LC: The REALTORS series is a trilogy of novels spanning 12 years in the lives of three of my absolute favorite characters ever. I started creating Jack and Sara’s story 3 years ago, and as my writing craft grew, as did their tale. I’ve had a bunch of stuff published in the meantime but kept coming back to this epic story of personal emotional growth and have been lucky to find a new publisher willing to give them the time and attention they really deserved.
Love is an easy word to use, a hard one to demonstrate, and sometimes impossible to trust.
The Realtors is a sweeping epic, encompassing over ten years in the lives of two people who know how to love with their bodies, how to please and get pleasure, to control and be controlled. When it comes to the deeper meaning of the one word they both need, backgrounds and personalities get in the way and while their physical connection sizzles they continue to disappoint one another emotionally.
Jack Gordon has it all–money, success, a string of women–but with a deep longing for something more. When he thinks he finds it with Sara Jane Thornton, his world is never the same again. Sara releases his natural Dom, a side of him he’d thought buried out of frustration and unhappiness. Sara knows a true submissive must trust implicitly, something she cannot associate with him, no matter how many times she tries, and he fails.
With a rich cast of secondary characters, including a young man who presents a near-perfect foil to Jack’s intensity, and who falls hard for Sara; The Realtors series is a romantic saga with an emphasis contemporary life and love, with a healthy dose of white-hot eroticism. Modern, busy, driven characters living lives of purpose and real-time stress, seek the ever-elusive and highly coveted combination –a friend, lover and trusted advisor who will be there for the long haul.
Jack Gordon is Ann Arbor’s most delectable bachelor. At age thirty-five, he’s made millions as a top-selling Ann Arbor real estate broker and has the right connections to close a deal by any means necessary. With his rugged good looks and compelling personality, he has a virtual black book most men would kill for and he uses it often, never settling for one woman for very long.
While his D/s past remains buried, exactly where he wants it, an undercurrent of boredom and dissatisfaction runs through his life now. Disastrous experience years earlier made him swear off the whole scene, but the more Jack suppresses his natural Dom, the more his frustration grows.
Sara Thornton, just a rookie in the field, has fast-tracked herself to the top of the Ann Arbor real estate market. Her life evolves into a disciplined and focused routine, exactly what she wants. However, as her career takes off, the fulfillment she seeks remains inexplicably out of reach. The one thing she knows for sure, she will not join the Jack Gordon groupies in her company, no matter how tempting that might seem.
A chance encounter, then a difficult transaction, throw Jack and Sara together and the sparks fly high and hot and often. Forced to confront the compulsions that gain momentum with each sizzling encounter, their relationship seems to spiral out of control until Jack finally admits what he needs, and shows Sara what she’s been missing.
Jack Gordon thought he’d finally made it. He had a wildly successful career, money in the bank and even returned to his life as Dom, putting an end to a string of unfulfilling sexual encounters. Now that he’s made the ultimate commitment to Sara Thornton, he believes all is right in their world. However, a series of misunderstandings and a dose of self-fulfilling prophesy bring his perfectly crafted house of cards tumbling down around him, forcing him to confront lingering misgivings about marriage and trust. Could those be the only two things he can never achieve?
Sara struggles with her intense need for Jack and her desire for less volatility in her busy life, two goals which appear to be mutually exclusive. Although willing to put in the time and emotional effort to make their relationship work, she finds it futile and frustrating, littered with clashes thanks to near-identical personalities and temperaments. Given Sara’s history, easing back into the comfortable status quo becomes easier than fighting a war with the one person who should be her safe haven. But will the easier choice satisfy her the way only Jack can? Is her “war” one that comes from without or within?
Buffeted by circumstance, temptation and distraction, Jack and Sara’s tenuous relationship crumbles, sparking a continuous quest for the ever elusive: trust, love and acceptance. By the time they rebuild a foundation for renewal, fate has other plans. This leaves them both reeling, once again questioning their destiny.
Love conquers all? Not likely, according to Sara Thornton. She’s spent eight years coming to terms with the new parameters of her life while resigning herself to the idea that “happily ever afters” are best left to fairytales. Sales manager for her successful real estate office and juggling an added element of responsibility she never thought she’d face, Sara continues to struggle with the men in her life. Love, for her, has only meant hurt, broken trust and anger; all of which she’s completely banished from her life, so she claims.
Jack Gordon has come a long way since his earlier days of obsession with Sara. As the general manager of Stewart Realty, his own level of responsibility for the well-being of others has ramped up. He’s even honed his caretaking skills, now that he has someone who loves him unconditionally.
Continuing to invest effort and rebuild their relationship, he and Sara grow close as friends. Despite this, his ultimate question remains unanswered; the one he keeps asking, no matter how many times she says no. Sara isn’t prepared for the keen focus of his need–to have her back, once and for all. Her stubborn resistance nearly rips both lives apart.
The epic conclusion to The Realtors series, Closing Costs brings Jack and Sara truly full circle. Proving that the heat of lust and obsession; the need for control and to be mastered in many areas of life can lead to love —surprising you when you least expect it – if you will only allow it.
Oh, I can’t wait to get started on this series. So, what are you working on now?
LC: What? When I’m not doing interviews and writing blog posts? Ha! Oh, you mean WRITING. Okay, I have 4 different novels in various stages of edits including a really awesome couple of brewery based stories for both Decadent Publishing and Ellora’s Cave, but am working on a bit of a pseudo time travel novel. It’s a departure for me and likely as far as I will ever go towards “paranormal” and as this thing develops, it turns out the time travel bit is likely just in my heroine’s head anyway.
Exciting stuff! Now, who is your favorite character from any of your books? (Can you include an excerpt involving this character?)
LC: I adore Jack Gordon, the hero from the Realtors series. He’s super alpha, successful, with a law degree, a contractor’s license thanks to growing up hanging drywall and installing light fixtures for his father’s construction company and can sell ice cubes to Eskimos. He’s a former “Dom” but got burned big time by a sub he thought he wanted to marry so has buried that under layers of superficial sexual encounters with numerous women. Then he meets Sara. He’s a bit of that first moment:
Jack had a hot date, one that was going to yield him a kick-ass listing, but due to the unwarranted dawdling of the condo-shopping couple he had been dragging around, he’d be lucky to make it in time. The empty lock box on the door of the penthouse unit provided the real icing on the cake. He leaned on the doorbell, hoping they could skip this one and stop wasting his time while mouthing platitudes to his clients. He had hoped that the relocating, executive couple like the ones he was courting at that moment wouldn’t spend so much of his valuable time arguing over granite colors and the relative benefits of central vacuum cleaners. God, he hated this job sometimes. He smiled, and turned, hearing the click of the deadbolt. Finally.
When the heavy door swung open, the vision standing there froze him mid-sentence. Sara Thornton, one of the newer, and more successful, realtors at Stewart Realty, stared at him, eyes blazing in a strange combination of aggravation and satisfaction. Jack clenched his jaw at the sight of her smoking hot body encased in skintight short black skirt, creamy silk blouse and four inch patent leather heels.
As one of the ones chosen to populate the downtown, storefront office, based on good looks and the ability to rope in new buyers and sellers off the streets of Ann Arbor, Sara had serious sales skills. He’d studied the branch’s numbers as part of a management decision-making process, ultimately turning down the offer to handle that stable of prima donnas. But at that moment Jack couldn’t believe he’d never noticed her before — really noticed her. Where had she been hiding? And what was that amazing sexy aura that permeated the air? Jack’s heart jumped in his chest.
“Um, hi Jack,” her voice was hoarse, making him blink. He made a conscious effort to wipe the idiotic look off his face, aware of the annoying clients still standing at his elbow. He held out a hand, needing to confirm that her skin felt as hot as it looked. Surprised no one else saw the sparks pass between them, he couldn’t suppress a grin at the look on her flustered face.
So, she sensed it too. This could get interesting.
“Sara,” he heard his own voice, sounding a hell of a lot more confident than he felt at that moment. And he did not rattle easily. “Sorry to barge in but,” Struck dumb once again by the sight of Adam Donovan, mortgage broker tool, at Sara’s shoulder Jack gave himself a mental shake. The sudden realization of what had undoubtedly happened, in the same condo he was about to show, made his head pound. Reluctant admiration mixed with something resembling jealousy fogged his brain. He raised his eyebrows at the tall blond man whom he could have sworn was engaged to someone else.
“Jack,” Adam moved around the beautiful woman who still blocked the doorway. “Good to see you.”
Jack shook the guy’s hand, never taking his gaze from Sara, reserving his smile for her. His brain engaged, focus locked on Sara Thornton, and the world shifted under his expensively clad feet.
Love it! Now, you’ve given me some ideas, but where do your best ideas come from?
LC: The incredible power of the “what if?” moment. I use it all the time!
Thanks for having me Jessica! I’m a big fan of your Sci-Fi romances!
Thank you, Liz! It’s always a pleasure to have you here.
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