Taming Cross (Love Inc. #2) by Ella James
Age Group: New Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 20, 2013
Amazon ♥ B & N
For twenty-three years, Cross Carlson was a playboy. You know the type. Tall, dark, and wealthy. Blue-eyed. Charming. He seemed to have it all so easy. But Cross was harboring a terrible secret - one that helped ruin the life of an innocent girl and almost ended his own.
Finally out of the hospital, Cross is flailing, scarred in both body and mind and stifled by the weight of the secret he still keeps. The only way to absolution lies in a Mexican convent, and going there could cost him everything.
If there's anyone who knows what it's like to screw up big time, it's Meredith Kinsey. Just a few years ago, Merri was an ordinary girl with a job at her college newspaper and white picket fence kind of dreams. Now she's holed up in a Mexican convent, hiding from a drug lord who thinks he owns her.
What happens when the only way out of hell is with the son of the man who put you there? They say love conquers all, but does it really?
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated or did you always just know you wanted to be a writer?
I remember being about 8 and hauling my dad's briefcase underneath my parents' bed so I could see what was in it. As I was reading through some of his scholarly papers, I was really impressed that my dad—a fairly Southern man who didn't seem very formal to me—could write like that. I thought, 'I want to do that, too!' To me, his articulate writing seemed like a super power. Around the same age, I became totally addicted to reading. I liked books more than anything (by far) and I knew at some point I wanted to write them.
What inspired Taming Cross?
I don't know, really! ;) Selling Scarlett is the first book in the Love Inc. Series. In case you didn't know, Love Inc. is a brothel in Vegas, and it's kind of a fantasy place. I love taking mundane places (or places that might even be thought of negatively) and making them into something really fun and unique. Selling Scarlett is about this girl who sells her virginity to help a friend pay his medical bills. That's an idea I actually entertained for about two seconds when I was younger and in need of money (so I could quit my job and write – LOL!). Cross is the friend for whom she sells her virginity, so his book is kind of an offshoot of hers. I originally had thought he'd end up with Suri (their third friend)...but I figured out pretty quickly that his HEA would be a lot more interesting.
Which came first for you, the characters or the plot?
I guess the plot. I was working on a YA sci-fi book when new adult romance started selling pretty well, and I got the idea for a book about a girl who sells her virginity at a brothel, and this super messed up guy she's always had a thing for, who ends up (of course) bidding on her. I write Scarlett in just a few days, and during the writing of that book, Cross and Merri and Suri and Marchant and all the other characters in the series were born.
Is there anything you found particularly challenging when you were writing Taming Cross?
It was a really easy book to write, which is something I was thankful for; the last three books I wrote before Cross weren't so easy. I had kind of an extended case of writers' block, which made my job pretty unpleasant for about six months. Cross was really easy for me to love, and Merri is such an interesting character. Probably their very strange shared past was the hardest thing, but it wasn't that hard. Their feelings always trumped that.
If you could be one of your characters from any of your Love Inc. books, who would you chose? Why?
It's so hard to say! Scarlett has it kind of rough with neither of her parents really being 'there' for her... and Hunter is a pretty tough nut to crack, so I don't necessarily envy her having to sort him out. God knows, I wouldn't ever say Cross. He's got it worse than Scarlett does. I think Merri has a really fresh perspective on life, so maybe her. Suri can be fun, too, and she has a great family and great friends...so she's another candidate. (Her HEA is my third Love Inc. book!)
When writing Taming Cross, was there anyone or anything specific that inspired the character Cross?
I love writing about characters who make bad choices. It's so much fun! Cross has a secret he's been keeping, and the sad thing is, it's not even HIS secret... but it kind of became his when he chose to keep it. So he starts out the book with a lot of guilt and this really insane mission. I'm not really sure what inspired his character, but I see him as this really nice guy who's never really found the right girl and who is kind of alone with his secret. And I loved it how his secret and the girl were one and the same... it made things so fun and complicated!
In your opinion what three words best describe Meredith?
Kind, easy going, and unusual. Unusual meaning she thinks outside the box.
When I read Selling Scarlet, which I loved by the way, it seemed as if something was happening between Cross and Suri. Will we see anything about that in Taming Cross?
Yes! In the very first scene. :)
Coffee or Tea?
Milk chocolate or Dark?
Favorite novel and why?
The Only Alien on the Planet. It's a YA romance that made me want to be a writer.
Hard copy books or e-books? Why?
They are both great for different reasons. As a reader, I prefer ebooks.
What kind of weather do you write best in?
Any kind that isn't hot! I hate being really hot. o.O
Favorite author and why?
I can never seem to answer that, but my favorite read in quite a while was Left Drowning by Jessica Park. Maybe she's my favorite writer now, but I don't know, because I can't bring myself to read her first book because I'm afraid it won't live up to Left Drowning.
If you could turn one book or series into films, what would you pick and who would you cast as the main characters?
Of my books...definitely my Here Trilogy. :) It lends itself really well to film, I think. I'm not sure who I would cast. My husband always has to help me with dream casts because I don't know the names of many actors.
Ella James is the author of Stained and Stolen, books one and two in the Stained Series; HERE, book one in a sci-fi romance trilogy; and Before You Go, a romance YA beach read that tells the first meeting of Logan and Margo, who will be featured in her upcoming adult release, Over The Moon. She has a YA paranormal romance release scheduled for every month of 2012, including Chosen (Stained Book Three) in June and the second HERE book in July.
Ella is inviting readers to help her write a shapeshifter romance, which is plotted via polls and questions on her blog and her Facebook page.
Ella lives in Birmingham, Alabama, with her wonderful husband, opinionated baby, and mopey dog.