Spotlight & Giveaway: Strictly Not Yours by Carrie Elks

Posted February 13th, 2024 by in Blog, Spotlight / 27 comments

Today it is my pleasure to Welcome author Carrie Elks to HJ!

Hi Carrie and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, Strictly Not Yours!

Hi, my name’s Carrie Elks and I’m excited to share my book with you today!

Please summarize the book for the readers here:

Maid of Manhattan meets fight club in this gorgeous opposites attract contemporary romcom.

Please share your favorite line(s) or quote from this book:

“Put me down,” I whisper as he carries me to his bedroom.
“Shut up.”
“Seriously,” I tell him, as his arms tighten around me. “You’re going to get a hernia.”
He stops dead and looks at me. There’s not a sign of strain on his face. “Are you questioning my masculinity?” he asks, sounding amused.
“I’m questioning the ratio between the size of your muscles and the size of my ass.”
“Your ass is perfect.”


Please share a few Fun facts about this book…

  • I got the inspiration for this book from my husband. Or more specifically his co-worker. They work in a white collar, quite boring (but lucrative) job and one day his co-worker confessed that he’s a member of a white-collar fight club. Where businessmen meet up to fight each other.
  • I was fascinated, and after that, Strictly Not Yours grew in my mind.


What first attracts your Hero to the Heroine and vice versa?

The heroine (Blair) has worked for the hero (Holden) for years, but he’s never seen her because she’s his cleaner and he’s never at home when she’s there. But then she discovers his secret – that he’s a doctor by day, but at night he fights in a club. A misunderstanding leads to her getting a job behind the bar there (she’s a mature student and needs all the money she can get) and then they ‘meet’ for the first time, and sparks fly!


Did any scene have you blushing, crying or laughing while writing it? And Why?

I rarely blush at scenes anymore, but I often cry. Blair is very self sufficient. She used to be in the army and she learnt that she had to take care of herself. So admitting she’s falling for the hero is hard for her. And when he finds out she’s been lying to him (she doesn’t tell him she’s his cleaner) he gets angry. Here’s the scene:

“I thought you were different with me,” he says. And those words hurt more than anything else.
“I was,” I tell him. “I never let anybody in before you.”
“You never let me in either.” He sighs, running a hand through his hair. “I thought you did, but you didn’t. I don’t think you ever will.”
Tears threaten again, but I blink them away because I know how much he hates it when I cry. “I did,” I say. “I let you in. I fell for you Holden. I’m in love with you. I’ll do whatever you need for me to make it up to you.”
Disbelief pulls at his features. I hate that. I hate that he won’t believe me.
“I don’t want your love,” he says, his voice flat. “I don’t want to be loved by a liar. Now get out and go home, Blair. I don’t want to talk to you anymore.”
I try to think of something to say to make this better. But the right words don’t come. Just a sob that I try to swallow because I can’t pull the crying woman card.
“Okay.” I nod. “I’ll go.”
He doesn’t reply.


Readers should read this book….

If they love strong heroines, tortured heroes and a happily ever after!


What are you currently working on? What other releases do you have in the works?

I’m currently working on the next book in the Salinger Brothers series (Strictly the Worst – due for release in July). I’m also adding the finishing touches to my next small town romance, That One Touch – which releases in April!

Thanks for blogging at HJ!


Giveaway: I have a paperback copy of Strictly Not Yours to give away. Open internationally!


To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and Post a comment to this Q: If you were an underground fighter, what would your name be? (Mine would be ‘the writer’ – exciting huh?)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Excerpt from Strictly Not Yours:

“How did you make it to your thirties without getting married?” I ask her, softly stroking her hair as she curls up next to me in my bed.
“Same reason you did probably.” Blair smiles.
“Oh, you’re a f*** up too?”
That makes her laugh. Her eyes crinkle and I like it. “Seriously,” I tell her. “I’m a relationship avoidant. You must remember that?”
“The anti-picket fence stance. Yeah.” She tips her head to look at me. “Why do you hate the idea of it so much?”
“I don’t know.” I do. I just don’t want to talk about it.
“Come on. You tell me your deepest secret and I’ll tell you mine.”
I take a deep breath. She’s easy to talk to but some things aren’t easy to think about. “I was engaged once. During my fellowship.”
“You were?” She doesn’t look jealous. Just interested.
“Yeah. So I guess I wanted the picket fence, too.”
“What happened?”
I shrug. “We got married. She should be home in about twenty minutes.”
“Holden!” Her eyes widen, because she’s naked in my bed right now. “Shut up.”
She knows I’m kidding. I wrinkle my nose. “I was working in an oncology ward in Chicago. She’d followed me there. We had a nice apartment, she worked a few hours a day in a gallery, but mostly was at home. I think she got bored.”
“Then she should have got another job,” Blair says.
“Yeah. She found other ways to entertain herself.” I clear my throat. “I had a bad day at work. Lost a patient I really cared about. And when I got home I found her fucking one of my fellow doctors.”
Blair’s expression is one of horror. “What?”
“And I beat him up.”
I give her a tight smile. “I nearly lost my job over it. One of the senior doctors pulled me aside and told me to find an outlet for my anger.”
“That’s when you started boxing?” she asked.
“Yeah. I got rid of the girl and got into the ring.”
“What was her name?” Blair asks softly.
“Claire sucks.”
I laugh, because she genuinely looks mad. Christ this woman would be easy to fall for. “Yeah, she did. But it’s old history now. And I haven’t heard from her for years.”
“I hope her picket fence is up her ass,” Blair mutters.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Book Info:

I thought I knew everything about my rich, neat-freak doctor of a boss. Until I walked into a fight club and our eyes clashed across the ring…

Holden Salinger is a pediatric oncologist and for the last two years I’ve been cleaning his swanky New York apartment.

I know every intimate detail about him, from his overly large shoe size to his toothpaste tube rolling obsession.

But he doesn’t even know I exist. The man couldn’t pick me out in a police lineup.

Until I get a second job working at a local bar, only to discover there’s a secret back room. One with a boxing ring right in the center. And when I see him vault into it, muscles rippling, I realize he’s not the man I thought he was.

From the moment our gazes clash, the chemistry between us is sizzling. And when he becomes my unexpected savior, my heart takes a tumble I’m not expecting.

Falling for him is such a bad idea. If he finds out who I really am, he’d never want to touch me.

So let’s not tell him, okay?

Cinderella meets Fight Club in this gripping new romance from Carrie Elks. Find out why readers are falling for the Salinger Brothers today…
Book Links: Amazon | B&N | iTunes | kobo | Google |

Meet the Author:

Carrie Elks writes contemporary romance with a sizzling edge. Her first book, Fix You, has been translated into eight languages and made a surprise appearance on Big Brother in Brazil. Luckily for her, it wasn’t voted out. Carrie lives with her husband, two lovely children and a larger-than-life black pug called Plato. When she isn’t writing or reading, she can be found baking, drinking an occasional (!) glass of wine, or chatting on social media.
Website | Facebook |

27 Responses to “Spotlight & Giveaway: Strictly Not Yours by Carrie Elks”

  1. Nora-Adrienne

    The Queen of Blood and Gore! ( I have older brothers who were in the military and taught me some wicked tricks)

  2. lindaherold999

    I don’t think I could ever do that!! But I would say Kingster.