Last night I attended the touring production of Les Miserables, a story about a parolee who desperately tries to overcome his past to become a good man. Hmm, wonder why I loved it so much? 😉 Don’t forget to enter the Goodreads giveaway for Bad Behavior, a story about my favorite parolee Grant Madsen.
Today it’s my pleasure to feature the wonderful novel Hidden Threat by Sherri Hayes! Sherri and I met on a website where we posted our stories, and it was so fun to discover we both lived in central Ohio. Since then we’ve become friends.
Here’s my 4 star review of Hidden Threat from Goodreads:
I loved this book!
Hidden Threat by Sherri Hayes reminded me why I like the romantic suspense genre so much. Sherri created a compelling story about two singles meeting in unexpected circumstances, both drawn to each other but trying to deny their feelings to avoid an ill-advised office romance.
Cali Stanton is a physician returning from Africa to help out her father, the owner of a pharmaceutical company who has to take leave from his position due to an accident. She reluctantly agrees to take over in his absence though she’d rather continue her healing work for Doctors Without Borders.
Matthew Anderson is the head of security for Stanton Enterprises. He and his brother have been called in to sniff out a saboteur hijacking pharmaceutical shipments. The “hidden threat” is the very reason Cali’s father needs someone he trusts to take his place. Matthew is loyal and determined to neutralize the threat, though when he first meets Cali he’s hit by feelings that are anything but neutral.
How can he fall for the boss’ daughter? Matthew is full of integrity, but the attraction he feels for Cali makes it difficult for him to remain professional. Cali’s just as attracted to the blue-eyed hunk, though she’s quite confused by his hot/cold behavior toward her. Meanwhile, the threats to Cali’s safety intensify, and Matthew will have to call on all of his skills to try to keep her safe.
The angst about killed me in this story! (In a good way.) Sherri Hayes did an awesome job writing unresolved sexual tension.
“A deep blush crossed Cali’s skin, and Matthew almost lost it. This woman was driving him crazy. He wanted to touch her, to crush her to his body, and kiss her to within an inch of her life. Instead of doing any of those things though, he took a step back toward the elevators.” (p. 124).
Arghhh! Kiss her, Matthew. Do it.
I liked when they were watching a football game with another couple, trying to hide their amorous feelings for each other, and Cali was studying Matthew. It’s evident she loves him on the inside too:
“She found she was more mesmerized by watching Matthew than the game. That really shouldn’t have surprised her though. Matthew was captivating. He was brilliant and disciplined. His sense of humor was quick when he came out from behind the mask he wore. And he was sweet, warm, and loving.”
I want my own Matthew. *pouts*
Sherri’s writing style is clean and concise. Hidden Threat is a wonderful debut novel!
And now onto my interview of Author Sherri Hayes.
Jennifer Lane (JL): Thanks for visiting the blog, Sherri, and Happy Birthday! I loved Hidden Threat. How did you come up with the idea for the story?
Sherri Hayes (SH): The idea actually stemmed from a story that had been rattling around in my brain since I was about 14. Back then Cali’s character was a queen and Matthew, a commoner who fell in love with her. Obviously, the story changed quite a bit as it developed over the years and then into what is now Hidden Threat.
JL: Wow, I didn’t know about Cali originally being a queen in your mind. As Lady Gaga sings, Don’t be a drag, just be a queen. You are evil with the sexual tension in this novel. 😉 What strategies did you use to develop such maddening tension?
SH: I always love good angst as long as there is a pay off in the end. Plus, I’ve never been one to like stories much where the two characters jump into bed without knowing each other. I felt the sexual tension in Hidden Threat really fit the mood of the story. It helped keep Cali and Matthew on their toes, plus gave the reader something to look forward to once they got together. As far as the development, that’s simple. Everytime the mystery part of the storyline started to pick up, I threw in some more sexual tension, a tease if you will. That way the relationship moved right along with the mystery.
JL: And you sure teased me, baby. How has publishing your first novel affected your life?
SH: Well I am a lot busier now. lol. There always seems to be something to do whether it is writing for my blog, posting on my Facebook or Twitter accounts, working on my next novel, or preparing for book signings. There is never a night anymore where I can say, hm, I have nothing to do.
JL: I know your family has faced some painful times lately with the death of your father. How are you and your family doing?
SH: Yes, we have. My family and I are adjusting. Dad was sick for a long time and all of our lives, in various ways, revolved around that. Now there is space where there wasn’t before. It’s only been a little over a week, so we are all still getting used to it. I’ve mostly been helping my mom transition by making phone calls, helping her deliver and mail death certificates. There’s a lot of work to do and many people to contact that you don’t think about before someone dies.
JL: Please tell us about your upcoming series, starting with Slave.
SH: Slave will be the first novel in my Finding Anna series. It is the story of Stephan, a young Dominant, and Brianna, a slave he purchases. He has never wanted a slave, but when he finds out Brianna is most likely being held against her will, he feels compelled to rescue her. The only way to do that is to buy her from her Master.
Once he has her in his home, however, he realizes he has no idea what to do with her. She is broken and barely does anything beyond breathing without permission. He decides to help her in the only way he knows how, through the lifestyle that helped him find balance and control after his parents death.
The series will follow these two as Brianna not only finds herself again, but also finds there is more to life and love than what the outside world can understand.
Slave will be available for pre-order on June 30th, 2011 through my publisher’s website www.thewriterscoffeeshop.com/publishinghouse/
JL: I feel lucky I live near a fellow author like you. How do you enjoy living in Ohio?
SH: I love living in Ohio. There is a small town feel, people are friendly, and you still have many of the big city conveniences a short drive away.
Thank you, Sherri! Now go check out Hidden Threat.