Guest Author Kris Pearson, Contemporary romance – today and yesterday
Guest Author Kris Pearson, Contemporary romance – today and yesterday
Everything changes. You’d think the girl-meets-boy / there are problems / problems are solved until there’s a happy ending scenario wouldn’t have evolved too far. But think again. It’s not just the obvious differences like photos taking over from illustrations on the covers.
The whole fabric of society is different. Years ago, women were paid appreciably less than men for doing the same jobs. “Ha!” I hear you exclaiming. “Is that really so different today?” Well, yes it is – although not everywhere, I have to concede. But women are now doing jobs that previously they wouldn’t have been considered for. Scientific jobs. Engineering jobs. I come across female plumbers and electricians on building sites. There are female astronauts and airline pilots. Female line-haul operators driving huge rigs. Female fire-fighters and soldiers – doing front-line stuff instead of back-room clerical work.
Our romance heroines have now broken out of the teacher/nurse/secretary mold, and they’re much more fun because of it. If you’re a reader, your cast of characters has become hugely more interesting. If you’re a writer, the sky’s the limit. And the whole power balance is different. In times past, the boss might slam his secretary down on his desk, she’d gasp and protest, and he’d go for it anyway. Bodices really were ripped. Nice girls didn’t ‘agree’, so they had to be taken pretty much by force. Some of it was damn close to rape.
Now? He’d get a smart slap on the face, or a knee in the balls. Go girls!
My next heroine is Sammie, and her book is called RESISTING NICK. Sammie takes a temporary job in a fitness center as a fill-in until her passport arrives. Then she’s off to see the world. Her plans just might be sabotaged by Nick, the hunky owner of the chain of fitness centres. He’s all muscles and bad-boy charm, and Sammie has a damn good go at slapping him…
In OUT OF BOUNDS, my heroine Jetta is a decorator – but a decorator of very old heritage homes. And my hero, Anton, is an architect – of cutting-edge stylish new buildings. They find themselves joint owners of a house which he intends to demolish for a new project. She’s adamant he won’t. As they start to clean it up for temporary occupation, it becomes evident that problems lie ahead.
Here’s an excerpt from Anton’s point of view:
From this angle the sun lit Jetta’s breasts perfectly. She’d been braless under her T-shirt that morning. Not expecting visitors. Not expecting him, for sure.
She’d been hot and dusty, soft and gently jiggling.
But she’d dressed up to go out. Now she’d changed back into the same thin old shirt she’d worn that morning and he could see the bra she’d left under it.
A very low-cut bra. With a just-visible band of lace or embroidery on the top edge of the cups. Surely her nipples were barely covered? It was black or chocolate or wine-red; the outline darker against her pale skin. Just the thought of that pale fragrant skin made him swallow.
He loved underwear. Always thought silly shiny scraps of lace and ribbon enhanced a woman’s body—not to mention they gave him the pleasure of slowly revealing what lay concealed beneath them.
He took another gulp of beer. His groin prickled and tightened as he speculated.
Damn. Not now. Keep her annoyed. Keep her at a distance.
“I’ll start moving in tonight,” he said.
Jetta whirled around and faced him. “You will not!” she ground out between clenched teeth. “You said Monday, and as far as I’m concerned by Monday lunchtime I’ll have the proof I need to stop you from moving in at all.”
“Not going to happen, babes. Half this old dump is mine.”
“We’ll see about that.”
Her gorgeous breasts rose with a deeply gasped breath of indignation. The sensation in his groin intensified.
“You can’t move in before the funeral anyway,” she added.
“What time’s that?”
“Ten on Monday morning—and you’re not invited.”
“Fine by me.” He tore his eyes away from her sunlit breasts. “I presume you wouldn’t have started ripping up the kitchen floor if you’d invited people back here afterward?”
She shook her head. “I arranged everything yesterday with the funeral director and the matron of the Eventide Hospital, and put a notice in tonight’s paper.” She bowed her head. “I’ve let Gran’s closest friends and neighbors know what’s happening. A simple service at the chapel in the cemetery, then morning tea in the hospital lounge, and that’s it. Indecently fast, but there won’t be many people.”
“Well, while you’re drinking tea, I’ll get the legal proof sorted for you.”
Her chin shot up again and her eyes fixed on his. “God, you’re horrible! It’s not a tea-party—I’m burying my lovely Gran. How would you feel if she were yours?” Furious, she reached out, snapped a peach off the tree, and fired it at him. It hit him on the chest and then glanced off onto the lawn.
“Feeling better now?” he asked, wiping the juicy splodge off his skin.
“I won’t feel better until I know this is some sort of stupid dream. Or nightmare.” She huffed out a deep sigh.
He tipped the last drops of beer from his bottle and set it down by the trunk of the tree. “Let’s get back to your nightmare kitchen then.”
Jetta flounced off in front of him, calling back over her shoulder, “And don’t leave glass in my garden—bring it inside for the recycling bin.”
He hoped his laugh would set her even further on edge.
That’s the way. Get her rattled. Keep her mad at you. This is only going to work if you stay well clear of her.
He bent for the bottle and strolled inside.
Jetta poked at the pile of linoleum fragments with the toe of her sneaker. “You don’t really think there’s asbestos in this, do you?” She looked so anxious that his resolve to keep her on edge softened somewhat.
“It’s probably too old,” he said, bending to examine it. “When vinyl first replaced linoleum they sometimes used asbestos in the backing, but this stuff looks solid all through.”
“I knew that,” she said, but she swept up the rest of the fragments and the dust with care, and tied it into an old plastic grocery bag before carrying it out to the growing pile on the front lawn.
He surveyed the devastation as he unpacked the tape and roller and his old brushes. Her final sweeping had removed almost all of the remains; the finish was not too bad at all.
“Have a scrape at that last piece,” he suggested, indicating a patch where the glue had been thicker. “Good result otherwise.”
Jetta ignored him and glared at the cupboards instead. “One day,” she said, “I’ll do something about all those pink doors.”
“We could whack a bit of white over them?”
“No, the surrounds are too creamy. White would look terrible.”
“Won’t be for long enough to worry about.”
She sent him a sub-zero glare. “Maybe a neutral sisal shade until I can afford to do the proper kitchen remodeling,” she challenged.
“Waste of paint. It’ll be gone in a few months.”
She poked her tongue out and turned away. A pointed little tongue as pink as the cupboard doors.
He took a deep breath. No distractions. Certainly no imagining that moist rosy tongue mating hotly with his, or sliding like silk over his skin once he’d moved into the bedroom next to hers…
“We’ll start in the dining room,” he suggested in a tone as frustrated as he felt. “I’ll unhook those god-awful curtains, and if we drag the sideboard out together you can start taping around the architraves.” He hoped he sounded businesslike. He didn’t feel it. The combination of her cute little body and sassy face and tart comments had him way on edge.
“So what are you going to do?” She set her hands on her hips and glared at him.
“Follow along the edges with a paintbrush. Then I’ll roll the walls.”
“I’ll give some of them a wipe first—they’re pretty dusty.”
And half a minute later she was crawling along the floor, pert bottom angled toward him, scrubbing a damp rag over the top of the skirting boards.
Anton stood back and watched her shuffling and shifting, rump in the air. As she worked, the old cream T-shirt crept higher and higher until a slice of slender waistline was exposed. She seemed entirely innocent of her posture, or of any effect it might have on him.
He turned and sought refuge in the kitchen, trying hard not to imagine ripping her shorts down and diving between her warm, bare, slightly parted thighs.
Man, you’ve gotta stop thinking things like this about her!
Question: What color did Jetta want to paint the cupboards?
Visit Kris at http://www.krispearson.com
Buy OUT OF BOUNDS at http://amzn.com/B008RH0LAC
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