STOP PRESS: Winner of Deserted Island, Dreamy Ex is Virginia C
Girls' Guide to Flirting with Danger
Welcome to part three of the great RIVA launch party. There's been a lot going on. Mills and Boon having been celebrating the launch on their website. There's a "pop-up" shop in Selfridges in Oxford Street with author workshops - so if you're lucky enough to be in London, do drop in to have a look.
My guest this week is the exciting Kimberly Lang who hid romance novels behind her textbooks in junior high, and even a master’s program in English couldn’t break the obsession with dashing heroes and Happily Ever After and she's a founding member of a blog for aspiring romance writers, The Writing Playground
Welcome, Kimberly - tell us about your book.
Thanks, Liz, for having me here today! I’m such a fan of your books that it’s a real treat to be on your blog. Like all the Riva authors, I’m so excited about this new line. I’m very honored that my Girls’ Guide to Flirting With Danger was chosen as one of the launch titles.
Megan and Devin’s book is a reunion story, which is one of my all-time favorite romance hooks. I love the built-in tension and conflict of bringing old lovers back together. In this case, I had a lot of fun, as Megan is a marriage counselor and the ex-wife of America’s most famous divorce attorney. Her life and career are turned upside down, and Devin’s fame is the cause. They’re both strong characters, and the sparks – angry and otherwise – fly when they find themselves back together.
Here’s the blurb:
Rule #1 — Don't even flirt with your ex — let alone sleep with him!
Life is good for marriage counselor Megan Lowe—until the media discover that she’s the ex–wife of Devin Kenney, America's most famous divorce attorney! Now the paparazzi are digging for a scoop just in time for the launch of Devin's new book. His gorgeous smile smirks at Megan from magazines and billboards — making him infuriatingly impossible to forget…
It's time for Megan to throw her very bossy rulebook out of the window and face her dangerously sexy ex. And their sizzlingly hot reunion — well, that's most definitely headline news…
And an excerpt to give you a little taste of their reunion:
“How could you, Dev?”
“How could I what? You’ll need to be more specific.”
Megan pulled a copy of his book out of her bag and tossed it at him. “This.”
He caught it reflexively and looked at her. When she didn’t elaborate, he prodded her. “Should I make it out to you, or is it a gift for a friend?”
“Neither.” She snorted. “I’ve got your autograph already. On my divorce papers.”
“Then what?” She didn’t answer, but he could see the muscle in her jaw working. “Need some legal advice?”
She tilted her head, and the end of her ponytail fell to rest on the heaving swell of her breast above the neckline of her shirt. A faint flush colored the skin there, barely noticeable in the dimness of the stockroom. “Actually, I could use some legal advice. What’s the difference between slander and libel?”
He pulled his attention from her cleavage. “What?”
“How about Defamation of Character? Can I sue you for that?”
Meggie rarely made sense when she got good and mad, but this seemed to be extreme, even for her.
“Why don’t you calm down and tell me—”
“Don’t you dare patronize me, Devin Kenney. Your radio show was bad enough, but this book--”
Old habits warred with each other. Placate or fight back? “I don’t think—”
“And therein lies the problem. Did you never once think that people might be interested in the ex-wife of America’s most popular divorce attorney?” Megan began to pace, her hands moving agitatedly as she spoke. “That people might think that some of the things you mention on the radio or the stories in this book are based on your personal experience? Or that they might come looking for me wanting dirt or backstory or something?”
Ah, unwanted notoriety. “You’re all spun up because some tabloid wants you to dish the dirt on me?”
She crossed her arms across her chest again as she stared at him, eyes snapping. “Not just some tabloid. All the tabloids. All the cable news channels. Half a dozen talk shows and every damn blogger in the universe. Do you not keep up with your own press? Haven’t you seen my name next to yours recently?”
He didn’t keep up with his own press; he didn’t have time. That’s why he had Manny. And they’d be having a conversation about that later on. After he finished with Megan.
Her anger made a bit more sense now. Megan was so shy, the media hounds would be too much for her to deal with without major stress. Feeling a twinge of guilt Megan had been pulled into this media circus at all, he reached for her arm out of habit, simply to calm her. When she stepped back, he remembered he didn’t have the right to touch her anymore. He leaned back against a stack of boxes instead. “The fact we were married once is public record. I can’t change that.” She took a deep breath, and he held up a hand, trying to be diplomatic. “But I am sorry you’re being bothered by the press. It’ll blow over soon.” Something about that phrase made her nostrils flare and the color in her cheeks deepen. “Feel free to milk this any way you want, though.”
“I don’t want to milk this. I want it to go away. My career may never recover as it is, but if this continues…”
He tried to follow the change in topic. “Your career?”
“I realize it was never high on your radar, but surely you remember I wanted one of those, too.”
Oh, he remembered, all right. She’d moved to Albany and filed for divorce in pursuit of her precious career. The bitter taste of that memory settled on his tongue and made his next words sharper than intended. “I don’t see how a little fame could have any detrimental effect on your career.”
“I’m a therapist.” He shrugged in question and Megan’s jaw clenched again. “Primarily a marriage therapist,” she managed to grit out.
He felt his eyebrows go up, and a small chuckle escaped before he could stop it.
Megan rolled her eyes and sighed. “Yes, yes, I’m aware of the irony. As are all the people contacting me about you. But I’m damn good at what I do. And I was building a nice client list and decent reputation. Until now.”
“Let’s see. The press won’t leave me alone. They call my office and my house at all hours. My email overflows, and one even tried to pose as a new client. I could handle that, but now my clients are being harassed by press, which is a horrible invasion of their privacy, not to mention embarrassing for them and the clinic I work for. The speculation in the tabloids about our marriage makes me look like some kind of psychotic harpy, which tends to make people think twice about listening to my advice.” She was pacing again, working that head of steam back up. “Oh, and there’s the little issue of being placed on extended leave because all of this interferes with the entire clinic’s ability to do business. So, thank you, Devin, for screwing up my life. Again.”
This story was so much fun to write, and I hope y’all find it as much fun to read.
So, tell me about your last run-in with one of your exes… My October Presents , Boardroom Rivals, Bedroom Fireworks!, is also a reunion story, and I’ll send a copy to one of today’s commenters.
Thanks so much, Kimberly. I love a reunion story, too and I've got your book on my tbr pile (a lure to finish the wip!) and can't wait. And I'm hoping for great comments - don't forget to come back to check if you've won!
In the meantime, if you'd like to read a longer excerpt from Kimberly's book, click the browse the book button below and you'll get the entire first chapter. And for those of you in the US, The Girl's Guide to Flirting With Danger (I have such title envy!) is published in the Presents Extra livery and is available in both paper and eBook formats.