Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Too Good to be True by Marie-Nicole Ryan


Romantic suspense author, Marie-Nicole Ryan, was definitely born in Kentucky, but defies anyone to discover and/or reveal the year. After graduating from Henderson County High School, she mistakenly decided that nursing school was her ticket to riches and happiness. Another career detour found her going to interior design school, and while it was a lot more fun than nursing school, it was even more work.

Through all these career stops and starts, she devoured books by the thousands: romance, science fiction, mysteries. After receiving a lot encouragement from an on-line writing community, she decided it was time to plant her butt in the chair and bring her stories to life.

Her fourth novel, Too Good to be True, was published by Samhain Publishing in electronic formats and will be available in print starting September 18, 2008. Borders Book Stores will carry Too Good To Be True by November or December. Her fifth book, the re-release of Love on the Run, is an October release in electronic form from Samhain Publishing and will be available in print in 2008.

Ms. Ryan has one son, lives in a suburb of Nashville, Tennessee, and has thrown caution to the winds by abandoning her R.N. job and is now writing full-time.

Visit her website at
Other Links:



The sheriff has the hots for her prime suspect. What’s a girl to do?

Sheriff Rilla Devane has sworn to serve and protect, just as her father did before he was murdered. An influx of party drugs has killed two teenagers, but she has a suspect: handsome, rich newcomer Mackenzie Callahan, a published author seeking small-town atmosphere.

To build her case, she moves closer to Mackenzie and his dangerous brand of seductive charm. She’ll risk everything for her investigation, even when it means letting her guard down and falling for her suspect.

Mac Callahan lives and breathes for undercover work. But his last mission ended in near disaster, and he has one last chance to prove his value to the DEA. Taking sexy Sheriff Rilla to bed might ruin his career—or lead him to the love of his life.


After dinner served on the patio, Rilla slipped off her sandals and dabbled her toes in the water. Callahan stood right behind her—too close for comfort. “Still warm, isn’t it, from the sun?” His tone was warm, too. What the heck was he up to now?

“Yeah, feels good though,” she admitted grudgingly. Warm water. Warm tone. It was enough to drive her batty.

“Why don’t y’all go for a swim?” Katie suggested.

As tempting as it sounded, Rilla shook her head. “No suit.”

Lloyd’s voice boomed. “What’s wrong with skinny dippin’? Or don’t you do such things up North?”

“You just hush, Lloyd. We’re not about to do any such thing. Rilla can borrow one of my suits, and Mac can borrow one of yours.”

“Well…” Rilla hesitated. The idea of seeing Callahan in a pair of swimming trunks was more than tempting, but was it a good idea? He was still her choice for drug kingpin. And no matter how good he looked, she’d still arrest him once she proved it.

“Sounds good to me,” the traitor said and winked.

She glanced away, refusing to humor him. He had no business coming to dinner with her especially after she’d warned him she didn’t have time for a social life.

“Okay, that settles it.” Katie nodded toward the cabana. “Come on, Rilla, I’ve got the perfect suit for your cute figure.”

Rilla’s faced heated. This hadn’t been part of the dinner plans. Cavorting about in a skimpy suit…

Ten minutes later she stuck her head out of the changing room. The men hadn’t appeared yet, so she ran across the slate slabs and dived into the pool. She skimmed along the bottom until she needed air and pushed for the surface.

Brushing the hair from her eyes, she found herself facing a pair of bare feet and a fine set of muscled calves. Her gaze moved higher to his thighs and to the bulge—and away from the bulge back to his right knee and thigh. Damn, if there wasn’t a surgical scar at least eight inches long which started on his muscular thigh and traveled down below his knee…and what suspiciously looked like a bullet wound.

“Like what you see?” he asked, his tone amused. His blue eyes shone with good humor.

“Uh, that’s a hell of a scar. Old football injury?”

Mac laughed and turned to his host. “Lloyd, call off the sheriff. She’s interrogating me again.”

Lloyd straightened from his pool chair. “Damn, son. I think Rilla’s right. Looks like something got a-hold of you.”

“Almost but not quite. I had a compound fracture. The bone came through the skin—say, you remember the old movie with Burt Reynolds where he and his pals went canoeing? That’s sort of what happened to me, except I was in a car wreck last year. I’ve a metal plate and a bunch of screws holding this leg of mine together.”

“They did a good job. I never noticed any kind of limp,” Rilla said, wondering if he was telling the truth.

“I had six months of intensive rehab. I worked like an S.O.B. to get rid of the limp.”

“Come on in,” she said. At least if he were in the water, she wouldn’t have so much trouble keeping her eyes away from his crotch.

“You’re an excellent swimmer.”

“Thanks.” Rilla treaded water and tried to shrug, two activities she discovered weren’t easily accomplished at the same time. “Come on. I doubt you’ll melt.” But I might.

He tentatively eased into the water beside her, holding to the side as if he were afraid to let go.

“What’s the matter? she asked. “Don’t you swim?”

He rolled his eyes. “No.”

“Then you need to learn.”


“Everybody ought to know how to swim. It’s easy. Even little babies can learn.” She splashed some water in his face.

Callahan shook his head. “It’s been a long time since I was a baby. I’ve forgotten.”

She laughed. “Chicken.” With practiced ease, she backstroked away from him. “Come on. Come to me. I’m not far. Push off from the side, put your hands out in front like this.” She stretched her arms out, hands together in a V. “And let your body float to me. I’ll catch you.”

He glanced toward the pool deck. “Where are Katie and Lloyd? They need a good laugh.”

“If you’ll just do it, you can be swimming before they come out.”

His dark brows drew into a frown. “You’ll let me drown.”

“I assure you I won’t. I was a lifeguard at the country club when I was in high school. It would be morally impossible for me to let you drown, even if you are a real pain in the behind.”

“Harsh, but true.” He grinned.

Did anything ever make him stop smiling?

“All right. I’m trusting you with my life.”

She watched as he pushed off from the side of the pool, arms in front as she’d directed.

He reached her and snaked his arms around her, pulling her up against his chest. A thin scrap of fabric was all that separated her tensing nipples from his bare, muscular chest. Could he tell?

She felt the quick hammering of his heart against hers. Her hands splayed down his chest while his blue-as-the-pool eyes shone with merriment.

It hit her. “You can swim, can’t you?” she murmured, strangely unwilling to let him go even if he had tricked her.

Callahan grinned. “Yeah. I knew it was the only way I was going to get you in my arms tonight.”

He wanted her in his arms? A heady rush of warmth pooled in her belly. Her body molded against his—like they were made for each other—twin keys for the same lock.

She looked into his eyes, his gaze soft and warm. The heat built and shimmered between them. His muscled thigh was between hers—when did that happen? Instinctively she pressed against him and a thrill of pleasure shot to her core. She clung to him, her fingers kneading into his shoulders. Her lips parted. More than anything she wanted to taste him, rub against his hard erection and take him inside… She took a ragged breath.

“Woo hoo. Look at them, Lloyd.” Katie Bass’s shrill voice rang out. “I think they’re already in love.”

Hastily Rilla pulled away from Mac and swam for the opposite side of the pool. “Come on in, you two. The water’s great.”


Why did you become a writer?
I just couldn’t help myself, but mainly it was to shut up the voices in my head. And as far as I know, I’m not schizophrenic. LOL!

Was it a dream of yours since you were younger or did the desire to write happen later in your life?
I started writing when I was twelve or so. I loved books and read everything I could get my greedy little hands on. Unfortunately I showed my work to a friend of mine and she pooh-poohed it. I did some writing in high school, but my teacher said my work was, “trite.” Yes, it was a romance and she was a very intellectual person who didn’t respect any writing unless it was LIT-trah-ture. Again in my early thirties I started writing again, and it was one of those Rosemary Rogers type romances. Still I hated typing and retyping on my old Smith-Corona portable typewriter. Finally came the computer age and I jumped on the bandwagon and started writing. I haven’t looked back.

What do you love about being an author?
I love working from home and making the characters in my head live, breathe and love.

Is there anything you dislike about being an author?

How do you balance your personal and writing time?
I don’t really try for a balance. I find time once a month to meet with other writers at our local romance writers’ chapter meeting. The more difficult balancing act is balancing writing time with promoting my work on the various chat loops, etc.

How do you write?
I’m a hybrid. I started out being a seat of the pants writer. I’ve morphed into more of a plotter than I was earlier, but I’ll never attempt to outline a book—no fun whatsoever. Do your characters come to you first or the plot or the world of the story? Most of the time it’s the characters. When I decide to work on a story idea, I do an interview so that they can tell me who they are and what they like. I begin to pick up clues about their goals, motivations and conflicts which will in turn drive the story and the story world.

What genre(s) do you write?
I write romantic suspense. Why do you write the stories that you write? My two favorite genres are romance and mystery, and writing romantic suspense allows me the opportunity to blend the two.

Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?
Most of the time, they are totally from my imagination. I start with an image—quite often male and female soap stars, but once I start writing the characters usually evolve and take on a life of their own.

Out of all the characters that you've written, who is your favorite and why?
That’s so difficult to decide. Sheriff Rilla Devane from TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE is one of my favorites because she’s nothing like me. She can kick ass and doesn’t take any BS from anyone. She’s tough and in charge, but a real woman when it comes to falling in love. The other one I have to mention is Randi Raines from LOVE ON THE RUN. She was my first heroine to see print. She was much more like me twenty years ago—afraid to fly, a mother who would do anything for her young son, but finally risked her heart and gave it to a yummy Scotland Yard detective. I love my detectives—all of them.

What would you want readers to take away from your books?
The rabid desire to go and buy up all my back list. Other than that, I’d like to know they took away the satisfaction of having read a well-written story and sorry it ended. I’d like them go away and feel something of the heart I’ve infused into the story.

Do you have any advice for beginning writers in regards to writing a book?
Don’t give up. Write consistently. Learn to take constructive criticism. Connect with a solid writing group. Romance Writers of America is absolutely the best organization for wannabe writers.

What are you reading right now?
I just finished FUNERAL IN BLUE by Anne Perry. Have to head back to the book case to see what I haven’t read.

If you could be anyone or anything that you wanted, who or what would you be?
LOL! I’d be an author who didn’t give up writing for something like twenty years before delving into it again.


"Too Good to be True is a very enjoyable story with a lot of twists and turns along the way. The heat between Rilla and Mac is sizzling..."
Reviewer: Tanya at Joyfully Reviewed

"Too Good to be True by Marie-Nicole Ryan is a gripping, edge-of-your-seat tale filled with smart, fast-talking characters."
Reviewer: Kay James at Romance Readers at Heart

"On the whole, the story was intriguing and an entertaining read."
Reviewer: Rista Tompkins at The Romance Readers Connection

Too Good to be True by Marie-Nicole Ryan
ISBN: 1-59998-460-1
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Electronic Release: March 20, 2007,
Print Release: September 18, 2007
$5.50 from My Bookstore and More

Purchase Too Good to be True by Marie-Nicole Ryan HERE!!

posted by Rachelle
at 4:47 PM