Billionaire Boss, Cinderella, Close Proximity, Computer Genius, contemporary romance, Damaged Hero, Diverse, Hearing Impaired, Jennifer Wilck, new release, Scarred, Unlock My Heart
Thank you so much, Linda, for hosting me on your blog today. For this post, I decided to interview Abby, the heroine of my latest contemporary romance, Unlock My Heart. I hope you enjoy getting to know her.
What is your occupation?
I just started a new job at Endicott Security as a computer programmer. It’s my dream job—the firm is the best in the business, and I’ve wanted to work here forever. It’s a small company, so I’ll get lots of hands-on experience and can show off my skills. Plus, the company culture is very laid back and casual, which is nice.
What is your motto?
I don’t know if you’d say it was a motto per se, but I value financial independence more than almost anything. I never want to have to depend on someone else for my livelihood.
How would you describe your childhood?
It was tough. I was raised by a single mom who had to—and wanted to—depend on men for everything. When I wasn’t at school, I was hanging out in the bars where my mom worked or in local arcades waiting for her to finish. We moved around a lot, especially when the men she fell for no longer wanted her. There wasn’t a lot of stability, although she definitely loves me.
When and where were you happiest?
When I was about ten or eleven, I went to the local boys and girls club and took a free class on computer coding. I was hooked. I loved every minute of it. My mom wasn’t a fan of it, but I knew that computer coding and programming was what I wanted to do in life. It would give me the financial independence I craved.
What do you consider the most important event in your life so far?
As part of the Endicott team, I get to go to a major technology conference in New York City. I’ve never been to either the city or the tech conference, so I’m really looking forward to it. I can’t wait to take the workshops, attend the presentations, and just be surrounded by all of the leaders in the industry.
What is your greatest fear?
My greatest fear is losing my source of income and having to depend on someone else to support me.
Who is the person you respect the most and why?
That would be Ted Endicott, the CEO and founder of Endicott Security. He’s brilliant and talented. He’s overcome obstacles, too—he’s hard of hearing, but he doesn’t let that stop him. And when you get to know him, he’s funny and kind.
Have you ever been in love?
Ha. Um, I used to say I don’t believe in love. It’s not part of my future goals. But lately, I’ve been spending a lot of time with Ted and…let’s just say I could see why some people are fond of it. I don’t want to fall in love with my boss, since when the relationship fails, I’ll be the one to lose my job. But I’m definitely closer to falling than I’d like to be.
What goal do you most want to achieve in life?
Financial independence and maybe, someone who values me for my intelligence and ability, in addition to my feminine assets.
~*~ Unlock My Heart ~*~
Abby Marlow, computer security expert, lands a job at the best IT security firm in the country. Her sole focus is financial independence so she never has to rely on others again, especially a man. But why does her boss make her wires short circuit?
Ted Endicott, CEO and founder of the IT security firm, is hard of hearing. Although an expert in his field, he’s still uncomfortable admitting his difficulty hearing to his clients or employees. So why is he willing to accept Abby’s help?
As Ted and Abby work together, barriers fall away, and soon the lines blur between colleagues and lovers. But a security glitch in a client’s system indicates one of his employees is the hacker, and all signs point to Abby. Can they get past the suspicion and find a future together?
Ted grasped Abby as she started to topple. Pulling her tight against him, he skated them to the rail and leaned against it, giving her time to get her feet back under her. Greg was right; Ted shouldn’t hold her like this, but no one was around and with Abby everything felt right.
And he was enjoying her body against his. He stifled a groan. Soft breasts, delicate bones, strawberry-scented hair. He wanted her, more than he’d ever wanted another woman.
She’d bragged about his success to her mother? For a man who’d grown up with a dad who called him stupid, Abby’s brag was more of an aphrodisiac than any sexy model ever could be.
He hugged her to him on the pretense of making sure she remained upright and waited for her to pull away.
Her lips moved, and he studied them, unable to hear her with the background music, the whoosh of air as they glided, the voices of the skaters, and traffic noise. He thought she said “thanks,” and he nodded. When she started to speak again, he took his finger and placed it over her lips. They were velvety soft and pink, and he would have given anything to kiss them.
Instead, he shook his head. “I can’t hear you. And lip reading is exhausting.”
He expected the usual shame to creep in. Maybe because she was out of her element here on the ice and relied on him. She clutched his hand as he guided them slowly over the ice. Maybe it was because he saw no pity. In fact, desire flashed. She blinked, and it was gone. But he’d seen it.
He could spend their entire time together wondering what conversations he missed. He could worry about what she thought, or about whether or not the CEO of the company should skate this close to his employee.
Or he could skate.
He held her close again, and they circled the rink. The cold air reddened her cheeks and nose. His hands should have been cold without gloves, but they weren’t. Holding Abby, melding their bodies together, created a furnace between them. He was surprised the ice beneath their blades didn’t melt.
They circled the rink once, twice, three times, and on their fourth turn, snowflakes fell. The sky glowed from the reflection of the lights on the clouds, which were so low, it seemed as if the tops of the buildings supported them. Abby shivered. He drew her close again as he stopped at the railing.
“Cold?” he asked.
She shook her head no.
If she wasn’t cold…he leaned toward her, and her eyes darkened. Her lips parted, and his heart thumped in his chest. He wanted to kiss her more than he wanted to be able to hear the sound of his name on her lips.
She reached out and traced her finger across his cheekbone. When she pulled back, there was liquid from a melting snowflake on the tip, and a blaze of heat across his cheek.
He caught the gist, and his shock at her comment broke the spell. “You’ve never seen snow?”
She shook her head. He wanted to ask her where she’d grown up, but this wasn’t the place because of the noise of the tourists. Besides, it was late, and if he weren’t careful, he’d do something he shouldn’t.
Like kiss her next to the golden statue in Rockefeller Center.
He steered them toward the exit, and they returned their skates. Moving away from the noise of the rink, Ted took a deep breath when he could hear again.
“You want to walk in the snow or cab it?” he asked.
The look of joy on her face was contagious as she held her hands out to collect snowflakes. He’d grown up in Ohio. Snow was nothing new to him, although he remembered how much he’d loved to play in it. He’d built huge forts in the snowdrifts, where sound was muted and light filtered through the flakes. The snowy walls offered a natural barrier and allowed him to dream of days when he’d be far away.
Universal Link: https://books2read.com/u/4NyjGx
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/unlock-my-heart-jennifer-wilck/1140834495
Jennifer started telling herself stories as a little girl when she couldn’t fall asleep at night. Pretty soon, her head was filled with these stories and the characters that populated them. Even as an adult, she thinks about the characters and stories at night before she falls asleep or walking the dog. Eventually, she started writing them down. Her favorite stories to write are those with smart, sassy, independent heroines; handsome, strong and slightly vulnerable heroes; and her stories always end with happily ever after.
In the real world, she’s the mother of two amazing daughters and wife of one of the smartest men she knows. She believes humor is the only way to get through the day and does not believe in sharing her chocolate.
Jennifer Wilck is an award-winning contemporary romance author for readers who are passionate about love, laughter, and happily ever after. Known for writing both Jewish and non-Jewish romances, her books feature damaged heroes, sassy and independent heroines, witty banter and hot chemistry. Jennifer’s ability to transport the reader into the scene, create characters the reader will fall in love with, and evoke a roller coaster of emotions, will hook you from the first page. You can find her books at all major online retailers in a variety of formats.
Jennifer Wilck said:
Thanks for hosting me!
Linda Nightingale said:
Thank you for being my guest! You r book sounds marvelous.
Ilona Fridl said:
Loved the interview, and excerpt. Best on the book!
Jennifer Wilck said: