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Sometimes you hit it…sometimes, not so much
Monday, February 7th, 2011

I’ve been seeing some very nice reviews for True Heart!

“…The tenderness and erotism Honey, True and Lonny produce is so spectacular that I can’t help but embrace the lovingness they have for each other. I love how Honey and True openly confess their tormented past, shedding the painfulness in their lives yet produce some clarity and calmness for what the future holds for them. I love how these characters are not your usual cookie cutter characters…”~ Just Erotic Romance

“…All and all this was a great quick, hot read filled with two very sexy cowboys. I will be putting it in my keeper pile…” ~Whipped Cream Reviews

“…True Heart is an enticing tale that quickly weaves it way into a compelling story about finding your way to a second chance of love. I thought the story behind True was fascinating, he is a captivating character. A delightful read…” ~Sensual Reads

“I have a definite soft spot in my heart for the strong silent type and True in this story…that’s my kind of guy. A little rough around the edges that loves as hard as he works. Can I PLEASE have a True? Man alive.” Taryn Elliott’s blog

And then there’s this little story I started that stalled out at chapter five because my heroine’s a bitch, but so’s one of the heroes. I’ll prove it to you. PLEASE don’t hold this little snippet against me. It’s unedited and very raw, but you will see my dilemma.

The little red Miata ground to a halt, kicking up caliche to pepper the porch’s underskirting like bomb shrapnel.

Joe Halloran suppressed a grin and tipped up the cowboy hat riding low over his brow with a lazy finger. Minutes ago, when the sound of an engine screamed down the long private drive, he’d groaned because this was his first break of the day, and he really wasn’t up to company. But as soon as he’d seen who it was, he settled deeper into his rocking chair.

Trouble had arrived. And about damn time.

He slid his boots inches to the left on the porch railing to get a better view as the driver ground the gear into park.

Joe glanced to the side. “What the hell do you suppose she’s doin’ here, Cam?”

His buddy grunted from the beneath the hat he had dipped low enough to shade his entire face. “Not a clue. Suppose her old man didn’t tell her?”

Joe gave a snort, lowered his brim again and settled deeper into his rocking chair, ready to play. What had been the end of a hellacious day had suddenly taken a mighty interesting turn.

A car door slammed. Between the porch slats, he watched a pair of long legs scissor with brisk precision. High heels tapped on the steps.

Still, he didn’t give a single indication he’d heard her. Instead, taking a deep breath and scratching his chest.

A fingernail dug into his forearm. “Hey, cowboy.”

He muttered, but didn’t move a muscle. She knew his damn name.

Her nail poked him again. “Cowboy, wake up.”

The hint of irritation in her silky voice gratified him in a way that didn’t bear too much introspection. He leaned back his head and squinted at her. “Peaches!” he exclaimed, a grin stretching his mouth. “Long time, no see.”

Stormy Jordan’s gaze narrowed into a mean glare. Yeah, she hated the nickname because she knew he’d given it to her based on the shape of her delectable ass. To make matters worse, the name had stuck like glue when her daddy began calling her it too. Funny, she’d never told him why she detested it so much.

“Cowboy,” she said, her voice dripping with syrup. “How ‘bout you move your butt and go get my bags?”

Again, he tipped his hat up to stare into a pair of silvery-blue eyes that cut him like the Ginsu knife. “You talkin’ to me, ma’am?” he said, deliberately slow because he knew it irked the hell out of her.

Her dark brows lowered over that cold stare. “Well, who the hell else would I be talkin’ to? My bags? I’d like to get a shower. I’ve been on the road since dawn.”

Still, he didn’t move. He let his gaze slide over her curves, taking a slow detour downward then up again. When his gaze reached her reddening face again, one side of his mouth twitched. He could almost hear the steam hissing.

A toe tapped impatiently. “Since you don’t have anything better to do…”

He arched a brow and bolted forward in his chair, rising so swiftly she didn’t have a chance to move back. “Sure thing, ma’am,” he said, crowding her against the rail. “I’ll get on it right away, ma’am.” Only he made another slow perusal of her body to make sure she knew he was talking about more than her damn suitcase.

She cleared her throat and side-stepped him. “Cowboy, don’t get ’em dirty.”

“Now sweetheart, that would be a cryin’ damn shame.”

Cam hid a smile as Stormy stomped to the far side of the porch, and Joe ambled down the steps to her car. Those two had always been at each other’s throats.

Watching them spar was more exciting than any UFC fight and far bloodier.

Still, as much as they poked and prodded at each other, he’d never seen either of them back away. And Stormy always came back for more, so he assumed she liked it.

Their own interactions were quieter, but no less intense. The woman had a way of setting a man’s libido on fire even while she did her best to make him feel two feet tall or like he had two left feet. It was a talent. One that had kept the boys flocking all over this very porch when she’d been in high school. Which had kept Joe mean and edgy because he’d wanted her, even back then when she was still jail bait.

The years hadn’t dulled the edge of her attraction. Sun streaked blond hair was held up in a clip, exposing her delicate neck and ears. Her black tee was two sizes too small, emphasizing the swell of her B-cup breasts and revealing the sliver of bare skin between the shirt and the top of her tight jeans. That hint of firm belly was enough to make him hard enough to hammer a nail.

He recrossed his legs and interlaced his fingers to let them rest above the swell of his cock. If she looked close enough she’d know how she affected him. Even after all this time.

Two years ago, he’d made the mistake of surprising her with a kiss. He could still remember the softness of her lush mouth, the way her curves had fit against him. Something he’d never told Joe and never would.

The kiss hadn’t meant a thing to Stormy. She’d probably only been experimenting and forgotten about it long ago. But he hadn’t. And sometimes, late at night he pulled out that memory when he needed release. Her face, that mouth, had inspired many a late night fantasy. However, he knew she wasn’t for him. Stormy Jordan was destined to be some rich man’s trophy, not some cowboy’s girl.

Joe popped the trunk and walked around to the rear of her car. Two cases, both leather and with a designer logo stamped all over the hide, lay inside. He picked up the first and set it on the ground beside him, then hefted the second, larger case. Footsteps clicked down the steps, but he didn’t glance around the open trunk door. He placed the large case on the gravel road and slammed down the trunk.

He bent to pick it up, but it slid to the side, landing hard, dust billowing up and laying a fine powder over the burnished leather. His fingers wrapped around the handle, but before he lifted the case to right it, a foot landed on the back of his hand, the heel grinding.

Joe pursed his lips, then aimed a glare at the woman whose features were set, her eyes alert. “Better lift that shoe, sweetheart, or more than your suitcase is gonna be sittin’ in the dirt.”

“I told you to be careful,” she said softly.

“Darlin’, sometimes I can be,” he murmured. “But I think this thing needs a firmer hand.” He let go of the case and twisted his wrist to grab her ankle, then slowly slid his hand up her calf and over her knee.

She didn’t pull away. Didn’t gasp or flinch. Joe kept on going, rising up her inner thigh. When he was inches from feminine heat, she called him on his bluff, her hand reaching down to shove it away. “Think you can handle it from here, cowboy?”

Joe drew in a long slow breath, inhaling her spicy scent. “Why don’t you just wait and see?” Then he lifted the bag, reached for the smaller one and turned on his heel.

Behind him, he heard the crunch of her heels. His gaze lifted to Cam’s, and he arched a brow.

Cam’s expression was neutral, and he glanced away.

Joe trudged up the steps, Stormy right behind him.

They had Stormy to themselves, but she didn’t know it yet. His mind spun with the possibilities. Ones that didn’t have to leave Cam in the dust—if he was willing to play along. But mostly thinking about how soft her skin had felt beneath the scrape of his callused palm, and the little quiver he’d detected before she’d snatched away the prize.

He had years of “Stormy” fantasies stored away. A whole damn menu of acts he wanted to perform—some not legal in most southern states. If she gave him even the slightest hint she was interested, he wasn’t going to let a little thing like the fact she was daddy’s little girl get in the way.

I don’t think Joe or Stormy deserve a happy ending. How about you? Have any ideas how I can salvage these two unlikeable people? Or should I consign this stinker to the manure pile?

5 comments to “Sometimes you hit it…sometimes, not so much”

  1. Fedora
    Comment
    1
      · February 7th, 2011 at 10:14 am · Link

    Hmm… DD, currently they seem a little too aloof and sure of themselves; being so bossy and overconfident usually isn’t a way to make friends… BUT we don’t know any of their backstory yet–usually you can turn things around if you let us see what/how they came to have such an antagonistic relationship to each other and why they’re such obnoxious characters :) Plus, if you can peel away some layers so that we can see that either they aren’t this way to everyone else and/or they’ve changed somehow in the time they’ve been away from each other, that will do a lot to win us over… curious to see whether you plan to proceed :D



  2. Brandy W
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    2
      · February 7th, 2011 at 11:05 am · Link

    Okay I don’t like Stormy at all. She sounds like a rich privileged bitch and at this moment I can only hope she just goes away for the real heroine to come in. I have a hard time with heroines who think they are better than everyone else. Stormy falls into the don’t like arena of journalists and heiresses.

    Joe I don’t mind as much. Men too sure of themselves can be put in their place I’m sure. A few moments of self-doubt and questioning of things. He could be compensating for something in his past. I guess for a guy I don’t mind him being an ass for a little bit.



  3. Taryn
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    3
      · February 7th, 2011 at 3:01 pm · Link

    Well then…how cool to see my blog up there in your ‘sometimes you hit it’ portion of the post!

    Man, I did love True. *sigh*

    Now–as for the rest of this…
    I like strong females – and sometimes the bitchier the better. As long as there’s a reason for it. Making her sympathetic is key.
    Like in Cari Quinn’s latest release, Reveal Me, she has a girl much like this one. Alana is uber bitchy, but definitely redeemed.

    I think that’s the key.
    The whys and the hows make you want to root for them. If she’s just feeling entitled, then it’s not a good enough reason, imho.

    There’s so much you can work with here, I wouldn’t throw it away.

    8)



  4. Jen B.
    Comment
    4
      · February 7th, 2011 at 10:27 pm · Link

    Actually, I don’t think Joe and Stormy deserve the happy ending. I am thinking that Joe and Cam or Cam and Stormy should get the HEA. Then the remaining character can have their own story. That way you get plenty of time for character growth and then everyone gets their HEA.



  5. Delilah
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    5
      · February 8th, 2011 at 8:58 am · Link

    Thanks for the food for thought, ladies! I’ll put this one on the back burner for a while. See if any of your advice marinates in the story. In the meantime, Moses Brown is tickling my ear.