One of the perks of doing spotlight interviews is stepping out of my reader comfort zone and experiencing new tropes. Sext Addict by New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Virna DePaul was my first reverse harem romance and I loved it!
This romantic comedy is about Tessa, a wallflower who is buried in crazy debt when she decides to take part in a sex study that will help her get back on her feet. Only catch: she needs to find THREE men to participate with her! This book is funny, sweet and totally blush-worthy.
Here is your SPOTLIGHT!
VIRNA DEPAUL: Thanks so much for having me! I’m glad you enjoyedSext Addictand hope your readers will too! 🙂
Jeannine Colette: Tessa Stewart is awkward and shy. Yet, on the inside, she’s feisty and has erotic thoughts. How does this non-risk taker end up wanting to take part in a sex study?
VD: Sometimes it takes being brought to our lowest to finally take some risks in life. By the time her best friend accidentally texts her the link to a sex study, Tessa is broke, has just been evicted, and has let her fears get the better of her–she’s skipped yet another audition and she’s fantasized about three men in her life (Ellis, her yoga instructor, and her neighbor) in vivid detail but as always has failed to do anything about her desire. Now she’s facing having to leave L.A. and move back home. It’s at this point she’s lost so much, she figures she might as well take drastic measures to be a “New Tessa,” one who’s bold and adventurous. What she’ll learn is that she’s always been that Tessa.
JC: The book starts out with Tessa at the gym, oogling her yoga instructor crush, and getting a racy text from her best friend. Then she ends up in an argument with her Neanderthal neighbor. The reader is instantly smitten with Cade, Ellis, and Jamie. How does each of these men fit the “hero” status of the story so well?
VD:They are so different! Ellis is a bad boy actor and Tessa’s best friend. He’s sexually adventurous, a total playboy, but it’s clear he has an important history with Tessa. He’s protective of her, and that’s part of the reason he’s never revealed his feelings. Cade, the yoga instructor, is sensitive and charming and wants nothing more than to convince Tessa that she’s beautiful just the way she is. And Jamie, her neighbor, is just an outrageous sometimes-ass who loves to push Tessa buttons. He’s not afraid to make her mad and uncomfortable. So each man brings out something different in Tessa depending on what she needs. Most of all, they are heroes because they care about her and want to protect her and, of course, want to give her everything she needs, in bed and out.
JC: This is a four-person narrative, giving readers a look into the mind of each character. Was there one character you enjoyed diving into more than the next?
VD: I love them all, but I have to admit, Jamie was a lot of fun! He’s such a brash, unapologetic Neanderthal who likes to push buttons, but he’s totally into Tessa, and seeing him find his place in the group was an emotional journey for me.
JC: There’s a lot of bedroom gymnastics! When creating the choreography for a scene, do you have to map it out or let your imagination run free?
VD: LOL. I let my imagination run free, but then I need to go back and make sure everything makes sense (body parts, positions, etc). I also need to make sure there is an emotional connection between each character in the sex scenes because that’s what takes the scenes beyond the physical. Emotional connection is always important in romance, but it’s particularly challenging in reverse harems.
JC: This is a story about putting your reservations to the side. Is there anything you wish you had the courage to do?
VD: Oh wow. That’s a great question. Like Tessa, I’m pretty reserved most of the time, but there’s a boldness to me that few people know about. Setting aside the fact that I have kids in school and wouldn’t displace them, I’d love to move to a strange city and really explore it. Someplace like London. Or Austin. Or Paris. Or Charleston. Etc. Etc.
JC: Do you have a writing ritual or favorite place to create?
VD:I can pretty much write anywhere but I love my new office. I’ve worked at home for years but it’s easy to get distracted and for life to seem monotonous when I never leave the house. So I recently got an office and decorated it in a modern glam style, something that’s not very realistic at home with a houseful of boys. It’s my getaway where I can listen to my music and write the day away.
JC: This is your second Reverse Harem novel afterNailing Studs. Do you have a third in the works?
VD:I know I want to write one and I’ve got a draft for a cover. I just need to come up with a hook. Nailing Studs involved construction worker heroes and renovating a house, Sext Addict involved accidental sexting and a sex study. Not sure what #3 will involve, but hopefully my readers will take a chance on it.
JC: I can’t wait to read it. Thank you so much for being in the SPOTLIGHT!