Spotlight & Giveaway: Taken By Storm by Cat Schield

Posted June 19th, 2019 by in Blog, Spotlight / 24 comments

Today it is my pleasure to Welcome author Cat Schield to HJ!

Hi Cat and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, Taken By Storm!

Hi! I’m excited to be visiting Harlequin Junkie today.

To start off, can you please tell us a little bit about this book?:

Taken By Storm is the second book in the Harlequin Desire series Dynasties: Secrets of the A-list. The story is set at a luxury resort in the mountains outside Seattle and features career-driven hotel executive Shane Adams and Isabel Withers, hotel concierge and romance enthusiast. This is truly a tale of opposites attracting. Isabel has a crush on her all-business boss and knows the best way to attract his attention is to present him with her ideas to turn the hotel into a romance destination. What better way to convince him that her idea has merit than to demonstrate just how romantic the hotel can be.

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

The book opens like this…

He’s Just Not That into You.
The title of Isabel Withers’s favorite rom-com movie and unfortunately the theme of her love life. Or lack thereof. In fact, a better title might have been He Doesn’t Know You’re Alive.

Here’s a bit of dialog that showcases that Isabel has her work cut out for her if she’s going to get under his skin…

“Your tie needs to go,” she said, returning to him. She wrestled with his tie and it followed the path of his coat. “You’ll feel much more relaxed when I’m done with you.”

“I’m pretty sure where I’m headed is the opposite of relaxed,” he muttered.

I just loved the interplay between these two.


What inspired this book?

This book was part of a continuity so the authors are given a bible that tells us some general things about our characters, the setting and the plot. Most of the story is set at The Opulence which is based on a real hotel and I incorporated a lot of things from it. Isabel calls herself a romance concierge. I “borrowed” that.


How did you ‘get to know’ your main characters? Did they ever surprise you?

My characters surprise me all the time. That’s what makes writing so much fun. I use Pinterest to create a mood board for every book. I love to pin clothes and ideas for where they live. If anyone is interested in following me, you can find me here.


What was your favorite scene to write?

Isabel takes Shane to a romantic spot on the hotel grounds to watch a couple get engaged. He has no idea what she’s up to as they set the stage for the event with dozens of candles on a covered bridge. During this scene he first starts to see her commitment to romance and her dedication to making people happy and it sets the stage for him letting her in.

The trail led to a covered bridge that spanned the river fifty feet before the top of the falls. It was a magical spot for couples, and Isabel had set the stage to prove it.
“This is your romantic spot?” he peered at the weathered wood structure doubtfully.
Isabel reached into her tote and pulled out two lighters, extending one to Shane. “You’ll see what I mean when we’re done.”
Earlier she’d brought out dozens of hurricane lanterns and filled them with white candles. As the light faded, muting the shocking orange and brilliant yellow trees and deepening the cloudless sky to a rich cornflower blue, the setting would make a gorgeous shot.
Each took one side of the bridge and worked in companionable silence to light candle after candle. Some had been hung by chains from the rafters. Others sat on the railing or the ground. By the time they were finished, the glow of those flickering points of light filled Isabel with warm satisfaction.
“Okay, I’ll admit this sets the stage,” he said as he handed back the lighter.
Isabel tore her gaze from the covered bridge bathed in flickering candlelight and peered at Shane. He didn’t sound like the stiff businessman she’d come to know. He shifted his attention away from her, but not before she saw grudging respect and understanding in his dark brown eyes.


What was the most difficult scene to write?

There’s a confrontation between Isabel and the executive manager of the hotel. The guy is a big jerk and I had a hard time keeping him from coming across too over-the-top.

“Do you make a habit of handing out free spa treatments?”
Isabel’s pulse leaped as she glanced around and saw Tom Busch standing behind her. His scowl told her he wasn’t happy.
“When I think it will benefit the hotel.” She’d never sucked up to the executive manager the way he preferred and often wondered if that had led him to shut down her ideas for promoting The Opulence as a romantic destination.
“That’s not your decision to make,” Tom said. “You should ask before comping anything.”
“Usually I do.” Isabel nodded, but continued to defend her actions. “But today there wasn’t time.”
“We have procedures for how to do things here.”
“I know, but I was trying to smooth over a situation for Camilla Maxwell. She’s a lifestyle blogger with almost four mill—”
Tom interrupted. “I don’t care who it was for. Don’t do it again.”


Would you say this book showcases your writing style or is it a departure for you?

I think this book is right in my comfort zone with lots of sassy dialog and sizzling romance.


What do you want people to take away from reading this book?

I really love Isabel’s gumption and her determination to make her ideas heard. She is way more confident than I was at her age and it’s a good reminder that speaking up for things we’re passionate about is important. It’s also a boss/employee story in this age of #metoo and that’s always a challenging line to walk.


What are you currently working on? What other releases do you have planned?

The next book for me is going to be part of a new Texas Cattleman’s Club series. I’m not sure about my story so I don’t have much to share. I have another story coming out in October 2019 in my Sweet Tea and Scandal series set in Charleston, South Carolina. The heroine gets mistaken as a long lost granddaughter a dying tycoon and when this causes him to make a rapid recovery, she gets talked into pretending to be his missing heir. The hero is convinced she’s up to no good, and it drives him crazy that he’s so attracted to her.


Thanks for blogging at HJ!


Giveaway: I’d love to give away signed paperback copy of Taken By Storm to 3 commenters from the US.


To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and Post a comment to this Q: Isabel spends the book convincing Shane the hotel should be promoted as the perfect romance spot. If you were planning a destination wedding, where would you go?

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Excerpt from Taken By Storm:

“You look great,” he murmured.
“You sound surprised,” she countered breathlessly, executing a slow pirouette so he could take her in from every angle. “I’m not as unsophisticated as my hotel uniform might suggest.”
“I never thought anything like that.”
“You did, but I forgive you.” Her hazel eyes flashed. “And I’ll admit that I dressed like this so you’d see a different side of me.”
“You didn’t need to.” Shane took her arm and guided her toward the restaurant.
Isabel resisted. “What are you trying to say?”
“That I’m interested in you just the way you are.”
“You’re interested in me?” Her eyebrows climbed. She studied him for several steps. “How am I supposed to take that?”
“Why don’t we go inside and find out over a glass of wine.”
But once the hostess settled them in a quiet booth and after ordering a bottle of Syrah from the local winery, the conversation veered toward that afternoon’s photo shoot. Isabel slid onto the seat beside Shane and opened her laptop. While she scrolled through hundreds of photos, soliciting his opinion on several, he gave up trying to focus on her words and lost himself in her upbeat tone, her building excitement for the marketing potential and the zing of delight every time her shoulder bumped against his.
He wanted to nuzzle the spot where her dangly earrings bumped against her neck and slide his hand along her silky thigh. Her infectious grin invited him to relax and soak in all of her optimism and passion.
When the food came, she shifted to the opposite side of the booth and put away her computer. Shane immediately missed her proximity and wondered what spell she’d cast over him.
“How’s the costata di agnello?” she asked, eyeing his rack of lamb with interest.
Shane realized he’d been so absorbed in watching Isabel savor every mouthful of her veal that he’d eaten a third of his dish without tasting a single bite. “Do you want to try it?”
“Please.” She reached across the table and snagged a bit of the meat he’d cut. Eyes dancing, she popped the fork into her mouth and groaned. “Delicious.”
After watching how much Isabel enjoyed the meal, Shane couldn’t wait to see how she reacted to the decadent chocolate dessert the waiter suggested.
“You know, you’re pretty young to be the head of a division the size of Richmond Hotel Group,” Isabel said, spearing another bite of the flourless torte. “How long have you been with the company?”
“Five years.” As he answered, Shane realized Isabel had been deftly interviewing him the entire meal while he knew next to nothing about her. “It’s been a combination of hard work and luck.”
“‘I’m a greater believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.’ Thomas Jefferson,” she said with a decisive nod. “So, where is all your hard work taking you next?”
“What makes you think I’m not perfectly happy with where I’m at?”
She gave that serious consideration for several seconds before asking, “Do you think you’ll ever get to a point where you’ll want more than what you have now?”
Like a wife and kids? He saw where her thoughts had taken her and decided to shut down that line of inquiry.
“What I have now is everything I need.”
“What about sex?”
The blunt question left him choking on the sip of wine he’d just taken. Here he’d been thinking she was a local girl, naive and unworldly, and him the big bad sophisticate from the city. She kept turning the tables on him with her outrageous talk. Was she trying to get under his skin or did she just turn on the charm with everyone?
“What about it? I mean, I’m not a monk.”
“So you date?”
“Of course,” he said.
With a hint of mockery causing the corners of her lips to curve up, Isabel fixed him with bright curiosity. “How does the evening go?”
What did she want to know? Probably what any sensible woman on a date with a man hoped to hear. That he intended to get to know her before taking her to bed.
“I start with a nice dinner and…” He trailed off. Normally that’s all he made time for.
“This is a nice dinner. Very romantic.” She pointed to the half-eaten chocolate torte between them.
“You suggested the restaurant,” Shane countered, registering his defensive tone.
She cocked her head and regarded him with a curious half-smile. “You let me eat off your plate and agreed to share a dessert.”
He gazed at her baffled wonder. “So?”
“I’m surprised you let me, is all. It’s shows you’re capable of intimacy.”
“Intimacy?” He garbled out the word. “I was being polite.”
He didn’t do intimacy any more than he did romance. What was this woman doing? Was she thinking? Planning? As the questions sped up, his thoughts approached a state of near panic. And then he noticed she was smiling at him in absolute delight.
“When you take these women out that you date, what happens after dinner?” she asked, returning to her earlier line of questioning. “Dancing?”
“Like in a nightclub?” The thought of all that noise and the crush of so many people made him grimace. “No.”
“A movie?”
He cleared his throat. “It’s been a while since I’ve been to the theater.” Years, in fact. Usually if he caught a popular film it was on TV, months after it left the theater.
“A romantic walk through the city?” Anticipating his dissent, she didn’t even wait for him to respond. “So, after dinner you move straight to sex. Do you go back to her place or take her to yours?”
Shane shook his head, regretting that he hadn’t stopped her flow of questions before this. A second later it occurred to him that she was looking for reassurance. Despite the way she wore her romanticism like a suit of armor against all that was hard and unkind in the world, Isabel wasn’t immune to disappointment or heartbreak. Today’s encounter with Tom Busch was proof of that. She’d been visibly rattled by how the executive manager had dressed her down. Her earnest actions had been for the good of the resort and Tom’s inflexibility had landed on her spirits like a ruler across the knuckles, painful and humiliating.
I’m not planning on seducing you, if that’s what you’re worried about.
That was what she deserved to hear. It was how he felt. He had no intention of taking advantage of her idealistic nature. But perversely this fact wasn’t what came out of his mouth.
“It depends.”
She popped a forkful of chocolate dessert into her mouth. “On what?”
“On whether I have any interest in seeing her again.”

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Book Info:

“You don’t believe in romance? Let me change your mind…”
Concierge Isabel Withers vows to turn The Opulence hotel into Seattle’s top romantic destination. But first she has to convince Shane Adams, her no-nonsense boss, that the project has merit. When a freak storm strands them at the hotel—leading to a night of passion—it more than demonstrates her point! But is the self-proclaimed romance expert in over her head this time?

Book Links: Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo |

Meet the Author:

Cat Schield has been reading and writing romance since high school. Although she graduated from college with a BA in business, her idea of a perfect career was writing for Harlequin. And now, after winning the Romance Writers of America prestigious Golden Heart Award for Best Contemporary Series Romance, that dream has come true. Cat lives in Minnesota with her daughter Emily, their Burmese cats and a fun-loving Doberman. When she’s not writing sexy, romantic stories for Harlequin Desire, she can be found sailing with friends on the St. Croix River or in more exotic locales, like the Caribbean and Europe.
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24 Responses to “Spotlight & Giveaway: Taken By Storm by Cat Schield”

  1. Glenda M

    Grabd Teton National park. There’s a chapel with an amazing view though the picture window behind the alter. Plus there’s so much for everyone to do AND it’s just down the road from Yellowstone.