posted by Nancy
Apologies to everyone for the unfortunate glitch that delayed today's blog. I especially hate it because we have a guest. Kathleen O'Reilly returns to the Lair with her latest Blaze release, Just Surrender. I've read the excerpt on her site, and I can't wait to read the book.
The hero and heroine of Just Surrender meet under less than promising circumstances, and then the hero gets an unpleasant surprise. Tell us about that.
Tyler is a surgeon, flying in for a fellowship in NYC, and he ends up in Edie’s cab, which isn’t really Edie’s cab, but she’s helping out a friend. Not being a real cabbie, she’s in it more for the meeting people than for the actual transportation aspects, and deciding that Tyler needs a friend (his girlfriend just broke up with him in a text message), she begins a night-long-trek through NYC and most of the surrounding boroughs, because she doesn’t think he should be alone. Tyler originally wants to just get back to his hotel and sleep, but he’s attracted to Edie, and uh, things move along from there.
What I like about both the hero and the heroine in this book is how similar their core personalities are. Edie wants to fix the entire world, wants to be everyone’s friend, wants to be the person that everyone goes to for help, and she’s got a big enough ego that she thinks she can. However, deep down, she’s scared of a real emotional bond, and so her actions are all very superficial. Tyler is a heart-surgeon. He wants to fix everyone, too, but he doesn’t think he’s capable of a real emotional bond.
Geez dumping a guy with a text message! After that, just as Ty and Edie are getting along so well (not!), something happens that makes his evening even worse . . .
They get a flat. In Brooklyn. In one of the seedier parts of Brooklyn. And it’s raining. Watching a man who needs to control everything stuck in a situation that is out of his control was a ball to write. In my real world, I know and love a lot of control freaks, and I adore when life whacks them upside the head, because… well, they don’t handle it well. I think God does it, on purpose, only because he thinks it’s funny. So do I.
So one thing leads to another leads to a bar. The excerpt on your website ends there. Is it fair to ask where our hero and heroine proceed after that?
Hehehe…. It’s a Blaze. There’s sex.
LOL! Would you like to share an excerpt here?
Tyler examined his mud-splattered shirt, pulling it free from his pants, ready to burn the damn thing. He looked up into the rear-view mirror and met her eyes. “Why are you smiling?”
“You look good in dirt," she told him, and he noticed the dimple on the right cheek, which was completely free of both dirt or guilt.
“You’re not helping.”
“I’m trying to cheer you up." She sounded sincere and completely comfortable. Not painfully aroused. Not wondering what he looked liked naked.
“Get me to my hotel," he growled, too tired for his clinical voice. "That'll cheer me up.”
“Why don’t you like me?”
“Because you feed on people’s pain.”
“I do not," she insisted.
“Then why are you so intrigued by the fact that I got dumped?” It stung. Yes. Stung. Tyler wasn't used to pain. He cured pain. He prescribed meds for pain. He analyzed pain, and monitored pain, but goddamnit, he did not feel it. It wasn’t even Cynthia so much as the idea that he wasn’t good enough. It was a pain he’d stopped felling a long time ago. Or so he thought.
“Aha, I knew I was right," Edie chirped, pouring salt into the wound. "Not that I'm happy you got dumped. Satisfied, yes? I mean, I do like to be right. Especially on matters of reading people. Don’t you like adventures?”
Adventures were the nation’s number one cause of death..
He blamed Cynthia for his foul mood. She had dragged him into this gutter of embarrassing juvenile behavior. Edie had merely pummeled him until he had no choice but to regress. Such asinine justifications cheered him up.
Almost as much as the cheery idea of dirty, bacteria-infected, saliva-swapping sex. Tyler smiled to himself. "Sorry," he apologized politely.
“Why don’t you let me buy you a drink?” she asked, apparently not sensing the darker trend to his thoughts.
“Why?” he asked, stalling for time, because his first answer that leaped to his brain was 'yes.'
“I owe you. You’re doing a nice thing, and you didn’t say a word when I tooled all over the tri-state region. Tonight you've changed a flat, your girlfriend of some indeterminate amount of time dumped you, all of which happened when you should be getting well laid at the hotel. If there’s anybody in the world that needs a drink, it’s you. Maybe a shot of tequila, or ouzo. I know this Greek bar...”
“I don’t want to go to a Greek bar,” he told her, shifting uncomfortably, finding an exposed spring in the seat, feeling it cut into his thigh. Probably severing the femoral artery, thereby letting him bleed out a quick and painless death. Then Cynthia would feel bad. Because she had dumped him in a text message.
“How about an American bar?” Edie suggested, as if all his immediate pains could be solved with alcohol. A bar was a recipe for disaster, but since Tyler had apparently not severed his femoral artery and was going to live, alcohol now seemed almost plausible.
“If I let you buy me a drink, one drink -- will you drive me back to the hotel?” There was a roughness in his voice that worried him. And now he was creating justifications of extraordinary mental dexterity designed solely to further his own penile agenda. Although to be fair, he didn’t want to have a penile agenda. He wanted to get to the hotel, take a shower, climb into bed. He could visualize it all. Unfortunately, his visuals also included Edie. And she was naked. And limber.
“I’ll drive you straight back to the hotel. I swear,” she promised, but Tyler knew when disaster lurked around the corner, when a surgery was doomed before it started. He didn’t like to think these were premonitions, because that implied his subconscious was guiding his decision -- or worse, his penis.
Tonight Cynthia had dumped him. Texas’ #4 cardio-thoracic surgeon with a net worth of over four million, who had saved her father’s life, not once, but three times, not that anyone was counting. If there was a woman in the world who owed him her undying gratitude, it was Cynthia.
So what if he wanted to be a jackass? If he wanted to have a drink? If he wanted to have limber sex with a woman who felt some deep-seated desire to make him feel better? By God, he should. If he wanted to do something wild, spontaneous, and hair-raising, then by God, he had a premeditated right to go for it.
It was because of such elaborate rationalizations that his father had called him Shit-For-Brains Sophocles, but Tyler always shrugged it off. Although now he did wonder if Sophocles ever created meaningless justifications in pursuit of limber sex. Probably not. Probably Sophocles never had shit for brains. Only Tyler.
“One drink. An American bar,” he agreed, resigned to his decision.
“A friend of mine works in a strip club.”
He smiled at her, mud-splattered and grimy with an agenda that was just as black.
To read more, click here.
What inner conflicts keep Edie and Ty apart?
In this book, it’s Edie who is running from a relationship. Her father is a world-class surgeon who has neglected his family for his career, although he’s still a very good man. Edie resents her father for putting his family second, but gets mad at herself for resenting all the patients who prevent the man from being a real father to her. Tyler’s journey is much shorter. He thinks that he’s not capable of loving anyone, but then he falls in love with Edie and realizes that he’d never met the right woman for him before.
Can you give us a hint of what ultimately brings them together?
Edie’s father, and I think that’s all I can say without spoilers. ☺
Don't you have a book out in May, too? What's that about?
Okay, so this IS the May book, officially. Amazon has been selling it since the 19th, but last night my local Target still had the April books out. And the Kindle edition goes on sale May 1st. Color me confused. But anyway, sometime soon, this book will be out, (unless you order mass-market from Amazon, in which case you can get it now).
I have Austen Hart’s story in July, JUST LET GO, and then in September of 2011, it’s Brooke Hart’s story, JUST GIVE IN.
After that, what's on your horizon?
I’m waiting to hear from my editor on my next trilogy, so we’ll see. And I’ve been working on a single title contemporary as well. No idea about that one, but crossed fingers are appreciated as well.
For more about Kathleen and her books, visit her website.
Kathleen is giving a signed, personalized copy of Just Surrender to one commenter today. So tell us, what's the strangest cab (or other vehicle) ride you ever took? Have you ever had a day where just everything went wrong? Or a chance encounter with a stranger who became a friend or more?