New teacher Nikki Fallon is trying to ward off unwanted advances from the hunky football coach. She should…
a) slap him silly.
b) report him for harassment.
c) invent an imaginary husband.
“…funny, clean, sassy, sweet…”
“It’s a fun read, with an engaging heroine and likable, well-drawn secondary characters (the loyal best friend, the guilt-tripping mother, and a variety of students who turn out to be not nearly as stereotypical as they appear to Nikki at first glance).”
“I read the book in a day and I was instantly pulled in by the humor, the wit, the great writing, and how likable the characters were. This is a clean, lighthearted romance that keeps the reader engaged through the very end. I loved that the book wasn’t too heavy, avoided being sappy, was smart and nicely paced.”
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CIR: What inspired this story?
LONDON: Back in college, I worked at a grocery store in the deli. It blew me away that creepy guys thought I had to put up with their obnoxious flirting just because I worked in customer service. I took to wearing a fake wedding band to send the signal that I was unavailable. I often wondered what would have happened if I had carried that ruse forward into my next job as a teacher.
CIR: Tell us about Nikki. Why would she want to avoid the hunky football coach?
LONDON: Nikki is totally confident in front of a classroom of teenagers or chopping up veggies to make a wicked salsa (no cilantro), but basically, she’s a big chicken when it comes to dating. She had her first love back in high school that was really important to her, but when he moved away, the only guys that asked her out were jerks just after her bod. She sort of gave up on finding another nice guy, hid herself in sloppy sweats, and focused on her studies. She’s afraid of the coach in particular because she’s been warned that he’s quite the womanizer.
CIR: Is Nikki or anyone else based on you or real people you know?
LONDON: Nikki in the classroom and with the students does a lot of things I did in my first years of teaching. However, I did not have anything near a love triangle going, I wasn’t overly attractive, and I couldn’t cook like she does. The students in the story are blends of kids I knew, Nikki’s mentor is definitely patterned after the wonderful department head I had as I started teaching. Oh, and the cat. The cat is totally my cat. The other teachers and staff are figments of my imagination.
CIR: What makes this romantic comedy unique?
LONDON: The whole teacher aspect. Reviewers have noted that the classroom scenes aren’t just filler. They are funny and often poignant moments when we get a glimpse at who Nikki really is. I didn’t want her to be one of those useless romance heroines who has nothing to offer but gets the perfect guy anyway. The guy she ends up with (no spoilers here) has a chance to see her in action and know she’s a lot more than a pretty, petite little doll.
CIR: What message do you hope readers come away with?
LONDON: This is not a deep story, but that said, I would hope readers would see that it’s worth waiting for the one love that’s right instead of giving yourself away to users. Sometimes we’re so lonely and desperate for love that we sell ourselves short. Nikki almost does that, but finds her happily ever after by sticking to her standards.
Learn more about Lia London at www.LiaLondonBooks.com