Guest Post & Giveaway: Gina L Maxwell

He’ll teach her the art of seduction…for a price.
Mixed martial arts fighter Reid Andrews’s chance to reclaim his title as light heavyweight champ is shattered when he’s injured only months before the rematch. To make sure he’s healed in time, his trainer sends him to recuperate under a professional’s care—Reid’s best friend’s little sister, all grown up.

Disorganized and bookish Lucie Miller needs some professional help of her own. She’d do anything to catch the eye of a doctor she’s crushed on for years, so when Reid offers seduction lessons in exchange for 24/7 conditioning for the biggest fight of his career, Lucie jumps at the chance.

Soon Reid finds himself in the fight of his life…winning Lucie’s heart before she gives it to someone else.

Breaking Down the Most Popular Trope: Older Brother’s Best Friend
By Gina Maxwell


TROPE: a common or overused theme or device : cliché romance movie tropes>
The “older brother’s best friend.” Why is this the most popular trope? I’m not sure if there’s been any solid research done on the subject, but I can give you my opinion. After all, it’s myfavorite trope, too.
Imagine a young girl, probably in her tween to young teen years, with an older brother. Usually the brother is older than her by several years, thereby making his best friend definitely out of her league and someone she would most certainly pine after in the way of puppy love. She probably tries to make up excuses to be around them or to tag along when they head out to play ball down at the park. Her brother either dutifully puts up with her presence or gets annoyed, but the friend is usually sweet to her, makes her laugh, or even sticks up for her when her brother tries to get rid of her. But of course, her crush only sees her as his friend’s baby sister, cute and the furthest thing from dating material.
Now fast-forward ten or fifteen years. The young girl is now a woman who’s come into her own. She hasn’t seen her brother’s best friend in years, but something—a wedding, funeral, reunion, or even a chance meeting—puts them in a situation of close proximity. The guy can’t believe his eyes because the gangly girl he used to pat on the head and ply with candy to let them play their video games in peace before her brother had a conniption has grown up and most likely acquired the body of a Victoria’s Secret model.
How the rest of the story plays out doesn’t matter. Maybe she still carries a torch for the guy, maybe she’s over him. Either way, the best friend is always struck by how she makes him feel—whether that happens right away or as they spend more time with each other—and he’s left struggling between being the loyal friend who wouldn’t dare put the moves on his friend’s sister, and embracing his male instincts that tell him to do all the crazy things to her that are constantly swirling in his mind.
I love that. It’s the idea of the forbidden fruit. The brother is never cool with his friend touching his sister. (At least not in any of the books I’ve read with this trope.) It’s the devil-on-his-shoulder situation, usually with the brother on one side threatening to chop off his friend’s jewels with a dull knife and the sister on the other side acting the part of the temptress, sometimes intentionally, other time not.
In Seducing Cinderella, the “older brother” trope is actually secondary to the “ugly duckling” trope. Lucie’s brother, Jackson, is in Hawaii and isn’t even in the book with the exception of a phone call. But that doesn’t mean that Reid doesn’t still deal with the “should I, shouldn’t I” tug-of-war. He knows his friend would kill him if he found out. It makes no difference that Jackson isn’t there to enforce it in person. And it’s that taboo, that struggle, that makes this trope so delicious.
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Growing up in small town Fort Atkinson, WI, Gina L. Maxwell, formerly Bisbee, could often be found onstage in the latest theatrical production, performing with her high school show choir, or holding office in her local FFA chapter. She dreamed of following in her father’s footsteps in the entertainment business, of enabling her audience to forget about life for a few hours as they enjoyed the stories she told through her love of singing, dancing, and acting. 

It wasn’t until her sophomore year in college when she realized she had no acting talent to speak of and her dream needed some adjusting. Another ten years would pass before she discovered a different means to accomplishing the same dream. Within those ten years Gina married her high school sweetheart, had two beautiful children, and moved more times than she cared to count. 

In 2009 she started writing as a hobby while her kids were in school, and it quickly became an obsession she couldn’t stop, and then a dream to publish stories of love and passion for romance addicts just like her. Three years later, her dream came true when she signed with Entangled Publishing for a total of seven books in two of their imprints. Her Fighting for Love series with MMA heroes debuted July 20th, 2012 for the digital Brazen imprint with the first book, Seducing Cinderella and reached #9 on Barnes & Noble’s best seller list in just seven days. The first book in her paranormal romance trilogy, Desires of the Soul, is set to release both digitally and in mass trade paperback in Summer 2013 for the Entangled Select imprint.

When she’s not writing or wrangling plot bunnies, Gina keeps busy with her wonderful family and their ever-growing extra-curricular schedules. Thanks to their immense patience and support, she’s able to do The Thing She Was Meant To Do and live her dream of bringing a little romantic fantasy to the world, even if only in the pages of a good book.

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Gina is giving away one copy of Seducing Cinderella. To enter, just fill out the Rafflecopter form below.

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Review: Seducing Cinderella

Reviewed by Shelly

Reid Maxwell is a MMA fighter on his way to reclaiming victory but first has to recovery from an injury and subsequent surgery. Kindhearted and shy Lucy Miller is his chosen physical therapist helping him on his journey.

Honestly folks, I thought – not another Spinderalla tale. But dayyuumm, this was a good story.  After Reid’s doctor leaves for another commitment, he’s in a bit of a pickle and really needs to get healthy in time to fight the big fight. While trying to maintain a low profile, he goes to Northern Nevada Medical Center’s physical therapy department to find a physical therapist and here sits Lucy. Turns out that Lucy Miller, nee Maris, is his best friend’s little sister. To get Lucy as his own personal therapist for two months, Reid makes a bargain. He’ll teach her how to seduce the hospital’s McDreamy, aka Dr. Stephen Mann, if she’ll rehab his shoulder.

What I enjoyed about this story was Lucy’s metamorphosis from moth to butterfly with Reid’s guidance. Initially she’s right on the brink of being annoyingly self-effacing at times but what saved it for me was that I could truly relate to Lucy’s issues with the way her life had turned out. When you’re not happy, nothing about your personality or looks would make you so because isn’t it your fault that you’re not happy anyway? Vicious cycle yes, but we all go through it.

Oh what a hunk of man-meat that Reid is as he goes through the daily efforts of helping Lucy get her dream man; he offers fashion advice and shows Lucy what turns a man’s head and makes him interested. ***Don’t forget what keeps the ladies coming back for more Reid – keep not wearing a shirt and see where that leads ya***. But I digress; Reid is what I’d call a sensitive soul. Yes, he’s an MMA fighter, but because his job is to fight doesn’t mean that he’s a Neanderthal or without skills outside of his profession. Well done there,  Maxwell, for creating a well-rounded character.

From the beginning I was on Lucy and Reid’s team because individually they were interesting, but together the chemistry really clicked. What made it even more enjoyable was watching them fall in love. And may I say – the sex was SMOKIN’ HOT. There’s a scene outside in the rain where Reid decides enough is enough and he takes Lucy against a wall (I can’t talk about it or I’m gonna have a moment, again).

Lucy’s best friend Vanessa is an absolute hot mess and offered a wonderful comic relief to the storyline. I think she’s got a thing for Lucy’s brother Jackson but we’ll have to wait for the next story. There is a next story right?

This book was a joy to read and I hope to see more from this new author.

Happy Reading Folks!

Rating: B+

*ARC Provided by Entangled Publishing

Click to purchase: Amazon

Seducing Cinderella
by Gail Maxwell
Release Date: July 20, 2012
Publisher: Entangled Publishing