her head, clamped her lips shut and headed into the house without saying another word.
Excerpts. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
“You work for me. That’s it.”
So why can’t she stay out of his bed?
She’d slept with Aaron Phillips before he became her boss. And Kasey Monroe had successfully avoided temptation ever since. But now the bachelor Texas tycoon demands she add temporary live-in nanny to her job description, to help with his niece. She’ll be “playing house” with the man she can’t resist. What could possibly go wrong with that arrangement?
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Meet the Author:
Joss Wood loves books and travelling— especially to the wild places of Southern Africa and, well, anywhere. She’s a wife, a mom to two teenagers and slave to two cats. After a career in local economic development, she now writes full time. Joss is a member of the RWA (Romance Writers of America) and ROSA (Romance Writers of South Africa.)
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