Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Virtual Book Tour + #Giveaway: The Au Pair and the Beast by Aurora Russell @arussellromance @GoddessFish


The Au Pair and the Beast

by Aurora Russell

GENRE: Contemporary Romance


Veronica’s new job comes with a darling little boy, a Gothic castle and…a beast?

When recently laid-off Francophile Veronica Carson is recommended for an au pair job by the elegant leader of her French conversation group, she isn’t sure what to expect—but a Gothic castle deep in the wilds of Maine is certainly not it. Still, she’s drawn in by her joyful little charge, Jean-Philippe, and even more drawn to his brooding father.

Ruthlessly successful businessman Alain Reynard has loved before and has no wish to repeat the painful experience. The tragedy of his recent past is still fresh in his mind, and he wants nothing to do with his son’s lovely new au pair. Despite his best efforts, though, he can’t seem to get her off his mind.

A passionate romance begins to blossom but is put to the test when painful reminders of Alain’s past return. As ugly rumors swirl, the truths of the past and the present collide. Veronica must decide if Alain really is a beast and, if so, whether she can love him enough to break through the dark memories and secrets that tether him to what once was.


Alain’s look was inscrutable as he spoke to her. “I’m sorry. We’ve really continued to keep a totally French household, so Jean-Philippe hasn’t felt like things have changed much from one home to another, but…there are certain inconsistencies between us and American societal norms.”

Veronica shook her head, feeling bad that this was becoming such a big thing, when really, it was a very normal part of daily French life. It was certainly of no consequence to Alain, so why should it be to her? “Not a problem. I, ah…don’t mind.” She felt her cheeks burn hotter as she realized how that had sounded, so she hastened to explain. “I mean, I got used to being kissed when I was studying in Paris.”

Alain raised one dark eyebrow. He didn’t smile, but his eyes were amused. “Indeed?”

Not…like that. It’s just that all my friends—older men, younger men, everyone—kissed me,” she stammered. “Women too, of course.”

Now Alain’s lips twitched, and Veronica realized she’d made it even worse.

She took a step closer. “I, ah…just go ahead,” she said, sticking her face forward and closing her eyes. Her heart pounded a deep tattoo in her chest.

She expected a quick, businesslike press of his cheek to each of hers, with an air kiss, but instead she felt his large, warm hands on her shoulders as he slowly kissed one hot cheek, then the other. His lips were incongruously soft. Before he stepped back, he said quietly, “I don’t mind, either.”

Interview with Aurora Russell

What made you want to become a writer?

First of all, I just want to say thank you, Nancy, for having me here!

Honestly, I think it’s probably because I have always had such a vivid imagination. I imagined characters wherever I went, and it wasn’t that much of a leap to start imagining and writing down stories for them. That’s pretty much the foundation of my approach to writing – if I’m ever stuck, I feel like I know my characters well enough to imagine what they would most like to do or say in any given moment (even though it sounds a bit crazy when I write it out in black-and-white!). I’ve been writing since I was very young, and even when I don’t have the time to write, I am always getting flashes of inspirations for great stories wherever I am!

What inspired you to write The Au Pair and the Beast?

Growing up, I loved reading classic stories like Wuthering Heights, The Mysteries of Udolpho, and Rebecca and I have always loved the classic beauty and the beast theme as well (give me a beast over a prince any day!). I thought it would be enormously fun to write a contemporary take on a Gothic beauty and the beast story with a healthy dose of mystery. When I imagined the main characters, they just sprang to life vividly in my imagination as a French father and son, Alain and Jean-Philippe, fleeing from their sad and shadowy past, with Veronica as a young American heroine who also has already known her fair share of grief as well.

Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in The Au Pair and the Beast?

Veronica Carson is a young woman who has recently lost her job which is why she agrees to accept a position as a nanny to a four-year-old French boy. She studied in France in college, speaks French fluently and, while she is not experienced in some ways, she understands personal tragedy and loss.

Jean-Philippe is her absolutely delightful and energetic young charge, and he lives in a castle on the Maine coast with his father, reclusive, mysterious and wealthy French magnate Alain Reynard. Alain moved his small family to Maine to escape the pressure and vicious gossip of the French press after his wife died in a suspicious accident.

You know I think we all have a favorite author. Who is your favorite author and why?

Such a tough question! I think the answer to this will vary for me on a daily basis, but I’m going to go with Jane Austen. I love her wit, wisdom, and vivid descriptions. The tension created between her characters is superb. I will always read or watch anything inspired by her stories!

Can you tell us a little bit about your next books or what you have planned for the future?

I actually have another book coming out next month, on March 23, Snowbound with the Billionaire, which is Book 2 in my Anywhere and Always series. It’s the story of Marina and Pierre, who get off to a rocky start at their first meeting at a party, but who are forced together by a blizzard at a remote cabin in Vermont. Sparks fly as they work together to survive not only the storm, but another, more human danger that stalks them both.

I’m also working on a follow-up to The Au Pair and Beast, another fairy-tale-inspired story featuring Marius (Alain’s brother) as the hero, as well as Book 3 in the Anywhere and Always series, Guarded by a Hero.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

It was very special to have the chance to write a book just like the kind I have always enjoyed reading. It was fun to make Alain gruff and surly, and see him really mess things up and then set them right. I also had a fantastic time describing Jean-Philippe, who reminds me of my own young sons, and it feels amazing to capture all of the joy, wonder, and sheer exuberance that they embrace every single day with!

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Aurora is originally from the frozen tundra of the upper-Midwest (ok, not frozen all the time!) but now loves living in New England with her real-life hero/husband, two wonderfully silly sons, and one of the most extraordinary cats she has ever had the pleasure to meet. But she still goes back to the Midwest to visit, just never in January. She doesn't remember a time that she didn't love to read, and has been writing stories since she learned how to hold a pencil. She has always liked the romantic scenes best in every book, story, and movie, so one day she decided to try her hand at writing her own romantic fiction, which changed her life in all the best ways. Find out more about Aurora, upcoming releases, and news at https://aurorarussellauthor.wordpress.com/

Facebook ~ Twitter

Buy Links:

Amazon ~ B&N ~ Kobo ~ First for Romance


$25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning.


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Aurora Russell said...

Thank you again for having me as a guest! I tried to post earlier but it doesn’t seem to be going through!

Kim said...

I enjoyed the interview.