BEHIND THE SCENES
I love the combination of a “bad boy” hero and a “librarian” archetype heroine!
Oh, Maura Mahoney isn’t a librarian, she’s an accountant, but the archetype typically means a buttoned-up woman who follows the rules and hasn’t discovered her own sexuality. (I probably don’t need to explain the “bad boy” archetype—and Harley riding Jesse Blue personifies it.)
Think of Marian the librarian and Harold Hill in The Music Man. Or one of my favorite couples of all time, Ann Osborne (Ellen Barkin) and Remy McSwain (Dennis Quaid) in The Big Easy.
The “librarian” of course does have a feminine, sexy, fun side, and the “bad boy” of course has a heart of gold underneath the rough edges—and when they fall for each other, those sides come out. As the author, I get to make that happen, and watch the fun as the seeming opposites strike sparks of various kinds.
Fantasy plays a huge part in this book. Haven’t we all met a special person—maybe we work with them or go to school with them—who we fantasize about? We imagine, or dream, interactions with them, whether it’s witty conversations, romantic dinners, or sizzling sex, then we jolt back to reality. For two characters who each believe the other is way out of their league (in completely different ways), what other outlet could there be for their powerful attraction except in fantasies and dreams? That’s how it seems for Maura and Jesse, until they slowly get to know each other and they find that dreams really can come true—and be even better than their wildest fantasies.
If you’ve read my books before, you probably know that setting plays a big part, whether it’s my favorite city, Vancouver, or Whistler in winter, maybe an exotic destination like Belize or the Greek Islands, or a journey like the “planes, trains, automobiles, and a cruise ship” Wild Ride to Love series. In my mind, those stories wouldn’t happen in the same way in a different setting.
Body Heat follows that pattern in its own distinctive way. If you read carefully, you’ll see I never name the city or even the country where the book is set. Because in this case, it doesn’t matter to the story. Setting is hugely important in this book, but it’s a much smaller setting—it’s the community of a seniors residential facility, Cherry Lane.
That’s a pretty unusual setting for a sexy romance, isn’t it? But it’s important to the story because shy Maura, who was raised by older adoptive parents and who works at Cherry Lane, is more comfortable with old folks than with people her own age. She adores her seniors. Many people think seniors don’t count for much, but Maura strongly disagrees. When she finds out that Jesse values the seniors too—and when Jesse sees that the reserved ice queen softens when she’s with the old folks—it’s the first step to an emotional connection between Maura and Jesse.
Also, both Maura and Jesse have lessons to learn, and who better to guide them than seniors with lots of life experience?
I hope you enjoy their sexy, emotional journey to love.
By the way, if you’re interested in Jesse’s friend Consuela and her young son, I’m hoping that Con will have her own book one of these days!
Maura’s parents say movies are a waste of time, but they’re her secret vice. Jesse loves movies but he sure wouldn’t admit to the guys that he watches chick flicks. One night, they both watch one of my favorite movies, Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Here’s the original movie trailer. And a bunch of movie info, including music and great quotes.