Hello and Happy Monday! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. This week’s Music Monday is another author interview edition.
I’ve talked about Gemma Snow before. Last year, and the last ‘official’ book review I’ve done on my blog. Eventually there will be more, but that’s a discussion for another day. The book I reviewed was number two in Gemma’s series, tomorrow book three releases. Let’s get to know a little more about Gemma and her upcoming release.
One of the first books that really inspired me was actually Dracula. I have this distinct memory of hiding under the covers on a beautiful summer morning because I was absolutely terrified by the story, and I just remember thinking wow, look what books can do.
I also love books by Juliet Marillier. Not only does she pay homage to amazing classic legend and lore, while putting her own voice to the stories, but she also celebrates women in all spheres. Many of her characters are heroines because of their domestic skills, their empathy and their ties to home, and we don’t see nearly enough of that.
As far as romance, Eloisa James first inspired me to write romance. Laura Kaye, Suzanne Brockmann, Lisa Kleypas, Sophie Jordan, Maya Rodale, Annabeth Albert, oh goodness, so many others, continue to make me fall in love with the genre every single day.
I’m a plotter. I’m usually working on several stories at a time, so I like to let an idea settle in for a while before I go about outlining and plotting. I won’t start writing until I have a solid idea as to how the arcs and scenes will look. Of course, things change, but I like going in with a plan.
When it comes to creating my characters, I have a background in journalism and it’s one of my real life jobs. I usually interview and research characters the same way I would a source. It’s a lot of fun!
Where to start!? Romance is such a hopeful genre, and in today’s world, with so much anger and so much loss of empathy, we need hope and togetherness more than ever. That said, it’s also an incredible rebellion. Romance writing has been part of the women’s resistance movement from the very beginning and I absolutely love being involved in it now.
For me, telling positive stories focused on women’s lives, friendships and accomplishments is truly wonderful. I know so, so many incredible women and I love getting to put a little of them into each new book.
Oh my goodness. So my best friend has my number on this, but I always pretend I don’t like second-chance romances, and then I’ll turn around and write another second chance romance. I love, love, love friends-to-enemies-to-lovers, where we have to reconcile what originally broke up the friendship and what it means for the future. Generally, enemies to lovers is another favorite too.
I am so excited to introduce Ev, Quinn, and Lucas. Most Wanted is the third book in my Triple Diamond series, a menage romance series set out in Montana. In this book, the three of them became best friends over years of FBI training, bonding in the face of gender and racial discrimination within the FBI. By the time the story starts, Ev and Quinn have developed a romantic relationship, but there’s no denying that her friendship with Lucas is strong–maybe a little too strong.
Navigating this relationship was so interesting and so much fun. Friends to lovers is another favorite trope!
Not at all! In fact, this is the first book in the Triple Diamond series that has one. The one thing a story needs is internal conflict, even if there is an antagonist. With menage romance, the question of being open to more than one partner, or to sharing your partner, is really big and communication is so, so necessary to make it work. Given the nature of their jobs in the FBI, they did run into a ‘bad guy’ type, but my other stories also have danger, just of a different kind.
It’s so funny, because I really thought this story was going to be the hardest one to write, but it ended up being the most seamless one of the series so far. I think once I got down the response each character had to the idea of a menage romance, how they would react, what they would think, why they were hesitating, it made things a lot smoother. It helps that my heroines from books one and two are around to be like ‘hey, this is a thing, don’t be scared’. It takes a lot of the mystery away for Ev.
Oh my God, so I wrote this one scene where Quinn and Ev are having morning sex and Lucas sort of unbeknownst walks in and asks for something and Ev has a bit of a why do I like having a witness moment. But then my editor said it wasn’t enough, so we changed it so that Lucas and Quinn both totally know what’s going on. It’s super sexy and fun and I get to torture Ev a little bit before she gets what she deserves.
Also, I have this scene with Maddy and Lily from books one and two, where they’re helping Ev pick out an outfit, and it’s just that moment we’ve all had with our friends and an open closet and a bottle of wine. I love writing female friendships and female moments.
Actually, I really did. Firstly, I learned a ton about the training system for the FBI and how they would become friends which was fun. I also worked to be really cognizant about how I was writing my characters of color and why they were from where they were from and what brought them to the FBI. I have other interracial relationships in this series and they end up talking about it in this book too. To me, it would have been disingenuous to write an FBI entirely comprised of Captain America types from the middle of the country, and the discrimination Ev faces as a woman and Quinn and Lucas face as people of color within government is part of what brings them together initially.
Also, I ended up really diving into sacrifice and what makes a relationship work, even when it’s a non-traditional kind. That’s always fun to explore.
Communication! In the early days of romance, a lot of major plots were contrived from simple miscommunication, and I think we’ve come so far from there. My heroes and heroines pretty openly discuss everything going on between them and there’s still a lot for them to work through. Whether you have one partner or two or several, sharing how you feel and what you expect from a relationship is key to its success.
I recently finished the fourth book in the Triple Diamond series! This one is a friends to enemies to lovers one (of course!) and features Cade, Sawyer and Hollie, the Police Chief, Fire Captain, and FEMA regional manager respectively. It’s currently in edits, but I’m really excited about how it turned out. Also, I have a sweet little novella featured Camilla, the undersheriff, and Savannah, Hollie’s Field Operations Assistant planned.
I’m also working to re-release two stories that went out of print in May, Seduction en Pointe and Leather and Gold.
I’m so bad, but if I associate any music with my books, I tend to start slipping in the lyrics. That said, I do routinely think of the Pistol Annies line “if you’re gonna have one, might as well have two” while working on this series.
That line comes from “Taking Pills” enjoy.
The Triple Diamond Series (Book 3)
Contemporary Erotic Romance (Ménage)
They’ve always been a trio—why should love be any different?
Ever since their first days together at Quantico, FBI agents Ev Motovolo, Lucas Vallejo and Quinn Langston have had one another’s backs. They’re as close as friends can get, sharing everything from an apartment to the past traumas that few others know about.
But that all changed, when Quinn and Ev confessed their feelings for each other six months ago…and then three days later when she started having erotic dreams about the other most important man in their lives.
She’s hopeful that a trip to Wolf Creek, Montana for a friend’s wedding can help her put those frustrating desires to rest, but when she gets there, Ev finds two examples of just how well unorthodox relationships can work. Maddy and Lily Hollis, the owner of the Triple Diamond B&B and her sister, are both happily involved with two men and it only serves to make Ev’s situation all the more complicated.
But before Ev is able to untangle her feelings, or have that impossible conversation with her two best friends, they’re thrust into a violent situation that might just rip away any future they could have shared. And if all three of them do make it out alive, will they have the courage to defy the status quo and embrace what’s waiting for them on the other side?
Gemma Snow loves high heat, high adventures and high expectations for her heroes! Her stories are set in the past and present, from the glittering streets of Paris to cowboy-rich Triple Diamond Ranch in Wolf Creek, Montana.
In her free time, she loves to travel, and spent several months living in a 14th-century castle in the Netherlands. When not exploring the world, she likes dreaming up stories, eating spicy food, driving fast cars, and talking to strangers. She recently moved to Nashville with a cute redheaded cat and a cute redheaded boy.
Visit https://gemmasnow.com/ to learn more about the author.
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“Quinn.” Ev fisted his shirt. His seeking fingers slipped below the waistband of her panties and found the slick, wet heat there. It had been a long week for both of them, and the second they had made it somewhere more private than a conference room at the FBI headquarters for longer than a passing glance, they had ripped at each other’s clothes and made it as far as the couch.
“So ready for me, baby,” he murmured against her cheek, the brush of two-day-old stubble a potent, animalistic aphrodisiac that made Ev arch up and press into his fingers with desperate need.
“Damn it, yes,” she ground out, wanting him to go faster, to do something, anything to alleviate the insane pressure building within her.
“Patience,” he said, but the increased speed of his fingers deep in her body belied his control and Ev simply pulled him down for another blistering kiss, dragging his shirt free of his dress pants and fumbling to unbutton it while distracting her with those lingering, achingly slow strokes.
“I don’t want to be patient,” she said around his kiss, biting, licking, kissing, sucking wherever she was able to get her mouth. “I want you. Now.”
Quinn chuckled, but the sound came out low and husky and she knew he was as close to the edge as she was, as desperate to take her as she was to be taken, and the knowledge of how much he wanted her sent a new, far more potent wave of arousal surging through her body. He slid his fingers free so he could stand to kick off his shoes and yank his pants and socks off in one fluid movement. Even in the soft light from an early dawn, his skin glowed, dark and golden, contrasting with light-blue briefs that did little to hide how much he wanted her. Those piercing green eyes, as much a gift from his one Irish ancestor as was his name, Quinn Langston, scanned hot and heavy across her whole body, perusing her one free breast and her spilled, mussed hair and swollen lips.
“I fucking love looking at you like this, Ev,” he said, voice raw with honesty and rich with arousal. “I love seeing you all spread out and waiting for me.” His words, or maybe the tone of his voice, sent a new tremor of lust down her spine, and she shifted to push her slacks from her thighs. Quinn beat her to it, coming down to his knees between her spread legs and pulling her pants free way too slowly. He tossed them to the side, then slid his hand up her leg, moving in torturous circles near, but not near enough, to her covered slit.
“For fuck’s sake, Quinn.” Forget formidable FBI agent—right now she sounded about as intimidating as a horny bunny rabbit. Quinn only grinned, a rare but totally killer smile bright across his devilish face.
“Just teaching you a lesson, baby,” he managed, and before she could get a word in, he lowered his head to her pussy and lapped at her wet, silk-covered hole. Ev gripped the couch so hard her muscles screamed, but the pleasure washing over her, demanding she simply give in to the release, was too much, overwhelming and wild, and she knew she couldn’t hold it at bay any longer.
“Come, Ev,” he said, his mouth still so close to her pussy. “Come now, baby.” And it was the tone of his voice that did it, bursting the dam of her pleasure until all she could do was ride the intense, ferocious wave, screaming his name as she did.
Quinn leaned on the back of the couch to bend down and kiss her, a smug grin on his face and rare laughter spilling from his mouth.
“Shh, banshee,” he muttered around kisses. “You’ll get Lucas all excited.”
Right now, Ev wouldn’t have been bothered if her director at the Bureau called her into work, let alone that her roommate was asleep down the hall. All she could think about was getting Quinn inside her. About five minutes ago.
“Now,” she demanded, loving the humor in those green eyes, loving that she could be the one to make such a normally stalwart, serious man smile. “I mean it.”
He repeated her words, mocking with gentle sarcasm, then he stripped himself of the white muscle tank he wore, exposing toned, powerful abs, dusted in a light strip of hair that led down to the waistband of his briefs. Quinn liked to tease her. He was not a man to cede control easily—not that she was all that good at it either—and he enjoyed pushing her to the breaking point. Ev wasn’t going to deny that she liked being pushed. She sat back and simply indulged in the slow ease with which he slid his briefs down those dark, muscled thighs, exposing a thick, throbbing cock she couldn’t seem to get enough of.
Then he was there, right there, sliding her panties down and away, then teasing her entrance and not slipping into her wet pussy like she so desperately needed him to do. He slid across her wetness and she rocked up to meet his touch, to somehow steal the connection he denied her.
“Say it,” Quinn demanded, control wavering, need coloring his voice low and demanding. “Say it, Ev. Tell me what you need right now.”
“Your cock inside me, goddammit.” The words came out on a harsh breath. “I swear to fuck…”
In that moment, he pressed deep inside her, stretching her needy body, turning the word into an expletive of pleasure. He was big, long and thick and it took a moment for her body to accommodate his size, even after all the months of them catching each other on couches and beds, ships passing in the night. But she did adjust, then she rocked into him with abject desperation. Quinn clearly wanted to say something snarky, but his control was more than fraying now. It was cracking right through and Ev knew she had him exactly where she wanted him—buried balls-deep inside her.
Powerful, controlled, all-important Special Agent Quinn Langston was at her mercy, and damn if that wasn’t some heady shit. Of course, in a thousand different ways she was at his mercy too, but the only one that mattered right now was the way he drove potent, impossible pleasure into her body with every stroke of his cock. Ev wrapped her legs around his waist, pulled him as close to her as she could and rode him as wildly and desperately as he rode her.
She was so close, so very near the edge of breaking, that when Quinn brought his hand to her breast, the movement rough and needy, and stroked her nipple, she fell out from under herself, giving in to the ride, thrusting against him once, twice and once more before she shattered around his cock. The pulsing tightness of her pussy brought Quinn right over the edge with her, and he let out a string of curses and released inside her, thick and hot and enough to chase aftershocks of pleasure through her body.
He leaned against the back of the couch, catching his breath while keeping his weight off her, then bent down to give her a kiss. His mouth tasted like her desire, another reminder of this insane, combustible thing between them that had been going on for so long before either of them had realized it.
“I’ll get us a towel,” he murmured into her hair. “Be right back.” He was slow and careful when he pulled free from her body, and Ev missed the feeling of him instantly, her skin cold without his touch. It was odd, that. For so long, she’d been so accustomed to being alone, to having friends—close friends, too—but just a few months into this new thing with Quinn had her all sorts of topsy-turvy and thrown off her axis.
And it wasn’t just that she cared for him. She did, deeply and recklessly, the kind of emotion that scared the ever-loving daylights out of her. But according to her sister Aurora, those kinds of feelings were the good scary and she could objectively see that. No, those emotions, the fear she might ruin her incredible friendship, the potential for heartbreak, for getting too close—those weren’t what snuck up in the middle of the night and gave her doubts and insecurities about the future.
But she couldn’t bring herself to think about the creepy shadow thoughts now, not in the early dawn, with streaks of pink and gold cutting through the blinds and giving the false impression it was warm outside. No, not in the much warmer afterglow of long-overdue lovemaking with her very hot boyfriend, thanks very much. There wasn’t anything else to think about, not now and not ever.
Ah, but there is, isn’t there? Because if there wasn’t then why would you keep wondering if this is it?
But before she could flay herself for that ridiculous thought, Quinn came back into the living room. He kept his hair short these days. Back in their early weeks at Quantico, he’d gathered the near-blond afro into a ponytail at the base of his neck and even in those very first times they’d gotten to know each other, Ev had wondered how he would respond to having his hair pulled in the throes of passion like they had just shared. Of course, he looked too young with his hair like that, too much the volatile, angry veteran he’d once been. Now, five years later, Ev could sit back and appreciate how he’d aged like a fine wine, all beautiful cuts of shadow and lightness, high, strong cheekbones and full lips demanding to be sucked. Of course, he put out a scary-as-hell demeanor, but she knew what it took to bring a man like Quinn Langston to his knees.
“You’re looking like the cat that got the cream,” he said with a grin just as smug. He joined her on the couch, wiping away the remnants of the morning’s activities with a warm towel.
“More like the cat that got to cream,” she said before she could stop herself. What would her coworkers say about her now? Quinn wasn’t the only one who put on a hard-as-hell exterior when he went to work. Ev could not only be an unapproachable ice queen at the job, but she’d worked hard to perfect the look, just as Quinn and Lucas had both created personas for themselves from the early days, whether they knew it or not.
Quinn opened his mouth to respond, but her phone went off somewhere and Ev jumped up from the couch, only just realizing how cold the room was when the movement made cool air brush her nipples and goosebumps break out across her skin. She wrapped a blanket around her body and grabbed her pants, looking for the sound. Locating it in her pocket, she answered without looking at the name.
“Monteiro.” Do I really sound so out of breath?
“Well, I certainly hope so, since I haven’t heard any news of a wedding.”
Relief made her shoulders sag and Ev settled into the couch, tucking herself under Quinn’s arm. He tossed another blanket over her bare body and she snuggled closer to him.
“Tudo bem, mãezinha?” she greeted. “Why are you calling me this early? I thought Dad was working the night shift at the restaurant now.”
“Night shift, pah.” Her mother’s energetic tone gave Ev the impression she’d been up for hours and had used as much control as was in her arsenal to wait until after the sun had risen to give her youngest daughter a call. “Evangeline, your father owns six of the most successful restaurants in the whole state and you call it a night shift.” In truth, it was an old habit from when her father had worked the night shifts in other first-generation Portuguese restaurants when she was only a child, but Ev knew damn well why her mother insisted on pointing out the number and level of success of each of their businesses every time she called.
“I’m happy with my job, mãezinha,” she said. “And Quinn and I are still dating, before you ask.”
Her mother humphed. “Well, as long as you’re not married. But I do want you to know—Estela Patrício, her son is coming to town next weekend…”
“No, mamã,” Ev said, keeping her voice firm. It was the only effective method of communication. “I’m dating Quinn and I’m very happy about it. Now, is there something else? Because we have a plane to catch.”
Her mama tutted, repeated the information about Estela Patrício’s son, a businessman, gossiped about Ev’s sisters, gushed about her brother then repeated the information about Estela Patrício’s son one last time.
Ev glanced at the clock mounted above their useless fireplace.
“I’ve got to go now,” she said, cutting through her mother’s sentence. “We didn’t land until three last night and I’m catching a flight in, like, an hour.” More like four, but exaggeration was another tried and true technique where her mamã was concerned.
Finally, finally, her mother wished her safe travel, bade her visit—not next weekend, mamã—and hung up the phone.
Ev sighed and glanced up at Quinn. He grinned, the sated, amused grin she didn’t see nearly enough of on his handsome face.
“Don’t laugh at me,” she muttered, but he reached out and tweaked one nipple at the same moment, which made her squeal and wiggle out of his embrace in a vain effort to protect herself.
“I’m not laughing,” Quinn said, hovering over her on the couch like the sexiest predator she’d ever seen. After a moment, though, he settled against her, fatigue outlining his handsome features. It was absurd they were even still awake right now. Still, her flight had landed just as she told her mother, nearly three in the morning. Quinn had been there waiting for her, after a week of them playing phone tag and sneaking in and out of the apartment while the other was dead asleep. They’d barely made it through the front door without ripping each other’s clothes off and now it was morning—not that morning counted for a whole hell of a lot in their line of work—and all three of them had a plane to catch in just a few hours.
“Quinn…” This wasn’t the first time they’d had this conversation and it wouldn’t be the last.
“I know, I know, it’s not ’cause I’m a black guy from the city.” His humor was hollow and tired, but tinged with amusement.
“You’re from Cleveland,” she pointed out. “And it’s not.” Just as it wasn’t the first time they’d trodden this well-worn territory. “It’s only because you’re not Portuguese. She wouldn’t like me dating Lucas, either. Hell, she wouldn’t even be okay with Patrick.”
Lucas Vallejo would have given her mother kittens, but Ev’s very white, very Western European boss Patrick Wickham wouldn’t have passed the test, either. Ev was the only one of her mamã’s children to not bring home a Portuguese man, excepting her brother, who brought home different women with alarming regularity, and dear old Mamã was persistent in her task to single-handedly populate the Ironbound with the next generation.
She rolled her eyes. Her mother’s antiquated ideals were still a solid presence in Ev’s life, despite her being an Ivy League graduate with a top job in the FBI and approaching the birthday that would put her decidedly on the other side of her mid-thirties. “Mamã, she’s old-school. Still hasn’t forgiven me for moving to DC.”
Quinn knew the spiel. In the months since they’d first moved their friendship into something more, they’d circled this conversation a dozen times, but it never made it any easier. Quinn’s race, Lucas’ race, Ev’s sex—it had brought them closer together during those months at Quantico, surrounded by the pretty-boy country Captain Americas and the New England Ivy graduates who could have passed for their ancestors from two hundred years earlier. Being of any race other than white, or any gender other than male, put one at a disadvantage—a disadvantage that had led to one of the strongest bonds of friendship Ev had ever known.
“I know, baby,” he said. He planted a kiss on her forehead and stood from the couch, moving toward the kitchenette with a slowness that betrayed his exhaustion. The city had been on high alert for terrorist activity after a series of phone calls, and Quinn, Special Agent for a Counterterrorism Fly Team under Lydia Brandenwell, who reported direct to the Secretary of Defense, had been busy in a way most civilians would never understand.
But she knew, simply by watching the slight limp in his left leg, an injury from an IED blast eight years earlier that tired more easily when he was fatigued, and the way his shoulders folded just a little. The only signs that Quinn Langston was running on empty.
“When did we buy this milk?” He pulled a suspect-looking half-carton from the fridge and held it up for her inspection. Ev grimaced and stood.
“I think the answer is too long ago. There’s evaporated in the cabinet.” Which was why she was still living in this apartment, had been even before she and Quinn had given in to their long-standing desires a few months ago. Between the three of them, Lucas, Quinn and Ev used the apartment about as often as one person did. Case in point, on closer inspection the milk was definitely chunky.
“We’ll get something at the airport,” Quinn said, tossing the whole thing into the trash without dumping it down the sink. Good, way too early in the morning for chunky milk.
“We should probably head out soon. TSA and all.” Ha. She hadn’t been on a commercial airline in years. Then again, she hadn’t been on vacation in years. Still, when it was her boss and former trainer at Quantico, not to speak of one of her best friends, getting married, she flew her ass to Montana whether she was dead on her feet or not.
“Using you as a pillow,” she said. “I don’t remember when I actually slept last.” Which is probably for the better, since when I do sleep, I keep dreaming of…
He nudged her out of the reverie and she leaned up to kiss his cheek, just as he went in for the kill, grabbing her around the waist and lifting her up with deadly aimed tickling fingers. Yeah, she was exhausted, sleep-deprived and headed for a flight into the middle of nowhere, trying to take down bad guys who kept coming back bigger and badder than before. But things were okay—they were better than okay. With Quinn Langston by her side, Ev had everything she needed to live a damn happy life.
Hope you enjoyed getting to know Gemma and learning about her book. And that you one-clicked to pre-order it!
Until next time