The CONduct Series
Can Two Ex-Cons Find Love? Will the Mafia Let Them
Live Long Enough to Find Out?
Author: Jennifer Lane
Title: The CONduct Series Boxed Set
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: August 19th, 2014
BOOK ONE: With Good Behavior:
In a world gripped by organized crime, family dysfunction, and dim hopes of redemption, can true love persevere? For Sophie Taylor, a beautiful psychologist who lost everything when she violated an ethical
boundary, and Grant Madsen, a handsome naval officer who sacrificed everything to protect a loved one, finding that love may carry an unbearable cost.
Starting their lives over in Chicago, both are fighting influences from their family and running as fast as they can to escape the past. When their paths cross outside the parole officer’s door, the attraction is instantaneous. But a hidden connection may not only shatter their fledgling love, but prove deadly to them both.
BOOK TWO: Bad Behavior:
Grant Madsen’s got issues. He’s still battling his Mafia family and doing everything possible to keep his loved ones safe. With the cruising season coming to an end, he has to find another job soon or he’ll rejoin
his father in prison. And he’s trying to convince his rebellious teenage nephew to stay away from their criminal relatives (you can imagine how that’s going). But worst of all, Grant’s parole officer has mandated that he attend therapy.
The only saving grace is that they’re couples sessions with his girlfriend, Sophie Taylor, a fellow parolee who’s struggling with a few issues of her own. Sophie desperately hopes her past with Grant’s brother won’t destroy her future with him. There’s a sleazy professor at work who revels in sexually harassing women in the psychology department. And her father still hates Grant.
Their psychologist has his work cut out for him.
When Grant’s ruthless father hints at a plot to get out of prison, Grant must use everything he’s learned in therapy and beyond to try to stop him. It’s a race against time — and a race to rescue Sophie from the Mafia’s clutches once again. But this time McSailor and Bonnie refuse to play victims. This time the cuffs are coming off.
BOOK THREE: On Best Behavior:
Planning a wedding is never easy—especially when the Russian Mafia wants you dead.
On Best Behavior—the third and final book in The Conduct Series—finds our favorite couple moving forward, despite the odds. Following a pardon by the Governor of Illinois, ex-cons Sophie Taylor and Grant Madsen are finally free to pursue their love and the life that lies ahead for them. Grant now fights the forces that have hurt his loved ones by working undercover for the FBI, and he has infiltrated the Russian Mafia in Chicago. Sophie dives into swimming with Grant’s nephew, Ben, and into her career as a psychology professor. Thankfully, now it’s Ben’s turn to heal through therapy sessions with Dr. Hunter Hayes.
With so many things going right for Grant and Sophie, it’s too bad the Russians aren’t their only threat. When Grant’s father, Enzo Barberi, discovers his own son thwarted his plan to break out of prison, his overdeveloped sense of vengeance flares to life. As Sophie scrambles to save her fiancé, it’s impossible to say who will kill Grant first—the Russians or his Italian family. Can love triumph over evil? Are hard work and a pledge to be on best behavior ever enough?
Once again, author Jennifer Lane brings a harrowing tale of romantic suspense with a psychological twist, and it’s sure to leave readers breathless.
Three Ways to Create Character Chemistry
by: Jennifer Lane
Rose and Jack from Titanic. Sky and Holder from Hopeless. Han Solo and Princess Leia from Star Wars (hehe). When done right, we can feel explosive chemistry between romantic leads. But how do authors create it? There’s no perfect formula for developing character chemistry, but here are three aspects I consider when writing romantic relationships:
1. Complementary Characters.
Good chemistry requires a balance between “Opposites attract” and “We’re so similar it feels like I’m dating myself”. Finding that balance creates characters that complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
For example, Sophie Taylor, the heroine from The Conduct Series, is independent and intuitive. She’s drawn to the hero Grant Madsen because he complements her so well. In comparison to Sophie, Grant is gentler and more respectful, but he is equally kind and determined to put his life back together after prison. Grant suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Sophie’s strengths as a former psychologist help him recover from past abuse. Grant’s steadfast support also helps Sophie by building her confidence.
2. Physical AND Emotional Intimacy.
We all know how important physical attraction is for romantic relationships. What’s your “type”? My type is a tall, clean-shaven man with beguiling blue eyes, and it’s not a surprise my heroines tend to fall for men with that physical description. In The Conduct Series, Sophie swoons over Grant’s “blue shards of glass” eyes, whereas Grant gets turned on by Sophie’s elegance and strawberry-blond hair.
But physical attraction isn’t the only ingredient for building chemistry. There must be a compelling emotional connection based on trust and respect. The characters start on the surface and gradually peel away the layers to reveal a magnetizing depth. Perhaps the stern hero grows to love the heroine’s zest and spontaneity. Maybe the neurotic heroine cherishes her man’s teasing humor. Looks spark an interest but personality holds that interest over many years. And there needs to be a deep trust for any relationship to survive.
3. Teaming Up to Face a Common Foe.
The best way to forge a bond with other people? Join them in a battle against a common enemy, and they’re yours forever. Battling together against the opponent is one reason I felt so close to my swimming and volleyball teammates, and the same goes for a romantic couple.
Sophie and Grant both have to be on their best behavior to stop the prison system from scooping them back up into its clutches. They also fight Grant’s Mafia family, which is determined to take them down. When partners function as a team—just them against the world—they complement each other and build trust and empathy. They may surprise each other with their resourcefulness. They protect each other. And their chemistry sizzles.
What do YOU think is important for character chemistry?
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