The Australian by Lesley Young
(Crime Royalty Romance #2)
Publication date: March 27th 2015
Genres: Adult, Romance
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?
I slid into a soft leather upright, and put my satchel on the floor beside me. Mr. Knight said nothing.
I waited, calmly, expecting him to peruse my prominent breasts, especially since my nipples were no doubt peaked through my thin blouse and bra. But, he did not, which I greatly respected. Instead, he openly appraised my face, and finally, smiled.
“So Miss Sykes, what brings such a beautiful yank to Sydney then?”
“My looks are not at all pertinent, Mr. Knight.” His smile dropped. “I chose Australia spontaneously,” I offered, having enough sense not to share the Muriel’s Wedding detail. “I simply moved here to start fresh.”
He leaned forward in his chair, examining me much closer, eyes narrowed. “There are only a few reasons why a woman such as yourself leaves America for down under . . . Miss Sykes.”
I waited for his assumption.
“You’re running from someone. An ex? Husband? Boyfriend?”
I did not like the way he eyed me just then.
“Incorrect on all counts,” I informed him. “I have never had any of those. But I do not believe my sexual history, or lack of it, is pertinent to the job interview.” As I spoke, his full lips had popped open and his eyebrows had hiked farther up, creating strong lines in his forehead.
“Here we go,” I thought, frowning. Something I was doing was confusing him. Of course, I had no idea what it was. My tone of voice? Something I had said? It was like trying to figure out an alien alphabet. I cleared my throat. “However, you can be rest assured I am in Australia for no reason other than a desire to live life, finally, and that I have no intentions of leaving.” I did not want him to think I was not capable of a long-term commitment to the company should things work out.
Why We Want Australian Men
Lesley Young shares how she 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 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 ( 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.
Lesley Young is a genre-defying author of unforgettable heroines who experience thrilling life- and love-altering journeys. Her debut novel was Sky's End; her most recent stand-alone series, Crime Royalty Romance, includes The Frenchman and The Australian. She loves to hear from readers.
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