day, Claire Robertson is a staff writer for a small publication in
Seattle. But when the lights go down, she writes sizzling and
oh-so-naughty erotica. She keeps these stories safely tucked away,
hiding her secret fantasies of her hero, Dustin Murray. The man who
stole her heart six years ago. And then jumped into bed with her twin
Dustin never forgot Claire, or her twin sister’s lies
that tricked him into sleeping with her. Nor has he forgotten that her
sister’s threats have kept him silent for six years and cost him the
woman he loved. Now that Claire’s returned home, Dustin isn’t about to
lose her again. But it’ll be another thing to convince Claire he’s
prepared to do whatever it takes to win her back.
accidentally sends the wrong story to her editor, things really heat up.
With hot the new black in publishing, her editor thinks he’s struck
gold and queues the story for publication. The last thing Claire needs
is for everyone to learn that she’s got secrets of her own…
man’s gaze fell to her legs still carelessly strewn across her desk.
Her heart thundered in her ears. Warmth from his sharp exhale caressed
the skin at her ankles.
She bit her lip and decided—no regrets
for trying “And?” She returned his mocking raised-brow expression in an
eye-for-an-eye stare down.
“I’m Thornton Maxwell…your attorney.”
He turned away, but not before she caught his look of displeasure. “God.
Woman, do you even know what a mess you’ve got on your hands? We need
to talk. A real pressure cooker is about blow.”
This wasn’t part of her erotic fantasy. What was he talking about?
Should she just come out and admit she had no idea of what was going on
or get him to divulge what demanded damage control?
She pretended unconcerned boredom in an attempt to buy some time to think. “Someone’s got his panties in a real twist.”
This wasn’t the first time she’d needed legal. But if he was her new go-to man, she was tempted to screw more things up.This
was a conundrum. He was too damn good-looking. This type of man didn’t
appreciate a dumbbell. Did he know how hard she worked or that sometimes
contracts needed to be bent? “Explored” is what she liked to call it.
Wasn’t that why McGavock Publishing hired a boatload of first-year
attorneys anyway? Shoot, he was probably upset because his weekend golf
game was about to be rained out.
in front of her desk while raking fingers through his thick, dark hair.
Cynthia noticed the way he flexed and moved his arms, his muscles
pumping and expanding. He stopped, spun around, and marched back to her
when you cross out clauses and write your own notes into a publishing
contract, we don’t have a legal leg to stand on in court when an issue
is disputed. The things you’ve included to get an author to sign without
consulting legal is tying us in knots. The next time you promise a
writer the moon, you better consult me first and NASA second. Not
whatever pops into that pretty little head of yours. You need my help
with this lawsuit, and I expect your cooperation. You might as well know
now that’s going to mean during office hours as well as evenings and
His finger was pointed directly
in front of her face. She imagined sucking the tip until her sex-crazed
brain finally grasped his message.What?
She was floored. Her stomach felt punched, the fist of surprise still
lodged in her ribcage. Her mind reeled. It wasn’t possible. She was
being threatened with a lawsuit for a couple of silly additions to a
contract, and now this man expected her to drop everything. Was he
joking? Slowly she inhaled.
innocent.” She stared back at him. “Sure, I’m not beyond bending the
rules, but a lawsuit? No, that’s not possible; it’s impossible. You’ve
got to help me.”
“We definitely need a
sit-down. Not your usual brush-off and expectation for legal to jump
through a hoop. This one is serious.” His gaze swept over her face and
downward. The space between them crackled with static energy. He was
more than steamed. But he was ready to step in and help her. A spasm of
pleasure trilled in her veins. He was her knight in shining armor. She
wasn’t the enemy. Not his at least. With all that pent-up fury of his,
it was a shame to let it go to waste. He was handsome beyond
belief…another time, over cocktails or at a party, she’d not think twice
about what her body wanted. His dark eyes weren’t all anger…passion
brewed there, pulling the cords to her attraction, making her skin
tingle. Oh, my. He wanted to school her good. But maybe she could teach
him a thing.
“Thor…Thornton, sit down.” She recouped her
confidence. He was in her dominion. The door was closed. Her assistant
always knocked before entering. The glass panels were mirrored. He was
so near…all she had to do was reach out to him.
She met his bad-boy stare with excitement screaming in her ears.
“Please.” She was almost purring, beseeching him over the rim of her eyeglasses.“Fine, I’m all ears.” He pulled up a chair closer to her desk. “Well?”
studied him. If the man ever smiled, he’d be drop-dead gorgeous. She
let the papers slip out of her fingers, and she pushed her glasses up on
top of her head. Cynthia rubbed her ankles together, and his eyes fixed
Ding, ding. Johnny, she had a winner.
lifted her legs and stood, acting as if arranging her papers was vital.
She felt, rather than saw, that his gaze was upon her.
“Client-attorney privilege?” She rounded the desk, trailing her fingers along the surface.“Yes, whatever you share. Go on.”
shall I begin?” She stopped and leaned back on her desk, directly in
front of him. Eighteen inches of space separated them.
“Haven’t you ever longed for something to the point of breaking a few rules? Just once?”
held his spine erect. He gripped the armrests. She noticed the fine
hairs on his fingers, but no ring. She placed the toe of her shoe on the
corner of his chair, her ankle only an inch away from his grasp. Her
silk skirt lifted, sliding up her thighs, and his gaze shot to the
revealed set of black lace Agent Provocateur garters.She
licked her lips and unbuttoned a pearl button. He flared his nostrils
ever so slightly. He stared at her fingers. She undid another button. He
became a statue. A rather alluring, attentive one. She continued
unbuttoning the rest of buttons. She didn’t open her shirt, hoping he’d
notice her breasts were unhampered by a bra. The only sound in the room
was their breathing.
“Don’t stop now.”
She opened her shirt, revealing ample cleavage. Her nipples hardened at the thought of his mouth teasing her skin.
rubbed her leg against his thumb. He touched her ankle, lightly at
first, before running his fingers up the back of her calf. She pushed
her hips forward, her skirt lifted further up and over her thighs.
He made a low, primal sound, melting a reserve within her.“Do you like what you see?”
eyes locked and she smiled. She traced a finger along the bottom of her
lip. She stuck just the tip into her mouth and sucked, playfully
removing any doubt of where this was going.
“Hmm,” she whispered. “What do you want?”He
closed his eyes and moved his hand over her knee. She went beyond
merely teasing him to wanting to feel him deep inside her body.
“I love the concept of falling in love. The type of
romantic journey that is so intense, it’s borders on insanity.”–Susan
After growing up in Miami, she moved to Nashville
where she taught biology and special education. No longer a public
school teacher, Susan now writes about consuming passion, how attraction
plays out, and characters that are either going to incinerate or meld
like warm caramel.
Susan lives with her husband, two blue
heelers, two cats, a gecko and a snake. An RYT 200 (Yoga Alliance)
practicing in vinyasa flow when she’s not writing her next hot romance.
I do know that lately a lot of excerpts I’ve read (including my own) do have very sexy scenes featured. But what I also know is I’ve been lured into buying some books that don’t deliver beyond the first chapter. Across subgenres of contemporary, paranormal, fantasy, westerns…erotic romance is tricky. Why? Because it isn’t erotica and it is romance.
What the heck does that mean? Well, erotica is about sex driving the story. It’s the backbone of the plot rather than the emotional relationship between the characters. In erotic romance, one of the plot points or arcs is the emotional evolution between character A and character B. Sometimes, there’s character C, et al. But the point is within romance, an author must deliver a love story with steam and spark. I think what keeps me coming back to an author, again and again, is how well the story was written—regardless of the heat level. Sure sheer sex can create a whole lot of tension, but overdone, too much is an inferno instead of sexy sizzle.
A good hot romance has a lot to do with delivering fun titillating dialogue, a smattering of intriguing internalizations of the POV in the scene (the internal vista of the hero or heroine), and even a tad of scene description. Weave in some non-verbal body language (visceral reactions) and character action, well played, and I’m hooked.
So yes, sex can sell a book but does it keep me coming back to that author? Only if I get the Full Monty. I want the song and the dance, baby! And, oh yeah, you can leave your hat on too. LOL.