Friday, October 19, 2012

Strong is Sexy Heroine of the Week: Lorelei Elsbeth Brockton

Book: Paradise Hops
Author: Liz Crowe
Heroine: Lorelei Elsbeth Brockton

Lorelei Elsbeth Brockton has been through hell and back.

By the time she is being prepped to take the reigns of her family’s famous craft brewery, she has lost her mother to cancer and been the victim of a brutal attack.

Her father, who was a single, heavy-handed parent through her teenage years has determined that the best way for her to finally get past the horror is to learn every aspect of the Brockton Brewing Company.  So by the start of PARADISE HOPS, she has spent eight to nine months in three different departments of the brewing company, including the popular brewpub, ordering/scheduling and accounting.  Her next rotation is on the actual brewery floor, with the newly hired Eli Buchanan, hot shot, creative diva brewer.  Who is also 6 foot 5 inch walking sex on a stick.

In the meantime however, she has met Garrett Hunter, the new general manager her father has hired.  And is slowly but surely falling for him.  Garrett is handsome, stable, organized, steady and very much in love with her.  He hears the story of her attack and gets even more determined to fix her, to make her happy. 

Paradise Hops is ultimately the story of personal growth—for Lori, but also for the men in her life.  It is NOT a ménage. I have written those, don’t get me wrong—they are a fun fantasy. But with this book I wanted to explore the real life conundrum faced by a woman who honestly believed she would never, ever feel loved again.  Only to find herself torn between two amazing men—one who is perfect, and the other who is most definitely not.

She emerges from the shell of her former self thanks to the nurturing love of one man, and the white hot attraction to another.

To quote a key character, Mrs. Anderson, who is the longest running employee of the Brockton Brewing Company, when she is talking to Garrett trying to convince him to be patient with Lori:

Paradise Hops"After that terrible incident, she literally became a different person. She wouldn't leave her dad's house, stayed in her old room for months. Made her dad get rid of the piano she loved. We all tiptoed around here for almost a year. Mr. B would blow up at the slightest provocation, but we all let him do it. We understood." She shook her head, and wiped her eyes. Garrett frowned but didn't know what to say so he kept his mouth shut.

"Finally, one day she appeared, a shrunken, scared version of herself. Her father declared her 'well' and 'ready to work' and that's when the rotations began. She started in distribution, worked the warehouse for about nine months. Then went to the pub, doing everything from food prep, to bartending. I was so worried about her. She lost more weight, hardly talked to anyone. We all said we'd give anything to witness a good knock down drag out between her and her father, like the old days."

Garrett looked out the window, realizing where this was headed. He closed his eyes and fought the need to get up and pace.

"Then, Mr. B. tells us he's hired a manager. A general business manager. Someone who will take over most likely, and here you are." Mrs. Anderson stared at him, making him squirm. "The old Lori is back, Garrett, and we have you to thank. But that means you have to understand her, stop trying to be so controlling because that Lori won't be controlled. Thinking you can, will only lead to your unhappiness."

She stood. "I've watched you and her. I see what's happening, and I can't think of a better thing than for you two to be together. You balance each other, but only if you are willing to let go a little. Otherwise, it will never work."

He frowned. "So, who's giving her the little pep talk about how swell I am?" He couldn't help himself.
The woman smiled and patted his shoulder. "Oh, hon, Lori has twenty or so moms and big sisters, and even a few big brothers, in this building. I'm pretty sure somebody has, or is right now."

"I hate this."

"But you love her."

He nodded, not speaking.

She smiled at him. "Well then, that's really all you need. Trust me. That and patience. She'll see the light."

She turned to go as her desk phone started ringing. Then threw out something that Garrett would remember for a long time. "You know, as much as I hate to admit it, it's as if between you and that horrible man Eli, you brought our Lori back."

PARADISE HOPS does not boast traditional heroes or heroines. There are no firefighters, cops, CEO’s, cowboys, vampires, demons or black-ops specialists.  There are, however, people. And if the early reviews are to be believed, they are people whose story is compelling, difficult, and in the end, a joy to behold.

Paradise Hops Blurb:
 A brutal attack left Lori Brockton convinced she was damaged goods. By the time she emerges from hiding two years later, ready to run her family's famous brewery, she's determined to be independent--never rely on anyone ever again. Nearly a year of working in every corner of Brockton Brewing Company, from warehouse to pub, front office to kitchen, teaches her all she needs to know about the business. Then, she comes face-to-face with masculine perfection in a suit and her world is rocked in more ways than one. Garrett Hunter is the new Brockton business manager who takes one look at the beautiful, sad young woman and his entire existence coalesces around winning her heart. 
But standing between Garrett and what he believes is his true love, is a six-feet six-inch blond-haired bad boy brewer.
Eli Buchannan is a craft beer rock star, recently hired by Brockton to drag the company into the 21st century. He brings innovation and attitude plus a prima donna ladies man reputation.  But he's sworn off anything resembling commitment, personal or professional, after getting burned at his last job on both fronts. 
Garrett Hunter is “The Perfect Man” -- handsome, successful, stable, eager to settle down. Eli Buchannan... is not.  Compelling, smoking hot, creative and elusive, he represents everything Lori Brockton should avoid.  But just as she makes a difficult choice, a drastic life-changing shift occurs, and nothing is ever the same again.

Buy links:

Liz bio:
Microbrewery owner, best-selling author, beer blogger and journalist, mom of three teenagers, and soccer fan, Liz lives in the great Midwest, in a major college town.  Years of experience in sales and fund raising, plus an eight-year stint as an ex-pat trailing spouse, plus making her way in a world of men (i.e. the beer industry), has prepped her for life as erotic romance author. 

When she isn't sweating inventory and sales figures for the brewery, she can be found writing, editing or sweating promotional efforts for her latest publications. 

Liz CroweHer groundbreaking romance subgenre, “Romance for Real Life,” has gained thousands of fans and followers who are interested less in the “HEA” and more in the “WHA” (“What Happens After?”)

Her beer blog is nationally recognized for its insider yet outsider views on the craft beer industry. Her books are set in the not-so-common worlds of breweries, on the soccer pitch and in high-powered real estate offices.  Don’t ask her for anything “like” a Budweiser or risk painful injury.

Are you an author with a strong heroine in your book? Want to see her featured? Find out how here.

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