What Goes On Behind Closed Doors?
By Donna Alward
A big huge Thank You to Delilah for hosting me today! It’s kind of a special day. I have a print release from Samhain Publishing that hits shelves today and anytime a book releases it’s a reason to celebrate, I think!
SOLD TO THE HIGHEST BIDDER evolved from a simple idea: what if a wife bought her husband off a bachelor auction block? The first question of course is…why is a married man in a bachelor auction? Turns out the answer that came back to me was that the marriage wasn’t exactly a functioning relationship. In fact, the moment the heroine sees him on the stage is the first time she’s clapped eyes on him since right after their wedding. Over a decade earlier.
Most of my published works are written for Harlequin Romance, and as such the bedroom door is closed. Sometimes stuff happens behind those closed doors, and sometimes not. I’m okay with that—the emotional journey is always first and foremost after all! But every now and again I like to write a little hotter. Sometimes I write those “closed door” scenes just for me. They don’t make it into the book, but I know what’s happened. And knowing the details, I know exactly what the consequences—emotional and otherwise—will be for the characters.
I have more latitude with my Samhain books, and I really enjoyed letting loose with this story. Dev is pretty darn sexy, and Ella would rather forget just how spectacular the fireworks are between them. But of course, she can’t! And I let the door stay wide open for those scenes. It was pretty fun, actually, and I ended up being quite happy with the results. One reader reviewed the book and commented that, “A reader would expect this book to be ‘hot’ and it really is. What I didn’t expect was for the ‘hot’ scenes to be so well integrated into the plot that the story would not have moved forward without them. How, when, where, and why the hero and heroine make love is woven seamlessly into the plot.”
I’ve got an excerpt for you—more of a teaser of what’s to come, really. It’s the first night Ella and Dev have seen each other since she left him, and they’ve toasted their troubles with a good amount of bourbon…
He tried to turn her and steer her to the bedroom. Good Lord, she was going to have a head on her in the morning. He hadn’t meant for her to get this tipsy. Of course, she was a little bit of a thing. Compact, a bundle of energy and passion. Her breast grazed his hand and he gritted his teeth. If she hated him now, she’d really despise him in the morning if they slept together. Almost as much as he’d hate himself. He was in control. It was time she knew that. If she thought she’d get what she came for easily, she had another thing coming.
He’d take what he wanted first.
“You’re so tall. You know that, right?”
He smiled. She could make it so hard to hate her, especially when she used that soft, slightly plaintive tone like she had to have it or she’d just die. “Yeah, rumor has it.”
“No, I mean really tall. Tall like women like their men to be tall. So that we have to tip our head back and look way up.” She sighed, her sex-kitten eyelids drifting half-shut. “Sexy tall.”
“Shut up, Ell.” A muscle ticked in his jaw and in another strategic location. If she kept looking at him that way he was going to find it very difficult to put her in bed and walk away. But he’d be damned if he’d give in to her tonight. No matter what it cost him.
They took two steps.
She gripped his other arm so she was facing him, looking up at him with her dark eyes and lips red and slightly puffy, ripe to be kissed. He swallowed, hard. God, how he’d loved her.
She did it then, standing up on her tiptoes, melding her mouth to his, the flavor of the bourbon seducing them tongue-to-tongue. His mouth opened in an instinctive reaction to feeling hers on it. He lifted one hand and cupped her head, sending the prim twist askew, hairpins dropping to the floor. Her breasts were firm against his chest and she let go briefly to tug at the hem of his T-shirt.
“Take this off,” she murmured, pulling the hem up over his abs. “Not in front of the bar. Not for Katie McGrew.” She said the other woman’s name with just enough venom for Dev to enjoy the surprising fact she was jealous. “Take it off for me.”
For her. The words fired him up and he reached behind his head, grabbing at the collar and pulling it over in one swift movement. This much. He’d allow this much. He’d let her get a good hard reminder of what she’d thrown away. But no more. They didn’t dare go any further.
Her fingers trailed down over his skin, the sensitive skin of his ribs, down his shoulder and to his elbow. “Mmm.”
He slid his hand over her blouse, allowing himself one gratifying handful as he kissed her fully. Despite the Jim Beam or the years that had passed, her taste was as familiar to him as the smell of sweetgrass. Ella. His Ella. He kept his mouth fused to hers as he blindly undid the buttons of her blouse, filling his hands with her breasts once the fabric fell away. Her hand slid around to cup his bottom through his jeans.
A murmur sounded deep in her throat and he knew he had to stop, reminded himself that sex right now would only make things worse. He couldn’t afford to spend Saturday dealing with post-coital fallout. She’d blame him for…what? There would be something, he was sure, and it would be all his fault and none of hers. No, tonight he’d leave her wanting more. He was the one with the self-control here. He’d get her to damn near ache for him, the way he’d ached for her for months after she’d abandoned him. And then maybe he’d sign her precious papers. After his lawyer’d looked at them. His terms, he reminded himself. She owed him that.
It took all his resolve, but he backed away, leaving her standing stunned and utterly beautiful.
“Go to bed, Ella.” He pushed her towards the single bedroom. “If you don’t, you’ll hate yourself in the morning far worse than you hate me right now.”
She turned and stared up at him with dazed, hurt eyes. He couldn’t bear for her to argue, so he walked out into the cool September air, letting the screen door slap behind him.
Thanks for sharing today with me! You can catch up with me at my site, or on twitter—@DonnaAlward.