by: Shannyn Schroeder
Series: For Your Love
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: December 27, 2016
Publisher: Kensington ~ Zebra Shout
A KNIGHT IN SHINING LEATHER…
Sean O'Malley has never tried to hide who he is. He shows it in the motorcycle thrumming between the legs of his tight jeans…the shaggy hair that falls in his gorgeous eyes…the wicked gleam in his smile when he asks Emma out for a drink. Sean is a rebel, a bad boy, and a ton of fun: exactly the kind of guy she's sworn off forever.
Emma isn't just the prim kindergarten teacher she appears to be. And somehow Sean can tell. As soon as he pulls up to her overheated car he knows that a fast bike and a cold beer will fix her rotten day better than compliments or a bubble bath. Her straitlaced exterior and her wild heart light him up. But Emma wants to escape her past and settle down—and if her desk jockey dates don't understand where she comes from, at least she doesn't worry about them bringing her back.
One weekend of intense connection can't change the paths Sean and Emma have chosen. But with a little space to be themselves together, maybe the rest of the world can wait...
Hi Shannyn. Welcome back to Read Your Writes Book Reviews. How are you?
I’m doing great. Thanks for having me back. It’s always fun to be here.
You’re welcome. In Your Arms is the second book in your For Your Love series. The O’Malleys were introduced in The O’Learys series. How does this series differ from that one?
When I wrote The O’Learys, I found a family of siblings, that while they have some problems and sometimes joke about being dysfunctional, they work really well together. The O’Malleys are pretty much the opposite. They really are quite dysfunctional.
When we meet the O’Learys, they only have a mom. Their dad died, but they were all adults by the time that happened.
The O’Malleys only have their dad. Their mom was killed when they were all young. And while their dad supported them, the oldest of the siblings, Jimmy, took care of them—a child raising children.
They fight a lot more than the O’Learys, and there aren’t monthly family dinners. That being said, they do stand by each other no matter what.
I’m liking the covers for this series. How much input do you have in them?
I’ve had almost no input on the covers. Before the first book (Under Your Skin) went into production, my editor and I talked about how to make this series look different than The O’Learys. We decided we’d like to have a couple on the cover (as opposed to just the hero). Other than that, whenever it was cover time, I sent him to my Pinterest page to see what actors I chose as place holders in my head as I wrote the book. Everything else was the team at Kensington. I have to admit, I've been really lucky.
What’s your favorite part of a romance book to write and why? (The beginning, the first meeting, first kiss, getting to know each other, first love scene, big fight, HEA or something else?)
This is tough. I think it’s different in each book because each couple is so different. For example, with Norah and Kai (Under Your Skin), the first love scene was really important. For Sean and Emma (In Your Arms), it was definitely the getting to know each other and watching them fall in love even though they didn’t want to. They share real parts of themselves because they become quick friends, even though it’s under the impression that they’re only a short-term thing.
I believe you still have a day job. So where and when do you write?
I actually have a small collection of part-time jobs, as well as 3 kids. I’ve always written whenever and wherever I can squeeze it in. Most often, I write in the evenings when my kids are in extracurricular activities. My girls are on a swim team, so while they’re in practice, I write. I also meet up with friends on the weekends for a few hours in the evenings. When I’m in a deadline crunch, I write at night after the kids are in bed and whenever I can squeeze in more time. Bottom line, I don’t have a regular routine. I make do with what I have.
Tell me what you love about Sean and Emma.
There is so much I love about Sean and Emma (they’re my favorite couple so far). They’re a lot of fun and they both want to enjoy their time together, but watching them fall for each other is a blast. They both have to deal with personal baggage from the way they grew up and it causes problems.
What was it about these two that had you pairing them as a couple?
When I thought about Sean, an easy-going guy who had a habit of being quick with his fists, I needed someone who would be his opposite, someone who could kind of rein him in. Emma grew up as a bit of a wild child with little stability, so now she craves that. Sean had the stability, but he sees responsibility as stifling (he’d rather do anything than turn into his big brother Jimmy).
At the most basic levels, Sean and Emma make sense. They fit. Emma can appreciate his wild side, but show him that it’s okay to grow up. The problem is that they’re both kind of rigid in how they view life and it really makes things difficult.
Do you have a favorite scene, if so can you tell me about it?
This is another tough question because Sean and Emma have a lot of fun. I think my favorite scene—one that really sums up who they are—is when Emma has something tragic happen at work. At this point, she’s pretty much blown Sean off. They had a good weekend, but he wasn’t supposed to be anything serious. After this tragedy, however, she drunk dials him. When he hears how upset she is, he not only shows up at her apartment, but he brings birthday cake, which is her favorite comfort food. Emma doesn’t want cake, she wants to forget. So while Sean does everything to try to comfort her, she continues to try to keep distance from him because she knows she could easily fall for him.
Before you go, what are you working on now? Or, what can readers expect from you in the future?
So much going on. The next book in the For Your Love series – Through Your Eyes – will release on May 28, 2017. This is Tommy and Deirdre’s story. I’m currently drafting Kevin O’Malley’s story – yes, Kevin will finally get a book (and it’s a second chance romance). Unfortunately, it won’t be out until 2018. In between, I might be releasing some other projects, but I’m not sure yet. Keep an eye on my social media or sign up for my newsletter to get news on new releases.
Shannyn, thank you so much for taking the time to talk with me today.
The blast of air-conditioning hit them as the automatic door swung open. Emma paused, looked up and around, and turned toward the bakery. Sean followed. She kept walking, and he stopped by the coffee cakes. A chocolate-chip cake sounded good.
“What about this?” He held up the plastic container.
“Uh-uh. It needs to be birthday cake.”
Sean held on to the coffee cake but followed her to the refrigerated section. She looked at the display for a minute before choosing one. As great as Emma seemed, she sure had some weird quirks. She picked out a round cake with Happy Birthday written in blue handwriting. Red, yellow, and blue icing balloons decorated the edge.
Emma said nothing. With the cake in hand, she turned toward the register. Although she quickly offered answers to his questions, she wasn’t like other girls he knew, who would fill silence with any kind of pointless chatter.
“You okay?” he asked when they got to the self-checkout.
“I will be.” She scanned her cake, and he jumped in to scan his too before she could finish the transaction. Then he swiped his card to pay.
“You didn’t have to buy my cake.”
“I know I didn’t have to, but if I have a crappy day and someone buys me a beer, that beer tastes even better going down.”
His answer got the reaction he’d hoped for. A smile. Emboldened by her smile, he pushed on. “So why does it have to be birthday cake?”
She sighed and he thought she might not answer. “Birthday cake was the one thing my mom got right when I was a kid.”
He waited, hoping she’d explain, because how could anyone mess up store-bought birthday cake? They walked through the automatic door, and the heat of the afternoon swamped him.
“You met her. Even with that brief encounter, you can probably tell Brandi is far from a stellar mom. A lot of things were uncertain when I was little. But birthday cake was something we could always count on. It didn’t matter where we were living or even if she had a job, Mom made sure we had birthday cake on our birthdays.”
“It’s weird now that you mention it. I guess I always took birthday cake for granted. In my family, we’re all adults and we still make a trip to Blackstone’s to get a birthday cake.”
“For me, birthday cake is comfort.” She leaned over and bumped his shoulder as they walked. “I keep some in my freezer because you never know when you’re going to have a bad day.”
“Well, it’s not like I buy a cake and eat it all by myself in one sitting. It would be a waste to throw it out, so I cut it into pieces and freeze it.”
The walk back to his house was too quick. Sean liked Emma talking about herself. He didn’t know how he’d even managed not to realize how much he missed having a girlfriend. Then he remembered that every girl at some point pushed for something more than he wanted to give. He wasn’t about to put a ring on anyone’s finger. That kind of commitment would ruin his easygoing lifestyle.
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Shannyn Schroeder is the author of the O’Leary series, contemporary romances centered around a large Irish-American family in Chicago and the Hot & Nerdy series about 3 nerdy friends finding love. Her new series (For Your Love) will release this summer with the first title Under Your Skin. When she’s not wrangling her three kids or writing, she watches a ton of TV and loves to bake cookies.
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