The publishing industry can be a roller coaster, and often, its up to authors to make the most of it. To help Rachell Nichole ride the high of her latest release, I came up with some fun and sexy questions that highlight A Love Affair in Las Vegas.
Dawn Jansen has only ever wanted one thing: to provide a life for her daughter in New York City, away from the small-town minds of her family and her upbringing. She has fought hard to finally make it to manager at the Hauteman hotel, and one of her first duties is to attend a conference at the Marietta Las Vegas to learn all she can about running the show. But when she arrives in Las Vegas, her plans to learn as much as she can on a professional level, turns into learning far more about herself than her job. She may get a second-chance at this whole love thing after all.
Barnaby “Barney” Garrison has always had one goal in life: to help people. He’s found his calling as manager of the Marietta Times Square, and since his past failed relationship, has focused all of his energy on being the best manager he can be. This year, that means helping to run the Marietta Hotels second annual Hoteliers’ Conference in Vegas. But as soon as he notices Dawn in the crowd, his focus instantly splits, his desires for her swift and fierce. When he realizes the attraction is mutual, he doesn’t waste any time seducing her to his bed. But when he suspects she’s hiding something from him, he worries that maybe he’s just destined to attract two-timing women to his life.
Can what began as a fling in Vegas turn into something more once they’re home in New York? Or does what happen in Vegas truly stay in Vegas?
Since romance stories depend on the appeal of their main characters, what will readers find most interesting about Dawn and Barnaby?
I think the most interesting thing for readers will be that they’re both so real. When you write romance, you are, of course, writing and selling fantasy, so there’s a certain element of fantasy, or of unattainable perfection in a lot of romance. In my books, I always strive to really make my characters real people, and Dawn and Barnaby are no different. These two have real lives, real histories, and real troubles they’re facing during the book. Dawn is a single mom after a one-night stand in college, and Barnaby has focused his entire self on work for the past five years rather than on himself or his love life to get over his ex-fiancé.
Every book requires research, even the sexy ones. What’s the coolest thing you learned, whether or not the detail made it into the final version of the novel?
Well, I love setting books in places that I’ve been, and the Marietta International Hotels series really allows me to do that. So, one of the coolest things I did for this book was actually go to Las Vegas. Now, it’s been a few years, and I didn’t initially go out there to research a book, but I’m so glad to have been in the city and the surrounding areas so that I could bring that to life in this book.
Would you prefer a romantic and/or sexy getaway in New York City or Las Vegas? Why?
I’m a native of New York State, so NYC will always have a special place in my heart. I find the city incredibly romantic and actually have plans in the future to have a little weekend getaway there with my husband to go see a show on Broadway, and spend a day in Central Park, and that sort of thing.
Do you have any suggestions for writers looking to balance the romance and eroticism in their novels?
Ha! Balance? The hotter the better in my book (and in my books, in fact). I end up writing a lot of sex scenes in my books. In fact, the first drafts are usually dialogue, fight scenes and sex, with little descriptions of setting or secondary characters or anything like that. Because I write romance, though, I always know that there will be an emotional component to every sex scene. Sometimes the romance/emotional aspects get layered in afterward, but I always use the eroticism to drive the romance forward. They’re intricately entwined in everything I write. So, I guess that’s my advice to writers writing erotic or steamy romance: to not have sex just for the sake of sex, but to use it as a plot device to drive the plot forward. It can help the characters get closer together, but it should also highlight the extreme conflicts in the book.
Do you have any future plans for The Marietta Hotels series?
Oh, yes, tons in fact. So A Love Affair in Las Vegas was brought about because while I really loved the first book in this series, An Affair Across Times Square, I wanted a broader introduction to the series, which will have books set all over the world. The second book in the series is set in Paris, and I am toying with where to set the next one. I have some titles I’ve been bouncing around, like A Billionaire in Barcelona, A Valentine in Venice, that sort of thing. While there will definitely be at least one more book set in NYC, and some other cities in the US, I want to ensure that there are several books set in other cities around the world. Most of them will be cities I’ve been to, which I think lends a true air of authenticity to the books. I’ve traveled a lot of places, so I can’t wait to explore more of them in these books and share them with readers.
And finally, leave us with an excerpt from A Love Affair in Las Vegas to show readers in search of a happily ever after why they should check it out!
He was seriously underdressed. As Dawn sat across from him at the table of the restaurant in a stunning red dress, he couldn’t help staring. He was in a suit, so it wasn’t like he was sloppy, exactly, but the way that soft crimson fabric hugged her voluptuous curves put his suit to shame. They had shared a quick bite to eat at the hotel’s restaurant earlier, but this felt much more like a true date, and he was delighted.
“You look ravishing, love,” he said.
She beamed at him. “Thanks.” She wore no jewelry except a small pair of silver hoop earrings. Not that she needed any sparkle at all. Her braids were pulled up into an elegant twist atop her head, leaving her neck deliciously bare down the deep v top of the dress. “It’s new.”
Had she gotten it just for tonight? The thought made him wild inside. The idea that she had picked out something just for their date… damn. That was a big deal. When was the last time somebody had dressed up for him? He couldn’t remember. “Well, it’s hot as hell.”
“I’m glad you like it. And I’ve no doubt you’ll really enjoy what I’ve got on underneath it.”
His response caught in his throat as the waiter approached from behind Dawn. She chuckled at the face he made.
“How are you this evening, folks?” the waiter asked.
Barnaby had to clear his throat before responding. “Fine, thank you.”
Barnaby tried to give his full attention to the waiter, but he couldn’t stop his gaze from shifting to Dawn every few seconds, admiring the long curve of her shoulder and her toffee-colored skin against the bright red of the fabric. He couldn’t stop himself from imagining what she had on underneath. Something red and lacy? Satin? Black?
“Sir?” the voice of the waiter finally broke through his thoughts and he tore his gaze away from Dawn.
“I’ll have the New York strip, medium-rare, baked potato, and broccoli, please.” Apparently, he would need his strength tonight.
His balls tightened at the thought. Oh, the things he was going to do to her in that dress.
The waiter left them a moment later and he knew that he needed to focus them on topics of a non-sexual nature, or they’d never make it through dinner without tearing each other’s clothes off. Yesterday, when they’d been flirting and building up the sexual tension, he had fantasized about what she would feel like, taste like. Now that he knew, he wouldn’t be able to contain himself if he didn’t keep some semblance of civilized conversation, when all he really wanted to do was to whisper all the naughty things he would to do to her over the dinner table.
“Sorry, that was probably not the best timing for that proclamation, was it?” She quirked her mouth up on one side and glanced down at the table, before looking at him again.
Rachell Nichole is a contemporary erotic romance author, who loves writing sexy romances about memorable characters who have to fight to hold on to love.
Rachell holds two undergraduate degrees, one in Professional Writing and the other in French. She also received a Master of Fine Arts in Writing Popular Fiction at Seton Hill University. She is the author of The Marietta Hotels Series, Spicy with a Side of Cranberry Sauce, Gingerbread Photography, To Sir, Belle By Night, and Queen of Hearts.
Rachell lives in Pennsylvania with a mountain of books, the love of her life, and an invisible cat who likes to snuggle.