Spoiled shares a look at the books you can't wait to read, long before they hit stores. Today author HelenKay Dimon gives RT readers a peek inside her just-announced series from Berkeley Heat. Discover what awaits readers in Dimon's first contemporary erotic romance series, meet her sexy new alpha hero and learn what else the author has in store for fans.
Congratulations on your recent deal with Berkley Heat! We know these books will be contemporary erotic romances, but can you tell us anything else about them?
Thank you! I'm thrilled to be here and so excited to talk about this these books. They are related in that they share some of the same characters. In the first one, tentatively titled Branded, a Jason Bourne-type heroine loses everything — her job, her team and the life she's known — and turns for help to the one guy she can’t forget. He also happens to be the guy she lived with during an undercover assignment all while setting him up to be arrested. He takes her in but he has some rules this time, including the one where her body belongs only to him and his heart stays out of it. Yeah, the road to a happy ending is a bit bumpy for these two. The book isn't romantic suspense. It's more of a "what happens once the heart-pounding terror is over and lives have been shattered" but it does have the high tension vibe I love so much in romantic suspense.
This won't be the first time you've written erotic romance, but you're also well known for your Harlequin Intrigue titles. What's one thing you enjoy about writing erotic romance that you don't get from writing mystery or romantic suspense?
I've written erotic short stories and novellas, and sexy single titles, but this will be my first single title that's truly erotic romance. With suspense, especially with Intrigue, the wild pacing shapes the romance. Everything feels fast and tense. What I love about erotic romance is the chance to shift the focus inward, keeping the intensity on the couple as they grow together through their sexual relationship.
Who are some erotic romance authors that have influenced your work?
I'm going to forget someone, and I apologize for that, but right now I love reading Megan Hart (who is probably more erotic fiction than erotic romance), Lauren Dane, Anne Calhoun, Alison Kent and Sylvia Day. Really, there are so many authors who write with rich emotional intensity, inside erotic romance and in sexy romance, who I really enjoy. I wish I could list them all.
What are some of your favorite erotic romance tropes and themes? Will we see any of them in these two books?
The first book is a one man/one woman erotic romance. There isn't BDSM, but there is a cat-and-mouse game that begins and ends with control in the bedroom. And is there anything more compelling than the dead sexy, flawed, alpha hero type? Jarrett, the hero in Branded, is broken. On the outside, he's tough and somewhat emotionless, but his feelings run much deeper. He's a true bad boy, not just in the sense of being a loner or being someone who was wrongly convicted of a crime. He's done very bad things. He has a rough past and it shaped him into the in-control man he is — in the bedroom and out. The fact the heroine, Becca, contributed to his deliciously broken state makes their journey all the more interesting to me.
Book #2 centers on a secondary character from Branded. You can imagine if Jarrett is so alone in the world the kind of person his one true friend might be. How could I not give that guy a book?
We're guessing we have some time before your first Heat title hits shelves. What can readers look forward to from you in the meantime?
I do! My new sexy small town contemporary series for Berkley, The Hanover Brothers, starts in March. The books follow three sons of a notorious con man. They've been dealt a hard life by their dad but they have a strong bond with each other … and women determined to make them better men. The first is No Turning Back (March) and the second is A Simple Twist of Fate (July). I am also finishing up a series for Carina Press. I finally got to write a story for that secondary character who popped up without warning and won me over, Travis. His book, Just What He Wanted, is out in June. And, going back to suspense, I have two new Intrigues out in July and August — Fearless and Ruthless — that kick off a new miniseries and let me once again deal with the brother bond, a topic I love.
Although the release date is TBA, here's hoping readers can get Branded soon! For more steamy titles visit our Everything Erotica Page!