Heros. There are songs dedicated to them. Quite a few songs actually. Everyone loves a hero.
But I strongly suspect how we define a hero varies from person to person.
Sometimes a hero is the boy who tells his friends to stop picking on his next door neighbor just because he has a lisp. Or maybe it’s the young man who asks the girl who’s clinging to the shadows if she’d like to dance even though her dress isn’t this year’s fashion. Then again it might be the man who helps repair the roof on his elderly aunt’s roof so it doesn’t leak anymore.
In fiction, particularly a romance, a hero is often created with a much stronger story line. They are men who rescue people or animals from raging fires, doctors who save lives every day or scientists who discover cures to horrific diseases that might affect thousands. Or they’re the characters who were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to save the heroine or a city of people by disabling a ticking bomb or stepping in front of a bullet.
For me, while that action, adventure and nail-biting drama is exciting to read, what defines the hero are the simpler things. It has to do with loyalty and dedication and a willingness to love and protect the heroine above all others. Even when the threat comes from himself.
I want to see stories where the big, strong, macho hero falls so deeply in love that he is willing to open himself up and expose that Achilles heel to one and only one person - his heroine.
Title: Loss of Control
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Date Published: July 10, 2014
Genre: Sensual Romance - contemporary
Word Count: 33k
Jeanie’s lousy boss has sent her on yet another business trip. At least this one has a bonus—she gets to work with “Steve the Stud”, the office hottie who makes all the women weak-kneed, for the whole week. When she finds him to be smart and fun as well, she has no clue how she’ll finish the trip while staying professional.
Steve got burned the last time he dated a coworker and has vowed to never put himself in that position again, no matter how much he can’t stop thinking about Jeanie and her freckles. When Jeanie finds evidence of fraud, Steve works more closely with her than he imagined. It’ll take all his control to maintain his promise while Jeanie struggles with an ethical dilemma.
“Steve Waltman. Audit.”
Jeanie shook his hand and looked into the bluest eyes she’d ever seen. That had to be one of the reasons the girls in the office were all smitten with him. Not only did he fill out his jacket nicely but the sandy-blond hair and blue eyes were a traditionally lethal combination. And so far he seemed to be a nice guy, with a sense of humor to boot.
If she wasn’t careful she could be in serious trouble.
“Jeanie Madison. I’m in Accounts Payable,” she said, letting her hand linger in his a little longer than usual.
“Jeanie. It’s nice to put a name to a face. We have been coming and going at the same time these days. Where are you off to this morning?”
“Indianapolis. What about you?”
“Same.” Steve tucked his folded newspaper under his arm. “You going in for the transition?”
“Yeah. You too?”
“Afraid so. Looks as if we’ll be hanging out together this week.”
A little flutter started somewhere deep in Jeanie’s belly. She wasn’t sure if it was from hunger or nervousness at the thought of being in the same location, probably even the same hotel, as Mr. Hottie for a whole week.
“Guess so.” Erotic images of Steve and herself in a hotel room triggered another burst of heat through her body. A little distance might be best before her cheeks burst into flame. “I was just going to get coffee.” As a second thought she added, “I’ll make you a deal. If you’ll watch my bag and save my seat, I’ll grab some for you too.”
Steve checked his watch. “That would be great. Black coffee with a couple of creamers and a sweetener.”
He reached for his wallet but Jeanie waved him away from it. “Don’t worry about it. I’ll get it.” She pushed her suitcase up against her vacated seat then turned to make her escape.
“Thanks. I’ll buy next time.”
“All right,” she tossed over her shoulder as she picked her way through the somewhat crowded aisle.
It was just a short walk to the café but it gave her time to settle the butterflies in her stomach. However it wasn’t long enough to halt the naughty thoughts rolling around in her head. As she waited in line she watched the girl behind the counter decorate the top of someone’s drink with a mound of whipped cream and a swirl of chocolate.
In Jeanie’s mind that mound of whipped cream belonged on Steve’s bare chest.
Or perhaps lower.
With a cherry on top.
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Dena Garson loves to read romance—the hotter the better. When one of her BFFs said “one of us should be writing this stuff”, she took up the challenge. If she isn’t writing, she’s designing jewelry but somehow she still manages to make it into the office on a regular basis.