Jessica Sims, author of the deliciously sexy Midnight Liaisons series, stopped by XOXOAD to talk secrets. And we’re not talking little white lies. We’re talking whoppers – juicy, scandalous, will-change-my-life-if-this-gets-out kind of secrets. But what happens if one of those secrets gets out? Just ask Ryder from the latest and last book in the series, WANTED: WILD THING. Ryder works as a matchmaker for Midnight Liaisons and loves setting up paranormals to help them find their mates. The only problem is that now she’s surrounded by happy couples. All. The. Time. She would be happy for them … if she could get some lovin’ without turning into a monster anytime a man touches her. Forced to avoid the opposite sex lest her secret get out, Ryder wonders if she’ll ever find Mr. Right.

Although the Midnight Liaisons books are all about shifters and shifter love, I like to think that they’re really books about secrets. We all keep secrets, right? We have things we don’t share even if we really really want to. We have things we tactfully omit from conversations or ‘get to know you’ moments. And secrets are definitely what make things go round in Midnight Liaisons. In addition to my shifters hiding in plain sight and keeping their dual nature a secret from most of society, there’s also my four ‘human’ girls that run the agency. Each one has a hefty secret of her own.

Bathsheba killed a man and hides her sister Sara.

Sara was bitten and turns into a werewolf.

Marie is seeking a cure for a fatal disease.

Ryder is a changeling.

I don’t know how Ryder turned into a changeling in my mind – I suppose she’s always been that way. She’s the cheerful, flirty, happy one in my office full of secret-holding girls, which means that whatever she’s keeping under wraps is pretty darn awful, right? The ones that try the hardest to seem normal are always the ones with the biggest secrets to hide, after all. In my world, Ryder’s a changeling. Every time someone attractive touches her, she starts to turn into a monster. I thought this was a fun dark side for my cheery flirt. What if she’s pink and blonde and adorable…and secretly this horrible creature underneath? I liked the dichotomy of it. Of course, Ryder doesn’t like being an ugly monster. She wants to be normal and date guys and have sex just like everyone else. And since Ryder’s an optimist, she’s spending her time hunting for the ‘right’ guy that will negate her curse so she can have her happily ever after.

Of course, Ryder’s Mr. Right isn’t exactly normal either. Hugh is supposed to be Ryder’s guardian, but he has a hard time resisting her and her flirty ways. He’s big and frightening, growly and utterly foreign…and he’s got secrets of his own. Big ones. Ryder and Hugh both have to realize that sharing their secrets with another person doesn’t make them weaker, but allows them to combine forces and help each other. Of course, letting your guard down is never easy…as you’ll see in WANTED: WILD THING. But in my mind, one thing is utterly clear – Hugh is completely perfect for Ryder. I won’t say more to give the story away, but I think you’ll agree that Ryder and Hugh belong together. Let me know what you think!

Jessica