I can’t lie. One of my favorite parts about writing romance is writing the hero. There’s something about men and the way they think and relate to each other. Getting that on the page in a realistic way isn’t always easy. If you’re not careful they seem jerky. Or worse, kind of boring. But when you read a good one, you really fall for him. Well, I do. I like mine alpha but smart enough to know a good woman when one walks right in front of him. I don’t care if he’s a billionaire or a blue-collar guy. It’s about attitude and self-assurance. Put that on the page and his bank account balance doesn’t matter at all.
In LEAN ON ME, the hero, Mitch, is a business guy. He’s part-owner and helps run a successful plant and tree nursery in West Virginia. He’s tough and a bit commanding…and he has a huge problem with heights. So, naturally, his heroine (Cassidy) is a mountain climber. The goal was to keep him heroic and in charge while letting him have the very real fear of heights. A fear I share. I can’t get on a step ladder with getting twitchy. Neither can he. Take a look:
Those dark eyes widened. “Mitch, are you afraid of heights?”
“Did I use the word fear?”
“I did, but it was an educated guess based on the color of your face and wild terror in your eyes.”
As far as he was concerned, this was a matter of common sense not fear. “I’m not scared of anything. But if I were, plunging to my death would be at the top of the list.”
She finally came down a step. “A lot of people are afraid. It’s not unusual, but there are things you can do to combat the feeling. The fear is controllable.”
“Stop using that word.” Mitch tried to beat back his temper. He didn’t know if his grumbly feeling came from the conversation or from seeing her long, lean legs and remembering what she could do with them.
She threw up her hands. “What should I say?”
Refusing to watch her nosedive into the grass, he grabbed onto the ladder and held it so it wouldn’t wobble. “I have a healthy respect for gravity. Feet should be on the ground at all times unless you’re in a bed, which we’re not. Though we could be if you’d come down from there.”
Leave it to a man to use his fear of heights to bargain for more bed time.
Type: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Carina Press
Cassidy Clarke once climbed the world’s highest mountains, but after an unexpected illness ends her career she’s back in her hometown, broke and hoping for a little luck. But the townsfolk aren’t exactly putting out a welcome mat for the woman who once snubbed them in the media, despite her apologies now.
Mitch Anders knows someone has set up camp on the grounds of his plant nursery, and he’s surprised to find his sexy high school crush ducking questions about where she’s staying. Though he’s sworn to stop cleaning up other people’s messes, Mitch offers Cassidy a job and a place to stay—his place. Bedsharing optional, but definitely welcome.
Out of options and too attracted to Mitch to keep things platonic, Cassidy says yes to his offer. She wants to get back on her feet financially and start a new career. She never expects to suffer a different kind of fall, one that has her believing Mitch just might bring her something bigger and better than luck.
Helen is giving away a digital copy of Lean On Me here today! This is open internationally until 10/26/12 @ 11:59 EST with winner announced shortly afterward. To enter simply comment and answer this question:
What are you afraid of?