Tara Leigh attended Washington University in St. Louis and Columbia Business School in New York, and worked on Wall Street and Main Street before “retiring” to become a wife and mother. When the people in her head became just as real as the people in her life, she decided to put their stories on paper. Tara currently lives in Fairfield County, Connecticut with her husband, children and fur-baby, Pixie.
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Becoming an author has always been my ‘dream’ job, but it never seemed like an attainable goal. Instead, I studied finance at Washington University, worked on Wall Street, earned my MBA from Columbia Business School, and in 2005 I became an overqualified stay-at-home mom who was losing her mind, day by day. Writing became a creative outlet. I wrote my first book during nap times and after putting my baby to bed. I was thrilled—I wrote a book! I pitched it to agents, had some interest, but it never went anywhere. Then I got pregnant with baby #2.
Writing went on the back burner until after the arrival of baby #3. This time, I decided to self-publish, because everyone was self-publishing. But I didn’t know the first thing about how to actually market and promote a book. It was a disappointing experience.
In 2015, I decided to educate myself about the business of writing by attending the annual conference the Romance Writers of America. For four days, I immersed myself in craft workshops and meeting other writers at all stages of their careers. On my way home, I wrote the outline of a series and began writing the first book—a sexy romance set in the cutthroat world of Wall Street where stocks and bonds aren’t the only trades being made. For my Manhattan moguls— money, power, prestige, sex are all available to the highest bidder.
I finished PENTHOUSE PLAYER in six months, queried two dozen literary agents and had two offers of representation from highly respected agents within one week. One of them was Jessica Alvarez with BookEnds Literary Agency, THE agent I was dying to work with. It was definitely a “pinch-me, I must be dreaming” moment. We spoke for about an hour, and within the first few minutes I knew she really was the best agent for me. After ten years writing in a virtual black box, Jessica was able to clearly and succinctly explain how I could improve my writing and character arcs. Criticism is never easy—but constructive criticism is a gift. For anyone who hopes to become a writer, the trick is finding critics who know what they’re talking about. And when you do, listen to them.
A few months later, I was back at RWA (this time in San Diego) deciding between three of the “Big Five” publishing houses, ultimately signing with St. Martin’s Press.
And in between submitting PENTHOUSE PLAYER (Book 1 of the BILLIONAIRE BOSSES series) to publishers and actually signing the contract, I wrote another book. Tell Me You’re Mine (Book 1 of the Nothing But Trouble series)—a fun, angsty, rock star romance that is a complete change from my alpha billionaires world. Jessica submitted it to publishers in March of 2017. The editor of Grand Central/Forever wrote back and said she really liked it, subject to certain revisions. Coincidentally, I was going to a LIRWA luncheon soon after receiving her feedback, and saw that she would be there, too. We really hit it off and I was so excited by her suggestions that I went back to my manuscript that weekend and sent her my changes on Monday. A few weeks later, she offered on the series.
Bringing these books to life has been a team effort, and I’m so grateful for all the help I’ve received along the way—my agent and editors, fellow authors, and the Romance Writers of America.
Most of all, I sincerely hope my stories find their way into your hearts.
Abandoned by her mother and spurned by her father, Reina St. James is tired of being treated like a dirty little secret. It wasn’t easy making her way into the high-risk, high-reward Wall Street world ruled by financial kings and trust fund tyrants. But now that she’s got a
stiletto-clad toe into one of the swankiest firms in Manhattan, Reina is determined to prove she’s more than just a pretty face hiding an ugly past.
For Tristan Xavier Bettencourt IV, escaping the shadow cast by generations of family fortune has been difficult, and success hasn’t come without sacrifice. Tristan has always put business before pleasure… Until Reina’s curved lips prove an invitation he can’t resist.
Walking away from their explosive night together won’t be easy, even if the heat between them might consume both of their careers. Will Reina and Tristan risk everything by betting on each other?
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More about the Billionaire Bosses series:
This series offers a passionate peek into the tumultuous world of New York’s most beautiful bankers. Stocks and bonds aren’t the only commodities traded on Wall Street. Money, power, prestige, sex—they’re all available to the highest bidder. Each book in the series will feature sexy scions of Manhattan moguls struggling to find love and success on their own terms.