Get into Bed with Isobel Rey (Author Interview)

substitute

She’s driven by his desire…
It took all of Alexia’s courage to leave her abusive boyfriend and strike out on her own. When she lands a job at a glamorous sports agency, she thinks she finally has it made. But shy, blonde and beautiful, Alexia is totally unprepared for the fast sexual politics of rich men and ambitious women that is waiting for her. Most of all, she is totally unprepared for her dazzling but damaged new boss, Nathan Fallon.

Keira: It takes a lot of strength to walk away from domestic abuse. How does Alexia, in your book Substitute, gain her courage to do just that?

Isobel Rey: The kind of bullying that Alexia experiences is not obvious and overt, it’s the kind of drip, drip low grade bullying that builds gradually and erodes a woman’s confidence.  It’s insidious and creeps on her.    She gets the courage to leave when she realises how far she’s fallen, how he’s got into her head and under her skin to undermine her.    She looks at the closed door,  determined to sear the image in her mind to reinforce her decision to leave.    The decision to leave in these circumstances is often made after a small incident, it’s not the incident itself which prompts the action, but the cumulative effect of the bullying.   Something snaps in her head, and she knows she has to go.

Keira: Glamorous and sports? Isn’t that an oxymoron? Unless we’re talking about figure skating… are we?

Isobel: Well actually, having been around the world of sports promotion I can say that it is most definitely a glamorous world.   The world of Premiere League Soccer sees players who are paid millions, drive eye-wateringly expensive cars and sign multi-million pound sponsorship deals.    The world of tennis, Formula One racing, Soccer and now even Golf attract huge money, with the accompanying glamorous women and money hungry agents.  It’s a high octane world of partying, champagne and bed-hopping.

Keira: So what’s office politics like in Substitute and does it differ from normal life?

Isobel: The office politics in Substitute is typical of the type of business that attracts big money in any capital city in the world.   Any workplace where the stakes are high and naked ambition rubs up against huge egos is going to look like this.   I’ve worked in these workplaces!

Keira: Tell us about Nathan Fallon, her new boss? How is he damaged?

Isobel: Nathan is a soldier, an officer.   So many veterans suffer quietly with Post Dramatic Stress Syndrome because they don’t talk about their experiences.     In order to operate in the theatre of war, like Iraq or Afghanistan, they have to put some of their emotions away in a box in order to survive some of the horrors they see or the violence they are forced to commit to survive.     Nothing can prepare you for killing other human beings, not even in battle. They also suffer from a condition called Hyper-Vigilance, having been in threatening situations for 24 hours a day.     They then come home and find it difficult to reconnect with loved ones or new relationships.   Some cope better than others.  But Nathan has been rejected by the woman he thought would be there for him.    The thought of her kept him going during the fighting, but he feels a deep sense of betrayal when he comes home.  He’s an officer and a gentleman and has a huge sense of honour, loyalty and integrity.    He finds it very difficult to let that go.

Keira: Did your advertising experience help in the writing or publishing of this novel?

Isobel: Yes it did.    The world of advertising brings you into contact with all types of industries, including sports promotion.    I witnessed this world first hand, and let me tell you it’s no exaggeration!

Keira: How do you define love?

Isobel: Love is about complete trust and acceptance.    If you find the right person, they will be the best company in the world, and the one person you want to talk to first thing in the morning and the last thing at night.   They allow you to fly like a kite,   but they anchor you, so you don’t get blown off course.

Keira: What makes a great Happily Ever After? What’s required?

Isobel: A great happily ever after has to be realistic.   There’s no guarantee that the prince will love the princess in 5 years when the kids are screaming and the nannies have handed in their notice.    But if the two people involved are grounded enough to understand each other and want to accept everything about the other person then that happy ending is believable.

Keira: Any advice you’d give your younger self now that your first book is published?

Isobel: The personal advice I would give myself is never worry what other people think of you, the only people that count will accept you as you are.    And I’d give myself some professional advice as a writer – spend more time observing people and what makes them tick.

Keira: What are your favorite writing rituals that help put you in the writing mood?

Isobel: I like to take the weekend off and go to the coast, and sit in cafes by the beach with my laptop and headphones.   Listening to great music by the ocean really lets me switch off and get writing.

Keira: What’s up for you next?

Isobel: This is my first book in this genre, and I was encouraged to write it because of the types of world I get a window into from my job.    The book has been so well received that I think the next book will focus on a different world.      Haven’t decided which one yet!

Buy: Substitute

Review: The Officer Says “I Do” by Jeanette Murray

officer says i doHero: Structure. Duty. Routine. Soldier.

Captain Timothy O’Shay unwinds more than he plans to while on pre-deployment in Vegas. When a gorgeous woman eyes him across a dealer’s table he cashes out and asks her to marry him. The only question remains will he remember it in the morning?

Heroine: Chaos. Heart. Fate. Free-spirit.

Skye McDermott was supposed to be on a girl’s night out in Vegas with work buddies, but when they attach themselves to two marines, she can’t help but notice the third. To her utter amazement he pops the question after one steamy kiss and she says yes. A girl doesn’t argue against fate.

Review: Opposites attract they say, add in some alcohol and you’ve got a romantic comedy of two unlikely people marrying at the drop of a hat. I only wish the blind run to the altar wasn’t marred by Tim acting completely out of character. I think it would have been hotter if he decided she was the girl for him and took the bull by the horns. It isn’t sexy when he wakes and thinks he had a drunk one-night stand and sneaks out of the hotel room. What a jackass maneuver from a guy supposedly responsible and honorable who respects women.

This book appealed to me because of the quickie wedding and then working the marriage out after the fact. I love marriage of convenience plots. This one was feel good, but not remarkable. Lots of hints about Madison, Tim’s sister, and his best friend.

Rating: ★★½☆☆

Buy: The Officer Says “I Do”

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Top Ten Reasons Why I Love a Good Military Romance

officer says i doGuest blog by Jeanette Murray, author of The Officer Says “I Do”

My first paperback, The Officer Says “I Do” released on July 3rd. And I couldn’t be more excited. One of the comments I get most though is people mentioning the hottie on the front cover…and asking if I know him! (I do not.) Then the next question is about why I chose to write military romance. Part of me says…because I live it! But not everything about the military lifestyle is glamorous. So there’s gotta be a better reason…

How about ten of them?

Top Ten Reasons Why I Love A Good Military Romance…

10. The level of honor in being willing to lay their lives on the line for the core values of a nation is massively hot.

9. The sound of dog tags clinking together when the shirts come off is definitely spine-tingling.

8. The sound of 100 pairs of boots hitting the pavement in complete unison during parade formation makes me shiver.

7. There’s a physical fitness requirement…which leads to hunkiness.

6. I like a clean-cut man. High-and-tight-oorah.

5. As a tall gal (5’10”) and strong myself, I politically incorrectly want a man stronger than me…since I think that’s delicious.

4. The idea that a man can run a 10K with a 70 pound pack, scale walls, shoot a gun, kick some ass with martial arts and then come home and snuggle with me in bed…that’s sexy.

3. Camo face paint is even sexier in person.

2. Battle buddies. The friendships forged through training and

1. The few. The proud. How can you not love a guy like that?

So to review: Hot. Sexy. Spine-tingling. Shiver-producing. Hunky. Oorah. Delicious. Niiiiice.

Can’t pass it up. Every time, I’m sucked in. So naturally, I had to write about it! How about a short excerpt to prove my point? Let’s see just how irresistible this Marine is to our heroine from The Officer Says “I Do”, Skye!

Excerpt: “Sorry, I know you’re his wife and all, but you seem like you can’t breathe, so I’m gonna take first dibs.”

“First dibs on—” Skye started to ask, but Madison was already gone. Out the door, down the sidewalk, and launching herself at Tim. He stumbled back once and caught her, spinning in a circle while her legs dangled.

Well, no time like the present. Skye took one more look at her outfit—one of the most sensible things she owned that wasn’t a work uniform—and headed out the door. But she stopped on the sidewalk, feeling like an intruder in a private family moment.

You’re a part of that family now too.

But she wasn’t. Not really. Not yet.

Soon.

She took one deep breath, prayed her knees would hold her up, and walked up behind Madison, who was still clinging to her brother with a desperation that spoke of her love for him.

His hat had flown off at the sisterly attack, and she could see his face clearly now. And then her lungs compressed again, like a vise in her chest. This was the man she had married. And every single reason for why she had agreed flooded her again. Still handsome, still serious. But at the same time, happy. Happy to see his sister again. Then his eyes blinked open, and she saw a flash of something in them when he noticed her.

The urge to pace the cement walkway was strong, so instead she locked her knees and waited for the moment with Madison to pass. Finally, Madison peeled herself off of Tim and stepped back, wiping tears from her eyes. She gave a sheepish look to Skye.

“Sorry. I know he was only gone a week but… you know. It was supposed to be longer.”

At the weepy look in the otherwise-strong woman’s eye, Skye felt a little misty herself. But when she caught sight of Tim staring at her, the mushy emotion faded into something much more like panic.

How would he react? Would he give her a hug like his sister? Would he give her a kiss? A handshake? For some stupid reason, how he greeted her seemed like it would set the tone for what was to come.

Apparently the tone was… nothing.

He stared at her, his gaze neither welcoming nor condemning. He shifted his weight forward, then back on his heels again. It was like he couldn’t figure out how to respond, what the right thing to say was. The right thing to do.

That makes two of us.

Madison shifted beside Tim, and Skye realized the two of them were staring at each other like a high noon showdown. Okay, so this would be awkward. But what did she expect—him to sweep her off her feet and cart her off to Aruba for a honeymoon?

“Welcome home, I guess. I didn’t realize when you said you were deploying that you meant so soon.”

He shrugged and bent to pick up a long, olive green bag. “That’s the way it works.”

Madison picked up a thick briefcase-shaped box and headed for the front door. Relishing the ability to have something to do with her hands, Skye grabbed a knapsack and slung it over her shoulder, following Madison. She barely made it through the front door before a large hand touched her neck while reaching for the strap. The brush of rough fingertips made her shiver.

“I’ll take that.” Tim slid the pack off her shoulders and dropped the entire bundle on the tile floor by the door. “I’m just going to leave it here for now.”

The three stood in the foyer, a heavy silence settling around them. Nobody seemed to look at anyone else. Should she go? Was this a time for him and his sister to talk? It was their house, anyway. But there was so much she needed to tell him, it was practically bursting out of her. She tamped down the urge to yell out her reason for coming, get it over with like ripping a bandage off.

Definitely not the right impression.

Tim cleared his throat and gave Madison a pointed glance. “Dwayne mentioned drinks at the O Club with Jeremy. Maybe you wanna go check that out, squirt.”

Madison rolled her eyes and laughed. “Subtle. Very subtle. But you’re right. Drinks with those two sounds perfect.” She picked up a purse sitting on the entry table and stood on her tiptoes to give him another kiss on the cheek. “Good to have you back, bro, even for a little while.” Before she closed the door behind her, she called out, “Don’t call me squirt.”

Tim’s chuckle rumbled through the nearly-empty room. Then he turned toward her, and the amusement evaporated into an intense hunger. Something she could relate to.

She was hungry for him too.

Buy: The Officer Says “I Do”