Lori Foster is a New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of more than 100 titles. She’s known for her fun, very sexy contemporary romantic suspense novels revolving around alpha males who meet (and fall in love with) strong, independent women.
Q How did you get the idea for the story of The Dangerous One?
Lori: Jodi, the female protagonist of this book, first appeared as a slight secondary character in another series, “The McKenzies of Ridge Trail.” But as sometimes happens, she stuck with me. Even when I’d be thinking about a different story, writing a separate plot or character, Jodi would sneak into my thoughts. Sometimes characters take over and they have a story to tell and I’m just the one putting their words on paper. That’s how it was with Jodi. She told me she’d need a special kind of guy, told me her life had been harsh and it wouldn’t be easy to move forward, but that she could do it with the right person at her side. Turns out she was right.
Q How would you describe Hunter?
Lori: Hunter is, above all, honorable and loyal. He’s an alpha through and through, the kind of man who can’t ignore injustice, even when standing up for others he can bring peril to himself. It’s in his DNA to help where and how he can. Sometimes, as in the case with Jodi, that basic nature is inconvenient as hell.
Q How would you describe Jodi?
Lori: Jodi is a wounded soul with a backbone of steel. If hurt, she comes out swinging, fearlessly and with everything she’s got. She’s extremely aware, especially now that she has personal experience with just how evil people can be. Distrust is her constant shadow.
Like Hunter, she’s a natural born protector, but because of her size and lack of physical strength, she utilizes a lot of attitude. Part of her learned response is to react first and ask questions later; yet she has great instincts, and she knows to trust them, especially where Hunter is concerned.
Q Do you think the men in the story underestimated Jodi considering she used weapons as equalizers?
Lori: The less astute men did, but Hunter recognized her dangerous edge right off. He didn’t fully trust her capability at first, but he did trust her – so when necessary, he didn’t mind being her backup. Hunter is confident enough that he doesn’t have to take the lead every time.
Q What about the relationship between Hunter and Jodi?
Lori: Jodi always fell back on the wounded woman she once was, so it was easy for her to misconstrue concern with pity, or to think that Hunter’s concern was a lack of faith in her ability. Jodi hadn’t had many people in her life to teach her about love, so it takes her a little while to figure it out.
For Hunter’s part, he was a very reluctant neighbor. He didn’t want to care for Jodi. He didn’t want to worry about her. As always, though, that basic nature of his made it impossible to ignore her.
Q What was the role of the dog, Turbo?
Lori: Turbo was also a wounded soul! Hunter saved him, despite his broken barker and an affinity to chew on things. To me, it was one more way to show Hunter as a nurturer as well as a powerful defender. I don’t think the comparison was lost on Jodi. Seeing how someone treats a pet can give us great insight into their character. Never, ever trust someone who mistreats animals.
Q Can you explain Jodi’s motto: “Everyday life for an everyday woman.”
Lori: Jodi really wanted to reach the status of a mundane middleclass existence. She’d healed from a pretty awful situation. She’d found her footing and was able to put her energy into helping other women. But just as she encouraged those women to find a happy life, she wanted to do the same. First on the agenda for her was complete independence – even from a family who had helped her to survive. It wasn’t easy for her to separate help given freely from love (from her pseudo family) from help given out of desperate need (what she’d first required to survive). It helped that Hunter had come from an amazing family of his own – a family willing to give him the time and distance he needed to overcome his own traumatic experience. He was able to share that insight with Jodi, and to point out the true meaning of family.
Q Do you believe there is a need for vigilantes because in a sense that was what Jodi and Hunter were?
Lori: I’ll get vilified for this, but most definitely. We have vigilantes – those hired privately by our government and other governments, as well as mercenaries for hire when situations are dire and legal avenues are too slow.
I have the utmost respect for law enforcement. To me, the majority of police are heroes, but still everyday men and women, who sometimes find themselves in untenable life or death situations – either their own life or someone else’s. Mistakes can happen.
In my “perfect world” (which, of course, doesn’t exist) evil would always end. Permanently.
Q Both Jodi and Hunter tried to isolate themselves living in a remote area: they built up walls to lock others out, yet felt it was defeating. Did both their families help to break down the walls along with each other?
Lori: Jodi didn’t have any ties to her biological family, yet she had grown close with the family that saved her. For her, it often felt like pity and for a person with her internal strength that was difficult to bear.
Hunter, on the other hand, never had a doubt about the love and support of his family – his mom, dad and brother. They did their best to understand his need for isolation, but his brother had already grown impatient, and he loved Jodi for busting through Hunter’s emotional walls much like the Kool-Aid man. Since Jodi didn’t even realize she was doing it, it was extra fun to write. I often see my books like a movie playing out before me.
Q What’s next?
Lori: Hunter’s brother, Memphis, is a hero in the book, The Fearless One, out December 26th. I loved Memphis the moment he showed up on the page. Memphis has opened an RV resort (known for shady business) near the area where his brother, Hunter, now lives. His plan is to stop trouble before it happens, but in walks Jedidiah, hauling her own turbulent trouble along, and his plans get turned upside down in a big way. Love often does that to people.
April 25th, I have a reissue, Meant to Be, published digitally. The story ties in with my Visitation series, but also stands alone, based around two people who grew up together and yet begin seeing each other in a whole new way when the female lead considers moving away.
May 9th, I have The Little Flower Shop, which is set in the same small, quirky town as a previous book, The Honeymoon Cottage. It’s about a 40 something woman who decides to try to fit a little romance into her hectic life, and somehow becomes a hashtag on the town’s local social media. #theflowerlady I had loads of fun writing it!
June 1st is my next “benefit book,” Bray. Each year I write a novella where the advance and all royalties go directly to a no-kill animal shelter. Readers met Bray as a young boy in Fighting Dirty, one of the books from my Ultimate series. He’s an MMA fighter with a rough background, which makes it easy for him to recognize when someone else is going through trouble. He knows Karen is hiding something, and he not only wants to help her, he just plain wants her – in every way. When the past catches up to her, she turns to Bray, and together they’re able to meet the trouble head on, as well as build a promising future.
August 22nd, one of my reader favorites, Too Much Temptation, is being reissued with a new cover. It’s one of my sexier books featuring a voluptuous woman who doesn’t recognize her own appeal, and a man who loves her body but truly falls for her heart.
The Dangerous One by Lori Foster is a spin-off of the McKenzies of Ridge Trail trilogy. The story has everything a reader would wish for: suspense, secrets, lies, power, control, manipulation, security, protection, acceptance, and love.
The hero and heroine both are fighting demons of their past. Jodie Bentley was abused and is trying to overcome the terrors, while former park ranger Hunter Osborn is trying to stop the nightmares after seeing a terrible crime scene. They both are now in a small Colorado mountain town to escape a troubled past, enjoying the isolation and solitude.
After Jodi moves next door, Hunter becomes intrigued by her personality. She can be a spitfire, cocky, independent, and strong, but she is also vulnerable, petite, and wants to be a survivor with a normal life.
But after she is threatened, Hunter and his dog Turbo, become protective of her. Sometimes she gets annoyed, but Jodi allows them into her life. What ensues is the budding romance and relationship between Jodi and Hunter, and the potential fall-out as Jodi finds herself hunted by a powerful man. They join forces as they build trust in each other and allow the walls built over time to fall.
The secondary characters helped to make the story even more interesting. They are very colorful and include Hunter’s brother Memphis, his dog Turbo, and Jodi’s non-blood related family. All the characters in this book will tug at the reader’s emotions as they will connect with them and form bonds.