Today, I’m hosting author Amber Daulton’s latest release Arresting Benjamin, book three in the Arresting Onyx series, a romantic suspense. Get to know her leading man in the novel, Benjamin Starwell, by checking out my interview with him. And don’t forget to read the excerpt.
1. First off, tell us who you are and what role you play in the novel.
Benji: My name’s Benji Starwell, and I’m one of the main characters in my book, Arresting Benjamin. I grew up and still live in Denver, Colorado, and the last thing I want to do is leave. I might have to, though. It all depends on how things work out with Belle, my sexy co-star.
2. Share with us your hobbies and interests, and why you enjoy them.
Benji: I’m a workaholic. There, I admitted it. I run my family’s garage, so I’m never short of engines to work on and paperwork to fill out. In my very rare spare time, I like to read some thriller books, watch action movies, and more recently, play my keyboard.
3. Tell us how you feel about being in a novel, and if you are happy with how Ms. Daulton presented you to readers.
Benji: I’ve enjoyed it. My relationship with Belle has had it’s difficulties, but I don’t mind sharing it. Maybe some guys out there will learn from my mistakes and treat their women right. I learned the hard way. My author, Amber, did me and my story justice. I’m sad with how a few things ended, but overall, I can’t complain.
4. If Ms. Daulton was to create another novel with you in mind, give us a quick blurb of what it would be about. And be sure to give the title.
Benji: Nope. Sorry. My story is done, but Belle and I will return in later installments of the Arresting Onyx series. Those books are Trevor’s Redemption and Arresting Alan.
5. Which character in the novel do you like the most, and why?
Benji: Belle, of course. She’s feisty, strong-willed, and a musician to boot. Her sass and smart aleck humor drops me to my knees.
6. Which character in the novel do you dislike the most, and why?
Benji: That’s a tough one. My estranged sister, Meghan, comes back to town and acts as though I should drop everything to help her out of a jam. Trouble follows her around, and the men hunting her down don’t fool around. Then there’s the guy who’s stalking Belle. That prick deserves a hospital stay, let me tell ya. I swear, if it wasn’t for the women in my life, I’d be bored.
7. Tell us why we should read Arresting Benjamin and what we will find most intriguing about you.
Benji: My book has everything–danger, romance, hot sex, and enough twisted, entangled emotions to make you drag out the tissues. I’d do anything for the people I care about, and what I end up doing will keep your eyes glued to the page.
With enemies at every turn, how will they survive with their lives and love intact?
Blurb: A one-night stand, a surprise baby, and a mysterious stalker.
Mechanic Benjamin Starwell can’t stop thinking about Belle Hamlin, the ballsy musician he slept with and skipped out on months earlier. He never meant to get her pregnant, but he’ll do whatever it takes to win back her trust and be a part of his child’s life. His desire for Belle drives him to be a better man, but he’s worn thin with a garage to run and his estranged sister dumping her troubles on him.
Belle’s juggling impending motherhood, her indie rock career, and a stalker who’s determined to see her fail. Even though she’s desperate to get her priorities straight, she pushes aside her past hurt and welcomes Benji back into her bed. She never expects him to slip into her heart.
When the danger escalates, they face the greatest challenge of all—protecting their unborn child.
As he drew to a stop beside Lando’s station wagon in the driveway, Belle parked along the curb. The motion detector light flashed on from the old shed, nearly blinding him. He climbed from the truck.
Moonlight cast a silver glow over the yard as Belle hurried toward him.
“Cool. A duplex.” She tightened her scarf around her neck. “When was it built?”
“The 1940s. I live in the right-side unit, and my landlord lives in the other one.” He rubbed his hands together as a breeze rustled through the trees. “Lando’s children moved out east, so he converted the family home into a duplex about two decades ago. The old-timer is spry but pushing eighty. I take care of the house and grounds. In return, he deducts my rent.”
“Lando the landlord?”
“Hilarious, right?” Benji chuckled. “I’ve lived here for about fifteen years. God, I can’t believe it’s been so long.” Crickets chirped from the bushes lining the covered wooden porch as he guided her up the platform. The middle step creaked under his weight. Decorative fixtures lit each doorway, and he hesitated at the entrance of his home.
“Everything all right?”
“I should’ve told you this before now, but my sister has been staying with me. She’s barely crossed my mind, though. All I’ve cared about is making things right with you.”
Belle drew back. “I didn’t think you had any contact with her.”
“She called me from out of the blue. It’s a long story. I’ll tell you about it at dinner.”
“Is Meghan why you have those marks?”
“Unfortunately.” He rubbed his cheek, the bruise barely stinging.
After he ushered Belle inside, he flipped on a light and locked the door behind him. A staircase lined the dividing wall that separated Benji’s home from Lando’s. The hall stretched to the right of the stairs, leading deeper into the house.
“Feel free to look around. The door beneath the stairs opens into the basement and laundry room. The steps are steep, so be careful.”
“You expect me to snoop? What will I find in the basement—chains and whips?”
He groaned from the devilish gleam in her eyes. “If I’m gonna chain you, it’ll be to my bed.” He shifted sideways, trying to hide the sudden bulge in his jeans. “You’re welcome here anytime.”
“Thank you. That means a lot.”
He glanced up the stairs and raised his voice. “Meghan, will you come down?” Silence rang in his ears. He softened his voice, focusing on Belle. “She’s like a hermit and only comes out of the guest room for food or to use the bathroom.”
“You guys haven’t talked much, have you?”
“No. We have nothing in common except DNA. Grab a drink from the fridge if you want. I’ll bring her down for a meet and greet.” He took the steps two at a time and swung open the guest room door. Ugh. The faint stench of cigarettes wafted in the air. Stupid! Knock first, damn it. The last thing he needed was the image of his naked sister burned into his corneas. Where was she?
With one of her bags in the corner and her clothes strewn about, she hadn’t moved out.
He strode down the hall and knocked on the bathroom door. “Hey, Meghan?” No answer. After checking the bathroom and other rooms, he grumbled a curse and headed back downstairs. “She’s gone, but her stuff is here.”
“Maybe it’s for the best.” Belle leaned on the hall wall. “I wasn’t looking forward to making small talk with a stranger while you showered.”
“You’re right. I shouldn’t have asked that of you.” Tension stiffened his back. He rolled his shoulders, relieving the strain. Damn, he was foolish. He couldn’t stand to be around Meghan. Why would Belle? “Anyway, I’ll go get cleaned up.”
“You really trust me alone down here?” She tsked. A grin curved her lips. “What if I nabbed your silverware?”
“Be my guest. Just leave the knives with the black handles. Those cut steak better than the silver ones.” He winked. Her carefree laughter wrapping around his heart also jolted a massive swell of blood to his cock. Shit, he’d have to jack off now. He pressed a kiss to her forehead and dashed upstairs.
Amber Daulton is the author of the romantic-suspense series Arresting Onyx and several standalone novellas. Her books are published through Daulton Publishing, The Wild Rose Press, and Books to Go Now, and are available in ebook, print on demand, audio, and foreign language formats.
She lives in North Carolina with her husband and demanding cats.