by: MK Meredith
Series: International Temptation
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: September 19, 2016
Publisher: Entangled Indulgence
He’ll play dirty to protect his assets—but falling for the competition was never the plan.
International tycoon Drago De Luca has the world at his feet and he knows it. But back home in Italy, his beloved grandmother’s family inn is on the verge of closing down for good, thanks to hotshot American heiress, Chase Huntington, and her new hotel. Drago has to protect Nonna’s inn, even if it means getting close enough to Chase to convince her she needs to leave. But the more time he spends with Chase, the more he’s drawn to her passion, her love of his culture, and the way she looks in those Louis Vuitton heels.
Chase Huntington would give anything to enjoy her time with charming, sexy-as-hell Drago in the style capital of the world, but she has to make sure the new Huntington hotel opens successfully. How else can she prove she’s not just fashionista with a fortune—she’s an heiress savvy enough to take over the family’s biggest hotel back in California? But somewhere between boutiques and business plans, she falls head over Louboutins for Drago. But when Drago’s true motive for spending so much time with her comes to light, it could destroy everything Chase built and everything she thought she found in Italy.
Hi M.K. Welcome to Read Your Writes Book Reviews. Congratulations on your new release, Seducing the Tycoon from Entangled Indulgence. Please tell me about the book?
Seducing the Tycoon is all about finding home, finding that place that flows through your veins and is a part of you. And Ferrara, Italy is the perfect place for romance. Drago De Luca is a corporate carnivore bent on saving his Nonna’s Inn. He’s determined to run the new American boutique hotel out of town, but never counted on falling for the competition, Chase Huntington. Chase is sent in her sick father’s place to deliver on a grand opening and in doing so would open the opportunity to be promoted to the position she wanted back in the States. But she’s handed a raw deal when she arrives in Ferrara and finds not only is the hotel not ready, but the director of hotel operations is MIA. The answer to her prayers arrives in the form of a sex-on-a-stick Italian, but we’ve all heard the saying…be careful what you ask for.
Sounds good. Why did you choose to have Italy be the setting for the story?
I’ve had a life-long love affair with all things Italian, and I’ve been wanting the opportunity to travel there forever. Since actually going right now isn’t in the cards for me, writing about it is the next best thing! A good friend of mine and her family lived in Ferrara for two years and feel in love with the community there. Setting my story in such a beautiful place was a no brainer.
How did you get into writing?
All growing up, my teachers encouraged my writing. They felt it was what I needed to do, but growing up without much money made me very practical, and I resisted writing for something more secure. So I went to college and became an Occupational Therapist. Secure, financially stable, but not my bliss. I’ve been a voracious romance reader since I was very young and realized, I was indeed a writer. So I joined RWA back in 2005 and never looked back. It was in 2009 that I started to stay home with my children to really go after writing full-time.
When I look over your books, one thing that jumps out at me is the uniqueness of your heroine names. You have Sevannah “Seven” in Seducing Seven and Chase in Seducing the Tycoon. How did you come up with the names?
LOL! Something about the story always pops names into my head. The names seem to arrive with the idea of my heroine. I don’t know if it’s because I was a military wife and we moved around or what, but so many of my friends have unique names, so it didn’t occur to me how different they might appear. Now that I’m thinking about it, it might also have something to do with my own first name—Mary Karen. I love it now, but growing up I always thought I had two of the most boring names. Ha! But I’m named after really amazing women, so now I see the gift.
I always thought your name was Mary Katherine. I like the name Mary Karen. (smile) What’s your favorite part of a romance to write?
My favorite part to write is the HEA. It is the motivation behind all things romance to me. It’s the magic when all the hardships and heartaches are overcome and happiness and love prevail. Because I don’t believe it only happens in books, I’ve seen the miracle of it all in my own life.
You have a fondness for peanut butter. I didn’t think anyone was as crazy about peanut butter as my six year old, but you are. What’s the deal?
First of all, your six-year-old is clearly brilliant with excellent taste. Second, we ate a lot of peanut butter growing up because it was really cheap. I have three older brothers, so my dad had six mouths to feed during a time he was trying to stay afloat while paying for my mother’s medical bills. She was diagnosed in ’79 with breast cancer and fought hard for three years. I ate a lot of pb during that time! LOL! I think I associate it now with trying to find comfort. I literally feel a wash of calm come over me when I eat it.
I might just be nuts. Hahahaha! Get it?
I’m certainly a dork.
Okay, that made me laugh. I’m really sorry to hear about your mother. You’re one of those people who is ALL about breast cancer screening. It took me awhile to figure out that you’re a survivor and the child of someone who passed away from breast cancer. This is extremely personal, but what was your initial reaction when you got the news?
Sonofabitch, universe! You couldn’t wait two more days?! LOL! My mom died at 39, and I got the call when I was still 39, two days before my birthday. My brothers and I had each marked passing our 39th year as a win. I was the last one who had to get through. Joke was on me.
But seriously, when I face hard situations, sometimes my brain goes blank, and I just try to push through like nothing is wrong. So I was like, “Okay, thanks for the call.” The doctor paused, then said. “We have you scheduled to see a breast care specialist next week.” To which I replied, “I’ll have to check my schedule.” Bahahahahah! She said, “Mary Karen, you have cancer. Your schedule needs to change.” Oh, yeah. When I hung up I looked around the empty room. My kids were sleeping, my husband was at work. I wasn’t going to die was I? Because I couldn’t put my kids through what I went through. I couldn’t. I was kind of frozen, not knowing what to do next. Like, I was sitting in the chair, staring, not sure if I should stand, or keep sitting, or what. Thank goodness breathing is automatic. Then my big brother, Billy—who was visiting—walked in. Just at the right time. He hugged me, told me everything would be okay, and I bawled my eyes out. So did he. Losing our mom made it seem so much more terrifying.
Then I pulled up my big girl underwear and took my steps forward.
Okay. I wasn’t expecting your answer to bring tears to my eyes. Let's get back to playful stuff. You do this thing called “Finger Food Friday”. It sounds like something easy to cook on a Friday night. What kind of cook are you the rest of the week?
I am a combination something easy and something interesting kind of cook. My husband and kids love mac and cheese and hotdogs, so I buy the organic kind hoping to give them a little additional nutrition or at the very least, less poisons. LOL! Then on other days, I cook from Blue Apron which is one of those delivery services that sends recipes and the ingredients. It gives me the opportunity to cook with dishes I’ve never tried before. So I alternate between Brinner (breakfast for dinner, a huge favorite), easy fast dishes like pasta or chicken, and fun dishes like Cajun Shrimp & Cheesy grits or Hoisin-Mayo Salmon Burgers.
My family are a bunch of eaters. Heehee…
M.K. thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me. Big hugs!!!
I’m thrilled to have had the opportunity. You are such a positive and generous asset to the writing community. This industry isn’t easy, but it is filled with so much love. Thank you for that. And thank you for having me!!
Okay, you’re making me blush.
“Come up with me.”
His fingers flexed in hers. “Up?”
“To my room.” If anything would ever convince her his nickname was true, it would be the look that flashed into his eyes: intense, possessive, and a little scary. She shivered as his gaze roamed over her face. He trailed his fingers up her arm and across the bare skin above her breasts. They lingered along the pulse at her neck, then he lowered his lips there.
“I thought you’d never ask.” His hot breath sent shivers down her spine. “I’m starving.”
In short time, Chase slammed her suite door closed, then grabbed the lapels of Drago’s shirt. On a heady giggle, she pressed her lips and her body against his. He was hot and hard and felt oh so right. Without warning, she found herself against the door.
He shoved his hands through her hair, grabbing her head in a firm grip that left her legs shaking beneath her. He angled his head, his lips hot and his tongue insistent.
She kissed him back, matching his intensity. She yanked up the hem of her dress, then wrapped her arms around his neck and circled his hips with her legs.
He pressed into her harder, and she moaned into his mouth. “Che figa.” His voice was deep and hoarse, sending her stomach into a slow, languorous roll.
“Kiss me harder.”
He yanked her back from the door, and walking with her wrapped around him, found his way to her bed. “My pleasure.”
“And mine. Thank God.” She grabbed at his tie, then followed with his buttons. All the while, he found the little hidden side zipper of her dress and pulled it down her body until the garment ended up on the floor at the foot of the bed. “I have a secret,” she whispered. He shoved his pants and briefs down past his knees, then kicked them off. “Tell me.”
She had to untie her tongue first. She’d seen beautiful men, but Drago had the finest architecture she’d ever come across. His shoulders were massive, and his wide chest met with thickly muscled abs. Her eyes trailed lower, and she found it hard to swallow. “Hard” being the operative word here. Sweet Jesus.
Licking her lips, she watched his body tighten further and whispered, “I’ve had plans for you since the day I saw you lounging against the streetlamp in front of the hotel.” Her confession released something wild in him.
His dark eyes narrowed and his fingers flexed, then he was covering her from head to toe. His weight was delicious, and his heat only increased her craving. “You were checking out my shoes.” He took her mouth again, sweeping his tongue inside, sucking on her lower lip. Holding his weight partially on one arm, he ran his other large hand the length of her torso, then up and over her stomach until he gently cupped her breast.
She had enough to fill his hand, and nothing had ever felt so damn good. Her fingers found their way through his hair, then down his cheeks to his sharp jaw. His stubble tickled the pads of her fingertips and set off her senses further. Everything burned. Her lungs, her skin, her need. She spread her legs, encouraging him to settle between them. She wanted to feel him against her.
He pressed kisses against her mouth, then over her jaw, and said in a harsh whisper, “You’ve had plans? My plans would scare you straight back to America.”
That got her attention. She loved a challenge. “Wanna bet, love?”
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MK Meredith writes single title contemporary romance promising an emotional ride on heated sheets. She believes the best route to success is to never stop learning.
Her lifelong love affair with peanut butter continues. Only two things come close in the battle for her affections: gorgeous heels and maybe Gerard Butler…or was it David Gandy? Who is she kidding? Her true loves are her husband and two children who have survived her SEA's (spontaneous explosions of affection) and live to tell the tale. The Meredith's live in the D.C. area with their two large fur babies...until the next adventure calls.
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