Can’t Stand the Heat
by Peggy Jaeger
With three successful TV series under her belt, including her cousin Kandy’s, executive producer Stacy Peters is ready to helm her own show. But to make that happen, she has to do her network boss one favor first—spend two months on a ranch in Montana wrangling the notoriously difficult director of Beef Battles. Apparently, he eats producers for breakfast. Yet all Stacy can think when she meets the lean, rugged man is how hungry he makes her . . .
Dominic Stamp—Nikko to his very few friends—has had enough interference from TV newbies. And when Stacy climbs out of the car in Montana, he’s not convinced she’s even old enough to drive, much less produce his show. But he can’t deny that the long-legged blonde with the stubborn will and the dazzling smile whets his appetite. And as Stacy proves her talent with the crew and the budget alike, Nikko vows to prove to her that love is on the menu for both of them . . .
This couldn’t be the new executive producer.
She looked like an intern, barely out of college, not the seasoned television producer Teddy Davis had emailed him about.
The one he’d emailed back saying he neither wanted nor needed.
Hair the color of champagne fell just below her shoulders in a soft cascade of waves and ripples. Even in the heat and humidity engulfing them it looked fresh. Her face was a perfect heart, a tiny dip in the center of the hairline bifurcating her brow into two perfectly aligned sections, her flawless chin falling into a delicate point. She had one hand out to shake his, the other shading her eyes from the strong and harsh afternoon sun, but underneath her fingers he was able to make out a pair of sloe-shaped eyes in a deep, forest green.
Taller than average but small boned, her legs took up most of the lissome body. With her lips held together in a tight line, she reached him.
“I’m Stacy Peters, Mr. Stamp.”
He stopped and planted his feet, his gaze shifting to her outstretched hand and then back up to her face without taking it. Her eyes narrowed into a determined glare and it looked as if she wasn’t going to back down until he shook it. With reluctance, he did.
Like the rest of her, her fingers were narrow and thin as they coiled around his.
A blast of heat instantly warmed and calmed his entire body like a few shots of his favorite Irish whiskey did after a rough and painful day. The subtle aroma of vanilla floated to him, filling his senses with the sweet fragrance. The persistent, throbbing ache in his left leg the liquor helped chase away was momentarily forgotten with his hand rooted in hers.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Peggy Jaeger is a contemporary romance writer who writes about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can’t live without them.
Family and food play huge roles in Peggy’s stories because she believes there is nothing that holds a family structure together like sharing a meal…or two…or ten. Dotted with humor and characters that are as real as they are loving, Peggy brings all topics of daily life into her stories: life, death, sibling rivalry, illness and the desire for everyone to find their own happily ever after. Growing up the only child of divorced parents she longed for sisters, brothers and a family that vowed to stick together no matter what came their way. Through her books, she has created the families she wanted as that lonely child.
Tying into her love of families, her children’s book, THE KINDNESS TALES, was illustrated by her artist mother-in-law.
Peggy holds a master’s degree in Nursing Administration and first found publication with several articles she authored on Alzheimer’s Disease during her time running an Alzheimer’s in-patient care unit during the 1990s.
In 2013, she placed first in two categories in the Dixie Kane Memorial Contest: Single Title Contemporary Romance and Short/Long Contemporary Romance.
In 2017 she came in 3rd in the New England Reader’s Choice contest for A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS and was a finalist in the 2017 STILETTO contest for the same title.
A lifelong and avid romance reader and writer, she is a member of RWA and her local New Hampshire RWA Chapter.
Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00T8E5LN0
PEGGY’S WRITING QUIRKS
I’ve been told I have a very good ear for dialogue. How it sounds, what words work together, accents, inflections. I tend to think this is true because I’m basically a nosey person. I’m an habitual eavesdropper and people watcher, so listening to how people speak, the way they look and act when they talk, and what they say, are second nature to me.
I tell you this because of a funny writing quirk I have. At least I think it’s funny.
Most of you have heard of Dragon. No, not the Game of Thrones kind. The computer softwear speech-to-text kind. I use Dragon when I’m writing dialogue because actually speaking what I want to convey on the page makes the dialogue more fluid and natural feeling—as well as sounding—than simply thinking the dialogue up in my head and typing it out. I can speak much faster than I can type so I never lose my train of through or forget what I want to say in dialogue when I do it this way.
Now, when I speak my dialogue, I also get into character, like an actor does. If my character speaking is a man, I drop my voice a few notches, pitch it to lower tones, and speak concisely and succinctly. If my speaker is female, the pitch is raised, the tone softens (unless it’s an argument or emotion-laden scene I’m writing) and the words are spoken with a more lyrical cadence. Once, I was playing the dialogue I’d just written between my hero and heroine back aloud from the computer and my husband happened to be coming up the stairs to my office. When he arrived he looked around, shook his head, and with confusion said, “I though you had people up here with you.”
“Nope. Just me,” I said back, secretly thrilled.
When I was offered the opportunity to read and review a book of Peggy’s, I didn’t think it twice. She’s a great author, and I couldn’t let it pass. Plus, she was the most awsome cooking tips throughout any of her stories and is happy to share with us her knowledge (Have you read the guest post she wrote for my blog? It’s about the 10 must-have items in every kitchen. You shouldn’t miss it!). Her stories are about love, but you can always see her passion for cooking in her words.
So, here is my review:
“Tell me I’m not absoltely crazy to be doing this. Please?”
Stacy Peters is hands down a wonder woman. She is compassionate, she is driven, and she is crazy handy… she can honestly solve any difficulty presented in the line of duty. It’s impressive. This woman is a walking problem solver, and it’s impossible not to care about her immediatedly. So, when the story begins she’s asked to go and be the executive producer to one of the most challenging (and that’s putting it mildly) directors of TV cooking shows. She only agrees to go because she’s promised a great deal out of it, but, boy-oh-boy, it was nothing like she would expect.
He never gave her the chance. Looming over her, his face contorted with anger and something else that tugged at Stacy’s heart, he spat, “I don’t want you here. I don’t need you here, interfering. But it looks like it doesn’t matter to the network what I want or need, so I’m stuck with you. Fine. Just do your job. And only your job. Stay away from my daugher. She’s no concern of yours. Do you understand me?”
Dominic Stamp, or Nikko, is not the kind of main character you would expect. He’s far from charming, quite the opposite. He’s arrogant, stubborn, proud… not to mention volatile. At the begining of the story I wanted nothing more to slap him and tell him to chill. He’s rude to everyone, and I mean everyone under the sun. But as the story develops it is clear why he’s the way he is, and with Stacy in the mix he eventually becomes a person worthy of admiration and love.
All in all, a fascinating, powerful man and one–she knew if she wasn’t working with–she’d like to know on a more personal level. But she was working with him and one thing Stacy never mixed was business and her private life. She’d learned the hard way it never worked out, and when it ended–as it always did–she was the one holding the baggage left in its wake.
It is clear from the begining that they’re attracted for each other (although it was hard to accept for me that they could place their differences aside and let it grow into more). There’s a lot going on around these characters. Not only are they working together, but they both have a complicaded past (including Nikko being a single father). They both have different ways to cope with everything happening in their lives, and eventually learn to work together up to the point that they fall in love and find their HEA.
Stacy hated to see anyone in pain, be it psychological or physical, she felt herself drawn to the two of them more with each passing day.
I loved the way Peggy made them relatable, presented them as human throughout the pages. Stacy stresses and gets headaches, recurs to yoga and aspirins to balance it all out. Sometimes even sneeks a break from all the madness happening all over the place. Nikko is so proud that he hides his problems from everyone, including his daugher (who has a set of her own), tries to build a relationship with his teenage kid following recommendations of their therapist, and so on.
What I enjoyed the most, was the series of sub-plots that enrich Stacy and Nikko’s story. There’s engagements, mourning, eating disorders, alcoholism, and all kind of scars from their pasts. It is really well written, something any romance reader will surely enjoy.
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