A Friendly Engagement by Christine Warner
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publication: June 23rd, 2015 by Entangled Publishing
What’s a little engagement between friends?
Omar Esterly is married to his job. But when Omar sets his sights on a potential, family-oriented client, his confirmed bachelorhood becomes a problem. Fortunately, his friend and employee, Devi Boss, has the perfect plan…
Okay, so it wasn't exactly Devi's plan to become her friend's fake fiancée. Lies aren't her style. However, Omar offers her a big, beautiful raise—enough to track down the missing father she's never known—and Devi reluctantly agrees to the whole engagement hoax…
This was supposed to be a no-strings-attached win-win for both Devi and Omar, but when they cross the line between friendship and…well, something more, Devi realizes she’s made a huge mistake that just might cost her both job and friend—falling for her fiancé.
About the Author
Besides laughing and a good round of humor, she enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, reading, writing but no arithmetic. A confessed people watcher, she finds inspiration for her stories in everyday activities. She loves to read and write about strong heroes and determined, sometimes sassy heroines.
A girl gone wild, at least where social media is concerned, she enjoys meeting other avid readers and writers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads, and her website at christine-warner.com.
1. When did you realize that you wanted to become a writer? What was the very first thing you ever wrote?
I knew I wanted to be a writer when I was in elementary school and one a young author’s award. Then when I was in middle school and won an essay contest that went all the way to state, that kind of cemented the deal. Lol But, as I grew up, life got in the way. Family, work, marriage, work, kids, work—you get the picture. I didn’t start seriously pursuing my dream until 2009 at the urging, shoving, and pushing of my sister.
The first thing I wrote was Some Like it in Handcuffs, which was contracted and published in 2010.
But, if you want to know the true first thing I wrote, way back in elementary school that perked my love of writing, it was titled “How Frogs First Turned Green”. I still have the story
2. Do you read reviews of your books? What do you do when you read a not-so-nice one?
I do read them on occasion because I look at is as a learning opportunity. Some reviewers might have a criticism or a piece of advice that will help me grow as a writer. As for what I do when reading a not-so-nice review…I remind myself that you can’t please everyone and we’re all entitled to our opinions.
3. Describe yourself in 3 words.
Loyal. Funny. Happy.
4. What do you normally like to read when not writing?
I alternate between true crime—I devour all of Ann Rule’s books and was so sad to hear she recently passed away—and romance. There’s no way I can choose a favorite romance author because there are so many genres I like to read, and so many authors in each one.
5. How much of the characters from a Friendly Engagement are based on your traits or someone you know personally?
I’d have to say every character I write has a little bit of me in there somewhere. As for my characters in A Friendly Engagement I modeled my heroine Devi (I borrowed her name from my awesome niece) after both my niece and my daughter. Both of them are strong, independent, young women who like to enjoy life to the fullest. They’re amazing and always fun to be around.
6. What is your favorite holiday?
My all time favorite holiday always has been and always will be Thanksgiving. I love to cook, I love being surrounded by family, I love the laughter, smells, jokes, games, food—and I love it best of all that there are no obligations attached to this holiday. No need to dress up, bring a present—all you have to do is show up hungry! Lol
7. What are you working on now?
I’m waiting for the 2nd book in the series titled A Friendly Arrangement to release on October 26th. YAY! I just finished final edits for the third book in the series titled A Friendly Fling which will release early 2016, and I’m starting a new project. Well, actually 2 new projects. One is about a family of cowboys, and the other is a fun and flirty series that deals with a group of business women who are used to running the show.
8. Can you share a teaser of A Friendly Engagement with our readers?
“You’re game for anything, right?”
Devi compressed her lips and studied Omar through a narrow gaze, taking in the way his overly bright eyes concentrated on her face as if memorizing every pore. Her gaze traveled south to the non-existent rise and fall of his chest and how he pushed his suit jacket aside as he placed his hands low on his hips. He’d stopped breathing while he waited for her reply. That made her more nervous than anything. “Normally I am game for anything, but considering the man asking the question, I’m a little nervous.” She licked her lips.
Omar shook his head, swallowing her hands in the warmth of his. “No. This is a great idea. I can’t believe I didn’t see it before.”
“I’ll hold back on saying I’m glad I could help until I know what you’ve got pinging around your brain.” She tried to pull free of his grip, but he only grasped her fingers tighter. Her inner voice told her whatever plan he’d cooked up included her and she wouldn’t be thrilled with the role.
“Bartow wants a family-first firm. He wants a planner who is married, blah, blah blah.” He dismissed his unfinished words with the thrust of his chin.
Devi nodded, her mouth going dry. Was he planning to hire a wife, or about to propose?
“I might not be married, but what if I were engaged?”
She didn’t want to jump to conclusions about the proposal so she pasted on a tight smile. “Do you have a serious girlfriend hidden away I don’t know about?” The thought unsettled her, but she pushed aside the heaviness in her gut. Omar and relationships mixed like fire and ice. Not that women didn’t find him attractive and vice versa, but his true love would always be work. Most sane women wanted something more than a workaholic commitment-phobe.
He shook his head a bit too vigorously. “No. No.” His grip tightened, and she flexed her fingers so he’d loosen his hold. “Hear me out before you shoot me down.”
“I’m more curious than ever.” Again, she threw sand over that niggling feeling in her belly. She never jumped to conclusions. Living by the seat of your pants didn’t allow it, but…
Why start now? She rolled her shoulders in an effort to relax. Omar pulled her off to the side and out of the crowd moving past them on the sidewalk. His hands shook with excitement, and he swallowed hard before clearing his throat. Always calm and collected, his buildup unsettled Devi, and she tugged one hand from his grip and pressed it against the gurgle growing in her stomach.
“How about we announce our engagement? I could pull in some favors and have it in the press Monday morning. That’d still give Bartow enough time to invite us to the meet and greet. And—”
“Whoa, whoa, whoa.” Devi’s stomach did a nosedive, and she yanked her other hand from his death grip and stepped back. She twisted one of the bangle bracelets on her wrist. “Our engagement? First off, I didn’t even know we were dating. And second, I am not going to help you get ahead by lying.”