Lisa Cooke returns to the lair with another of her wonderful American historicals. She writes a humorous and emotion historical with a unique twist. Her previous release brought a riverboat gambler and a Southern belle together in TEXAS HOLD HIM. This time she moves away from the riverbanks and up into the mountains of West Virginia in 1898 with A MIDWIFE CRISIS. Romantic Times Book Reviews says "With humor that captures the setting and tenderness that depicts the warmth of the characters, Cooke will steal your heart." Please welcome Lisa Cooke.
Thanks to the Romance Bandits for inviting me to guest blog today. I love sharing cyberspace with GR. After going to Orlando with the Golden Rooster, I think he’d make a great romance hero. Which brings me to the topic of this blog.
We’ve all read that hero in a book that makes us sigh and think “If only there really were men like that”, but how about the zeroes that somehow make it between the pages. I love an alpha male, strong and sexy, but if we were truthful, most of the heroes we love to read about would make terrible husbands.
In my newest release, A MIDWIFE CRISIS, my heroine’s family has decided it’s time she finds a husband. They each go about finding the perfect fiancé; unfortunately, they each found her a different one. Now Katie Napier has three fiancés to sort through! It might sound like an enticing dilemma, but to add to her stress, she’s falling in love with the new doctor in town, and he’s not even on her list.
I had fun with the hero in A MIDWIFE CRISIS. John Keffer was definitely not the kind ofhero I usually put between the pages and writing the strong silent type was a challenge. Reserved yet passionate, stoic yet simmering…John was a man my heroine was drawn to despite her better judgment. He was from a different world and she made sure to remind herself of that whenever her feelings interfered with her common sense.
John wasn’t the type of hero who kidnaps the heroine and rides off with her into the sunset, but I hope you’ll agree that the passions simmering beneath the surface make him an intriguing and sexy hero. Let me share an excerpt:
Quickly lighting a lamp, Katie closed the door behind her and hurried across the room to open the cabinet.
Gramophone was written across the front and after moment of studying the instructions written inside, she started the music box. Beautiful sounds lilted into the room, sending Katie on a journey to lands she’d only imagined from reading her books. She closed her eyes and allowed the music to lift her to another place and another time. A handsome knight dismounted from his white horse, his armor shining, and his eyes on fire. He took her in his arms and swayed with her to the music, turning in circles, her satin skirts twirling about her like a princess.
“Would you like to learn the waltz?”
Gasping, Katie spun toward the door where John stood leaning against the frame. His tie and jacket were missing, his shirtsleeves rolled up to his forearm. The crisp white of his shirt exaggerated the darkness of his hair as he stood silently in the dim light of the room.
“I believe I owe you a lesson. After all, you taught me how to square dance.”
“Not very well.” She could have bitten her tongue. That wasn’t exactly what she’d meant to say, but John chuckled and she decided not to amend her statement. He had a nice chuckle.
With a quick adjustment, he restarted the record to the beginning of the waltz music, then faced her, arms out. She stepped to him.
“It’s really a simple dance,” he said, folding his hand over hers. “Just take three steps at a time and allow me to lead you around the room.”
She nodded, because having him this close to her made speaking difficult, and then followed his lead.
“One, two, three,” he counted, guiding her slowly around the room.
He only counted for a few moments before she fell into the rhythm and the music took over. She smiled as they floated, her eyes drifting shut and her steps taking her back to her magic kingdom. Only this time, she didn’t have to imagine the knight. He was strong and warm, and with each turn, pulling her closer until finally he stopped moving.
She opened her eyes to gaze into the green ones searing into her in the faint light of the room. Neither spoke as he laid his hand against her cheek and the warmth rushed through her body. Were it not for the music, she knew her heartbeat would echo through the room, matched only by her breathing.
His eyes questioned her, asking for permission as though she had any power to refuse. He leaned toward her, taking forever to close the distance between their lips and when he finally claimed hers, she thought she’d die.
Lord, how she wanted his touch.
Like nothing existed in the world except his kiss and embrace, everything else paling until it faded away. She slid her hands up his shoulders to the back of his neck where she threaded them through his hair.
He nibbled and tugged at her mouth, slipping his tongue through parted teeth and stroking hers with passion as his hands rubbed her back. First, in small circles, then dropping lower and lower until he cupped her bottom and pulled her against him. A moan jumped from her mouth and into his, and the sound seemed to ignite him.
“Katie,” he whispered, pulling back enough to press his lips against her throat and the warmth in her body began pooling out of her control.
Lord, how she wanted his touch, only now she realized, with embarrassment, where she wanted it.
So what is your favorite and least favorite trait in a hero? Do you hate it when they control the heroine, or when they clam up and turn away? How about when they sulk or leave her “for her own good”? Do you want him to have faith in her at all cost? What trait or behavior turns them into a hero or a zero for you? One commenter will win a copy of A MIDWIFE CRISIS.