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Monday, October 5, 2015

Guest Post with Author Lauren Layne and Giveaway

Meet Lauren Layne author of Irresistibly Yours.

Lauren Layne is a USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary romance.  Prior to becoming an author, Lauren worked in e-commerce and web-marketing. In 2011, she and her husband moved from Seattle to New York City, where Lauren decided to pursue a full-time writing career. It took six months to get her first book deal (despite ardent assurances to her husband that it would only take three). Since then, Lauren's gone on to publish ten books, including the bestselling Stiletto series, with several more on the way in 2015.

Lauren currently lives in Chicago with her husband and spoiled Pomeranian. When not writing, you'll find her at happy hour, running at a doggedly slow pace, or trying to straighten her naturally curly hair.


One of the most common questions we authors get when we start chatting up a new release is who our dream cast would be . . . ie, who did we have in mind when we started writing the characters.

Honestly? Most of the time this question stresses me out, because I don’t know! I know a lot of authors find their visual inspiration for a character before they start writing, but that’s rarely the case with me.

But every now and then, one of the characters comes to life EXACTLY as a certain celebrity, and I’m rather giddy to say that Irresistibly Yours is one of those books, although funnily enough, it wasn’t Cole that came first, even though he’s been around in my Writer’s Brain for much longer than the heroine.

No, it was PENELOPE who came to me, clear as day in the form of . . .

Rachel Bilson.

I’m sorry, but is there a person on the planet that doesn’t like her? How can you not look at her and think, “Adorable.”

But then I had a problem …. The more clear Penelope became in my head, the more panicked I got that I didn’t have a Cole!!!

So I started scouring the Internet for the perfect Cole Sharpe, and I found him in a very unexpected place:

The Hart of Dixie

See, the more I started paying attention to Rachel Bilson, the harder it got to ignore her show, The Hart of Dixie (Since cancelled, boooooo!)

And once I started watching that, I started noticing her love interest on the show:

Wait. Wait a damn minute. COLE IS THAT YOU?!?!??!?!

All of a sudden, Wilson Bethel was my Cole Sharpe. The guy is unbelievably hot, and his swagger on the show is 100% Cole.

Sure, the show is set in Alabama, and I did have to overlook the fact that Wilson Bethel’s character wears a lot of flannel (Cole would never), but in the end it was all worth it, because I had inspiration such as this:

Um. Yes Please.

So if you’re looking to get excited for IRRESISTIBLY YOURS? Look up “Wade and Zoe” from Hart of Dixie in Google Images, know that you’re looking at Cole and Penelope, and well . . .

You’re welcome, people. You’re welcome.

Meet the men of Oxford magazine! In the first captivating spin-off of Lauren Layne’s Sex, Love & Stiletto series, a not-so-friendly battle of the sexes turns into a scorching office romance.

Hotshot sports editor Cole Sharpe has been freelancing for Oxford for years, so when he hears about a staff position opening up, he figures he’s got the inside track. Then his boss drops a bombshell: Cole has competition. Female competition, in the form of a fresh-faced tomboy who can hang with the dudes—and write circles around them, too. Cole usually likes his women flirty and curvy, but he takes a special interest in his skinny, sassy rival, if only to keep an eye on her. And soon, he can’t take his eyes off her.

Penelope Pope knows all too well that she comes off as just one of the guys. Since she’s learned that wanting more usually leads to disappointment, Penelope’s resigned to sitting on the sidelines when it comes to love. So why does Cole make her want to get back in the game? The man is as arrogant as he is handsome. He probably sees her as nothing more than a barrier to his dream job. But when an unexpected kiss turns into a night of irresistible passion, Penelope has to figure out whether they’re just fooling around—or starting something real.

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Check out the Oxford series:

But before Cole could make the call on whether or not to die curious about that damn notebook or risk rejection by Tiny Brunette, his best friend and co-worker was holding a fresh beer in front of his face.

“You look like you need it,” Lincoln Mathis said, sipping the foam off his own beer.

“How would you know?” Cole said. “You’ve been chatting up Jonas Leroy’s wife for the better part of four innings.”

“Had to,” Lincoln said with a little shrug. “She was bored. Her husband’s completely preoccupied with whatever’s going on with that ball down there.”

“As he should be at a baseball game,” Cole said pointedly.

Cole didn’t know why he bothered. His friend was already back on his cellphone, not the least bit interested in the game.

Lincoln Mathis looked like the type of man who should enjoy sports: tall, athletic, well muscled from their early-morning gym sessions. Carelessly styled black hair and friendly blue eyes that screamed guy’s guy just as loudly as they did ladies’ man.

But, much to Cole’s dismay, he’d never been able to get his friend to invest more than a passing interest in sports—any sport. Lincoln was always happy to tag along to a game when booze and women were involved, but ask him who he thought this year’s MVP would be, and he’d say Babe Ruth without the smallest hint of irony.

Still, tonight, Cole couldn’t exactly lecture Lincoln for not paying attention when he himself was having a hell of a time keeping track of the score.

Once more, his eyes found Tiny Brunette, who was . . . yep. Writing in her notebook.

“Hey, Sharpe. Do you know where they keep a fire extinguisher in here?” Lincoln asked, looking around the luxury suite of Yankee Stadium.

Cole tore his gaze away from the woman and her damn notebook. “What for?”

“If you stare at that girl any harder, she’s going to burst into flames,” Lincoln said, jerking his chin at Tiny Brunette.

“I wasn’t staring.”

“Don’t insult our bromance,” Lincoln said cheerfully.

“Keep running your mouth and we won’t have a bromance.” Cole forced himself not to look at the woman again.

“Hey, if you’ve got a crush on the wee lass, you can tell me,” Lincoln said, taking another sip of beer.

“I don’t have a crush. And wee lass? Really? You’re Scottish now?”

“Sometimes. Chicks dig the brogue. You should try it on your girl over there.”

“She’s not my girl. She’s just . . .” Interesting, Cole finished silently.

“Good,” Lincoln said, clapping him on the shoulder. “So you won’t mind that she left.”

Cole’s eyes flew to the seat where the woman was sitting, annoyed to see that his friend was right. She was gone.

“It’s just as well,” Lincoln said. “We have bigger things to focus on. Say, like how we’re going to annihilate the bastard who’s out for your job.”

“It’s not my job,” Cole said, carefully keeping the tinge of bitterness out of his tone.

“Not yet,” Lincoln said. “But it will be. Taking your competition out of the picture is the only reason I’m at this barbarian event.”

“Remind me never to take you to a hockey game,” Cole muttered.

Still, he appreciated his friend’s loyalty. And Lincoln was right. Tonight wasn’t about petite female baseball fans and their damn notebooks.

Tonight was about Cole’s professional future.

The key to that future? Oxford magazine.

Check out what's up for grabs.

Up For Grabs:
  • 1 Loveswept eBook Bundle

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Special thanks to Loveswept & Tasty Book Tours for sponsoring this tour-wide giveaway.
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