When romance calls for augers, wax gaskets and shop vacs. (Oh, the places we’ll go!)
When it comes to book boyfriends, could you go for one who is good with his hands? I sure could. (And yes, I know where your mind went, Christine. I like the way you think!) But when I challenged myself to write a plumber hero, I had a problem. Well, two problems.
The most obvious—I knew nothing about plumbing.
The other—I wanted my heroine to flush her ex’s ring in a rage, then need to get it back. And let’s face it, romance fiction is not the place we expect to hear a lot about toilets. Some delicacy would be required.
Between the Internet and the ever-handy juvenile nonfiction section of the library, I learned enough to write my way around Kim’s job, solving the first problem. But to strike the right balance of what to say and what to forgo, I relied on critique partners.
Never shy, they leapt into the fray.
“She hired him to fix a clogged toilet,” said one Critique Goddess, in reference to how Isabelle meets the hero at the start of the book. “Wouldn’t she be self-conscious, worried he’ll assume she’s the one that clogged it?”
A reasonable question. I made the change.
The Critique Goddess didn’t bat a lash at any of my choices in either of the two key scenes in which Kim demonstrates his competence as a plumber,. However, one of them did remark, “He’s so sexy! She should be thinking it wouldn’t be so bad if he flashed plumber’s crack.”
Did I succumb to peer pressure and do it? You’ll have to read Flushed to find out.
But seriously, I take full responsibility for any errors, and also any detail that could be considered indelicate. I can only assure that I strive to deliver an entertaining read.
Preferably, one that will make you run hot. Perhaps even feel…flushed.
When it hits the fan, he’s your man.
Kissing her plumber in the middle of her dinner party wasn’t in Isabelle’s carefully-laid plans. But neither had she expected an ambush by her uninvited ex. So when Kim Martin, plumber to the rescue, charms her guests and poses as her new guy to spare her humiliation, she gets carried away.
At first, being Isabelle’s faux beau suits Kim Martin just fine. She’s hot, intriguing and won’t get in the way of his plans to blow town and build a business he’s passionate about. But Isabelle just isn’t cut out to be a good time girl. She gets under Kim’s skin and into his head—and he’s not entirely sure what to do about that.
Isabelle’s been fooled too often to trust a gorgeous flirt like Kim. Yet the more she tries to fit him into a box, the harder he fights his way out of it. Hot, bothered and more than a little flushed, she’s having trouble keeping her hands—or her heart—to to herself.
An excerpt from Flushed:
She sniffed. “Can you get it or not?”
Kim rolled his shoulders and neck. “Let’s find out.” He squatted on the floor by the toilet and looked up at her. “I’ll start simple. Empty the water from the tank. Unbolt the toilet from the floor and have a look underneath. We might get lucky. It could be stuck in the trap right at the floor.” The down view made Kim appear to be all shoulder and leg. And eyes. Those incredible eyes.
She could break furniture with this man. Definitely. She could swing from the ceiling fan with him. And why shouldn’t she? Sure, he was too good-looking to be trusted, but he’d been matter-of-fact enough about his escapades with Jules, or whatever the gym babe’s name was. That meant he wouldn’t lie to her about his other women the way Steven or Daniel had. That was something.
“If that doesn’t get it, I’ll run a camera down the line and see what we can see.”
He was still talking. She didn’t know why. She’d just decided she would revel in the merely physical—go ahead and take the sex that surely wouldn’t disappoint. “Camera?”
He stood up and she could swear she felt his heat, his energy, brushing hers. She realized her heart was pounding.
“Don’t get your hopes up. It takes crappy pictures.”
The bathroom became quiet as Isabelle stared at Kim’s lips. He was smiling. Her body throbbed in response. “Kim.”
“Isabelle?” His voice had lost its professional edge, becoming fuzzy and less sure of itself. She’d always thought she wanted a dominant man. Why was hearing this uncertainty in his voice as big a turn on as the way he charged to her rescue? This was no time for such thoughts. She didn’t need a man touching her heart, not now, not him. On the other hand, if he wanted to touch anything else—anything at all, she thought, pulse pounding—she was good to go, especially if she went right now.
His breathing changed. The charge between them was building.
Then she realized what he’d said. Crappy pictures. She burst out laughing. “That’s awful,” she said. She laughed some more, the stress of the last couple of days making it hard to stop. Kim began laughing too, which only made it worse. Soon she was gasping for breath, falling back against the sink, stomach muscles beginning to ache, helpless. He took her elbow to steady her. She found herself in his arms. Laughing became kissing, which was just as breath-stealing and far more deliciously physical. She couldn’t seem to stop. He didn’t seem to mind.
Sally Felt writes funny, sexy stories about people who have a thing or two to learn about love. Her mission: write decent-guy heroes who are also dead sexy. She is amazing at starting conversations in elevators and laughing for no reason. If she could be any animal, she’d be an otter, because they play all the time. Or maybe a llama, for their lush eyelashes and ability to spit.
Sally is smart enough to live in Texas, where hot is as much about the men as the weather. Still, she thinks bow ties are cool.
Find Flushed here…
Ellora’s Cave: http://www.ellorascave.com/flushed.html
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1aVvxq5
So glad to have Sally here today. I love this book in part because of her hero’s name – I dated a man named Kim, once long, long ago and before I snagged my man. Do you like the name Kim for a man? Have you ever met any male Kims? Let’s chat!