The heroine from Whispers in Washington has made a special visit to my blog. Let’s make her feel welcome. She’s definitely been through a tough time.
Thanks for coming. First off, for the record, what’s your name?
Well, my married name was Naomi Adelman, but I’m happily divorced now, and I go by Naomi Reuben.
What do you look like?
When I was married to my ex, who was a politician, I looked like your typical DC political wife—conservatively dressed, neat brown hair, and trying to blend in while at the same time demonstrate my husband’s importance. Now, I’m much more comfortable being myself—brown hair with some lighter highlights, blue eyes, a few more wrinkles than I used to have, but I like to call them laugh lines since I laugh a lot more now.
What time period does your story take place?
Current day Washington, DC, with a brief visit to True Springs, Pennsylvania.
What’s your goal in this story?
My goal is to rebuild my life after it was destroyed by my criminal ex-husband. And to make sure my girls are always safe. I’ll never again let them suffer as a result of their father’s activities.
What conflicts are you facing?
Well, let’s see. My mother wants me to settle down again and be happy, but I don’t think I’m ready for that. My neighbor, the incredibly nice and good-looking Max Bruder keeps making me rethink my plan for remaining single. However, once I find out what his profession is, and what HIS goal is, I want nothing to do with him.
What is your occupation? Are you any good at it? Do you like it?
As I said, I used to be a politician’s wife, and believe me, that was a job in and of itself. I spent most of my days fundraising for causes near and dear to my husband’s heart, lunching with other political wives and raising my girls. Now that I’m divorced and my kids are both in college, I can finally go back to doing what I love, which is working in an art museum and curating exhibits. I love it. It’s what I went to college for, until I met Malcolm.
What did you think the first time you saw Max Bruder?
I’m always wary of strangers, especially now that I’m back in DC. My husband’s illegal activities made the news and the press hounded me and my girls for months. So when I first saw him, I was wary, despite his kind eyes and his overall helpfulness.
What is your family like?
I have a mother who was married to the love of her life forever and wants the same thing for me. She’s widowed now and I just travelled with her to this small town in the Poconos that supposedly has a magic fountain that makes people fall in love. Despite her best efforts, I refused to drink the water, until she guilted me into it. But who really believes in magic water? I have two grown girls, both in college, Beth and Arielle. They’re away at school, but I hope they come home for the Jewish holidays. I really miss them.
What’s the most terrible thing that ever happened to you?
Finding out my ex-husband was corrupt and stole millions of dollars from people he was supposed to help. He was arrested and the news was splashed all over the local and national media. Everyone assumed I knew about it. I’m not sure what was worse—people thinking that I was bad enough to know about his activities and stay with him, or the fact that I actually knew nothing about what he did and was duped like everyone else.
What is people’s first impression of you?
Well, I think there are three categories of people, and each group thinks something different. About half of the DC crowd thinks I’m guilty like my husband and evil. The other half of that crowd thinks I’m too stupid to live, since I was duped. Non-DC people think I’m polished and reserved.
Do you see morality as black-and-white, or with shades of gray?
My life with my ex-husband has forced me to realize that there are shades of gray.
If you could go back in time, what one thing would you change in your life?
I’d skip the whole falling for Malcolm part, although it did result in my having two amazing daughters, and jump right to meeting and falling for Max.
Why do you think your author chose to write about you?
I have no idea. I’m tough to get to know, and she really had to work to get inside my head.
What do you wish your author had not told others about you?
I wish she hadn’t told them about my daughters. They were pursued relentlessly by the media as well, and I will go to any length to protect their privacy now.
What other character from your book do you think your author should write a book about? Care to tell us why?
Anna. She’s my best friend and she’s unlike anyone you’ve ever met. Trust me, the author needs to write about her next time.
Naomi’s life has been destroyed…
When Naomi Adelman’s crooked politician husband was arrested, her life, and that of her daughters, was destroyed. Divorced and rebuilding her life, Naomi is wiser, stronger, and determined not to let anyone hurt her or her family again. Her new life doesn’t include falling for her charming and good-looking neighbor.
Max bet everything and lost…
Max Bruder bet his entire career on the Adelman story and lost everything. So, he figures that karma has smiled down on him when Naomi moves in next door. This is his chance to revitalize his career. Except the closer he gets to her, the deeper he falls for her. And soon, the line between interview subject and lover blurs.
If they fall for each other, they may jeopardize their chance at a future.
When Max’s true motive is revealed, will Naomi be able to forgive him? And will Max be able to stop the whispers to protect her before it’s too late?
Max shut his apartment door and leaned against it, eyes closed, heart pounding. The sweetness of Naomi’s lips, mixed with the flavors of cumin and cinnamon, and the spice of the wine, was a potent aphrodisiac. Her body had been warm and supple against his, and he’d reacted before he could stop himself. Her humor and personality were an added bonus.
What he wouldn’t give to race next door, throw her onto her bed—or the sofa or hell, the floor—and make love to her all night long. He gripped the keys in his hand hard enough to cause the edges to make imprints in his palm. He took deep breaths to try to slow his heart rate and rein in his desire.
No matter how attracted to her he was, sex wasn’t happening.
She was drunk, and he never took advantage of anyone if they weren’t in complete control of themselves.
And she was the subject of his story. While he would do almost anything for his job, sleeping with her was a line he wouldn’t cross. Bile churned in his stomach. She was exactly the woman he wanted, he’d searched for, and she was off limits.
Plus, she was vulnerable. No matter how confident she might act, hints of old wounds escaped whenever she talked about her past or her family. There was a flicker of discomfort in those amazing blue eyes of hers, a slight twitch of a beautifully arched eyebrow, a hitch of her breath. Someone that exposed needed to be treated with care, especially when it came to matters of the heart.
The heart? He wasn’t in love with her. He was in lust. There was a difference. Lust was what made it impossible for him not to kiss her. But he wouldn’t go any further. He wouldn’t make her regret anything later on. Because she would regret it and pull away. And he’d never get his story. And if he did succeed, she’d hate him.
Jennifer started telling herself stories as a little girl when she couldn’t fall asleep at night. Pretty soon, her head was filled with these stories and the characters that populated them. Even as an adult, she thinks about the characters and stories at night before she falls asleep or walking the dog. Eventually, she started writing them down. Her favorite stories to write are those with smart, sassy, independent heroines; handsome, strong and slightly vulnerable heroes; and her stories always end with happily ever after.
In the real world, she’s the mother of two amazing daughters and wife of one of the smartest men she knows. She believes humor is the only way to get through the day and does not believe in sharing her chocolate.
She writes contemporary romance, many of which feature Jewish characters in non-religious settings (#ownvoices). She’s published with The Wild Rose Press and all her books are available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.