Hi Joss and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, Lost and Found Heir!
Thanks for having me!
Please summarize the book for the readers here:
Garrett Kaye has always suspected that his mom’s boss was also his biological father and when he is asked to step into the role of Ryder International CEO, he learns that assumption wasn’t correct. And that he will also become an heir to a huge fortune.
Not sure if he wants to become tangled up with the famous family, and needing some space to think, Garrett agrees to accompany Jules Carson– a mixologist he met at the Ryder Ball– to a ranch in Colorado, to see if there is any chance of him helping her save the ranch that was her childhood refuge. He’s attracted to her but he doesn’t realise how much!
Please share your favorite line(s) or quote from this book:
Garrett tried to imagine this glamorous woman on a ranch, mucking out stables and wrangling cows. Wrangling cows was what they did, wasn’t it? Having been brought up in an apartment, he was a city boy to the core and didn’t have the first clue. He couldn’t imagine this gorgeous woman in her stunning dress shoveling shit. He grinned.
“What’s so funny?” Jules demanded, green fire in her eyes again.
“I’m just trying to imagine you on a farm, doing farmy things.”
He spread his hands. “Can you ride a horse? Do you know how to muck out a stall?”
Jules rolled her eyes. “And how to service a tractor, break in a horse and plow a field.” Her smile turned sinister. “I also know how to castrate a bull.”
Please share a few Fun facts about this book…
- I spent a lot of time researching the world’s best mixologists and their incredible creations. Unfortunately, the cocktails didn’t make it into the book.
- I couldn’t adequately describe the incredible dress Jules wore to the ball. If you want to see the inspiration, have a look at my Pinterest page https://za.pinterest.com/josswoodbooks/the-dna-dilemma-garrett/
- Because this is a four book series, I had Post It notes of all the story threads all over my desk, but I still got confused. Who did what where? It was occasionally confusing!
What first attracts your Hero to the Heroine and vice versa?
Garrett is intrigued by the fact that Jules isn’t impressed by him– an unusual occurrence for the venture capitalist.
He seemed to annoy her, and the thought amused him.
Hers was an abnormal reaction and one that piqued his interest.
But Jules Carlson—a world-famous mixologist and bartender—was comprehensively unimpressed by him. Interesting.
He liked interesting.
As for Jules, she finds him arrogant and annoying and far too sexy. She likes beta guys, men who don’t rock her world!
Did any scene have you blushing, crying or laughing while writing it? And Why?
I loved writing the banter between the two. They both give as good as they get!
“Are you asking me to dance?”
“Yes. I presume that a woman who can neuter a bull can also sway?”
Her hand slid into his, so much smaller and so much softer. She released a light snort. “Oh, I can do more than sway, Garrett Kaye. I’ve taken dance classes all my life.”
That didn’t surprise him. Every movement she made, whether it was to cock her head or lift her hands, was filled with grace. “Is there anything you can’t do, Ms. Carlson?”
“Not much,” Jules admitted as she stood up. “There are, however, many things I won’t do.”
He placed his hand on her lower back, keeping his touch light. Her perfume hit his nose, and Garrett was transported to the islands, to hot summer nights filled with stars and the scent of jasmine.
“What won’t you do, Jules?” Garrett asked her, as they hit the edge of the dance floor. He lifted her right hand in his and curled his left around her hip.
“I won’t cave-dive, eat guavas or sing in public.”
He smiled. “What else?” he asked, a little charmed. And more than a little scared to realize that he could actually be charmed.
“Eat snails, bungee jump or pierce my tongue. Oh, and I’m definitely never going to sleep with you.”
Readers should read this book….
On the surface, it could be seen as another billionaire meets working girl book, but there’s a depth to it that’s unexpected. Jules’s backstory is pretty heartwrenching. As one reviewer put it…
“Parts of the story were hilarious, steamy and down to earth as two souls bare their innermost hearts to each other.”
What are you currently working on? What other releases do you have in the works?
I am currently working on edits for the third book in my Scadalss of the Le Roux Wedding for Harlequin Presents.
*May: The Secret Heir Returns (Dynasties: DNA Dilemma Book 4)
*May: The Billionaires One-Night Baby (Scandals of the Le Roux Wedding)
*September: Crossing Two Little Lines.
Thanks for blogging at HJ!
Giveaway: I’m giving away 5 ebooks (ARC) copies of Lost And Found Heir.
To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and Post a comment to this Q: Jules is a famous bartender. Do you have a favorite cocktail or drink, virgin or not? Share it with me.
Excerpt from Lost and Found Heir:
Jules spent two hours enduring pitying looks, drinking one too many wine spritzers and batting off too many men looking for company.
How dare Garrett Kaye stand her up? Jules paid the taxi driver and stepped onto the sidewalk outside Garrett’s building, watching the taxi pull back into the traffic. She’d have to call for another one later as she’d left her car in the parking garage because a) she’d had too many wine spritzers and b) she was mad, and it was her rule that a person shouldn’t drink and drive or drive and fume.
Jules tipped her head back to look up at the sleek facade of Garrett’s building. She counted the floors, eleven, and lights blazed from the tenth and eleventh stories. Prior to deciding to ask for his help, she’d researched him, annoyed at how little information she could find on the internet. But she did discover he lived in a luxurious penthouse apartment on the top floor of the building and that his office was one floor down. His employees’ offices were another floor below, and he rented out the rest of the space to a prominent law firm.
Jules bit her bottom lip and jammed her hands into the pockets of her coat. It was late and she was a little buzzed, but she had to see him, now, tonight. She hated asking anyone for help—that wasn’t what she did—but she didn’t know where else to turn, what to do.
Kate was in a bad, bad way, racked with debt and floundering. When they’d spoken earlier in the day, Jules offered up savings, a not inconsiderable amount, but Kate, after thanking her profusely, refused her offer, telling her that her half a million wouldn’t make a jot of difference. She owed tens of millions, and she was going to lose her business, all her properties and, horribly, the ranch.
She’d be left with nothing.
Jules immediately told Kate she could live with her, that she’d support her…well, forever, if she had to. Kate had been Jules’s port in a very violent storm, and Jules had no idea what she would’ve done without her. Kate had also launched Jules’s career, and she basically owed her everything.
But she couldn’t stand by and watch Kate sink, see the ranch that had been in Kate’s family for generations pass into a stranger’s hands. She had to do all she could to find the miracle Kate needed.
Garrett Kaye wasn’t in the miracle business, but he dealt with ailing companies all the time, and maybe he knew—wunderkind that he was supposed to be—something no one else did. Maybe he could give her some advice on something, anything Kate could do. Oh, she knew there was little chance of the business being saved, but maybe Garrett had an idea of how she could save the ranch.
She didn’t have anyone else to whom she could turn. Her best friends were dealing with their family issues. Callum was still in the hospital after suffering a massive heart attack and was fighting off an infection after undergoing a triple bypass. Tinsley and Kinga were both helping James manage the family’s massive international company, and her friends didn’t have any experience dealing with a failing business. She only knew one person who did: Garrett.
She hadn’t wanted to call him—she felt completely out of her depth with the man—but she’d walk through the flames of hell for Kate. She’d mustered the courage to text him, and he’d agreed to meet, but then the blasted man had stood her up.
But he was a jerk whose brain she needed to pick so here she was, determined to ask her questions, to interrupt whatever he was doing. God, she hoped he didn’t have a woman up there. That would be awkward.
Awkward be damned. Kate’s financial and emotional well-being were more important than Kaye’s sex life. In Jules’s mind, at least.
Jules walked to the main doors of the building and wasn’t surprised to find them locked. She stepped over to a discreet door to the side but couldn’t see an intercom. There was no way to call up to ask the occupant to let her up.
Good thing she had his number. Jerking her phone out of her bag, she found his contact details and tapped her foot as she waited for him to answer. And waited some more.
“Jules, hell, sorry, something came up.”
“Apologize to my face, Kaye,” Jules told him. “I’m outside your door. Let me in.”
“Listen, it’s not a good—”
“I waited two hours for you to show, Kaye,” Jules interrupted him, her voice dripping acid. “Let. Me. In.”
Jules heard Garrett’s muttered curse, but the door clicked open. She stepped inside and realized she was in a private elevator. After the door shut behind her, the elevator whizzed her up with dizzying speed.
Seconds later the door opened to reveal a dark hallway. Jules dropped her bag to the floor and slowly unwound her scarf, her attention caught by the massive, abstract oil painting taking up most of the wall. She shrugged off her coat and, unable to find a coat hook, draped it over the arm of a chair in the corner, her head cocking as Tchaikovsky’s Sixth Symphony washed over her, bleak and beautiful.
She recognized it immediately. Her mom—a talented musician—used to play Tchaikovsky on an old LP player after fighting with her dad. Growing up, Jules had heard this symphony, a terrifyingly sad piece of music, more often than a young child should.
Knowing that Garett wouldn’t hear her call his name over the sound of the alternating notes between the first and second violins, she walked into a large mostly empty great room. His penthouse apartment covered the entire top floor, and this room was situated in the corner of the building. Arched windows reflected the lights from the neighboring buildings and the harbor below. The space echoed the mood of the music. It was austere and a little desolate, with just a freestanding island with a marble top, a sleek dining table in front of the rectangular window in the corner and a long, low couch in front of the far wall to break up the vast space.
His apartment went beyond minimalist to stark. And cold. Jules shivered as the music turned ferocious, the sound of the snarling horns filling his space. Wishing she could switch it off, she looked around and saw Garrett next to the last window, his forearm resting against the glass above his head, watching the activity in the harbor.
As the instruments dropped out of the symphony, Jules wondered why Garrett was listening to such an emotive piece, what prompted him to choose the hauntingly sad symphony to accompany his thoughts.
“It’s not a good time, Juliana-Jaliyah,” Garrett told her, his voice a low growl in the sudden silence of the apartment.
He held a half-empty whiskey bottle in his right hand, and Jules stared at his hard profile, debating whether to leave.
“Interesting choice of music, Kaye. I never would’ve pegged you as someone who loved the classics,” Jules stated.
“I love all music, classics included,” Garrett said, without turning around. “It’s said that Tchaikovsky wrote that piece as an elaborate suicide note.”
“Because he was dead nine days after conducting the premiere, struck down by cholera he caught from drinking contaminated water.” A sudden thought horrified her: he wasn’t contemplating harming himself, was he? He didn’t strike her as being depressed, but she needed to check. “Are you planning on drinking water contaminated by cholera, Kaye?”
She heard his hard snort and was immediately reassured. He looked like he had the weight of the world on his shoulders, but Jules knew he could handle whatever came his way. Even so, he looked very alone.
Jules walked across the vast space and stopped next to him. Taking a chance, she placed her hand in the center of his back and rested her head against his bicep. He’d either talk or he wouldn’t, but for as long as he tolerated her presence, she’d stand here, giving him any comfort she could.
She felt his tension and watched as he lifted the whiskey bottle to his lips and took a long sip. A memory from her childhood slapped at her—bourbon instead of whiskey—and she tensed. How long had he been drinking, and how drunk was he? She was alone in his apartment, in this building, with a man she didn’t know, a man with a bottle in his hand, someone who was upset.
Maybe she should leave…
“I’m not drunk, and I’d never hurt you,” Garrett told her, in a clear calm voice.
Jules stepped back and tipped her head to look at him. In the low light she saw that his eyes were clear.
He lifted his whiskey bottle. “I’ve only just opened this, and that was only my second belt.”
He had a way of looking inside her and reading her and it unsettled her. “How do you do that?” she asked him, genuinely curious. “How do you know what I’m feeling?”
He shrugged, turned, walked to the sleek dining table and banged the whiskey bottle on its surface. “You have the most expressive eyes—and face—of anyone I’ve ever met. And when I took a sip of whiskey, your entire body tensed.”
So observant, even while upset.
Garrett picked up a tablet, hit a button and a series of lights came on, making Jules blink. Yep, his apartment was starker than she’d thought, dominated by white walls and those awesome windows. There was a basin and sleek cooker buried in the island but she couldn’t see any appliances, cupboards or anything that hinted at a kitchen. How the hell did he cook?
Jules turned her attention back to Garrett. He looked…well, not awful, he was too good-looking for that, but like he’d had a day hand-delivered from hell. Blue stripes ran under his deep-set eyes, and his mouth was tight with tension. He still wore his suit, a deep navy and designer, but his tie was pulled loose, and his wavy hair looked messier than usual.
“Want something to drink?” Garrett asked her. He gestured to the whiskey bottle. “I have fifteen-year-old Scotch, but if you want something special, I have a full range of spirits and mixes as well.”
Jules looked around for drinks stand, or a cupboard that could hide a bar, but didn’t see anything. His stash of liquor was probably hidden in his yet-to-be-revealed kitchen. Jules shook her head. “I already had a couple of drinks, while I waited for you.”
Garrett stared at her, frowning, and then he winced. “Shit, I stood you up.”
“You did,” Jules agreed.
Garrett dropped an f-bomb and slapped his hands on his hips. As if only just realizing that he was still wearing his suit jacket, he pulled it off and threw it onto the couch. His tie followed its arc, and then he rolled up his sleeves. “I’m sorry. I should’ve let you know that I couldn’t make it. That was rude of me.”
It was. But Jules now suspected he had an incredibly good reason for standing her up.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
He’s inherited a family and a fortune. The last thing he wants is complicated.
Until he meets her…
Venture capitalist Garrett Kaye has received the offer of a lifetime—become the CEO of a billion-dollar company…but only if he acknowledges he’s heir to his recently discovered birth family. To keep his mind off his choices, he lets his attraction to smart, headstrong mixologist Jules Carson sweep him away. But will “no strings” turn into the ties that bind as he faces the impossible choice between his birthright and his future?
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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 young adults and slave to two cats and a badly behaved dog the size of a small cow.