SET AMID THE DIRTIEST presidential race in U.S. history, The Southern Gentleman Books 1 & 2 are based on a premise that could happen in real life: A shadowy group of billionaires will do whatever it takes to steal the White House—even target the popular adult daughter of the opposing candidate.
And the candidate just happens to be the country’s first woman presidential candidate!
If that sounds a little too familiar, I promise you don’t need to know (or care) about American politics to enjoy the books. Despite the fast-paced suspense plot lines, the story that begins in The Southern Gentleman: Protective Instinct (Book 1) and completes in The Southern Gentleman: True Consequences (Book 2) is first and foremost a love story.
Books 1 + 2 = The Complete Story. This 2-book story kicks off the Dominant Heroes Collection, a glam new romantic suspense series about sex, politics and scandal. The series revolves around J.Agency, an ultra-exclusive crisis management firm specializing in celebrity scandal and political intrigue…
“I’m a fixer.”
He had an amazing voice, low and smooth like melted butter, with a southern drawl to match.
“Clients hire my agency to arrange various business matters, manage their public image, advise them in a crisis, that sort of thing.”
Lola sniffed. “Things like abducting a legal adult and forcing her to travel against her will?”
He swept her with a look that halted her breathing. In the flashes of illumination from passing streetlights, his chocolate eyes seemed to see straight inside her.
“I’m not here to force anything, Miss Randall. I just want to have a little chat.”
I’m so excited about the collection of sex god heroes I’ve planned for this series, and I can’t wait to share them with you.
First up is J.Agency CEO Nolan Jackson, a charismatic southern gentleman who likes fast cars, deadly weapons and total control. Nolan is a Dominant in every sense of the word, from the way he handles his business to the way he handles a flogger.
His eyes glittered with predatory intent. “I’m almost sorry for what I’m about to do to that gorgeous ass.”
Nolan likes to be in charge and he runs a tight ship. If you like a controlling, possessive alpha male with high-minded principles, twitchy palms, a dirty mouth and a closet full of sex toys, you’re going to be begging for Nolan Jackson’s punishing touch…
But Nolan isn’t all tough love. He has a romantic side. All his life, he’s been burning to find that one strong yet submissive Dream Girl who will surrender to him and him alone. A failed marriage and a string of bad relationships have doused but not extinguished the fantasy.
After the most powerful couple in the world hires him to track down their missing daughter and escort her across the country, Nolan finds himself uncontrollably attracted to the beautiful young woman. For a man who likes to be in charge, losing control can only lead to trouble…
He schooled himself in restraint. It wouldn’t do to fly off the handle with this girl a second time.
He was a fucking professional.
He would correct her behavior in a calm, appropriate and professional manner.
He clenched his jaw and growled.
From 1970s Iran to Present-Day USA
Although the political milieu of The Southern Gentleman is straight out of contemporary America, my inspiration for these books came from farther afield: a 1970s Iranian film.
It all started on a quiet Saturday night at home. Mr. Reese and I enjoy watching a foreign film from time to time, and the this one was so sweet, sexy and suspenseful it really caught my attention. It’s an Iranian film classic called Hamsefar (not to be confused with the Pakistani television drama of the same name), and it’s très risqué for it’s time and place.
The film is about a beautiful young socialite who runs away from her overbearing family, and the sexy bad boy hired to bring her home. They meet-cute in a thrilling rescue scene, and sexy romance naturally ensues…
Months after watching, I was still intrigued by the delicious storyline and began considering how I might adapt the premise to present day America. As I mulled the possibilities, the character of Washington fixer Nolan Jackson sprang fully formed into my creative mind.
From his strict moral code to his jaded outlook on human nature, his predilection for Italian suits and fondness for vintage muscle cars, his Iraq war demons and his big, close southern family, Nolan instantly appeared to me as a living, breathing man—an unapologetically dominant man who knows what he wants and pursues it with venom.
And make no mistake: Nolan wants Lola Randall.
“I want to unlock the secrets of your mind and conquer your will. I want to strip you down until you’re completely bared to me, totally raw, completely vulnerable, one hundred percent mine for the taking.”
Life in the Public Eye
The sweet yet headstrong character of heroine Lola Randall appeared as the perfect foil to Nolan’s sometimes overbearing ways. This is a young woman who wants nothing less than to turn over her newfound independence to a bossy alpha male. She resists Nolan’s every attempt at conquering her heart, yet his pursuit secretly excites her.
You see, Lola has lived a tightly managed life in the public eye since the age of fourteen, when her mother became Governor of Massachusetts. Now at twenty-three, she is a popular public figure in her own right, regarded as a role model by millions of teens and young women.
When her mother becomes the United States’ first serious woman contender for the White House, Lola is happy to play the role of supportive First Daughter to-be. Until one day her world comes crashing down. She loses faith in her mother, and can no longer pretend for the cameras everything is fine.
So Lola goes rogue. She ditches the campaign and splits for the West Coast. Who will even notice she’s gone?
Answer: The world.
That’s where Nolan comes in. Lola’s power couple parents, Ella and Jack Randall, hire Nolan to bring their daughter back to the campaign bus before the scandal-hungry media learns of her defection. Nolan is in a race against time to save her from thugs hired by the opposing campaign and deliver her to Washington, DC in time for a nationally televised celebrity concert.
When Nolan and Lola meet amid a high stakes showdown with armed thugs, the sparks—and spanks—immediately fly.
She struggled against his grip, trying to break free and run. With a curse, he lifted her easily over his shoulder. She shrieked and kicked his abdomen with the toe of her shoes.
A hard slap seared across her backside.
Lola yelped in shock.
“Is this how you want to return to the world’s stage?” he demanded. “At a busted party in Pacific Heights, three thousand miles from the campaign bus?”
She stopped struggling as her body went icy cold. “Who are you and who sent you?”
The Dirt on Spin
Public perception and image management—or “optics” in public relations circles—are major themes in this story. We’ve arrived at a cultural moment where we not only recognize the massive influence of media and celebrity on our lives and perceptions, we recognize ourselves as co-creators of the popular narrative.
In an era when the average person consumes more than eight hours of media in a day, including two hours of sharing, posting and commenting on their own lives via social media, image cultivation has become second nature. But how much of who we present ourselves to be is real? And how much can we rely on the public image of our favorite celebrities? How much of what we read and view online and on TV is the result of clever marketing spin?
These considerations are more than philosophical for Nolan and Lola. Dubbed “America’s Daughter” by the press, Lola has a wholesome public image to maintain. She doesn’t need the entire country finding out she’s sleeping with an older man who has unusual sexual tastes…
Her eyes met his, cool and assessing. “I’m impressed, Nolan. You’re good at your job.”
Her sudden confidence made her seem like a different Lola. She looked older, more grown up. He could see the gorgeous woman she would be at thirty. This was the Lola who gave interviews to The New York Times and introduced her mother before a television audience of millions.
Her tone of admiration set a throbbing ache of desire shooting through his guts, but he kept his voice casual.
“Thank you, Lola.”
Another major theme of these books is that there can be no trust without honesty in a relationship. After Nolan shows Lola he can keep her safe from anything and anyone, Lola finds herself trusting Nolan implicitly…maybe more than she should.
Once they return to Washington and she begins learning more about this man she’s falling for, she begins to wonder whether Nolan has been completely honest with her.
How much of who Nolan presented himself to be is real, and how much a fabrication of his very talented public relations skills?
Does she trust Nolan…or not? Lola must find the answers within her own heart—and he isn’t making it any easier by demanding her total commitment, right now. To Nolan, the answer is clear—he and Lola belong together. But he wants her on his terms. He’s more than prepared to take care of her every physical, emotional and psychological need, but he wants her submission in return.
Nolan’s proposition looks risky to Lola, a young woman who has always played it safe. Will she choose to protect herself from potential hurt, or will she risk her heart to find love?
My Double Debut
Publishing a novel is the achievement of a lifelong goal for me—a goal I’ve had since I was at least twelve years old! It is a goal so deeply ingrained in my psyche, I once dreamed I was dying without becoming a published author and woke up sobbing, ha.
This debut has been decades in the making, and I’m thrilled to finally share some of my stories with real readers (who aren’t my sister!). I hope you’ll find something to move you, excite you, and get your heart pumping in Nolan and Lola’s story…
Indie publishing has been an extraordinary experience so far, one I cannot recommend enough to authors who are wondering if they should take the leap. To the smart, sassy, brilliant bloggers, reviewers and book industry professionals I’ve had the pleasure of working with so far—I love you darlings, you know who you are. It has been exceptional, and the adventure is only beginning.