By Lori Sizemore
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Justine Montgomery, daughter of a divorced beauty queen and TV magnate, is a tabloid disaster after her infamous sex tape. She’s so desperate to help save her family’s home she turns to her deal-making dad. Can she prove to him she’s cut out for a career in television or will she lose it all?
Sawyer has his own past and a successful career is his only goal. Seeing Justine fail would mean the promotion of a lifetime, but things get complicated when he develops feelings for her. Suddenly, the lines between work, life, sex, and love are blurry.
They will have to overcome the bitterness of a rejected ex, the controlling actions of her father, and the half-truths they’re telling one another to forge a lasting partnership both on the job and off the clock.
He considered her for a moment, searching her face. “I want to get you out of those expensive clothes.”
She froze and took a jagged breath.
Sawyer slid a hand behind her to pull her ponytail over her shoulder and run the curls through his fingers. “I want to mess up your hair, fist it in my hands while I kiss you until you can’t think.”
As he toyed with her curls, Justine blanked. At that second, she’d have said yes to anything he asked of her. She stood to open her door then turned back, unsure what would come out. “I can’t think right now.”
With a tilt of the head, he leaned in. “I’m going to kiss you anyway.”
A voice in the back of her mind told her she was going to have to practice telling this man no. He pressed her to the wall, sucked at her bottom lip, ran his tongue across it. Heat blasted through her.
Sawyer tugged her through the open doorway. He kicked the door shut and backed her against it slowly. Pale streetlight from outside the window cast them in shadows. The weight of how much she wanted him almost crushed her. They kissed and, despite them both being fully clothed, she felt vulnerable. Naked.
His hands pressed flat against the wall beside her, his breathing as uneven as her own. “Say it.”
“Tell me you want me. That you think about me touching you, that it keeps you up at night. Tell me it’s not just me.”
“I do.” Her voice came out fluttery.
He ran a hand through her hair, toying with the ends. “I wonder things, like how you sound when you’re excited and…”
She put a finger to his lips, still moist from their kisses. “Stop saying things like that. I don’t want to know because then I won’t be able to stop thinking about you thinking those things.” She tilted her head back against the wall and steadied a hand on his chest. His muscles bunched beneath her fingers. She needed to think. She needed to process all of this and…
He lifted her hand, nuzzling the sensitive skin on her wrist, which sent a quiver down her spine. When she couldn’t take any more, she withdrew it from his grasp. And Sawyer was there, picking up where he left off, with a leisurely, complete, thorough kiss. And, oh, she kissed him back. How could she not? His kiss, it was everything. Like something in her, that had been off her whole life, snapped into place.
Her heart jittered in her chest and propelled her past the desire, past the panic gnawing inside because she wanted more of him. She wanted to touch him and taste him and be filled by him, but even more beyond that.
Tell the readers a little about you.
I’m a former social worker. I worked in mental health for ten years and have a B.S. in social and behavioural science, which I think helps me be a better writer. I’ve been married for 20 years and have three daughters.
What genre you mostly write in and why?
I mainly write contemporary romance with a healthy dose of rom-com. I can identify so much more with the struggles people face today than those of any other time period and I feel like I can tell really crunchy, interesting stories in this genre.
What inspired you to write your first book?
Infamous is my first book. I wanted to write about someone who seemed so unreal and out of touch with reality and show that she’s just a normal person, like everyone else. Her daily struggles came to me as I tried to compare her to what my life or a friend’s life would be like thrust into a situation that made our own painful secrets public fodder.
When did you first, without hesitation, call yourself a writer?
When I started writing every day, on a schedule. There’s this saying that gets thrown around a lot: writer’s write. You can call yourself one and not be one if you never put down words. Conversely, you can be scared to own the title, but if you write every day—you’re a writer. I was proud of my dedication and productivity so I decided I’d earned the title “writer.”
How much of your books are realistic?
While this first book (that’s part of a coming trilogy) is set in a New York television studio with celebrities, I’d still call it a realistic look at life. There are problems, some that all of us face, like paying bills, and others that are more in-character (like how everyone has seen the main character naked and how difficult it is to go to the drug store knowing that). But it’s a real look at life.
What book are you reading now?
I just finished Hold Me by Courtney Milan. I felt it was a realistic look at being different, and how that changes everything.
What are your current projects?
Currently, I’m editing the second Infamous book, tentatively titled Unexpected. I’m also editing a trilogy of novellas I wrote set in 1958 Las Vegas. There will hopefully be a lot of new published stories from me in 2017 as these stories finish edits.
Do you see writing as a career?
Writing is my career. It’s my passion as well as the thorn in my side on a daily basis. It’s the best job I’ve ever had and I’m so fortunate to be able to pursue it to the exclusion of other jobs.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Everything comes back to family, for nearly everyone. They’re not perfect and sometimes their love can be constricting and hurtful, but if you bang your head on the wall enough, those walls will eventually crumble and you're left with the people who loved you all along.
What were your goals and intentions in your books, and how well do you feel you achieved them?
My goal is to show real people, with real problems, sometimes serious issues who find out that they’re perfect exactly as they are. It’s to show that love isn’t supposed to change us, but help us be our best selves. I think I achieve that and if I didn’t, I’d consider my story a complete fail.
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
The glamour. I researched real designer clothing, real five-star restaurant menus, real fancy homes in New York. It’s a world away from my daily life, in rural West Virginia. I wouldn’t know a designer tag in my own clothes, but I knew exactly what Justine and company would wear to any given occasion.
Lori Sizemore grew up in the mountains of West Virginia and never quite managed to escape them. Lori lives at home with her husband of twenty-plus years and two of her three daughters. She also lives with two dogs, a cat, and five hermit crabs. Yes, five of them. This menagerie and her family keep her busy. She worked in mental health as a social worker for ten years before making the choice to write full-time.