In the beautiful Pacific Northwest, three feisty women are living happy lives of financial independence and social autonomy.
None of them are aware of the storms gathering on the edges of their orderly worlds, about to challenge everything they thought they wanted from life.
The winds of change arrive in the shape of three sexy alpha men.
These men shun political correctness as they seek to challenge, conquer, protect, and possess the strong, gorgeous women who intimidate mere mortals.
Publisher’s Note: This steamy compilation is comprised of the following titles: Seeing Ronnie, Holding Cynthia, and Trusting Ingrid. It contains elements of power exchange.
Question time with Libby Campbell
Q: All the women in your books seem to be pretty well set up with careers and jobs when they meet their matches. Is this a coincidence?
When there is a real inequity between partners, especially where he is richer, taller, older, bigger etc, then he has the dominant advantage to start off with. I want my alphas to have more of a challenge, so I level the playing field.
I give her a lot of the status that might otherwise be part of his allure. If her life has a solid foundation, then he must work harder to impress and capture her.
Q Do you think a woman would fall in love with a man or submit to him just because he’s rich?
Probably not, but this quote from the movie Gentlemen Prefer Blondes shaped my thinking on this subject (did I mention I love old movies?):
Lorelei Lee (Marilyn Monroe): Don’t you know that a man being rich is like a girl being pretty? You wouldn’t marry a girl just because she’s pretty, but my goodness, doesn’t it help?
I haven’t researched any of this but here my personal interpretation of TTWD:
Women are wired to look for protectors largely because of our biology. We are designed to bear children who are dependent for years. In primitive times, before childcare, telecommuting, and maternity leave, we needed someone to provide for us during that period, we needed a caveman to kill food and fight off enemies. Modern women may need help with mortgage payments and grocery bills ~ which is why wealth was, is, and always will be a drawcard.
Still, Western women are lucky. We can gain skills that allow us to make choices beyond simple survival. Enter my leading ladies who have the material side of their lives sorted, more or less.
They are strong and used to fending for themselves. But they need and crave something more. Something only a true alpha who is in touch with his primal hunter/fighter instinct may understand. Something dominant and thrilling that lifts them up from the ordinary.
The trick in these writing these roles is to capture the man’s power without it slipping into abuse and to show the woman’s submission without mindless capitulation.
Q Where did the ghosts come from in Seeing Ronnie?
The small city where I live isn’t that old. It was first settled in the mid-nineteenth century, but it is considered one of the most haunted spots in Canada. Ronnie’s ghosts are based on a story told to me by one of my most “show me, I’m from Missouri-type” friends.
He was working as auditor downtown and turned up early at a new location one day. As he entered the ground floor of two-storey office building, he heard voices and the sound of an old-fashioned industrial saw running somewhere close. That was odd, he thought, as he was in the middle of the city with no industry nearby.
As he walked up the stairs, he encountered a pocket of icy air, even though it was a hot July morning. The sound disappeared on the other side of the cold cell.
Later he learned the building was known to be haunted by the sawmillers who’d died on that spot a hundred years before.
Right after that, I started writing Ronnie and ghosts appeared almost the minute she stepped onto Seguro Island.
Q Is the dog Buddy in Holding Cynthia based on an actual beagle?
He is. Years ago, my husband and I had two beagles when we heard about a dog who had been surrendered to its breeders. We discussed whether or not to take him on. Very quickly we said yes.
What we didn’t know was that Buddy had been neglected most of his life. He’d been shut in a concrete backyard for ten years, never allowed in the house, and was rarely walked, socialized, or taken to the vet.
He had terrible health issues and his vet bills the first year ran over $5,000. Needless to say, we didn’t take a holiday that year. Or the next. Like all dogs, Buddy lived in the present, forgetting all the harsh years. His sweet disposition surfaced the day we brought him home. Once he overcame his fear of being punished for coming in the house, he soon joined the other dogs sleeping on the sofas, lounging by my desk, and cruising the kitchen in case we’d accidentally left the pantry door open.
Buddy’s appearance in Cynthia is a salute to his unsinkable spirit.
Q Does that mean the animals in Trusting Ingrid are based on real life too?
You noticed a trend, huh? I confess: I’m a mad keen animal lover. And yes, there is a second dog named Cotter in this story. It wasn’t until my third or fourth book that I started keeping a book bible, a spreadsheet of all characters’ names from all my stories. The fact that Cotter wriggled his way into two of my first books just shows how much I loved that boy.
In Ingrid, there is a dog called Lucy, after one that lives around the corner from me now. She’s the first blue Great Dane I’ve ever known and she’s a gentle beast. Also, the episode where the horses come thundering around over a hill and Ingrid worries about being stampeded is based on an incident at a friend’s property where eight of her horses charged us at once. They were simply after dinner and stopped running as soon as they got close.
However the animals in Ingrid are there not just to indulge my love of furry friends but to show Lachlan’s gentle side. He’s a man who likes a challenge and has both the kindness to rehabilitate and the sternness to insist that everyone in his world is well behaved. No one has ever demanded that of Ingrid so she needs a skillful, loving man who to help her shed her feral ways.