Spotlight & Giveaway: The Man Behind the Pinstripes by Melissa McClone

Posted June 18th, 2013 by in Blog, Giveaway, Spotlight, _Harlequin Romances / 84 comments

Today it is my pleasure to welcome back Harlequin romance author Melissa McClone to HJ

Melissa welcome, For all my readers who may not be familiar with your work, could you tell us a bit about yourself and your books?

Melissa McCloneI’m from the Pacific Northwest, married with three children, two dogs and lots of cats. I’m a former mechanical engineer turned stay-at-home mom/writer. I write contemporary romance for the Harlequin Romance line. My books are category romance and would be considered “sweet” though there is sexual tension.

Please summarize your latest release The Man Behind the Pinstripes for the readers here ….

The Man Behind the Pinstripes is about a two people with trust issues. Caleb Fairchild is the CEO of his family’s skincare company. Becca Taylor is a dog handler. Both have been wronged in the past and are wary about letting down their guard. Here’s the back cover copy:

His pinstripe suit is normally his armor…

Becca Taylor has worked hard to overcome her troubled past and start a new life. But when Caleb Fairchild marches into her life, the instant attraction between them is the last thing she needs!

CEO Caleb has learned the hard way not to suffer fools and to be careful of whom to trust. Why should Becca, gorgeous as she is, be any different? But he can’t help but be drawn to her, to want to get close to her. So when her secrets are blown out into the open, betrayal seems inevitable. Unless the truth can start to crack the iron walls he’s built around his heart.…

Please introduce to HJ readers your character Caleb Fairchild from your novel The Man Behind the Pinstripes

TMBTPHow would you describe Character in one sentence?

Caleb is ultra-responsible and watches out for everyone in his life from his family to his employees.

What is his strongest character trait? Weakest?

I think his strongest character trait—being so responsible—is also his weakest because he oversteps, butting into others’ lives, and he also overthinks what he should be doing.

What does your character do for a living?

Caleb is CEO of Fair Face, his family’s skincare company.

Is your character ruled by emotion or logic or some combination thereof?

Caleb would say he’s ruled by logic, but he’s really ruled by emotion masked as logic due to what’s happened to him in the past.

Who is your character’s Love interest in the book?

Becca Taylor is a woman trying to rebuild her life after getting out of prison. Her parents and lawyer convinced her to accept a plea bargain, even though she wasn’t guilty. Becca’s a certified veterinary technician and shows dogs. Her dream is to be a fulltime professional dog handler. She much prefers the company of four-footed, fur-covered friends to humans.

Was it love at first sight for your character? If not what was the pivotal moment of change?

It was not love at first site. Caleb wanted nothing more than to get Becca away from his grandmother. He thought she was a scammer/con artist.
The pivotal moment of change occurred when Becca was completely honest with Caleb about her past mistakes, even though she knew he would likely hold them against her.

If you character could go back in time and change one thing what would it be? Why?

Caleb would change having proposed to his ex-fiancée. He would likely go back and change that he’d ever met her. She was only using him and marrying him for his money, the same as his mother did with his father, but Caleb couldn’t see that for himself. He feels stupid for falling for her tricks and almost repeating his father’s mistake.

How has your character evolved from when the novel began to when it ended?

Caleb realizes he doesn’t have to take care of everyone, but can allow someone to take care of him now. He also learns that you can’t always mitigate risk, especially in matters of the heart. He must trust himself and others.

If your character had a free day and your his/her mission was to enjoy themselves what would he/she do?

Before meeting Becca, he would have gone into the office and worked. After Becca, he would have grabbed a picnic and gone to a park with her and a couple of his grandmother’s dogs.

How did your character spend the week just before the story starts?

Caleb spent the week working, preparing for the upcoming launch of his company’s new baby skin care line.

What are you currently working on? What other releases so you have planned for 2013?

I’m currently working on a new series set in a small town on the Washington coast, featuring a large family. I have one more release in November 2013. A Little Bit of Holiday Magic is a Christmas book set on Mount Hood featuring a fire fighter/mountain rescue volunteer hero and the widow of an Army Ranger.

Where can readers get in touch with you?

My website:

Thank you for stopping by HJ!


Giveaway: $10 amazon card.

To enter giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and leave a comment for Melissa.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


An excerpt:

The sun’s rays warmed Becca Taylor’s cheeks. The sweet scent of roses floated on the air. She walked across the manicured lawn in Gertie’s backyard with two dogs—Maurice, a Norwegian elkhound, and Snowy, a bichon frise.

The two show dogs sniffed the ground, looking for any dropped treats or a place to do their business.

She tucked her cellphone into her shorts pocket. “Don’t get sidetracked, boys. Gertie is waiting for us on the patio.”

Becca had no idea what her boss wanted. She didn’t care.

Gertie had rescued Becca the same way she’d rescued the foster dogs living at the estate. This was only a temporary place, but being here gave them hope of finding a forever home.

Maurice’s ears perked.

“Do you hear Gertie?”

The two dogs ran in the direction of the patio.

Becca quickened her pace. She rounded a corner.

Gertie and a man sat at the teak table underneath the shade of the umbrella. Five dogs vied for attention, paws pounding on the pavement. Gertie waved.

The man next to her turned around.

Whoa. Hello, Mr. Gorgeous.

Tingles skittered from Becca’s stomach to her fingertips.

None of the dogs growled or barked at the guy. Points in his favor. Dogs were the best judges of character, much better than hers.

She walked onto the patio.

The man stood.

Another wave of tingles made the rounds.

Most guys she knew didn’t stand. Didn’t open doors. Didn’t leave the toilet seat down. This man had been raised right.

He was handsome with classical features—high cheekbones, straight nose, strong jawline. The kind of handsome women showed off to girlfriends.

The man stepped away from the table, angling his body toward her. His navy pinstriped suit was tailored, accentuating wide shoulders and tapering nicely at the hips. He moved with the grace of an athlete, making her wonder if he had sexy abdominal muscles underneath.

Very nice packaging.

Well, except for his hair.

His short, cookie-cutter, corporate hairstyle could be seen walking out of every high rise in downtown Boise. With such a gorgeous face, the man’s light brown hair should be longer, a little mussed, sexy and carefree, instead of something so…businesslike.

Not that his hair mattered to Becca. Or anything about him.

His top-of-the-line suit shouted one thing—Best in Show.

She might be a dog handler, but she didn’t handle his type.

They didn’t belong in the same ring.

She’d tried playing with the top dogs, the wealthy dogs, once before and landed in the doghouse, aka jail.

Never again.

But looking never hurt anybody.

Gertie looked up from the dogs at her feet. “Becca. There’s someone I want you to meet.”

He was tall, over six feet. The top of her head came to the tip of his nose.

Becca took two steps closer. “Hello.”

His green eyes reminded her of jade, a bit cool for her taste, but hey, no one was perfect. His eyelashes more than made up for whatever reserve she saw reflected in his gaze. If she had thick, dark lashes like his she would never need to buy mascara again.

She wiped her hand on her shorts then extended her arm. “I’m Becca Taylor.”

His grip was strong, his skin warm.

A burst of heat shot up her arm and pulsed through her veins.

“Caleb Fairchild.” His rich voice reminded her of melted chocolate, rich and smooth and tasty.

Wait a minute. Fairchild. That meant he was…

“My grandson,” Gertie said.

The man who could make Becca’s dream of working as a full-time dog handler come true.

84 Responses to “Spotlight & Giveaway: The Man Behind the Pinstripes by Melissa McClone”

  1. Mary Preston

    I can see that I am going to just love Caleb. Thank you for the excerpt. I love first meetings. So telling.

    • Melissa McClone

      Your comment put a big smile on my face, Lisa. I had a discussion with my editors about the company. They thought a skincare company might be too feminine for a hero to run. But I explained how it was a family company originally started by his grandmother and that it needed to be this for the plot. Thankfully I got to keep it that way.

  2. Alicia Jespersen

    Trust issues can be tricky in a book, but I’m really looking forward to seeing how you handle these two very intriguing characters with trust issues. Thanks so much for the chance to win!

  3. Leanna Hiner

    I love a guy in a suit, especially a pinstripe suit. I used to work nexts to suits at Nordstroms and I was in heaven. I love this book, even better there’s a dog on the cover.

    • Melissa McClone

      You must have loved your job! Not only being next to the suits but the men who come in to look at them 🙂 My editor came up with the pinstripe title. I can’t remember if he was originally in one or not. And I’m so glad they put a dog on the cover since dogs play a big role in the story!

  4. Barbara E.

    I always enjoy a story where it’s not love at first sight, and it takes getting to know each other before they realize there’s a connection.

    • Melissa McClone

      Me, too, Barbara E. There is always the physical attraction part. Sort of a this-guy-is-so-hot, but then you have the but-I-really-don’t-like-him-he’s-annoying-etc part that has to be overcome.

  5. Kai W.

    Caleb and Becca have been burned for being too trusting with the wrong people. Their relationship would mean a new beginning for them both. I already love this story. I want to read the book and take this journey with them.

    • Melissa McClone

      Thanks Tammy! You made my day. Always nice to read comments like yours. So wonderful to know a book is on someone keeper’s shelf. And especially that one. I love all my books, but the Hood Hamlet ones hold a special place in my heart. Leanne and Christian’s wedding reception is in my November release.

  6. DebraG

    It has been awhile since I read one of your books. This one looks great. I enjoyed reading about it.

  7. Aline Tobing

    Interesting idea for a heroine, Melissa. I think I’ve never read a book about an ex convict heroine before 🙂

    • Melissa McClone

      Thanks Aline. I wasn’t sure that idea would fly with my editor, but she had no problem with it. I was so happy because I thought her spending time in prison would be the right backstory for her. Being in jail isn’t mentioned much in the story (just a couple of times and not in too much detail), but it definitely formed who she is now and her conflict to getting involved in a relationship.

  8. Leslie Miner

    I love push/pull and opposites attract in romance. That and the fact that you have two dogs and lots of cats (sounds like my house). 🙂 Definitely adding to my TBR . Thank you for the excerpt as well.

  9. CateS

    Thanks for the wonderful excerpt and the contest.. Looking forward to reading more of your work!

  10. Rebe

    Okay, this sounds super cute, but for obvious reasons, I HAVE to read it. I mean, it has a BEAGLE on the cover!!!!!! So this will be an autobuy, lol.

    • Melissa McClone

      Thanks! Love your avatar pic, Rebe! Cute pup! There are beagles in the book but in only one scene belonging to another handler not the heroine. But they sure put a really cute dog on the cover. I love it. I was at a dog show this weekend and gave a copy of the book this weekend to a professional handler who shows beagles. I think he has the top one in the country right now. He liked the cover, too!

  11. Jennifer Zorko-Legan

    This story sounds really good. I can’t wait. Thank you for the chance. Great interview.

    • Melissa McClone

      I feel the same way about careers, Rachel. I often pick ones in my books that I want to learn about if that’s not a big part of the story. But in this case both careers stemmed from the characters and I hope work!

  12. Joanne B

    This book sounds fantastic. Can’t wait to read it to see more of Becca and Caleb. Now I want to know what landed Becca in jail.

    • Melissa McClone

      Thanks Joanne B. What lands her in jail is discussed in the scene where he starts having a change of heart about her! But I will say it involves a wealthy guy so the cards are really stacked against Caleb!

  13. Quilt Lady

    Congrats on your new release! I love the cover and it sounds really good. I can’t wait to read it.

  14. cahmmerritt

    I love when the characters do things out of love and respect but assume no one else does that. It makes me smile when they are able to see the beauty of doing good deeds aimed at them. I look forward to this book!

  15. Lani

    Hi Meilissa, great interview. I never read about the character who are like Caleb. So responsible to everyone. Makes me want to read it. 😀

    • Melissa McClone

      Thanks Lani! I had fun with Caleb, but I had to make sure his wanting/needing to be responsible for everyone and everything made sense from a conflict standpoint.

  16. roslyngroves

    Sounds wonderful. It is so nice to see people with different careers in romance novels, as much as I love my ranchers and cops.

    I look forward to reading it.

  17. Melissa McClone

    Thanks roslyn. I like to write different careers if I can. More fun for me because I love research! I’m trying to remember but I don’t think I’ve written a rancher or a cop as a hero yet. Secondary characters, yes, a sheriff’s deputy. Though I like to read those stories!

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