Magazine editor Macie Graham devises a plan to masquerade as a modern-day Cinderella and get her revenge on infuriating Texan Ross Mannon. She’ll do anything to uncover the dirt on the famous radio personality but when she finally uncovers a secret that could destroy Ross’s reputation, she faces losing her job or losing the fairy-tale ending she didn’t even know she wanted.
Chic fashion photographer Francesca St. James agrees to work as a “fashion fairy godmother” on a new reality TV show, but she doesn’t agree to falling for one of the contestants. Tech company CEO Greg just needs some help transforming himself enough to find his happily ever after, and butting heads with his high-and-mighty fairy godmother isn’t in his plan. The two couldn’t be more different, but as Greg transforms into the smoking-hot, confident guy he was always meant to be, will his makeover find him his one true love?
Four months ago, Nick’s bachelor-style life was turned upside down. Now the sole parent to a seven-year-old daughter he never knew existed, Nick doesn’t have time for pleasure. But he hadn’t factored in Stefanie or the intense attraction he’d feel for her. As her seduction heats up, so do the stakes, both professionally and romantically. Can he let business go long enough to allow Stefanie into his heart?
He said, She said
Francesca & Greg from THE CINDERELLA MAKEOVER
Suddenly Cinderella Series Book #2
Interview by Hope Tarr
Author’s Note: Many thanks for having me here to chat about THE CINDERELLA MAKEOVER, the second novel in my Suddenly Cinderella Series of contemporary fairytale themed romances for Entangled Publishing. Before we begin my interview with Francesca and Greg, my heroine and hero, below is a bit about the book:
Internationally famous fashion photographer, Francesca St. James (Ross’s ex from OPERATION CINDERELLA) gets considerably more than she bargained for when she leaves New York for Los Angeles to join the cast of a newly launched reality TV show as a fashion coach. “Project Cinderella” aims to remake fashion frogs into styling Cinderella princes and princesses. Silicon Valley CEO, contestant Gregory Knickerbocker is a geek with a heart of gold—and a six-foot three leanly-muscled body in want of a stylist’s molding. Fortunately Francesca loves nothing more than a challenge and serving as Greg’s “fashion fairy god mentor” promises to be that and then some. Can a pair of vintage Saks Fifth Avenue red slippers help her look beyond Greg’s center-parted hair and gray hoodies to the Prince Charming that lies beneath?
Now, to the interview!
H: We get the proverbial ball rolling with you, Francesca. We’re all dying to know a bit more about you and Greg. Are you game for a few questions?
F: Certainly, Hope. Fire away!
H: What’s your favorite thing about Greg?
F: The eyes have it! The first time I looked into Greg’s cerulean blue gaze, I was smitten—not that I’d admit to it, mind. (Laughs).
H: Fair enough. For those who haven’t yet read THE CINDERELLA MAKEOVER, can you fill us in on how you met?
F (nodding, looking wistful): Not under the best of circumstances, I’m afraid. I was on assignment to GQ to photograph Greg for his upcoming feature profile in the magazine. By appointment, I arrived at the Silicon Valley headquarters of his tech startup, Cloud Flyer, only he refused to see me—or allow me to photograph him. I’d traveled from New York to shoot him and his refusal was quite the outside of enough! I stormed into his office and…Well, those blue eyes quite mastered me but only for a few moments. When he tricked me into accepting an old picture of himself—his infant photo!—and showed me the door, I wanted to shoot him indeed!
H: When was the first time you realized you were attracted to Greg?
F: From that first moment, although I refused to admit it for some time. You see, I can be quite stubborn as well.
G (Interrupting): She really can.
H: (Laughs). Thanks, Greg, but we’ll get to you shortly. Hang on over there! Francesca, how would you describe the perfect date?
F: The first date that Greg arranged for us was perfection, or rather it nearly was. As a mentor and contestant on Project Cinderella, our respective contracts forbade any fraternization off-set. We dare not be seen together in public lest we lose our positions. Greg, clever darling, arranged to come to my hotel suite—and no, it’s not what you think!—to dance the bolero. As we were about to kiss for the very first time, myself in Greg’s capable and oh so strong clasp, my bloody cell phone rang. It was my teenage daughter, Samantha, calling from Washington, DC to say she’d decided against spending her summer holiday with me. Needless to say I was crushed—and Greg was so very chivalrous. In lieu of swooping on me and carrying me off to bed in my vulnerability, he held me gently and then ordered a superb room service supper to accompany the delicious bottle of wine he’d brought. We sat up talking into the wee hours and fell asleep in each other’s arms—fully clothed.
G: Not taking off her clothes, as amazing as she looked in that red dress, called for major willpower!
F: A herculean effort indeed, darling. (Blows him a kiss).
H: (Clearing throat and fanning face). Okay, well, what do you most love about Greg?
F: His loyal, loving heart.
H: What do you dislike the most about Greg?
F: His t-shirt bearing the slogan, Byte Me—relegated to the past, I dare say—and the rubbish bin!
G (Eyes widening…): The trash! I wondered why I couldn’t find it…
H: Secret’s out, it seems. What annoying habit drives you crazy about Greg?
F: These days Greg drives me mad indeed—but not with irritation! (Winks devilishly and exchanges scorching look with Greg).
H: (Fanning face with increased vigor…) Do you ever feel like Greg tries to control you?
F: Only in the best of ways. (Winks again)
H: (Reaching for glass of ice water and wishing she could splash her face…) Every couple bickers. How do you and Greg work out your differences?
F: We talk them over although mind I’m usually in no great hurry. Makeup sex is the absolute best, darling.
H: (Giving up and pouring water over her head—kidding! Sort of…) Whew, I’ll bet! Are children in your future?
F: We hope so, although not for a while. Once my daughter, Samantha, goes to university in two years, I’ll likely relocate to California permanently. For now, Greg and I are doing the bi-coastal thing. It takes a bit of coordinating but as an international fashion photographer, I’m used to traveling—and being with Greg is worth it!
H: Delicate question—how do you feel about marriage?
F: (Glances over at Greg, biting her lip). Cautious but optimistic. I’m divorced from Samantha’s father, as you know, but marriage to Greg would be a different beast entirely. He’s already asked me.
G: I have, multiple times.
F: So far I’ve put him off until “someday.” But we’ll marry when the time is right, I’m sure of it.
H: What has changed about Greg since you first met?
F: His wardrobe, thank God! A good haircut and contacts in lieu of glasses has further enhanced the masculine good looks that were always there but hidden.
H: What is Greg’s sexiest physical attribute?
F: I’ll spare myself blushes and simply say his eyes. (She blushes anyway)
H: What’s in store for the future?
F: Marriage most likely (see above), and hopefully living together on one coast—the West. Greg and Samantha (daughter) get along famously. I’m hoping she’ll spend more of her school holidays with us once she begins university.
H: Sounds like a Happily Ever After in the making. Greg, it’s your turn to weigh in.
G: Thanks, Hope. I’m ready, believe me. (Laughs)
H: What’s your favorite thing about Francesca?
G: Honestly there are so many things I love about this woman it’s impossible to pick just one.
H: How did you meet?
G: She sidestepped my receptionist and barged into my office with her camera like she owned the place—”
F: How many times must I say this!?! I had an appointment!
G: And she refused to leave until she had my photograph to run with the GQ feature piece. I gave it to her all right—my baby picture but hey, it’s still me, right? (Grins wickedly)
H: When’s the first time you realized you were attracted to Francesca?
F: I knew it from the start, or at least once I looked up from coding and into her face—her very beautiful, very pissed off face. The heat in her eyes could have melted metal.
H: How would you describe the perfect date?
G: Our first date as Francesca described was pretty perfect except for the phone call from her daughter. She took it pretty hard, which is totally understandable. Still, if I had it to do again, this time I probably wouldn’t be so noble about letting her keep her clothes on. She made it all up to me the next day, though…
H: Hmm, care to elaborate?
F (Shaking head): No, he does not!
H: Okay, then, moving on, what do you most love about Francesca?
G: I’d have to say her spirit. She absolutely doesn’t give up, and I find that incredibly sexy.
H: Okay, then what do you dislike the most about Francesca?
I love everything about her—including the way she bites her bottom lip when she’s anxious about something. It’s adorable—and way sexy!
F: Oh, darling! ((Sends Greg mooncalf look))
G: Except sometimes she interrupts—a lot.
H: What annoying habit drives you crazy about Francesca?
G: Just getting a word in can be a challenge sometimes—but I’m up for it!
H: Hmm, okay. Do you ever feel like Francesca tries to control you?
G: Other than throwing out my clothes? No.
H: Every couple bickers. How do you and Francesca work out your differences?
G: We talk them through, like she said, but the talking usually comes after I take her to bed.
H (Pausing to guzzle contents of water glass): I see. Are children in your future?
G: I love her daughter, Sam already and despite what Francesca may tell you, she’s a great mom. Would I like us to have kids of our own? Of course I hope that happens. Right now the timing isn’t so great for starting a family, but in another year or two…
H: How do you feel about marriage?
G: Like I said earlier, I’ve asked her multiple times—and I won’t give up until she gives me a definite yes.
H: What has changed about Francesca since you first met?
G: I don’t think she’s as hung up on appearances as she used to be.
H: What’s Francesca’s sexiest physical attribute?
G: Again, she has so many, but I’ll keep it PG-13 and say her eyes. The way she looks at me when I—
H: (Laughing) What’s in store for the future?
G: Marriage definitely, kids hopefully, and living in the same time zone sooner versus later.
H: Francesca and Greg, thank you both for taking the time to stop by and let Suddenly Cinderella Series readers know what you’ve been up to since the series wrapped.
((Both nod, Francesca speaks up)): Quite. Greg and I make an appearance in the series finale, THE CINDERELLA SEDUCTION.
Hope: Yes, you do! J Readers, please expect to see not only Francesca and Greg but also my other two Suddenly Cinderella couples, Macie and Ross, Starr and Matt, in the series wrap-up: THE CINDERELLA SEDUCTION.
Award-winning author, Hope Tarr earned a Master’s Degree in Psychology and a Ph.D. in Education before coming to grips with the tough truth: she wasn’t especially interested in analyzing people or teaching them. What she wanted was to write about them! Today Hope is the author of more than twenty historical and contemporary romance novels for multiple publishers including THE CINDERELLA SEDUCTION, the finale to her Suddenly Cinderella Series for Entangled Publishing. Hope is also a co-founder and current curator of Lady Jane’s Salon®, New York City’s first—and still only—monthly romance reading series now with satellites in eight U.S. states. The Romance Writers of America’s New York City chapter recently honored Hope as their 2013 Author of the Year. She lives in Manhattan with her real life romance hero and their feline family members. When not writing, she enjoys running, hiking, martial arts—and browsing restaurant menus.