Author Override is the place where authors take the reins and take you on a journey into their world. Some may allow you into their private writing dens. Others may take you along with them on research trips or interviews. Whatever the case may be, sit back, relax and enjoy the ride because here you’ll get an in-depth look into an author’s musings.
How Do You Make That Hot?
Sometimes we straight-up contemporary romance writers get asked what tricks we deploy to make our heroes hot. We’re told the other subgenres have an easier job of it. In romantic suspense, the heroes are often super-studs with guns, protecting the heroine from danger or at least capably assisting her in her ass-kicking endeavors. In historical, writers get to write about Scottish clan lairds and rich, titled aristocrats who can bring minions to their knees with the wave of an exquisite glove.
In category romance lines, like Harlequin Presents, or popular slices of the contemporary genre like Kristen Ashley’s g-dropping, “gonna-fuck-you-now-baby” motorcycle men, the men have fantasy-level unh – they’re stratospherically rich, or they’re wild and untamed, dripping charisma all over every spare surface. Of course they’re hot.
But what about those of us who write contemporary romance set in ordinary towns among ordinary people with ordinary jobs? How do we make our heroes seem real but also just extraordinary enough to win the reader’s heart?
There are a number of ways to answer this question. One involves revealing various means of trickery, i.e., “I take an average sort of guy, and then I give him a full head of hair, a six-pack, a good job, and the ability to clean his own house. Add a dash of intense sexual prowess, the ability to string together coherent sentences about his emotions, and a fondness for giving oral, throw in some kind of deep and abiding emotional wound, and voila! We have a romance hero!”
Okay. I’ll cop to all that.
But I also think it’s important to point out that ordinary guys are hot. Mature, responsible, stable, caring adult men? Hot! Maybe they’re not hot in every possible way, but that’s okay, because they’re hot in the ways that count.
So, in that spirit, allow me to introduce Sean, the hero of my June 10 release, Flirting with Disaster. Sean is hot.
Also, he’s a computer geek, he reads sci-fi, and he stutters.
“What are you reading?” Katie asked.
He handed her the book and started the engine. It was called The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, and it had a pensive man with a robot arm on the cover.
“You say that like you’re s-saying, ‘K-kiddie p-porn’?”
Katie laughed, flipping through the pages as he pulled out of the parking lot and headed back onto the freeway. The paperback was old, yellowed at the edges, and it had the silverfish smell of a book that had been shelved for years. “Sorry. Not my favorite genre. I think it’s the covers. Robots and boobs don’t do it for me.”
“There aren’t any b-boobs on the c-cover,” Sean said.
“No, but that makes it the exception to the rule.”
“Granted. But c-covers aren’t everything. It’s a good b-book. The moon is a c-colony of the earth, and this sssupercomputer becomes intelligent, so they make it the leader of a revolution. Everybody talks this ssslang language, too. Pretty c-cool.”
“I’m not sure ‘cool’ is the word you want.”
He glanced at her and gave her one of those slow smiles again. One of those smiles that made her stomach flip over and her heart start beating too fast. Yowza.
“‘P-pretty c-compelling,’ then,” he said.
“‘Compelling,’ I’ll believe.” She flipped the book over and opened it to the last page.
“Wuh-what are you doing?”
“Reading the ending.”
Sean tried to snatch the book from her hand, but she held it out of his reach. “D-don’t do that.”
“It sssspoils the whole b-book.”
“No, it doesn’t. I like knowing how everything’s going to come out. Then I can read the story without all the anxiety.”
“Anxiety is p-p-part of the experience.”
“Not for me.” She finished reading the last paragraph and went back to his dog-eared page at the beginning. “You’re not very far. I take it you’ve read it before?”
“Yeah. I found it in my m-mom’s house. My old c-copy from high school.”
Katie dropped the book in her lap, liking that it was his from back then. Liking that he’d wrapped his big hands around it a minute ago. “I suppose you’re right. The cover could be worse.”
“The c-covers don’t t-tell you anything, anyway. Some of that stuff you read at work looks pretty trashy, and it still m-manages to hold your attention.”
That stuff you read at work. Oh, not good. Not good that he was turning out to be the sort of person who noticed things. Wedding rings and erotic novels.
What would she know about Sean if she’d only been more perceptive? He hadn’t shaved this morning, and she hadn’t realized a stubbled dimple was sexier than a regular one. Now she did.
“I’m not sure what books you’re talking about,” she said, leaning forward to turn down the heat controls for her side of the car. It was too warm. She peeled her sweater over her head and tossed it onto the backseat. Underneath, she wore a white camisole top and a red bra. She hadn’t anticipated taking the sweater off, so she hadn’t bothered to match the bra to anything. The straps showed, and the cups peeked out from the low neckline of her shirt. Parisian Katie said, Et alors?
“That b-book about phone sex,” he said. His voice had dropped to a lower register, and even though he kept his eyes on the road, her bare skin tingled as if he were looking. “The bondage one.” He paused, then added, “The one with the three-way.”
Oh, mama, the one with the three-way. “I never thought anybody paid any attention to what I was reading.”
Sean glanced her way, and the mischief in his eyes made her breath catch. She remembered that look from the aftermath of the kiss, and remembering it made her remember the kiss, and remembering the kiss made her pulse pick up and start throbbing in some very personal areas.
“I p-pay attention to everything.”
See? Hot. You’re welcome. 😉
Flirting with Disaster by Ruthie Knox
Camelot series, book 3
Releases June 10, 2013
In the latest eBook original novel in Ruthie Knox’s scorching-hot Camelot series, a no-strings fling looks an awful lot like falling in love—or flirting with disaster.
Fresh out of a fiasco of a marriage, Katie Clark has retreated to her hometown to start over. The new Katie is sophisticated, cavalier, and hell-bent on kicking butt at her job in her brother’s security firm. But on her first assignment—digging up the truth about the stalker threatening a world-famous singer-songwriter—Katie must endure the silent treatment from a stern but sexy partner who doesn’t want her help . . . or her company.
Sean Owens knows that if he opens his mouth around Katie, she’ll instantly remember him as the geeky kid who sat behind her in high school. Silence is golden, but he can’t keep quiet forever, not with Katie stampeding through their investigation. It’s time for Sean to step up and take control of the case, and his decade-old crush. If he can break through Katie’s newfound independence, they just might find they make a perfect team—on the road, on the job, and in bed.
E-book. 342 pp. ISBN: 978-0-345-54170-3.
Buy the book from Amazon (US) | Barnes & Noble | iTunes Bookstore | Amazon (UK) | Amazon (Canada) | Other buy links via Random House
USA Today bestselling author Ruthie Knox writes contemporary romance that’s sexy, witty, and angsty—sometimes all three at once. After training to be a British historian, she became an academic editor instead. Then she got really deeply into knitting, as one does, followed by motherhood and romance novel writing. Her debut novel, Ride with Me, is probably the only existing cross-country bicycling love story. She followed it up with About Last Night, a London-set romance whose hero has the unlikely name of Neville, and then Room at the Inn, a Christmas novella—both of which were finalists for the Romance Writers of America’s RITA Award. Her four-book series about the Clark family of Camelot, Ohio, has won accolades for its fresh, funny portrayal of small-town Midwestern life. Ruthie moonlights as a mother, Tweets incessantly, and bakes a mean focaccia. She’d love to hear from you, so visit her website at www.ruthieknox.com and drop her a line.
Ruthie is giving away a copy of FLIRTING WITH DISASTER
to a lucky maiden today.