Jen: It’s day four of our celebration of Entangled Publishing and one of today’s guests is A.J. Pine. A.J., will you share a short bio with us?
A.J.: AJ Pine writes stories to break readers’ hearts, but don’t worry—author she’ll mend them with a happily ever after. As an English teacher and a librarian, AJ has always surrounded herself with books. All her favorites have one big commonality–romance. Naturally, the books she writes have the same. When she’s not writing, she’s of course reading. Then there’s online shopping (everything from groceries to shoes). And a tiny bit of TV where she nourishes her undying love of vampires, superheroes, and a certain high-functioning sociopath detective. You’ll also find her hanging with her family in the Chicago ‘burbs.
Jen: Please tell us about your newest release and where the idea came from.
A.J.: SIX MONTH RULE is a contemporary romance, the second (stand-alone) in my Kingston Ale House series. The idea came basically from my desire to write a British hero. Haha. And because I already knew Holly’s character from book one, and I knew she was someone who didn’t think she could fall in love, so I wanted to explore what would happen if she made this rule where she was up front with men before starting a relationship—saying they’d cut it off at six months when the honeymoon phase always seemed to end for her. Who better to propose this to than a man who is only in town for six months and lives across an ocean?
She created the game, but the rules are about to change.
Taurus: Hold fast to your single-minded nature today—no matter how long her legs or how lush her red lips.
Gemini: You were a shining star last night, but reality can be a real—well, you get the picture. Just remember: Tall, dark, and British equals no corner office for you.
Will Evans never wanted a reason to stay.
Holly Chandler wants nothing more than for him to go.
But neither one is prepared for what can happen in six months. Because it doesn’t matter what you want when what you need walks out the door.
Holly’s been busting her butt to make partner at Trousseau and there’s no way she’s going to let some stuck-up British arsehole get in her way—no matter how drop-dead gorgeous he is. But that doesn’t mean she can’t have a little fun in the process. She has a six-month rule: date just long enough for the honeymoon phase to wear off, then walk away before anyone gets hurt. If they both know the rules up front, walking away will be a piece of cake. Or maybe not…
As the doors made their way toward kissing again, she leaned her head back against the elevator’s wall, smiled, and reminded herself that after stopping for her latte on the fifth floor, she was riding up to ten, to where her life would be forever changed.
This time it was a black Ferragamo loafer that parted the doors. Yet it was as if the elevator knew not to mess with this shoe, that it was far too precious to carelessly scuff. Or, she decided as the wearer of said shoe entered the dwindling space, perhaps the elevator knew who was attached to it.
Holly’s eyes trailed from the soft, black leather of the loafer to the cuff of the slate-colored pants expertly cut to fit these legs and these legs only. Then there was the jacket and vest, same color, each buttoned snug over a lean, taut torso. Holly thanked the stars, every last constellation, for perfectly tailored suits. And vests. What was it about a man in a vest?
Holly’s head shot up to see the words directed at an older woman whose finger depressed the door-open button. The voice was deep and buttercream smooth. And was that…an English accent?
Her ovaries might have just gone supernova, but she could hold it together for one more floor. Holly Chandler wasn’t a girl to lose it in an elevator, no matter how much those two words, spoken in that voice, with that accent, melted her insides.
This drought was going to kill her. Maybe another go with Charlie wasn’t the worst idea.
When the circle of white light lit up the number five, Holly let out a long breath. The doors opened, and she exited with all the other folk who were on their way to a caffeine boost. As she did, she caught Mr. Ferragamo checking out her four-inch peep-toe booties, and a surge of confidence jolted her back to the Holly she knew she was.
“Like what you see?” she asked, stopping to glance down the length of her own legs to where his eyes still rested. This brought his head up with a snap, and a dark wave tumbled
onto his forehead before he finger-combed it back into place.
He cleared his throat. “You pull off last season’s design well enough, but I’d have gone for the red,” he said, and those words, despite the velvet ribbon they were tied up in, pieced her insides right back together
Holly smoothed out a nonexistent wrinkle from her dress as she brushed past him, ovaries once again intact.
“Ass,” she muttered under her breath, and then let the promise of a hazelnut double pump patch up the tiny puncture in her bubble. Of course she could pull off last season’s design. She could rock the hell out of last season’s freaking design, because all she could afford right now were the free samples. But in less than an hour that would all change. The first thing she would buy with her new salary would be next season’s Jimmy Choos. But they sure as hell would not be red.
Jen: What was your most romantic date?
A.J.: One that involved a private chef hired to make us dinner.
Jen: Favorite flavor of ice cream?
A.J.: Ben and Jerry’s Half Baked!
Jen: Favorite sport to watch?
A.J.: Baseball, especially if it’s my 7 yo playing.
Jen: Favorite gift received from a fan?
A.J.: A mug with all my book covers on it.
Jen: What is your guilty pleasure?
A.J.: Marathoning tv shows on Netflix since I don’t have cable. And chocolate covered espresso beans from Trader Joe’s. The two together are even better.
Jen: How neat is your work environment?
A.J.: Ha. I wish it was spotless, but anywhere I can clear enough space for my laptop is my working environment.
Jen: What was the last movie you saw in the theater?
A.J.: Me Before You *starts sobbing again*
Jen: What TV family would you want to be a part of?
A.J.: Snow, Charming, Emma, and Henry on ONCE UPON A TIME (current show I’m marathoning). I like magic. 😉
Jen: Describe your writing style in one word.
A.J.: Um…SWEXY? (lots of heat but emotionally sweet)
Jen: Do you have a mentor?
A.J.: My writing partners are everything—mentors, plot whisperers, besties
Jen: Camping or hotel?
A.J.: Hotel. The more stars the better!
Jen: iPhone or android?
Jen: What’s next for you?
A.J.: I’m finishing up edits on book three of four for this series, so there’s more Kingston Ale House fun ahead!