Welcome to another book blitz organized by Xpresso Book Tours for a fun romance comedy – Lingerie Wars by Janet Elizabeth Henderson. This blitz includes some details about the book and author, excerpt, interview with the author and a giveaway. If you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter via link at the bottom of this post. So, here is the book of the day 😊
Title: Lingerie Wars
Author: Janet Elizabeth Henderson
Series: Invertary #1
Publication date: January 1st 2013
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Englishman Lake Benson loaned his life savings to his dippy sister so that she could buy a shop. It was a big mistake. His sister has been steadily flushing his money down the drain – and now he wants it back. Years in the special forces taught Lake that if you want a job done, do it yourself. So he steps in to make the shop profitable, sell it and get his money back. The only problem is, the business is an underwear shop. And all Lake knows about underwear can be summed up in how fast he can unsnap a bra. To make matters worse, the tiny highland town already has a lingerie shop. A successful one, run by an ex-lingerie model. A very gorgeous ex-lingerie model, who’s distracting him from his mission more than he’d like to admit. If Lake wants to get his savings back, and get out of Scotland, he only has one option – wipe out the competition.
Kirsty Campbell has spent years rebuilding her life after she woke up in hospital in Spain to find her body scarred, and her ex-fiance had run off with all her money. The last thing she needs is a cocky, English soldier-boy trying to ruin all she has left. Her home town is only too happy to help her fight the latest English invasion, although Lake is beginning to sway them with his sex appeal and cut price knickers. With the help of her mother, and the retired ladies of Knit or Die, Kirsty sets about making sure that her shop is the last one standing in Invertary.
It’s Scotland versus England as you’ve never seen it before. It’s lingerie war.
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Lake Benson’s midlife crisis lasted exactly twenty-four hours. In that time, he quit his career with the army and bought a lingerie shop. All things considered, he was glad the crisis hadn’t lasted longer.
“I told you,” whined his little sister. “I can do this myself. I have a business plan. You’re only interfering because you’re bored and don’t know what to do with yourself.”
“That’s not the point,” Lake told her as he looked up at the sign on the front of the shop. “The point is, you obviously need my help. You’re hemorrhaging money. My money.”
He hadn’t even set foot inside the shop and already he could see a problem.
“That”—he pointed at the sign—“has to go.”
Rainne twisted a strand of her long hair, a dead giveaway that he wasn’t getting the whole story.
“I can’t get rid of the sign,” she said at last. “It’s part of the town’s heritage.”
Lake folded his arms tight across his chest. Heritage his hairy backside.
“You also didn’t tell me how isolated this place is,” he said.
“It’s busy during the tourist season—you know, summer.”
For Scotland that was about two weeks in August.
“And you neglected to mention that we have competition.”
He cocked his head towards the lingerie shop, which sat opposite them on the high street. Unlike the shop that had eaten all of his money, the one over the road actually looked like people would buy lingerie in it.
“Ah, yeah,” his sister said as she toed the pavement with her pink Doc Marten boot. “But Kirsty’s shop has a different clientele than ours.”
“One that buys underwear?”
She missed the sarcasm. “Uh, no, she sells sexier stuff—you know, for occasions. We sell everyday wear. Think utilitarian.”
He was about to tell his sister that she was talking rubbish when the shop door flew open and a tiny cube of a woman hobbled out. Lake guessed her age to be close to two hundred.
“You,” she said as she pointed at him. “What are you and why are you here?”
Rainne shrank beside him. Her face shot past pink and straight to purple. Here it comes, thought Lake, the catch. Every time he got involved with his family there was a catch.
“I’m Lake Benson,” he told the Hobbit. “I own this business.”
The woman’s eyes narrowed under eyebrows that were hairier than her head.
“Rainne girl,” she said, but she kept her eyes on Lake. “I thought I sold my business to you.”
His sister shuffled on the spot, making all the tiny bells sewn into the bottom of her tie-dye skirt jingle. “Ah, well, my brother here, he’s, um, like my silent partner.”
“I’ve been watching,” the woman said. “He’s doing an awful lot of talking for a man who’s supposed to be silent.”
Before Rainne could answer, the woman jabbed her finger in Lake’s belly. She seemed surprised when it bounced back off him.
“What do you know about underwear, boy?” she demanded.
Lake stared at the woman calmly. He’d been face to face with drug lords and terrorists. There was no way a little Scottish woman could intimidate him. Amuse him, maybe—if the bulk of his savings weren’t tied up in the joke.
“I know how to unhook a bra in two seconds flat,” he said.
“If I was sixty years younger, boy, that might impress me. Right now, I’m just wondering why you’re blocking the customers from getting into my shop.”
Lake took a slow look around him. He saw a cobbled road, a row of crooked old houses that had been whitewashed and turned into shops and a loch at the bottom of the street. He didn’t see any people. Let alone hordes queuing up to buy underwear.
“Yeah, I can see how I’m getting in the way,” he drawled.
Rainne started to inch away from him. He got the distinct impression that she was on the verge of running. Lake reached out, grabbed her vintage velvet jacket and hauled her back to stand beside him.
“Leave me alone,” she grumbled. “I’m not five.”
“What do you mean your shop?” he asked the Hobbit.
The old woman pulled herself up to her full height, which must have been all of four foot six. “Betty McCloud. I started this shop in 1964.”
“And I bought the business six months ago.”
“It’s still my shop, son.” The woman tried to fold her arms over her ample belly as she glared at him.
If he were prone to dramatic gestures, he’d have rolled his eyes. Instead he kept his face as expressionless as usual. “Rainne, want to explain this to me?”
His sister looked like she’d rather eat dirt. Lake didn’t care. He’d driven up the length of England, through Scotland and into the Highlands. He was tired. He was hungry. And he was wondering what insanity had made him think managing a shop would be good for Rainne. Most of all, he’d run out of patience.
“Rainne,” was all he said.
“Okay, okay.” She held up her hands in surrender. “In the contract I signed, there were some unusual clauses.” She cleared her throat as Lake’s heart sank. “The business is ours to do what we want with, but Betty here stays—think of her as an underwear mascot.”
He looked at Betty, who gave him a toothless grin. In her ankle-length tartan tent, cable knit jumper and hairnet, she oozed sex appeal.
His sister took a deep breath. “And the sign stays too,” she said.
They all looked at the sign. There was silence.
“I hand-painted that sign myself,” Betty said proudly.
“It could be worse,” Rainne mumbled.
Lake almost let his shoulders slump. “So, let me get this right. I bought a lingerie shop in a town in the middle of nowhere. I have my very own underwear mascot. The main competition is the shop facing us, which actually appears to have customers. And to top it all off, the first business I’ve ever owned is called Betty’s Knicker Emporium.”
Betty grinned with pride as Rainne tried to appear invisible.
“I need a beer,” Lake told them and headed towards the local pub.
“I’d love to get my hands on her nephew.” Kirsty’s voice broke into Lake’s thoughts. “That man needs a good hiding.”
It took a minute for him to catch up with the conversation, and when he did a flush of heat worked up from his stomach to his head. “If you want to get your hands on a man, I’m available.”
Her eyes widened. “That’s not going to happen,” she said tightly.
Lake shrugged. “I’m just saying that I’m here. If you want me. To do with as you will.”
Her mouth opened and closed like a hooked fish. Lake smiled confidently, aware that every time she saw him, she’d replay his words. He’d wear her down by default.
“It’s no big deal,” he said as he took a step closer to her, lowering his voice under the din of the bar. “Lovers by night. Enemies by day. It’s in all the best spy movies.”
“I don’t want to be your lover.” It would have been slightly more convincing if she hadn’t stumbled over the word and flushed bright pink at the same time.
Lake cocked an eyebrow, feeling pretty pleased with himself.
Kirsty frowned. “Don’t think you can wear me down, either. Guys with a lot more finesse than you’ve shown have chased after me. If I can resist them, I sure as heck can resist you.”
“I don’t plan to mention it again. I’m just going to wait. I’ll be right in front of you. Watching you think about me. Watching you think about what we could do together. How we could be together. I won’t need to say anything. It’s all going to happen in your head.”
She threw up her hands in exasperation. “I’ll tell you something. All of this”—she waved her hand in front of him to signal that she meant him, not her—“is happening in your head, not mine. My head is empty, thank you very much.”
Lake grinned widely.
“Auch, I mean…” She poked him in the chest. “You know what I mean.”
“Yeah. You want me.”
“In your dreams.”
“Yep, there too.”
“You are the most annoying man I’ve ever met and I don’t have time to deal with your many psychological problems. I’m going home.”
With that, she was gone. Lake found himself grinning at the door as it swung shut behind her.
1. Lingerie Wars
2. Goody Two Shoes
3. Magenta Mine
4. Calamity Jena
5. Bad Boy
6. Here Comes the Rain Again
Interview with Janet Elizabeth Henderson
1. Tell us a little about the Invertary series? What’s it about? Where’s it set?
This is a romcom series, set in a small fictitious town in the Scottish Highlands called Invertary. Each book is a complete story, but the same characters pop up right through the series.
2. ‘Lingerie Wars’ is set in Scotland, in the town of Invertary. Is this a real or fictional place? Is it based on where you grew up?
It’s based on a little town in Scotland called Inverary. Inverary is one of my all-time favorite places. It’s steeped in Scottish history, has stunning scenery and is full of quirky characters. I’m not the only one who loves the town—Downton Abbey used Inverary castle as a setting in one of their Christmas shows. So I’m in good company!
3. There are seven books in the Invertary series. Do you have a favorite?
Calamity Jena! The fourth book in the series is definitely my favorite. Jena is so clueless and accident prone, but incredibly kind hearted. She can’t say no to a first date with anyone who asks her, because she doesn’t want to hurt their feelings, but she ends up hurting them physically because she’s so accident prone. The town even have a pool going on what injury will befall her dates next! Jena was a go-go dancer in Atlantic City before she discovered her boyfriend was cheating on her. She consoled herself with a bottle of tequila, got very drunk and bought a house off the internet—in Scotland! The house is a run-down mess and Jena is totally accident prone, but determined to fix it up herself. When her ex-boyfriend, a low-level mobster, turns up in town to take her home, the local cop steps in to protect her. Matt and Jenna are explosive together. And his twin sisters’ experiences throughout the book are hilarious. There’s a secondary romance between one of his sisters and one of the mobster’s henchmen that is a favorite with my readers. So look out for Claire and Grunt when you read the book—especially the scene where the twins run him over with their car!
4. This series is complete at 7 books, but do you plan to write more based in Invertary?
Yes! There’s a new series coming out this year called Invertary Too. It revolves around a whole new bunch of characters, and some old ones thrown in too.
5. One last question, does this series need to be read in order?
No! Each book is standalone—with one exception. You’d probably get a lot more out of Here Comes The Rainne Again if you’ve already read Lingerie Wars. HCTRA finishes a storyline that started in Lingerie Wars. It’s also about the wedding of the main couple from that book. But every other book in the series can be read on its own.
Janet is a Scot who moved to New Zealand fifteen years ago. Among other things, she’s been an artist, a teacher, a security guard at a castle, a magazine editor, and a cleaner in a drop in center for drug addicts (NOT the best job!). She now writes full-time and is working on her 19th book. Her books have won several awards, including the Daphne du Maurier award for excellence in mystery and suspense. When she isn’t living in her head, she raises two kids, one husband, and several random animals. She survives on chocolate and caffeine.
GIVEAWAY (INTERNATIONAL) – The complete 7 book series (in eBook) + $10 Amazon gift card (ends February 20th) >>> enter HERE
This sounds like a really fun and sweet romance, so are you ready to join me in reading this RomCom series?
Lady of Bookland