Authors: Lisa Y. Watson
This novel is in no way predictable, which makes it an easy and intriguing page turner. The main characters have so much passion between them that both the loving and hostile words that drip from the pages will be felt by the reader. This story will stick in the mind of the reader.
âB. Nakia Garner, RT BOOK Review Magazine, 4 Stars
Lisa Watson draws a fabulous tightrope of betrayal, scintillating romance, and suspense in her debut novel!
âL.A. Banks, New York Times and USA Today, Vampire Huntress Series
Bitter secrets, dark betrayals and ready-to-explode desire.
Finding a thief has never been so dangerous or so hot!
The plot will keep you guessing until dawn.
Lisa Watson is a writer you don't want to miss!
âChristina Skye, New York Times best-selling author of the CODE NAME series.
WATCH YOUR BACK
will have you reading it all in one sitting. A good first release for Lisa Y. Watson.
âDianthia R. Lemons, Romance In Color Magazine, 4 Stars
Newcomer Lisa Watson has delivered a very intriguing read. The writing is succinct and the dialogue is brisk and real. I love the interactions between Devon and Jayde. I would highly recommend this book.
âM. Glover, 5 Stars
This author is a gifted and talented writer. From the moment you open the book and start reading you are hooked and will not be able to put the book down. Her writing style is easy to follow and allows you to get into the characters like you are part of the story. The playful banter and passion between the main characters Devon and Jayde is wonderful and funny. Chapter after chapter this book is fantastic. There are twists and turns and it keeps you guessing and gasping.
âLori Mosel, 5 Stars
Interview with Love
is dedicated to my mother, Harriette Y. Dodson. Your “Last Button on Gabriel's Shirt” loves you very, very much.
And to all the family and friends that are always watching MY back. I thank you!!
God truly moves in an infinite amount of ways. He's graced me with a gift that allows me to touch so many people. Also, my Dad, George A. Dodson, Jr., and all the other angels in my outfield. I appreciate the help!!
Eric, Brandon and Alyssa. Thanks for letting me rotate the wife, mommy and writer hat as needed! I love you guys!
Carl Weber, Natalie Weber, Brenda Owen and my Urban family. Heartfelt thanks for giving me the opportunity to tell my stories.
My crazy, undying thanks to my cousins, Dr. Patricia D. Raspberry of Black Raspberry Consumer Insights and Angela Raspberry, Executive Creative Director at Black Raspberry Consumer Insights and Associate Creative Director at Doner Advertising. Your expertise gave Vaughn and Sienna depth and soul. I appreciate every call, text, e-mail and wrap session. This book would not have been written without you both! Much love from your Cuz!!
The Critique Boutique: C. Adele Dodson, Tina Ezell-Hull, Pat Simmons and Steffi Wheeler. Your opinions, suggestions and encouragement were greatly appreciated and very instrumental in getting
Interview with Love
off the ground and out the door! I love you guys!!
Thanks to everyone at RT BOOK Reviews Magazine. You all do amazing work!
Nicole Ferweda â You are astounding and forever in my corner. I just wanted you to know I appreciate your being there.
To my Steele fiction authors and readers â You guys are awesome!!! That's for graciously allowing me to defer my stories while I got this one done!
The Inner Circle: I would not be who I am today without the love and support from each and every one of you. My cup runneth over!!
To each and every person that has ever read anything I've written. You all keep me going. You keep me motivated and constantly striving to improve who I am, and what I write! Thank you all for the e-mails, blog posts, tweets, texts and visits when I'm at bookstores waiting for someone to buy my books! LOL!!!
To the Berry Sisters: Alyce and Robin. Thanks for bringing me into the fold, my tall, gorgeous sisters! You are two of the most talented women I'll ever know!
He was the kind of man that couldn't help but pique a woman's interest; unless she was a nun. He was above average height, his skin like a flawless piece of chocolate. Sienna Lambert, PhD hadn't missed the looks he had given her over the last two hours. Picking up the usual signs, she had done her best to shut him down. She was completely professional in her interactions with him and the rest of the focus group participants. Yet here he wasâin all his not-so-covert masculine glory.
It hadn't been ten minutes since the session had ended and he was back. Sienna lowered the notes she was perusing and looked up. “Yes, Terrance? Did you have any additional comments you'd like to share?”
He flashed a wide grin, “Not exactly. I thought we might be able to chat for a minute. You know, without all the other folks hanging around.”
Yes, she did know.
Sienna stood up tucking her folder securely under her arm. She adjusted her glasses. “Sure. What's on your mind?”
“I just figuredâ¦um, are you local?”
She posted a very polite smile on her face. “No, I'm not. I'm just here for another few days to wrap up.”
“Man, that's too bad.” He twisted his mouth into a brilliant smile.
Isn't it, though?
“I was just going to ask you if you'd like to accompany me to dinner. I don't normally do this, but I don't care for eating alone.” His tone dropped. “It's surprising how often I end up doing just that. I can't imagine it holds much interest for a woman as lovely as you.”
Sienna cast a glance back to the one-way mirror that separated the screening room from the respondents. It was amazing how often she got propositioned in front of her clients. It was equally interesting how the men forgot that they were not alone and there were people watchingâand listening.
“I'm sorry Terrance, but I'm going to have to decline. I have quite a bit of work to do before tomorrow's session andâ”
“Well if you don't have time,” he interrupted. “Maybe a quick drink, orâ¦whatever.”
Suddenly, Sienna's Blackberry vibrated in her suit pocket. She reached in and retrieved her telephone. “I'm sorry, I have to take this.” She apologized turning away. She hit a button on her phone and read the newly arrived text message.
Looked like you needed rescuing.
Sienna's right thumb tapped out a quick reply.
She turned back toward the eagerly waiting man. “I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to leave. It's been a pleasure meeting you.”
His eyes skimmed over her before he replied, “Believe me, it was all mine.”
After she collected the rest of her belongings, Sienna gave him a final smile. With purposeful strides she walked to the exit at the back of the room where her client was waitingâand watching.
Once the door closed securely behind her, Sienna sagged against the barrier while taking a deep breath. Absentmindedly, she smoothed her hair into its already secured bun.
“Amazing, wasn't he?”
Sienna looked up to see Sherry Bradshaw standing nearby. A quick glance around confirmed that the other executives observing the session were already gone.
“I haven't seen his equal in quite some time.” Sienna confessed.
“He'd make a woman dizzy just looking at him.” The woman sighed, loudly. She patted her heart over her navy blue suit jacket. “It's not too late to change your mind you know, he's still standing there.”
“What?” Surprised, Sienna pushed away from the door and leaned to the left. Her head was inches from the glass as she peered back into the focus group room. Sherry followed suit. She lifted her riotous red hair away from her face to stare through the window. Sure enough the man was still standing there confidently. His gaze traveled lazily over the mirrored boundary. Twice he almost made eye contact with her. She reared back as if he could actually see her. “He's persistent I'll give him that.”
“Maybe he's waiting for you to come to your senses,” Sherry chuckled, moving back away from the glass. “Are you sure you wanted to turn him down?”
“Flat,” Sienna said, with firm conviction. She held her index finger in front of her. “Rule number one: Never date the respondents.”
“I don't think dating is what he had in mind.”
“Rule number two: Don't trip the light fantastic with your test subjects.”
“Don't what? I've never heard of that one.”
“My definition is a bit different from the original meaning. Mine means don't sleep with them.”
“Oh. What's number three?”
“A bad idea never, ever looks better after a few drinks.”
The woman's eyes widened considerably. “Dr. Lambert, are you serious with all these rules?”
Before turning her attention back to her client, Sienna watched the living Adonis she'd just turned down shrug his shoulders and saunter out of the room. His move clearly signaled that he thought it was
loss. She felt not one twinge of regret. “Absolutely.”
“I can't argue with logic like that,” Sherry mused before changing the subject. “I want you to know that we truly appreciate your flying here to conduct the focus groups. Our collective schedules this week would've made travel kind of hectic for us, especially Mr. Dexter. You coming to the corporate office made it much more convenient for him.”
Sienna hadn't thought twice about flying there to accommodate the chief executive officer, Antonio Dexter. The president and CEO of Dexter Clothiers, Antonio was an older gentleman with an olive complexion and a bright smile. He was very personable and instantly put those around him at ease.
He had dark hair and light-brown eyes that hinted at both intelligence and good humor. Sienna was amazed at how tall and athletic he was. She'd heard he was in his late fifties, and she noted upon meeting him that he wore it well. She hadn't been able to meet his brother Eduardo, the chief operating officer of the company because he was out of the country on business.
“It was no problem.” Sienna spoke up realizing she hadn't answered yet. “The facility here is working out wonderfully. Besides, I'm always thrilled to visit New England. It's beautiful here.”
“I love New Hampshire, too. Then again North Carolina is beautiful as well. I'm sure you must miss it.”
“It is and I do.”
“Actually, the younger Mr. Dexter has property in North Carolina. I've been there on a few occasions. He spends a great deal of time there when he's not traveling.”
“It's beautiful country. I never tire of looking at it.”
“I wouldn't doubt it. So do you have an idea when you'll be finished with your report?”
Sienna scanned her portfolio. “Since the last group is tomorrow afternoon I should have it to you on Tuesday. Will that be okay?”
“That will work just fine. I've got three ad agencies pitching for the Best Kept Secrets campaign. We should have our selection made by the end of next week. I'd like to go over your findings before then. I've got to tell you I'm very excited about this product.”
“It's worth being excited. Men's undergarments more comfortable the longer they're worn? They sound truly state-of-the-art.”
“They are. You should see the team that created them. Some of them look like they've never seen the light of day.”
They both laughed. “Well, it's an exhilarating proposition to men everywhere and from all walks of life.”
“Don't we know it,” Sherry replied, “but not just men, Dr. Lambert, women the world over will be reaping the benefits, too.”
Later that evening Sienna sat cross-legged on the bed in her hotel room. After a long, very hot shower she had put on her comfy cotton pajamas. Her hair was swept up into a loose pile on top of her head, a style she rarely wore in public. Papers and a plate holding a half-eaten turkey club sandwich arched out in front of her. Glancing over at the nightstand clock, Sienna stifled a yawn. It was well after midnight. Though her next group wouldn't start until six o'clock tomorrow evening, she still wanted to give herself plenty of time to prepare her questions and go over any last-minute details.
When she caught herself nodding several times Sienna knew it was time to call it a night. She eased her glasses off and placed them in their case on the nightstand, then leaned back against the plush hotel pillows to stretch languidly.
Rubbing the sore muscles at the nape of her neck, she laughed aloud as she recalled her respondent's pick up lines. He was supremely confident that she would eventually change her mind and go out with him.
“It'll take much more than a hot physique and a smile to get me to break one of my rules,” she quipped, rolling off the bed. Sienna gathered the papers and slid them back into her laptop bag. The next stop was the table where she deposited the plate of food. Lowering the metal lid back over the plate, Sienna padded to the bathroom to brush her teeth. She retrieved a small hour-glass from her toiletries bag, flipped it over on the sink and commenced her two-minute brushing regime.
As she rotated the motorized toothbrush around in her mouth, her mind wandered. The living Adonis that tried to pick her up earlier popped into her mind. Sienna didn't doubt for a second that he had recovered himself and was bestowing his charms on the next lady-in-waiting. It wasn't hard for her to imagine him wearing a new pair of Best Kept Secrets, or that they would fit like a second skin. Sienna almost felt sorry for the unsuspecting ladies. She had no doubt seeing his handsome physique parade around in new underwear would be the equivalent of a superhero sporting a shiny new red cape.
Sienna adored her job. She was irrevocably in love with being a consumer psychologist. She poured over the soft data gathered to give her clients insight into consumer's thoughts. Their patterns, motivations and the emotional connections all tied in when they considered their purchases. The products people used, the food they ate, the cars they drove and the clothes they wore were all conscious choices influenced by the way companies marketed their lines. It was fascinating to her.
When Sienna had started Lambert Insights, Inc., it was the most rewarding thing she'd ever done. It was also the most terrifying. To start with nothing and build her dream from the bare bones to the living, thriving company it had become made her want to weep with humility.
Edgy, Sienna paced around the hotel room. The excitement coursed through her veins with each turn on the patterned carpet. Anticipation revved her up the way a well-loaded coffee with an espresso shot did. This was it. Out of every aspect of her job this was the part she loved the most. When the hostess escorted a new group in on Sienna's cue, the smile she wore was always genuine. The well-screened participants were eager, excited and ready to have someone listen to what they had to say. They were thrilled that someone had asked for their opinions about a topic they could relate to. It was a cohesive group bouncing responses off each other that gave them a common patch of ground.
On occasion, there would be a respondent that didn't want to engage in meaningful, communicative dialogue. Sienna would never let their clipped, monotone responses dampen her spirits or deter her from doing her job. Those moments were infrequent and when they occurred she would simply tune the facility coordinator in to the issue. The respondent was removed from the room in a swift manner before he or she affected the collective group.
It was the unpredictable occurrences that made the long hours, the endless airports, and take-out food bearable. The bloodshot eyes she received from pouring over handwritten notes and audio data from the sessions was worth it. The decent and sometimes indecent proposals she received from men were trivial compared to what she'd feel tomorrow at the final moment she put all her experience to the test?
Sienna closed her eyes and harnessed the energy required to keep a group of strangers entertained, connected and responsive to her over the next two hours. It was like going into battle each time she welcomed her next group. It was a wonderful, fantastic, creative battle that caused her stomach to knot and her heart to beat with excitement?
A quick knock and then the door opened. In walked a woman smiling at Sienna with six men in tow. “Good afternoon everyone,” she said, cheerfully. “Welcome. Feel free to take any seat and then we'll get started.” She waited until every man was seated comfortably and her hostess had left before lowering herself into her chair.
“My name is Sienna Lambert and I'd like to take a few minutes going over what we'll be discussing for the next two-hours.” She turned slightly in her chair. “Behind me you'll see a mirrored wall. This is a one-way mirror and behind it are my clients. This evening they'll be watching us and taking notes on our conversation and your responses to my questions. They are just as interested in what you have to say as I am, however in the interest of keeping the energy flowing freely and our conversations relaxed, their group will stay behind the scenes. Now if you'd like you can all turn around and wave at the mirror to say hello to break the ice.”
There were chuckles throughout the group. A few turned around and waved at the wall.
“Great. Another thing I'd like to mention is that there are a microphone and video camera recording what we're saying. Most of this is to ensure that I can focus my attention on you all and leave the heavy note taking to them.” Sienna joked.
“This is an open dialogue, okay? There are no right or wrong answers. We are here to hear what you have to say and to get your honest opinions on men's undergarments. I know it's after five and that most of you may be coming from work and have had a long day. Trust me, we appreciate your willingness to be here and to participate in this study. I think it would be great if we could go around the table and get each of you to introduce yourselves. Please start by telling us your name, if you live alone, with a spouse and or kids, a partner or friend, when was the last time you purchased underwear and who you were with when you bought them. Oh, and tell me if they were boxers or briefs. We'll start on my left.”