It's easy to make a hero notice the knock-out beauty standing in the room. Attention is effortlessly drawn to the firecracker that's all bang and smoke. How do you make him notice the slowly burning flame in the corner with enough heat to sustain him through his entire life? There's something about her, deeper than her skin and bigger than her boobs, to draw him in. She's the heroine I want and it's her story I want to read.
I like a heroine who is pretty darned average on the outside. I'm fine with a bit of softness at her waist and legs that DO quit at some length shorter than Barbie Doll's proportions. Or maybe she is athletic and flat-chested. After all, for every female body type, there is a man who prefers it, and it's more fun to read (and write) about those interesting people than the same stereotypical caricatures over and over and over.
As an author, I've written eight heroines so far, and I'd say only two would be called beautiful by a casual observer. The others are plump or too thin, or simply average, or even have a characteristic that is off-putting, like weirdly colored eyes. Often, they are aware of their "imperfections," making the hero's reassurances a beautiful part of a growing relationship based on more than animal lust. And he isn't perfect either.
This is an excerpt from my newest release, Eruption: Yellowblown™ Book One, where my heroine, Violet, is feeling strong but inadequate. She accidentally met up with her crush on a bike ride, she pushed him hard coming up a hill (he's rehabbing a knee) and they've just come to a stop in front of their dorm.
He arranged his own gear then looked at me with the green stare again, more intense than before. “I’m sorry, I don’t remember your name.”
“I’m sure we freshman all look alike.” I extended my hand. “Violet Perch.”
“Boone Ramer.” He took my hand and, though our palms were hot and sweaty, he continued to hold it, lighting a fuse of attraction that sparked up my wrist and past my elbow. “Violet. Unusual name. I’ll remember it now.”
“Yeah, it’s kind of a curse,” I said as the heat passed my shoulder to go straight to my skort.
“I didn’t mean unusual bad. It’s nice. Feminine.” He released my hand while his eyes touched me, sliding down my pink jersey and along legs I knew weren’t particularly long but had hints of muscle definition.
I knew what I was. In our world of breast enhancements and thigh gaps, I didn’t have the right dimensions to attract a guy in Boone’s league, especially with my sports bra smashing my itty bitty titties down to nothing. Helmet hair, sweat stained armpits, padded bottoms, and black sturdy shoes completed the non-seductive, flat-chested ensemble. I was all in.
His face sharpened in a way that suggested he might like what he saw. My nostrils flared in immediate, misguided response. God, he was magnetic.
“You’re in good shape,” he said appreciatively. “I bonked on the last hill but you pulled me up.” He waggled his brows at me. “Couldn’t let you make me look bad.”
My face flushed beyond exercise-induced red. “You did good.” We wheeled our bikes toward the door and I’d almost worked up the courage to ask if he’d like to ride together again when a trilling voice called his name.
Twyla Blakelock, who’d ignored me at a rush party last week, bounced up to press her glossy lips against his mouth. Her nose wrinkled. “Ewww, you’re all sweaty,” she said.
What kind of moron touches him and says Ewww, I thought. You’re ewww, Twyla.
“Hey, I’ll see you later,” I said out loud, eternally grateful for the guy who came out the door at the right time to hold it for me.
END OF EXCERPT
If only Violet knew what Boone was really thinking. She doesn't find out until Book Three, but it's worth the wait. And it always is worth the wait to watch a NOT-a-super-model heroine attract the right man.
Title: Eruption: Yellowblown™ Book One
Date Published: September 13, 2014
Genre: New Adult contemporary romance
Word Count: 69,000
I’m in the middle of the perfect college semester, hundreds of miles from Mom, with an awesome roomie and my freshman crush finally becoming a sophomore reality—Hotness! I’m figuring out calculus, I’ve got both hands on the handlebars and the wind of freedom in my hair. What on earth could slow my roll?
How about if the Yellowstone volcano erupts for the first time in 630,000 years, spewing a continuous load of ash (crap) all over North America? Think that’ll put a kink in my bicycle chain?
Make that kinks, plural, because here’s a scientific fact I’ll bet you didn’t know. Nothing ruins the perfect semester like a super caldera. Now that I’ve made you smarter today, maybe you can tell me how to keep my life cruising in the right direction—no to Mom, yes to roomie, double yes to Hotness!—during a global disaster?
My lame name is Violet and, in the interest of full disclosure, I’m not hanging from the side of a cinder cone on the last page of this trauma, but there’s definitely more to come. Unless, of course, humans become extinct and then there’s not. Duh.
Available at Amazon
J. Hughey knows what a girl wants. Independence. One or two no-matter-what-happens friends. A smokin’ hot romance. A basic understanding of geological concepts. Huh? Okay, maybe not every girl is into geology, but J. Hughey is, and in the Yellowblown™ series she combines her passion for a timeless love story with her interest in geeky stuff to help Violet Perch get a life, despite an ongoing global catastrophe.
J. Hughey also writes historical romance as Jill Hughey. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two teenaged sons.
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