KAREN’S KILLER BOOK BENCH: Welcome to Karen’s Killer Book Bench where readers can discover talented new authors and take a peek inside their wonderful books. This is not an age-filtered site so all book peeks are PG-13 or better. Come back and visit often. Happy reading!
MY RECKLESS VALENTINE
BY OLIVIA DADE
TEMPTATION FROM A TO Z
Library manager Angie Burrowes is in trouble again. Her superiors have never approved of her unconventional methods, but the latest warning is serious—another complaint from the administration or a patron, and she’s fired. With a steamy Valentine’s Day contest to conceal and her career on the line, the last thing Angie needs is a near-accident while driving home. At least, until she meets the tall, dark, and sexy stranger responsible for her very own spicy plot twist…
Straight-laced Grant Peterson has only one thing on his mind: making a good impression as the new Director of Branch Services at the Nice County Public Library. On the eve of his first day, however, a lusty encounter with Angie unleashes a desire unlike any he’s ever known. Their tryst may be one for the record books, but when he learns he’s Angie’s new boss, will Grant need to check out on love?
MY RECKLESS VALENTINE
BY OLIVIA DADE
This guy seemed too good to be true. Hot, well-spoken, and sweet . . . There had to be something wrong with him. But what?
Everything about this man is absolutely right, Angie’s instincts insisted. Come on, Burrowes. Gather ye studs while ye may.
She couldn’t trust her own instincts, though. After all, they’d almost gotten her fired earlier today. So before she did what they were screaming for her to do—claim this man before he got away—she needed to address a few key issues.
“What a lovely compliment,” she said. “Grant, do you mind if I ask you a few questions?”
He blinked at her. “I . . . suppose so. Okay.”
“Are you single? And straight?” she asked. “It’s fine if you aren’t straight, by the way. I can admire you in a different way. Like you’re a statue. Or a hot priest. You know, gorgeous but out of reach.”
“Yes. To both questions.” The tips of his ears had turned pink, only adding to his adorability.
“Are you a serial killer? Be honest.”
“Of course not,” he said. “But wouldn’t I say that even if I were?”
“That’s true.” She tapped her chin with her index finger. “I’ll have to hope if you are a murderer, you only hunt other killers.”
“I think those types of murderers are less common than television would have us believe.”
She laughed. “You’re probably right about that.”
“Rest assured that the only danger I pose to you comes in the form of airborne baggage.”
“That’s nice to hear,” she said.
She took a moment to bask in the glory of Grant Peterson, the only man she’d ever interrogated this way. Something about him—his looks, his concern, the hint of shyness—made her breath catch and sent electricity buzzing through her veins. Warmed her, inside and out.
The tiniest bit of dark stubble roughened his cheeks and chin, accentuating his strong jaw. He’d rolled the sleeves of his button-down shirt up to his elbows, exposing hair-dusted forearms and broad hands that seemed strong. Capable. From what she could tell through his clothes, his flat stomach flowed into slim hips and firm thighs. She chose to avoid looking between those thighs. No point in sexually harassing the man—well, not more than she already had—until she knew the answer to her last question.
The man was handsome. No question about that. But Angie had spied other handsome men before and never experienced this sort of instantaneous magnetic draw. Hell, she could barely stop from plastering herself to his side like an iron filing.
So maybe she wasn’t responding to his handsomeness. At least, not entirely. Maybe what tempted her most was the aura of innocence surrounding him. With those dark curls, clear blue eyes, and pale skin, he looked like a grown-up choirboy. Like a man who’d chosen the right path—the reasonable, honorable one—his entire life.
She couldn’t help it. She wanted to debauch him.
While I was growing up, my mother kept a stack of books hidden in her closet. She told me I couldn’t read them. So, naturally, whenever she left me alone for any length of time, I took them out and flipped through them. Those books raised quite a few questions in my prepubescent brain. Namely: 1) Why were there so many pirates? 2) Where did all the throbbing come from? 3) What was a “manhood”? 4) And why did the hero and heroine seem overcome by images of waves and fireworks every few pages, especially after an episode of mysterious throbbing in the hero’s manhood?
Thirty or so years later, I have a few answers. 1) Because my mom apparently fancied pirates at that time. Now she hoards romances involving cowboys and babies. If a book cover features a shirtless man in a Stetson cradling an infant, her ovaries basically explode and her credit card emerges. I have a similar reaction to romances involving spinsters, governesses, and librarians. 2) His manhood. Also, her womanhood. 3) It’s his “hard length,” sometimes compared in terms of rigidity to iron. I prefer to use other names for it in my own writing. However, I am not picky when it comes to descriptions of iron-hard lengths. At least in romances. 4) Because explaining how an orgasm feels can prove difficult. Or maybe the couples all had sex on New Year’s Eve at Cancun.
During those thirty years, I accomplished a few things. I graduated from Wake Forest University and earned my M.A. in American History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I worked at a variety of jobs that required me to bury my bawdiness and potty mouth under a demure exterior: costumed interpreter at Colonial Williamsburg, high school teacher, and librarian. But I always, always read romances. Funny, filthy, sweet–it didn’t matter. I loved them all.
Now I’m writing my own romances with the encouragement of my husband and daughter. I found a kick-ass agent: Jessica Alvarez from Bookends, LLC. I have my own stack of books in my closet that I’d rather my daughter not read, at least not for a few years. I can swear whenever I want, except around said daughter. And I get to spend all day writing about love and iron-hard lengths.
So thank you, Mom, for perving so hard on pirates during my childhood. I owe you.
Links to Olivia’s website, blog, books, etc.
Twitter handle: @OliviaWrites
Facebook fan page: facebook.com/OliviaDade