You know what, Erotic Romance fans? We don’t do nearly enough for you! So as a treat to you (totally not a selfish gift to ourselves, why are you looking at us like that?) we’ve got an amazing Q&A with Sami Lee, author of Unbreakable Hope, out now!
How did you come up with the idea for this story?
Hope’s story has been kicking around in my head ever since her character was introduced in her sister Emily’s story, Eternal Brand. I had strong ideas who the characters would be—Dylan Wakefield first appeared in book 2 of the series—but no idea how I was going to bring the three together. That I had to work out as I got into writing the story.
Where do you find your inspiration?
All around me. In stories I hear on the news, in movies, in real life. I think I’m a writer because I’m always curious about what life would be like through someone else’s viewpoint. I’m always asking myself ‘what would I do if that happened to me? If my childhood had been like this instead of that?’. Asking the questions is what makes the stories form in my head.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Ah, all of it? LOL. Finding the time, staying motivated, plotting. I prefer to fly by the seat of my pants but that doesn’t always work when I have deadlines, so sometimes I do have to plot and still after almost 20 published works, I struggle with that.
What are your current projects?
I’m currently working on a very erotic dark romance which is unlike anything I’ve written before. It’s first person POV, very angsty, and the hero is very unhero-like. After that’s done I’m writing a Kindle World book in Erin Nicholas’s Sapphire Falls world, which is shaping up as a romantic comedy. So yeah, two very different ends of the romance spectrum there!
Tell us about your first book. What would readers find different about the first one and your most recent published work?
My first book was (rather embarrassingly) titled Born Again Virgin. It was a spicy romance with comic elements in the vein of the old style Harlequin Temptation books. I remember it being fun to write, even though I rewrote it so many times and thought it would never be finished. I still love those characters (the book has now been re-released as Seducing Mr. Wrong, which I think is better and more appropriate for the book, although possibly not as attention-grabbing :)).
The biggest difference between that book and Unbreakable Hope is that Hope is a LOT dirtier. Over the years I got interested in exploring a wider range of relationship types, like MMF and MFM, BDSM etc. Hope’s book is an MFM love triangle with BDSM elements and the sex scenes are very explicit. However, I still love straight MF rom coms and want to write those too (see previous answer)
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Hope is a person who is lost in so many ways. She felt she failed at the one ambition she ever had in life (to be a professional surfer), and since she failed at that there’s not much point trying at anything else. She is also into being dominated sexually, which doesn’t quite gel with her tattooed, tough as nails exterior. She struggles with that dichotomy, and with trying to find her place in life. Over the course of the book she has to learn to accept herself for who she is and to go after what she wants, both in her career and her love life. When she does that, the pieces fall into place for her and her life changes for the better.
So I guess the message is be who you are meant to be, accept yourself, love yourself. Also go for gold, whatever that represents to you. Don’t settle for second best.
Unbreakable Hope Excerpt:
“What is it you thought, Matt?” Dylan asked quietly, his eyes still on the view. “That when I came back and found you two together, I’d simply step aside?”
“As far as I was aware, you were no longer in the picture.”
“You think Hope doesn’t love me anymore.” Dylan turned to pin Matt with his gaze. “Has she said she loves you?”
The flash of uncertainty in Matt’s blue eyes told the story even before his equivocal answer came. “I think she deserves someone who will put her first. I’m willing to do that.”
“So am I. I need Hope, and I think she needs me.”
Matt went motionless as he stared at Dylan. “Meaning what?”
“Meaning I don’t think you’re right for her.”
Matt let out a scoff. “Tell me what you really think.”
“Okay. She has the right to know how I feel, how I’ve always felt, and I’m not going to hold it in out of respect for you—although Christ knows I’ve always respected the hell out of you,” Dylan said. “I guess one day I’ll grow to appreciate what you did for me, denying how you felt for five years. But I’m not there yet. And I’m not you. Think I’m an asshole all you want, but I can’t do that.”
“So you’re going to try and get Hope back,” Matt concluded, his voice low and flat.
Dylan nodded once. “I’m doing you the courtesy of giving you a heads-up, mate.”
If Matt felt an ounce of guilt that he’d had an affair with Hope while Dylan was away, it didn’t show in his stony expression. “I never intended to hurt you, D.”
“And I don’t want to hurt you.”
But I will if I have to was the unspoken message, and Matt seemed to understand it. He shared the sentiment, if his curt nod was anything to go by.
So, Dylan concluded, that meant they were at war. Fuck. He didn’t want that, but what could he do? He didn’t have it in him to step aside while Matt and Hope got closer and closer. He wasn’t as noble as Matt, nor as selfless.
But wanting to try again with Hope wasn’t a completely selfish desire. The two of them had five years of history, and Hope had hung with him for a reason. She’d stuck by him although he was flawed because she believed as strongly as he did that they worked well together, that they were soul mates.
Matt was not Hope’s soul mate. Matt was her rebound fling. He didn’t know everything about Hope—certainly not everything about how she liked to be handled in the bedroom. Dylan would bet his life savings on it. Matt was too square to go in for that sort of kink. Too gentlemanly. Dylan doubted he could ever bring himself to hurt a woman, even if it was what she needed most.
“I have to do this, Matt,” Dylan said. “She belongs with me. Ultimately, she’ll be happier with me.”
The other man’s voice vibrated with challenge. “Give it your best shot, Wakefield.”
About Unbreakable Hope:
When you’re caught in the impact zone, the only choice is surrender.
Wild Crush, Book 5
After a monster wave almost kills him, Dylan realizes it was a mistake to put his pro-surfing career ahead of the girl he left behind. Now that he’s finally able to give Hope everything she ever wanted, he’s stunned to discover she’s moved on—with his best friend.
For years Matt has loved Hope but kept his feelings to himself until Dylan went off chasing the pipeline. Matt welcomed the chance to stake his claim. Now that Dylan is back with his heart in his hand, Matt is reluctant to step aside.
When Dylan abandoned their five-year relationship, Hope tried to keep her impulsive, friends-with-benefits fling with Matt casual, but her heart was having none of it. Seeing Dylan alive and whole sends her complicated feelings for both men tumbling into one big, gnarly tangle.
Each man—one steady, one wild—fulfills a different, soul-deep need. They could make it work…if she can convince them to all ride the wave of desire together.
Warning: Features hot MF and MFM sex, bondage, and rough talk with two devastatingly gorgeous Aussie men. Could inspire a need to hang ten. Or eleven, if you catch the drift.
She spent years writing in an on-again, off-again fashion – writing had become the irresistible rogue boyfriend who wouldn’t hand back his house key. Through numerous jobs, marriage, university, more jobs and toddler taming, writing has always been there. Sami is thrilled to find herself published with Samhain and spends her life juggling other responsibilities with the aim of maximizing her writing time. It seems an impossible task some days so every page is worth a victory dance.