Rebellion is a thing of the past for Adeline Blake. As New York’s premier event planner, she’s all about reform and respectability. Then she’s approached by Robert to organize the party of the season. Curious, considering he’s her father’s most formidable opponent. And alarming, too. Because Addie can’t help but fall for the righteously popular candidate with the movie-star smile.
Now it’s Robert’s choice. Does he pursue a future that holds his legacy? Or the woman who holds his heart?
Interview with Lauren Layne
Tell us about your new series.
The series features three men who are named “Man of the Year” (think: People’s Sexiest Man Alive) and the unexpected ramifications that come with that! Yours in Scandal kicks off the series with a young, wealthy mayor of NYC who falls for his political rival’s daughter.
Why was it important for you to start your series with Addie and Robert?
The real answer? There’s is the book listed first in the contract 😉 In truth I’m equally excited about all three books in the series, and could have happily jumped in anywhere! That said, writing a politician was a unique and fun challenge for me (I tend to write a lot of businessmen!) so a new take on my “hot guy in a suit” was a fun creative challenge!
Even though she is still young, your heroine Addie has lived quite a life. Where did her teenage rebellious streak come from?
The first thing I always do when I get a new story idea is to figure out where the conflict is—I have to make sure these two people, however attracted, can’t get together (easily) by chapter three. When I decided to take on a hero who’s a mayor, I took a step back to think which woman would be most off-limits to him. One with a bit of scandal was the obvious answer, since the spouses of politicians are usually held to the same exacting standards (if not more so) than the politician him/herself! From there, I dug into Addie’s character and her scandal-laden past.
Do you have anything in common with your heroine?
Honestly? No 🙂 Other than being a little mouthy during puberty, I was a pretty easy kid and teenager, and skipped the rebellious phase, at least according to my parents! I sort of skipped the whole rebellious phase growing up no underage drinking, no missed curfews, I’ve never even gotten a ticket. Though, I think perhaps I was saving up all my rebellious urges for my mid-twenties, where I seemed to chafe really hard at being managed in the corporate world, and quit my practical, well-paying job rather spontaneously and irresponsibly with almost no safety net, and dove headfirst into being a full-time writer. And I suppose, for that matter, I’ve made some rebellious choices as an author (quitting Facebook, not doing ARCs on my self-pub title, etc). So, I guess I change my answer! Yeah, I have a little in common with Addie after all!
Your hero Robert is fantastic! He is smart, successful and just earned the title ‘Man of the Year’. What made you fall in love with him?
He really is great, isn’t he? 🙂 I actually knew from the start that Robert was going to be a pretty stand-up guy. I wanted to steer as away from the cliche, corrupt politician as possible, and show that it’s absolutely possible for people to be in public office simply because they want to do good, not because they’re power hungry. I think what I love most about him is how he never wavers in wanting best for Addie and the people around him, even if it hurts him personally. He’s a really unselfish guy, and that is so, so appealing to me!
Would you say that there are similarities that all of your heroes share?
I’d say they’re all pretty quick with a comeback. Whether they’re the charming playboys or the more reserved, Mr. Darcy types they’ve got a bit of a sharp, clever tongue! Also, the vast majority tend to be wealthy and suit-wearing. I’ve got a few exceptions, but I think there’s something so sexy about a buttoned-up guy in a suit coming undone over a woman, so I tend to come back to that again and again!
Some of the best moments in Yours In Scandal happen when your heroine and hero are around their trusted friends. Are any of the secondary characters we meet destined to get their own happily-ever-afters?
No plans for any spinoffs with those characters! Not because I don’t love them, but because the writing schedule’s pretty jam-packed!
“I just need to be sure . . . am I going crazy? I am, right? Our girl’s not seriously telling us she had dinner with the mayor,” Rosalie said, turning to Jane.
“You’re not the crazy one—she is,” Jane said, emphatically pointing at Adeline.
Adeline nibbled on the corner of a chip. “It’s really not the big deal you two are making it out to be. It was just dinner. Pizza.”
“That’s even worse!” Jane said shrilly. “It’s so intimate.”
Adeline glanced over at her calmer friend. “Please tell her there’s nothing intimate about Italian sausage.” She winced as she caught herself. “Yeah, I heard it.”
“It is a little out of character,” Rosalie said slowly. “You haven’t exactly made it a secret how you feel about men these days. To say nothing of your thoughts on elected officials.”
“I didn’t sleep with the guy, we just had pizza.”
“I’d actually be less concerned if you’d slept with him,” Rosalie admitted.
“Agreed,” Jane said, smacking the table. “A sexy fling with the Man of the Year is one thing. A cozy dinner at his place is just . . .” She threw her hands up. “I can’t. I literally can’t process it.”
“You don’t have to process anything,” Adeline said, dunking the chip into the salsa and stuffing the whole thing in her mouth. “It was a one-time thing. The party’s next weekend, and then I’ll probably never see him again.”
“What if he wants you to be his forever event planner?”
“He won’t. His regular planner’s one of the best in the city, and I’m sure she’ll be back from maternity leave by the time he needs to hire someone again.”
“Is his regular event planner hot and single?” Jane pointed out.
“Exactly. Much less susceptible to his sexy face than single you.”
Adeline sighed and looked again to the perpetually calm Rosalie. “Make it stop.”
“Just promise you’ll warn us if you start to fall for the guy,” her friend said, fiddling with her chip. “Much as I love the idea of you landing the hottest guy in the city, I also know just how tricky that would be for you.”
“Tricky is an understatement given he’s likely running against The Bastard in the next election,” she said, knowing that both of her lifelong friends knew she was referring to the father she’d all but disowned.
Adeline hadn’t known Rosalie as long as she’d known Jane, but they still went all the way back to high school. Adeline had been the loose cannon, Jane the genius, and Rosalie had been, well . . . perfect.
“You know,” Adeline said, looking thoughtfully at Rosalie over the top of her margarita. “I actually thought about setting you and the mayor up.”
“Wait, what?” Rosalie’s eyes went wide.
“You said yourself he was hot,” Adeline pointed out. “You’re also beautiful, well spoken, polished. You never look bad in a photograph, and you never say the wrong thing. I literally can’t think of a more perfect future First Lady of New York.”
“Oooh, I see that!” Jane said, pivoting in her chair to stare at Rosalie.
Adeline gave Jane an exasperated expression. “You were just warning me off of the guy.”
“Warning you off, yes. But Rosalie . . .”
Adeline tried to ignore the sting. It wasn’t as if Jane were saying anything Adeline herself hadn’t thought. Even if she were inclined to pursue the mayor, and she wasn’t, she knew that she was the last thing someone like him needed. Her past alone made her an inconceivable choice for him, and even if she could keep her past mistakes under wraps, she would never be the right woman for him. She may have mastered the bun and the blazers, but she was still the woman who collected adventurous lingerie and loved tequila.
“The guy’s definitely attractive,” Rosalie said. “But I don’t know that I want one of Adeline’s rejects,” she said with a smile intended to annoy Adeline.
“I wouldn’t let that stop me,” Jane said, fanning herself. “If it weren’t for Dan . . . . Too bad I love that man so damn much. Seriously, Rosalie, let Adeline fix you up, so I can live vicariously.”
“Hello,” Rosalie said, staring at the admittedly, occasionally tone-deaf Jane. “Are you not seeing what I’m seeing?” She pointed at Adeline.
Jane glanced over and narrowed her eyes.
“Ever since she came back from New Mexico with her hair brown, she’s been like this buttoned-up ice woman. But when she talks about him . . .” Rosalie made an unrecognizable hissing, clicking noise.
“What was that?” Jane asked.
“Fire igniting,” Rosalie explained. “Whatever, so sound effects and act-outs aren’t my strong suit. The point is—”
“If I sound fiery when I talk about the mayor, it’s only because he’s a control freak and pain in the ass,” Adeline interjected. “The man doesn’t know how to delegate, is hell-bent on carrying on his father’s legacy without ever checking in with himself, and . . .”
Adeline’s thoughts scattered a little as she realized she wasn’t being entirety fair to the mayor. Yes, he was obsessed with his image, as a man in his position had to be. But he could also be funny and irreverent. He could also be spontaneous and casual.
He’d proven that yesterday, first with the tour of his home, then the invitation of dinner. Even the way he ate pizza was appealing, somehow both buttoned-up precise and outright relishing, all at the same time.
“We need more margaritas.”