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Guest Blogger: Ashleigh Raine (Contest)
Friday, June 22nd, 2012

Instant Attraction

Ever walk into a room full of strangers and see someone you just have to know? It’s not the smile, the clothes, the demeanor, it’s everything under the surface, creating a connection drawing you two together. It’s not necessarily lust or anything romantic.

This is the special thing we try to capture in our characters, in our books. (We say “our” because Ashleigh Raine is two authors writing under one pen name.) We’re not talking about love at first sight. We’re talking about something deeper, stronger, undeniable, something that’s difficult to describe, and you don’t always know it when it’s happening. It doesn’t matter what the person looks like, it’s what he or she just is like.

Starstruck by Ashleigh RaineIn Starstruck, Micah is a very hot hunk of manflesh, and Jenna’s a gorgeous sweetheart, but that’s not what makes their meeting special. In fact, they don’t even have much time to be attracted to each other by the time their worlds collide. They’re on the set of a television show where Jenna is a background actor and Micah is one of the stars.

“Rolling!” was shouted, and the makeup lady stepped away from Micah.



Jenna repeated the same actions, glad she’d already done it twice before since her mind was still whirling from her close call. Crystal’s unprofessional phone interruption had done one good thing in this case—increased the tension. Both actors were more in the moment, the argument resonating with a stronger passion than earlier.

“I think you’re wrong.” Crystal spun toward Micah, glaring, hands fisted at her hips.

There was less room to get around Micah and Crystal, but Jenna figured she could still ease by without looking too unnatural. If her fake ducking drop before hadn’t been a problem, sliding behind the arguing duo shouldn’t be either.

Micah whipped around to face Crystal. “Didn’t you see—” Punctuating his words, he swung his arm out in a wide gesture.

Jenna tried to duck, but there wasn’t enough time or space. Micah’s arm struck her across the face, and she fell backward, landing flat on her ass, staring up at Mr. Sexy M.D. himself.

Crap. Somehow she didn’t think she would escape unnoticed this time.
In thirty years of acting Micah had done just about everything…except punch an extra in the face. How great for him that he’d reached a new fucking low.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t see you there. Are you okay?” He sank to the floor next to the poor girl while Steve, the First Assistant Director, shouted for a medic. Micah didn’t see any blood, and the girl’s eyes were open, wide open, shining a bright blue right up at him. Before he could offer her a hand, she started scrambling to her feet.

“I’m fine. Really.”

Taking her elbow, he helped her the rest of the way to standing. She was trembling, which made him feel like an even bigger shit. Even the small smile and whispered “Thank you” she gave him before stepping away didn’t ease his conscience.

How could he not have seen her? Had she done the same cross in every take? Dammit, he was as bad as Crystal, ignoring everything outside his little bubble and fucking things up in the process.

After she walks away something deep within him makes him seek her out before it’s too late. Something more that pushes him to make plans to see her that night. Neither one of them is aware of the deep connection growing between them. Not yet anyway.

Acting on Impulse by Ashleigh RaineIn Acting on Impulse, Samantha is a curvy single mom saying good night to her daughter over the phone while at a Hollywood party and Connor is an A-list actor who just wanted to find a quiet moment away from the crowd. What they find in each other is instant attraction.

Sam jumped and spun around, clasping her evening bag to her chest like a shield, body automatically shifting into fight-or-flight mode. Dark night. Deep voice. Tall man. Loud party. Would anyone hear her scream?

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to startle you.” He raised his hands palms outward and stepped back and away from her, showing her he meant no harm, she assumed, but it also put his face in shadow.

The words he’d spoken earlier sank through her initial adrenaline rush. Bunnies? So he’d been listening in on her conversation. Had he been making fun of her? She couldn’t decide whether to be angry or embarrassed.

“Do you always eavesdrop on women telling bedtime stories to their precocious two-year-old daughters?”

“I have a weakness for stories with happy endings.” He moved forward, into the light, and smiled wide, warm and beautiful. There was nothing condescending and everything welcoming in the tilt of those full, kissable lips.

“They’re the best kind.” She smiled back, unable to maintain any kind of anger against that smile. Or that voice. Or those ocean-blue eyes with the crinkles at the corners, proof that he smiled a lot.

Sam really, really, really liked being the reason he was smiling right now.

The attraction between them was instant and undeniable. Sure, some of it was on the surface, but it was more about what that surface said about who was underneath. They were drawn to each other.

In Driven to Distraction, Blaina and Jay are in instant lust with each other for sure, but it’s not all on the surface. Not at all. They shared a very deep love of cars as well as a love of sparring with each other that grows from the very moment they meet.

A dark purple 1970 Barracuda convertible parked on the side of the road, hood up, complete with hard-body owner leaning against the fender just in front of the driver side door. Muscular bronze arms crossed over a white T-shirted chest. Faded blue jeans that looked so well-worn they’d be soft to the touch, showcased his long legs, ending with black, work-booted feet, one crossed over the other. It was like the man had stepped out of her favorite car fantasy, instantly popping the clutch and throwing her libido into high gear.

She tried to tamp her excitement, telling herself that a smart woman would not jump a strange man on the side of the road. But there was no reason she couldn’t offer help. And whatever happened afterward…

At a break in the center median, she hooked a U-turn. The Camaro’s tires squeaked as she whipped the car around.

Come to mama, baby. Her nipples tightened in anticipation under her white cotton, ribbed tank top, and she squirmed to give her cunt some breathing room in her painted-on, low-rise, dark green camouflage jeans. As she passed on the opposite side of the street, she stole glances at the fine hunk of manflesh, wanting to verify he was real and not a sexual mirage.

Wait a minute. Was he checking her out, too? His dark sun-glassed gaze followed her path as she U-turned again at the next intersection and pulled up behind the Barracuda.

When she stepped out of the car, his gaze locked on her. Even through the sunglasses, she felt his stare searing her body from head to toe—pausing at a few choice places in between—with each of her approaching steps. Or maybe it was the Southern California heat causing her body’s temperature to rise.

Slowly, he peeled himself away from his car and turned his damn fine body toward her, looking relaxed and sexy as he looped one thumb in a pocket. Sweat trickled between her breasts, her temperature jumping another ten degrees. This close, the man was an even tastier roadside attraction. His blond hair was cut short, accentuating his strong cheekbones, a slightly crooked nose and chiseled jaw. One half of his mouth ticked upward in an interested grin as he gave her another slow once over, pausing at her braless chest.

Blaina cocked her head to the side and returned the favor, undressing him with her eyes. Holy moly, if reality was anything like the carnal picture her mind was presenting…

Somehow she managed to choke out through all the accumulating drool, “I’ve got tools. You need a hand?

Think about all the people you meet on any given day. Not every one of them will stand out in your memory. Maybe you’ll share a quick conversation with the woman ringing you up at the grocery store, or you’ll wave at the mailman as he drives by. An hour or two later many of those meets will fade into the background of your mind to eventually disappear. So what is it that makes others stand out? Why is it that a quick glance across a crowded restaurant where all you do is meet another person’s eyes can stick with you for years? Is it chemical? Is it something almost cellular that connects you to that person, even if you haven’t shared a word?

Attraction is fascinating, mysterious, intimate, amazing, and is a feeling everyone understands and has experienced, yet when you break it down it can be almost possible to define. It’s like the old saying about pornography: you know it when you see it. Same with attraction: you know it when you feel it. Playing with this is why we write romance–we love feeling that pull along with our characters, breaking it down so we understand it and fall in love along with them.

Now you tell us. What’s your favorite instant attraction experience, either fictional or your own life story? We’ll give away a digital copy of Acting on Impulse to one lucky commenter, winner chosen Saturday morning, June 23, 2012.

10 comments to “Guest Blogger: Ashleigh Raine (Contest)”

  1. Lisa J
    · June 22nd, 2012 at 10:05 am · Link

    My favorite is when the couple is attracted to each other, but one does or says something the other doesn’t like and they mistake the attraction for dislike.

  2. Karen H
    · June 22nd, 2012 at 10:41 am · Link

    When my husband first saw me at a friend’s house, he instantly knew he wanted to date me and had our mutual friend introduce us. We dated for three years, then drifted apart, and he married someone else in the meantime. When that marriage ended, he called me, and we went out on a date that turned into the most magical evening ever. We were married on New Year’s Eve that year.

  3. leann
    · June 22nd, 2012 at 12:30 pm · Link

    My story isn’t about people, but a love story in another way. My father had passed away & my daughter & I were emotional wrecks. It didn’t seem like either one of us could jump the hurdle & smile over anything. Until my daughters best friend got a puppy. That little bit of fur had a brother…who needed a good home with loving people.. My daughter smiled & laughed so hard tears just fell. Needless to say, we had our reason to go on. Our instant attraction to another has kept us smiling for almost 10 years now. We thank the Lord every day for giving us TJ to love! 🙂

  4. Linda Gaytan
    · June 22nd, 2012 at 1:40 pm · Link

    A personal favorite of mine was when I was attending a backyard B.B.Q at a friends house. I was looking around the yard just seeing who was present. I really didn’t know a whole lot of the guest, maybe one or two. Felt totally out of place.

    Then spotted this really cute guy leaning against a tree looking my way. I just kept looking around the area, thinking nothing of it. I knew he wasn’t looking at me. And of course I had to take another look, HELLO! cute guy. And I notice he’s still staring my way. So I decided to really look at him, thinking he’s checking someone else out near me. And then he crooks his finger, calling the person over. I causally look around to see who it was and didn’t notice someone moving towards him. So I look over at him again. And he mouths “Come here”. I point at myself and he nods.

    Now, I’m totally freaking out and I start over. Only I was so nervous I accidentally walked to close to the pool and fell in. Long story short he pulled me out, handed me a towel, a beer and a quite corner to warm me up.

  5. Kathleen Charles
    · June 22nd, 2012 at 1:44 pm · Link

    I remember an instant physical reaction to a fictional character. A cover model, actually. When I gazed at Denise Agnew’s cover for Major Pleasure, I had to glance away for a moment. I think my cheeks turned pink. It was as if he was looking at me, really looking. It was a major turn-on, a real physical reaction, and I rarely am moved by romance book covers. Whew, this one was a memorable exception. 😳

  6. merriedth
    · June 22nd, 2012 at 2:04 pm · Link

    My experience with instant attraction goes back a few summers the one look where have to do a double take and then just sneaking while I was sneaking glances so was he and we kept catching each others eyes the only step left to take was to introduce ourselves and that led to a very wonderful and lasting love…

    But I love leann story…about the puppy that was so sweet…

  7. ELF
    · June 22nd, 2012 at 2:38 pm · Link

    Friends had been trying to match me up with a guy who was supposed to come to my job as a temp. The problem was, both of us are very shy and not at all outgoing. It took us a long time to finally set up a date but once we got over that hump…the rest was easy and we have been together ever since!

  8. Fedora
    · June 22nd, 2012 at 10:50 pm · Link

    How fun, Ashleigh! I can’t say I recall an instant attraction moment for me in real life–I love reading about them though! It seems a special kind of magic when two people experience that “zing” that connects them 🙂 And then I enjoy seeing the process of them getting to know each other and watching that attraction play out as they do!

  9. Rhiannon Rowland
    · June 23rd, 2012 at 2:59 am · Link

    Hmm, I cannot even think of any instant attraction stories at the moment. Probably because I am up at 3am! 😆 I actually had an intense dislike for my husband the first time that I met him. I thought he was a big ol Jerk! Of course, I was mistaken…he was actually being really sweet at the time and I didn’t know it. We’ve been married 16 years now and I am the luckiest woman to have him.
    I know that I’ve read many books with that instant attraction, I love the chemistry between them, it about knocks you over just reading it.

  10. Ashleigh Raine Jen
    · June 23rd, 2012 at 12:23 pm · Link

    I loved reading all of your stories. Leann, yours made me cry. It was heartbreaking and heartwarming and beautiful.

    I let pick one of the commenters and, Lisa J., you’re the winner of the digital copy of Acting on Impulse. Congratulations! Email me at ashleigh at ashleighraine dot com with your preferred digital type, and I’ll email you a copy of the book.

    Thanks to everyone for sharing their instant attraction stories.

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