A warm love bytes welcome to author Louise Masters joining us today to talk about new release “The Bunny and the Billionaire”, part of Dreamspinners Dreamspun Desires series.
Welcome Louisa 🙂
Writing The Bunny and The Billionaire: My Visit to Monaco
In 2016, I was fortunate enough to spend two months traveling through Europe. I say “fortunate” because I know a lot of people never get that opportunity, but in truth, it was mostly a family trip, with my parents, several aunts and uncles, and some cousins… so while fun, there were parts that were “intense.” Or maybe just tense.
Anyway, one of the places we visited was Monaco. I’d never been before, and truthfully, had never planned to go. When we arrived in mid-May, the city was in the process of preparing for the Grand Prix, so there was fencing everywhere, and slightly more tourists (like us) than usual. But the weather was spectacular, and despite nearly everything being uphill and expensive, I loved it.
We stayed at the Fairmont, which is brilliantly located. It’s not as big as some of the other hotels I’ve stayed in, but the views from the restaurants and the pool—which is basically a party all day long—are breathtaking. There’s not really any hotel that’s “cheap” or even “reasonably priced” in Monaco itself—if you’re on a budget, it’s a matter of picking the least expensive, or staying in Nice or one of the surrounding towns and day-tripping in. Many native Monegasque citizens don’t actually live in Monaco—they rent their ancestral homes out for a fortune to people who have become citizens but weren’t born there, and live five minutes over the border in France, where it’s much cheaper.
If you don’t mind the hills, you can easily walk around Monaco—and it doesn’t take that long. It’s picturesque and charming. The roads have interesting curves, and I don’t think I saw a single run-down building while I was there. And the people-watching opportunities are amazing. You’ll see people from all over the world in Monaco, especially if you loiter in the Place du Casino. There are a few lovely benches you can inhabit while you watch people come and go from the two casinos and the Hotel de Paris.
This is where my book began—in every sense. Not only does chapter one open with Ben sitting on the terrace at the Café de Paris, eating expensive ice cream and watching people come and go, but that’s where I was when the idea to write a book about an Aussie traveling in Europe occurred to me.
That makes you think less of my intelligence, doesn’t it? After all, it’s not a complex concept. But it honestly didn’t even ping on my radar until then—I was too busy trying to enjoy the trip, cope with working part-time remotely, and not kill any family members. But there I was, sitting on the terrace at the Café de Paris, eating ice cream that was insanely good, but cost more than most of the meals I’d had while I was in Spain, eavesdropping on the people at the table next to me while I watched the world go by in the twilight… and then this small group of men walked across the square. To be honest, none of them was particularly good-looking, but they were incredibly charismatic. They walked like they owned the place, and people actually moved out of their way, while others turned to watch. The people at the next table were speculating about who they could be, and mafia ended up being the winning vote. Then the men went into the casino—with the doormen falling all over themselves to be deferential—and that was that.
I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Who were the men? If I were a more adventurous person, I could have followed them into the casino and… what?
I’ll never know, of course, but I gave my imagination free rein. Ben did follow them inside, and it changed his life.
The Bunny and The Billionaire
Released October 1 by Dreamspinner Press
Spending their fortunes and losing their hearts.
Hardworking Australian nurse Ben Adams inherits a substantial sum and decides to tour Europe. In Monaco, the home of glamour and the idle rich, he meets French billionaire playboy Léo Artois. After getting off on the wrong foot—as happens when one accuses a stranger of being part of the Albanian mafia—their attraction blazes. Léo, born to the top tier of society, has never known limits, and Ben, used to budgeting every cent, finds it difficult to adjust to not only Léo’s world, but also the changes wealth brings to his own life.
As they make allowances for each other’s foibles, Ben gradually appreciates the finer things, and Léo widens his perspective. They both know one thing: this is not a typical holiday romance and they’re not ready to say goodbye.
Louisa is giving away five swag packs to mark the release of The Bunny and The Billionaire. Enter to win! https://tinyurl.com/yag5gasq
Louisa Masters started reading romance much earlier than her mother thought she should. While other teenagers were sneaking out of the house, Louisa was sneaking romance novels in and working out how to read them without being discovered. She’s spent most of her life feeling sorry for people who don’t read, convinced that books are the solution to every problem. As an adult, she feeds her addiction in every spare second, only occasionally tearing herself away to do things like answer the phone and pay bills. She spent years trying to build a “sensible” career, working in bookstores, recruitment, resource management, administration, and as a travel agent, before finally conceding defeat and devoting herself to the world of romance novels.
Louisa has a long list of places first discovered in books that she wants to visit, and every so often she overcomes her loathing of jet lag and takes a trip that charges her imagination. She lives in Melbourne, Australia, where she whines about the weather for most of the year while secretly admitting she’ll probably never move.
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