Mason Christian has twelve weeks to flip something old into something new for his Japanese client, and then he’s getting the hell out of Footsteps Bay, New Zealand. Not even his temporary cook and secretary—the feisty, luscious Billie McLeod—will deter him. There’s no denying she makes him feel alive. More alive than he’s felt in three years…
Billie has one dream: save enough money to go to college. That’s why she’s agreed to work for hard ass, all-business-no-pleasure Mason Christian—a man who has every intention of destroying through “modernization” the town’s most cherished historical home. But before she can say see ya, she realizes she’s signed the dotted line and is contractually bound for eighty-four days. Working with male perfection every day is awesome with a capital A—as long as they can stick to a hands-off policy that gets harder every day…
It’s no secret that I absolutely adored this book. It was such a heartwarming love story with a quirky and sassy heroine and a broken hero that you can’t help but fall in love with. So I am so thrilled to have the fabulous author of the book here with us today!
Hi, Lana. I am super excited to be here. Thanks so much for having me here today. I’ve brought margaritas, mojitos and Maltesers. (I’m thinking today is an M day.)
So after reading and absolutely LOVING Winning the Boss’s Heart I just have to know, what sparked your idea for this book?
I really love sassy women. A woman who knows what she wants and who isn’t afraid of going after it. I always had the idea of Billie in the back of my mind. I love small town settings with a Wuthering Heights broody male like Mason and it all just came together. I have to say this book was draft seven thousand four hundred and twelve.
One of my many favorite parts of this book was your inclusion of one of my favorite movies, The Princess Bride. Tell me some of your favorite movies?
I’m a bit in love with Fast and Furious. All that man candy on the screen? Yum.
An oldie but a goodie I mentioned in Winning the Boss’s Heart and that was Truly, Madly, Deeply. I think I cried so much I dehydrated.
A little Irish movie called Once. Just crept up on me.
I sob through The Color Purple. I just love that film.
All the Harry Potter films.
I loved reading about the beautiful setting of Footsteps Bay, New Zealand and the amazing people that live there. What inspired you to use that particular location?
Growing up, my parents loved a camper. Dad would hitch the camper to the car, stuff the family in, and we’d drive six torturous hours on gravel roads to this huge beach in New Zealand with a population of around one hundred. There were wild horses that roamed the sands. We’d dine out every night on precooked sausages that would survive into the next century. It was filled with small town New Zealanders. I had the chance to revisit not long ago and to my delight, the town is pretty much the same. Bless old New Zealand, I think we’ve just made four million. Party!
I adored Billie’s quirky personality; she is going on my list of favorite heroines. Was there an inspiration behind her character?
Hayson blushes and wipes a tear. Your words are lovely.
I read a lot. Every day. The Clueless Wonders know not to interrupt unless they have a bone sticking out, a severed artery or a strange man is asking them to come and look for his lost puppy. I’ve been reading a lot of angsty women. I’m not a fan of anyone filled with angst, possibly due to my ancientness. I grew up with a strong mother who told me to stop whining, find a way to get what I want, legally, and get it.
I don’t think I could write a woman who is a doormat either. I wanted to write a feisty, woman who has vulnerabilities but knows what she wants out of life and isn’t afraid to go for it. I try and write characters I could sit down and have a coffee and a laugh with. I hope I got that right with Billie.
What is your favorite part of this book?
I loved watching Mason crack when Billie became ill. He tried so hard to deny he had deep feelings for her, but when she became ill, he put his life on hold to care for her. I loved seeing his vulnerabilities rise to the surface and how much he did care for her. I’m a bit of a sucker for the ending and epilogue and any scene with Stanley the dog I was gone.
So what got you into writing in the first place?
Being a huge Romance junky, I know my list for this is pretty big, but who are some of your favorite authors?
I think I’ve read every Kristen Ashley starting with Motorcycle Man which I adored. Oh, Tack.
I’ve read every Agatha Christie book ever published. I never guessed who did it. Not once.
I started reading John Green so Clueless Wonder 1 and I could have something to grunt about. I started with The Fault in our Stars and laughed and sobbed through the book. We still have differing opinions on the ending of Looking for Alaska which goes for healthy debate at Casa Manning over the dinner table.
Anything in the Beyond series by Kit Rocha. I cannot get enough of those books.
What about your favorite books?
Any book in the Beyond series by Kit Rocha. Them’s are sexy, sure-fire reads
Motorcycle Man by Kristen Ashley. Did I mention my love of Tack?
Easy by Tamara Webber. Sigh. Sigh. Sigh. Loved it.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I loved it and hated it in equal measure but is still debated here at Casa Manning.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. A book narrated by Death? Awesome. I read in one sitting.
Falling for the Marine by Samanthe Beck.
What’s your writing process like?
To be honest there are days when I’d rather chisel the stalagmites off the oven, but I have to get my butt in the chair and get ideas flowing. I start the day with an enormous cup of joe, hit the emails, procrastinate, read what I wrote yesterday. Decide it’s rubbish and start again today. Some days the words flow like honey. Some day’s I’d rather enter a bikini contest after chowing down on a box of Krispy Kreme’s. Rather than supply the audience with Pepto Bismol after seeing me in a bikini (shudder) I plonk myself down and make myself write.
Where is your favorite place to write? At home? In your writing cave? Coffee Shop?
At home looking like I’m still wearing a failed Halloween costume where I can hide under the table when anyone approaches. Sad but true.
Any must haves you need during your writing? Coffee? Chocolate? Complete silence or music?
Silence. There are way too many folks talking in my head already. Diet coke or Diet Mountain Dew with enough caffeine to kick me to Mars works.
Any hints as to what you have planned and coming up next?
I’m in the process of penning an Entangled Brazen (I hope) about a dirty-talking bounty hunter who teams up with a preacher’s daughter PI to catch a man who destroyed both their lives.
Well, that’s the plan. Some days I write slower than a sloth at a sleeping party.
Connect with the Author
I fell in love with this book. Hard. I wasn’t sure what to expect going into it. Maybe another stereotypical romance where the rich and jaded boss seduces the naive assistant? Well, that’s not what I got. Not even close. Let me tell you, the synopsis of this book doesn’t even begin to give it justice. It was so much more. I adored everything about it; the hero and heroine, the gorgeous setting, the romance, the quirky humor, and the writing. I read it in one sitting, and that says a lot about it.
He’s cold, jaded, rich, and efficiently to the point.
He watched her with those unblinking blue eyes. Didn’t look like the man smiled a whole lot. She resisted the urge to shift in her chair. She doubted his middle name was jocularity or could even form the word “fun” in an anagram.
But behind the unfeeling facade, is the broken soul of a man that’s experienced the worst sort of heartache. I knew I was going to fall in love with Mason, he pretty much had me at “42”
I need a cook and a secretary. If you get the job, I’ll be calling you Forty-Two, as none of my assistants stay. I work long hours and expect the same.”
Billie is my favorite kind of heroine. She was endearingly quirky, funny, yet she also had this core of strength that I really admired about her.
The relationship development between these two characters was probably my favorite part of the story. There was no insta-love or lust. There was no over the top sexual “you’re mine” encounters. It was a beautiful and romantic story about love, forgiveness, healing old wounds, and learning to move on
I loved watching Billie slowly chipping away at Mason’s walls. She wasn’t whiny, intrusive, or naive about his pain. She recognized that his pain ran deep, yet she never let him hide behind it.
Jesus,” he said under his breath.
“Putting yourself out there for salvation?”
“I don’t have a soul,” he replied instantly.
“Yeah, you do,” she whispered. “You only wish you didn’t.”
The author did an amazing job with story telling, able to pain a beautiful picture in your mind of Footsteps Bay, New Zealand and it’s people. Plus this book gets an automatic 3 stars for featuring one of my all time favorite movies, The Princess Bride.
I devoured this story and didn’t want it to end. The last 5% made me tear up, it was just perfect.
Spoiler below, highlight to see
Hear this now. I will always come for you.
Me, you, and Stan. And jam. And all those goddamned pinecones. Stay with me, Billie. You have to. Because if you don’t, hear this now. I will always come for you. And that would make me a stalker. Don’t let me turn into a stalker, Billie.
And then the icing on the already perfect cake was that epilogue. The entire book was wonderful, lovely, romantic, just perfect. It was exactly what I needed. Miss Manning has now been added to my auto-buy authors. I’m really looking forward to all her future books.