There's no hiding from emotion in a Michelle Douglas novel

I’m excited to welcome Michelle Douglas to Get Lost in a Story. Michelle is the author of 24 (and counting) romances. Clearly she’s been writing practically from the cradle! Her latest novel, the deliciously titled The Spanish Tycoon’s Takeover, was released just this month! 

About Michelle... 

Michelle has been writing for Harlequin Mills & Boon since 2007 and believes she has the best job in the world. She lives in a leafy suburb of Newcastle on Australia’s east coast with her own romantic hero, a house full of dust and books, and an eclectic collection of 60s and 70s vinyl. 

The new boss…

Her family hotel has just been taken over and Wynne needs to do whatever it takes to seem bright, breezy and unflappable. Easier said than done! If she can work nicely with the charismatic Xavier Ramos then her colleagues might just keep their jobs…

Xavier has no qualms about ruthlessly transforming a homely motel into a chic boutique hotel—only, he has a fight on his hands against fiery Wynne! While he’s busy taking over her hotel, with every battle he finds she’s taking another piece of his heart…

Read a little, buy the book... 

His gaze lowered to her lips and his eyes turned smoky and heavy-lidded. He leaned towards her and her breath hitched. Surely he didn’t mean to kiss her? She shouldn’t be standing here as if…as if she were waiting for him to do exactly that.

What kind of comfort are you offering me, Wynne?’

His voice was low and seductive. His breath fanned across her lips, teasing them, sensitising them. The smoky accent heated something low down in her abdomen. Tendrils of temptation curled through her until she pulsed with need and heat, aching in places she’d forgotten she had. All she had to do was lean forward and she would know what this man tasted like. One kiss and…

She glanced up into his eyes. The cold, calculated hardness in them—so at odds with his touch and his words—made her shrink back inside herself. 

She took a step away from him, tugging her hand free. ‘Not that kind of comfort.’ 

Her voice sounded as if it belonged to somebody else. 

‘Are you sure?’ 

How could he make his voice so warm when his eyes were so hard? 


‘Because I do not fraternise with my staff.’ 

She prickled at the threat latent in his words—that if she attempted to fraternise with him he’d see it as grounds for instant dismissal. She couldn’t be dismissed. Not yet. 

She drew herself up to her full height. ‘If by fraternise you mean sleep with, then let me assure you that you’re safe from me.’ She whirled around and made for the conference room. ‘You’re not my type,’ she hurled over her shoulder. 

‘Not your type?

He roared the words at her back, and she didn’t know why her assertion should upset him. Maybe he was just grumpy because his ploy hadn’t worked.

She swung around when she reached the far side of the conference table. He stood framed in the doorway like some clichéd Greek god.

‘I don’t believe for a single moment that I’ve dented your fragile male ego. I don’t believe there’s a single fragile thing about you.’ 

Deference, Wynne! You’re supposed to be practising deference. 

But the rotten man had all but sent her a heated invitation with the sole purpose of trapping her in inappropriate conduct. So he could fire her. And she’d almost fallen for it!

He glared at her, and bit by bit her sense of humour righted itself.

‘The simple fact of the matter is you’re too successful for my taste, Xavier.’

He moved into the room. He rolled his shoulders. ‘What does your taste normally run to?’

Lifting the lid of her laptop, she planted herself behind it. ‘I seem to attract…artistic types.’

He rocked back on his heels. She had a feeling he was trying hard not to let his lip curl.

She nodded once—hard. ‘Yes, artistic types… Which is a flattering term that, from my experience, few of them have earned.’ She slanted a glance up at him, trying hard not to laugh—though laughing would be better than crying. ‘You can translate that to mean that they don’t have jobs…nor any prospects on the horizon.

She opened a new document. ‘Synonyms for “artistic type” might also include wastrel, layabout and slob. My personal favourite term, however, is no-hope loser. Hence my type, Xavier, is no-hope loser. You cannot be described as a no-hope loser in anybody’s language. So, you see, you’re quite safe.’

He sat, spreading his hands with an expansive and what she thought must be a typically Mediterranean eloquence that made her abdomen soften.

‘But why would you settle for this? This is a tragedy. You are a beautiful woman. What do you get from this kind of relationship?’

He thought her beautiful? Don’t think about that!

Available on Amazon, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, and via Harlequin

Let's Talk... 

Avril: There are so many great Harlequin series – what’s the special appeal of Harlequin Romance? 
Michelle: Oh, I can sum that up in one word—emotion! 😊 In a Harlequin Romance there’s nowhere for a writer (and, therefore, the characters) to hide (no sex, no medical drama, no suspense, and no cast of quirky secondary characters) and that means the story becomes tightly focused on the emotional engagement between the hero and heroine. This leads to intense and emotional stories. In a lot of ways these stories are pure fantasy…but they feel like a fantasy that could happen to you. 😊 

Avril: How do you name your characters? 
Michelle: This is a tough question! Sometimes I just know a character’s name (probably because I’ve heard that name recently and liked the sound of it). Other times it’s a case of using a placeholder name until the right one comes along. I browse through baby-naming books, and I keep a list of the ones I like. I don’t know why naming characters can be so hard sometimes, but once you have the right name a lot of things simply fall into place.

Avril: Alpha or beta hero for you? 
Michelle: One of the things I love about the romance genre is that I don’t have to choose. I can read or write an alpha hero in one book and then a beta hero in the next. 😊 In my personal life, I have a preference for beta heroes (nice guys shouldn’t finish last; guys who respect women shouldn’t finish last; and beta/nice guys don’t equate to wimps). So I do love writing strong beta heroes. But alphas can be so much fun too. It’s one of those delicious dilemmas for a writer to have. ;-) 

Avril: What comes first for you – the setting or the plot? 
Michelle: It used to be setting. My earlier stories and their development were very dependent on setting. But I think one’s process is constantly changing and evolving. So, at the moment, I’d say plot is coming in first. I’m choosing tropes that sound like fun (like a Sheikh hero or an office romance) and developing my story from there. Oh, but now that I think about it…The Spanish Tycoon’s Takeover was inspired by a little old motor inn I stayed in. So… 

Avril: I know you have a new romance out in September – what can you tell us about that? 
Michelle: I’m really excited about my September release. It’s called Sarah and the Secret Sheikh and Majed is my first sheikh hero. I can’t wait to find out what readers think of him. This is the backcover blurb: 

Expecting the Sheikh’s baby…

When one magical night with gorgeous and enigmatic Majed leaves Sarah pregnant, she’s torn apart over whether to reveal her secret. She already loves this baby, but will confirmed bachelor Majed feel the same?

Discovering he’s going to be a father changes everything for Majed. It’s time to face the music and unveil his true identity as Prince of Keddah Jaleel! He’d love to make Sarah his sheikh, if only he can convince her she’ll be much more than his convenient bride. 

Avril: When it comes to reading romance, what’s your pet hate?  
Michelle: I really, really hate passive heroines. Look, I understand the appeal of a knight on a white horse charging in to save the day but I want a heroine to save herself—or, at least, give it a darn good go. And if she can’t and our trusty knight does slay the dragons that need slaying, then I want her to turn around and save him right back in a totally unexpected way. Please! 

Thanks so much for having me at Get Lost in Story, Avril! It’s been such a delight to visit.😊 

 Alpha or beta hero? Which is your preference? 
Let us know in the comments and enter the Rafflecopter giveaway to go into the draw for a signed print copy of 
 The Spanish Tycoon’s Takeover!
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  1. Well, I enjoy both, with maybe a slight edge to the nice guys!

    1. I tend to prefer a nice guy - sometimes if I'm writing an alpha hero it takes me quite a while to start liking them!

    2. With an edge! Exactly, holdenj. Nice, but not a pushover. :-)

  2. I do enjoy both types of heroes, but I tend to read more Alphas.

    1. Colleen, I think there are probably more alphas in the genre than betas. They'd probably be dreadfully difficult to live with in real life, but are ultimate fantasy material within the pages of a romance. :-)

  3. LOL, Natasha. Well...they are a special breed. ;-)

  4. I am a huge Alpha male who is brought down to size by love. Can't wait to get my hands on your Sheikh book! I do like the Beta as well.Being good and kind does not make one a wimp nor does a total bastard make an Alpha male. Jan.

    1. Alphas seem to be top of the pops! I think the best alphas are the ones who turn out not to be quite as alpha as anyone thought.

    2. I think Alphas sometimes get away with too much, but if the heroine is super strong and gives it right back to him, I LOVE IT. That said, I love Betas IF they have that edge!

      Great interview. Love Harlequin and I can't wait to read Michelle's new Sheikh book.

    3. Alphas do seem to be winning this poll. :-)

      And thanks Jan and Anonymous -- I hope you love my Sheikh book! I had so much fun writing it. :-)

  5. REPOSTING (Sorry--I put it in the wrong place the first time!)

    I think Alphas sometimes get away with too much, but if the heroine is super strong and gives it right back to him, I LOVE IT. That said, I love Betas IF they have that edge!

    Great interview. Love Harlequin and I can't wait to read Michelle's new Sheikh book.

    1. I agree with the edge for a beta man. The edge is essential!

    2. Beta with an edge is my favourite! :-)

  6. Definitely a beta hero. I'm a big fan of a good guy who is gentle and treats heroine well.

    1. Right up my alley! It takes me a long time to warm to alphas, even when I am writing them myself!