We have the pleasure to be part of the Fearsome by S.A. Wolfe Book Blitz organized by Xpresso Book Tours.
Publication date: October 2013
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Jessica Channing’s big city life should be more exciting than sixty-hour work weeks and popcorn nights with her girlfriends, but it’s not. She has worked hard fulfilling her role as a child prodigy and graduating college years before her peers. She’s the good girl, the brilliant girl.
Unfortunately, she’s also the dateless young woman.
That all changes with one phone call. Jess’s rigid, predictable life upends when she must visit a small, obscure town to deal with a relative’s death. This isn’t just any little speck of a town, though. Long lost memories come crashing down on Jess’s world when two men, the Blackard brothers, seem to lure her in.
Dylan is cover model handsome, and pursues Jess the minute she comes to town. Then there is tall, dark and gorgeous Carson, who hides his own secrets behind his hardened reserve.
For someone who has been governed by her own obsessive behaviors and fears, Jess lets her guard down and jumps at the opportunity to have an affair with a man she actually finds attractive for a change.
There’s just one problem. Jess discovers that she can’t have a simple romantic fling because true passion does indeed come with some very big strings attached to it. She will have to own up to her own truths about love and face the two extraordinary men; both troubled in their own ways and both determined to have her.
Dylan’s reaction is evident. I’m at the end of the hall in the kitchen doorway when Carson answers the door and Dylan’s face drops. “What the fuck are you doing here?”
“Hi, brother,” Carson greets him with a smugness in his voice. “I was working on the kitchen and thought I’d stay for dinner. I see you’re making your eggplant parm. Wouldn’t want to miss that.” He holds the door open for Dylan who storms through with two bottles of wine in each hand.
“Oh, fuck you,” Dylan snaps and head towards me. He kisses me on the cheek. “Hi. So we’ve got company.” He shakes his head at me.
“Here, let me open the wine.” Carson squeezes between Dylan and me, grabbing the bottles. “You cook. Jess and I will drink this fine vino you’ve brought us.”
“I didn’t bring it for you,” Dylan counters.
Carson studies the wine label and raises his eyebrows. “You’ve dropped an impressive little bundle on these two gems. Can’t wait to drink it.”
Dylan ignores him and makes his way into the kitchen where he begins to pull items out of the fridge along with pots and pans from the cupboards. I’m caught in the middle of some brotherly group dynamic that is foreign to me, so I stay out of it and keep quiet.
Carson uncorks a bottle of wine with a switchblade he pulls out of his pocket. I don’t know whether to be unnerved or impressed that he carries a knife and knows how to open a bottle of wine with it. He makes one slice around the seal, thuds the base of the bottle against one of the vertical beams along the wall and then pulls the cork out with his teeth. I’ve never seen anything like it. He looks even sexier merely by doing that little move. His hands are full with the bottle in one hand and the knife and cork in the other, so he pulls a kitchen chair out with his foot.
“Have a seat, milady, and join me in a glass of the grape,” he mimics a thick Scottish brogue.
“Oh, please,” Dylan says over his shoulder as he slams pans on the range. I laugh and sit down. Carson smiles at me and pours a tiny amount of the wine into a juice glass for me. I take a little sip and nod approvingly. I know nothing about wine.
“Hey, Bixby,” a deep voice says from behind us. Archie and I both turn to where a man has jumped out of a truck. He looks like he’s in his mid-twenties or older; muscular build, very tall, dark brown, tussled, shoulder length hair and broad shoulders on a trim frame. He is definitely too handsome, too gorgeous and too intimidating for me. He’s the kind of guy any woman would notice. He looks like he walked right out of a truck commercial. He even has the faded jeans, well-worn T-shirt and dusty work boots to complete the picture. I can’t help staring.
“Oh boy, here’s trouble,” Lauren says, looking over my shoulder. I turn around to see a very cute guy walk into the diner. He’s what I’d call a summer boy, the Ralph Lauren ad; a tall, tan, athletic guy who sports sun-bleached light brown curls and a casually confident air. Sure, I can surf. Sure, I play polo, who doesn’t? Sure, I scuba dive, sky dive and ski off cliffs.
So Jessica is really a composite of some amazing young women I have encountered, working in specialized fields that require advanced degrees and years of post-graduate work, and as I told my husband once, some of these women were stunning, incredibly beautiful. Simply put, some of these remarkable women were put together like elegant women you see on the streets of Paris.
Well, Jessica may be a genius, a child prodigy, and she advances quickly in her education, but she isn’t smooth by any means and she isn’t put together like a Parisienne woman. It takes years for Jess to grow out of her geek stage, and even when she becomes a swan, she still feels like a nerd who is riddled with obsessive behaviors. Her OCD-type behavior is critical to her character. Most people are unaware of their little rituals in their daily life. Jessica’s issues stem from her analytical personality and they escalate in certain situations. She’s well aware of her peculiar traits, and you even catch her lying about it in the novel. However, the fact that she cannot control these quirky behaviors endears her to others.
Although she is very comfortable in New York City, the town of Hera makes it very apparent to Jessica that what has been missing in her life are meaningful relationships, from both a familial and a romantic aspect. This is where you see her true neurotic self-analysis surface. She is conflicted about men, and even her own family, therefore, she relies heavily on her new support system of friends, and her artwork as a means to cope. I wanted her to have an outlet that was the complete opposite of her work life, which involves systematic procedures and precise numbers. Jessica’s paintings are liberating for her, and I intentionally have her delve into fun, whimsical imagery for that reason.
Bottom line, Carson, like Jess, is a workaholic. He is driven to work hard, determined to make things right in his world. Whatever his reasons, he’s industrious, and that in itself presents some of his similarities to Jess.
Jessica’s relationship with Imogene and Lauren are crucial. Although she doesn’t come from a wealthy family, you could say that Jessica’s upbringing in Manhattan was rather privileged, elite private schools and a premiere cultural scene. She knows her genius academic abilities have given her an upper-hand as far as employment are concerned, but I wanted her to be outside of her element, away from the glamorous city, among peers in a small town with down-to-earth type people. I think Imogene and Lauren are perfectly cast as Jessica’s new best friends. They are college educated, but living back in their small town again, working long hours as waitresses, and tackling the difficult dream of launching their own jewelry business. Through these two funny, lovable young women, Jessica sees how most college grads live today, paycheck to paycheck, still trying to find their way in the world. And let’s just say that Imogene and Lauren have some of the best damn lines in the novel. I didn’t want them portrayed as ignorant small town girls; they are smart, funny, insightful, and give Jess plenty of crap when needed, which is often.
Dead or alive, these characters are key to the town of Hera and Jessica’s new life there.
I love older characters that can offer a serious or even comical perspective on life and these seniors do just that. They know everything that’s going on with all the young players in this town and they love to offer up their unsolicited advice.
S. A. Wolfe lives with her wonderfully loud, opinionated children and awesome husband. She is a voracious reader and passionate about writing, and when those two activities don’t keep her locked away in her room, she loves hiking mountains as much as she adores all the thrills New York City has to offer.
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