Can’t Help Falling in Love
By: Cheryl Harper
The staff of Cheryl Harper’s Elvis-themed Rock’n'Rolla Hotel are back with a funny, fresh romance that goes undercover—under the covers!
As a former Marine, hotel manager Tony Ortega has plenty of experience assessing threats, and the hotel’s newest guest, Randa Whitmore, is a code red. Tall, blonde, and with legs for miles, she may look like his every fantasy, but he knows she’s not really visiting for the famed Elvis Week. Though dangerously drawn to his new guest, Tony will do anything to protect his job . . . especially if it means sleeping with the enemy.
Business strategist Randa Whitmore never meant to be undercover in Memphis. In August. Sweating her expensive spa treatments away. But snagging another perfect hotel location for her father’s empire means using all the tricks in her designer arsenal. And even though the sexy, tattooed manager seems oblivious to her charms, Randa’s prepared to bring out the big guns—just so long as she can stay objective and out of Tony’s muscled arms. After all, it’s just business, right?
Link to Follow the Tour: http://tastybooktours.blogspot.com/2013/07/now-booking-tasty-virtual-book-tour-for_27.html
Building a Series or How I Built the Rock’n’Rolla Hotel in my Mind
To write a novella for a Valentine’s Day submissions call, I stranded a perfectly happy couple of coworkers at an Elvis-themed hotel in Memphis, called it “Love Me Tender”, and did a dignified dance of celebration when it was included in the Kiss Me anthology. I never thought much beyond the lobby, the restaurant, and the themed hotel room. But then the most wonderful thing happened. An editor called to ask if I had any other stories set there. So I had to keep building that hotel!
In Stuck On You, we explore the hotel’s restaurant, Viva Las Vegas, and meet the owner, amazing Willodean Jackson, but in Can’t Help Falling in Love, we meet the guy running the place. And when Marine Tony Ortega meets the newest hotel guest, incognito hotel heiress Randa Whitmore, he’s determined to keep a very close eye on her, even if he has to spend a lot of time at the hotel’s guitar-shaped pool considering the size of her bathing suit to do so. Luckily, a visit to Graceland sticks with a person and the King of Rock and Roll remains larger than life so I had plenty of inspiration. I’ve had the best time dreaming up the kind of place I’d like to stay in myself. I hope you enjoy it too. Here’s a little excerpt of Randa’s first impressions.
When Randa Whitmore pushed open the limo door, the furnace blast that was Memphis in August nearly knocked her over. She cursed under her breath about this latest assignment and straightened her shoulders before she slid over the cool leather seat to stand on the sidewalk. Thanks to the shade in this drop-off area at the front doors of the Rock’n’Rolla Hotel, the concrete was solid instead of tarry goo, as she’d expected. Eggs wouldn’t fry on the sidewalk; they’d sprout legs and run away screaming.
“Can I take your bags, miss?” Randa turned to see a tall young man wearing a tacky Hawaiian shirt. He had a pleasant smile even in this heat. His name tag said Sam.
She smiled her “Mother Teresa” smile and tilted her head to the side. “Why, Sam, I would appreciate that so much. Thank you. Could you take them on inside? I want to take a quick look at this beautiful hotel before I go in.” She pressed a tip into his hand and nodded as he turned to the sliding doors of the hotel. She made a mental note that Sam seemed like he would fit in well after the hotel changed owners. Since she hoped to be the one running the place, she planned to carefully evaluate all the staff.
“A very quick look,” she muttered as she forced herself out into the bright sunshine. The Rock’n’Rolla Hotel was boutique property situated right in the shadow of Graceland. Approximately ninety rooms, several small meeting areas, and a full service bar and restaurant . . . all of them dedicated to the King of Rock and Roll. She shook her head. When the W Group bought it and renovated it, all that would be washed away in a sea of beige sameness. Then it would match every other property of the W Group, and every member of her family for that matter.
She knew the routine very well. She’d been renovating properties like this for more than five years. The process for every one since she’d started in Fargo had been the same. But the Rock’n’Rolla Hotel was different. Up until now, she’d spent too much time wishing she had her own hotel to run. This time she was going to handle the renovation and then manage the first Whitmore hotel in Memphis so well her father would realize he should have given her a property of her own sooner. Maybe he’d even give up on marrying her to some hotel heir with more money than sense too. She couldn’t face another disappointing fiancé, another messy breakup, or another shouting match with her father. She wanted her own hotel, a place where she was in charge and people listened to what she had to say.
The façade of the hotel was acceptable. Pink brick. White columns. It looked a little like what she’d seen of the pictures of Graceland. But when she turned the corner to check out the parking lot and the rest of the hotel, she knew she was in for an experience. Instead of the brick, these outer walls were painted with black silhouettes of music notes, records, and the King, shaking his hips and doing his thing. Randa smiled as she tried to imagine hiring a mural painter who could translate pelvic gyrations. This one had done a damn good job. It was too bad it was about to be wiped away. This would never do on a Whitmore hotel.
Whether she's writing, reading, or just checking the items off of her daily to-do list, Cheryl Harper loves her romance mixed with a little laughter. When she's not working, you will find her ignoring housework, cursing yard work, and spending way too much time with a television remote in her hand.