An inherited parking spot. That’s all it took to make Natalie Moran’s food truck dreams come true. But her dream space is attached to a bakery inherited by someone else—drop dead gorgeous Eric Schneider, a financial consultant who wouldn’t know a cupcake from a cannoli. And he wants to buy Nat out, no matter what she has to say about it.
Eric’s determined to build his own business, but he needs the super cute klutz with the cupcake truck to help. If Nat will teach him the basics of running a bakery, he’ll give her free kitchen time. Except…neither expects the heat burning between them or the possibility that their arrangement might become permanent.
When it all blows up, Nat is convinced his actions mean betrayal. It’s up to Eric to regain her trust and show her he’s a man who is truly, madly in love with her, before she disappears from his life forever.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m a mom to two, and a step mom to two more and live with my kids and husband of 15 years in PA. I spend most of my days running my kiddos around and trying to squeeze in writing time between writing medical articles (my “day” job), and juggling family stuff. I’m completely eclectic – I love everything from “poofy dress” historical movies, to Star Wars/Star Trek/Firefly (bring it back!), to rom coms and action hero flicks, and always, always romance. I love to laugh so, while I enjoy dramas, I mostly prefer to stick to something that has a humorous edge. This is also because I cry over EVERYTHING and the dramas just kill me. And never anything scary – my imagination is ridiculous. I’m still freaked out from watching The Sixth Sense twenty years ago. I do love the Ghostbuster movies…but only during the day 😀 I’m addicted to chocolate and goldfish crackers and mostly run around in jeans, T-shirts, and bare feet. In my head, I’m a huge fashionista but when it comes to real life, I just want to be comfy 😀 In addition to writing contemporary romances, I also write historical romances as Michelle McLean.
Do you plot your manuscripts or write by the seat of your pants?
I used to be a die-hard pantster – who would then spend months upon months editing and revising and rewriting. Creating a synopsis became a part of submitting new books to my publisher which forced me to plot before writing the book. And I discovered I could head off a lot of editing issues by working them out beforehand. Now, I always plot first. My synopses or outlines might be sparse in some sections, and there are invariably things that change as I go along, but plotting has made the editing process SO much easier. I find it difficult to write without plotting first now.
What was the inspiration for Truly, Madly, Sweetly?
A year or so ago there was a story I came across about a woman who inherited a parking spot in NYC that was worth an insane amount of money. This wasn’t something I ever thought was possible. I’d never heard of being able to own or inherit a parking spot. It sparked the idea of how fun it could be if someone inherited such a spot, and someone else wanted it. Then a few months later I watched What to Expect When You’re Expecting, which had a couple who were rival food truck drivers and thought how fun it could be if two people who are already rivals inherited a parking spot. Things got changed up a bit while researching the parking spot situation in NYC and hashing out the story with my editor but the basic idea, rivals who both want this lucrative parking spot, stuck. It was a lot of fun pitting them against each other 🙂
What do you like most about your heroine, Natalie Moran?
She’s quirky and tenacious…and ultra organized (as I used to be before I had kids LOL). She works hard for what she wants and finds ways to make a living doing what she loves.
What’s next for you?
I’m currently working on the next two books in the Sweet Love series, which will release later this year. I also have a book, Yours, Mine, and the Greek Billionaire’s, that will release this summer with Entangled’s Indulgence imprint. And, if you like historical romances, I have a few releases coming this year written as Michelle McLean. Lots of sexy highlanders in kilts on the horizon 😉
The walk home was a blur of hands and lips and a vague sense of embarrassment whenever someone had to clear their throats to get around them on the sidewalk. Nat nearly sobbed in relief once they reached Eric’s brownstone. They jogged up the stairs to the front door and Eric pulled her against him, claiming her lips again while he fumbled for the keys in his pocket. Nat vaguely realized there were still people wandering about the streets, but nothing much registered on her radar but Eric.
He dropped the keys on the stoop but neither took much notice. Eric pushed her up against his front door, his hands tangling in her hair as he angled her mouth to fit to his. She yanked his T-shirt out of his jeans, desperate to get her hands on his bare chest. He pulled the shoulder of her dress to the side, kissing across her collarbone.
Someone coughed. Eric and Nat glanced up, disoriented, and froze when they met the shocked gaze of someone’s little old night-owl grandma, apparently setting out to walk her dog. Eric nodded at her, his hand still entangled in Nat’s dress, his body pressed to hers. Moving, however, would definitely be worse, seeing as how it would give the poor old woman an eyeful of the rock solid length currently straining the seams in Eric’s pants.
“Good evening, Mrs. Jankowski. Going for a walk?” he asked.
Nat smiled and felt around on the ground for the keys with her foot.
Mrs. Jankowski nodded, her mouth hanging slightly open. “Just taking Peanut out.”
“Got them,” Nat whispered, kicking her foot out of her stiletto long enough to snake the keys with her toes. She brought her foot up behind her, grabbed the keys and shoved them into Eric’s hands.
“Ah. Lovely night for it,” he said, jamming his key into the lock. Nat sagged against him in relief when she heard the lock click.
“We’re just on our way in. Have a good night then.” Eric opened the door and they stumbled inside and slammed the door, shutting out the sight of his thoroughly shocked and mildly amused neighbor.
The moment the door closed, Eric and Natalie burst out laughing.
“Oh my God, your poor neighbor.”
“Yeah, I’m going to have to move for sure.”
They laughed again. The movement brought Eric and his poor pants back into contact with the sensitive skin of Nat’s bare thighs and her laughter choked off in a gasp. Eric’s eyes locked with hers and their smiles faded.
Then his lips were on hers again, his hands roaming over every inch he could touch. Eric spun Nat into the hallway and up a flight of stairs before she could catch her breath.