Lisa: We’re so pleased to have author Felice Stevens joining us today, on the audiobook tour for The Arrangement.
Welcome, Felice, it’s great to have you with us today. I’m going to start out with a question about your narrator, Charlie David. I must admit that I’m more familiar with Charlie’s work as an author and actor than I am with his audiobook narration. How did you and he connect, and what made him the perfect choice of narrators for the book?
Felice: Oh, I heard him on Cardeno C’s Perfect Imperfections and then on some of Ella Frank’s books and knew he had the perfect voice for Carter and Reed.
Lisa: What’s it like as an author to hear your characters’ dialogue being spoken allowed and the scenes you’ve written acted out, as opposed to them simply being words on a page? Is there a certain visceral reaction you have to hearing a voice other than your own inner voice narrating something you’ve written?
Felice: I have to admit it can be VERY eye-opening to hear the sex scenes instead of reading them. It’s a totally different experience. And embarrassing if anyone else is in the room with you when you’re listening. I had to kick my husband out and he kept coming back asking why I was hiding my face from him.
Lisa: What are some of your favorite aspects of Carter’s and Reed’s personalities that Charlie’s performance really captured and brought to life?
Felice: On the outside Carter is smooth and someone cool but there’s an undercurrent simmering. That undercurrent and the sexuality he keeps so tightly under control is what Charlie portrays so perfectly. And Reed stars out seemingly youthful and naïve but Charlie shows his growth in the increasing confidence in his voice.
Lisa: How much pre-recording prep work did you and Charlie do before he went into the studio? Did he ask for your input on how you felt Carter and Reed should be portrayed—vocal cadence, accents, etc.—or did you give him complete creative freedom?
Felice: Yes! Charlie has very detailed questions about accents and pronunciations, and character personality as well.
Lisa: How do you decide which of your books to publish in audio format? Are there some books you think just translate better to audio than others?
Felice: Well I’m hoping to eventually have all my books in audio; I think people are slowly learning to transition to them and listen while at the gym or driving. I used to think character driven books made for better audio books, but after listening to some plot driven ones, I’m not so sure
Lisa: Do you have plans in place yet for your next audio release? If so, what book can we expect next?
Felice: I do! Charlie is recording Rescued and will work on the sequel reunited. And Kale Williams is also recording the Through Hell and Back series.
Lisa: Thanks so much for taking the time to join us on your tour, Felice. It’s always a pleasure to have you stop in for a visit!
About the Audiobook
Carter Haywood lives for the weekends – specifically the one weekend every month when he escapes real life, with all the pressures of work and caring for his special needs brother, to do whatever he wants, with whomever he wants. Sex is only a release; he’s not looking for love, a relationship or even a second night with the same man, until he walks into a bar and finds someone who makes leaving it all behind impossible. After one incredibly passionate encounter, he breaks his rule and goes back. He needs to see this man again. And again.
Damaged goods. That’s all Reed Kincaide sees and hears when he looks in the mirror. Anxiety and ADHD define his life and he’s learned to keep people at a distance, never letting them get close enough to know who he really is. When Carter proposes a monthly weekend of sex without strings, it’s the ideal arrangement for him. Or so he thinks. Every month, leaving Carter proves to be more and more difficult. It’s not only the intensely hot sex they have in their hotel suite; Reed wonders about the secret life Carter refuses to share.
As months pass and they grow closer Reed finds himself falling for Carter, but he needs more than hurried hugs and farewell kisses. He wants it all. Letting Reed into his carefully constructed family life could upset Carter’s whole world, but it might be the risk he’s finally willing to take, if it means keeping Reed. Once bodies are engaged, the heart is sure to follow, and Carter and Reed discover that holding on to each other is the first step in letting go of the past.
“Um.” Reed consulted his watch. “My shift doesn’t end for another hour.”
“I’ll wait,” said Carter without hesitation. “And I’ll take that Grey Goose now.” He stroked Reed’s fine, thin skin. “But with a twist this time.”
Reed’s eyes widened, and his nostrils flared. Unconsciously he leaned forward and triumph surged through Carter.
Yeah, that’s right, baby. Smell me; you know you want it. Carter quirked a brow, and Reed jerked back to awareness and pulled his arm away. Shooting Carter frequent dubious looks, Reed made him his drink and proceeded to set it on the bar quick enough that Carter couldn’t make a grab at him again. He backed away and began to twist at the cords of his leather bracelet.
Chuckling to himself, Carter sat there for the next hour and sipped his drink, getting just the right buzz on to the point where he could forget everything else in his life except the man who’d be coming back to his room tonight with him.
He looked up from his now-empty glass to find Reed standing beside him, wearing a beat-up leather jacket. “I-I’m finished with my shift now, but I’m not sure—”
“Not sure about what?” Carter stood and slipped his arm around Reed’s waist, inside his jacket. His warmth enveloped Carter, and strangely enough, he wanted desperately to sink into Reed’s arms. Reed tensed, and Carter felt the flex and play of his muscles underneath his clothing.
“I want you, you know that. And you want me too; it’s obvious. It’s only sex.”
“Yeah, I know that, but still.” Reed chewed his lip, suddenly looking very young and vulnerable, and an uneasy thought crept into Carter’s mind.
“How old are you?” Carter asked and held his breath.
“Twenty-seven. I know I look younger, but…”
Relief poured through Carter. A nervous lover he could handle. Still holding Reed around his waist, Carter moved even closer, fitting their hips together, letting Reed feel the weight of his arousal through his jeans.
“I want you to fuck me,” he whispered into the startled man’s ear. “Make me scream.”
About the Author
Felice Stevens has always been a romantic at heart. While life is tough, she believes there is a happy ending for everyone. She started reading traditional historical romances as a teenager, then life and law school got in the way. It wasn’t until she picked up a copy of Bertrice Small and became swept away to Queen Elizabeth’s court that her interest in romance novels was renewed.
But somewhere along the way, her reading shifted to stories of men falling in love. Once she picked up her first gay romance, she became so enamored of the character-driven stories and the overwhelming emotion there was no turning back.
Felice lives in New York City with her husband and two children. Her day begins with a lot of caffeine and ends with a glass or two of red wine. Although she practices law, she daydreams of a time when she can sit by a beach and write beautiful stories of men falling in love. Although there is bound to be some angst along the way, a Happily Ever After is always guaranteed.