For those of you who are enjoying a cold holiday season, today we’ve got something set in a location a little warmer with a couple whose heated exchanges may be covering up heat of a different kind 🙂
And I’m so thrilled author Mila Rossi took a few minutes to stop by and give us a little peek into a few of her favorite things (about writing romances).
One of the things I like most about writing romances is the chemistry buildup between the hero and the heroine. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the sex scenes too, but writing a sex scene can sometimes feel like providing a step-by-step guide, because you have to be precise with your visuals. Who put what where and how. I used to be a technical writer, so I know what it’s like to write an instruction manual. It can be difficult and not always inspiring, despite the subject matter.
The warm-up to that though, can be very creative. How does the couple meet? Do they like each other, hate each other, or have they always been secretly in love?
I have a fondness for enemies who become lovers. Their strong personalities and heated arguments are fun to write, and I think of it as a clash of the titans. For example, in my latest contemporary romance novella, WILD GAMES, a feisty botanist has to share a tree house with the man in charge of security during her research expedition. I had a great time writing about Becca and Matt’s bickering which only seemed to increase the sexual tension. Of course not every couple is going to argue, but that doesn’t matter. A developing attraction can be evident in small gestures, witty repartee or harmless physical contact, such as a handshake.
What story do you think has great buildup to the couple finally getting together? Do you prefer a short or long getting-to-know-the-real-you period, as I like to think of it?
by Mila Rossi
Despite warnings of annoying mosquitos and beastly spiders, Becca Glover couldn’t be more excited about her expedition to Costa Rica. Rooming with Matt Ritter, however, is an inconvenience she doesn’t see coming. He wields a machete, shaves with a knife and needs to wear a decent amount of clothes to cover the muscles she can’t stop staring at.
Hired to lead a group of scientists through the jungle, Matt is convinced the fiery redhead is intent on making his job harder than it needs to be. Rebecca doesn’t listen and seems to invite danger at every turn. Her attitude is as much of a distraction as her curves and emerald green eyes. Now if he could only pay as much attention to his job as he does to her, their one-month adventure would fly by without a hitch.
Hot temperatures, wild animals and a shared tree house are just the beginning of Becca and Matt’s obstacles. The real challenge lies in surviving each other.
She couldn’t help from looking at his naked torso standing before her. Oh, for heaven’s sake! Why did she give him the satisfaction of looking?
“There is nothing to talk about,” she said once their eyes locked again. “Just keep your shirt on please.”
“Why?” he wanted to know.
Why? What the heck was she supposed to say? “Because it’s not decent.”
He barked with laughter. “I don’t give a rat’s ass about decency.”
“That much is obvious,” she said dryly. “But since you’re living with me, a woman, you might want to give decency a shot.”
“You’re not the first woman I shared a room with,” he started to say.
“Well, that’s not a surprise,” she mumbled. “And we’re not sharing a room, we’re sharing a house.”
“Whatever. The others didn’t have problems with my decency.”
Oh brother. This conversation was going nowhere.
“Well, I do. I need you to put your clothes on, keep them on and stay out of my way. Every time I try to focus, you’re distracting me and it’s getting annoying.”
His eyebrows shot up. “I’m pissing you off?”
“Yes,” she shot back before she could bite her tongue.
“Guess what? The feeling is mutual. You’ve been nothing but trouble since we got here.”
He was only a couple of feet away from her, but she didn’t care about the nearness. Now she was starting to get annoyed.
“I don’t see what I have done to make your job harder,” she said.
He let out a fake laugh. “It’s no smooth sailing keeping an eye on you, believe me.”
“As I’ve told you before, Mr. Ritter, you don’t need to keep an eye on me. I’m perfectly fine keeping an eye on myself.”
The nerve of that man to say she was difficult. Besides twisting her ankle, she had done nothing else to be an inconvenience to anyone. He, on the other hand, seemed to get some perverse pleasure out of torturing her.
“Whatever you say, sweet cheeks.”
“Stop calling me that!” The nicknames alone drove her crazy.
“Listen, lady. We are stuck together in this jungle and this hut, whether you like it or not,“ he said, taking a step forward. She resisted the urge to step back and insinuate that she was intimidated. She wasn’t. She just didn’t want to stare into his now angry eyes.
“You’re welcome to go sleep out there with the jungle cats,” he continued, “but I doubt you’ll wanna do that. So do us both a favor and calm down. You’re much safer with me here than out on your own. I’m not gonna bite and I keep my hands to myself.” He held up his hands as if to prove that they weren’t doing anything mischievous behind his back.
“Now, are you going to act like a normal person and give me some peace, or do I have to throw you over my shoulder and lock you in your room?” At this point, he was right up in her face.
At the mention of being thrown over his shoulder, she flinched and took a step back. “I thought you’d keep your hands to yourself.“
“I will as long as you don’t provoke me.”
She gulped. She’d definitely not provoke him.
“Are you calm now?” he asked, still much too close. His hazel eyes looked broodingly at her and his skin glistened with perspiration. Damn her for finding that arousing.
“Well?” he asked, raising his eyebrows.
She stared at his mouth, surrounded by the stubble along his jawline. Whatever he’d asked her slipped her mind.
“Are you calm?” he repeated, his voice quieter and raspier than before. His gaze covered every inch of her face and she could only imagine what she looked like from the blasted heat.
“I’m calm,” she responded in a mere whisper. Her heart wasn’t. It was pumping a million times a minute.
He leaned forward. “Good.”
She held her breath, sure that even he could hear her pulse racing. Her chin tilted up and she moistened her lips in anticipation, but he stepped around her and walked away.
She stood like an idiot rooted to the spot. Her breath came out in one long whoosh, like a deflated balloon.
Mila Rossi is a contemporary romance author. She creates heroines who don’t back down, stand up for themselves and insist on freedom and independence until the right man comes along. Then all rules are thrown out the window. The heroes must be clever, generous and able to throw a girl over their shoulder.
Mila has seen the world and loves to write about it. She also loves to paint vintage anime characters, belly dance, try new foods and perfect her archery skills. She wishes she could partake in extreme sports, but only allows her characters to tempt fate. Her own chances of causing disasters are just too high.
Author website: www.milarossi.com