Title: The Australian (Crime Royalty Romance #2) Author: Lesley Young Genre: Contemporary Romance 18+ Publication Date: March 27, 2015 Can be read as a stand-alone novel.
~ Synopsis ~
Charlie Sykes takes everything and everyone at face value and believes life would be a lot easier if everyone else did, too. Aussie Jace Knight, international hotelier and purported playboy, has never met anyone like the absurdly literal and obliviously beautiful American who applies for his personal assistant position. The trouble is, how do you pursue a woman whose definition of flirting comes straight out of the Merriam-Webster Dictionary? That, and he’s not the only one after Charlie. Seems Mr. Knight might not be a reformed criminal after all.Soon, Charlie’s immersed in a whirlwind of international espionage that takes her from the hip streets of Sydney to the majestic Great Barrier Reef and the wild, desolate outback. A dangerous trap’s being set, but how will Charlie protect herself and prevent a tragic betrayal, when she can’t even sort out what her heart’s telling her?
Purchase The Australian (Book #2): Amazon
Purchase The Frenchman (Book #1): Amazon
About the AuthorLesley Young is an award-winning journalist by day and a compulsive romance novelist by night. Her most recent series—Crime Royalty Romance—features unforgettable heroines who fall in love with dangerous men while on adventures abroad. Her fast-paced novels are rich with intricate plots, sizzling romance and gripping character development. You'll root for her characters from page one!
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Why We Want Australian Men
How Lesley Young imagined her dude from down under in her romance novel The Australian
If you’re picturing a Hemsworth right now, you already know of what I speak. Let’s face it, dudes from down under have something special. After all, they’ve been stealing leading roles for years (think Russel Crowe, Eric Bana, and Hugh Jackman). In writing the second book in my Crime Royalty Romance series (the crime is light! the love is not!), The Australian, I had to sort out just what it was that makes those Aussies boys so special and layer it into my hero. Here’s how:
May the surfer culture live on Of course, tan and fit surfer men are not on every Aussie street corner, but they are more common down under. And while my hero, Mr. Jace Knight, was not a surfer, I did want him to embody that casual, laid back attitude that makes those boys so charming. Not only does Jace look smoking hot in his cozzie (strine for swimsuit)—as noted on the book’s cover—he’s so playful and open, you forget he’s one of the most powerful men in all of Australia.
They own rugged masculinity What does that even mean? Well, let’s just say that I don’t know for sure that Australian men can single-handedly wrestle a crocodile, make dinner and pitch a tent out of surfboards while cracking a few adorable jokes. But what really matters is that we think they can. That kind of rugged masculinity is rare, exclusive and highly valued by North American females who tire of Channing Tatum’s pretty boy dance moves. My Australian is ruggedly masculine in every way, and proves it in a pivotal scene in the wild Outback that requires life-or-death bravery.
They’re down to earth I’ve been told Australian men treat everyone the same—they fight for the underdog and have basic, fair expectations about life and what it has to offer—and that the same goes for their women. My Australian doesn’t play games, or put out pretenses. And he expects the same from his heroine Charlie Sykes. Unfortunately, she’s caught up in a web of lies that force her to try play him (she is, of course, wholly inadequate).
The Australian is a coming-of-age love story between a highly intelligent, awfully literal heroine and a man whose moral code is questionable, but whose honor is not. I layer in lots of culture, and descriptive details of some of Australia’s most popular tourist sights. The ride is wild—literally and figuratively.
Thanks for featuring my post. The Australian is available at http://amzn.com/B00V89O7EC. Sign up for news about my next book at lesleyyoungbooks.com and visit facebook.com/lesleyyoungbooks and @lesleyyoungbks.
The Australian playlist
Three songs that fueled the fast-paced romantic suspense novel The Australian by Lesley Young
The second book in my stand-alone Crime Royalty Romance series features a shorter playlist than the first book (The Frenchman). But the songs I did listen to while writing The Australian were so integral that I will never be able to hear them again without pivotal scenes playing out in my head.
Here are the three key moments in the book that wouldn’t have happened without music.
Jace Knight . . .vulnerable
For most of The Australian, Charlie Sykes not only keeps playboy and international hotelier Jace Knight on his toes, she throws him right off his game. He’s so into her, but because she establishes boundaries from day one, he’s torn because it’s not clear to him that she does want him. Due to complicated circumstances, she ends up loving and leaving Jace, which confuses the hell out of him.
A couple of songs really helped me to write Jace true—a very masculine Aussie wearing his heart on his sleeve. Makes sense that the songs are rock alternative, almost-ballads. When I hear these tunes I can smell the humidity and beach, hear the roar of Jace’s motorcycle and absorb the angst of a very proud man humbled by fast-budding love. They include If I Had My Way by Big Sugar, and Deny by Default.
Charlie Sykes . . .falling in love
When Charlie, who doesn’t understand or cope with feelings very well, realizes she is falling in love with Mr. Knight, it isn’t a warm-fuzzy moment. It’s the exact the opposite—she’s terrified because she believes there are circumstances that prevent her from being with him. But the truth is, and hopefully readers suspect this, she’s really terrified because she doesn’t yet understand the glory of love.
Instead, love, as she’s been taught in her limited life experience, is a burden, a heavy weight, and Jace is not unlike a drug she has no control over. When she stares out her high-rise condo window down at Sydney’s harbor, her heart aching and her eyes wide with fear, this song plays on repeat in my mind--Addicted To You by Avicii.
Epiphany . . . the cost of loving Jace Knight
There is an extremely shocking and dangerous development that happens in the wild, Aussie outback. I won’t say what, but an intense, violent drama plays out. And this a pivotal moment in the novel, not just because it is a plot advancement, but because it is when Charlie experiences firsthand the true cost of loving a man like Jace.
Deep down inside, she is forced to admit being with him is a high-stakes game, entailing a life full of risk, precisely what she moved to Australia to avoid. She realizes how much she doesn’t want this, and begins the heart-wrenching journey to decide whether she can bear the price of loving him. The moment this realization dawns—the red, dusty earth, the smell of guns firing and sweat, and the heat from Jace’s eyes asking her to be brave, in more ways than one—plays in my mind every time I hear Love Runs Out by OneRepublic.
Thank you so much for featuring me on your fabulous blog! The series is stand-alone so don’t worry about whether you read The Australian or The Frenchman first. Stay in the know about new releases and great deals at LesleyYoungBooks.com.