Today it is my pleasure to Welcome author Sarah M. Anderson to HJ!
Hi Sarah and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, Seduction on His Terms!
Happy Almost Valentine’s Day, everyone!
Please summarize the book for the readers here:
I would, but I apparently don’t know my own book, so I’m going to steal the summary author Adele Buck posted:
“A beauty and the beast story (there’s even a library!) meets Cinderella with bonus baby.”
When she posted that review to Goodreads, I was absolutely gobsmacked because she’s right! Dr. Robert Wyatt is a total beast! And Jeannie is def. a cross between Belle and Cinderella! There’s a bonus baby AND a library!
AND I HAD NO IDEA. None. It never crossed my mind that it was a Beauty and the Beast story.
Please share your favorite line(s) or quote from this book:
THERE ARE SO MANY! Seriously, I love this book in a borderline not-normal way.
This particular observation is near the beginning of the book and it just sums the two of them up so well:
Maybe half the time Dr. Wyatt sat at her bar, he didn’t say anything. Which was fine. But when he did talk? It wasn’t inane chitchat or stale pick-up lines. When he spoke, every single word either made her fall further in love with him or broke her heart.
“So,” he started and Jeannie knew he was about to break her heart again.
I love this part because Dr. Robert Wyatt is a very complicated man and he’s not so great with this whole ’emotion’ thing. So when he experiences them, it always catches him off guard!
“Why do I need to go back to work?” she asked carefully because this was Dr. Robert Wyatt, after all—a man of few words and suspiciously deep emotions.
He looked confused by her question. “Because.”
A hell of a lousy answer. “Because why?”
His mouth opened, then shut, then opened again. “Because I…I had a bad day.” He seemed completely befuddled by this.
“I’m sorry to hear that. I’m currently having a bad life.” He didn’t smile at her joke.
And just to give you a tantalizing hint at Robert’s tragic backstory…
“Will you sit with me?” she asked, holding out her hand.
He looked at her hand like he didn’t trust it. Or maybe he didn’t trust himself?
“Are you sure?” he asked and she heard the strain in his voice.
He didn’t trust himself. At least, not around her. The realization set her back on her heels.
“Yes,” she said because she knew he could be terrifying but he’d never once made her feel unsafe. “Are you?”
“I only want to sit with you,” she said. “Come here.” It was as close to an order as she’d ever given him.
An emotion rippled across his face, one she couldn’t quite identify. She had to wonder—had anyone ever tried to tell him what to do before? Surely, at medical school?
Why didn’t he trust himself around her?
Please share a few Fun facts about this book…
- I really went to town on this book. I decided that I was going to throw everything I’d ever wanted to write in a Desire but had been told not to into one book!
- So in addition to having a hero who’s an abuse survivor, I also decided that Robert was getting tied to the bedpost. I’d tried to tie other heroes to the bedpost before–just with a necktie, nothing to dramatic–but it’d always been shot down. This time, though, being tied to the bedpost was an important part of Robert’s journey. He has no reason to trust himself with Jeannie. He’s desperately afraid he’ll hurt her. So, in order to prevent that from happening, she ruins a perfectly good Armani tie!
- Because Robert is an abuse survivor, I wanted to make sure that Jeannie’s love doesn’t magically cure his problems, so I made darned sure to have her point out that, as a condition of getting married, Robert seek counseling because it’s not her job to fix him. It’s her job to love him. That sort of vulnerability in a hero is something we don’t see on the page very often and frankly, I was surprised it didn’t get cut!
- The other thing I’d wanted to do before and hadn’t found a way to make it work was to bring in nobility. So that’s why Jeannie pretends to be the sister of a Duke when she goes with Robert to a party. It’s completely over the top and as fun as all get out–and it works both to make the scene work and as a function of her character.
- And finally, I wanted a billionaire who did whatever the hell he wanted. So I found the perfect house for him on Chicago’s Gold Coast–but it was four blocks from the beach, so in the book, I had him knock down all the real estate in his way so he’d have a lake view. It’s completely over the top but really, given what we know of billionaires sometime, is it hard to see that really happening?
What first attracts your Hero to the Heroine and vice versa?
They already know each other at the beginning of the book–she’s his bartender and he’s her favorite customer. They’ve never taken their interactions beyond the bar–never even hinted at it–which is why they trust each other. It’s clear to Robert that Jeannie isn’t trying to use him for his money and it’s clear to Jeannie that Robert would not impose himself on her.
But when Jeannie’s sister dies of childbirth complications and Jeannie suddenly is the mother to a colicky newborn, Robert comes to the rescue (he is, after all, a pediatric surgeon). I like this book because it reverses the standard thing we see in baby books–competent mother-figure, comically unprepared father-figure. Jeannie has no clue. NONE. And Robert’s over there changing diapers and swaddling babies!
It’s when they see each other like this outside of their normal routine–both vulnerable and desperate but for wildly different reasons–then the attraction that has always simmered between them catches and ignites. There’s more to them than just the perfect Manhattan served with a twist!
If your book was optioned for a movie, what scene would you use for the audition of the main characters and why?
Again, Robert befuddled is a fabulous thing. In this scene, Robert has basically taken over. He’s hiring staff, having food delivered, conducting medical exams–but when Jeannie asks him WHY he’s doing all those things for her–she’s just a bartender!–Robert’s at a complete loss.
A moment of tense silence settled over the house. No babies crying, no helpful drivers filling the gaps of conversation. Just Robert and Jeannie and the terrible feeling that instead of making everything better for her, he’d made things worse.
“Robert,” Jeannie began and for some reason, she sounded…sad? Or just tired?
He couldn’t tell and that bothered him. This was Jeannie. He was able to read her better than he could read anyone. “I’d recommend starting the baby—I mean, Melissa—on this formula,” he said, picking the organic one. “No soy.”
In response, she dropped her head into her hands.
“It’ll take a day or two before the other formula is completely out of her system,” he went on in a rush, “but if she gets worse at any time, call me.”
Her head was still in her hands. “Robert.”
“The nanny should be here by two tomorrow at the absolute latest,” he went on, because he was afraid of what she might say—or what she might not say. “She’ll teach you everything you need to know. Don’t put blankets or stuffed animals in the crib.”
She raised her head and stared at him as if she’d never seen him before. “Robert.”
Inexplicably, his heart began to race. And was he sweating? He was. How strange. “Do you need any other financial assistance? Until Len is able to negotiate a settlement with hospital, that is? Just let me know. I can—”
“Stop.” She didn’t so much as raise her voice—it certainly wasn’t a shout—but he felt her power all the same.
He swallowed. Unfortunately, he was fairly certain it was a nervous swallow. Which was ridiculous because he was not nervous. He was a Wyatt, dammit. Nerves weren’t allowed. Ever.
Still, he stopped talking. Which left them standing in another awkward silence.
Jeannie ran her hands through her hair, making it stand straight up as if she’d touched a live wire. She looked at him, then turned on her heel and walked the three steps into the kitchen.
What was happening here? He took a step after her but before his foot hit the ground she was back, hands on her hips. He stumbled as she strode to him.
“Robert,” she said softly.
“I put Melissa in her crib,” he said as she advanced on him. “She was asleep.”
Relief fluttered across Jeannie’s face but she didn’t slow down. Unbelievably, Robert backed up. He’d learned the hard way that Wyatts didn’t retreat and never, ever cowered.
But before her, he retreated. Just a step. Then all his training kicked in and he held his ground. But he felt himself swallow again and damn it all, he knew it was nervously.
Her mouth opened but then it closed and he saw her chest rise with a deep breath. “Why are you doing this, Robert?”
Doing what? But he bit down on those words because they were a useless distraction from the issue.
He knew what this was. So did she.
How could he put it into words? He wasn’t entirely sure what those words were, other than he needed her. She was having problems that prevented her from being where he needed her to be so he was solving the problems.
But none of that was what came out. Instead, he heard himself say, “You need the help.”
Her eyes fluttered closed and she did that long exhale again. “So that’s it? You’re not going to tell me why you tracked down my address, performed a medical examination on my niece, ordered your staff to hop to it and are now standing in my living room, condescendingly refusing to answer a simple question?”
“I’m not condescending,” he shot back before he could think better of it.
“Of course you’re not.” Was that…sarcasm? “If you can’t tell me why, then I have to ask you to leave.” Her throat worked. “And not to come back.”
A raw kind of panic gripped him. “I need you. At the bar.”
She leaned away from him. “Miranda is perfectly capable of making your drink. I showed her how and there’s enough blend in the cask to last a few months. Worst case, I can always go mix up more.”
“But she’s not you.”
Jeannie’s brow furrowed. “And that’s a problem?”
She was too close. He could smell the sour tang of old formula on her shirt and see how very bloodshot her eyes were. But, in this light, he could also see things that he’d missed in the dim bar at Trenton’s. Her dark hair had red undertones to it and her eyes were brown but with flecks of both green and gold. If anyone else had him in this position, Robert would either get around them or force the issue. It was always better to go on the offensive than be left in a weakened position.
But that’s where he was now. Weakened.
“I…” To admit weakness was to admit failure and failure was not an option. “I can’t talk to her. Not like I can to you.”
“Robert, we barely talk,” she said, her exasperation obvious. He was doing a terrible job of this. “I mean, I get the feeling you just don’t talk to anyone. That’s how you are.”
“But you’re different.”
She stilled under his touch, which was when he realized he was, in fact, touching her. His hand had somehow come to rest on her cheek, just like it had earlier. Her skin was warm and soft and just felt…right.
“I can’t afford to pay you back,” she whispered, her hand covering his. But instead of flinging his fingers away from her face, she pressed harder so that his palm cradled her cheek.
Readers should read this book….
Now, it is, in fact, a Beauty and the Beast story but like I said, I didn’t know that. What I DID know was that I was writing a modern American royalty, except instead of dukes and duchesses, it’s billionaires.
I read historicals (to give my brain a break!) and I knew when I started this book that Robert would be the heir to the title who’s father had spent his whole life ‘training’ him to be the next duke–er, Wyatt. I took inspiration from a lot of sources–Katherine Ashe, Elizabeth Hoyt, among others–authors who have written some REALLY TERRIBLE nobility dads and yet found a way for the heirs to not only move past the abuse but find love and get that HEA.
So that’s what this story is. There’s a duke (i.e. billionaire) and a tavern wench (his bartender) who has to overcome the abusive father and upbringing, save the princess (the surprise baby!) and the queen (his mother), win the hand of his beloved, and say to hell with social structures–just because they’re of different classes doesn’t mean he’s not going to marry her anyway!
…Which happens to neatly line up with a lot of Beauty and the Beast, apparently! 🙂
What are you currently working on? What other releases do you have in the works?
My next book will be out in April and it’s the final book in the First Family of Rodeo–His for One Night! I’m working on recording a song for that book, as the heroine is a young Nashville singer/songwriter. I’m recording it with Haven Yates, husband to the fabulous author Maisey Yates! And let me tell you, I had the most fun coming up with double-entendre song titles!
And then I’m putting the finishing touches on a new, secret project! It’s really weird! I hope it works!!
Thanks for blogging at HJ!
Giveaway: I’m giving away 3 print (USA only) or ebook (Open internationally!) copies of His Enemy’s Daughter! Whee!
To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and Post a comment to this Q: So, what fairy tale tropes work for you? Are you a Beauty and the Beast kind of person? Or does a straight up Cinderella retelling get you every time?
Excerpt from Seduction on His Terms:
Fact: Robert was kissing her.
Fact: He didn’t like to be touched. But seeing as his mouth slanted over hers, his hands cupping her face and angling her head so he could deepen the kiss, it seemed he was okay with this type of touching. But that just led her back to…
Fact: Dr. Robert Wyatt, heir to the Wyatt Medicals fortune, one of the Top Five Billionaire Bachelors in Chicago, was providing her with a lawyer, a nanny, a maid and was also apparently willing to buy a restaurant just so she could serve him a Manhattan.
And, unavoidably, it came back to this fact: He was kissing her.
Heat cascaded from where he touched her, shivering sparks of white-hot need that burned through her with a pain that was the sweetest pleasure she’d ever felt.
When was the last time she’d showered?
That thought pushed her into breaking the kiss, which was really a shame because for all his overbearing, condescending, threatening behaviors, he was a hell of a kisser.
Right man, wrong time.
That was the thought that ran through her mind as she stared at him, her chest heaving. She crossed her arms in front of her to fight off a shiver. Why now?
“That was…” He seemed to shake back to himself. He started to straighten his cuffs and then realized they were still rolled to his elbows so instead he fixed his sleeves. “That was not what I intended.”
“Oh, for Pete’s sake, Robert.” Okay, so she’d kissed the Robert Wyatt. Her favorite customer. The man who had fueled more than a few years’ worth of hot dreams and needy fantasies. But even if that kiss would keep her going for a few more years, it didn’t change anything.
This was still Robert. Small talk was beyond him.
His brow furrowed as he got one cuff fixed. “What?”
“That’s not what you say after you kiss a woman.”
He paused and then, amazingly, straightened the sleeve he’d just fixed. “It’s not?”
“No.” She took a deep breath, but that was a bad idea because without the bar to separate them and the tang of wine and whiskey in the air to overpower her senses, she inhaled his scent, a rich cologne that was spicy and warm and still subtle.
So. There was one aspect of him that wasn’t designed to dominate. One and counting.
She headed toward the kitchen where the scent of chicken was stronger. Her stomach growled and she knew she needed to eat. The chauffeur hadn’t been wrong. She wasn’t sure she’d eaten today and if Melissa would just sleep for another few minutes, Jeannie might be able to get both a meal and a shower out of the deal.
That was a huge if. That baby hadn’t gotten more than thirty minutes of sleep at a time since…well, in her whole life. Frankly, Jeannie was probably lucky she’d made it through one of the most perfect kisses she’d ever had without interruption.
“What am I supposed to say?”
She almost smiled because the man had no clue. “Something that doesn’t make it sound like you wish you hadn’t just kissed me.” She waved this away. “It’s not important.”
A rumbling noise caught her attention and she spun to realize that not only was Robert growling, he was moving fast, too. With both cuffs fastened. “You’re important,” he said and if anyone else had said that in that tone of voice, it would’ve been a threat but for him? His voice was possessive and demanding and needy all at the same time and it wasn’t a threat.
It was a promise.
Oh, how she wanted him to keep that promise.
“The kiss was important,” he went on, his ice-blue eyes fierce and surprisingly warm. “But I don’t want to make you feel like you owe me a kiss or your body. That’s not what this is. I’m not like that.”
“Then what is it?” She managed to swallow. “What are you like?”
His mouth opened and then snapped shut and he stepped back. Damned if he didn’t adjust his cuffs again.
“Will you be all right tonight? I can have a nanny here for the night.”
Part of her was so, so thankful that he wasn’t going to suggest he should stay because…she might take him up on that.
So yeah, the other part of her was disappointed that Robert had suddenly become Dr. Wyatt again. Super disappointed. Because if that kiss was any indication, man. All that precision and control combined with the heat she felt every single time their bodies touched?
He would be amazing.
“We’ll be okay.” She rested her hand on his arm. Even through the fine cotton of his shirt, she could feel the rock-hard muscles in his arm.
“Are you sure?”
Frankly, Robert Wyatt was kind of adorable when he was concerned. Perhaps because the look did not come naturally to him. “Positive. I had this kind man teach me about swaddling, get me different formulas and generally be amazing.” She squeezed his arm.
He lifted her hand away from his arm and her heart dropped a ridiculous amount because he was back to being Dr. Wyatt and she shouldn’t be touching him. But again, he surprised her because he didn’t drop her hand. Instead, he brought it to his lips and, with that hint of a smile tugging at the corners of his mouth, kissed her knuckles.
It was an old-fashioned move right out of a romance novel but damn if it didn’t work all the same.
He would be so amazing.
She had always managed to keep her lustful thoughts about this man safely contained, but nothing was contained right now, not with his lips warming her body.
His eyes shifted to the side. “Ah,” he said, finally releasing her and moving to where Nicole had a message board hung up by the coat hooks. He picked up the marker. “This is my personal number. Call or text anytime. I have surgery in the morning so this,” he added, writing a second number, “is my assistant.”
She started to protest that she could handle things for another twenty-four hours, but that was when Robert added, “I’ll stop by tomorrow night, see how the nanny is settling in.”
Oh. He was coming back. The thought sent a little thrill through her, even though she knew it shouldn’t. She would definitely make sure she’d showered by then. “That’s not necessary.”
Of course he did.
“It should be fine.”
“I’ll expect the pleasure of your company, then.”
The air rushed out of her lungs because that was not only a good line, but coming out of Robert’s mouth?
A pleasure, indeed.
“Will you tell me what’s bothering you, then?”
A shadow crossed over his eyes. She could feel him retreating—emotionally and physically, because he opened the door and walked out of Nicole’s house. “No.”
“Why not?” she asked his back.
He was halfway down the steps when he turned, with that confused look on his face. “Because.”
She rolled her eyes. “That continues to be a terrible answer, you know.”
“Because I won’t put you in danger,” he said.
Then he walked off to where Reginald was waiting, with the car door open.
The chauffeur tipped his cap at Jeannie and then they were gone.
What the ever-loving hell?
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
‘Tell me what’s wrong so I can fix it.’ But on what terms?
When bartender Jeannie Kaufman leaves her job to care for her infant niece, Dr Robert Wyatt, her favourite customer, offers the help she so desperately needs. Yet as sparks fly, the gruff, gorgeous heir to a fortune still holds back. Does Robert think she’ll never fit in his high-powered world? Or is there danger lurking if they take their romance too far?
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Meet the Author:
Award-winning author Sarah M. Anderson may live east of the Mississippi River, but her heart lies out west on the Great Plains. She loves to put people from two different worlds into new situations and to see how their backgrounds and cultures take them someplace they never thought they’d go. Sarah won the 2012 RT Reviewer’s Choice Desire of the Year award for A Man of Privilege. The Nanny Plan was a 2016 RITA® winner for Contemporary Romance: Short.
Sarah spends her days having conversations with imaginary cowboys and billionaires. Find out more at www.sarahmanderson.com and sign up for the new-release newsletter at http://bit.ly/sarahalerts.
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Definitely Beauty and the Beast every time:)
Beauty and the Beast definitely
I think I like Cinderella best – it is more fun
I have always loved Cinderella!
I am more of a Cinderella kind of a girl.
I’m a Cinderella girl.
I love them both
Beauty and the Beast
I love fairy tale tropes. I don’t have a favorite. I love them all!
I enjoy most fairytale types
i like the cinderella
Love them all .Cinderella is my favorite.
I like Cinderella however Beauty and the Beast is my face
Beauty and the Beast
I love them all
Beauty and the Beast is my favorite.
Nicole (Nicky) Ortiz
I’m a Beauty and the Beast girl
Thanks for the chance!
Beauty and the Beast
don’t like retellings
Beauty and the Beast all the way.
Actually my 2 favorites are Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella!!!
I do like fairytale tropes.
I like rescues:
from danger The Little Mermaid
from life Cinderella,, The Ugly Duckling
from evil Sleeping Beauty and Snow White
Sacrifice for love/ exchange place for a loved one
Snow White and Rose Red, Beauty and the Beast
Wounded or disfigured hero/heroine/friend
Beauty and the Beast, Heidi
Beauty and the beast kind.
I’m more of an Alice in Wonderland girl! Thank you
Although Beauty and the Beast is my least favorite fairy tale, I absolutely love when it is re-told in “real-life” scenarios.