Rad-Reader:  Where did the idea for this story come from?

Laura:  Hedging His Bets is the third standalone novel in my Brits in Manhattan series. All of the Brits in Manhattan books are rom-com featuring a hero from NY and a female from England. I love London and Manhattan, so it was a lot of fun to set the books between the two places. I also wanted to write books that were a little lighter than the heavy angst we've been seeing in recent years. There's enough going on in the world that's dark without adding to it!  

Rad-Reader:  Tell us some backstory that the synopsis/blurb didn’t tell us about Jess and Jake?

Laura:  Jake is the brother of Drew, who we meet in Balancing the Scales, and a best friend of Brooks, who we meet in Playing to Win (the first and second books in the series). I already had a good idea of his character from writing the other books. But Jess is one of my favorite characters to date, from all the books I have published. Jess loses her parents as a child and is forced into the care of her hippy aunt and uncle, who take her backpacking around the world. Jess's view of life is shaped by sights, sounds, countries, and cultures from all over the world, which makes her such an interesting character. She is both a free spirit and searching for roots she hasn't had since she was a girl. She is tremendously empathetic, yet terrified of love. She is an enormously complex character and Jake is the one person who truly understands her. 

Rad-Reader:  How did Jess and Jake come to be roommates?

Laura:  In a bid to better understand herself, Jess returns home to England. Inspired by Asia, she is a boutique clothes designer and finds a studio in Camden, London to work from…which means, for the first time ever, she has to semi-commit to a place…and she needs a place to live. That's all I'll say because I cannot give up the meet-cute ;-) 

Rad-Reader:  At the beginning, it seems that he is waiting for Emily who is eight but it doesn’t say how old he is or I missed it.  How old is he?

Laura:  We learn in the story that Jake is two years older than Emily, which makes him 10 years old in the first chapter. 

Rad-Reader:  Does Jake really believe he is totally emotionally detached from Jess?

Laura:  No, quite the opposite. Jake adores Jess and openly loves her. But he believes he loves her as a best friend.  

Rad-Reader:  What exactly happened between him and Emily?  Did they ever talk again after what did happen?

Laura:  I don't want to add any spoilers so I will say Jake is burned by Emily, his girl next door. You'll have to read to learn the rest ;-)

Rad-Reader:  What does he really want in life?  Why doesn’t he just ask Jess if she would ever want more from their relationship now that they know each other?

Laura:  I don't think Jake has gotten far beyond running from his past when we first catch up with him as an adult. It is Jess and the events of the book that make him realize there is more to life than running—much like Jess's lesson too. 

Rad-Reader:  Why doesn’t Sarah have herself a guy she’s great?

Laura:  If I had a $1 for every reader who has asked for Sarah's story, I'd be a very rich lady. I adore Sarah. She's a great woman—sassy, smart, a wicked sense of humour—but she, like most of us, hides her vulnerabilities. I agree she does deserve a happy ending—the happiest! Her book is definitely something I have thought about, so watch this space! :-)

Rad-Reader:  What is up with this guy Marty?  He seems like a slime bucket?  What is his story background?  What is with the phone calls and not doing the work and helping?

Laura:  Ha! He seems like a bit of a douche, huh? In lots of ways, he is. He has come from a lot of money and maybe on the surface hasn't had to work hard to become a named partner of the law firm his father built. But I think there may be something redeemable about him yet!
Rad-Reader:  Although, I will say that when Jake needed to get to Jess quickly he did willingly lend him his car.  So, he did win some brownie points. 

Rad-Reader:  Every time he makes progress with Jess, Jake is taking several steps backward.  His past making it appear that it is where he wants to be.  So, is he really the one with the fear of commitment and not really Jess as much as it appears to be that way in the story?

Laura:  For very different reasons both Jake and Jess are afraid of commitment. I'm not sure any other person could have made them see past their fears, only each other. Ultimately, Jake and Jess help each other grow and work on themselves. That's what is so great about their relationship, in my view. 

Rad-Reader:  If your book was made into a movie who would you have play…

Jess:  Leighton Meester

Jake:  Robbie Amell

Drew:  Stephen Amell

Becky:  Rachel McAdams

Brooks:  Eric Dane

Sarah:  Jamie Alexander

Marty:  Scott Disick

Emily:  Taylor Momsen

Brandon:  Adam Brody

Laura:  I love your suggestions but this is just too hard for me. All the Brits in Manhattan characters are so clear in my mind I just don't know who could match up.  

Rad-Reader:  What song or songs best describes your couple or book as a whole?

“Meant to Be – Bebe Rexha (ft. Florida Georgia Line)”
Questions all things that have to do with love although she was attracted to Jake.


“My Best Friend – Tim Mc Graw”
When he figures out he’s not in love with Emily at all but Jess.


“What If’s – Kane Brown ft. Lauren Alaina ”
What Jake finally tells Jess when he finally finds her in N.Y. to take a chance on him.


“Complicated – Carolyn Dawn Johnson”
When she runs after her day with Jake and he fights with Brandon.


“The Rest of Our Life – Tim Mc Graw, Faith Hill”
Sometimes our best-laid plans don’t stop us from dreaming of the future even when we have the biggest fears of our life that stunt our growth.


Laura:  Oh my gosh! Your choices are great! I adore "My Best Friend" and "Complicated". You are right on.

I always write the most emotional scenes of my books whilst listening to music, so I have a lot of songs for this book. Here are a few:

Two Elvis tracks which feature in the book and that I love are: "Suspicious Minds" (beach bonfire) 

and "Can't Help Falling in Love" (swoony ending). Jake plays a mean guitar ;-)

"Jack Johnson's - Better Together" 

and "Banana Pancakes" (I imagine these playing in Jake and Jess's flat).

"Brantley Gilbert - Three Feet of Water" 
(a Jess song when she is talking about her past).

 "Cold Play - Fix You" 
(sort of Jake's promise to Jess 💗)

"Louis Armstrong - What a Wonderful World" 
(this is Jess now she has Jake in her life 💖).

"Thomas Rhett - Grave" 

and "Sixteen" (cheeky like Jake).

"RaeLynn - Young" 
(the beach scenes at the Hamptons with the full Brits in Manhattan cast and with Jake/Jess surfing)

Rad-Reader:  Do you have any children?  If so are any of the following in your footsteps?

Laura:  Maybe one day but not yet…too many books to write :-)

Rad-Reader:  When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

Laura:  I’m not sure there was a defining moment. I wrote songs, stories, and plays as a girl. As I got older and started traveling a lot, I would keep travel journals and send snippets home to friends and family. When I was living in Australia, with a lot of free time on my hands (this was between legal training and qualifying as a lawyer), I penned my first novel (not published) by hand. When I returned to England, UK, I wrote short stories and reviews for newspapers and magazines. A few years later, the writing bug bit again and I penned the first novel in my Vengeful Love series, which was picked up by Harlequin. The rest, as they say, is history J

Rad-Reader:  Where is your favorite place to write?

Laura:  I love café writing so that I can people watch as I write, plus there endless coffee and cake! Wherever I am writing, I like to have my dog at my feet. He loves my writing room at home because it always gets the sun! 

Rad-Reader:  Do you use a storyboard?

Laura:  I have done this once, for a novel I started and never finished, lol! I loosely plan all my novels but I do not stick to plans rigidly. I believe if my characters are strong enough, they will develop naturally and, without fail, they always do as they please! 

Rad-Reader:  Favorite type of food you enjoy eating the most?

Laura:  Yikes, I love food. Find dining is the ultimate fun for me but if it comes to snacky food or home-cooking, I make a mean bruschetta. 

Rad-Reader:  Favorite place to travel to?

Laura:  Like Jess, I have been fortunate enough to travel many places in the world. Each place holds different and special memories for me, so it is hard to choose just one favorite. In terms of places I think are beautiful… Queenstown, New Zealand is stunning. The Taj Mahal, India reduced me to tears. I love Manhattan. 

Rad-Reader:  Your all-time favorite author?

Laura:  I read a lot and widely. If I have to pick one author, though, it is Sebastian Faulks. 

Rad-Reader:  Your favorite music?

Laura:  I love a good country track. I’m loving Brett Eldredge’s “The Long Way” right now. 

Rad-Reader:  Your favorite genre to read?

Laura:  I’m open to anything with strong characters and an interesting storyline. I tend to read women’s fiction and romance more than anything but I will happily be taken out of my comfort zone with any good book. 

Rad-Reader:  What is your next project and when is it due out?

Laura:  I am working on something very exciting with my agent right now but we don’t have a scheduled release date, as yet ;-)

Rad-Reader:  Where can our readers buy your books? Link

Laura:  Hedging His Bets released on 22 May. You can buy a copy here:

Amazon UK: goo.gl/oSSXUr
Amazon US: goo.gl/dAanZX
Barnes & Noble: goo.gl/G3Mk5R
Kobo: goo.gl/M4AYH7 
iBooks: goo.gl/Z7L2X9
Google: goo.gl/vkHhdK

Rad-Reader:  Where can our readers find you on the Web? Links

Thanks so much for being with us.  You have been a pleasure to work with.  You made this process so easy for me.  Thanks so much.  You couldn't outrun me so you are now a Rad-Reader Misfit and are welcome anytime that you have a new book coming out to use our Shout Out: An Author's Place page to let our readers know about it too.  
Thanks again,


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