- by Susan Lyons
This month, I make my debut. Well, sort of. I’ve actually been published since 2006, but now I have a new name. After more than a dozen publications as Susan Lyons, I’m now also Susan Fox, writing for Kensington Brava.
Rather oddly, my first Susan Fox book, Love, Unexpectedly, is the second book in a series that I started as Susan Lyons with Aphrodisia, with the book Sex Drive in December 2009 (which, by the way, will be Cosmo’s “red hot read” for May!).
Publishers Weekly says: “Fox takes readers on a wild train ride where passions flare and identities are mistaken in this emotionally compelling, sexy contemporary romance.”
Let me give you an insider’s guide to how Love, Unexpectedly came about.
It’s the “trains” segment of my sexy “planes, trains, automobiles, and a cruise ship” Wild Ride to Love series. The heroine, Kat Fallon, is one of the four sisters introduced in Sex Drive (the “planes” book).
Kat’s one of those women who really wants love, marriage, and a family, yet has terrible luck with men. She has a pattern of falling quickly and passionately for “larger than life” guys (a NASCAR champ, a gold medal skier) and the relationships never worked out.
For Kat, I wanted to write a very special love story. Sometimes, we fail to see what’s right under our nose. Personally, I love romances when best friends turn into lovers (do you know the song “Tonight I Celebrate My Love For You” by Roberta Flack and Peabo Bryson? – love it!), so that’s what I gave Kat. But not the “When Harry Met Sally” kind, where they were like middle-aged squabbling spouses from the beginning <g> – but a romance with excitement and passion as well as trust and true friendship.
There’s a twist, in that Kat’s neighbor and best friend, photographer Nav Bharani, has been in love with Kat for quite a while. She doesn’t see him that way, though – or at least, she tries not to. He’s the closest friend she’s ever had and, given her disastrous track record with lovers, she refuses to risk her friendship with Nav.
So, Nav needs a game plan to break out of the buddy trap and win her. And that’s where the trains come in!
I love those old movies like “North by Northwest” and “Silver Streak,” where strangers meet on a train and fall for each other. Trains can be pretty darned romantic! So, when Kat takes a cross-Canada train trip from Montreal to Vancouver for her baby sister’s wedding, the desperate Nav grabs the opportunity.
To spice things up, I gave him a dramatic strategy to open Kat’s eyes and make her see him differently. He has a make-over and transforms himself into an exciting “stranger,” a Bollywood movie producer (yes, there seems to be a Bollywood theme her on NINC these days!), the kind of man she typically goes for. If she opts into playing “the stranger game” (pretending he really is the movie producer rather than her old friend), she can explore her secret passion for Nav without consequences. She can have the stranger on the train, and her best friend when she returns home.
Well, of course it’s not going to work out that way! For Kat and Nav, once they start their wild ride to love, there will be no turning back.
You probably get the idea that I had a lot of fun with this book – and you’d be right!