Since I returned to the writing world, a lot has been going on. One thing that happened was my friend Holly Hart making it to the USA Today Bestseller list with her anthology, Begging for Bad Boys. This anthology has just about every type of bad boy you want—and talent from all corners of the romance world.

Since then, Holly has been working on an amazing new book that she just released this week. Faking It tells the story of Penny and Charlie, who are thrown together under the craziest of circumstances. When child protective services threatens to take Charlie’s daughter away, he needs a wife—and fast. Penny steps in to help him, and as it turns out, she’s a virgin—and desperately attracted to Charlie. Faking It is a fantastically fun, sexy, and suspenseful story that will have you rooting for the hero and heroine. Don’t worry—an HEA is totally guaranteed. But you’ll have to find out for yourself how they get there.

I got to ask Holly a few questions about her new release, and she gave me some insight on her upcoming ideas. And I’m so happy to be able to share our chat with you today!


Holly—you’ve been writing romance for a while. How did you get started, and what do you love about writing bad boy romance?

What do I love about writing bad boy romance? What don’t I love about writing bad boy romance! Okay. Put yourself in my shoes. I was stuck in a job I hated. Sure, I was writing, but it was all kinds of boring: dry technical reports, grant applications – you name it, I hated it.

So guess what I started doing – daydreaming about sexy bad boys sweeping me off my feet, and out of my boring job. I wrote a military romance first, back in January of 2016. It was a story that struck me while watching the news about the war in Afghanistan one night. It took off in a way I never expected. Now, honestly back then I didn’t know the first thing about writing fiction. There’s more wrong with that book then there is right! But I’ll be forever grateful to it. It gave me the opportunity to do what I love full-time. And seriously, do you know how great it is to get to write about sexy men and their hot love stories all day!


Tell me about your new book, Faking It. How did you come up with the idea, and what was your inspiration while writing?

I’ve always loved the fake marriage idea in romance novels. There’s something incredibly intriguing about putting a couple who absolutely AREN’T made for each other, and making them wrestle until they can’t live without one another.

I actually dreamt the opening scene! I wondered what a billionaire would do if his new personal assistant said something completely outrageous, but he had absolutely no choice but to go along with it…

Once I start writing, I don’t really need inspiration. My brain simply won’t let me stop until the words are on the page! I’m a bit obsessive like that.


Why will romance readers love your hero and heroine in Faking It?

I think a lot of readers will be able to identify with Penny. She’s an ordinary girl in a heck of a bind. A lot of us have asked ourselves – how far would we go to save someone we loved. In Penny’s case, she’s actually got to go and do it!

As for Charlie, who doesn’t love a suave, sexy billionaire? Especially when he’s a loving and incredibly devoted single father.


What’s your favorite romance novel? Why do you love it?

One of the hardest things about my new double life as a romance writer is that I don’t get nearly as much time to read! However when I picked up a few months ago really rocked me back on my heels. It was L.J. Shen’s Blood to Dust. It’s kind of a Bonnie and Clyde-style romance with dark edges to it. I swear, my Kindle was burning by the time I got to the end at three in the morning! I’d recommend it to anyone!


As a writer, what’s the best advice you’ve received? How do you follow it day to day?

One of the first things I was ever told as a writer was: “write what you know.” You know what I say? Bull crap! I don’t know anything about Mafia love stories, or office romances with a hint of corporate espionage… But what I do have is an amazing imagination. So I kind of switched that advice about a little, and turned it into: “write what you love.”

I love it when my novels have a bit of “edge” to them – a little bit of danger, mystery and intrigue. I think any of my Byrne Brothers show this – not only will they do anything to protect their women, but there’s always a conspiracy for them to defeat, an enemy for them to bring down. That’s especially the case in my latest book, Faking It. Charlie Thorne has one hell of a nemesis in Landon Winchester – a man who will go to any lengths to get what he wants.


If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

Write faster! No, I’m kidding. Kind of.

I would love to be invisible. I know, it’s a classic, but there’s a reason for that. I’m like most writers, I imagine – a bit of a people watcher. I love to try and guess what’s going on in their lives as they walk past, and to figure out what problems they have. Then I add them to my books! I’d love to see what people are like when their guard is down. Then again, I’m so clumsy I’d probably stumble into something and give the game away!


How do you connect with your readers?

My readers and I have an absolutely fantastic time conversing by email. Sometimes I wake up to twenty or thirty messages in my inbox! Unfortunately, I’m not on twitter, but I’m on Facebook every day! And for a limited time, I’m sending a personalized prologue to Faking It to anyone who signs up!


What are you into right now?

There’s a show called Designated Survivor. The concept is that the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development suddenly gets catapulted to be president, and he, his wife and family need to learn to adapt to a world of power and conspiracy. I love TV shows like this: fast-paced, intriguing, and (this bit I’m not nearly so fond of) a cliffhanger every week… I find that every single episode, I’m sitting on the edge of my seat waiting for what they’ll reveal next.

I’ve actually tried to use this book to help improve my own writing. Then again, I’m already a sucker for a conspiracy, so maybe I should stay well away!


What is the next book or project you have planned? We’d love to know a little more!

I just had the most amazing idea for my next cover. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone, but the story revolves around a heroine who, uh – how can I say this… She’s never had an orgasm. No boyfriend has ever been able to make her come. God, I’m getting red-faced just talking about it!

A lot of the time I get inspired by how amazing my book covers will be. This time is no different. I’m penciling the release in for mid-June, so someone needs to get their whip out!

Now, there’s an idea…


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Lexi Whitlow

Lexi Whitlow is originally from the middle of nowhere in a tiny county in Virginia--though now she's enjoying her days as a suburban romance writer in a neighborhood with a big, shiny pool. She spent her early years growing up between Virginia and her grandfather's farm in North Carolina. She's Southern by heritage and a world-traveler at heart. Writing books allow her to travel to distant, unexplored lands in her mind, but she spends most days chasing her six-year-old and shouting at her dog to stop sneaking onto the sofa while she's writing. She holds a master's degree in English literature, and her mom is so proud she's "using her degree." Lexi harbors a not-so-secret love for bad boys. She loves fighters, dirty princes, crooked cops, and criminals. Her husband is a scientist... but he has the heart of a bad boy. She spends what little free time she has crocheting, painting, and occasionally cooking for her family. On big writing nights, everyone is happy eating cereal.

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