Sex on the Slopes

Susan Lyons
Sex on the Slopes
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Publisher
Berkley
Release Date
December 2010
ISBN
9780425237014
Genre
Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance

SUMMARY
Get ready to melt with the latest sizzling novel by the author of Sex on the Beach...

Wedding planner Andi Radcliffe wants to be a man's "first and only," yet she can't take her eyes-or hands-off sexy firefighter Jared, a widower who's already loved and lost. Though she doesn't want to be any man's second choice, their secret rendezvous are setting off all the right alarms.

Brianna George, the groom's boss and friend, is the celebrity host of a TV talk show. She's all about business-until Zack, a hot young Aussie ski instructor, shows her the sexy side of life. But will their secret romance jeopardize her career?

Maddie Daniels, the groom's little sister, always had a thing for his bad-boy friend Logan. Seeing him again after so many years, she won't miss her chance to prove she's all grown up...and find out just how a good a bad boy Logan really is.

Book Review by Shana Rea (reviewer)
Nov 17, 2010   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
257 people found the following review helpful
With a title like Sex on the Slopes, how could the story help but explode with need and desire? This time, the desination wedding is set in Whistler, British Columbia (Sex on the Beach, the first book, was set in Belize), and three unsuspecting couples may find love and passion when they least expect it.

The story started with a fire, both outside and within, as wedding planner Andi Radcliffe, heedless of her inappropriate attire, goes about getting everyone out of the chalet into the snowy night. Fortunately, she's got firefighter Jared Stone to warm her up. Soon, sparks are igniting between the two, but Andi's afraid to fall for Jared, because he wasn't heart-whole. He's lost his wife and unborn child and doesn't seem ready to move on.

In Andi's and Jared's story, Susan Lyons wove a sweet-yet-passionate story of second chances, of gathering the courage to love again, especially when you're lucky enough to find love again. Jared's slow progression from seeing Andi merely as a one-night stand to something deeper was done well, and the presence of family and friends as the couple's support network was heartwarming.

At the same time, Brianna George is the groom's boss, and she met an Aussie ski instructor on the slopes. While chemistry sizzled between them, she was beset by insecurity and the thought that Zack, years younger, may be using her to get ahead. Brianna's vulnerability tugged at my heart, and it's no wonder she'd react that way. Zack is gorgeous and yummy and mature beyond his years, but these two also have much to offer one another.

Meanwhile, the groom's younger sister, Maddie Daniels takes up again with the man who's always been in her heart since she was a young girl of fifteen. Logan Carver was a bad boy then and that's still the image he's cultivating now. Maddie has always seen through his image to the heart of him, but could she be wrong about him now?

A woman who knows what she wants, Maddie blindsided Logan with steamy passion, and the first time they came together was quick, urgent and--whew!--so hot. It's as if her desire for Logan has been buried within her for all those ten years and now that it's given an outlet, it exploded. Holding on to Logan, who didn't believe himself good enough for her, Maddie has a secret weapon: three magic words. And no, they're not the words you're probably thinking, and when I read them, I laughed out loud. She's truly a funny girl. She's also warm-hearted and always willing to believe the best in people, and it's no wonder Logan can't keep away from her, though he wanted to.

The epilogue was a lovely touch, set two months later, as I wanted to find out what happened to our couples after that weeklong event at Tom's and Shelley's wedding.

Susan Lyons is a master at storytelling; she could make the mundane seem interesting. She's the only author I know who included email contents in her stories, and yet I find myself reading them with interest. She imbued her stories with a realistic touch, such as the characters making a promise of working at a long-term relationship after a few days of meeting each other, without the need for the exchange of "I love you's", which would be totally unbelievable in such a context.

The three novellas wove seamlessly into each other, and it's like reading one novel instead of three separate stories, as the characters do get mentioned in the novellas of which they aren't the main feature. Even in the short length of each individual stories, Ms. Lyons was able to portray her usual wonderful characterization and character development. Each of the main characters was wonderfully unique, and each grew and change over the course of the story, coming to some realization about his/her previously held concept or belief.

Great stories, believable romantic development, and hot passion--this book's got them all!
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BOOK INTERVIEW on December 2010
Q: The first book, SEX ON THE BEACH, was set in Belize, and this one, SEX ON THE SLOPES, is set in Whistler, British Columbia. How did you come up with the settings? What made you choose these places?

I like writing about places I've been. Belize was actually one of the inspirations for this book, because when I visited there a few years ago, I saw how popular destination weddings had become. So, when I had the idea of writing SEX ON THE BEACH, it was natural to set it in Belize. That was my first contracted book with Berkley, and then it was option proposal time. I brainstormed with my editor about several possibilities and we both agreed it would be fun to do another book set around a destination wedding. This time, I thought the opposite setting would be fun: winter and snow rather than sunny beaches. The snow country I know best is just up the road from me, in Whistler, and at the time Whistler was gearing up for the Olympics so I figured the setting would appeal to readers as well as to me.

Q: Noticed that there's going to be a third book and it's going to be set in the Greek Islands. Where did the idea for this series come about? What is the unifying theme for all three books?

Yes, HEAT WAVES (July 2011) is set on a Greek island cruise (Santorini, Mykonos, Crete etc.). Greece is one of my favorite places in the world, and I've always wanted to write about it.

I didn't actually start with the idea of a series, just with the concept for the first book. It intrigued me that so many brides and grooms were picking holiday destinations for their weddings (not just their honeymoons), and inviting their families and close friends along for the celebration. A destination weddings is romantic and sexy—and it seemed inevitable to me that some of the single folks who attend might find their own sexy romances. So, Sex on the Beach followed three of the romances, including the wedding planner's.

Then, it was conversations with my editors that led to the next two books, and they're similar in concept. SEX ON THE SLOPES has three romances, and HEAT WAVES has two—and in each of the books, the wedding planner (a different wedding planner each time!) is one of the heroines. Also, all the couples have reasons for keeping their romances a secret. And there's another similarity, too: all the romances in one book take place during the same time frame, so the stories overlap a bit and you see each couple from the other heroines' and heroes' eyes.

Q: That was awesome, the way we could see each couple through the other couples' eyes. In SEX ON THE SLOPES, you have three couples once again finding love as they attended a wedding. Which couple--Andi and Jared, Brianna and Zack, and Maddie and Logan--was the easiest to write? Why do you think it was so?

I'd say Maddie and Logan, and mainly because they were the only couple who had known each other before. They had feelings for each other from ten years ago: her mad crush on him, and his fondness and attraction combined with his belief that he was totally the wrong guy for her. Those feelings are still there when they meet again—as a source of connection, and of conflict.

Q: Which among the three couples is closest to your heart? Why?

Oh come on, can any author answer a question like that? LOL. With Andi and Jared, I love the poignancy of a man who believed he would never love again, and now is opening his heart to someone new. With Brianna and Zack, my favorite part is him helping her realize that she can stop trying to prove herself and let herself be happy. As for Maddie and Logan, it's wonderful to see an emotionally wounded loner come to realize that a terrific woman loves him, and he deserves that love.

Q: You did it quite well, in my opinion. LOL What do you think is the "drool factor" of each of the heroes?

Jared's a firefighter, and he sweeps Andi up in his arms and "rescues" her. What more do I need to say? LOL. But, actually, there's a lot more to Jared. He's a widower who wed his high school sweetheart, the woman he believed was the love of his life. He's loving and loyal and totally dependable, as well as being sexy as sin, and he truly deserves a second chance at love.

Zack, the hottie ski instructor, is a golden boy. Just the kind of man you'd love to have a holiday fling with. But he, too, has a lot of depth—more than he's even aware of himself, until falling hard for Brianna makes him take a serious look at his carefree way of life.

Logan's a sexy bad boy—the bad boy who Maddie fell for as an adolescent, and has never forgotten. But he's a "good" bad boy, who has found purpose in life by being an undercover cop. A loner and outsider, he's never believed he's worthy of love, home, family, but he most definitely is.

Q: What can you tell us about each of the heroines that would make us understand them and sympathize with them?

Andi, the wedding planner, is deeply committed to her job and to giving her brides and grooms their perfect weddings. She's also seeking her own happily ever after—a man who loves her as his "first and only." So when she finds herself falling for Jared, a man who has loved and lost and still clings to the memory of his wife, she's in a quandary.

Brianna, the celebrity host of a "soft news" show, has overcome a horrible childhood and, through skill and hard work, achieved success and status. She's a workaholic, constantly seeking to put her past further behind her. Zack's a fun diversion, but one who could endanger what she's worked so hard for. What's she to do when she finds herself falling for him?

Maddie, a massage therapist, is a girl who fell head over heels for a guy when she was a teen, then he disappeared from her life and no man has ever measured up. She knows she was too young for Logan then, but it's ten years later and this time she's not taking "no" for an answer. She has a soft heart, determination, and a strong belief in her man.

Q: What is your favorite line or exchange of words between any of the couples in the entire book?

It's hard to pick one, but how about this, from near the beginning of "In Hot Pursuit of a Bad Boy," Maddie and Logan's story:

Shaking his head in wonder, he said, "Maddie Daniels. Who knew?" He'd never have guessed that the sweet girl from his childhood would have turned into a woman who'd brazenly seduce him.

A twinkle in her eyes, she said, "Wholesome is no longer the word that comes to mind?"

"Words? Who has words?"


Q: If there is a scene in the story that you wished you'd written or plotted differently, what is it? And what would the new scene be?

No, there isn't. I had lots of chances to go through the manuscript: editing before I sent it in, then doing copy-edits, then checking page proofs. I'm happy with the way it turned out.

Q: What's the difference between writing this book (three novellas with the same setting and timeline) and a novel like SEX DRIVES or CHAMPAGNE RULES?

The shorter length of a novella has pros and cons. I'm less likely to get bogged down in the middle, yet it's more difficult to develop the relationship and character arcs as fully as I'd like to. I like writing about characters with issues, who grow and change as a result of falling for each other, and that's certainly the case for all the heroines and heroes in SEX ON THE SLOPES. Having the stories take place in the same setting and timeline is challenging, too. I have to keep a scene chart to track what each couple is doing at all times—so, for example, one heroine might be sneaking out to meet her guy just as another is arriving back.

Q: Please share with us one funny or unique behind the scenes experience in writing SEX ON THE SLOPES.

I wrote the book in winter and not only did I visit Whistler, but Vancouver had one of its extremely rare snowstorms. I did a lot of the final editing sitting in a big chair, laptop on my lap, gazing out at the snow. It put me in the right mood for a story that features chill air, blazing fires, and lovely hot drinks.

On the subject of drinks, the book contains drink recipes and I held a contest to find the recipe for the signature drink, "sex on the slopes." One of my most fun memories was venturing out in the middle of winter with a group of intrepid friends and colleagues, to cozy up and spend the evening in a bar testing recipes. The recipes for all the drinks are on my website, by the way.

Thanks for the interview!


Susan Lyons is giving away a copy of SEX ON THE SLOPES!

Mechanics of the contest:


You can do either or both of the following to enter the drawing:

1. Write a comment or question to Susan below in the comment box (2 chances to win) from now to December 31; AND/OR
2. Check out our contest page from December 20 to 22 to enter your email address (1 chance to win).

The winner will be announced in the comment box on January 2.
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