by Charmaine Ross
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
Forget the whole billionaire tycoon thing: Kate Moore is a billionaire’s daughter, and she knows first-hand that they’re not all romance novel worthy. Her father is brilliant, inflexible, and brutal – and nothing she’s ever done has been good enough for him. Her one chance to take over the massive Moore’s Hotel Corporation is restoring the run-down Burnham Beeches in beautiful Sassafras to its former glory. To that end, she hires David Wright, a talented landscaper with an unparalleled eye for beauty and an unparalleled talent for distracting her from her goal.
David really needs this job. He needs the contract, the Moore’s name on his portfolio, and the money to pay for his ailing father’s health. Everything he’s worked for is now within his grasp, and he’s going to reach for it with both hands. What he doesn’t need is the diversion, or the temptation, presented by his new boss.
Neither David nor Kate are free to follow their own desires, but they’re powerless to fight their growing attraction. But they come from very different places; perceptions will have to crash, misconceptions will have to collapse, and they will have to face their own personal challenges before they find their space to meet in the middle.
Kate peeked out from her office window. David had done a lot in the past few hours, having marked out the skeleton of the garden. Unfortunately, the piece of ground he’d decided on meant he was all she could see when she looked out of the window.
She would catch herself, lost in thought as she watched his lithe movements outside. Every so often he would call out an order to his brother, Jack, as he’d introduced him, who would follow the instruction. Kate studied them both, comparing brothers. Jack was as lean as David, but he wasn’t as tall. David a little darker with hair and skin tones. They looked similar, had distinct physical family traits, but he hadn’t captivated her as much as David had.
Captivated. Was that what she was? As much as she pulled her attention back to the computer screen, her eyes kept returning to the window, as though they had a mind of their own. Each time she did, she’d notice something new about David. The way his calf muscles contracted when he bent, and the way his biceps seemed to burst when he carried something heavy. The way his skin glowed with sweat in the midday heat. His brother wasn’t as fit, or as lean. Or as tanned. Or half as masculine. Kate bit her lower lip until it hurt.
Kate wondered if he would feel as hard as he looked. Would his skin be warm to the touch? Hot? Would each ripple of muscle undulate as smoothly beneath his skin as they looked?
Would she burn if they touched just skin to skin?
Kate sank her chin into the palm of her hand, feeling her lower belly melt. As she watched, David reached to the hem of his fitted T-Shirt and pulled it over his head.
She stopped breathing.
She didn’t have to imagine his muscles any more. They were superbly on display. He was lean. Fit. And had a six pack to prove it. He had the perfect frame, broad shoulders, a clean chest that showcased perfectly sculpted muscle. Not the type that was designed in a gym, but the kind that was created from daily physical labour. His chest tapered into a trim, flat stomach. A hollowed line ran from the centre of his torso beneath his waist-band to much lower parts of his anatomy. A fiery thrill ran up Kate’s spine.
‘Who’s the hunk?’
My first foray into romance was as a fourteen year old where I fell hopelessly and eternally in love with my hero as only a teenager can. Instead of watching movies and staying up late, I would go to bed at eight thirty and continue my very romantic, very safe, love affair. Since then, I have fallen in love with many heroes, some less safe than what my teenage brain could possibly imagine. After earning a Fine Art’s Degree, a Diploma of Secondary Education and a Diploma of Marketing, I worked as a Graphic Designer in various advertising agencies as well as in-house marketing roles and am currently involved with digital marketing and everything web in my current position. But I always return to writing. Although I have travelled, I always return to my home town of Melbourne and live with my husband, two children and two cats in the ferny-greens of the Dandenongs. If I’m not working on my latest romance and falling in love with yet another hero, you’ll find me reading, watching and basically indulging in my addiction to any story on any media type I can get my fingers on.
Check out my web site to download and read two fun, flirty novellas – the best news is they’re free – plus free chapter downloads from all of my books, as well as updates on my latest news @ www.charmaineross.com
Where are you from? Tell us a little about yourself!
I’ve always wanted to be an author, starting from when I was about fourteen. I wrote really bad stories about wild adventures and really safe boyfriends. I wrote a children’s story for my baby sister. Then the higher grades of school took over, study at Uni and work. I got into it when my youngest was about eighteen months old and joined a local writers group, found the RWA and the rest is history. I have too many books in my head than time to write them all. I’ll look forward to the day I can write full time.
I live in a beautiful romantic part of Australia – the Dandenongs – Sassafrass, Kallista, Olinda – and love setting my books in my own local area. The forests are filled with free ferns and tall gums, rosellas, lyrebirds and wombats. I can’t think of a better setting – although I could probably go to Paris / and or Venice and set a book there. No problems with that idea.
Tell us about your book? How did it get started?
I’ve always been intrigued by the Burnham Beeches in Sassafras, in the Dandenongs in Melbourne and have wanted it to be restored to its former beauty. I didn’t have enough time, money or logistical prowess to do it myself, so I wrote about my heroine who was more than capable of undertaking a job like that. The gardens surrounding the Burnham Beeches are absolutely beautiful and would have been stunning in their nineteen thirties glory. I needed a lean, toned, muscular landscaper for that job and so my hero was born.
In this book, I wanted to turn the tables on the rich man / ordinary gal plot and so made my heroine a billionaire’s daughter, having been groomed for luxury and educated in the best schools money could buy, and my hero a sexy, hard-working, yet salt-of-the-earth man. My favourite scene is when my hero strips off his shirt in the summer sun, my heroine can’t ignore the sizzle in her blood or the voice in her head that tells her that what her body wants is a bad idea. A very bad idea.
Add in some sexy spice, some differences of opinion, undeniable physical attraction and you have ‘Take Me As I Am’.
How do you create your characters?
I like putting people in a situation and then think about what type of person would this be particularly challenging for. I think that makes for interesting characters. I want my characters to freak out, be uncomfortable. Be tortured. Bwa ha ha. LOL
What inspires and what got you started in writing?
I have always been interested in writing since I can remember. I used to sit up and night and fill pages, usually inspired by movies like Indiana Jones. Then I went on to write about boys and boyfriends. It was quite safe having a boyfriend right out of your imagination. I imagine my mother thought so too.
Where do you write? Is there something you need in order to write (music, drinks?)
I like writing in my favorite local café. Hey bring me coffee and muffin and I use their electricity. A win win situation. People come in and I chat to them. It’s a nice warm atmosphere. Sometimes writing at home can be a bit isolating. I do have a lot of authors who I chat to online as well. I try not to spend too much time online though, facebook can devour hours.
How do you get your ideas for writing?
I get my ideas form anywhere – news stories, articles, places I visit. Normally I think of ‘what if’ – so what if this happened, or he fell and hurt his knee, or what would happen if she went to pick up the flowers and there were none left. Then I turn that into a book.
What do you like to read?
I read from a range of genres, erotic, mystery, thriller, paranormal, sci-fi, fantasy, dark and light. I think everyone has something to offer me and I realize that each of my books is really a work in progress. I hope my next book will be better in some way and that my writing improves.
I also like to read debut authors and well as big names, indie and from big publishers. Everyone has their unique voice and thoughts of what makes a good story.
What would your advice to be for authors or aspiring in regards to writing?
Don’t give up. Only listen to constructive advice. Don’t ask your Mum or your best friends for their opinion of your books. Be open minded about honest advice. Join a critique group. Join the RWA.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Thank you so much for having me here and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading a bit about me. As a thank you to your readers I’m offering two free fun and flirty novellas on my web site when you subscribe to my very sporadic email. I also have free sample chapters on my web site. It’s worth a look@ www.charmaineross.com
Charmaine Ross will be awarding a copy of the e-book Take Me As I Am (international) to three randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour.
a Rafflecopter giveaway