Jen: It’s our last day of our anniversary party and we’d like to welcome Alison Aimes to Romancing the Book. Alison, will you share a short bio with us?
Alison: Alison Aimes is the award-winning author of the sexy, sci-fi romance Condemned series as well as the sizzling, contemporary romance Billionaire’s Revenge series. A romance fanatic with a PhD in Modern History, she’s an all-over-the-map kind of woman with a love for dramatic stories and great books, no matter the era. Now, she’s creating her own stories full of intrigue and passion, but always with a happy-ever-after ending. She lives in Maryland with her husband, two kids, and her dog. When not in front of the computer, she can be found hanging with family and friends, hiking, trying to turn herself into a pretzel through yoga, or, last but not least, sitting on the couch imagining her characters’ next great adventures.
Jen: Please tell us about your newest release and where the idea came from.
Alison: I’m so excited about my newest release, Billionaire Blackmail, a sexy contemporary romance about a ruthless billionaire who discovers the woman he’s been casually dating is the biggest con-artist of them all. It’s a hot, emotional read about trust, lies, and the secret parts of ourselves we’re terrified to share. And of all the crazy places to find inspiration, the idea for the story came to me while I was in a bathroom stall. I was getting ready to leave when I heard a woman in the next stall confess to her friend that she’d told a tiny lie to her new boyfriend about where she’d gone the other night, not because she’d been with another man, but because she wasn’t yet ready to tell him about the family business. As an author, heck as a nosy-Nellie, I was dying to hear the rest of that conversation—had to, in fact, stop myself from asking her to speak up over the muffling effect of the stall walls—but even I knew I had to force my feet out the door when she emerged from the stall and I was standing there drying my hands for the umpteenth time. So, painful as it was, I left. But my mind remained in that bathroom, thinking over what I’d heard. Lies. Truth. Trust. How do they affect our most important relationships? And bam! Just like the story of Billionaire Blackmail emerged….
After a childhood spent on the streets, ruthless billionaire Nik Valenti has had his share of dealing with crooks. He thought that was behind him. Until the woman he’s been casually dating turns out to be the biggest con artist of them all. Now, with pride, money, and his company’s survival at stake, he won’t rest until she’s experienced his own brand of justice.
Sara Turner knows she’s no angel, but a few deliberate omissions…well, compared to the rest of her family, that’s choir girl behavior. But now the one man whose heart she’d hoped to steal is accusing her of embezzling from his company. Worse, he wants answers. And he’s come up with a foolproof way to ensure he gets them. One Sara must accept if she doesn’t want to end up in jail.
Nik might be trying to save his company, but he has a tough time ignoring the way Sara makes him burn. The passion between them is all-consuming, and each time he peels away a layer, he discovers there’s more to her than first meets the eye, but he can’t give in to his need. Nik will put everything on the line to find the truth…except his heart.
“The last thing I want is to hurt you.” He whispered the confession against her ear, a warm torrent of words that heated her blood, thawing her defenses.
“I can’t be with someone who doesn’t trust me.” He wasn’t offering forgiveness or trust. Only pleasure.
“I think you can.” He spun her to face him. “You can’t take a breath without shifting closer, without your skin feeling hot and tight. You want my hands all over you. You know how I know? Because I want that, too.” His voice gentled. “All this anger is getting us nowhere. Let me in, baby.” He brushed his lips across hers, soft as a butterfly’s wing. “Let me touch you like we both want. Like we both need.”
His words undid her.
So what if he didn’t fully trust her? She wasn’t the best about that, either, always assuming he’d be gone soon enough. But here he was. Still. After the lies she’d told. After all he’d learned about her brother. After the latest debacle with Volmer.
Maybe it was time to try trusting him. Not just with a story about her brother and some journalist. But with herself.
“I don’t want to argue anymore, either.” She planted slow, open-mouthed kisses across the powerful cord of his neck, the sexy indent in his chin, a small scar at the edge of his jaw. “I want to see you smile at me. I want to feel your hands all over me.” A familiar warning voice reared its head, old habits dying hard. “But…but we need to take it slow,” she hurried to add. “Like when we were dating.”
He went silent and still against her.
She drew back. “That’s—that’s the most I think I can offer right now.”
His eyes narrowed as if he could see right through to the heart of her. “I’ll take whatever you’re willing to yield, but I won’t pretend. You’ve a lot more to give, and I want it all. All your secrets. All your truths. All of you. More time won’t change a damn thing.”
Jen: What was your most romantic date?
Alison: Sunset, candle-lit dinner for two on the beach with our bare feet in the sand, a light breeze caressing our cheeks, and quiet Caribbean music playing in the background. When he took my hand and asked me to dance….I seriously will never forget that night.
Jen: Favorite flavor of ice cream?
Alison: Ben and Jerry’s Chubby Hubby, a delicious mix of vanilla ice cream and peanut-fudge covered pretzels with fudge and peanut butter swirl. Oh, boy. I’m salivating right now.
Jen: Favorite sport to watch?
Alison: Lacrosse. I know it’s violent, but it’s so fast and fun. And my husband and son play it so I’m biased.
Jen: Favorite gift received from a fan?
Alison: I’ve received some amazing, beautiful gifts inspired by my books from super talented fans, but honestly it’s readers’ kind words and the time they take to get in touch and say how much they loved my book or how it impacted them that mean the absolute most!
Jen: What is your guilty pleasure?
Alison: Eating chocolate. In large quantities. Preferably while in my pjs.
Jen: How neat is your work environment?
Alison: Moderately messy. Or, if you apply the glass half-full argument—as I’ve tried to explain to my very neat husband many times—it could also be characterized as moderately neat. He hasn’t bought my argument yet, but I’ll keep trying. All I can say is there are piles. Lot’s of piles. But they are neatly stacked.
Jen: What was the last movie you saw in the theater?
Alison: Deadpool. I couldn’t watch the torture scenes, but I laughed my way through the rest.
Jen: What TV family would you want to be a part of?
Alison: Well, that’s tough, but I’m thinking Supernatural because then I could stare at Dean and Sam all day. Plus, I’d get to be a bad-ass demon fighter. Of course, I’d continue to write romance, but I’d help save the world when I was feeling writer’s block. I’m giving like that.
Jen: Describe your writing style in one word.
Jen: Do you have a mentor?
Alison: I have many mentors (my parents, my husband, my kids, my friends, fellow authors.) There isn’t a person alive I don’t try to learn from, but I don’t have one designated person in that role.
Jen: Camping or hotel?
Alison: Tough choice. I love them both. But if I had to choose only one, I guess I’m going with hotel and those soft, comfy sheets—and room service. Lot’s and lot’s of room service.
Jen: iPhone or android?
Alison: iPhone all the way—though I still don’t know what I’m doing half the time. I’m very tech challenged, even with allegedly easy-to-use iproducts. Here’s hoping this typed-on-my-mac-computer interview even gets to you.
Jen: What’s next for you?
Alison: I am currently writing the next book in the Billionaire’s Revenge Collection, Besting the Billionaire, and LOVING it. It’s a no-holds barred, smokin’ story about a cocky, well-to-do businessman and a scrappy widow who end up toe-to-toe in an ugly, take no prisoners battle to prove to the board they’re the right choice to oversee the company. But raw lust has a way of blurring lines. And soon playing dirty in the boardroom leads to playing even dirtier in the dark. But is what’s between them real? Or just another means of victory by a fierce competitor intent on winning it all? Because someone else out there is playing for keeps, too, and if these two once-vehement enemies aren’t careful, they might just lose everything they never knew they needed.
After that, I’ve got two more stories lined up in the same series. I can’t get enough of the sexy, commanding, think-they-know-everything, dirty-talking men in this series and the women who turn their worlds upside down.