AUSSIE MONTH with Annie West
Describe yourself in one word:
What is your background with regard to writing?
I’ve had 25 contemporary romance novels published (or accepted for publication) – mainly by Harlequin Mills and Boon, and I’m lucky enough to have my work translated into a range of languages and available around the world. I write for the Mills and Boon Sexy line which means I can call myself a Sexy author J! My books have hit the USA Today Bestseller lists and I’ve won or finalled in a range of romance book contests including the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice and the Australian Romance Readers’ Awards.
Tell us about Bought by the Italian:
This is sexy, intense novella about a pair of lovers who’ve been torn apart by suspicion and now are forced to face each other and resolve their problems. Both are volatile, all or nothing people, determined to fight for what they want. Chiara wants never to see Gennaro again. But Gennaro has other plans and goes to extreme lengths to get what he wants. A recent reader review on Amazon described it this way: “Wow…. Somebody call the Fire Brigade. This book is Annie West at her very best. It is sexy, fast paced and heart warming…” (L.R.)
What inspired this novel?
A combination of things. I had requests for a follow up to my first novella ‘Back in the Italian’s Bed’ and specifically for Chiara’s story. She was such a great character I didn’t take much persuading. The actual plot came from an idea about a heroine being auctioned for charity (and getting far more than she bargained for!). I’ve discovered I have a weakness for stories where the heroine is utterly at the hero’s mercy (at least in the beginning). I love discovering how my heroine fights back! The setting, in the Alps of northern Italy, was inspired by a trip I took to that region. It was so spectacular that I just had to revisit it in my writing.
What are you reading right now?
I’m between books and have the delicious decision of what to read next. It will be either a Sarah Morgan contemporary romance, a thriller by Helene Young or an Italian travel guide (see why below).
Number one thing to do on your bucket list?
Visit Venice when the Carneval is on. Think wintry celebrations, masked balls and cloaked strangers – very evocative! And guess what I’m hoping to do in 2015…fingers crossed my travel plans work out.
Best thing about being an Aussie?
Long lazy summer days with a book, a cold drink and the sound of other people wearing themselves out on the cricket field or tennis court.
What you want readers to know about the romance genre?
I want them to know how many truly terrific, well-written, enjoyable, satisfying books there are in this genre. No wonder it’s so popular!
What have you got in store for your readers in 2015?
Oh, lots. February and April see the release of my linked Desert Vows books: The Sultan’s Harem Bride and The Sheikh’s Princess Bride. The first even features a scene in Melbourne which locals might particularly enjoy. Then there’s The Sinner’s Marriage Redemption in August and Seducing His Enemy’s Daughter in October. As well as that I’ll be working on more Hot Italian Nights novellas since reader feedback has been so positive. Any suggestions about what you’d like in those are welcome!
What were your big achievements of 2014?
I think the most exciting achievement was writing my first ever novella (Back in the Italian’s Bed) and self publishing it, with help. I wasn’t sure about writing this length so it was a huge experiment, as was the self publishing. I enjoyed it so much I found time for my 2nd Hot Italian Nights novella and I’m already planning more. Another first for me was attending the big LoveLetter Convention in Berlin where over 700 romance readers from around Europe gathered. That was quite an experience! It also gave me a chance to do a little travelling which is providing inspiration for a number of stories.
Bought by the Italian
She’s up for sale and he’s the highest bidder.
Gennaro De Laurentis might prefer motorcycle leathers to Armani, but when it comes to what he wants, he’s as ruthless as any corporate raider in a killer suit. And he wants Chiara, the unforgettable woman who denied the passion sizzling between them and walked away without a backward glance. Now he has the high society princess back in his power – and he’ll risk everything to make her his.
When glamorous fashion designer Chiara Armati goes up for auction, she’s selling her company over dinner for charity. Nothing else. As bidding rises to astronomical heights, she gets nervous. Yet only when she discovers her purchaser’s identity does she realise she’s caught in a trap. She’s never stopped wanting Gennaro or forgiven his betrayal. Now she’s at his mercy – and he’s as irresistible as ever!