Fans of cute and quirky romances are sure to fall hard for Tracy Brogan's Love Me Sweet. Just in time for Valentine's Day, we caught up with Brogan and chatted about what makes for a winning romance hero, being a proud Michigander, her ideal first date and more in a 7 questions interview.
Describe your book in one sentence.
A reality TV show darling on the run from scandal joins forces with an adventure show cameraman on a road trip full of mishaps, honky-tonk musicians, Elvis impersonators and a whole lot of sweet romance.
Delaney Masterson is a bit of a wild celebutante—what do you love most about her?
I love that her goal is to become her most authentic self and bring a little light into the world. She’s not interested in fame in spite of being surrounded by it. She’s a bit of a late bloomer . . . she’s spent her life trying to please her spotlight-seeking family and now, because of a cringe-worthy scandal, she’s on her own and finally trying to figure out what she wants from her life and who she wants to be. At the beginning of the story she feels a little victimized, but by the end she has owned up to her own power and has decided to refocus her energies on things that matter.
What do you find most attractive in a romance hero?
Physically, I must admit, I like ’em tall, dark and handsome. A killer smile, some broad shoulders . . . le sigh. But what is most attractive in any hero (or heroine, for that matter) is a great sense of humor and a great sense of purpose. If a hero can make me laugh while he’s rescuing a puppy or saving the world, I’m all in.
How does your home state of Michigan inspire your writing?
Funny you should ask! Weather certainly played a role in Love Me Sweet! I knew I wanted to write a story about someone pretending to be someone else, and I knew I needed a reason for the hero and heroine to be in close proximity of each other. I happened to be drafting this book during the winter of the infamous Polar Vortex. It was the worst winter my city had seen in 50 years. So I made that part of this story. The funny thing is, my agent lives in Florida, and when she read the manuscript she said, “Wow. I can really feel how cold they are!”
My other Bell Harbor books are set in the summer and that also plays into my plotlines. The weather here is notoriously unpredictable so Michiganders know that if you have a beautiful day, you’d better go outside and make the most of it. And my characters know that, too.
Describe your ideal first date.
It’s been a while since I went on a date! My husband and I have fun going to Lowe’s so I don’t think that would work for a budding romance. But I think the ideal first date would be one where the couple is doing an activity they both enjoy so neither feels uncomfortable, and there should be lots and lots of talking, listening and laughing. Now if someone were to take me on a date, I think I’d want to go to a great museum. Then have dinner at an elegant seafood restaurant. And hold hands. And everything would feel sparkly and tingly.
What are you working on next?
My next project is a Christmas novella called Jingle Bell Harbor. It’s about a woman who works at the world’s largest Christmas store and has lost all sense of holiday magic until she comes home to Bell Harbor and gets reacquainted with an old flame. After that, I’m working on a World War II novel that will be quite a departure from my other stories. Then it’s back to romantic comedy! I’ve recently signed a contract for four more.
What would you like to ask the next “7 Questions” Romance participant?
If you had to spend the weekend with one of your heroes, who would you chose and why?