From USA Today bestselling author Darcy Burke comes a sexy and emotional family saga about seven siblings who reunite in a small Oregon town to fulfill their brother’s dying wish … and find love in unexpected places.
Fed up with her self-imposed single life, successful event planner Sara Archer heads to a bar for a night of dancing … and bumps into Dylan Wescott, the high school crush she hasn’t seen in years. A little harmless flirting leads to a hot, completely uncharacteristic one-night stand; but when she wakes up alone, Sara knows her life is too complicated for a relationship and there can’t be a repeat.
Dylan, a divorced, ex-military construction contractor, limits himself to casual flings—his failed marriage proves he’s better off alone anyway—but he can’t stop dreaming about Sara. And when his firm is hired to oversee the renovation project run by the Archer siblings, Dylan and Sara are unable to resist their explosive chemistry.
But when their secret affair grows beyond “friends with benefits” and neither is willing to admit they want more, family drama and emotional scars may ruin their chance at a love they believed was only in their dreams.
Why ONLY IN MY DREAMS Should Have Been a Thriller
by Darcy Burke
Thanks for having me here today! I thought I’d share a little bit about how the Ribbon Ridge series came to be. I’ve been writing historicals forever. That’s what I always read (until about four years ago) and that’s what I loved. Whenever my favorite historical authors took a break from a historical and wrote a contemporary, I became annoyed. And look at me now! When an idea strikes and grabs hold of you, it’s impossible to resist. That’s how Ribbon Ridge happened. (And I forgive you, authors who paved the way before me!)
Every January for the past seven years, I have attended a writing retreat with some of the most fabulous romance authors ever. We were all finalists in the 2008 Romance Writers of America Golden Heart contest and have become close friends. This is truly the highlight of my writing year. Two years ago we convened at a house near a lake (I think it was a lake). The house was old—maybe 1920s—with a rocky beach and a beautiful garden. It was actually quite conducive to writing historicals.
It had a somewhat mysterious feel, as if it looked pleasant but was perhaps hiding some sort of sinister secret. Little did we know, it was hiding several sinister secrets. Or at least several inconveniences and one potentially-sinister-occurrence-but-was-probably-just-author-imaginations-run-amok.
On our first night there, we realized the house wasn’t really large enough for all nine of us unless we wanted to share double beds. We like each other a lot, but not that much. We could have crammed into a sort of sleeping porch, also known as the attic, where there were (I think) four tiny twin beds with a very low ceiling. Clearly it was made for small children. A couple of people ended up sleeping there, but had to be careful not to sit up and hit their heads on the ceiling. If memory serves, there was also a creepy doll or two up there. What? Dolls aren’t creepy? I’d argue that sometimes they just are.
There was a guest house, so we called the landlord and asked if we could use it because of the space issue. I ended up sleeping in the guest house, sharing a room with Rachel Grant while Courtney Milan slept downstairs. This might have been a fabulous arrangement had there been heat. But, alas, there wasn’t. To say we were cold is a massive understatement. To say I was up half the night (more than, really) freezing is far more accurate. All of that sleepless shivering sparked Ribbon Ridge, but more on that in a second.
We had no heat because the main house smelled like gas. I mean, the entire place smelled like it was going to blow up. We called the landlord and investigated the gas stove. Nothing wrong. The gas company came out and checked things over. Nothing wrong. Except that’s when he shut off the gas to the guest house resulting in our frigid night. Suddenly: something wrong. Thankfully we were able to get the heating situation sorted out for the remainder of our stay, but that sleepless night gave me lots of time to think. Plotting out troublesome areas in my books is the number one way I fall asleep at night. Or, in some cases, I’m plotting up new books when I should be solving problems in my work in progress. That’s how Ribbon Ridge came to be.
You might think this isn’t very thrilleresque, but I haven’t shared the best part—the random butcher knife sitting in the kitchen cupboard. There were other knives in the kitchen, but this one had been stashed in a secret cupboard that we only stumbled upon because we couldn’t find something. Or were maybe looking for a gas leak. That oddly placed knife probably should’ve inspired a horror story, or at least a thriller, but instead you get a family of seven kids trying to find their way home again.
You’re welcome. 🙂
She pulled her key from her pocket and hit the unlock button. He opened the door for her. “Thanks for a great time.”
She turned to face him, standing in the crook of the open door. “I’m sorry it has to end.” Her features tightened very briefly, as if she regretted saying that. Then she lifted her chin and gave him a direct stare. “It doesn’t really have to. Vegas Rules, right?”
She was going to hit on him. And why not? They’d flirted all night. Only he couldn’t go home with her. Not Sara Archer. “I’m not sure that’s a good idea.”
“It’s a great idea. Let’s take Vegas back to my condo.” Her eyes narrowed again in that sexy, provocative way. “But here’s the thing: I’m only interested in tonight.”
Had the parking lot just disappeared beneath his feet? That was his line. The player had just been played.
About the Author
Darcy Burke is the USA Today bestselling author of hot, action-packed historical and sexy, emotional contemporary romance. Darcy wrote her first book at age 11, a happily-ever-after about a swan addicted to magic and the female swan who loved him, with exceedingly poor illustrations.
A native Oregonian, Darcy lives on the edge of wine country with her guitar-strumming husband, their two hilarious kids-who each seem to have inherited the writing gene in some form-and two Bengal cats. In her “spare” time Darcy is a serial volunteer enrolled in a 12-step program where one learns to say “no,” but she keeps having to start over. Her happy places are Disneyland and Labor Day weekend at the Gorge.