Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Title Woes Part Deux--and My Current Hero

Kiss Me, Kill Me; Don't Tempt Me; Family Plots; Kiss Me Again; Never Kiss Me Again....

It goes on and on. I won't know for a while yet, which title they choose. The suspense is killing. I need a big glass of wine. Or maybe two...

I am, however, having fun with the next Bravo book. The hero, Marcus, is just cracking me up. He's one of those Hasn't Got a Clue guys. You know the sort. He can run a billion-dollar company in his sleep with one hand tied behind his back, but the determined, big-hearted heroine, Hayley, has him tied in knots. He doesn't know which end is up...

Here's a taste:

Marcus regarded the pregnant woman on the blue couch. At least she had a little color in her cheeks now. Telling him all the nonsensical reasons she wouldn’t have him as a husband had brought a warm flush to her velvety skin.

So great. She had pink cheeks and he wanted to…

Hell. He didn’t know what he wanted to do, exactly. Something violent. Something loud. Something to snap her out of this silly resistance she was giving him and bring it crystal clear to her that she was making no damn sense and she ought to smarten up and get with the program.

He spoke, the soul of reason. “I’m here, now, today, and ready to do what you wanted. You left me because I wouldn’t marry you. And now I want to marry you. I want to give you exactly what you were asking for all along. I don’t understand why you have to be difficult about this. You’re not behaving rationally. And one of your finest qualities has always been your ability to step back and assess a situation logically. I advise you to do that. Now.”


He hated when she said his name like that. So patiently. As if he were a not very bright oversized child. It was supremely annoying, the way she got to him, the way he let her get to him. He’d graduated from Stanford at the top of his class; he’d built a billion-dollar corporation from virtually nothing. He knew how to deal with people, how to get along and get what he wanted.

But with Hayley, somehow, since she decided she loved him and wanted to marry him, he hadn’t known how to deal at all. First, she left him because he wouldn’t marry her. And now that he said he would marry her, she was turning him down.

And she was talking again. All patience and gentleness, trying to make him understand. “No. You don’t want to marry me. You want to take care of your child—and the mother of your child. You think marrying me is the best way to do that, to take care of us. I…admire you for that. I truly do. You are a fine man and I’m proud to be having your baby. But that kind of marriage, marriage you want because it’s the right thing? Uh-uh. That’s just not what I want. It’s not what I wanted from you at all. And it’s not what our baby needs, either. Our baby needs—no. Our baby deserves a loving home, a happy home. How can our baby have that if you’re resentful because you felt you had to marry me?”

“Whoa.” He said the word and waited, just to be sure she was going to stop talking and listen for a moment. When she stayed quiet, he said slowly and clearly, “Don’t characterize me. Please. I’m not resentful. Not in the least. And you know me well enough by now to know that I never do anything because I have to. I never do anything I don’t want to do.”

She was shaking her head. “All right. Have it your way. You want to marry me. Because you feel that you have to.”

He stood. “Hayley.”

She gazed up at him, her expression angelic. “What?”

“I’m going to go now.” Before my head explodes.

“Oh, Marcus…”

He went to the closet by the door and got his coat. “We can…work this out tomorrow.” He’d regroup, come at this problem in a fresh, new way—true, at this point he hadn’t a clue what that way might be. But something would come to him, some way to get through to her, to make her see reason.

“There’s nothing to work out,” she said brightly. “Not when it comes to marriage, anyway—and where are you staying?”

He named his hotel. “Tomorrow, then.”

She was on her feet, her hands folded on top of her belly, her expression verging on tender, her eyes at that moment more blue than gray or green. He wanted to cover the distance between them, sweep her into his arms and taste those lips he’d been missing for so many months.

But no. Later for kissing. After she realized he was right about this. After she agreed to marry him and come home with him where she—and their baby—belonged.

Poor Marcus. He should have said yes when she proposed seven months ago. But he didn't. I could almost feel sorry for the guy. But then again, what fun would that be?


Anonymous said...

Ooh Christine, thanks for the tidbit. Sounds like another winner!!

Durango Kim

Kate Carlisle said...

I so love cluelessness in a man! Marcus is perfect!!

Kim said...


Love the excerpt! So very cool to see something from "his" perspective. Skewed as it may be...:) I also always love the conflict of having to make up for the stupid mistake thing! I have friends that are currently living out that scenario. It is sort of interesting to be on the outside looking in...definitely don't want to be there myself.

Hope your Easter was blessed and wonderful!


Husker Kim

Christine Rimmer said...

Husker Kim, skewed. Oh, yeah. The guy has a whole bunch to learn. Luckily, Hayley's just the gal to teach him!

Hey, Kate. Yeah, there's something about that clueless thing. They can save us from a burning building, build a shelter with a pocket knife and a paper clip, but when it comes to relationships....OMG!

Durango Kim, you are very welcome. Of course, everything is likely to change by the time I'm finished. But that's half the fun!