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Family Series Spotlight: Kaylee Ryan

by Beth Cranford

As someone who lives a long way from their family, I cherish every single opportunity I have to talk to them, see them, and be involved in their lives. When Donna and I sat down to discuss our plans for a weekend spotlight on family series, I took a moment to think of my own family, what they mean to me, and which books best reflected the relationship I have with them. It wasn’t long before I landed on Kaylee Ryan, the New York Times bestselling author of so many family-centric books, I couldn’t possibly list them all. I could probably, however, wax lyrical for a good long while about why I enjoy Ryan’s books — think fairytale-esque love stories, growly, protective, but ultimately soft at heart men, and feel good happily ever afters. But it’s the thread of family that’s prevalent throughout that tops the list for sure. Her current series, all about the Riggins Brothers and their #RelationshipGoals parents, is one I have devoured happily and eagerly, and is the perfect example of what I’m talking about. This week marked the release of the fourth Riggins Brothers book, Touch by Touch, and I was lucky enough to get to chat to Kaylee about the importance of family, what it means to her, and how it feels to know that this series is coming to an end. Read on for more!

Psst! Did you know that you can now read part two of our Family Series Spotlight, featuring another New York Times bestselling author? Donna chatted with Melanie Moreland about found family, her Vested Interest and Contract series, and what makes family family, and trust me when I say you do NOT want to miss it! Click the button to read more!

Describe what family means to you — both in your everyday life and in the context of the Riggins Brothers series.

Being together. My family is pretty tight, and I know that they’re in my corner always. We have the best time just hanging out. I like to think that the Riggins brothers are similar. They’re close and they rally around the ones that they love.

This isn’t the first time you’ve written about siblings and families. It’s clear through many of your books that family is important — and comes in all forms. Is there something in particular that draws you toward these types of relationships?

Probably my own family. We’re close, and I like to write what I know. I can connect better with the characters. From a reader’s standpoint, I love reading family series. I guess I also like to write what I love to read.

Do you feel this series would have been different if the Riggins boys had come together as a family later in life — an adopted or “found” family, as opposed to a biological one?

I really don’t think so. Family comes in all forms. I’d like to think that the same bonds would have been formed even if they were not biological siblings.

Some authors write from experience — they draw on their own relationships with family and friends to bring their characters to life. Do you ever find yourself basing books, characters and/or conversations on real-life experiences?

All the time. Real life experiences, conversations with friends, even a song on the radio. There are story ideas everywhere I look. You should see the apps note on my phone.

One of my favorite things about this series is the banter and teasing that exists between the brothers. In Layer by Layer, the boys revel in the idea that their oldest brother, Royce, is falling for his assistant. And they clearly enjoy riling him up. How much fun is that to write?

So much fun. That’s my family. We’re always teasing and having a good time. So, it’s natural for me. I love to be able to write that strong family bond.

The Riggins family is tight-knit, and the brothers have an incredible example set for them by their parents — does the “evil author” side of you ever consider throwing a spanner in the works? (I’m definitely not suggesting you should, FTR. I love the entire family; please don’t break my heart!)

Sometimes, but honestly, I’m not much on drama in my real life, and I think that shows in my writing. As a lover of all things happily ever after, I tend to write toward the happy. I have killed off characters, and brought on drama within my characters’ lives. I just try not to have that be the majority of my books.

Play by Play is the prequel to the Riggins Brothers series, and follows family friend Jase, and Riggins Enterprises employee, Sam.

Touch by Touch follows the second youngest Riggins brother, Conrad, and Aspen, the sister of Aurora, from Kiss by Kiss.

How it started: Play by Play is the prequel to the Riggins Brothers series, and Jase doesn’t actually carry the last name of Riggins. We know that Royce, in particular, considers Jase (and Sam) to be family. Did you always intend to start this series with a “found” family member rather than one of the biological brothers?

Sometimes, but honestly, I’m not much on drama in my real life, and I think that shows in my writing. As a lover of all things happily ever after, I tend to write toward the happy. I have killed off characters, and brought on drama within my characters’ lives. I just try not to have that be the majority of my books.

How it’s going: Touch by Touch released earlier this week, and I cannot wait to dive into Conrad and Aspen’s story. We know that Aspen is the sister of Aurora — who we meet in her and Grant’s book, Kiss by Kiss — which gives us a pair of siblings falling in love with another pair of siblings… Did you always intend that to happen, or was that something that developed as you were writing Kiss by Kiss?

It was actually my readers. Conrad was never supposed to end up with Aspen. At least not in the story that I plotted. However, after Kiss by Kiss released they begged for Aspen’s story. I made some changes to Touch by Touch and made it happen. I’m thrilled with how it turned out. I love their story so much.

The series ends later this year with Marshall’s story, Beat by Beat, and if you wanted to drop some hints about what’s going to happen… just an idea. In any case, after spending so much time with the Riggins family, will you/do you find it difficult to say goodbye?

It’s definitely sad to see the series end. I’ve spent a lot of time with this family in my head, and now it’s just going to be over. However, I admit I’ve been dragging my feet on finishing Marshall’s story for that reason. As for what to expect for Marshall, well, he’s going to have his hands full when he finally finds his magic. As the final brother to be paired up, he’s the most reluctant to believe in what’s happening with his girl.

Quick Fire Questions

Royce, Owen, Grant, Conrad, and Marshall — do you have a favorite?

All of the above. LOL.

What’s your favorite thing about each of the brothers? And Jase, let’s not leave him out!

The way they unapologetically love the woman in their lives, and their family.

Favorite moment from Touch by Touch?

The Fort scene 😉

Favorite moment across the whole series?

There’s a moment in Beat by Beat where the entire family (including Marshall’s love interest) is at the lake, and it’s as if they’ve all come full circle.

Describe this series in five words or less.

Swoon-worthy heroes, and kick-ass heroines

And finally — since we are celebrating family in all its forms this weekend, do you have a family series recommendation for us?

The Summer Sisters by my co-write partner, Lacey Black, is one of my favorites. I also love the Landry Family series by Adriana Locke.

Kaylee’s Family Series Recommendations

Book One in the Summer Sisters series by Lacey Black, My Kinda Kisses

Book One in the Landry Family series by Adriana Locke, Sway

About Kaylee Ryan

Kaylee Ryan is a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author. When she’s not spinning tales of happily ever after, she’s reading, cooking, and spending time with family. Born and raised an Ohio girl, Kaylee resides in Cincinnati with her family.

Learn more about Kaylee and her books at kayleeryan.com and follow her on Book+Main Bites @kayleeryan.

About Beth

Beth Cranford was born and raised in Australia, but followed her heart (and her husband) to the United States in her late 20s. As the mother of two kids, she’s learned that you can turn anything into a song and that slime does not belong in carpeted areas (or polite society). You can most often find her with her Kindle in hand, listening to Taylor Swift on repeat, or spending way too many hours playing Animal Crossing.

Follow her @BethCranford on B+M Bites.

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6 Replies to “Family Series Spotlight: Kaylee Ryan”

Pam M says:

Love this series. The family Kaylee has created is one anyone would want to be a part of.

Beth Cranford says:

I absolutely agree! The banter and teasing and love between the family is excellent. I love them all so much!

Stacy Hahn says:

This series is absolutely amazing!! I can’t get enough!

Beth Cranford says:

Me either! I’m excited for Beat by Beat but also sad that it’ll be the end. I love this family!

Jamie B. says:

I love The Riggins Brothers and this series. I can’t say enough of how good each and every story is.

Beth Cranford says:

They keep getting better! The end of Touch by Touch was WOW. I can’t wait for Marshall’s book!

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