Inara: Hi Stella, thanks so much for hosting me! The best way to get to know me is to read my books—you will quickly see that 1) I’m a hopeless romantic who really believes in happily ever after, 2) I have a weakness for slightly bossy, alpha males with an underlying vulnerability and a whole lot of sexy, and 3) I have a very short attention span. You can tell that last one from the fact that I’ve published 5 books, two of which are young adult, one of which is paranormal adult romance, and two of which are contemporary adult series romance. ;-)
Stella: Your latest novel The Boss's Fake Fiancée was published by Entangled Publishing in October as part of their Indulgence, category romance line, congratulations! It is noted that this novel is the sequel to your first Indulgence release: Rules of Negotiation. Does this mean that the two books can’t be read on their own, or just that if someone has first read Rules of Negotiation they have a deeper understanding of the setting/characters, etc? Did you already know when you were penning Rules of Negotiation that there will be a sequel (or maybe even more books), or was this something that happened due to the request of fans? :-)
Inara: I had no idea that readers would love Rules of Negotiation so much! Needless to say I was absolutely thrilled that readers enjoyed Brit and Tori’s story and asked if there would be more to come. The two books can definitely be read separately, but it’s fun to read them together so you can see Brit and Tori come back in a cameo in The Boss’s Fake Fiancee (BFF).
Stella: Can you tell readers what they can expect of The Boss's Fake Fiancée?
Inara: BFF is a classic romantic story of two people forced together by circumstances, who find themselves falling hard, in a most inconvenient way. But of course, the book is about more than a fake engagement. It’s about two people struggling to make peace with themselves, and to trust in love.
And there’s kissing. Can’t forget that. :-)
Stella: Could you introduce Melissa Bencher and Garth Stolen, the heroine and hero of The Boss's Fake Fiancée?
Inara: Sure! Garth Solen, a.k.a. The Human Computer, is Melissa Bencher’s boss. To be honest, she’s got a bit of a crush on him. And who wouldn’t? He’s drop-dead gorgeous, absurdly intelligent, and has a way of bringing out the best in everyone around him. He’s also intensely private, so when Melissa spins a story about dating him to annoy her horrible ex-boyfriend, she knows heads will roll if anyone finds out. And because Melissa has a knack for saying exactly the wrong thing, at the wrong time, everyone does.
Melissa Bencher has three big brothers, and has never quite figured out how not to be the family disappointment. She’s got a gift for sticking her foot in her mouth and for falling for the wrong guy. She’s also got a huge heart, and a way of looking into a man’s soul that Garth can’t shake.
Stella: If you could have your dream cast who would play them?
Inara: I’m terrible at this question because I never go to movies or watch TV! (I’m too busy writing! LOL!) Maybe your readers can make some suggestions?
Stella: And now let’s have Couple’s Therapy: Melissa, Garth, If you had to introduce each other, what 3 words would you use to describe the other?
Melissa: Describe Garth? Mmm, let’s see…sexy, tornado, unstoppable.
Garth: How would I describe Melissa? Impulsive, adorable, strong.
Stella: What is the quality that you like the most in the other and the one that drives you up the wall?
Melissa: He’s brilliant—accepts nothing less than perfection. This is both the good and bad!
Garth: She leads with her heart, not her head. Also both good and bad.
Stella: What was your first fight about?
Garth: (wry smile) I’m not very good at saying the right thing at the right time. In fact, I’m pretty much a disaster of epic proportions. Let’s just say that creates some problems for me every now and again.
Stella: Inara, The Boss's Fake Fiancée is a marriage/engagement of convenience/pretend engagement story. This is one of my favourite tropes, but I’m curious to know that as an author, why did you choose it for your novel? What are its attractions, challenges, opportunities?
Inara: The trope of a pretend engagement sets up all sorts of wonderfully romantic moments for the characters to experience together. I loved the idea of putting Melissa—a total romantic—into a jewellery store, and watching Garth slip a ring on her hand. I knew the emotions would follow.
I tend to see the trope as a backdrop. For me, it’s the characters that really drive the story. So it almost doesn’t matter if it’s a fake engagement, marriage of convenience, boss-employee, secret baby, whatever old story you can think of. It’s how the characters react to it that matters.
Stella: Can you share with us some little secret trivia connected to the writing of The Boss's Fake Fiancée (a scene/character that did not end up in the final version, a real person inspiring a character, scene, etc.)?
Inara: I can tell you that one of the reasons I wrote the story was because of a boy my daughter (she’s 9) became best friends with a couple of years ago. He’s a really amazing kid, and even though he and my daughter are very different they were inseparable from the first time they met. This made me wonder what things might have been like if they hadn’t met as kids, but as adults.
Stella: What shall we expect from you, what is next on your schedule?
Inara: I always have too many books to write! :-) I’ve been promising fans of my YA series that the third Delcroix book is coming soon, and I mean that. But for fans of the Bencher family, I can also say that there will be a third book in this series. No publication date yet, but Ross’s story will be next!
Stella: Can you share with us some little secret trivia, something that not many people know about you?
Inara: I know all the word to the songs in Grease II. Actually, I know most of the words to the entire movie. And I still think Maxwell Caufield is hot.
Is she his worst nightmare…
No relationships, that’s billionaire Garth Solen’s rule—especially not with a woman like his new employee Melissa Bencher, who thinks with her heart and not her head. But all bets are off when Melissa tries to make her jerk ex-boyfriend jealous by suggesting that she’s dating her gorgeous boss. How could she have imagined all the trouble one impulsive act could cause?
…or a dream come true?
To protect his ailing grandmother, Garth is forced to play the part of Melissa’s adoring fiancé. Now they’re trying on rings and posing for the paparazzi. The game is clear: for one month, they play the part of an engaged couple, and then they part ways. No emotions. No entanglements. But when it comes to matters of the heart, Melissa’s never been good at following the rules…
Entangled Publishing has generously offered an ebook copy of The Boss’s Fake Fiancée to a lucky commenter!