This interview is part of a Bookbub promotion. Whoever reads this and then follows Cathy on her Bookbub page will be entered in a contest for an ARC of one of her books! Contest winner will be revealed on January 28, 2019.
DEA agent Sawyer Hayes came to California in search of a drug cartel leader who slipped through his fingers in El Paso. The link to finding him is Kate Munroe, a nanny for one of his henchmen. The problem? He didn’t expect to be so drawn to a possible suspect. How is he supposed to do his job when his growing feelings for her are clouding his judgment?
Interior designer Kate Munroe’s life is a train wreck. Her parents’ deaths left her with their mounds of debt, she can’t get a job designing even a cubicle, and she’s bunking in her best friend’s spare bedroom. To make ends meet, she’s a nanny to a lonely little boy whose rich father works all the time. Romance is not on her radar. But her hot new neighbor could change her mind, with his broad shoulders and Southern charm. Too bad his secrets could destroy her.
Sawyer Hayes stood in the open doorway, gloriously naked, except for the towel slung low on his hips. Really low. Mouthwateringly low. She dragged her gaze away, up that corrugated abdomen, past that chiseled chest where stray water droplets dotted the wide expanse of male skin, up to those glittering emeralds that pinned her in her place.
There was no Southern charm in his expression now. Only a palpable expectancy that snapped between them like an electrical current. Without losing eye contact, he leaned one brawny shoulder against the doorjamb. She fought the urge to check out how that towel remained around him in this new position. He had such narrow hips, after all—
“Can I come in?” She blurted. Without waiting for his answer, she pushed past him, brushing against his body while half-hoping that tenacious towel would lose its battle and land on the floor. That would make her decision so much easier.
“It depends on how long you plan on staying,” he drawled, stepping aside and shutting the front door with a decisive click. She moved closer, close enough she could smell the soap he’d washed with, could hear each measured inhale and exhale that he took. She studied his face, had to tilt her head only a little because he was barefoot.
His expression was unreadable. The single lamp in the living area was across the room, so they were in shadows. He didn’t move. His hands hung at his sides, and that stubborn towel remained glued around him. Please, take me in your arms, make this your decision, not mine. You assume the blame for what has to be a bad idea.
It was as if he were in a mannequin challenge, however. No muscle twitched, not a blink of an eye. He was going to force her to make the first move, even though he was the nearly naked one. She had come here, hoping to entice him to lose control, and instead she was the impatient one.
On a frustrated growl, she closed the distance between them, craned her neck, and kissed him on the corner of the mouth. She pulled back a fraction. He looked down into her face, and she held her breath at what she saw.
Interviewer: Welcome to Ink & Magick, I'm your friendly neighborhood witch. What kind of spell can I get for you today?
Kate Munroe: Thank you for having me today. I need a spell for resistance, or maybe sexual abstinence.
Interviewer: Ooo, this sounds good. Why?
Kate Munroe: I’ve met a man I really like. His name is Sawyer Hayes, and he’s sooo handsome. Tall, with shoulders out to here, and a narrow waist. And he looks good from behind, too. I mean, I could go on and on.
Interviewer: I’m not stopping you. However, I don’t understand why you need a spell if you like him.
Kate Munroe: Because I can’t have a man in my life right now! I’m sleeping on a friend’s couch, I’m a nanny to a little boy who’s ignored by his dad, and I’m saving all my money so I can start my own interior design business. I don’t have time for a man!
Interviewer: Love doesn’t happen when you want it to, Kate.
Kate Munroe: Don’t I know it. But I’m not in love. We’ve just shared a few kisses. But I can’t stop thinking about him. He lives next door to me, after all. When I see him and he looks at me, I’m ready to say, “Take me, I’m yours!”
Interviewer: I think I’d try to fit this man in your life if you feel that way. But that’s just my opinion. Maybe you could stay busier at work? What did you say you are, a nanny?
Kate Munroe: Yes, I am. Bobby is a sweet kid. His father doesn’t deserve him.
Interviewer: Hmm. Why not?
Kate Munroe: Because he always works! He’s the only parent Bobby has. What man sells houses at night? Why is he gone overnight? Mr. Cabrera has me doing all the work he should be doing. Now I’m even shuffling him to Little League practice, and guess who’s Bobby’s coach?
Interviewer: Not Sawyer Hayes?
Kate Munroe: Yes! How am I supposed to concentrate on my business, if I’m looking at that man’s shoulders or tight butt every day?
Interviewer: That’s odd. He lives near you, and he’s also the coach to the boy you babysit?
Kate Munroe: I never thought of it before, but you’re right. That is strange.
Interviewer: Maybe he’s trying to hang around you a lot because he’s just as attracted to you? Or is he trying to get to know Mr. Cabrera?
Kate Munroe: Oh, I never thought of that. Sawyer has told me he’s interested in me. As far as wanting to get to know Mr. Cabrera, I did find Sawyer in my boss’s office the other day, and he said he was admiring the modern art piece on the wall. Even though he said it, I’m not sure he meant it. He had an odd look on his face. And then, well, he said some other things. Uh, private things.
Interviewer: Oh. I can tell by your blush they were good “private things.”
Kate Munroe: Oh, they were. And that’s what I mean. A woman can only abstain so long from a man with that kind of sex appeal. That’s why I need that spell. And then I want a different one for Bobby’s father, so he will suddenly start paying attention to the boy.
Interviewer: I’m not a genie, Kate. But I do think you have a predicament. First, I’d confront Bobby’s father and gently suggest he do more with his son.
Kate Munroe: Oh, no. I couldn’t do that. Mr. Cabrera is…He doesn’t take criticism well. He thinks he knows everything about everything and won’t take suggestions that he doesn’t. I know he’d fire me, and I need this job. He pays me well, and he doesn’t treat Bobby badly. He simply isn’t around enough. I could suggest he go see one of Bobby’s games, though. Maybe that would remind him to be a parent.
Interviewer: Maybe. It couldn’t hurt. If you still want that spell against falling for Sawyer Hayes, I can do that for you. And then maybe I’ll go look him up myself.
Kate Munroe: No! I mean, maybe I’m being too hasty. I’m a twenty-first century woman. I should be able to control my desires without the help of spells. Thank you, anyway.
Interviewer: You’re choice, Kate. Do you mind if I look you up later, see how things are progressing between you and Sawyer, and Bobby and his dad? Maybe find out why he’s out of town so much?
Kate Munroe: Yes, I’d like you to stay in touch. But no spells. And, um, no looking up Sawyer Hayes for yourself, okay?
Interviewer: Whatever you say, Kate. Thank you for spending time with me.
Cathy Skendrovich has always loved a good story and spent her formative years scribbling what is now called Fan Fiction. The current heartthrob of the time featured heavily in all her stories. Unfortunately, once she went to college, her writing took the form of term papers, written on typewriters instead of computer keyboards. Upon graduation, Cathy took a job as an English teacher in a middle school. Along the way, she married her husband of now thirty-two years, had two sons, and moved to southern Orange County, California. She chose to work part-time in the school system there. Now, she has returned to writing. Prisoner of Love is her first published novel, followed closely by The Pirate's Bride. A sequel to The Pirate's Bride, The Pirate Bride’s Holiday Masquerade, came out Oct. 1, 2017. Her next contemporary romantic suspense, entitled Undercover with the Nanny, followed on April 23, 2018, also from Entangled. She likes writing romance because she feels it's lacking in today's technological world. While she enjoys writing contemporary stories, creating romance in bygone times fascinates her. She hopes her ability to write in both genres will be the beginning of a long and satisfying writing career.