Magical realism and breathtaking contemporary romance converge in the newest from Lisa Kleypas, Dream Lake. It's our August 2012 Romance of the Month, and as romance columnist Christie Ridgway writes, "This is Kleypas at her contemporary best: The writing wows and the ending evokes happy tears."

We chatted with Kleypas about writing, romance and great abs!

Describe your book in one sentence.
Alex Nolan, a dark and cynical man who is being haunted by the ghost of a WWII fighter pilot, fights his growing attraction to local innkeeper Zoe Hoffman.

What's the most romantic thing that has ever happened to you?
I was on a first date with a charming but slightly reserved guy who took me out to dinner on Valentine's Day. At the restaurant, they were passing around a bowl of conversation hearts—those candies with words printed on them—and he sorted through the bowl until he found the one he wanted to give to me. It said "TRUE LOVE." We have been married for 18 years, and it's still true love!

What's your favorite thing about being a writer?
I love the fact that I'm always learning more about the craft. With writing, there is never a point at which you can say, "I don't need to get any better." That kind of challenge always makes it exciting and interesting.

What was the proudest moment of your career so far?
It was when I managed to summon the courage to try something new after almost two decades of writing historical romances, and I completed my first contemporary novel, Sugar Daddy. Also, I feel incredibly grateful that one of my books is being made into an upcoming Hallmark Hall of Fame movie titled Christmas With Holly. I can't wait to watch it with my family and friends.

What are the sexiest scenes to write?
Often it's not the love scenes as much as the intimate moments between two characters when you realize that some emotional change is happening. For example, in Dream Lake, there is a moment when Alex, a guy with a really tough and cynical personality, rushes to help Zoe, a young chef who has just gotten a minor burn on her arm. His behavior reveals a tender and caring side that is unexpected and I think very sexy. Having a man take care of you, show concern for you, is a much bigger turn-on for women than the sight of muscular abs—although the abs certainly never hurt!

If you had to be stranded on a desert island with one of your heroes, who would you choose?
I think Hardy Cates from one of my contemporary novels, Blue Eyed Devil. Very sexy, tough and charming. He would be fun to spend time with under a palm tree, but he could also build a boat to get us back home!

What are you working on next?
I am having so much fun writing Crystal Cove, a contemporary romance about a young witch who has been cursed never to fall in love . . . but then she meets a handsome and mysterious stranger, Jason Black, who may just break the spell.

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