This sounds like a lot of fun.
Lingerie Wars (Invertary #1) by Janet Elizabeth Henderson released a few years back in the Adult, Contemporary, Romance genre.
Englishman Lake Benson loaned his life savings to his dippy sister so that she could buy a shop. It was a big mistake. His sister has been steadily flushing his money down the drain – and now he wants it back. Years in the special forces taught Lake that if you want a job done, do it yourself. So he steps in to make the shop profitable, sell it and get his money back. The only problem is, the business is an underwear shop. And all Lake knows about underwear can be summed up in how fast he can unsnap a bra. To make matters worse, the tiny highland town already has a lingerie shop. A successful one, run by an ex-lingerie model. A very gorgeous ex-lingerie model, who’s distracting him from his mission more than he’d like to admit. If Lake wants to get his savings back, and get out of Scotland, he only has one option – wipe out the competition.
Kirsty Campbell has spent years rebuilding her life after she woke up in hospital in Spain to find her body scarred, and her ex-fiance had run off with all her money. The last thing she needs is a cocky, English soldier-boy trying to ruin all she has left. Her home town is only too happy to help her fight the latest English invasion, although Lake is beginning to sway them with his sex appeal and cut price knickers. With the help of her mother, and the retired ladies of Knit or Die, Kirsty sets about making sure that her shop is the last one standing in Invertary.
It’s Scotland versus England as you’ve never seen it before. It’s lingerie war.
1. Lingerie Wars
2. Goody Two Shoes
3. Magenta Mine
4. Calamity Jena
5. Bad Boy
6. Here Comes the Rain Again
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=EJY-DwAAQBAJ
Kirsty jumped as the man stepped into view. There were men, and then there was this man. He was the kind of man that made the rest of the male population seem feminine. It was everything about him—his broad shoulders, his square jaw, the tiny dimple in his left cheek, the intense look in his blue eyes. Everything screamed man with a capital M.
“What exactly do you know about the underwear business?” she demanded.
He took a step towards her. Kirsty took a tiny step backwards. He noticed, and his eyes crinkled slightly at the corners.
“I know that women buy the stuff for men, and I’m a man. That gives me the advantage. They’ll be queuing up to get my advice.”
Rainne jerked to attention. “You’re staying? You plan to run the business.”
“You got a problem with that, little sister?” he asked, but his eyes never left Kirsty.
“You know what I think?” Kirsty said, saving Rainne from having to answer.
“I’m not sure I care what you think, but go ahead anyway.”
Kirsty hands fell to her side and balled into fists. It had been a long time since she’d felt the urge to thump someone.
“I think you’re in over your head,” she said. “You obviously don’t have a clue about running a shop or selling lingerie, and you’ve just insulted the only expert in town who was willing to help you.”
His lips twitched slightly, giving the impression that he was going to smile, but nothing happened. His face was still impassive.
“Do you know what I think?” he said. “I think you’re scared of a little competition.”
Kirsty barked out a laugh that surprised her more than him. “You’re not competition. This”—she pointed to Betty’s handmade sign—”is not competition. There’s no way you could be a threat to me, or to my business.”
“We’ll see. Prepare to shut up shop.”
Kirsty pursed her lips as she felt her cheeks burn. “That is incredibly arrogant of you.”
“Or honest. It’s obvious there’s only room in this town for one lingerie shop. I’d rather it was mine.”
“If you think I’m going to let you run me out of town then you’re deluded. This is my home. You’re the foreigner here.”
He rocked back on his heels as he thrust his hands into the pockets of his jeans. Although there was nothing in his manner to give him away, she got the distinct impression he was enjoying himself.
“Ah, that old chestnut. We hate the English. The English are the root of all our problems. Blah, blah, blah. Scotland needs to get over itself. You lost. We won. We own you now. There’s no point being bitter.”
Kirsty reeled before blustering nonsense.
His eyes sparkled at her. “That’s right. The English are here to stay.”
“That’s it,” she said at last. “You’ve crossed the line.” She turned to Rainne with a tight smile. “I’m sorry, honey, but I can’t help you now. You’re stuck with him.” She hooked her thumb towards the brother. “You have no idea how much I feel for you.”
“I get that a lot,” Rainne mumbled.
“As for you,” she told the English imbecile, “bring it on. You don’t stand a chance.”
“So, last shop standing?”
“It’ll be mine.”
“I like a healthy imagination in a woman.”
“You’re going to regret annoying me this much.”
At last he grinned. Kirsty felt her world shift as something unseen pulled her towards him.
“It’s on, then?” he said with delight.
“It’s on.” She stepped back, feeling slightly disorientated.
“Great.” He nodded. “War. This I do know.”
“Ah, but you don’t know lingerie war,” Kirsty said. “Sit back and watch, soldier boy. You’re about to have your backside handed to you.”
AUTHOR BIO:Janet is a Scot who moved to New Zealand fifteen years ago. Among other things, she’s been an artist, a teacher, a security guard at a castle, a magazine editor, and a cleaner in a drop in center for drug addicts (NOT the best job!). She now writes full-time and is working on her 19th book. Her books have won several awards, including the Daphne du Maurier award for excellence in mystery and suspense. When she isn’t living in her head, she raises two kids, one husband, and several random animals. She survives on chocolate and caffeine.
Hi Janet, and thank you for being here with me today.
Tell us a little about the Invertary series? What’s it about? Where’s it set?
This is a romcom series, set in a small fictitious town in the Scottish Highlands called Invertary. Each book is a complete story, but the same characters pop up right through the series.
An ex-soldier running a lingerie shop has got to be a cool character – and I love the name ‘Lake’. Can you tell us a bit about him? What makes him a great romance hero?
I love Lake as a character. One of the things I like best about him is that he isn’t angst driven. Sure, he’s had difficulties in his life—he grew up in a hippy commune for one—but when we meet him, he’s pretty sorted and complete as a person. I like that he’s capable and in control, but not arrogant and intimidating. Plus, his patience and kindness really shine through—especially with 86-year-old Evil Betty! Add to that some serious muscle and a great sense of humor, and I think he’s my perfect man! J
Kirsty, the story’s heroine, is also an interesting character, and seems like a woman easy to relate to. What are her strengths and weaknesses at the beginning of the book? How does meeting Lake affect her?
Kirsty has been through a major traumatic event. She was once a high-profile model, but a car crash left her terribly scarred. To add insult to injury, while she was recovering her fiancé ran off with all of her money. When we meet her, she is hiding from the world, afraid to take any chances in case she loses the little she has left. She still hasn’t come to terms with her scarred body and her self-image is in tatters. Lake sees through Kirsty’s fears. He doesn’t pander to them, or treat her with pity, instead he prods and provokes her until she stands up for herself and finds the courage she lost. He makes her become a better person—sometimes against her will!
‘Lingerie Wars’ is set in Scotland, in the town of Invertary. Is this a real or fictional place? Is it based on where you grew up?
It’s based on a little town in Scotland called Inverary. Inverary is one of my all-time favorite places. It’s steeped in Scottish history, has stunning scenery and is full of quirky characters. I’m not the only one who loves the town—Downton Abbey used Inverary castle as a setting in one of their Christmas shows. So I’m in good company!
What’s your favorite scene in Lingerie Wars?
I love the scene where Lake sees Kirsty’s scars for the first time and reassures her about them. It’s sexy, it’s moving and you can really see his love and admiration for her throughout the scene.
There are seven books in the Invertary series. Do you have a favorite?
Calamity Jena! The fourth book in the series is definitely my favorite. Jena is so clueless and accident prone, but incredibly kind hearted. She can’t say no to a first date with anyone who asks her, because she doesn’t want to hurt their feelings, but she ends up hurting them physically because she’s so accident prone. The town even have a pool going on what injury will befall her dates next! Jena was a go-go dancer in Atlantic City before she discovered her boyfriend was cheating on her. She consoled herself with a bottle of tequila, got very drunk and bought a house off the internet—in Scotland! The house is a run-down mess and Jena is totally accident prone, but determined to fix it up herself. When her ex-boyfriend, a low-level mobster, turns up in town to take her home, the local cop steps in to protect her. Matt and Jenna are explosive together. And his twin sisters’ experiences throughout the book are hilarious. There’s a secondary romance between one of his sisters and one of the mobster’s henchmen that is a favorite with my readers. So look out for Claire and Grunt when you read the book—especially the scene where the twins run him over with their car!
This series is complete at 7 books, but do you plan to write more based in Invertary?
Yes! There’s a new series coming out this year called Invertary Too. It revolves around a whole new bunch of characters, and some old ones thrown in too.
One last question, does this series need to be read in order?
No! Each book is standalone—with one exception. You’d probably get a lot more out of Here Comes The Rainne Again if you’ve already read Lingerie Wars. HCTRA finishes a storyline that started in Lingerie Wars. It’s also about the wedding of the main couple from that book. But every other book in the series can be read on its own.
GIVEAWAYBlitz-wide giveaway (INT)
- The complete 7 book series (in ebook) + a $10 Amazon gift card
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I liked the excerpt. It sounds like a wonderful book. Thank you for sharing.
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