Labor Day Giveaway!
My guest today is my fellow Sourcebooks author, Shana Galen. She was a mild-mannered English teacher, but now writes full time. Her newest release, LORD AND LADY SPY, was a Publishers Weekly Top Ten Pick for Fall. I know you’re going to enjoy getting to know her and be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win a free read from Shana or one of my backlist!
Shana Galen’s Romance Novel Challenge
A few months ago, I was watching a Food Network Challenge, wherein the chefs had to design cakes to reflect a romance novel. You probably saw it too. If you missed it, no worries. You didn’t miss much.
Midway through the show, I was struck with panic when one judge chided a contestant for having a married couple in her romance novel. Apparently married couples can’t be the hero and heroine of a romance novel.
I was in big trouble because the hero and heroine of my new release, Lord and Lady Spy, are not only married, they’ve been married five years. But it’s a marriage in name only. Adrian and Sophia, Lord and Lady Smythe, are elite spies whose identities are kept secret even from one another. When Napoleon is captured and the Smythes are out of work, their biggest competition for reinstatement is one another.
So how does an author write steamy scenes between a couple who’s been married five years? Take a look…
Lord and Lady Spy Excerpt:
Her eyes darted to the booby trap by the door—a simple string and pulley a child could rig.
“Simple but effective,” a man’s voice said from behind her.
Sophia whirled and watched Adrian rise from where he’d been reclining on her bed. The moonlight filtering through her curtains illuminated his face, which, to her annoyance was free of ink. “Obviously not effective enough, my lord.” Another glance at the trap confirmed the ink that should have sprayed all over any intruder was still intact and untouched.
Adrian spread his hands. He had already changed into a clean shirt and breeches. How had he made it back so quickly? “It’s a bit amateurish. Easy to circumnavigate.”
“Apparently.” Her hands were still at her throat, and she realized now they were clutching her mantle close to her skin. She did not think it wise to remove the outer garment with Adrian in her bedroom, so near to her bed, but she could see he was watching her—his eyes trained to detect any sign of weakness. If she continued to clutch the mantle to her throat, he was going to find what he sought.
She forced her stiff fingers to tug the mantle’s cords again then allowed the garment to slip from her shoulders. She would have turned away from him, but she didn’t trust him enough. As the heavy garment slid off, revealing her evening gown, she realized how seductive the gesture probably appeared.
She hadn’t meant it to be so, but she watched Adrian’s eyes grow dark. “It’s been a long time since I’ve been in this room,” he said, voice low and husky. Her throat went dry, and she tried to ignore the blood pounding through her veins. Suddenly, she was too warm, scorched by Adrian’s hot gaze.
“A long time,” she agreed, fumbling with the mantle. “Um, eleven months, two weeks, and four days.” She dropped the mantle. “Or something like that,” she added, knowing it was too late, knowing she had given herself away.
Adrian tensed then moved closer. “I had no idea you were counting.”
What do you think about married couples as romance hero and heroine? Two people who comment will be chosen to win copies of Lord and Lady Spy (sorry, U.S. and Canadian residents only).