Hi guys! We have Louisa Masters stopping by today with her upcoming release The Bunny and the Billionaire, we have a brilliant guest post from Louisa and a great excerpt, so check out the post and enjoy! <3 ~Pixie~
The Bunny and the Billionaire
Spending their fortunes and losing their hearts.
Hardworking Australian nurse Ben Adams inherits a substantial sum and decides to tour Europe. In Monaco, the home of glamour and the idle rich, he meets French billionaire playboy Léo Artois. After getting off on the wrong foot—as happens when one accuses a stranger of being part of the Albanian mafia—their attraction blazes. Léo, born to the top tier of society, has never known limits, and Ben, used to budgeting every cent, finds it difficult to adjust to not only Léo’s world, but also the changes wealth brings to his own life.
As they make allowances for each other’s foibles, Ben gradually appreciates the finer things, and Léo widens his perspective. They both know one thing: this is not a typical holiday romance and they’re not ready to say goodbye.
Release date: 1st October 2017 Pre-order: Dreamspinner Press ebook | Dreamspinner Press paperback | Universal link
The Life of a Romance Author—Fabulous or Fantasy?
by Louisa Masters
My first romance was released in December 2011, and since then I have written and released five more. Number six will come out on October 1 (yay!). And innumerable times, when people hear that I write romance, I have been subjected to “the question.”
“How do you come up with your ideas?” Wink, wink. “Your sex life must be amazing.”
Seriously? My favorite answer—preferably right after they’ve taken a sip from their drink—is “Actually, I’m a virgin.”
It seems ridiculous for people to assume I have no imagination simply because I write romance. Do they ask Stephen King if his life is a nightmare of strange and terrifying occurrences?
Consider this: In The Bunny and The Billionaire, which will be available on October 1, Ben is a nurse who inherits a fortune from a client and takes off to explore Europe. In Monaco, he meets Léo, the French billionaire son of a Saudi princess, and is swept away in a sometimes funny whirlwind romance.
That never happened to me. If it had, you better believe I’d be telling everyone I know. For starters, I could never be a nurse. I have no patience, and I gag at the sight of bodily fluids. Oh, and I’m pretty much broke right now. Sure, I was in Monaco last year, but I didn’t meet any billionaires, royal or otherwise. Too bad, right?
Diving In Deep, which was released in 2012, is a m/m/m short novella about Cameron, who takes time off from his life to reinvent himself, and meets Jake and Troy, the sexy duo running a reef diving company. I’ve never taken time off from my life and traveled halfway around the world without any plans—the very idea of “not knowing” terrifies me—and I’ve never been in a three-way. There’s also a scene in this book where one of the characters is shown as owning a cricket bat. I’ve never done that, either.
My current WIP features one of the secondary characters from The Bunny and The Billionaire. He’s also a French billionaire (unlike me), and the other main character is British (nope, sorry, I’m Aussie) and a retired professional soccer player. If you’d ever seen me attempt to kick a soccer ball (note the word “attempt”), you’d be laughing at the thought that this one is based on my life. People who know me, and have seen the attempt, did laugh. One actually asked me “What do you even know about soccer?”
Good question. The answer at the time? Not a lot. That’s what research is for.
So while my characters are super-interesting people that go on adventures and do cool things, I’m really not the adventurous type.
And that’s the point, isn’t it? In writing romance, I can explore things beyond the boundaries of my reality. Writing romance—and reading it—means that I’m open to more than just the everyday. It means I’m not afraid of new ideas, new places, “meeting” people I otherwise might not get the chance to.
The lights came on around the square, and he finally got to see what he’d been waiting for, what Mrs. K. had spoken about with such a wistful tone and a far-off gleam in her eye. She hadn’t been wrong—the facade of the “old” casino did glow warmly. As he gazed around, he noticed that while he’d been lost in thought about gigolos, there had been a subtle change in the populace of the square. He could still pick the “tourists” like him, but even they were more dressed up and had put their cameras away. More, now, were those who wanted to see and be seen, and those who considered the city their personal playground. Even his untutored eye could spot the expensive designer clothes and real jewels—not to mention the high-end vehicles, keys casually tossed to the casino valets as their owners strolled inside.
A group of men in front of the Hotel de Paris caught his eye, and his breath stopped in his chest. They walked—no, strode—boldly toward the casino, their arrogance almost a palpable thing. People moved out of their way, whether consciously or not. All five were big men, all dressed in dark trousers and blazers, all but one dark-haired and dark-skinned, but one man stood head and shoulders above—
Well, no, he doesn’t. Ben chided himself for being fanciful. The man in question was actually not the tallest in the group; two others were slightly taller. They all had to be at least six feet, though, which made them giants beside his own five foot eight, even if they hadn’t also been well-built. But the not-tallest one… his height didn’t matter. If he’d been five feet, he still would have walked the same way, as though he owned the square, the principality, and possibly part of France too.
And all the people who lived there were his slaves, existing purely to serve his pleasure.
Stop. Ben shook his head. He wasn’t usually so imaginative. Still, he couldn’t help but stare as the group came to a stop at the steps of the casino. Just the way the man moved made Ben’s dick beg for attention. He hadn’t had a reaction like that to a fully dressed stranger since he was a teenager. Something about the not-tallest man made Ben want to throw himself at him and plead shamelessly to be fucked.
Which was stupid. He’d rarely ever had sex with hot strangers. Or any strangers, for that matter.
One of the men opened a satchel Ben hadn’t noticed and handed something—a wallet?—to him, the not-tallest man, who put it in his inside breast pocket. What a dick. Couldn’t even carry his own wallet. Ben had run into a lot of men like that during his trip, what with staying at the best hotels for once, and they’d all looked at him as though he was something unpleasant they’d stepped in, even though none of them seemed to do anything productive with their lives.
The man with the satchel and the blond one turned and walked back toward the hotel while the other three went up the steps to the casino. The doormen scrambled to get the doors, and even from such a distance, Ben saw the way they greeted the not-tallest man, the deference they showed.
His imagination went wild.
Who was this man with such commanding presence? Why didn’t he carry his own wallet? Was he so rich and spoiled that carrying his own belongings was beneath him? Nobility, perhaps, or even royalty? This was Europe after all. Or maybe he was part of a criminal organization, and the satchel guy was his lackey? Ben had heard a lot lately about the activities of the Albanian mafia, and this guy’s coloring fit.
More important than anything else… what did he actually look like? From where Ben sat, with distance and the shadows of night hindering him, he’d been unable to make out the man clearly. But someone with so much raw sex appeal in just his bearing had to be attractive… right? There had to be some reason people were so deferential on sight, why he so clearly expected that treatment. Why Ben’s hormones wanted him to smear honey all over him and lick it off.
He had to find out.
Galvanized into action, he flagged down his waitress—who looked affronted by his urgency and unsubtle gestures—and paid his bill before striding toward the casino. Well… trying to stride. In reality, he nearly walked into one of the bollards protecting the valet parking spaces, and then staggered awkwardly in an attempt to regain his balance. There were titters, but when he finally was able to look up, nobody seemed to be paying him any attention. Face flaming, he marched determinedly onward. He had to see the not-tallest man up close. Had to get a better idea of who he could be, why people scrambled to let him pass.
The first real hurdle came at the entrance to the casino. Rather than open the door, the doormen cast disparaging gazes over him.
He reached for the door handle. After all, he was a grown man, right? He could open a door by himself.
One of the uniformed doormen sidled sideways, blocking him. Ben blinked, but before he could say anything, the man spoke.
Ben winced. He’d taken Italian in school, and that had firmly established that languages were something he’d never be good at. His knowledge of French was limited to bonjour, s’il vous plaît, merci, anglais, and croissant. He’d been relying heavily on gestures, big smiles, and his phrase book…, which he’d left at his hotel because he’d been assured that everyone spoke English in Monaco.
“Ah… do you speak anglais?” he tried, pairing the words with his biggest smile. The doormen exchanged glances, and it seemed the look for this guy is a total dumbarse transcended language. One of them opened the door a tiny bit and slipped inside. Ben stood staring at the other one, who was still blocking his way. The casino was open to the public; he knew it was. There was a small fee to go into the gaming rooms, but it was free to stand in the foyer and gawk at the architecture, so he shouldn’t have to pay at the door. He had the right to go into the casino, damn it, just like all the rich bastards he’d watched enter already.
Crap, he needed a translator.
Maybe he could use Google Translate? Even if he couldn’t pronounce the words, he could let the other man read them off the screen. He was fumbling in his pocket for his phone when the door opened again—wider this time—and the other doorman came back out, accompanied by a man in a black suit.
“Good evening,” the man said with a French accent, smiling politely.
“You speak English,” Ben exclaimed in relief. “That’s so good, because I was about to try using Google Translate, and I’m pretty sure nothing good was going to come of it.”
The man’s smile wavered slightly, and Ben immediately felt like a dork. What was wrong with his stupid brain-mouth filter?
He drew himself up… and was still two inches shorter than Suit Man.
“I wish to enter the casino,” he declared, then tried to hide a wince at how pompous he sounded.
The man nodded. “Yes, and we would love to have you as our guest. But you see, we have a dress code at the Casino de Monte-Carlo. Shorts and trainers are strictly forbidden.”
Ben blinked. Had they lost something in translation? Trainers? Like, personal trainers? Why would they forbid— Something he’d heard in England clicked in his brain. “Oh, you mean runners.” He looked down at himself. Yep, he was wearing both shorts and runners, thereby well and truly violating the dress code.
He could go back to his hotel and change. Total walking time would be barely five minutes, less if not for that damn hill. But it seemed silly to go back to his hotel to change clothes, then come back to the casino… just so he could look at a man he didn’t know. This whole thing was kind of silly, really. He was a levelheaded guy, sensible—he was a nurse, for God’s sake. His last boyfriend had accused him of having no imagination, no creativity whatsoever. Why did he care that some random probably hot guy acted like a god deigning to mingle with mere mortals?
“Perhaps sir would like to visit the Casino Café de Paris?” Suit Man said smoothly. “There is no dress code there. I’m sure you would be more comfortable.” Although his words were perfectly polite, there was just a hint of disdain in his gaze that made Ben’s mind up.
Silly was the way to go.
Louisa Masters started reading romance much earlier than her mother thought she should. While other teenagers were sneaking out of the house, Louisa was sneaking romance novels in and working out how to read them without being discovered. She’s spent most of her life feeling sorry for people who don’t read, convinced that books are the solution to every problem. As an adult, she feeds her addiction in every spare second, only occasionally tearing herself away to do things like answer the phone and pay bills. She spent years trying to build a “sensible” career, working in bookstores, recruitment, resource management, administration, and as a travel agent, before finally conceding defeat and devoting herself to the world of romance novels.
Louisa has a long list of places first discovered in books that she wants to visit, and every so often she overcomes her loathing of jet lag and takes a trip that charges her imagination. She lives in Melbourne, Australia, where she whines about the weather for most of the year while secretly admitting she’ll probably never move.