Claire Boston took a few minutes to stop by today and share with us a look at her new series. Book 1 is releasing today so I know this is a big day for her!
We’ve seen The Texan Quartet and I have to say I’m thrilled that she’s got a new series starting. It’s set in Houston, the same as the other, but this first book is a fresh start so new readers are good to go. Although if you haven’t picket up the others, you are definitely missing out!
At first glance, an oil refinery doesn’t seem to be a great place to set a romance. What’s romantic about loud machinery, bad smells and manual labor? Well after ten years working in a similar environment I thought it might be a nice change of setting from your typical office romance. I was particularly tired of the alpha-male boss and secretary scenario, so I decided to make my heroine a competent, take-no-prisoners woman who isn’t interested in a romance with her new boss – no matter what her hormones are telling her. It was fun to play with Bridget and Jack as they each worked through their feelings, not just about their jobs, but about each other as well. And with all that dangerous equipment around… who knows what could happen?
Break the Rules
The Flanagan Sisters series
by Claire Boston
Bridget Flanagan knows how to assess risks, but are the consequences of exposing her heart too dangerous?
Bridget has a passion for safety and in the world of oil refineries that makes her great at her job. So when her big promotion goes to someone else, she heads out on the town to forget her troubles. Jack Gibbs seems like the perfect man to distract her.
At least until Monday morning when she discovers Jack is her new boss. There’s no way she’s going to keep seeing him, no matter the connection between them. She’s been burned before.
Jack can’t understand why Bridget’s so against their relationship. They positively sizzled during their one night together. He knows he has to be careful now she reports to him, but she tempts him in every way.
Can Jack convince Bridget to give him a chance, or is the risk too high?
Bridget Flanagan’s head thumped in time to the booming dance music. She shouldn’t have let her best friend Tanya convince her to go clubbing.
She sighed. Who was she kidding? Tanya could convince her to do almost anything, and the promise of a girls’ night to dance, drink, and forget her troubles sounded like just what she’d needed.
But her head had begun to throb almost immediately and Tanya had found a new friend. It was a shame Sally and Trish hadn’t been able to come out tonight. At least then she’d have someone to talk with. Bridget scanned the dance floor, spotting Tanya dancing with the guy she’d picked up. So much for the girls’ night.
She shouldn’t be surprised. Tanya did tend to forget everything when a cute guy walked by. Knowing better than to try to drag her out of the club, Bridget headed for the bar and ordered a glass of water. When it arrived, she moved away, taking a sip and willing her headache away. Tanya looked like she was going to dance all night.
“Is that your friend dancing with my brother?” The male voice was loud but sexy and his breath tickled her ear.
Bridget jumped and turned so she was face to face with a man who did not slow her pulse rate at all. He was slightly taller than she was, with thick brown hair and dark eyes that smiled. Yum.
He pointed toward Tanya and leaned closer to be heard over the music. “Is your friend the blonde in the red dress?”
Bridget nodded. “That’s Tanya.”
“I don’t suppose she’ll turn into a pumpkin by midnight?” He had a hopeful look on his face.
Bridget grimaced. “Not a chance. I wish she would.” She put the glass up to her forehead and sighed at the coolness. “What about your brother?”
“His motto is ‘all night long’.” He frowned. “Perhaps we can convince them to go somewhere quieter at least, somewhere with some seating.”
She was intrigued. Why had he come out if he didn’t want to dance? “You don’t feel like partying?”
“I moved back to Houston from Australia two days ago. My body hasn’t quite adjusted yet.”
The mention of his body had Bridget checking it out again. It looked perfectly fine to her. His blue jeans fit in all the right places and the button-down black shirt clung to his well-defined chest. She cleared her throat. “There’s a bar around the corner. The music is quieter but they can still dance if they want.”
“Shall we give it a go?”
“Sure.” Bridget put her glass on the bar and followed him to where Tanya and his brother were dancing. She couldn’t hear what he said but they nodded in response. As he turned back to her, Tanya gave her a very unsubtle thumbs up. Bridget ignored her. All she wanted to do was find some quiet and get rid of her headache.
Outside the club, her ears adjusted to the blissful reduction in noise and she took a deep breath.
“Bridge, this is Hal,” Tanya chirped.
Hal was slightly taller than his brother, maybe six foot two, with the same thick brown hair and dark eyes.
Bridget forced a smile. “Nice to meet you.”
Tanya raised her eyebrows, waiting expectantly. “Who’s this?” she nodded to Hal’s brother.
Bridget shrugged apologetically. “We didn’t swap names. I’m Bridget.”
“Jack.” He smiled at her and she forgot her pounding head for a moment. It was some smile, lighting up his eyes and sending a lovely warmth through her body.
“Great. Now let’s find something to drink,” Tanya said, and keeping her hand tightly in Hal’s, she led the way to the bar. Hal didn’t seem to mind.
Bridget walked alongside Jack, not sure what to say. Now she was out of the noise she realized she’d effectively been picked up. Was this some kind of scam the brothers had going? Find two girls and take them somewhere quieter?
She snuck a look at Jack. No, he really did look as tired as she felt.
They walked past a drugstore. “Wait a second, I’ve got to grab something.” Bridget dashed inside, found the painkillers and bought a packet. When she went back outside, Jack was the only one waiting for her.
“They went on ahead. I thought I’d wait.”
Bridget tamped down her annoyance. They’d only just met these guys, and while they seemed nice, they could be anyone. Tanya should be more careful. “Thanks.”
Inside the bar, they found a table away from the music. It was quieter than the nightclub and they could talk without shouting. Bridget ordered a glass of water and a coffee, and took two pills. Hopefully they would kick in quickly.
Tanya put her drink on the table and grabbed Hal’s hand. “I love this song.” She pulled him away to the small dance floor.
Bridget slid on to a chair next to Jack who was nursing his cup of coffee. She had to say something, otherwise this was going to get awkward fast.
I know that it works for the story but I’m not sure that dating your supervisor is ever in anyone’s best interest 🙂 But Bridget definitely has more reason than most to avoid it, thanks to a horrible experience at her last job. The connection with Jack is strong though and so many things seem to want to push them together, but I’m with her on not wanting to get involved with her boss. Besides her bad luck the last time she did it, she’s already got some troubles being taken seriously by the good ol’ boy contingent. With a less skilled writer, I think that the inter-office problems could easily have been boring, but Boston makes them interesting and you get offended for Bridget every time someone blows her off or says something rude.
Unfortunately for Bridget (but good for us) Jack is really hard to resist. He’s sexy, smart, and kind. He listens to her, takes her & their jobs seriously, and tries to be understanding of her concerns (while still trying to find a way around them, of course 🙂 ). He may not have the hesitation to get involved with a coworker but he does respect her enough to take her concerns into consideration.
Since these two are safety experts at an oil refinery you know that something has to go wrong and when it does it will be big. But, like with everything that Boston does, it is handled in a way that keeps you reading but doesn’t come off as overly dramatic. Sometimes it seems like a story is dangerous or suspenseful just to be sensational but it makes sense here. It is the culmination of everything we see coming but it also means that things are wrapped up nicely and we’re left satisfied.
I’m curious where Boston goes with Bridget’s sisters because they all seem so different. They are sassy and smart and don’t need a man, but that doesn’t mean that their lives couldn’t be better with someone to be there for them and to shake things up!
Claire Boston is the best-selling author of The Texan Quartet. In 2014 she was nominated for an Australian Romance Readers Award as Favourite New Romance Author.
Her debut contemporary romance novel, What Goes on Tour caught the attention of Momentum’s Joel Naoum when her first scene was read aloud at the Romance Writers’ of Australia (RWA) conference in 2013. This led to a four book contract for The Texan Quartet series.
Claire is proactive in organising social gatherings and educational opportunities for local authors. She is an active volunteer for RWA, as a mentor for aspiring authors and the reader judge coordinator.
When Claire’s not writing she can be found in the garden attempting to grow vegetables, or racing around a vintage motocross track. If she can convince anyone to play with her, she also enjoys cards and board games.
Claire lives in Western Australia, just south of Perth, with her husband, who loves even her most annoying quirks, and her grubby, but adorable Australian bulldog.
Reader Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/Z4-4z
Books 1-4 of The Texan Quartet available now.
Book 1 of The Flanagan Sisters, Break the Rules out 21st April 2016
2 ebooks of Break the Rules