Andrew Weston and Jill Walsh had to be the two most unlikely people to fall in love. When Jill's first husband's love for her simply fizzled and died, Jill knew she'd never trust that love could last again. After Andrew's first love betrayed him in the most brutal way possible, he knew he might fall in love again someday, but there was no way he'd ever make himself vulnerable again by confessing those feelings if he did.
Fate had a different ending in mind for these two, though, and when Andrew discovers his love for Jill, he knows the only way to get her to stay with him forever is to offer her an iron clad penalty clause in a prenuptial agreement. He stays with her forever or he loses everything he owns. The millions he's worked for, his property, his cars, everything. Now he just needs to hope that's enough to hold onto Jill forever.
Five out of Five Stars "Lori Ryan has done it again...I am just drawn in. On the hook. I want to know what is going to happen next. There were times when I really was physically holding my breath!"
Five out of Five Stars "I've been waiting for this book and wasn't disappointed. Great story and great characters. Andrew is sexy and steamy and hot!"
***First Place Winner Romance Category, Lucky Cinda Publishing's Annual Global Writer's Contest, 2013***
Jill settled back for the rest of the trip, leaning back in her seat and watching the road in front of them. They drove in silence for a while; the kind of comfortable silence that neither felt driven to break or fill simply for the sake of it. When Andrew spoke, his tone was serious for the first time in the trip.
“Do you still want it? Family? Love? Kids?” Andrew asked Jill.
Jill felt a kick in her gut at the question and measured her response. “I do. The only problem is that I no longer believe that love can be lasting and I can’t figure out a way around that. And, I know that Jake was an ass, at best,” Jill stopped and grinned at Andrew, acknowledging the reference to Jake’s ass-ness once again.
“But...” She took a shaky breath and continued, “When we got married, we were in love. It just died somewhere along the way. I honestly don’t know how I would trust in love again or trust that my husband wouldn’t leave again. I think I’d walk around waiting for the other shoe to drop all the time.”
Jill was quiet for a minute before she continued. “With Jake, I was so sure, so confident of our love and our marriage until one day I was completely blindsided. I don’t want to be blindsided like that again. I don’t think I could handle that.”
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Character Building: What traits are needed to make a good hero or heroine?
My favorite books are those that have characters I want to meet. Characters that won’t leave you alone after you close the book. Characters you’d love to fall in love with yourself.
So, naturally, this is what I strive for in writing my own books. I want a hero that can make you swoon and a heroine that makes you proud. I’ve been told by my beta readers that some of my characters are too perfect. That I need to make them more fallible. I haven’t decided yet if I’ll listen to them!
When I write my heroes, I want them to be strong and confident, funny and smart. Sexy and commanding. They usually do have small vulnerabilities or something from the past that haunts them. I want them to be larger than life, but approachable at the same time.
In Penalty Clause, I loved that Andrew was really intelligent but also funny and so loyal to those around him. He’d do anything for his friends but he’d also step in to help an acquaintance or even a stranger without any hesitation. That was one of the things that made him so sexy to me. I think he thought he was going to heal Jill in this book, but he ended up healing himself first. He’s one of my favorite heroes.
For my females, I want them to be strong. Oh, sure, they have your typical insecurities. Like wondering if her butt is too big or if they can get away with wearing a low cut dress. But they’re not girls that just scream and hope a man will come along and save them if there’s trouble. They get up and fight. That’s what I wanted for my women. Fighters.
Jill went through some things that really crushed her confidence with her ex-husband. I think he actually ended up treating his mistress even worse than he treated Jill in the end. But, Jill keeps pushing to get past him, to get over the doubts he built up. I love that about her. I think she’d be the first to admit, she was quiet for too long in her marriage. She let him decide too much about her life. When she finally stood up and took control of her feelings and her life, I think she was finally ready to find true love. With Andrew, of course!
Lori is an award winning author and stay-at-home mom. Her second book, Penalty Clause, won first place in the romance category in Lucky Cinda Publishing’s Annual Global Writer’s Contest in 2013.
Lori has had a number of careers before embarking on her newest adventure of writing novels. After graduating from the University of Connecticut School of Law, she practiced law for three years, working primarily in the areas of utilities law and intellectual property litigation.
More recently, Lori owned and operated a dog training business in Austin, Texas, where she specialized in aggression and became an expert in the field of dog bite analysis. Lori sold her dog training business in 2013 and is now a full time writer and mother of two.
Lori still lives in Austin with her husband -- who is endlessly supportive of her changing career paths -- and her two children, one cat, and three dogs.
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