"He's EVERYBODY's type!"

Recently, there’s been been a teenage guy working at our local market who I thought my teenage daughter might think was cute. I told her she needed to come to the market to check him out, and she was having none of that. 

Today, we were in the car, and I had to swing by the market to pick something up. She decided to come in with me, and the guy was there.

After we get back in the car, she turns to me and she says, “Mom! You did NOT describe him accurately! How could you not tell me he was THAT beautiful? I am coming to the market EVERY DAY with you!”

Me: “Well, I wanted you to form your own opinion. I didn’t know if he was your type.”

Her: “Mom! He’s EVERYBODY’S type.” 

And that, my friends, is what I try to do as a romance author. I try to write that guy who is so awesome that you will have that same reaction: Jaw drop. Heart stop. Absolute conviction that there isn’t a woman in existence who would not fall head over heels over heart for him. 

Because who doesn’t want that, right? I’ll raise my hand right now and say I want it! Me, me, me! 

As a reader, I love falling in love with the leading man.

As a writer, it’s my job to make him come to life, which isn’t always that easy! But I think I did it in my new romantic suspense Burn, and I’m pretty freaking excited for you to read it.

See, in this story, I wanted the heroine to be strong and badass, but broken. Charlotte wants to get back to the fearless independent woman she once was, but she’s being hunted by a serial killer who murdered her parents, so, she’s a little strung out (to be expected, right?).

Bring in Mack Connor, former gang member turned military badass, turned high-end security expert, shipped in to Alaska to play bodyguard for Charlotte. He’s hot. He’s tough. And he needs her sunshine to clear the darkness from his own soul.

The way Mack treats Charlotte is to die for. He cherishes her courage, respects her fears, and helps her to rebuild herself. It’s a romantic suspense, but there are some of the sweetest, most heartwarming exchanges between them. 

Like this exchange shortly after Mack arrives in Alaska to protect Charlotte, but she’s not sure she wants him staying in her house with her, even if he is the best friend of her bestie’s fiancé. 

FROM BURN:

Mack’s gut went cold when he saw the barely-healed marks on Charlotte’s stomach. Angry, violent knife slashes, as if Joseph had cut her just enough to torture her, intending to keep her alive and make her suffer as long as possible.

With a low growl, Mack dropped to his knees, placed his hands on the scars, and looked up at her. “I swear on my mother’s soul that I will never, ever hurt you, Charlotte. I’ve done a lot of shit in my life, but never have I hurt an innocent. I protect. I fucking protect. Every single time.” 

Tears filled Charlotte’s eyes as she looked down at him. Silently, she set her hands on his. She dug her fingers into the backs of his hands, pressing his palms to her wounds, as if his touch could chase away the memories that clung to them.

She said nothing, but he could read her eyes. Raw, stark vulnerability, a desperate need for his declaration to be the truth, for him to erect a barrier around her so she could rebuild herself in safety. 

He could feel how shattered she was, how lost she was without the confidence she’d once had. 

He flipped his hands over, gripping hers even as the backs of his hands still rested against the marks on her belly. “I swear to you, Charlotte, I will bulldoze all the shit out of your way so you can believe in yourself again.”

A small, tentative laugh made its way out of her. “You’ll bulldoze me to freedom?” 

“Hell, yeah.” He didn’t know how yet, but he would. “I won’t push you past your comfort zone. You keep me at whatever distance feels safe. If I need to spend the night walking the property and sleeping in the truck, that’s fine. Whatever you need to feel secure. But I swear to you, even if I’m perched in a damned tree behind your house, I will be there until this is done.” 

As he made the offer, it didn’t sit exactly right. He wanted to be near her, not out in her yard. He needed to be able to touch her. To see the hunch of her shoulders when she needed help. To be a barrier against all the shit raining down on her. He’d lived with plenty of nightmares, and he wanted to be there when they snuck up on her and tried to take her down. 

He didn’t just want to be there. He needed to be there for her. For himself, too. 

But if she needed him to sleep outside, then that’s what he’d do. 

Charlotte stared down at him, gripping his hands fiercely. “You’d really sleep outside? It’s well below freezing at night these days.” 

“I don’t care. I’ve been colder. Whatever you need.” 

She touched his cheek with her free hand, her fingers drifting so lightly across it that he barely felt it. Except he did feel it. He absolutely felt it, and he wanted to lean into it and press his face to her palm.

But he didn’t move from his knees, because he knew she wasn’t ready. He would never do anything to scare her. Ever. 

“I’d like to say that I won’t make you sleep outside.” She finally dropped her hand. “But I don’t know yet.”

He ignored the disappointment that raced through him. “How about it we take it one moment at time? You make some coffee. I’ll drink it indoors. And then we’ll go from there.”

She raised her brows. “You’ll stay for coffee?”

He grinned at how mundane it sounded. “I’ll stay for coffee.”

She took a breath and nodded. “Okay.” 

What did you think?

How sweet is this scene? Especially coming from a super-tough badass hottie, right?

I believe in writing guys who treat their women the way we dream of being treated. Don’t get me wrong–they’re tough and alpha and badass, but they are heart-meltingly awesome to the women they love.

I’m SO excited for you to get to meet Mack Connor. Just over five weeks away! Whooho!!

You can preorder now, so you don’t miss it!

PREORDER BURN TODAY!
Amazon
Nook
iBooks
Kobo
GooglePlay (coming soon)

What do you think of that excerpt? Let me know!

Stephanie

PS Don’t forget to preorder Burn now, so you don’t forget to do it later! Links below:
Amazon
Nook
iBooks
Kobo
GooglePlay (coming soon)

 

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