Today I have the lovely Tori St. Claire here to talk about her newest release Lie to Me . Tori writes super sexy romantic suspense and is going to share with us a little about her heroes.
Thanks, Roni, for letting me come over today! And congrats on your release!
I almost never associate a real face with a character, particularly in plotting a book. Sometimes someone will leap out at me after the book is complete but, gosh, I can’t think of anyone who’s been with me from the beginning of a novel… except Alexei in LIE TO ME, my July 3rd Berkley Heat release.
From the moment his name leapt into my head, way back as a mention in STRIPPED, he was Theo Theodoridis. Which, actually, takes things on a very strange twist.
You see… Theo reminds me of Duell McCall in Desperado. I had the hugest crush on Alex McArthur in school – his name adorned every one of my folders, surrounded by hearts, flourishes, and squigglies.
And as this connection hit me during the writing, I went looking up my old crush Alex McArthur. Lo and behold, not only is the man drop-dead gorgeous twenty years later, but holy cow, he embodies the spitting image of how I picture Kevin Clarke, the Black Opal Director.
So dear, sweet, hot and steamy felon Theo gave me two bangs for one buck! All the more reason to be infatuated with this man.
But above all… it’s the eyes in both men. God help me, I’ll swoon for heartbreaker eyes. What about you all? What’s your swoonworthy part?
LIE TO ME Blurb:
A man of action…
After helping to break up a Russian human trafficking ring as part of the CIA’s elite Black Opal team, Alexei Nikanova’s newest assignment is to rescue one of the stolen women and return her to her father. When he arrives in Dubai, he discovers his target is Sasha Zablosky—a woman he knows all too well, and who has haunted him ever since their unforgettable time together in Moscow, two and a half years earlier. But he finds Sasha reluctant to leave her sheikh, the only true friend she’s ever known. Only Alexei can’t give her a choice.
A woman of deception…
With their yearning roused by intrigue, Alexei and Sasha can no longer resist temptation, and spend night after night in forbidden pleasure. Soon Alexei finds himself falling for her, even as he battles a shadowy menace to protect her. But Sasha is no innocent. She has a past darker than she could ever admit, one that Alexei could never forgive. And it is about to explode into her life once more. As the lies they tell themselves—and each other—pull them deeper into a perilous desire, what began as simple passion becomes a love certain to destroy them and end the lives of countless innocents.
Sasha rolled over, propped her head up on one elbow. “Who do you work for, Alexei?”
That was certainly the last question he’d ever prepared for. Chancing a glance at her upturned face, he debated how to answer. She’d told him she worked for FSB; she undoubtedly knew he was an American agent—virtually all of Dubai knew. But tell her about the Opals? Let her in?
What the hell. They’d already named themselves in front of her. She knew their director’s name. He stared at the television as he answered, “A special division within the CIA known as the Black Opals. We’re the ones they send when it’s real dicey and they need to delete someone with the press of a button.”
More quietly he added, “We don’t exist.”
He crossed opposite ankles and folded his hands behind his head, leaning back against the headboard. Waiting for her to make the association between his vague explanation and the truth of his work. When she did, shock would stop her questions.
Instead, Sasha’s palm fitted over his belly, gentle sweeping motions that rumpled the fabric of his shirt and offered more comfort than Alexei had known could exist. “Isn’t that . . . difficult?” she asked softly.
“Difficult? The missions are never ea—”
“No. Not existing.” That delightful little palm slid higher, caressing the lower part of his chest. “I mean, don’t you ever crave life? The simple things like owning a house and paying someone to rake your leaves.” The heel of her palm worked into his tense muscles. “Like sleeping in on a Saturday and having breakfast in bed.”
More than she could understand. He tensed. She was getting too close, treading too far into murky waters he didn’t want to disturb.
Dropping to an almost inaudible whisper, her voice washed over his body. “Have you ever been in love, Alexei?”
Danger. Combustion imminent. Alexei covered the sudden trip of his heart with a harsh chuckle. “Love’s not an option in my line of work, princess.”
She was silent for a blissful moment, leaving him with the conclusion he’d scared her off. As luck would have things, however, when she did speak, she didn’t traipse around uncomfortable, she plunged in headfirst. “You only call me princess when I’ve hit a nerve. So tell me, Agent Nikanova, are you afraid of the fall, or afraid of the loss?”
National Bestselling author Tori St. Claire grew up writing. Hobby quickly turned into passion, and when she discovered the world of romance as a teen, poems and short stories gave way to full length novels with sexy heroes and heroines waiting to be swept off their feet. She wrote her first romance novel at seventeen.
While that manuscript gathered dust-bunnies beneath the bed, she went on to establish herself as a contemporary, historical, and paranormal author under the pen name, Claire Ashgrove. Her writing, however, skirted a fine line between hot and steamy, and motivated by authors she admired, she pushed her boundaries and made the leap into erotica, using the darker side of human nature and on-the-edge suspense to drive grittier, sexier, stories.
Her erotic romantic suspense novels are searingly sensual experiences that unite passion with true emotion, and the all-consuming tie that binds -- love.
Tori will be giving away a $25.00 Amazon Gift Card to one random commenter during the month of July. Two additional commenters will receive a basket of swag. Follow the tour – the more times you comment the better your chances of winning! Complete tour dates can be found here.
Thanks to Tori for stopping by! If you'd like to enter the contest, answer Tori's question in the comments and provide your email address.
REMINDER: I'll be at RWA for the remainder of the week and won't be blogging.