- Jamie W. Matlock
- Release Date
- March 2014
- Book 1 of The Fame Series
Kole Masters has a problem. Well, problems actually. After injuring her knee at the French Open, she flees from a hospital in Paris to Marbella, Spain to escape the pressures of her manager father and the indecisions about her career – specifically, the future of it. What makes untangling her chaotic mess of a life on the shores of a Spanish beach undesirable? The fact that her now, ex-best friend Selene (she planned to announce her demotion the next time they saw each other), failed to mention the parts of the plan that involved the fiery, outspoken, anti-American tennis player Santiago Martinez.
So with a bum knee, an uncomfortable living situation and uncertainties about her future, her life isn't exactly going as peachy as she'd planned.
Kole begins to understand that in order to figure out her future, she must sort through, and come to terms with, her past. Easy right? Not hardly. And the fact that her feelings towards Santiago – somehow and most certainly against her will – have progressed past snide remarks, heated conversations and death threats to longing for caresses that she can't understand, jealousy that won't go away and, eventually, the most incredible sexual experiences of her life…Well, she's in it up to her elbows.
BOOK INTERVIEW on September 2014
Interview by Laura
Hi Jamie, it's great to have you with us to talk about LOVE ACED. Tennis and romance, perfect combination!
Q: What's your inspiration for this story?
I'm an avid sports fan--tennis, football, hockey, auto racing. You name it and I probably follow it! I've always enjoyed infusing sports into my stories (And it doesn't hurt that most athletes are in the best shape of their lives, making for sexy leading men and ladies!). That's not to say that everything that I write in the future will pertain to sports, but you tend to write what you enjoy, right? At least, that's my policy. :)
I was also very intrigued with the idea of writing about a lead character who was flawed in some way. You read so much about the perfect heroine who does or says the right thing all of the time. I wanted to experience the flip-side of that. Why not write about someone who is truly a good person, but doesn't always make the best decisions? Who often sticks her foot in her mouth or reacts irrationally and then realizes her error later on. Because, to me, that's real life. It's a little messy at times, but we try our best to right our wrongs when we can and oftentimes, it's after the fact.
So, I really wanted to make the story about more than the romance and touch on Kole's personal journey. While the romance certainly is the driving force in the story, her journey adds another layer.
Q: What is it about the New Adult genre and tennis that draw you?
LOVE ACED didn't actually start out as a New Adult novel. That was never my intention. I had the characters for the novel in my head for some time before I started writing them. It was always about Kole's journey for me and the more I wrote, the more she spoke to me. She was a jaded individual--lost in life in some ways--and I think that those things kind of turned it into a New Adult novel. Because she was still in that 'figuring things out' phase--that in-between period that we all struggle through when transitioning from being a young adult to a mature woman--categorizing the book into that genre seemed fitting.
As far as writing about tennis…I love the game. I think it's a beautiful sport. I'm in awe by the talent and athleticism involved. And, there aren't many sports romances that have a female athlete as a lead. I think LOVE ACED is unique in that way.
Q: What kind of research did you have to do in the course of writing this story? Please share an interesting fact or experience. If you said you had to go to Spain, bring me with you next time! LOL
Google is this girl's best friend! I Googled a lot of things for this novel--from researching Kole's injury and the recovery process Santiago's house.
Plus, I've always secretly wanted to move to Spain! Seriously just pack up my family, sell everything and move there. I am so jealous of the beautiful views and the culture! When my husband and I first started dating--before our daughter, a mortgage, etc.--we would talk about the possibility of moving there. We did some extensive research. I even purchased several 'How to' and 'Tips to Living in Spain' books. But we're both planners and I think the idea of moving over there without a job, without a significant savings, kind of made us chicken out. Maybe our spirits aren't as free as we'd like to believe!
Q: Tell us about Kole Masters. What kind of person is she? What makes her love tennis that much, then fall out love with it? What in her past shapes her to be the person she is today?
Kole's entire life has centered around tennis and her journey to get to the top of the sport, but at the most pivotal point in her career, all she can think about is walking away. To those closest to her, she's a little stiff, a little too focused on tennis and her career. Life outside of tennis is non-existent and dating…? Not even a faint idea hiding in a cobwebbed corner in the back of her mind. But something inside her emotionally has snapped. She's tired. Tired of the pressures. Tired of trying to please everyone around her, especially her father. And, most of all, she's tired of never feeling good enough, no matter what she does or how hard she tries.
I don't want to give away too much, but for specific reasons, she doesn't trust very easily. Despite being in the public eye, she's actually a very private person. This lack of trust and her desire to control everything in her life is what drives and controls most of her decision making (And trust me, some of those decisions will leave you wanting to throw your e-reader.). So despite a growing attraction towards Santiago--which she fights tooth and nail--she finds it hard to let go. How do you love when you can't trust? Santiago has an uphill battle if his goal is to win Kole's heart.
Q: Speaking of Santiago Martinez, who is he? What kind of person is he?
Besides being tall, tan and toned? Santiago is the strong, silent type. He doesn't say too much, but when he speaks, his words tend to be well thought out and meaningful. He's not overbearing, but has a way of making Kole bend to his will, ultimately getting exactly what he wants. He's also patient, which I think is one of the most important characteristics that makes him perfect for Kole.
Q: He sounds perfect! Kole and Santiago's first meeting must be explosive. What was it like? Please give us a sneak peek.
Because they're both tennis players, they know each other, so there really isn't a first meeting per se. In Kole's mind, Santiago is somewhat of an arch nemesis. Santiago has made his distaste for the American players very public and Kole has taken his comments to heart.
When a plot to escape the tennis world and her father goes wrong and she unknowingly gets forced into a very uncomfortable living situation with Santiago, the sparks fly. With every stare, with every touch, Kole finds herself having to fight off feelings that she can't understand and emotions that she doesn't think that she wants. He gets under her skin and becomes something that she can't shake.
Q: What is a most romantic moment between Kole and Santiago?
To me, the most romantic moment is when Kole realizes her feelings for Santiago and (finally!) gives in to her attraction. The tenderness that he shows her because he understands her hesitations, because he knows how hard opening up is for her, is very sexy and touching.
And, let me just add, their sex is electric.
Q: Why is Kole perfect for Santiago and vice versa?
I think the beauty in their relationship really lies with Santiago. Kole isn't emotionally ready for a relationship--far from it actually--but Santiago has her in his crosshairs, and if you read LOVE ACED, you realize that Santiago gets what he wants. In this case, it's Kole. He is relentless in his pursuit of her and he knows exactly how to break down her walls.
Q: Which character was the most difficult to write?
Believe it or not, Kole. Kole was struggling with so much personally that sometimes it was difficult to portray that struggle--which I thought was a very significant piece of the book--without making her seem whiny. Sometimes, I would read back through her thought process and think, 'Seriously, Kole?' The backspace and delete key were used often, but I am so proud of the end result. It was important for me to take readers through Kole's emotional journey, to make them understand her hesitations and really feel personally connected to her.
Q: What's up next for you?
I am currently working on Love Strung, the follow-up to LOVE ACED, which revolves around Kole's sister, Kennedy. Kennedy is the polar opposite of Kole, living each moment as it comes, consequences be damned. A struggling musician who has recently sworn off paychecks from her father, Love Strung follows her journey as she attempts to navigate the waters of her career and matters of the heart, something she's never been altogether comfortable with.
When she gets caught in the middle of a lifelong feud between brothers Griff and Mick Callahan--who are as different as Kennedy and Kole--and she can't do the one thing she's comfortable with (running), she must face her situation head-on. Although very different from Kole, her struggle is very much the same, as she must face the one thing in the world that she fears most: her heart.
Thanks a lot for taking the time to tell us about your books, Jamie! They both sound great! Can't wait to get into them.
Jamie W. Matlock is the author of Love Aced, her romantic novel debut. She attempts to infuse a good mix of humor and drama into her stories, believing that it makes for a better story when you can add a little of both. A sucker for flawed protagonists, strong male characters and incredible sex scenes, she intends to provide a lot of all three into each of her novels.
Outside of writing, Jamie enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter, yelling at a television screen during sporting events and coupling a good book with a glass of wine.
Website: In progress
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SAPPHIRE BLUES by JC Wardon
LOVE ACED by Jamie Matlock
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