Sunday, October 29, 2017

Audrey Turner of Teacher’s Pet by @KaylaDrakeBooks #Chicago, #ContemporaryRomance, #Family

RW:   What’s your story/back story? Why would someone come up with a story about you?

AT:     I’m ambitious, but it might not be the first thing you notice about me. Ambition is still the quality that has driven every one of my major life choices. I set out to be a successful business owner and hit certain career markers before the age of thirty, and I’ve done that. But I was worried about the state of the business, and that’s what led me to accept an unusual offer from Dennis Delaney.

RW:   Can you tell us about your hero

AT:     Dennis is a single father whose son, Cole, attends my private preschool. Cole was with us for several years before I met Dennis in person. Usually, we only dealt with the nannies! But Dennis always sent me memos about Cole’s care. Every morning, when the nanny dropped off Cole, I also received a fussy little note about shoelaces or snacks or something. So I always imagined Dennis to be a fussy, bespectacled type with skinny arms. Was I ever wrong about that!

RW:   What problems do you have to face and overcome in your life?

AT:     My business was showing a worrisome decline in the number of applicants for the next school year. In Chicago’s posh neighborhoods, reputation is everything, and I was worried that the school’s prestige might be slipping. I have to fix it. I just have to. This business is everything to me.

RW:   Do you expect your hero to help or is he the problem?

AT:     Maybe both! Dennis is a perfectionist and his morning memos have always been something of a pebble in my shoe. But I know if I can satisfy Dennis, if I can meet his exacting and rigorous standards, then I’m doing everything I can to make Miss Turner’s School as good as it can be.

RW:   Where do you live?

AT:     My business is in Lincoln Park, a high-rent neighborhood on Chicago’s lakefront. I have a modest apartment in a cheaper neighborhood, though, because all my resources go into the business.

RW:   Bubble baths or steamy showers? Ocean or mountains? Chocolate or caramel?

AT:     Bubble baths, for sure—that’s where I do some of my best thinking! Neither ocean nor mountains, but Chicago’s beautiful Lake Michigan. And how about chocolate AND caramel? I want it all! I also develop a special fondness for carrot cake in the book. That one is Dennis’s fault.

RW:   If you came with a warning label, what would it say?

AT:     “Don’t underestimate me.” People do that sometimes because I’m basically a preschool teacher and I’m used to being around little kids all the time. This gives me a sweet, playful demeanor, but inside, I’m very determined to succeed.

RW:   Party life or quiet dinner for two?

AT:     Quiet dinner for two. I go to the clubs with my girls sometimes, but I prefer being able to really connect with people one on one. Dennis is a good match for me in that respect. He’s charming across a table.

RW:   I love pizza with (fill in the blank).

AT:     Spinach and cheese, deep dish, Chicago style. There’s nothing else like it! I can’t always finish a whole slice—they’re so filling! But I love every mouthful. This is one of the best things about living in Chicago.

RW:   Nothing like Uno’s on a Friday night! The first Uno’s! Even the leftovers’re yummy.

Those are all the questions I have for you. Thank you for speaking to me.

AT:     Thank you so much for having me! I hope you enjoy my story!

RW:    I’ve already read it, and I liked it a lot. Cole’s quite the scamp! And Dennis—woo! Five stars.

Kayla Drake


Although she’s an enthusiastic traveler, Kayla Drake has spent most of her days right where she was born, in Chicago. When Kayla decided to write romance novels, she knew the stories had to feature her favorite places in this beautiful city by the Lake. Whether her couples visit the sculptures or the zoo, the sports arenas or the shopping districts, romance always grows in the “City of Big Shoulders.”

Teacher’s Pet

The Plot

Memo to Miss Turner:

Audrey Turner owns Miss Turner’s School, a top-tier preschool in the posh Lincoln Park neighborhood. Her students are the children of some of Chicago’s most successful doctors, lawyers, and entrepreneurs—and these parents expect nothing short of the best.

No parent is more demanding than wealthy investment banker Dennis Delaney. Every day, Audrey receives a morning memo from him containing precise instructions for his son, Cole’s care. No detail is too insignificant to escape this single father’s notice. When Dennis finds himself coping with a short-term summer childcare issue, Audrey agrees to be his temporary nanny. It’s a chance for a close view of their lifestyle, and if she can keep Dennis Delaney happy, then all the other parents should be content, too.

It’s only two weeks. Two weeks of daily contact with Chicago’s most meticulous parent—and its most eligible bachelor. Two maddening weeks of rigorously high standards and sizzling sex appeal. Audrey can handle anything for two weeks, right?

An Excerpt:

He wanted to touch her silky hair, know the softness of her throat under his fingertips, hear her voice telling him all her secrets.

Be patient, he instructed himself, but his arm curled closer to her shoulders. He inclined his head towards her. Her shoulders were mere inches from his fingertips. Everything about her was close, so close that he could catch the faint, clean scent of her shampoo. He wanted to be closer still. He wanted to know everything about her and to have her know everything about him.

He stared at her pink lips and wondered what it would take to get her to kiss him, to talk freely to him, or even to use that pink-rimmed mouth in ways he dared not envision at the moment. If he tried to kiss her, would she recoil? They hardly knew each other, after all. They’d spent a few evenings together talking about his son, their careers. But she knew nothing of his past, nothing of what was in his heart. He told no one these things. He banned himself from even thinking about them.

The distance between them was his fault. But it was one problem he could rectify.

To hell with patience.

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