Thanks so much to Delilah for hosting me. I love dropping by her blog and chatting it up with the readers here! I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve been so wrapped up in watching the Olympics that I’ve let so many things sort of sneak up on me. The laundry—that might be the worst one yet. I’m pretty sure it’s about to grow legs and attack me… If I don’t show up to chat in the comments, send help. I’ve probably been drug off under the bed by a ferocious pair of yoga pants.
Sometimes the best things in life happen when we aren’t paying attention or looking for them. This last week I got some good news I wasn’t expecting. I met my boyfriend when I’d just decided to remain single. I got the phone call of a lifetime when I was looking for a reason to procrastinate. All sorts of things happen when you just don’t think anything of note is going to crop up in the next couple of days.
I think my favorite stories of how my friends have met their significant others go much the same way. They were out for groceries for a girl’s weekend and bumped buggies with this cute, geeky guy. They were focused on getting this great part in a community play and wound up practicing their lines to the man they’d marry. They were broken down on the side of the road and a really cute girl stopped in her pick-up truck and jack. Yes, all of those are real life stories. And I love them for their quirkiness, the uniqueness of how unexpected they are.
Sometimes it’s a little hard for me to decide how to—ah—encourage my hero and heroines into meeting. I don’t want things to be unbelievable, but the stories of happenstance are just the ones that tug at my heart.
I love books with meet cutes that make me laugh. I think Victoria Dahl takes the cake with that one. If you haven’t read her books, I highly suggest them. I really dig the powerful, immediate connection Nalini Singh’s changelings have. Then there are the instances where the characters lay eyes on each other and someone’s man/lady bits start doing funny things. I’m a fan of the show, Millionaire Matchmaker, and she calls that reaction your “picker”.
Some people have a pretty accurate picker, and some people just pick the wrong. That’s where a lot of the bad boy tropes come in. A girl just has to pick the one bad guy out of the bunch… until the bad guy she picks turns out to be a good one in disguise. I’ve never had a particularly good picker myself, so I empathize with my fellow poor-pickers. I like to chalk it up to interesting life experiences to fuel writing.
I’m giving away a copy of my latest release, Picture Her Bound, to someone who can either a) recommend a book with a really great meet-cute or b) share a story about how they met a significant other.
I’ll share my story first!
Christmas 2012 I was bound and determined to stay single. I went to a Christmas party where my friends wanted to introduce me to a couple single guy friends. I thanked them, but I was both newly out of a relationship and healing from surgery, so really uninterested. They made the introductions anyways. I shook my current boyfriend’s hand, said hello and walked away as fast as I could. I knew he was trouble—and I was right. But I kind of like his trouble, so we get along just fine.
Picture Her Bound, Bayou Bound 1
Officer Odalia Foucheaux is a desperate woman. Incriminating photographs of her after-hours job as a fetish model have been stolen, and she’s willing to break rules to get them back. Standing in her way? The very dominant bounty hunter Jacques Savoy.
Jacques has been watching out for Officer Foucheaux. He wants her safe from harm as much as he desires her body, her soul—and her submission. Odalia’s in trouble and struggling to walk the line of the law. His solution? Work together to find out who stole her pictures, what the thief wants and how to stop him. And if they find a pleasure unlike any other along the way, well, laissez les bons temps rouler.
Let the good times roll.
Odalia Foucheaux pulled her hair up in a messy knot on top of her head and glared at the man strapped to a metal pole in the men’s restroom. Through the windows behind her victim, the lights of New Orleans glittered as another Christmas drew to a close on the bayou. The drunken carousing was in full swing, but tonight it wasn’t her problem.
Tonight she was just a woman with a gun and a mission she hated more than her worst enemy.
The sounds of the loud bar echoed through the restroom, disguising the snitch’s babbling.
Kenny Douglas was a police informant known for caving under pressure. He’d given a lot of bad information over the years, and at least one officer had taken a bullet for this piece of shit’s bad intel.
“You’re crazy, bitch. Someone, help!” Kenny tried to twist, but the leather belt held him in place. He had a bump on his head, but she hadn’t been able to help that. He was a small man, about five-eight, just her size. Taking him by surprise had been her best option.
The law-abiding cop in her screamed, revolted by how low she’d sunk. But if she didn’t protect herself, no one would. It was a lesson she’d learned early on in life, but never had it brought her to such a dark place.
“I’m off the clock, Kenny. This little chat? It’s just between you and me.” Odalia sauntered toward him, hating herself and Kenny for putting her in this position. If she could put it all to rights, she could pretend like this chapter in her life had never happened at all.
“What do you want?” Sweat poured down Kenny’s brow, and his skin was bright red from the large quantities of alcohol he’d sucked down before going to relieve himself. Idiot hadn’t even realized who’d sent him more drinks through the course of the evening.
Besides, Odalia had needed the time to talk herself into this. There was no turning back once she’d begun. She’d always followed the rules, kept her nose clean and kept her life outside the uniform quiet. Until now.
“I’m going to ask you once, Kenny. Who wanted you to steal the camera?” She pushed her leather jacket back over her hips, letting the petty criminal catch a glimpse of the piece she carried. Not her officer-issued gun, she wasn’t stupid.
“I didn’t steal no camera. You got to believe me,” he wailed.
Odalia glared at the man. After the camera had turned up missing during a break in the photo shoot, she’d found a jacket with Kenny’s name stitched on the breast. It had been tossed over the barbed-wire fence around the studio her blazing-hot photographer friend had rented for the Christmas Eve shoot. She knew Kenny had been there. And she knew someone must have put him up to stealing the camera. Kenny wasn’t the brightest crayon in the box.
Which made her wonder, who put him up to it? Who knew about her off-the-clock gig?
She modeled lingerie, underwear and funky clothing for a couple of small businesses for their websites and advertisements, never showing her face. The work was commercial, but she’d wanted to do something different. Something more artistic, like the Inked photo shoot.
A local Dominant had asked her to do an artistic BDSM photo shoot, one that touched on that most private aspect of her lifestyle. For anyone else she’d have said no. But there was something about the chocolate-skinned man that got to her. The shoot had been more intense than many play sessions she’d had, and she’d allowed herself to go further than she would have with a new scene partner.
Her commanding officer wouldn’t understand the kinky nature of the photographs, wouldn’t see them for the beautiful portrayal of bondage and submission that they were.
She pulled the empty gun from her waistband. Her piece normally gave her comfort, but now it was a dead weight, pulling her down to the ground.
“Oh fuck.” Kenny thrashed, twisting around the pole, but the belt held him fast.
“Kenny, I’m not going to ask again.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about, crazy bitch!”
I don’t want to do this. I wish there was another way.
Odalia shook her head and sighed. “Kenny—”
Someone pounded on the bathroom door.
“Hey—” Kenny snapped his teeth together so loud they clicked.
Odalia lifted the gun and laid a finger over his lips. “Just a second,” she yelled over her shoulder.
The door burst inward. A man clothed head-to-toe in black barged in and tackled Odalia, wrapping his arms around her from behind.
She went down hard, grunting as she banged her knee, and the gun slid from her grasp. She knocked the side of her head on the floor, jarring her teeth. The scent of urine, grime and sweat filled her nostrils and her skin crawled, disgust churning her stomach. She kicked and thrashed, but the man was bigger and stronger than her.
“Don’t fight me, bébé,” a deep, husky voice said.
Odalia gasped. What the fuck was he doing here?
“This ain’t the way.” He hoisted her to her feet and grabbed the gun, shoving it in a deep coat pocket.
“Fils de putain,” she spat and twisted in his hold, but his grip on her arm was like iron.
“You.” He pointed at Kenny with his free hand. “Don’t utter a word of this. Do you know who I am?”
Kenny’s complexion resembled a ghost’s on All Hallow’s Eve. He nodded, eyes large. “Bounty hunter. Y-you’re Savoy.”
“You know who I work with?”
“A peep outta you and the gators’ll be your best friends,” he drawled, voice low and dangerous. “If I don’t get you, one of my team will.”
“Y-yes.” Kenny nodded hard enough that he cracked the back of his head against the metal pole.
Jacques Savoy turned toward her. His dark complexion communicated tightly wound aggression. “I’d appreciate it if you didn’t speak disrespectfully of my mamma. Now, you’re coming with me, bébé.”
“No, I am not.”
Odalia tried to wrench her arm out of his grasp, but the bastard wasn’t letting her go. He dragged her through the drunken crowd of the Bourbon Street bar and out onto the strip, ducking onto a side street at the first opportunity. The entire district around the iconic street was one big party every night of the year, but the side streets were quieter, though no cleaner. She smelled the build-up of refuse over the Christmas holiday, stale beer and other elements she didn’t want to identify.
“Let. Go. Of. Me.” She kicked the back of his leg and twisted, getting free of his grasp and whirling away.
Odalia dashed toward the beckoning light of the street, only to be jerked back by her jacket. She threw an elbow and hit his ribs. Her lower arm went numb, and he didn’t so much as grunt.
“That’s it,” he grumbled and shoved her into the nearest brick wall, pinning her.
“Fuck you,” she growled and tried to throw her weight against him. She might have been obedient and eager during their photo shoot, but this wasn’t the set, and it wasn’t a dungeon.
“Take a deep breath and use your fucking head, officer.” He spat the last word.
Odalia bit her lip. His voice jarred her to clarity. Her body reacted to him despite her resolve not to. He was too potent to resist. She hated whoever had orchestrated the theft. She hated herself for sinking low. And she hated this man for seeing her at her worst.
Hot tears of rage fell on her cheek. She was powerless, completely helpless after she’d vowed to never again allow herself to be a victim. And here she was. A victim once more.
“Shh, bébé. Shh. I’m here. We’re going to fix this.” His arms wrapped around her from behind, and his big body cradled her.
For once in her life, she wanted to believe the lies someone spoke.
If only Jacques could fix it.