All the Right Places
Riley O'Brien & Co., #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Date of Publication: June 2, 2015
Number of pages: 336
Cover Artist: Sarah Oberrender
The first in a brand new contemporary romance series starring the men and women who are determined to keep the billion-dollar denim dynasty, Riley O’Brien & Co, on top, but aren’t about to let success stand in the way of love…
Amelia Winger is a small-town girl with big dreams of becoming a successful designer. So when she gets a gig designing accessories for denim empire Riley O’Brien & Co., it’s a dream come true. Amelia can handle the demanding job, but she isn’t quite prepared for sexy CEO Quinn O’Brien. She’s doing her best to keep things professional, but the attraction sparking between them makes it personal. And so does the secret project she's working on behind his back...
Quinn’s not interested in the new accessories, but he is interested in the woman designing them. Amelia is smart, sexy, and talented, and he hasn’t been able to stop thinking about her since they met. Mixing business and pleasure isn’t wise, but that doesn’t stop him from coming up with excuses to spend time with her. He thinks he understands the risk he’s taking when he gets involved with Amelia. But he doesn’t know he’s risking a lot more than his heart.
Quinn pulled open one of the heavy wood doors to the executive wing, and as he did every morning, he took some time to enjoy the walk along the polished concrete floors to his office. A timeline highlighting the major milestones in Riley O’Brien & Co.’s history stretched from one end of the hallway to the other. It started with the founding of the company prior to the California Gold Rush, and old sepia images, black-and-white pictures, and a handful of color photos brought it to life.
He could see glimmers of himself in some of the images on the wall. All the men in his family had hair so dark it was almost black. And like his grandfather’s, Quinn’s hair was slightly wavy.
It was hard to tell from the early pictures what color his ancestor’s eyes were, but legend had it that Riley O’Brien’s eyes were so cold a glare from him could stop even the roughest of gold prospectors in their tracks. No doubt, he must have been one mean son of a bitch to build a successful business at a time when California was nothing but a territory full of wild and avaricious men.
Quinn turned his attention from the timeline and entered his office. Before he could sit down, a sharp knock sounded on his door, and his sister’s dark head poked around it.
“Do you have a minute?” Teagan asked, slightly breathless. Her blue eyes were wide behind the black-framed glasses she wore.
“Sure. What’s up, T?”
She slipped inside his office, shutting the door behind her. Her black dress crossed over the front of her body and tied on the side. Dotted with big red cherries, it was a perfectly nice piece of clothing, but he was immediately pissed off she wore it.
“Why are you always wearing a damn dress?” he growled.
“You don’t like it?” she asked, feigning confusion.
“Our family fortune was built on jeans,” he reminded her. “Can’t you put on a pair once in a while?”
It was a discussion they’d had many times, and her answer was always the same. He could have repeated it verbatim, and now he got to hear it again.
“Riley’s look good on you. They look good on most men. But they do not look good on most women. They especially don’t look good on short women. Or women with big butts, big thighs, or big anythings. Ergo, they don’t look good on me.”
Quinn held up his hands, sorry he’d brought up the subject. “I don’t want to get into another argument about the women’s division,” he backtracked hastily. “Your dress is fine. You look very pretty.”
Ignoring Teagan’s rude snort, he settled in his chair and propped his feet on his desk. “What did you need?” he prompted her as he inspected his new boots.
She eyed him for a few moments before answering. “Amelia Winger has agreed to design our new line of accessories.”
He dropped his feet to the floor and sat up. The accessories were all Teagan’s idea, and the little sneak had gone behind his back to make them happen.
She had wanted to revamp the entire women’s division, and when Quinn refused, she had persuaded their dad to give his stamp of approval for the line of accessories. Now Quinn had to suck it up and play nice with the new designer until their dad officially resigned and handed the reins over to him. “So she’s definitely going to do it?” he asked.
“I think so. She requested a meeting with you, since you’re going to head up the project, but as long as you don’t blow it, I think she’s on board.”
He huffed out a breath in annoyance. “Why would I blow it?”
“Quinn, you can be really intense about Rileys. It’s ... well, it’s a turnoff to some people.”
He nodded, agreeing with Teagan’s assessment. He was intense. He was devoted to protecting the Riley O’Brien brand, and he never forgot every single pair of Rileys ever produced was branded with his last name.
Several years ago I read an interview with a prolific author, and though I can’t remember which one, something she said really stuck with me. She said that her characters told the story… that they were in charge of the book, not her.
Frankly, I thought her comment was ridiculous with a capital R. I mean, come on… characters are fictional, and as the author, you’re in control of everything in the book.
But once I started writing novels, I realized she was right: characters truly have a mind of their own. And sometimes… well, sometimes they surprise you.
I experienced this phenomenon while working on my debut novel All the Right Places. This book kicks off a new series called Riley O’Brien & Co., proud designers and manufacturers of blue jeans since 1845.
The hero of All the Right Places is Quinn O’Brien. He’s the fifth generation of O’Briens to be involved in the family business, and he wants it to thrive for another five generations. Up-and-coming designer Amelia Winger is the heroine, and she and Quinn end up working together on a new line of accessories. They try to keep things professional, but eventually they end up falling for each other.
Although All the Right Places is my first book, I have been writing for a long time as a journalist. I’m an outlining devotee, and in addition to outlining the book, I also did character profiles so I would have a good understanding of their motivations and the experiences that shaped them.
In my mind, all this pre-planning meant that I wouldn’t have any surprises when I wrote the book. But I was wrong... really wrong.
At first, Quinn and Amelia were behaving themselves (or at least they were behaving the way I wanted them to). But suddenly, Quinn said something that caught me completely off guard. And then he did something that I didn’t approve of.
Trust me, I know how ridiculous that sounds. How could this character—one I’ve created in my head—say something or do something that I didn’t expect? But that’s exactly what happened.
So I let that one slide—I let Quinn have his say, and I let him misbehave. But then it happened again with one of the secondary characters, Amelia’s best friend, Ava Grace Landy.
Ava Grace is an interesting character—one that popped into my imagination fully formed instead of just a seedling of an idea. Like Amelia, Ava Grace grew up in Texas. She won American Star, my fictionalized version of American Idol, The Voice, and Nashville Star combined, and she’s a country music superstar—imagine a mix of Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood.
Ava Grace’s dialogue just flowed from my fingers… the words just came out of nowhere. She responded in a way that was authentic to her character, not the way I had planned her to respond, and I wasn’t very happy about it. I tried to ignore her—to force her to do what I wanted.
But she resisted. And once I stopped trying to tell her what to say and do, she became one of the easiest characters for me to write.
Now, some characters are more malleable than others. Some do as they’re told and don’t argue about it. But some characters… they’ve got a mind of their own, and I have to let them be themselves.
All the Right Places is Jenna Sutton’s debut novel. It is the first book in the Riley O’Brien & Co. series and is available now.
Jenna Sutton spent most of her career as an award-winning journalist covering business-related topics including healthcare, commercial real estate, retail, and technology. Nowadays she writes about hot, lovable guys and the smart, sexy women who make them crazy. It’s the culmination of a lifelong dream, and she feels so lucky to be able to do it.
Jenna has a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Texas Christian University and a Master’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communications from Northwestern University.
Jenna and her husband live in a 103-year-old house in Texas.
To connect with the author online:
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