A desperate espresso café owner, a determined coffee franchise rep, a quiet midwestern town, anonymous threats out of the blue—where does the true danger lie?
1. Mr. Kraft and I write romance together under our pen name, Adriana Kraft. The heroine of our latest release, I Am Not for Sale, was born out of a confluence of events in our life. Some might think we’ve fallen into the “blonde Russian bombshell” trope in creating our heroine, but Nadja Petrov has a very specific history.
Some years ago, I took a ten-day work trip to Ukraine. The people I met on that trip had so many stories to share with me about what life was like before and after Ukraine became independent from Communist Russia in 1991. We wanted to be able to convey some of this background in our novel, so we have set it in 2005. Our heroine, born in 1976, was being groomed for the Russian Ballet, but all that came to an abrupt halt in her fifteenth year, when the regime changed.
2. Sometimes secondary characters don’t play a major role, but Nadja’s Aunt Ivett is an exception. Nadja is grateful for Ivett’s presence in her life, especially since the death of Nadja’s mother two years before our story opens. Ivett gives us a vehicle for some of the older Ukrainian memories, especially the role of the Orthodox church, which was outlawed until 1991. I heard stories of families secretly staying in touch with priests and taking their children to be christened under the cover of darkness. While in Ukraine, Ivett helped make sure the faith did not die, and she brought it with her to America. Perhaps surprisingly, there’s an entirely different side to Ivett’s character—she supplies Nadja with toys and explicit videos to enhance her, um, skills.
3. Mr. Kraft and I love our espresso coffee drinks, and we especially celebrate sole proprietor espresso cafés that survive in this era of corporate giants. We’ve been fortunate to know three such cafés as we’ve moved around the country – one in northern Minnesota, one in northern Iowa, and now one nearby in Arizona. They’ve been the inspiration for our heroine’s coffee shop, Nadja’s Literary Cappuccino. All three are doing what Nadja does – staying closely connected with their community and the arts, hosting local author readings (we’ve read at two of them!), displaying local artists, featuring local bands and musicians.
4. While writing this story, Mr. Kraft and I were frequently surprised by the twists and turns Nadja created. She led us on a merry chase. She won’t talk about the dark days of her early childhood, but that history has created a character who can be scathingly honest, fiercely protective, very private, self-reliant, and incredibly courageous even when extremely frightened. Her feelings run deep, her trust is hard won, and as far as we know she’s really only let two persons in to that world – her aunt Ivett, and eventually, our hero, Kevin Langley. Well, and us, of course, as her authors.
5. We’d never want to leave the hero out of the story! Kevin is climbing the corporate ladder in a fairly new espresso café franchise. Especially since his divorce, he’s been almost single mindedly focused on helping the chain expand. The only other focus he allows himself time for is his seven-year-old son, Danny, who spends most weekends with him. Meeting Nadja is like running into a whirlwind, and he doesn’t know which way is up. Both Nadja and the peril that ensues with the anonymous threats force him into an about face, where he must decide what truly matters.
It’s nothing personal…
It all seems simple enough—Ukrainian immigrant Nadja Petrov is determined to hold on to her thriving new coffee shop, Nadja’s Literary Cappuccino, and Java Beans District Rep Kevin Langley is equally determined to move into her North Iowa town with a franchise and run her out of business.
He scopes her out, she keeps a watchful eye on him, and the sparring begins. But there are other players involved, and the web of intrigue soon threatens Nadja, her shop, and her aunt as well as Kevin, his potential franchise, and his son. Within this cauldron simmers a sexual attraction between Nadja and Kevin that catapults them to overcome their fears of intimacy and commitment. Their lovemaking is tender and raw. Their love is nearly lost in tragedy—can it survive doubts, fire, and even a death?
Five Stars from N. N. Light: “The romance is so hot, you may have to call the fire department. But it’s the character development throughout I am Not for Sale which makes this such an incredible story.” https://www.nnlightsbookheaven.com/post/i-am-not-for-sale-bookreview
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Award winning author Adriana Kraft is a married couple writing Sizzling Romantic Suspense and Erotic Romance for Two, Three, or More. Whether readers open our romantic suspense or our erotic romance, they can expect characters they care about, hot sex scenes, and a compelling story. Our suspense stories deliver one man, one woman, danger and intrigue. Our erotic romance is edgier and nearly always includes ménage or polyamory, sometimes with two women and a man, sometimes with two (or more) couples. We write our Erotic Romance stories to entertain, of course, but most of all we write them because we believe in happy endings for all who fall in love, whatever their gender, sexual orientation, or numerical combination.
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