Character Interview of Wade Robertson and Aimee LaClaire from Aimee’s Cowboy by Starla Kaye
CONTEST: Read the excerpt and tell me what Wade claims a lady wouldn’t do. One lucky winner will win an ebook copy of AIMEE’S COWBOY and a small surprise gift. Contest ends May 18.
I am pleased that you both were able to take some time today to stop by and visit with me. Get comfortable now and we’ll get started.
Can you tell the readers a little about yourselves?
Wade: I’m Wade Robertson, part owner of the Rolling R Ranch in Texas…and part owner of the LaClaire Chateau and Winery in France. Quite the combination, don’t you think?
Aimee: I’m Aimee LaClaire, travel photographer, daughter of Jean –Pierre LaClaire who is the other part owner of the LaClaire Chateau and Winery…adopted daughter. So Wade and I aren’t actually blood related, just to clarify things.
Yes, that is an interesting combination, Wade, being a rancher and a French bed-and-breakfast/winery owner.
Before we dig into the story’s details and your involvement in that, can you share a couple of random thoughts about yourselves? Something that will surprise the readers.
Wade: I don’t actually like the taste of wine, just give me a beer and I’m a happy man. I hate flying, but I hate any kind of boating or cruising or anything related to traveling by water more.
Aimee: Beer tastes like p… (Wade scowls at her in warning) Okay, I’d rather die of thirst than drink a beer. Wine (she grins in mischief at Wade) is the nectar of the gods. A second random thought…well, I have a collection of butterflies: pins, miniature figurines.
All right let’s visit about issues relating to the story. What was your daily life like before the upheaval to it?
Wade: Busy from dawn to dusk with all it takes to run a ranch, exhausting stuff that made me drop onto my bed and fall asleep immediately at night. It was a rare day that I had a free moment for reading, vegging out to watching TV, or even going boot-scooting with my buddies.
Aimee: On the verge of being extremely B-O-R-I-N-G. I struggled with getting my father to stop trying to keep such a protective hold over me. Sure I occasionally made an error in judgment about something I tried, and I seemed to flit from job to job. But I knew what I wanted to do…I just had trouble getting started at it.
So what upset your ordinary worlds and brought you into contact with each other?
Aimee: (holds her hand up to stop Wade from jumping in) I’m going first this time. My life was complicated enough what with going from disagreement to disagreement with Papa. Then I answered the phone one morning and heard this American cowboy wanting to speak with my father. Papa was busy and I told this man so. But Wade insisted on talking to him. I sensed right then that this man was going to upset our lives.
Wade: My life had been upset before that phone call. I had just gone through dealing with the death of my father, and then learning at the will reading that the woman I’d believed to be my mother actually hadn’t been. My birth mother was French…a LaClaire. And I was now part owner of property in France. The whole matter knocked me for a loop, I tell you.
What was your immediate reaction to each other, over phone and later when you met for the first time?
Wade: I’m going first again, darlin’. (grins as Aimee frowns) Tired and confused or not, I was mighty intrigued by the very feminine, melodic voice that answered the phone. Let me tell you, she sounded “hot” and I had a hard time tying that voice to the photograph I’d seen of my eight-year-old “cousin” at the lawyer’s office that day. But I sure didn’t want to be having any kind of interested thoughts about her, my life was too crazy already. Once I met her in person…well, I was drawn to her even more, even as spunky and trying as she could be to her father.
Aimee: The cowboy’s deep, velvety voice appealed to the foolish woman in me. (shoots Wade a look of annoyance at his grin) He was coming to my home to upset my life, my papa’s life. I didn’t want to like anything about him. My reactions to him just got worse from the moment he arrived at the chateau. Of course, I tried to fight the unwanted attraction.
So you were both drawn to each other even before you met, but didn’t want to be.
You each had goals of your own. Did you get in the way of each other meeting those goals? Did anyone else interfere?
Aimee: I wanted to start a new career as a travel photographer, a real career, I hoped. But Papa thought it just another of my silly ideas. He wanted me to find a suitable husband, settle down, and give him grandchildren. Then Wade arrived and complicated the situation even more.
Wade: You complicated my life, too, sweetheart. All I wanted was to go to the chateau, meet Jean-Pierre, and decide whether or not I wanted to sell him my share of the place…then go back to my ranch. Then he decided to play match-maker…
This attraction you both felt… who took the first step in heating things up?
Wade/Aimee: I did. (both say at the same time)
Wade: Darlin’, I made the first move. Damn “hot” one, too, if I say so myself.
Aimee: But I took everything a step further…and that turned even “hotter.” (smiles wickedly at him)
What led to the moment when you thought everything was lost between you two?
Aimee: He got a call from his foreman and decided he needed to return to the ranch. He just walked away from what we’d started building.
Wade: (rolls his eyes and shakes his head) We both needed to do some serious thinking. I had my responsibilities with the ranch , my uncertainty about what to do about the chateau, and my feelings for you. We came from two such different lives. Sure sex was powerful between us, but I wasn’t sure we could build a real relationship from just that.
Tough times. So who made the first compromise in your relationship?
Aimee: Me, definitely. I decided to go after him to see his ranch, to see America…to see if we might have a chance. But he sure didn’t make it easy.
Wade: Life isn’t easy. Love isn’t easy.
In spite of all your differences and the ups and downs, you made things word between you. Would you go through all of that again?
Aimee: Hmmm, I might have to think about that a little longer.
Wade: (scowls at her) Same for me.
(Aimee gets up and goes to sit in his lap, kisses him)
Wade: Thought about it. (he grins) Damn straight I’d go through all of the frustrations again.
Great interview and thanks for being here today. Now I’ll share some of the specifics about AIMEE’S COWBOY…
Author: Starla Kaye
Genre: Contemporary Western Romance, Erotic
Length: 55,350 words
Heat Level: 4
Publisher: Blushing Books
Buy Link: Blushing Books
Buy Link: Amazon (Kindle)
Aimee LaClaire tends to be a bit flighty, at least according to her father. She has trouble finding something that really interests her, although she believes she now wants to be a photojournalist and work for a friend of hers. Her father thinks it is yet another foolish idea and wants her to settle down. He wants her to help run the family’s French hotel and winery. They cannot agree. Then an American cowboy comes into their lives and complicates everything even more. She wants to dislike him…yet she is irresistibly drawn to him. Making the problem worse, her father decides to play matchmaker.
Wade Robertson’s life is complicated enough with running his Texas ranch. When his father dies, he learns that he has a French family and has inherited half of a French chateau/winery. Uncertain what to do about all of that, he goes to meet his uncle and the man’s adopted daughter. While he struggles with what to do about the chateau business, he faces an even more unsettling situation…he can’t seem to resist Aimee. She’s a spoiled, sassy, annoying young woman. And he can’t keep his hands off of her, in more ways than one. But he is determined to fight off his attraction to her, except she makes it damn hard.
The soft golden light of early morning played over the acres of vineyard in front of Aimee. She sat perched on the stone wall separating the restaurant’s parking lot from the field thick with vines and heavy with grapes. Normally she didn’t even think about raising her head off the pillow at this time of day. She hadn’t been able to sleep last night and finally she had given up and come out here. She had always found it peaceful here, somehow reassuring. The vines needed extensive tending each year, but they thrived and gave their all every year under her father’s guiding hands. Chateau de LaClaire was her father. She couldn’t imagine him living anywhere else, doing anything else. Yet his situation could change at the whim of the American cowboy now sleeping in the hotel’s finest suite.
Not for the first time, she pursed her lips in annoyance. Why had her father insisted Wade Robertson come here? They could have settled their legal business via mail. Why had the cowboy agreed to come when she knew he was already bogged down with the responsibilities of running a large ranch in Texas? And why did she feel stuck in the middle of whatever decisions were finally made?
She blew out a disgruntled sigh. This whole mess involving her family’s home should have been at least partially settled yesterday. But her father had received news that his largest purchaser of LaClaire wine had filed for bankruptcy. He’d had to go into town to deal with the problem and to try and make arrangements with a possible new buyer. He had attempted to get Wade to go with him, but the rancher had received a troublesome call from his foreman and he’d had to handle his own problems via phone.
So here she was, waiting, anxious about how her father’s life would be affected by a virtual stranger’s decision. She hated waiting. Patience wasn’t her best trait. She wanted this settled so she could go back to Lyon. Not that there really was anything urgent going on in her life at the moment. Being between jobs was not fun. Having no specific prospects made her situation even worse. But she couldn’t do anything about her future until the present was dealt with. It was important to her father that she was here and, though she was a little surprised at that, she’d promised she would stay here for the discussions about the chateau. If they ever got around to having those discussions.
“Didn’t reckon I’d find you up and about so early,” Wade said with a hint of amusement as he strolled up behind her.
Startled at not having heard him approaching, she nearly toppled off the wall when she jerked around to face him. He clamped onto her shoulder and prevented the fall. The touch of his rough hand made her suck in a breath, made her skin tingle…made her frustrated. She didn’t like being attracted to this handsome cowboy who was upsetting her world.
She slipped out of his grip and dropped to the ground in front of him, which only proved exactly how big he was in comparison to her. Her nose came to his chest level. And what a very nice chest he had. Annoyed with herself for noticing that fact, she stepped farther back and glowered at him. “Can’t you make noise like a normal person?”
One side of his mouth crooked up. “You must have been in deep thought is all.”
His gaze had shifted and stopped at the low neckline of her spaghetti-strapped cami. She wore such body-hugging tops all the time, but suddenly she felt seriously exposed. Her traitorous breasts appreciated his heated examination and her nipples pebbled. She snapped, “Totally inappropriate, the way you’re looking at me. I’m your cousin.”
His smile faded, not the intensity of his look, though. “Not by blood.”
She blinked at the huskiness in his tone, at the blunt truth in what he had said. Her heart skipped a beat. “I don’t like you,” she lied out of desperation. “You’re…you’re… Well, I just don’t like you.”
That hint of amusement danced again in his eyes. “Because…” he prompted.
Because you make me want to do something outrageous, like kiss you, like run my hands over your chest and see just how muscled you really are. Because I’ve never been this attracted to a man before and I don’t want to be attracted to you.
“I make you uncomfortable, don’t I? You think I’m threatening your world, don’t you?”
She latched onto that line of thinking. “Yes! You don’t belong here. You didn’t have to come. You should have refused and just handled the business details of selling your share of the chateau via mail.”
He leaned against the wall, crossed his boots and looked more serious now. “I don’t handle business dealings that way. Admittedly, this wasn’t the ideal time for me to leave the ranch, but your father insisted.” He glanced around the immediate area and then focused on her again. “I was curious about the family I never knew about.” He waited a second before adding, “And I haven’t made a definite decision about selling my share.”
“Of course you’re going to sell,” she protested, narrowing her eyes. Or did she really want him to do that? If he sold his share to her father, well, then she would be back to one day dealing with the problem of her having to take over or sell the chateau and vineyard. It seemed that any decision he would make would cause her a problem.
“No ‘of course’ to it.”
He’d gone back to sneaking peeks at her cleavage; her nipples hardened again. “Would you stop that!”
“Can’t blame a man for noticing what you’re basically flaunting in front of him.” Amusement echoed in his husky tone.
She bristled more annoyed now with his focus on her personally than on discussing the chateau. “A gentleman wouldn’t stare. He wouldn’t be so blunt.”
“A lady wouldn’t flash her breasts so boldly,” he countered, grinning.
“Are you saying I’m not a lady?!” She stepped toward him, fury simmering off her in waves.
He rubbed his jaw and studied her, eyes sparkling in challenge. “Let me think. You come driving recklessly onto a gravel parking lot, dinging the paint on that fine car of yours. You sass your father, getting a hand smacked to your butt. You dress in a way that displays all your fine assets.”
She stiffened. Everything he had said was true, but she didn’t like admitting it, not even to herself.
“No, I’d have to say you’re more of a spoiled brat than a lady.”