The second book in my stand-alone Crime Royalty Romance series features a shorter playlist than the first book (The Frenchman). But the songs I did listen to while writing The Australian were so integral that I will never be able to hear them again without pivotal scenes playing out in my head.
Here are the three key moments in the book that wouldn’t have happened without music.
Jace Knight . . .vulnerable
For most of The Australian, Charlie Sykes not only keeps playboy and international hotelier Jace Knight on his toes, she throws him right off his game. He’s so into her, but because she establishes boundaries from day one, he’s torn because it’s not clear to him that she does want him. Due to complicated circumstances, she ends up loving and leaving Jace, which confuses the hell out of him.
A couple of songs really helped me to write Jace true—a very masculine Aussie wearing his heart on his sleeve. Makes sense that the songs are rock alternative, almost-ballads. When I hear these tunes I can smell the humidity and beach, hear the roar of Jace’s motorcycle and absorb the angst of a very proud man humbled by fast-budding love. They include If I Had My Way by Big Sugar, and Deny by Default.
Charlie Sykes . . .falling in love
When Charlie, who doesn’t understand or cope with feelings very well, realizes she is falling in love with Mr. Knight, it isn’t a warm-fuzzy moment. It’s the exact the opposite—she’s terrified because she believes there are circumstances that prevent her from being with him. But the truth is, and hopefully readers suspect this, she’s really terrified because she doesn’t yet understand the glory of love.
Instead, love, as she’s been taught in her limited life experience, is a burden, a heavy weight, and Jace is not unlike a drug she has no control over. When she stares out her high-rise condo window down at Sydney’s harbor, her heart aching and her eyes wide with fear, this song plays on repeat in my mind—Addicted To You by Avicii.
Epiphany . . . the cost of loving Jace Knight
There is an extremely shocking and dangerous development that happens in the wild, Aussie outback. I won’t say what, but an intense, violent drama plays out. And this a pivotal moment in the novel, not just because it is a plot advancement, but because it is when Charlie experiences firsthand the true cost of loving a man like Jace.
Deep down inside, she is forced to admit being with him is a high-stakes game, entailing a life full of risk, precisely what she moved to Australia to avoid. She realizes how much she doesn’t want this, and begins the heart-wrenching journey to decide whether she can bear the price of loving him. The moment this realization dawns—the red, dusty earth, the smell of guns firing and sweat, and the heat from Jace’s eyes asking her to be brave, in more ways than one—plays in my mind every time I hear Love Runs Out by OneRepublic.
Thank you so much for featuring me on your blog. The series is stand-alone so don’t worry about whether you read The Australian or The Frenchman first. Stay in the know about new releases and great deals at LesleyYoungBooks.com.
About Lesley Young
Lesley Young is a genre-defying author of unforgettable heroines who experience thrilling life- and love-altering journeys. Her debut novel was Sky's End; her most recent stand-alone series, Crime Royalty Romance, includes The Frenchman and The Australian. She loves to hear from readers.
About The Australian
Charlie Sykes takes everything and everyone at face value, and believes life would be a lot easier if everyone else did, too. Jace Knight, international Aussie hotelier and purported playboy, has never met anyone like the absurdly literal and obliviously beautiful American who applies to his personal assistant position. The trouble is, how do you seduce a woman whose definition of flirting comes straight out of the Merriam-Webster Dictionary? That, and he’s not the only one after Charlie. Seems Mr. Knight may not be a reformed criminal after all. Charlie soon finds herself caught up in a whirlwind of dangerous international espionage that takes her from the hip streets of Sydney to the majestic Great Barrier Reef and the wild, desolate outback. A terrible trap’s being laid, but how will Charlie protect herself and prevent a devastating betrayal when she can’t even sort out what her heart’s telling her?