Sofia Tate joins us today to talk about her Forever Yours debut, BREATHLESS FOR HIM. (If that cover doesn’t grab you, I don’t know what will.)The story: As a gifted opera singer, Allegra Orsini’s only obsession is music-until she meets him. A strikingly handsome and powerful man with a life splashed across the tabloids, Davison Cabot Berkeley isn’t what she expected. He’s unlike the other wealthy patrons who dine at Le Bistro. Davison sees more than just a coat-check girl working her way through grad school. And from the moment he looks at her, those deep green eyes ignite a fire inside Allegra she’s never felt before.
She craves Davison’s touch-his possession-endlessly. Even though every fiber of her being is telling her to stay away, that it’s best for both of them, she can’t. As his passion consumes her, Allegra can no longer deny Davison’s hold on her. He’ll never let her go. But as much as she wants him, Allegra can’t surrender to his love-not until she faces a painful secret from her past that could destroy them both .
Since this is your debut novel, tell us a little about your road to publication with Forever Yours.
BREATHLESS FOR HIM was actually the second erotic romance I wrote. I had a feeling about it, that it would be The One. It had already been rejected three times before Forever Yours contacted me. I submitted it to them in late August last year, and I got the offer from my editor exactly a month later, which still blows my mind.
Your heroine, Allegra, is an opera singer. What made you choose that profession for her?
I had always resisted liking opera. It had to do with seeing “Rigoletto” at the Met when I was in high school, and I was bored out of my mind. But with age comes wisdom. I love office romances, but I knew I wanted to try something different. My mom loves opera, and I had an aha! moment: “Opera singer. Why not?” So I started doing research and went to the Met for a few productions. My favorite opera so far is “La Bohème” with “La Cenerentola” (“Cinderella” in Italian) a close second. My mom also became my Opera 911 when I had questions.
What came first for you – the story line, the hero, or the heroine?
The story line. When I was studying for my MFA in creative writing, one of my professors gave my Fiction Workshop a story prompt. It was “two lost gloves.” We had five minutes to write it. Then I developed what I’d written into a longer story called “Hearsay,” and that is the basis of my first chapter.
Tell us about your hero – what makes him irresistible to Allegra?
Davison Berkeley is unlike anyone she’s ever met before. Of course, the physical attraction is what first draws him to her, but it’s more than that. He is genuinely interested in her, and this challenges Allegra to step outside of the box that she’s made for herself because of her past.
I know you’re a voracious reader. What’s the last novel you read, and what’s next on your TBR?
I just finished ONLY WITH YOU by Lauren Layne. It’s the first book in her The Best Mistake series for Forever. I loved it! The heroine, Sophie Dalton, is my new Book BFF. I’m about to devour RUSTY NAILED by Alice Clayton, the sequel to WALLBANGER.
Can you pick an all-time favorite novel?
Romance: SINFUL by Charlotte Featherstone. It introduced me to erotic romance. I love both contemporary and historical erotic romance. Non-romance: THE CAVE by José Saramago. It was assigned to me during my MFA studies. There are no words that can describe my reading experience with it. Even saying it was “life-changing” wouldn’t come close.
Cast Allegra and Davison in the film version of BREATHLESS FOR HIM.
For Davison: Henry Cavill, no question.
For Allegra: She’s more difficult for me to cast. Ideally, I love Claire Forlani, but Allegra is younger than her, so I think Camilla Belle would probably fit better.
What’s next for you?
I finished my first draft of DEVOTED TO HIM, Book 2 for Davison & Allegra which comes out on December 2 from Forever Yours. I’m also working on a new erotic romance series involving a British billionaire and an older heroine, a divorcée.
BREATHLESS FOR HIM by Sofia Tate/Forever Yours/July 1