Genre: Suspense, Romance
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Publication Date: June 14, 2017
Add to Good Reads
About the Book
The job should have been easy—patrol a swank beach that serves as a backyard for Maui’s rich, kick out the riffraff, and get a tan in the process. But rent-a-cop Samantha Winters didn’t anticipate a deliciously grumpy cop, Sergeant Grady Roark, who comes down to the beach to bust her chops and instead leaves her breathless…and wondering why the one man who could help her seems determined to thwart her at every turn.
Grady is keeping secrets from Sam that have him walking the line between attraction and duty. But when Sam becomes the target of a shadowy organization, Grady will have to choose between the law and the temptation of a woman who has him breaking every rule he’s ever known.
The job should have been easy, but when the bullets start flying, Sam learns nothing is as easy as it seems when you’re a Gun for Hire.
The sunlight was intense after a half hour in that gloomy space, but I squinted hard and kept moving toward a narrow set of steps down to the parking lot. Grady walked a few paces behind me, and if he heard the crinkle of paper as I moved, he elected not to say anything.
Grady hit the remote to his truck and grabbed for the passenger side door, his hand light on my elbow as he helped me up. Paper crackled as my butt hit the seat and Grady’s eyes narrowed. Without a word, he slammed my door and went around to the driver’s side, climbing up into the cab and stabbing the keys into the ignition.
“So, I—” I hesitated as I shifted in my seat and my movement was accompanied by the distinct sound of cardboard bending.
“No,” Grady muttered, and clicked on the radio. “No talking.”
“Shh.” Grady put a finger to his lips, his eyes still on the road. “Any minute you’re going to tell me about the felony crime you just committed. And then I’m going to have to deal with the fact that I was an accessory to a felony crime.”
“Umm, yeah.” I reached around to the back of my pants and eased the file folder up from my waistband, working it out slowly so as to not lose anything as Grady headed up the hillside toward his house. As I brought it around to look at it, the red block letters damning me to years of incarceration should I get caught, a muscle ticked in Grady’s jaw.
“You stole classified documents.” He shook his head from side to side.
I looked up at Grady and then down at the mangled file with the red Top Secret heading. I took a corner of the front sheet and ripped across the width of the page, separating the words “Top Secret” from the rest of the paper.
“They’re declassified now.” I crumpled up the classification and shoved it in my pocket.
I shrugged and opened the file.
Where to Buy
Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I’m from Oregon and I’m a mother of two little kids. I work full time and write in my spare time (HA, as if there were such a thing, right?) I started writing when I was very young, but it took me a long time to finally get to a place of finishing a novel. My first novel was pretty terrible, but my second was where I finally had some success. Gun for Hire just came out so effortlessly in that first draft…and then the hard work began.
What inspired you to write?
I had just always made up stories in my head. I talked to myself in the mirror extensively as a kid and I was always day dreaming, head in the clouds. I almost feel like I didn’t have a choice – these stories had to go somewhere!
What inspired your novel?
My sister and I were on Secret Beach in Maui when I first witnessed the real Sam. The first chapter in my book pretty much describes exactly how it was that day. And when I saw the real Sam I wondered what motivated her? What would cause a person to go to a job that was obviously pretty terrible day in and day out? It struck me that something was driving her and I just had to dream up what it might be.
What is the genre?
Romantic suspense, but there’s a lot of humor in it and it’s as much about Samantha’s relationship with herself as it is about her relationship with Grady. Though there’s plenty of Grady in there as well.
What draws you to this genre?
I have always loved action books and I’ve said this before but, all action books have a romance in there somewhere. All people – men and women – love a good love story. So this is the perfect combination of what I enjoy reading.
How did you develop your plot and your characters?
I wish I could say I had some well-organized method of plotting, but I’m a pantser, much more than I wish to be. My first draft just flew out of me and then the plot became much more refined with each draft. The characters just came to me for the most part, though my villains were a bit more thought out – I wanted them to be complex and three dimensional and that took some forethought. I wanted them to be fundamentally rational and driven by rational needs.
What inspired your protagonist?
Samantha is part the woman I saw on the beach that day and part my sister. My sister has a larger than life personality and more grit than I can fully express here. For her, no never means no – that’s just your starting point. She’s always been able to talk or charm her way through any situation and even when you’re giving her more than you intended, you’re just glad to be in her orbit. I wanted Sam to have my sister’s charisma and strength.
What inspired your antagonist?
I have multiple antagonists in this book! I wasn’t inspired by any particular person. It was just really important to me that my ‘bad guys’ not be fully bad. I wanted them to be rational and motivated by things that might motivate anyone. I guess that’s part of my worldview that no one is ever totally bad, nor is anyone totally good. Nuanced villains are much more interesting, in my view.
What was the hardest part to write in the book?
I really disliked writing anything where Sam’s nieces are upset, because those girls are based on my own nieces. And yet, their influence is a large part of why Sam is forced to change, so…as a writer, you have to write what the story tells you to write.
What was your favourite part of your book to write?
I loved writing the scenes between Samantha and her sister, Josie. There is so much there that is a throwback to my sister and my relationship. I also loved writing Josie’s scenes with Kai because I’m madly in love with the person I invented in Kai!
Are you a full time or a part time writer? If part time, what do you do besides write?
I work full time, so unfortunately, I can only write part time. I dream all the time about quitting my job and writing but it’s just not in the cards yet. Someday!
What are you currently reading?
I am about halfway through Stanalei Fletcher’s Breaking the Honor Code – she has created this incredible universe, and it’s a great romantic suspense book.
Who would you say are your favourite authors?
I love Sandra Brown, and Janet Evanovich makes me laugh out loud. Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Jennifer Cruisie are my absolute favorites.
How about your favourite books? What would be your top 5?
I enjoy a lot of different genres, but given that we’re talking romance, I’ll give you my top five for romance (note that this also makes my job a lot easier by limiting it to just one genre!)
Bet Me by Jennifer Cruisie. This is the best romance novel I’ve ever read.
Match Me If You Can by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. She is so clever and the chemistry between her characters is undeniable.
The Hating Game by Sally Thorne. This is the best new romance I’ve read and the dialogue between her characters can’t be beat.
Envy by Sandra Brown. I dream of someday writing a romantic suspense this good.
Cry No More by Linda Howard. I dare you not to cry at this book. I just dare you.
What are your future projects, if any?
I’m working on a sequel to Gun for Hire, Josie and Kai’s story. These two are starting from a place of intense chemistry and the challenge I face is to keep that going!
What is your preferred method for readers to get in touch with you and your books?
I would love for readers to get in touch with me! Find me at www.jjmontgomery.com, on Instagram (my favorite!) at www.instagram.com/jmontgomerywrites or Facebook www.facebook.com/authorjjmontgomery, a platform that still confounds me every time I log on. I also highly recommend checking out some new authors at www.17scribes.com — I’m on there, too!
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Write because you love to write. If you do it for the money or any other reason, you’ll be disappointed. But if you do it because you love it, you’re passionate about it and you like belonging to a community of people who feel the same way, you’ll never be disappointed.
About the Author
J.J. MONTGOMERY writes romantic suspense novels with a sense of humor. Her heroines are as smart as they are smart mouthed and the men in their lives are just trying to keep up. Gun for Hire is the first book in J.J.’s Maui Heat Series.
If you’d like to know more, including info on her newest book, where she gets her ideas, and how it’s possible she can’t use Facebook, please visit her: