Saturday, January 23, 2016

Welcome Shira Anthony and her hero, Jesse Donovan

Shira Anthony interviews Jesse Donovan, New York’s most eligible bachelor:

First Comes Marriage by Shira Anthony

Shira: Thank you Dawn, for hosting the First Comes Marriage book tour! For those readers who may not already know, First Comes Marriage is the second book in the brand new Dreamspun Desires line of gay category romances from Dreamspinner Press. Be sure to read to the bottom of the post for an excerpt from the book, as well as the Rafflecopter giveaway for the book tour. You could win a dozen red roses for your sweetheart or yourself!
First Comes Marriage is an honest to goodness “category romance,” reworked for a 21st Century audience, and of course with two male main characters. The term “category romance” comes from the old tradition of publishing a certain number of books on a monthly basis in a certain category. When I was a kid, these were the Harlequin and Silhouette romances that were shipped, 4 books a month, on subscription. I took one trope in particular from those classic romances, the marriage of convenience, when I wrote First Comes Marriage. It’s one of my favorites and I hope you’ll enjoy it too.
But enough about the book. I’ve got a character from the book with me today for a short interview. Jesse? Why don’t you come join me and Dawn for a few minutes.
Shira: Dawn, please meet Jesse Donovan, billionaire and the man New York View declared as New York’s Most Eligible Bachelor in 2015. Thanks for stopping by, Jesse.
Jesse: Nice to be here. *kisses Dawn on the cheek then glares at Shira* I really wish you hadn’t brought that New York View thing up. Wenda, my stepgrandmother, bought me a sash to wear after that issue hit the newsstands. It’s ridiculous.
Shira: But you’re quite popular with the tabloids, Jesse. I saw your photograph a few months ago—you and your girlfriend, Moira Kensington, at the grand opening of an exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Jesse: Moira isn’t my girlfriend. In fact, I just got married a few days ago.
Shira: So Moira’s your wife?
Jesse: Moira’s just a friend. My husband is Chris Valentine. He’s a writer. I’ve been a fan of his for quite some time.
Shira: Oh. That’s wonderful news! Congratulations, Jesse.
Jesse: Thank you. Chris and I are very happy together.
Shira: Wait a minute... Isn’t that your stepgrandmother, Wenda Donovan? *points to the woman standing in the doorway*
Jesse: *frowns* Lovely to see you, Wenda.
Wenda: I hope you don’t mind my crashing the party.
Shira: No, of course not.
Wenda: Thank you.
Shira: So, Wenda, you must be so happy for Jesse and Chris.
Wenda: The wedding came as quite a surprise to me. Of course, given the provision in Jesse’s grandfather’s will, it’s not unexpected.
Jesse: Wenda, I really don’t think—
Shira: What provision would that be, Wenda?
Wenda: Jesse needed to get married within a year of his grandfather’s death or I inherit control of Windview Enterprises.
Jesse: The will had nothing to do with our marriage, of course.
Wenda: *smiles* Of course it didn’t.
Shira: Wenda, are you implying that Chris and Jesse got married so that Jesse wouldn’t lose control of the business?
Wenda: I’m not implying anything, Shira. Jesse married Chris because of the will provision.
Jesse: That’s not true, Chris and I are in lo—
Wenda: I’m speaking with my lawyer about taking legal action.
Shira: *glances nervously at Dawn as Jesse gets out of his seat and stalks over to Wenda* Well, I think maybe it’s time we end our interview.
Wenda: That was very quick.
Shira: Thank you Dawn, Jesse, and Wenda for joining me today. If you’d like to know how things turn out, you may want to pick up a copy of First Comes Marriage.
Wenda: You’ve written a book about our family? I think that’s in very poor taste.
Shira: I’ll leave you all with an excerpt. Don’t forget to enter the book tour giveaway! *leaves the room as quickly as she can*
Wenda: How odd. *turns to look at Dawn, who shrugs* What kind of giveaway are we talking about?
Dawn: Shira’s giving away a dozen red roses to the winner.
Jesse: *folds arms over his chest* I bought Chris three dozen roses the other day.
Wenda: *pats Jesse on the arm* Good for you, Jesse. I’m sure he appreciated them. *waves and leaves the room*
Jesse: *dry scrubs his face* I need a drink.
Dawn: *blinks and shakes her head*

Their marriage was supposed to be all business....
When struggling novelist Chris Valentine meets Jesse Donovan, he’s interested in a book contract, or possibly a date. The last thing Chris expects is a marriage proposal from New York City’s most eligible bachelor!
Jesse’s in a pinch. To keep control of his company, he has to marry. So he has valid reasons for offering Chris this business deal: in exchange for living in a gorgeous mansion for a year, playing the doting husband, Chris gets all the writing time he wants and walks away with a million-dollar payoff. Surely Chris can handle that. He can handle living with the most handsome and endearing man he’s ever met, a man he immediately knows he wants in the worst way and can’t have. Or can he?
Excerpt from Chapter Six:
Now, standing in the conference room of Windview Enterprises’ corporate headquarters near South Ferry in Manhattan, one of the matching platinum bands Jesse had bought for them in his pants pocket, Chris wondered if he’d wake up from the dream. The floor-to-ceiling windows looked out over Wall Street and the East River through the forest of high-rise buildings.
“Do you, Jesse Chase Donovan, take Christopher James Valentine to be your husband, in love and in friendship, until you are parted by death?” the judge asked.
“I do.” As Jesse slipped the ring on Chris’s finger, he met Chris’s gaze with such intensity that for an instant, Chris could almost forget the entire ceremony was a ruse to ensure the future of Windview remained firmly in Jesse’s control. Damn the man for being so attractive. Damn him for being a nice guy, because that was the worst part of it. And the part that had you agreeing.
“And do you, Christopher James Valentine, take Jesse Chase Donovan to be your husband, in love and in friendship, until you are parted by death?”
Chris swallowed hard and prayed he didn’t look as incredibly nervous as he felt. “I do.” His hand shook as he took Jesse’s hand and put the ring on his finger.
“Congratulations, Chris and Jesse,” the judge said.
Chris caught Val’s eye for a split second, and he half expected her to urge him to kiss Jesse. But it was Jesse who took charge and blindsided Chris with a kiss.
It started sweetly enough, just Jesse’s lips against his, but instead of releasing Chris, Jesse pulled him tighter against him and pressed his tongue into his mouth. Jesse tasted fucking amazing. Chris didn’t hesitate—their tongues tangled and danced. This close, Jesse smelled good and felt even better. Chris was barely aware of slipping his hands around Jesse’s back before resting them on lean hips. He didn’t think twice as his body and Jesse’s responded in kind.
Someone giggled—Chris recognized Val’s voice—and Jesse pulled abruptly away. Their eyes met for a split second, and Chris thought he saw a mixture of desire and surprise in Jesse’s deep blue eyes. The next thing Chris knew, Val had thrown her arms around him and only his racing heart and tingling lips told him he hadn’t imagined the entire thing.
“Oh, Chris,” Val cooed. “You really did it!”
“Yeah” was the only response Chris could manage. He was still thinking about Jesse’s mouth.
“I guess I was wrong about him being straight,” she whispered mischievously.
Chris was thrilled when Terry grabbed him in a bear hug, because he had no idea how to respond to Val’s comment. He also wasn’t sure if he should be pissed off with Jesse for the show. He supposed if this was going to work, Jesse needed to make the marriage look real. Still, how difficult would it have been to warn Chris that he had that up his sleeve?

Blog Tour Information

All about Shira

Shira Anthony is a complete sucker for a happily-ever-after, and rarely reads or writes a story without one. Never a fan of instalove, Shira likes to write stories about real men with real issues making real relationships work.

In her last incarnation, Shira was a professional opera singer, performing roles in such operas as “Tosca,” “Pagliacci,” and “La Traviata,” among others. Her Blue Notes Series is loosely based upon her own experiences as a professional musician.

Shira is married with two children and two insane dogs and when she’s not writing, she is usually in a courtroom trying to make the world safer for children. When she’s not working, she can be found aboard a 36’ catamaran at the Carolina coast with her favorite sexy captain at the wheel. She’s given up TV for evenings spent with her laptop, and she never goes anywhere without a pile of unread M/M romance on her Kindle.

Interested in hearing Shira sing? Here's a link to a live performance of Shira singing an aria from Puccini's "Tosca":

You can subscribe to Shira's monthly newsletter for updates, free fiction, and subscriber-only contests here:

Where you can find Shira



First Comes Marriage is all above love and romance, and Shira’s grand prize is a dozen red roses for your sweetheart (or whoever you think deserves it!). First prize is a $10 Dreamspinner Gift Certificate.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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