Published by Carina Press on July 22nd 2013
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Amazon | Goodreads
Five years of obsessing over her career pays off when Melanie Gordon gets a promotion that could make or break her. But the new job takes her back to her hometown to face the family she's distanced herself from, and forces her to leave behind sexy, mysterious philanthropist Raine Mason, who just might be the man of her dreams.
By the time Raine makes his move with Melanie, her one-way ticket to Cleveland is booked. He convinces her to take a chance on him long-distance, but can't yet trust her with the whole truth about himself.
Raine and Melanie slowly peel back each other's layers (starting with his bicep-hugging sweater). She is finally ready to give her heart to him...until she learns the dark secret of his past. He'll have to prove to her that love is worth the risk.
Strong Heroines & Vulnerable Heros
In Jami Alden’s Private Pleasures, Wendy Carmichael is a high-powered attorney who is trying to attain partnership in her firm. Working in an industry where any sign of weakness will derail her career plan, it’s no wonder she’s unwilling to show her true feelings for the hero. Drew Walker is rich, brash, and cocky. In many ways he’s a typical alpha hero. Yet, he has a decided vulnerability where Wendy is concerned.
Taylor Elliott—the heroine in Robin Covington’s His Southern Temptation—is strong and determined. She isn’t afraid to forge her own path—regardless of what anyone else thinks. Former Black Ops assassin, “Lucky” Landon has a classic alpha hero background and we see his strength of character in the story. Yet, he has a gooey center—especially when it comes to Taylor.
My favorite one-two punch of a strong heroine and vulnerable hero is Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler in the movie Gone with the Wind. Scarlett is rash, ambitious, and often selfish. By all accounts, she should unlikeable, perhaps even the villain. Yet despite her deep character flaws, we admire her strength, and hope that she’ll eventually figure things out. Rhett is a charming, handsome rogue. He oozes confidence and could have any woman he wants. But he’s in love with Scarlett—the one woman who isn’t enamored with him. If we had any doubt about Rhett’s vulnerability, it becomes crystal clear in his relationship with their daughter, Bonnie, and his response to her tragic death.
Melanie Gordon, the heroine in my debut novel, Making the First Move, is flawed. She doesn’t always make the right choices. But she’s smart and single-minded when it comes to achieving her career goals. Raine Mason, the story’s hero, is passionate about his cause and determined to win her heart. But his vulnerability is his tragic past and the resulting feelings which make him doubt whether he truly deserves happiness.
Despite my love of strong heroines, I’m also a sucker for a damsel in distress. After all, even the toughest heroine needs help to get out of a jam every now and then. So the hero rescues her. But, as Julia Roberts’ character in Pretty Woman says at the end of the movie, “She rescues him right back.”
I love it when that happens.
What about you? Do you like strong heroines, or do you find them difficult to connect with? Why or why not? Who are your favorite strong heroines and vulnerable heroes?
Making the First Move Blog Tour Grand Prize
- $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble Gift Card
- Digital copy of Making the First Move by Reese Ryan
- Digital copy of The Winning Season by Alison Packard
- Digital copy of Knowing the Score by Kat Latham
- Digital copy of Personal Assets by Kelsey Browning
- Digital copy of Derby Girl by Tamara Morgan
Thirty minutes later, Raine is standing in my doorway in a camel-colored cashmere sweater and a pair of Levi’s. A white, button-down shirt peeks underneath the collar. Chin-length, caramel-colored locs are pulled back at the crown of his head, with the remaining hair hanging free. He is, in a word, gorgeous.
My eyes trace the curve of his biceps. I lick my lips, cheeks flushed, and hope he hasn’t noticed I’ve spent the past five seconds checking him out from head to toe. Twice.
“I see you’re ready to go.” He nods toward the wrap draped over my arm and my clutch tucked underneath it.
“Then shall we?” Raine extends his hand in the direction of the narrow stairwell leading down to the first floor.
“Let’s.” I offer a nervous smile.
He slips his hand to the small of my back. I try not to notice the heat emanating from his hand. But it’s nearly impossible to ignore the jolt of electricity, which travels through his long, elegant fingers and enters the base of my spine.
I’m sure his hand has been on that exact spot when he’s guided me through a crowd or we’ve danced together at charity functions. His touch seemed incidental then. Tonight, there’s something about the placement and pressure of his hand that feels deliberate, significant. Or maybe I’m transferring my own well-guarded desire to an innocent gesture.
Raine guides me down the stairs, out the front door and into his car, his hand still on my back.
“Thanks for doing this,” I say. “I know it’s short notice.”
“I couldn’t leave you standing there dressed, with no place to go.” He tries to hide a smirk as he turns the ignition.
“How’d you know I was already dressed when I called?”
“You’ve never been ready when I came to pick you up. There’s not a chance in hell you threw this together in thirty minutes. You look…amazing.”
“Very clever,” I say. “And thank you, I think.”
“It’s too bad, actually.”
“What’s too bad?”
“That you were ready. I was hoping to catch you in a towel, just out of the shower,” he says, his eyes straight ahead.
My cheeks grow warm. I’m not offended, just surprised. Our social conversations have been mildly flirtatious, but never anything so easily decipherable. We prefer our flirtation so well-coded that only a world-class hacker has a chance in hell of sorting it all out.
I stifle a giggle. “Sorry to disappoint you.”
We ride in silence for a while. He pays strict attention to the road. I pretend to be fascinated by the houses and apartments that fly by my window. The same ones I’ve seen nearly every day for the past five years.
I also love to talk about books. There’s nothing more exciting than to finish a great story and cover it A to Z with other people, exploring different perspectives and points of view. So, if you see something on my shelf you’d like to talk about, send me a message and we’ll talk!
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