by: Gina Conkle
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: December 13, 2016
Publisher: Valkyrie Publishing
(Two stories in one Book)
Proper Care and Feeding of a Broken Heart
Bookstore clerk Abbie is off-the-charts nervous her first night moonlighting in a sex-for-hire job. If she only kept her mouth shut…but nothing goes as expected, including the intense blue-eyed surfer who walks through her door. Mark wants to work out a few kinks —and leave the lifestyle for good. Past mistakes still haunt him, but sweet Abbie turns Mark’s plans upside down, and two broken hearts discover honesty is the hottest aphrodisiac.
Anything But Safe
Former trophy wife Jennifer wants to thrive again, but when her new life hits a speedbump, her unlikely hero is rough working man AJ. The woman he rescued is out of his league, but the two together are magic. Jennifer smooths his hard edges, and when she’s with AJ, her true, quirky colors show. A surprise threatens to derail the two who quickly learn…love is anything but safe.
Hi Gina. Welcome to Read Your Writes Book Reviews. How are you?
Hi! Thanks for having me on your blog. I’m doing very well these days (thanks for asking!).
No problem. I saw your name and I thought, "I've heard of her. Then I thought, maybe I have the name confused with someone else." The Gina Conkle I've heard of writes Historical and Viking romances, not contemporary. But you write it all. Was it challenging to write a contemporary romance, when that isn't what you normally write?
Both novellas came fast. It was a lot of fun to write these stories. Don’t get me wrong. There were challenges. The first novella, Proper Care and Feeding of a Broken Heart, was written in first person point of view. I’d never done that before but the characters pushed for first person.
The other area of difference is heat level. The book has two stea-my stories. It took me to deep places.
Waiting for a Girl Like You combines two novellas into one book. Why did you choose to do that?
Basically, I wanted to give readers something extra. A veteran author asked me why I did that (yes, I’d make more money by separating the two novellas). But, it was important to offer more. Readers are already taking a chance on me in this hot contemporary romance space. Why not give them some extra? So I did. In fact, I have a short *hot* contemporary romance story that I’m giving away for free (see Listening to Her in the links below).
Waiting for a Girl Like You is the first book in your Kissables Series. What can readers expect from this series?
A “what’s next” will come for Abbie and Mark as well as AJ and Jennifer.
This side project got my agent and me talking about the hot contemporary romance market. I pitched an idea to her for two very different brothers: one brother is a controlling venture capitalist and the second brother is a tattooed bad boy seeking redemption. Both, of course, have their worlds turned upside down by the women they meet.
Oh wow. I didn’t realize the guys were brothers. Pretty cool. Proper Care and Feeding of a Broken Heart sounds like there's some humor involved. What do you like/love about this story?
I’d say you’ll find my trademark banter which has some humor. I liked going against the “billionaire-does-BDSM” type. Mark is financially comfortable but he’s no billionaire, and he’s trying to leave kink behind for good.
This scene zeros in on the heart of Mark and Abbie’s first meet (it makes me smile). She’s nervous, gets a little mouthy with him even though she doesn’t know his name (she thinks of him as Surfer Man).
“Surfer Man stepped within touching distance, his blue eyes on the verge of grey, lit with a strange mixture of hard shell and tender patience. A faint line traced the left side of his mouth like contempt came easy.
“First rule,” he said evenly. “You only talk when spoken to.”
“Then what am I supposed to call you?”
The question startled us both. I was throwing out the no names rule and for good reason. Something dawned on me. With the closed door, it was just the two of us. This square room was my island. Control could go either way. Surfer Man’s mouth opened, but an adrenaline rush took over and my hip cocked sideways. In the world of fight or flight, my body tensed with its version of fight.
“Oh, let me guess. You’re going to say Call me master or some crap like that. I work at a bookstore. I’ve read those please spank me Mr. Billionaire books.”
I liked a few of them. Reading the books was one thing. Living them was another.
One side of his mouth curved up. “Maybe you should tell me how you really feel.””
Mark and Abbie sound really fun. How would you describe Jennifer and AJ from Anything But Safe?
AJ is a man of few words. He’s a working man and he knows Jennifer is out of his league, but he can’t stop thinking about her. I loved the back and forth with the guys while he’s working the next day. His one friend has a good idea what’s happening to AJ (and happening fast!), but AJ hasn’t put all the pieces together. He goes the extra mile to be a gentleman and not rush things with Jennifer.
Jennifer by contrast wants to dive all in with AJ. She’s a talkative, sunshine personality who lights up even brighter around AJ. He’s the breath of fresh air she needs in her transition. She’s been stifled by wealth and past demands to be a perfect trophy wife. AJ encourages her to try a new career path when everyone else is telling her to go back to her old job (art museum curator). AJ is freedom…emotionally and sexually.
Gina, the stories both sound really good. Thank you for answering some questions for me.
Thank you for having me!
Anything But Safe
Hot sun beat down on the rest of the world. It was August. Standing under the pepper tree, AJ was a tall, cool drink of water. Stained coveralls didn’t put her off nor did his tattoo and the rough cadence of his speech. Under the gruff exterior was a real man with a good heart. He visually devoured her every time they’d crossed paths around town, and last night was no exception. But, could she be content with a sex only fling?
“Well, that’s a relief.” Faint sarcasm edged his last word.
His steady gaze never wavered. “I thought you might be going in a different direction.”
She cocked her head. “Did you think I was about to give you the ‘let’s be friends’ talk?”
“I thought you were about to give me the ‘let’s hook up for sex only’ talk.”
“Oh AJ,” she said around hiccups of laughter. Her cheeks burned. She shook her head, a little dazed. “I…I don’t know what to say to that.”
“It’s not the first time a woman like you propositioned me.”
Eyes rounding, she laughed at the absurdity. “I’m not propositioning you.”
“Good because my answer would be no.”
She’d come for lunch and conversation of the talking variety. A kiss or two was more than welcome, but they needed to slow down, let things simmer. AJ’s forbidding frown told her some of Hidden Valley’s well-shod women had dallied with him, and he was having no more of it. The town was an eclectic mix of gated communities, small farm-to-table co-ops and wineries. A lot of working class people had lived here long before it was hip.
Hurt bloomed in her chest at the idea of any woman taking advantage of AJ’s goodness. Or his body. His past was likely more colorful than hers, but his flat out refusal to hook up intrigued her. He’d messed around in the past. What made him change his mind?
Waiting for a Girl Like You is currently on sale for $0.99.
Purchase Waiting for a Girl Like You from:
FREE BOOK! Listening to Her, free on Instafreebie: https://www.instafreebie.com/free/pVnGx
Gina Conkle writes Viking and Georgian Romance with a new dip into hot Contemporary Romance. She grew up in southern California and despite all that sunshine, Gina loves books over beaches and stone castles over sand castles. Now she lives in Michigan with her favorite alpha male, Brian, and their two sons where she’s known to occasionally garden and cook.
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