Saturday, January 9, 2016
AT THE TYCOON'S COMMAND—a conversation with Kim and Jared
Harlequin has reissued 16 of my backlist titles in ebook. Today I'm talking with Jared Stevens and Kim Donaldson about AT THE TYCOON'S COMMAND, a Silhouette Desire originally released in print and currently available as a Harlequin Desire in ebook.
Hello, Jared and Kim. Thanks for stopping by to chat with us.
Kim: It's our pleasure.
Jared: It's my understanding that you want to talk about how we got together. The rocky road to love…so to speak.
LOL…yes, something like that. You do have to admit that your story smacks of elements of the feud between the Hatfields and the McCoys.
Kim: Yes, indeed…the family feud.
Jared: Our grandfathers started a feud that had lasted decades. And in a small coastal community like Otter Crest, something like that can't be hidden.
Am I correct in my understanding that neither of you stuck around Otter Crest after graduating from high school? You each left in different directions to attend college then stayed away with your careers?
Jared: I came back a little over three years ago when my father died and I took over the helm of the family empire. The company is headquartered in San Francisco and that's my legal residence, but I spend a couple of months each summer at the family compound in Otter Crest.
Kim: As for me, upon graduation the university I accepted a teaching job. I had returned to Otter Crest when my father died to attend the funeral and settle his estate which basically consisted of his small house and personal possessions. I had no intention of staying any longer than necessary. But the day after the funeral, the Stevens' Enterprises corporate attorney showed up at the door of my father's house with a demand for payment of a long overdue financial obligation he claimed my father owed. And that moment brought the feud full blown to the third generation. I had perceived the timing of the demand for payment as purposefully designed by Jared as just another unethical Stevens' tactic.
You said he 'claimed' your father owed the debt. Was it legitimate?
Kim: My father had always insisted it wasn't so, but it turned out to be real.
Jared: The corporation had a signed and notarized promissory note. I had my suspicions about the ethics of how it came about, but the paper work was in order and legal. My concerns in that area were what prompted me to make her an offer to work it off rather than paying it off. The timing was unfortunate with regards to her father's funeral, but it was an attempt to reach Paul Donaldson's heir while she was in town.
So, Kim, that's when Jared offered you a means of settling the debt?
Kim: Yes…he offered to let me work it off. I immediately interpreted the offer as nothing more than a sleazy proposition—just another ploy by the high and mighty Stevens' family to belittle and humiliate a Donaldson.
Jared: She totally misinterpreted my offer, but I understand why she made that assumption.
Kim: I had a legal document drawn up stating that my working in his summer office would settle the debt. It clearly spelled out a legitimate job situation.
That knowing smile and the glances between you two indicate something a little different than some straight forward office work.
Kim: I thought I had been so thorough in covering all the bases by spelling out the work arrangement in a legal document, but he was one step ahead of me. It was a job working as his assistant, but there was very little typing or other office work involved. I picked up his dry cleaning, took his car to be detailed, took his dog to the vet and the groomer. Well, you get the picture. I was not a happy camper!
That's certainly understandable. How about you, Jared? What was your intention with all the personal chores rather than legitimate office work?
Jared: Our families had been feuding for three generations. I had just met her for the first time—lots of tension and a definite adversarial situation. I had no idea if I could trust her around corporate business and felt uncomfortable about her having access to financial records. I would have simply dismissed the debt if it had been between my father and her father, but it was a business debt and was on the corporate books as such so I needed to make an earnest effort to settle the obligation. I had no personal interest in a stupid decades old feud and didn’t want to cause her financial difficulty by demanding she pay the debt. The work situation seemed like a good compromise to me.
Kim: I didn't know Jared, but had gone to high school with his younger brother, Terry…an arrogant jerk who embodied everything my father had ever said about the Stevens' family. That, naturally, made me very wary of Jared.
Jared: That's HALF brother. My father was married six times and there were also all the mistresses and short term affairs. I'm lucky there was only one half-sibling for me to deal with.
You and your brother…half-brother…don't get along?
Jared: That's putting it mildly. Kim is absolutely right in describing him as an arrogant jerk, but she left out the part about him also being totally irresponsible and believing he was entitled to whatever he wanted. My father and I were never close, but he knew there was no way he could put Terry in charge of anything which left me heading the corporation be default while trying to keep Terry under control.
Sounds like you and Kim had several ups and downs before you settled into a relationship.
Kim: And one frightening incident that made everything else pale in comparison...an incident by the name of Chloe.
That sounds interesting. Who is Chloe and what happened?
Jared: You'll need to read the book to discover that.
LOL…why am I not surprised?
AT THE TYCOON'S COMMAND, a Silhouette Desire by Shawna Delacorte reissued in ebook format. Available at http://ebooks.eharlequin.com (do a search for author name Shawna Delacorte). Barnes and Noble for NookBooks at www.bn.com. Amazon for Kindle at www.amazon.com. And other online vendors. Check out my website for additional excerpts and information on my other Harlequin ebook reissues. Shawna Delacorte at www.shawnadelacorte.com
Employed By The Enemy:
Working for Jared Stevens was not how teacher Kim Donaldson wanted to spend her vacation, but doing so would pay off her father's debt and end the long-standing feud begun by their grandfathers. If only Jared hadn't matured into a handsome man with a magnetic appeal and a smooth, sexy voice that made concentrating extremely difficult.
Reformed playboy Jared was nothing like his unethical father. He was hard working and responsible...and his attraction to his newest employee was immediate and powerful. Jared found their passionate battles in the office led to steamy lovemaking in the bedroom. But could a woman who no longer trusted find love with a man afraid of commitment?
G-rated excerpt (inside front cover):
"I'd be willing to let you, uh...work off the debt."
The shock traveled through Kim's body, followed by a sharp jab of anger compounded by the lascivious gleam in Jared's eyes and the unmistakable challenge in his face.
"I'd be willing to make arrangements for you to work off the debt this summer while you're not teaching."
"That type of ludicrous line might work on the many women who frequent your bedroom, but I'm most certainly not one of them!"
"Whoa! Hold on there. I don't know what you're assuming, but I'm offering a legitimate position, handling the summer office chores."