Monday, June 1, 2020

Mini-Interview & Excerpt ~ FORBIDDEN LUST by Karen Booth

Forbidden Lust (Dynasties: Seven Sins, #2)
by: Karen Booth
Series: Dynasties: Seven Sins
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: June 1, 2020
Publisher: Harlequin Desire
Amazon | Paperback | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Google Play | Goodreads

Giving in to desire
with her brother's best friend...

Next stop, paradise--

With the man of her forbidden fantasies?

A secluded island resort is the perfect romantic setting for the night of passionate abandon Allison Randall plans to share with Zane Patterson. Her elder brother's best friend has always been off-limits...and Zane is determined to keep it that way. But when a storm strands them together, neither can hold back. Everything Allison dreamed of is finally in reach...until unwelcome revelations threaten a rude awakening!

Hi Karen. I have a couple of romance and inspirational questions for you today. Let’s get started. What was the romance novel that got you hooked on the genre?
When I was a kid, I spent summers with my aunt, uncle, and two older cousins in Minnesota. My oldest cousin, Margie, had an entire wall of Barbara Cartland books in her room. For years, I begged her to let me read them. She finally relented when I turned 12. I don’t remember the title of the first one I read, although I do remember the storyline, about a young woman whose father loses her in a card game to a wealthy, suitably gruff, and unbearably handsome man. I couldn’t read fast enough.

Later that summer, Margie, her sister Laura, and I visited our great-grandparents at their summer cottage on Lake Mille Lacs. Our great-grandmother had very specific ideas about how we were to spend our days. Swimming, exploring the woods, and playing cards were acceptable. Unacceptable activities included reading! She was convinced we couldn’t be having fun if we had our nose in a book. Well, of course, we had jam-packed our suitcases with romances. I’m ashamed to say we would sneak books out to the end of the dock and read with our backs to the house, feet dangling in the water. We sat out there for hours, getting sunburned, fully immersed in romance.

Please share in your own words what it means to experience That Harlequin Feeling.
That Harlequin Feeling is all the feelings! A great Harlequin transports me to a different place, where I can laugh, cry, swoon, and be reminded that love is the most important thing in the world. They are books that deliver the full spectrum of emotion, and when you turn the last page, you’re filled with satisfaction at having read an engrossing story and sadness that it’s over. Alas, there’s always another Harlequin to read!

What was the title of your first published novel, and tell us a bit about that experience?
My first published novel was the fourth book I wrote, Love My Way, which has since been retitled Rock Starred. It was a digital-only release from a now-shuttered publisher. That experience taught me a lot about the publishing process—how to write a synopsis, fill out an art form, and how to work with an editor. It was frustrating at times, but I think that’s normal when you’re learning something new. I remember being both nervous and amped-up before release day. That part doesn’t go away, and it was even more pronounced a few years later, when my first Desire, That Night with the CEO, came out. That was a true dream-come-true. There’s nothing better than seeing a book you wrote on a bookstore shelf. Dozens of books later, I still get excited by it!

~ About the series ~

One man’s betrayal can destroy generations. Ten years ago, a hedge-fund hotshot vanished with billions, leaving the high-powered families of Falling Brook changed forever. Now seven heirs, shaped by his betrayal, must reckon with the sins of the past. Passion may be their only path to redemption. Experience all Seven Sins!

Zane’s pulse skipped a beat as the aircraft floated down to the tiny landing strip and bounced its way to an abrupt stop. Another five hundred yards and they would’ve been in the ocean. Engines whirring, the plane taxied around to a modest outbuilding—yellow with a rust-red roof. The crew quickly opened the cabin door, and Zane whipped off his seat belt, sucking in his first sweet breath of Bahamian air. Sunglasses on, he surveyed the landscape from his vantage point at the top of the plane stairs. Palm trees rustled in the wind, and gauzy white clouds rolled across the seemingly endless stretch of azure sky. This was exactly what he’d needed. He knew it already.

A driver from Rose Cove, the boutique resort owned by Scott’s aunt and uncle, met him outside the airport building, and after a quick zip through customs, Zane was on his way to the marina in a golf cart. From there, a speedboat captain named Marcus took Zane for the two-mile trip to Rose Cove Island, off the southernmost tip of Eleuthera. The water was tranquil and clear, the wind buzzing through Zane’s ears as the boat sliced through the water and the sun blanketed him in warmth. He pulled his phone out of his pocket and powered it down. He had zero plans to look at it while he was in paradise. He not only needed to unwind, he wanted to disappear. Falling Brook, the Lowell family and Black Crescent weren’t even a distant thought—they’d evaporated from his mind.

Pulling up to the dock at Rose Cove, Zane was struck by the beauty of the pink sand beaches from which the tiny private island got its name. Marcus directed him down a crushed-seashell path through a tropical forest so shaded by palm trees that it was a good ten degrees cooler. Colorful birds chirped and flitted from tree to tree, while the occasional lizard. skittered across the sandy ground to hide behind a rock. He eventually reached a clearing with a white single-story building of colonial architecture, with a porch that wrapped around the entire structure. Inside, Zane finally got to meet Scott’s aunt Angelique.

“Welcome to Rose Cove!” she exclaimed, rushing out from behind the check-in desk, wearing a beautiful turquoise sundress, flat sandals and her braided hair pulled up in a twist. Despite her enthusiasm, Angelique’s peaceful voice suggested that she lived her life at a pace far different from the rest of the world’s. “My nephew has told me so much about you.” She gave him a hug, showing the same warmth Zane had found in Scott’s entire family. He already felt at home here. He wasn’t sure he ever wanted to leave.

“You can’t believe everything Scott says,” Zane joked.

Angelique smiled wide. “He had nothing but great things to say.” She bustled back behind the counter and unfolded what appeared to be a map. “Here’s all you need to know about the island. This is the main building, where my husband, Hubert, and I live.” She circled a picture of the building where they were. “The ten cottages spoke out from here and are a good distance from each other for privacy. You’re in cottage number eight. You have a quiet stretch of beach, a hammock and a private plunge pool. There’s a beautiful king-size bed, a luxury bath and a fully stocked kitchen. Or our staff will bring you breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. Simply fill out the card waiting for you in your room. Until then, I invite you to relax and enjoy the island. Perhaps say hello to your neighbor in cottage nine. She’s been waiting for you to arrive.”

“A neighbor?” A she, no less? Perhaps this was Zane’s lucky day, although there was a part of him that knew his tendency to get lost in women was not his best trait. Really, he should be focusing on fishing and swimming while detoxing from social media and the internet.

“My niece, Allison. She arrived a few hours ago.” Zane’s jaw dropped so far he had to make a conscious decision to close his mouth. He was flabbergasted. What were the chances that he and Allison would end up on the island at the same time? “Allison is here. On this island. Right now.”

“Is there a problem?”

He shook his head so fast he nearly lost his sunglasses, which were resting on top of his head. “Absolutely not. I love Allison. I’m just surprised. I’ll have to stop over and say hi.” He hadn’t seen Allison much in the years since he graduated from high school. He’d gone to college in North Carolina on a basketball scholarship, and when he returned to Falling Brook after four years, she was off to school in Los Angeles, where she stayed to start a business. She returned every Christmas, but Zane always seemed to be visiting his mom in Boston at the same time.

But three weeks ago Scott’s wife, Brittney, invited both Allison and Zane to a surprise birthday dinner she was having for Scott. Allison flew in for the weekend. The instant Zane saw her, he knew exactly how good the years had been to Allison—almost too good. She’d taken a straight line from cute to drop-dead gorgeous. Her long and wavy black hair was pulled back in a ponytail, showing off the incredible depth and warmth of her brown eyes. The chemistry of the entire room shifted when she smiled or laughed. He’d always found her interesting and a bit otherworldly, with a style and vibe all her own, but that night he was transfixed.

She’d surprised him many times when they were younger, like the day she got her nose pierced, but she’d flat-out shocked him that night at Scott’s house. She kissed him—soft and sensuous and so packed with sexy intent that he’d felt the earth shift beneath him. He was so conditioned to think of Allison only as his best friend’s little sister that he’d been wholly unprepared for Allison, the fully formed woman. And with Scott in the other room, a man to whom there would be no explaining, Zane had done the unthinkable that night. He’d pushed beautiful, beguiling Allison away.

Purchase Forbidden Lust from:

The Dynasties: Seven Sins Series:

Ruthless Pride ~ Review

📚 You can read my review of Forbidden Lust here. 📚

Insatiable Hunger by Yahrah St. John releases July 1, 2020

Hidden Ambition by Jules Bennett releases August 1, 2020

Reckless Envy by Joss Wood releases September 1, 2020

Untamed Passion by Cat Schield releases October 1, 2020

Slow Burn by Janice Maynard releases November 1, 2020

Karen Booth is a Midwestern girl transplanted in the South, raised on 80s music and repeated readings of Forever by Judy Blume. She writes steamy contemporary romance and women's fiction. When she isn't creating fictional hunky men and the women who test them, she's listening to music with her kids, honing her Southern cooking skills or sweet-talking her astoundingly supportive husband into whipping up a batch of cocktails.

Places to find Karen Booth:


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