Harlequin Stand Alones
Cashel Burgess’s PR team has come up with a plan to salvage his reputation and show his “softer” side by entering him in a Valentine’s Day competition to find Australia’s Most Romantic Couple. It’s so ridiculous it might actually work. The hitch? He doesn’t even have a girlfriend. But that’s not about to stop him….
Thanks to a good-for-nothing ex, gardener Lucy Grant hates Valentine’s Day. But when Cash makes her an offer too good to refuse, Lucy finds herself half of the most cynical couple in Australia! The only problem is, when a man fakes it this well, a girl might be tempted to turn fiction into fact….
Opposites attract in this romance except in one aspect…Cash and Lucy are total cynics when it comes to love.
I deliberately wrote them that way because I wanted to see what happened when their cynicism unravelled to reveal their softer romantic cores deep inside.
Lucy is also divorced, a backstory I haven’t used very often for my heroines.
I like how Cash chips away at her hardened exterior and how vulnerable they both are when their hearts are laid bare.
Had a ball writing these two and I hope you have as much fun reading their story.
I’m intrigued by the lives of WAGs (Wives And Girlfriends) of sporting stars. Magazines and media thrive on the gossip dogging some WAGs lives. WAG Nation debuted on Aussie TV last year and I was glued to the intrigue like the rest of the country.
But it got me thinking… what if there’s more behind the hype and the glamour? What secrets do the WAGs hide? Personal stuff they’d never want anyone to know?
The result? Liza Lithgow strutted into my imagination and demanded I tell her side of the WAG tale. As for the publishing world I placed her in…well, May sees the 10 year anniversary of when I got ‘The Call’ and entered that world myself. It’s one I’ve got to know intimately. It was huge fun writing about it!
I hope you enjoy reading Liza and Wade’s romance.
To compliment Archer, I needed a brunette heroine, someone who had a well grounded life, the opposite of Archer’s. Callie Umberto (inspired by Eva Longoria), caring for a mother with Motor Neurone Disease, was his perfect foil.
Set in the beachside town of Torquay (about 90 minutes from Melbourne) this story brings together the themes of reunion, second chances, forgiveness, and the value of family. It’s also my first Christmas story!
I hope you enjoy Archer and Callie’s second chance romance as much as I did creating it.
INTERVIEW WITH THE DAREDEVIL was sparked by real-life experiences: a night at Melbourne’s Crown Metropol hotel and a specific research trip to the beautiful Palazzo Versace on Queensland’s Gold Coast.
I immersed myself in everything the impressive Palazzo Versace had to offer. The result? I wrote the bulk of this book in a week shortly after I returned. If you ever get a chance to visit this hotel, do so, you won’t be disappointed! Having George Clooney as the inspiration behind my hero Roman didn’t hurt the speed factor either!
Set in Melbourne, my gorgeous home city, Main Beach QLD and Hamilton Island, QLD, I hope you enjoy vicariously traveling along the East Coast of Australia. I know I did!
Gemma (inspired by Melissa George) is an environmental scientist specializing in marine life. Rory (inspired by Julian McMahon) is a property developer about to pillage her family legacy at Portsea. While I didn’t get to research their swim with the dolphins first hand (I wrote this during a particularly freezing Melbourne winter!) I had a ball checking facts on the Internet. And the mishaps on Rory’s camping trip? There are reasons I don’t camp and I’ve used them in this book!
Set in South Yarra, a chic suburb of Melbourne, my gorgeous home city, and Portsea, a beautiful beach on the Mornington Peninsula, I hope you enjoy Gemma and Rory’s romance.
I love music, especially embarrassing stuff from the 80s and 90s, and working in the music industry would be beyond cool so I created a heroine I could live vicariously through.
Throw in a little first hand research as I toured the country towns of Ballarat, Bendigo and Echuca, and you have the makings of a fun book with rock stars, concerts, gossip and yeah… sex!
Set in Melbourne, my gorgeous home city, along with the lovely country towns mentioned above, I hope you enjoy the taste of Victoria, the Garden State, as you read this book.
Chase Etheridge is organizing the most challenging event of his career-his sister’s bachelorette party. Normally cool under pressure, the situation has Chase hot under the collar, and he knows exactly who to blame: Lola Lombard, party organizer, queen of all things vintage, and absolute bombshell!
But true love is timeless!
Behind Lola’s pin curls and red lipstick hides a girl who’s never believed she amounts to much. It’s up to Chase to convince her that he loves her just the way she is, whether dressed in old-style glamour or as his brand-new bride!
The idea for this book was originally sparked by an article in a Sunday newspaper magazine on retro charm schools and after researching them on the Internet, I was hooked! From there, Lola strutted onto the blank pages fully formed and I didn’t look back. Of course, I had to pit her against a hero her opposite in every way to ensure guaranteed sparks and the pic of Rob Lowe in a business suit fitted the bill.
Set in Errol Street, North Melbourne (the suburb is home to my fabulous footy team, the Kangaroos!) and Mount Macedon, an hour’s drive from the CBD, I loved writing every moment of this fun book.
What better way to see the true colours of characters than by stranding them on a deserted island… with cameras!
Jared and Kristi’s blogs and Tweets reflect the differences between guys and girls, and made my editor laugh out loud.
Set in Sydney, I hope this book brings a smile to your face too.
How many of you wish your old highschool boyfriend/first crush/first love could see you now? As an older, wiser, more glamorous version?
That’s exactly what happens to Eve, though she never anticipates the sparks that still exist between her and Bryce Gibson, the teenage rebel who spurred her transformation from geek to sleek.
Set in my gorgeous home city, Melbourne, you’ll discover a wedding at the Melbourne Aquarium, the Bridal Babes and an old nightclub on Albert Park Lake has special significance… enjoy!
- a USA Today bestseller!
Nick is my first bad boy hero. He’s wonderful. And very, very sexy. His past with Britt catches up with him when she returns from London after an absence of 10 years.
Britt has no intention of falling for Nick’s wayward charms again…but what woman can resist the allure of a bad boy?
Watch the sparks fly as this story unfolds…from the sugar cane fields of Jacaranda to hip Noosa to jet-setting London…wherever these two are, rest assured, the heat will have you reaching for an icy drink!
Tamara has suffered an abusive marriage in silence and following her husband’s death, travels to the country of her heritage. Rediscovering love in India is the last thing she expects and when her husband’s seedy past comes back to haunt her on her return to Melbourne, she heads back to the only place that feels safe.
Ethan is a corporate pirate, a world-famous restaurateur, who finally has a shot at the only woman to truly capture his imagination. Seduction is one thing, getting emotionally involved another and India opens his heart to a world of possibilities.
I spent many hours researching this book. It is set in Melbourne, Goa and Rajasthan, when Tam and Ethan take a memorable trip on the luxurious ‘Palace on Wheels’ train. I spent loads of time on the Internet, which really whet my appetite to travel to this amazing, mystical country.
I originally plotted this story because I was travelling to Dubai. Alas, the trip didn’t happen but I was so swept away by the idea of romance in the desert that I went ahead and wrote the story anyway.
Sam is very alpha and I love him for it! Bria is more than a match for him in every way, valuing her independence above all else. However, the sexy prince soon gets under her guard and when she travels from Australia to Adhara on business, she realises that being married to a prince may not be so bad after all!
The book is set in Melbourne but moves to Adhara, my fictitious desert country after a few chapters. Think sweeping desert sands, lush palace gardens, exotic souks and an oasis to die for…
HOT NIGHTS WITH A PLAYBOY (yet another fabulous title chosen by my talented editor) is another book I’m extremely proud to have sold, considering it was rejected two years ago. I wrote the first version in 2005 for the Romance series, but it didn’t work at the time so with a re-write and some healthy changes, Hot Nights with a Playboy was born.
I was determined for Judd and Abby to see the light of day. The scope with having best friends meet up for the first time in eight years, after conducting a cyber friendship over that time, was tremendous as the best buddies are forced to acknowledge the brief spark they shared on graduation night all those years earlier.
Being best buds, the banter between these two is brilliant. I love their dynamic, the way they trade quips and tease each other with the ease of long standing friends. And when they decide to take their friendship to the next level…phew, it’s hot stuff!
The book is set on a fictitious Sapphire Island, in the gorgeous real Whitsunday Islands, off the north east coast of Queensland. The Great Barrier Reef is spectacular and the perfect setting for a steamy romance. Hot nights is an understatement…!!
Ariel Wallace is one of my favourite heroines to date. She’s smart, sassy and more than a match for property develop Cooper Vance. Her eclectic taste in clothes (particularly colourful shorts, wedge-heeled shoes and anything vintage), her studio (picture ruby sofas, purple sequinned cushions, gold gauze hanging from ceiling hooks and elephant lamps) and her penchant for herbal teas make her the type of woman to capture Cooper’s imagination in a big way!
Of course, he doesn’t have to do half as much to capture hers. When she mistakes him for a model–a nude model–she gets to see exactly how ‘talented’ Cooper is and it isn’t long before the sparks are flying with these two. Throw in the exuberant Sofia Montessori, up and coming protegee Chelsea Lynch and Eric Vance, a father who hasn’t got a clue, and it’s easy to see why BIG-SHOT BACHELOR captured my heart.
The inspiration behind the main characters? After seeing a naked-from-the-waist-up pic of Mark Phillipoussis, Australian tennis star, (advertising tinned tomatoes of all things!) he was the perfect role model for Cooper. Similarly, I saw a pic of Miss Universe Jennifer Hawkins in a magazine wearing a floaty, chiffon caftan thing which screamed ‘boho artist’ and Ariel was born!
BIG-SHOT BACHELOR was originally written for the Romance line (where I’ve published 8 previous books) but my editor felt the tone of the book was much better suited to Modern Extra and I have to agree. I can’t wait to hear what readers think!
Kristen, the eldest of the trio, is a complex woman. Thanks to her past, kids don’t feature in her future plans and she’s a happy workaholic. However, in walks Nate at a time in her life when she’s feeling a tad fragile and she has a one night stand which changes the course of her life.
I’ve been lucky enough to visit Singapore many times and wanted to start the book in this vibrant city. Considering I’d already mentioned Kristen was working there in her sisters’ stories, it was the perfect set-up. Like most of my books the bulk of the story is set in my gorgeous home city, Melbourne; the lovely bayside suburb of South Melbourne to be precise.
Considering many women these days are successfully combining motherhood with careers, myself included, I thought it would be a great storyline and having a reluctant hero courtesy of a scarred past added to the drama. Combining the glamour of a career in the TV industry with the hormonal swings of being a mother was great fun. As for Kristen’s lengthy labour? Hmm…based on fact, I’m afraid!!!
Move forward a few years and I loved this book so much I wanted to see it published, so discussed the synopsis with my then editor for the Romance line I write for. I did a rewrite of the book but that editor left before seeing it, so the book sat there. With the launch of the new Modern Extra line, I thought Male for Sale would be perfect for it, so I tried to make it sexy again, resulting in a book my editor said had blends of my 2 voices, the ‘Romance’ Nic and the ‘Modern Extra’ Nic.
So I went back to the original flavour of the book. It’s fast paced, sassy and sexy. Having a Navy SEAL as a hero and a successful businesswoman ensures that! After all, what red-blooded woman wouldn’t want a sexy SEAL trailing after her for a week?
The book is set in LA but moves back to Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia towards the end.
I’m so thrilled this book sold. Now, I have a few others in cyber space just waiting for their opportunity….
Carlton was the perfect choice for Telford Towers, my fictitious hotel and apartment block, owned by Natasha Telford, the heroine in PRINCESS AUSTRALIA. However, the hotel is in trouble and when Dante Andretti, Prince of Calida comes to stay, she see’s it as an excellent promotional opportunity which could potentially save her family’s business.
However, she doesn’t bank on the prince posing as a bad-boy for a week while following up on some family business of his own, nor does she expect the unthinkable to happen; she falls for the rebel prince! With the help of Dante’s pushy sister Gina and Ella, her outspoken best friend, Natasha ends up believing in Prince Charming after all…
The inspiration behind this book? Usually it’s a picture of an actor/model/whoever! which inspires me but this time, it was Lygon Street itself. After visiting my new niece in a hospital around the corner, I walked the length of Lygon Street one balmy spring evening, inspired by the people, the smells and the general ambience.
Can you tell I love living in Melbourne? FOUND: HIS FAMILY featured St. Kilda’s Acland Street, BIG-SHOT BACHELOR featured Fitzroy’s Brunswick Street and now we have Carlton’s Lygon Street. I think it’s obvious I love my food too!
Mind you, Tahnee was all ready a character in her own right, considering she’d featured in WIFE AND MOTHER WANTED as Carissa’s hip younger sister. The outspoken Lewis sister of the trio, her story poured onto the pages so fast I barely had time to edit.
Then again, maybe she was so eager to meet Bo, the sexiest guy she’s ever seen (and the only guy to get her out of her beloved denim when she purchases a Marilyn Monroe style to-die-for dress for a publishing do) Actually, he succeeds in getting her out of her favourite hipsters several times, but to find out all the saucy details, you’ll have to read the book!
TWO-WEEK MISTRESS was set in Sydney, Australia’s stunning harbour-side city. Bo’s mansion is in Rose Bay, an exclusive suburb, one of many gorgeous places situated in this fabulous city.
If I didn’t live in Melbourne, Sydney would come a close second for me. Then again, I adore the sunny Queensland weather too…
Maya desperately needs Material Girl, her charge, to win the Melbourne Cup for several reasons, the main one being to provide financial security for Chas, her son, after the recent death of her fiancé Joe. She’ll do anything to make it happen, including accepting help from Riley, Joe’s brother, even if it’s the last thing she wants to do.
The Melbourne Cup is run over 3200 metres, with 24 horses vying for the prize money and prestige. The Cup is more than a horse race. It is part of the Spring Racing Carnival, run over several weeks from late October to mid November, and featuring races including the Caulfield Cup, the Cox Plate, Derby Day and Oaks Day. The Carnival isn’t only about horses, it’s parties, champagne, fashion and flirtatious fillies.
I often base my characters on an image, a picture or an expression of someone I have seen, usually an actor or actress. In this story, the hero Riley was based on Tom Williams, pictured here on Melbourne Cup day 2005. Tom is more famous for his bare-chested sexy dance on Dancing with the Stars last year but if I put that pic up here, you wouldn’t read on! Maya loves the early starts at Flemington. I found this dawn shot on race day particularly inspiring.
Acland Street is famous for its amazing cake shops (yes, those mouth-watering displays in the windows taste every bit as delicious as they look!) and while devouring a nougat slice, I thought “wouldn’t this be the perfect setting for my next book?” And Aimee Payet, the heroine in FOUND: HIS FAMILY, was born. She runs Payet’s Patisserie in Acland Street in the book.
Picture a perfect winter’s day in Melbourne: cloudless sky, sun, gentle breeze and the hip vibe of bayside St. Kilda. This is exactly what it looks like! It’s a fabulous suburb filled with cosmopolitan cafes, restaurants, bars and hotels. Any time of day or night, St Kilda is bustling with tourists, locals and Melbournians lucky enough to have this funky suburb on their doorstep.
Greasy Joe’s, located on Acland Street, is legendary for its huge burgers and all day breakfasts. With this distinctive mural covering an entire wall inside the restaurant, its central red vinyl bar and cosy wall booths, Greasy Joe’s is a St. Kilda icon and a perfect spot for Aimee and Jed to have their first dinner date in the book.
Luna Park is another feature of St. Kilda, with its Scenic Railway, Ghost Train and the Enterprise just a few of the rides available. Luna Park is a favourite of Toby, Aimee and Jed’s five year old son and features in another of Aimee and Jed’s dates.
Some of the coolest acts in Australia and from overseas have performed at the Palais.
Aimee has been there, Jed hasn’t. Maybe Australia’s sexiest TV chef needs to loosen up a little? And maybe Aimee is just the woman to get Jed to do it?
Southbank, along the banks of the Yarra River, is where Maya and Riley meet for a pre-dinner drink before the Cup Eve Ball. Their reunion scene also takes place here, on a wrought iron bench near the bridge in the distance.