So far my heroes have been a player, a recluse, had a quick temper, hid a questionable past, been overly cynical and judgmental, and now were duplicitous and even seduced a woman using a false identity.
Isn’t that just like life though? We shared stories with our girlfriends about what our ideal guy would be like and it rarely worked out that way. That certainly doesn’t mean we didn’t find love; several of us were fortunate. These guys were rarely the ones we concocted in our minds. Of course while the exploration and learning has been inevitably fun, it often was challenging. In my own experience though, it is “taming” the real man that has truly sent my pulses racing.
In Bartlett’s Rule, it is Lon’s contention that his playboy image was all a matter of hype for the sake of business. He is, after all, an icon among men who enjoys much more than his share of the “fairer sex”. His columns help the average-Joe to live vicariously and it isn’t just men who applaud him, scores of women want to be, and have been, his partner for an evening or two. Lon Bartlett had to re-evaluate the façade he lived behind after meeting Paige and surprises even himself with a newfound compassion and patience.
Brandon Price grew up with two parents in a wealthy home in Forgotten, but it took meeting up with Caitlyn, who had been orphaned at a young age, to learn about the importance of family. His determination to make it on his own without his father’s money gives him near-myopic vision when it comes to living life. Like an insecure child, he also has to learn how to share and interact with others. When he is forced back into the lifestyle he ran away from, Caitlyn stays by his side and it’s definitely not for the money.
Caitlyn’s cousin Tom Hughes finds his own way to live on after losing the love of his life to a senseless act of violence in Within the Law. He also finds a career in law enforcement which he allows to encompass most of his life. It’s Alli though who teaches him to do more than simply exist. Tom’s anger comes to a head when he confronts his fiancé’s murderer; this gets him into really hot water and it’s up to Alli to save the day.
In Courage of the Heart, Adam Sherman has a past he is ashamed of and can’t share with anyone else. He lives behind a mask and goes “above and beyond” to earn a reputation as a playboy. When Davie comes into his life he finally learns to let down his guard. Then his past makes a rude intrusion into their lives and Adam thinks the only thing he can do is give Davie up. He soon learns though that is the worst possible thing he could do.
Jake Carlson is jaded by not only the things he has seen in crime scene investigations, but also by a bitter divorce and vindictive ex-wife in Final Sin. He worries that he is a failure as a father to his teen-age son as well. Julie is too young for him, or so he believes, but he can’t resist enjoying her sexual favors. When he finds that a one night dalliance with her is videotaped, he quickly jumps to the wrong conclusion and rashly accuses Julie of “setting” him up.
In the just released Hostage Heart, Ryan Hunter may have a good reason to pretend he is someone he isn’t, but the deception is nearly unforgivable when he seduces Deanna and gets her pregnant. Thinking that her baby’s father is dead, Deanna has to face the world as a young mother-to-be on her own with no money or resources. He can’t understand why Deanna doesn’t trust him when he comes back into her life.
Each of my heroines has inner strength, intelligence and resourcefulness – and they love and stand by their men despite their faults. My heroes come from all walks of life – a writer, a computer programmer, a NYS Trooper, an information technology expert, a deputy sheriff and an FBI operative. Their backgrounds range from broken homes and poverty to rich-as-sin and rebellious. And each of my gorgeous hunks can make his woman feel as if she is the only woman in the world.
And if I were casting director for movies made from my books, these are the actors I would want to play my hunks, er, heroes:
excerpt (from Hostage Heart):
He pulled his T-shirt off. “Touch me Deanna. Make me as much yours as I want you to be mine.”
She timidly, inquisitively touched his broad shoulders. Her fingers trailed
down his chest and she lightly stroked a male nipple. Ryan drew in a breath as she began her exploration.
He stood and unzipped his jeans letting them fall to the floor. She traced the thin dusting of hair that disappeared under the waistband of his boxers. “I want you to see me. Touch me. Is that okay?”
She nodded. He removed his boxers and stood naked before her. He was fully aroused and thrusting. Hesitantly, Deanna took the length of him in her hand.
Patiently he stood still while she touched and investigated his body.
“May I undress you?” Ryan surprised even himself with the amount of control he was managing.
Deanna lifted her arms and allowed him to remove the T-shirt. He knelt
before her and used his tongue to tease her nipples. He kissed the fullness of her breasts and held her in his arms.
She enjoyed the feel of his tongue. “That feels so good.” Sensations were
beginning to erupt from the pit of her belly.
He smiled against her chest. “Please stand up.” When she stood, he gently pulled down the shorts she wore. Still kneeling in front of her, he kissed the triangle of curls and stroked her with his hands.
“Oh Ryan...” Her knees felt weak from his kisses. She put her hands on his
shoulders and allowed herself to give way to his ministrations. He felt her shudder as she clutched at his shoulders. Lowering her to the bed, Ryan kissed his way back up her body. He paused to drink deeply from her rosy nipples.
Deanna was panting as she tried to regain control. This was nothing like
before. Before she had wanted him for curiosity. This time, she was beginning to feel an ache between her legs that only he could soothe. He continued to kiss and stroke her until she was nearly ready to beg.
Ryan knew this time she was so much more ready for him than before. He was
still gentle as he entered her, holding back as much as he could. There was no pain, he was sure of that, only her wide-eyed response as she wrapped herself around his fullness.
When Ryan began to move, so did Deanna. He was able to wait until he felt
her tighten around him and saw the fire in her eyes before he allowed his own release. He held her close to him and felt their hearts pounding.
“Better?” He whispered gently.
“Oh yes.” She was still breathless.
Ryan waited as long as he could until he no longer had a choice before he withdrew. He held her to his side. “That’s how making love is supposed to be. I’m sorry this wasn’t your first time.” He swallowed. “That’s how I wish I had done it the first time.”
She was quiet as she lay next to him. Her fingers toyed with his muscled chest.
“Come back with me, Ryan. Turn yourself in. It’s got to be easier than always running and hiding. You’re better than this.” She waited through his silence. “Please Ryan. Please do the right thing... for you.”
He squeezed his eyes and exhaled slowly. “No Deanna, this is me. This is my life.”
“If the police capture you, they are going to put you in jail for a long time.”
“They won’t capture me.”
She sat up next to him. “Ryan, if you come back with me and turn yourself in, I’ll tell them that you didn’t kidnap me. I’ll tell them you protected me and saved me. I’ll help you as much as I can. Even if you have some jail time, they’ll go much easier on you.”
“No.” He felt a hole in his heart. “I know that you are trying to help me, but don’t. I am going to get you out of here. And then I am never going to see you again.”
“No Ryan, you could if you wanted. Not because of what we just did. I know there was no commitment. You could choose someone else... or I could. But I can feel there is so much good in you. You’re a good man.”
He wished he had the time to see where things could go. He wanted to get to know her better, maybe even to build a relationship with her. “Deanna, trust me, I am not getting out...”
“No. Deanna, I expect to die here.”
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