Hi Kate and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, The Book Boyfriend!
Thanks! It’s good to be back.
To start off, can you please tell us a little bit about this book?:
The Book Boyfriend is the last book in the Meet Cute Book Club multi-author series. It’s a wrong side of the tracks romance story about Mila, a small town bookstore owner, and Cross, an ex-con, blue collar mechanic. The two have an adorable meet cute of their own, and fall into a relationship that Mila’s book club friends say could be straight out of one of their favorite romance novels. Things are great between them, until someone tries to use Cross’s past against him to come between the happy couple.
Please share your favorite lines or quote(s) from this book:
So hard to choose favorites, but here are some that stick with me:
There’s just something about seeing the contrast of my dark ink against Mila’s flawless, unmarked skin…
It’s fucking beautiful.
I’m still not sure I deserve someone as good as Mila, but if she accepts me and all my faults, there’s no way I’m letting her go.
Only a fucking fool would do that.
I knew something was wrong when he showed up at the door and kissed me like he would die if he didn’t.
It’s like one of the bad boys from my favorite alpha romances walked right off the pages and into my shop.
What inspired this book?
Some of the inspiration for the main characters came from The Gilmore Girls. I’ve been re-watching the show with my daughter and I was always Team Jess. I love the idea of a good girl falling for the bad boy who isn’t actually bad, just misunderstood. Unlike Jess, though… Cross totally gets the girl.
I thought writing a book boyfriend who seemed like the perfect book boyfriend within the book would be fun. I was right! It added an interesting element to the story to have Mila and her friends comparing Cross to the men they read about in romance books.
How did you ‘get to know’ your main characters? Did they ever surprise you?
Mila has been bouncing around inside my head for a little while now. Her older sister is the heroine in an upcoming book in my Love & Liquor series, so I’ve gotten to know Mila a little bit through her. Cross was a little harder to get to know, but he had no problem showing me who he was once Mila came into the picture.
Cross surprised me by being so level-headed. He has all the reasons to be mad at the world, but he takes things in stride. He went to prison and didn’t let it change who he was at the core.
What was your favorite scene to write?
The book club meeting. Well, meetings, plural. I wrote two into my story and I had fun incorporating the other series authors’ characters into my story. I love the supportive, loving vibe between the women who were brought together by their love of books.
“Where is that incredible man of yours?”
Shannon leans forward, and I watch her move her head around like she’s trying to see behind me.
“What the hell are you doing?” I laugh.
“Trying to see if he’s hiding somewhere,” she says.
“It doesn’t work like that, you know. And he’s working late, he’s not here.”
“He should be.”
“Why? It’s book club night. He’s not a member,” I point out.
“Maybe he should be,” Skye says, walking back towards her computer with a glass of wine.
“He does read romance,” Daphne says. “I snagged the book he told me about when I was finishing his sleeve last week and… damn.” She fans her face.” Mila, girl, please tell me he pulls some inspiration from these books and uses it in the bedroom. I’ll be severely disappointed if he doesn’t.”
“No, wait. I couldn’t stand it if you said no, so if he doesn’t—lie to me.”
We all laugh, but she’s not the only one waiting for an answer.
“Yes, but also no,” I say, laughing at the looks of confusion.
“What the hell does that mean?” Jaime asks.
“Yes, he’s been inspired by books, but in the bedroom… not so much,” I admit.
“I have questions,” Brandi says.
“So many questions,” Arlowe agrees.
What was the most difficult scene to write?
Probably the scene where Mila confronts her stepfather. It was hard to write because of the range of emotions Mila experiences over the course of the confrontation, as well as the conversation with her mother that happens as a result. It’s a pivotal moment for Mila where she finally chooses her own happiness and cuts the strings that were making her miserable.
“You can’t convince me to change my mind about him.”
I spoke too soon.
“Don’t worry, I’m not going to try. But you can forget about me playing happy family. I won’t be attending any more of your political events. I refuse to continue to support you when you can’t and won’t offer me the same respect.”
“Mila, be reasonable. The family needs to present a united front. It won’t look good if you’re skipping important events and galivanting around town with a criminal.”
I snort, shaking my head.
He still doesn’t fucking get it.
But I’m done wasting my breath.
Maybe it’ll finally click when I don’t show up to his next event.
I’m done being his puppet.
I’m cutting the fucking strings.
Turning away from him, I walk to the door with my head held high.
“Have the day you deserve, Dick.”
Would you say this book showcases your writing style or is it a departure for you?
Without a doubt. It has everything you can expect from a Kate Stacy book: relatable characters, humor, heat, drama, and angst, all wrapped up with a happily ever after the characters deserve.
What do you want people to take away from reading this book?
If there’s one thing I want people to take away from this book is that you shouldn’t judge people. You never know what other people are dealing with in their personal life, or what kind of battles they’re fighting or what they’ve been through. Being nice costs nothing.
I think an important lesson that Cross learned throughout this book is that you can’t let other people’s opinions of you dictate how you feel about yourself, and that sometimes you have to let go of things you can’t change.
What are you currently working on? What other releases do you have planned?
I’m currently finishing up Bourbon Truths, which is the second book in my Love & Liquor series, then I’ll be moving on to book three, Scotch Promises. The series revolves around the hot bartenders of 80 Proof Bar & Grill, set in my fictional small town, Blackwood, North Carolina. The series is five books, each is a standalone with a new couple and their HEA.
I’m also writing in another multi-author collaboration, Hot Vegas Nights. My book, A Vegas Dare, is a dare/fling romance and it releases on November 22nd.
Thanks for blogging at HJ!
Giveaway: An e-book of choice from Kate Stacy backlist
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If not, have you ever wanted to?
Excerpt from The Book Boyfriend:
“You know who I am?”
“I know my nephew,” he says, crossing the stained concrete floor. “There’s only one woman that would possibly come around looking for him.”
As he moves closer and I get a better view of his face, I almost feel like I have seen this man before. He looks so much like Cross, it’s unreal.
Or… I guess Cross looks like him, but that’s totally not the point.
This is Cross’s uncle?
They could be brothers.
He chuckles, and the way his eyes crinkle at the corners makes me feel even more like I’m looking at a slightly older version of the man I’m easily falling for.
“It also could be that I know your brother,” he says, winking. “Even if I hadn’t seen pictures of you, you and Mateo share some unmistakable features.”
“Funny,” I retort. “I was just thinking the same about you and Cross.”
“I could tell by the look of surprise on your face.”
I feel the heat start to rise in my cheeks. “Sorry, I…”
“Was expecting someone older?” he asks, eyes twinkling with a knowing look.
I nod shyly and he laughs, holding out his hand. “I’m Bishop.” Before I can shake it, he looks down and pulls it back, holding it up so I can see the black streaks staining his fingers. “Don’t want to get this shit all over your hand.”
“A little grease never hurt anyone.”
“Is that right?” a deep voice rumbles near my ear.
I gasp as strong arms wrap around me.
“I’ll have to remember that for later,” Cross murmurs, pressing a kiss to my jaw. “Not that I’m not happy to see you, but what are you doing here? I wasn’t expecting to see you until later. Is everything okay?”
Concern colors his gaze, and I open my mouth to reassure him, but Bishop beats me to it. Kind of.
“How do you know she’s not here to see me?” he asks.
Cross cocks a brow, pinning his uncle with a stare. “You tryin’ to steal my girl, old man?”
Bishop belts out a laugh. “Not my style… but happiness looks real good on you, kid.” His gaze shifts to me and he smiles. “I’ll see you around, Mila. It was good to finally meet you.”
“You too,” I tell him, still smiling at the rapport between the two men.
As Bishop moves back to the car he was working on when I arrived, Cross relaxes his hold, turning me around in his arms.
“Seriously, baby. Everything good?”
“Everything is great,” I tell him, pushing onto my toes to kiss him. “I’m in a celebratory mood, and I wanted to share it with someone.”
“Mmm. I’m glad you chose me,” he murmurs against my lips, then kisses me again. “This is a nice surprise.”
“I was gonna call, but then I realized that I don’t have your number.”
“Yeah,” he says, chuckling. “I’ve had the same issue a time or two. Give me your phone and we’ll fix the problem right now.”
Slipping it out of my back pocket, I unlock the screen and hand my phone to him. He saves his number in my contacts and sends himself a text.
“There,” he says, handing it back to me with a smile. “Problem solved, but you don’t have to call, baby. You can drop by anytime.”
“Good to know.”
“Now,” he says, wrapping his arms around me again, pulling me close. His lips find mine again. “I believe you said something about celebrating?”
“Take it outside!” Bishop hollers, a teasing note in his voice. “Some of us are trying to work here.”
Cross laughs, throwing up his middle finger behind him as he takes my hand and leads me from the garage. “Sorry about that,” he says, walking us toward his truck. “He’s—”
“No, it’s fine,” I promise. “I like him.”
“Good.” He stops at the back of his truck and lowers the tailgate. Grabbing hold of my waist, he lifts me up and deposits me on the edge. Leaning in, he says, “Now… where were we?”
Smiling, I let myself get lost in his kiss.
Until he pulls away. “You still haven’t told me what we’re celebrating.”
“Maybe because you haven’t stopped kissing me long enough to get a word in.”
“Can’t help it,” he admits, and I’m not even upset. I would kiss him all day if I could.
Stepping to the side, he turns around and sits next to me on the tailgate. “So…?”
“I had my meeting with the bank this morning and officially applied for a loan.”
“That’s great, babe!” He takes my hand, twining our fingers together. “I’m so proud of you.”
“I won’t find out for a couple weeks whether I’m approved, but—”
“Doesn’t matter,” he insists. Holding my gaze, he brings the hand not holding mine to my neck, brushing his thumb across my jawline. “I’m still proud of you for taking this step, for going after what you want.”
I knew he’d get it.
“Besides… you’re gonna get the loan, Mila.”
“How are you so certain?”
“Because, baby. I can feel it.” Always so confident. “They’d be fools not to give it to you. You’re gonna do big things, Mila. I believe in you.”
I can’t help but smile at the sentiment. “Thank you,” I murmur.
“Of course,” he says, smiling back. “Now… what do you want to do to celebrate?”
With the way he’s looking at me right now…
Several ideas come to mind, but I’ll keep them in mind for later.
Cross is being super sweet, but the banter between him and his uncle brought out my playful side. I’m suddenly in the mood to have a little fun.
“I’m up for anything,” I tell him, fighting to keep my expression neutral and my tone casual. “We should invite Bishop to come with us.”
Brows furrowed, Cross gives me a questioning look.
“I just think it might be fun,” I say innocently, shrugging one shoulder. “You never told me he was so young, Cross. He’s kinda h—”
A low growl resonates from his throat as he slaps his palm over my mouth and hauls me onto his lap.
“You want me to spank your ass, don’t you?”
My thighs squeeze together involuntarily as his words sink in, the deep rumble of his voice settling between my legs. Cross and I haven’t had sex yet, but the reaction those words elicit in the deepest parts of me make me wonder what the hell we’re waiting for.
“Hmm,” he hums, nuzzling his face into my hair. “I think someone likes the sound of that.”
I shiver as his warm breath blows across my ear, and I can feel the smile that forms on his lips. He’s right. I do like the sound of that and judging by the hardness I feel pressing against my ass—I’m not the only one.
“Have you ever been spanked, baby?” he asks, moving his mouth down my throat.
“No,” I whisper, tipping my head back against his chest.
“Something to keep in mind for later, then.” Cross presses a wet kiss to my shoulder, and I feel the gentle scrape of his teeth before he pulls away. “For now… I’m putting you to work. You can help me unload these parts while you decide how you want to celebrate tonight.”
Struck by the sudden shift, I don’t have time to react when he slides off the tailgate, still holding me. He slowly releases me, giving me time to get my bearings. Once my feet touch the ground and I’m steady, Cross smiles.
“Come on,” he says, swatting my butt as he moves past me.
Turning my head, I watch him walk to the passenger side. I still haven’t moved when he opens the door and looks back, finding me standing in the same spot.
“Move that sweet ass, Mila.”
Well, damn. That backfired.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Escape with the Meet Cute Book Club, where meet cutes don’t happen only between the pages of romance novels, and one by one, all the members find their own happily ever afters.
I never thought I’d have a real-life meet cute, but the minute Crossland Parker walks into my life, it starts feeling like I’m living in the pages of a romance novel.
He sweeps me off my feet, and I find myself calling fast and hard for the rough around the edges mechanic. He’s a troubled bad boy with a heart of gold.
Cross fits into my life effortlessly, even sharing my love of books. He’s everything I didn’t know I wanted in a man. Attentive, sweet, a little bit possessive. He’s also my biggest source of support when I decide I want to buy the building next door so I can expand my business. So what if he has a criminal record? No one is perfect.
Unless you ask my stepfather. He expects nothing less than perfection, but not even I could ever come close.
After spending too many years wandering when I was released from prison, I came back to Abbott Ridge to start over.
I wasn’t expecting Mila Santos to fall into my arms, but I’m irrevocably drawn to the curvy little beauty who owns the bookstore. She’s a good girl, too good for a guy like me.
Our relationship develops faster than most, but I spent too many years of my life locked up. Now that I’m out, I refuse to waste a single second. I’m still not sure I deserve someone as sweet as Mila, but if she accepts me and all my faults, there’s no way I’m letting her go. Only a fucking fool would do that.
My past is no secret, and I knew the day would come when someone would try to use it against me. I just didn’t expect it to happen so soon.
Is happily ever after possible when a good girl falls for the guy from the wrong side of the tracks?
The Book Boyfriend is a standalone, wrong side of the tracks romance that is part of the Meet Cute Book Club multi-author series.
Book Links: Amazon |
Meet the Author:
Author of emotionally-gripping, contemporary romance, Kate Stacy’s novels feature sassy heroines, swoony heroes, life, love, friendship, and all the angst. When she’s not writing or spending time with her family and friends in small-town North Carolina, Kate can most likely be found nose deep in her Kindle. She stays up too late, swears too much, and loves too hard.
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