Stay by Hilary Wynne
(Alexa Reed #1)
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Set against the steamy and sultry world of South Beach, Florida, a modern romance unfolds in Stay.
Alexa is beautiful, independent and hard to resist for serially unattached Julian. Neither one is looking for a relationship, but their palpable chemistry and instant emotional connection is too strong to ignore. For the first time in years, Julian is interested in more than just sex. He wants a relationship with intoxicating Alexa, but it’s not that simple. Not only are Julian and Alexa struggling with the intensity of this new relationship, but they also have to contend with Luke, Alexa’s best friend, whose own love for her leaves him willing to do anything to convince her that Julian is not the man for her. Luke’s determination and Alexa’s secret past threaten to tear Julian and Alexa apart as she struggles to open her heart to love. Julian and Alexa embark upon a roller-coaster ride of emotional and physical passion that both pulls them apart and holds them together. Despite their affinity for each other, Alexa fears that Julian will leave when he learns about her past and Julian is unsure he can love a woman who in so many ways remains a mystery, a woman who keeps threatening to run, a woman who can’t decide if she is going to STAY.
Development of the characters
I wish I had some great story about how I came up with all of my characters but the truth is that they literally just came alive in my head as I was working out the story and at some point just started writing themselves. It may sound a little crazy but it’s true! I had the basics (male/female) when I started out but the other people in the Alexa Reed series just came to life at various points throughout my writing. Here is a little about them:
Julian Bauer is my male lead and he is beautiful, strong, sexy and patient. He’s not overly dominant but does possess a controlling streak. I wanted him to be a man women would love, desire and trust. He loves his family and is very ambitious but not pretentious. He may come across a little too perfect in STAY but throughout the series you see him vulnerable and making some bad decisions of his own. He loves this girl though and I loved writing about a man who literally opens his heart to a woman and leaves his ego at the door while still being strong and sexy!
Alexa Reed (Lexie) is my female lead and she is independent, stubborn, smart and very flawed. I think that we all can find a little Lexie in ourselves and I did that on purpose. She drives my readers crazy but she is real. I could have made her less of a wreck at times but I had to stay true to who she was not matter how much she frustrated me. She also loves her friends and family and is very ambitious. I write in first person through her eyes so my favorite part of writing her was living in her head as she processed certain situations... talk about a rollercoaster ride!
Luke Miller is the third main character in the series. Luke was really an afterthought and I had the most fun writing him into a love triangle. He is Lexie’s sexy, single best friend and is a total playboy. He does and says some things that really upset my readers and it was hard to let him be hated because he really isn’t a bad guy. I can’t convince some readers of that though! You’ll have to read and judge for yourselves.
I have so many other rich ensemble characters in the series and have gotten a lot of positive feedback about them. Lexie has great friends; Marissa, Shannon, Jenna and Lauren, who are all based loosely on my own friends. There are family members and co-workers who add a lot to the story as well. I think it all mimics real life and the people we all surround ourselves with. I had a great time getting to know all of these “people” and I hope you do too! I would hope that by the end of the series you’d feel like you made some new friends J
Have you ever woken up one day and said, “Today’s the day I’m going to do (insert thing here)?” Well, I did, and the result is my first novel, Stay. I always thought of myself as a decent writer, and then a trip down memory lane through my ninth grade book of poetry confirmed it. I realize that I have always had a romantic side and a way with words. With support from my husband and kids (and an unspoken agreement to leave me alone for a few hours every night), I embarked on this incredible writing journey.
I’m originally from sunny Southern California and spent my summers in South Florida. I attended college at FSU and received my Masters in New Mexico. I finally settled in the Washington, DC area. My happy place has always been anywhere near the water.
When I’m not writing, I help run a business with my husband, watch an inordinate amount of sports (my kids play something 365 days a year), indulge my competitive spirit on the tennis court, and spend time with my awesome family and friends.
I am an avid reader, but find my characters feel neglected when I hang out with other author’s characters for too long. When I do read, historical fiction is my favorite genre. I love traveling and experiencing different cultures, places, and times.
I feel so blessed that my love of books inspired me to finally do something that I forgot I had always dreamed about doing.
My someday has arrived!