Archive for August 11th, 2014

It’s lust at first sight when Brody Singer first lays eyes on Abby Dunn. The dark-haired beauty looks a lot like a woman he once knew, who died years ago. At first Brody fears his attraction is a holdover from that secret crush, but Abby’s definitely different. She’s a lot shyer, a lot sexier and, despite her attempts to dissuade his interest, absolutely mesmerizing.

Abby isn’t having it. She’s still trying to put her last disastrous relationship behind her and overcome the flaws her ex wouldn’t let her forget. But somehow Brody isn’t getting the hint. It doesn’t help that when writing her steamy novels, she keeps casting Brody as the hero.

Brody is more than happy to serve as her muse and eager to help make sure her “research” is authentic. But when their research turns into something real…will she choose her own happily ever after?


How I Handled My Heartbreaker


With the first book already turned in to my editor, contracts had been signed for the entire McCauley Brothers series. I owed three more books. Dwelling on a huge amount of work to write three more contemporary romances having the same pacing, sexual tension and humor, I had more than a few sleepless nights. But I find that the easiest way to finish a project is to take it on in small chunks. A few chapters at a time I finished Brody’s story—How to Handle a Heartbreaker. And the other two followed quite nicely.


I wrote Heartbreaker two years after book one, The Troublemaker Next Door. Getting the characters right was easy. They still felt real after so much time, because I’d built them from top to bottom when writing the first book. I knew them, inside and out. And Sourcebooks really nailed the title, because it’s so appropriate. Brody is a heartbreaker, no question.


Normally in my romances, I like my happily-ever-afters clean. I dislike annoying heroines with little backbone, and too much angst in a story is a total turn off. I like sexy entertainment that’s moving but not so emotional you need a box of tissues handy to stem continual tears. But when writing this story about real characters, some angst slipped in. And the characters are much less than perfect.


There’s a certain charm to family. Pretty or ugly, it is what it is. The McCauleys charmed me the moment they came into being. Four hunky brothers bound by blood and affection. They’re tight and would do anything for one another. But none of them are perfect. The patriarch and matriarch are having issues. The guys seem to shy from committed relationships, and the youngest McCauley is a conniving six year old charmer who has the neighbors convinced that at the rate he’s headed, juvie can’t be far behind.


Enter Brody Singer, the unofficially adopted McCauley. Taken in by the McCauleys when he was just a little boy, he quickly became an integral part of the family. But Brody has issues that no amount of ignoring the past can cover. His biological family returns, and his past rears its ugly head.


While that made for great drama and more than a few tears, I admit, it was seeing how Brody triumphed that made the story sing for me. That, and how Abby meets him more than halfway. She’s just like many women I know—self-conscious about her looks, stuck on who she thinks she needs to be instead of who she should be, and wishing for a soul-deep love. Abby really learns and grows in the story, and her vulnerabilities make her stronger.


Then there’s Mutt, a huge, hairy, kind of ugly stray Brody rescued from the pound. Mutt is stubborn, doesn’t listen to Brody, and generally makes a mess wherever he goes. Yet he’s that lovable innocent that deserves so much more, and during this story, we get to see how Mutt fits into the McCauley clan, and how he and Brody are actually a lot alike—to the amusement of Abby.


Brody is a heartbreaker for sure, but I handled the sexy, charming cardsharp by pairing him with a family who loves him and a woman who won’t tolerate less than everything he has to give. And that’s how I chose to write the happy ending for the blond McCauley.


How to Handle a Heartbreaker is now available at:

Amazon http://tinyurl.com/pkxcbnf

B&N http://tinyurl.com/q6bowsb

Kobo http://tinyurl.com/mozglcp

iTunes http://tinyurl.com/m5nucvf




MH3-cropped200Caffeine addict, boy referee, and romance aficionado, NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Marie Harte has over 100 books published with more constantly on the way. She’s a confessed bibliophile and devotee of action movies. Whether hiking in Central Oregon, biking around town, or hanging at the local tea shop, she’s constantly plotting to give everyone a happily ever after. Visit http://marieharte.com and fall in love.




For the chance to win a copy of The Trouble Next Door by Marie Harte (print for U.S., digital for international) just leave a comment below. Good luck!


Read Full Post »