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By Tracy March

The Library Journal noted that A JUST DECEPTION, the second installment in Adrienne Giordano’s Private Protectors series, is a “perfect blend of sexy romance and page-turning suspense.” Now you can pick up the next thrilling book in the series, RISKING TRUST, featuring yet another irresistible hero, Michael Taylor.

Roxann Thorgesson’s world is out of control. After her father suffers a fatal heart attack, she must take over as publisher of Chicago’s second-largest newspaper. Then her ex-boyfriend Michael Taylor, CEO of his own security company, shows up needing a favor. The last thing Roxann needs is Michael around causing trouble—and potential heartbreak—but he’s involved in a scandalous story she can’t pass up.

Twelve years ago, Michael walked out on Roxann without explanation. Now he needs her help. Michael’s estranged wife has been murdered and he is the prime suspect. He offers something no newspaperwoman could refuse: exclusive access to his headline-making murder accusation, in exchange for her help in uncovering the true killer. When their investigation leads them to a city hall conspiracy, both their lives and their newly reignited flame could be permanently extinguished…

I recently chatted with Adrienne Giordano about RISKING TRUST and her exciting Private Protectors series.

RISKING TRUST gives readers an insider’s look at corrupt Chicago politics and the struggling newspaper business. What inspired you to set the story in Chicago and how did you go about researching the political and media aspects of the book? 

I moved to the Chicago area in 1994 and fell in love with the city. I could do without the cold weather, but the city is beautiful. In my time here, I’ve learned I can count on a fresh supply of juicy political scandals. Since I’ve lived here we’ve had two governors convicted of various crimes. One of them is in jail. The other is waiting to be sentenced. Former Governor Rod Blagojevich has been nicknamed “Dead Meat” by my favorite Chicago Tribune columnist. At first it was “Governor Dead Meat.” Now it’s just “Dead Meat.” Welcome to Chicago!

With RISKING TRUST, I didn’t set out to write a book about corruption. I have a newspaper background and thought it would be fun to base a story on a woman who is forced to run a large-market paper. The heroine in Risking Trust assumes control of her family’s newspaper after the death of her father. The political corruption element of the story came next, and I spent a lot of time researching different scandals from around the country. Turns out, there was no shortage of material. I found that Illinois politicians aren’t the only ones who think of interesting ways to bend the law.

Roxann and Michael are a couple with an unresolved past. As a writer, how is it different for you to write about rekindled romantic relationships versus new ones?

I’m a plotter and tend to get wrapped up in the what- happens-next part of the story. During revisions, my editor asked me to concentrate on the growth of the romance between the hero and heroine. I had to figure out a way to show what they meant to each other twelve years earlier (and why they would fall in love again) without sacrificing the pacing of the suspense element.

With new characters, the couple experiences new feelings as they get to know the other person. With a reunion story, there’s baggage between the couple that needs to be addressed before they can move forward. It was a fun challenge making it all blend.

What are your favorite lines of dialogue from Michael and Roxann? 

Dialogue is my favorite part of the writing process. Here are a few of my favorites from Risking Trust:

Roxann: “No man can resist a begging blonde. You all think with the wrong body part.”

This next bit of dialogue is from a flashback, and is an exchange between Michael and Roxann from the first time they meet.

(Michael) “How do you feel about love at first sight?”

The corner of her mouth quirked. “I’m not sure.”

“Well,” he said, “I’m suddenly a believer.”

What I enjoyed about writing this scene was showing Michael’s charming side. He’s typically self-confident, but that confidence is based on being a successful businessman, a man who tackles tasks in a quick, orderly fashion. He’s not necessarily a player when it comes to women. I had fun showing a softer side of him.

You wrote Risking Trust while you were grieving the death of your father. How did your grieving process affect your story, and how did writing it affect you?

My father battled cancer for four years and I literally started this book in the hospital at his bedside. When he passed, I threw all my sadness and anger into the story. It kept me focused on something other than the grieving process, and I was able to funnel all that emotion onto the page. There was something therapeutic about writing a love story when my heart was so badly broken.

This book helped me tackle my grief and I’ll always be thankful for the opportunity to see it published.

Michael Taylor is another fantastic alpha-male in your Private Protectors series. His story was the first you wrote, yet two books in the series, MAN LAW and A JUST DECEPTION, were published before Michael’s book. How did that happen?

RISKING TRUST was my first serious attempt at a marketable book. I wrote a story before it, but that was my practice book.

After I finished Michael and Roxann’s book, I began submitting it to agents and editors. I received positive feedback, but no offers. Knowing the manuscript needed work, I set it aside and started MAN LAW. While shopping MAN LAW, I wrote A JUST DECEPTION and soon after finishing that book, received an offer from Carina Press for MAN LAW. After accepting the offer, I told my editor there was a book before MAN LAW and one after. I submitted both books and Carina made an offer on A JUST DECEPTION, but wanted to see revisions on RISKING TRUST (the first book) before making an offer. By the time I finished the revisions, we were well into production on MAN LAW and the decision was made to release the books out of order.

I think my experience proves that writers should never give up on first books.

What can readers look forward to next from you?

I’m working on book four in the series. This book will feature Billy Tripp, the wise-cracking operative from MAN LAW and A JUST DECEPTION. Billy will meet his match in book four and he’ll be forced to filter before he speaks, which is something he’s never been any good at. Billy’s book will be out in spring or summer of 2012.

Fresh Fiction says that “Adrienne Giordano has cemented her place on my list of must read authors.” Put her on your list, too!


Adrienne Giordano writes romantic suspense and women’s fiction. She is a Jersey girl at heart, but now lives in the Midwest with her workaholic husband, sports-obsessed son and Buddy the Wheaten Terrorist (Terrier). She is a co-founder of Romance University blog. For more information on Adrienne’s books please visit her website. Adrienne can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Tracy March
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