Message From The Author
As I sit at my computer on holiday in sunny Bali, it seems a little odd to be writing about a book that’s set in Whistler in the middle of a snowy winter. But, actually, there’s an interesting connection. Sex on the Slopes is my second Berkley Heat that’s set around a destination wedding – and the concept came to me when I was on holiday in Belize a few years ago. In fact, the first book, Sex on the Beach (January 2010) is set in Belize.
I enjoy travel, and I noticed how many people these days are choosing a different pattern for their wedding and honeymoon. Rather than the big church wedding at home, followed a honeymoon to some exotic location, they’re packing up family and close friends for a wedding trip. Everyone gets a holiday in a wonderful place and gets to hang out together. Family and friends who don’t already know each other have a chance to get acquainted, and the bride and groom are able to spend time with those who are close to them.
The atmosphere around a wedding is romantic, and holidays in exotic locations are relaxed. They’re sensual, they’re liberating, they’re about loosening up and having fun. So, put romance and all that other good stuff together, and it seems to me, as a writer of erotic romance, that some of those single wedding guests must be finding sexy romances of their own. Maybe even illicit romances – ones they have reason to keep secret. Imagine different couples hooking up, but not wanting anyone else to know . . . Well, that’s where my imagination took me, and that’s what I wrote about in Sex on the Beach and Sex on the Slopes. (By the way, the third destination wedding book, Heat Waves, scheduled for July 2011, is set in the Greek islands.)
So, why did I move from the beach in Belize to the snowy slopes of Whistler for Sex on the Slopes? Well, having lived all my life in Victoria and Vancouver, BC, Whistler’s been a part of my life. Even though I’m not much of a snow or winter sports person, the place fascinates me. It’s an odd mix of small town and international resort – and, of course, it was one of the sites of the 2010 Olympics.
Whistler really helped shape the book, not just in terms of the physical setting but also the characters and conflicts contained in the three interlocking novellas. There are so many different kinds of people and communities within Whistler, and they don’t always mix easily.
Of course there are normal people living there and going about their normal lives, and they’re often people who love the rugged mountains, spectacular scenery, and all-season sports. Other people come there for business purposes. For example, in the first novella in Sex on the Slopes, titled “Fire and Ice,” firefighter Jared Stone is a local man. He grew up in Whistler, married his high school sweetheart, and was widowed three years ago. Heroine Andi Radcliffe is the Vancouver wedding planner who’s in charge of arranging a week of pre-wedding festivities for fifty people, as well as planning the wedding itself. So, a small town guy with deep roots in Whistler meets a businesswoman from Vancouver; a widower who never imagined falling in love again meets a single girl who wants to be a man’s “first and only.” Will it be a quickie fling, or the beginning of something deeper that will require both of them to shake up their lives?
Of course there are tourists in Whistler; they’re the foundation of the economy. There are also a lot of seasonal workers, from waiters to chambermaids to ski instructors, and many of them are from Australia. A lot of them are there because they love skiing or snowboarding, and next season they’ll be off somewhere else. The heroine of “Slippery Slope,” Brianna George, the groom’s boss, is in Whistler as a wedding guest, so in theory she’s a tourist. Yet she’s a career-driven woman who doesn’t believe in holidays. Aussie “ski bum” Zack Michaels provides plenty of inducement to put work aside and have some fun – but it’s a slippery slope for both of them as fun turns to something much deeper and more meaningful. Can two such opposite people ever find happiness together?
Whistler also has its seamy side, and that’s what brings undercover cop Logan Carver there in “In Hot Pursuit of a Bad Boy.” But will his biggest challenge be identifying the kingpin in an international drug ring, or coping with his feelings for the girl from his past? Maddie Daniels, the sister of the groom, is in Whistler for the wedding and plans on a week of pure fun – but once she sees her high school crush, she has a whole new goal. If she has her way, bad boy Logan won’t slip through her fingers for a second time.
See what I mean about setting shaping the characters and stories? These three romances could only have happened in Whistler. I had so much fun writing them, and I hope you have as much fun reading them.
- Susan Lyons
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