Davie slept only fitfully through the night. It hadn’t taken her long to realize that this was the first time she was sleeping without Adam by her side since he had come home from the hospital.
By the time the morning sun cast enough light, Davie got up as quietly as possible and changed into her jeans and a man’s flannel shirt. She carried her loafers to the door. Davie tiptoed downstairs.
Everyone in the house was asleep.
She opened the door to Adam’s room and peeked in.
“I must have finally fallen asleep…” He whispered from the couch which was made up like a bed. “I’m having a wonderful dream. You’re here.”
“Good morning.” She hurried in and kissed him. “Get up, come with me.”
She smiled seductively. “Trust me.”
Davie waited silently in the kitchen. It didn’t take long before Adam was by her side wearing jeans, T-shirt and sneakers.
“Come on.” She took his hand and led him outside through the kitchen door.
It was chilly, a layer of frost covered the ground. They moved quickly along the side of the building until they came to a door. Davie pulled the door open slowly to minimize the squeak of the hinges and pulled Adam inside with her.
“What is this place?” He asked.
She had pulled the door closed behind them. A small dirty glass pane above the door let in just enough light to see the small cubicle. An old wash basin hung off the wall; it had obviously not been used for a long time.
“I think it was originally meant to be a laundry room. When I was a kid it was my secret playhouse.” She put her arms around him in the tight quarters and kissed him.
“Mmm, good morning.” He held her and kissed her back. “I missed you all night.”
“I know.” She slid her hands under his T-shirt. “Show me how much.”
He nipped at her ear lobe with his teeth and caressed her through her shirt. “How did I ever manage to get so lucky to tap into all this passion you have bottled up?”
His breathing quickened when he felt the erect nub through the flannel. “No bra?” He stepped back and made a show of unbuttoning her shirt. Adam weighed her rounded breasts with his hands and bent to suckle each one in turn.
Davie ran her fingers through his hair as she held him tightly against her.
He backed her against a wall and knelt before her. He placed tiny kisses on her belly as he unsnapped her jeans to pull them down her hips and legs. Once again, he realized that she had worn no underwear and he felt his pulse racing. Kneeling before her, he tasted every part of her as she was exposed to him.
“Oh, Adam.” Davie’s breath was coming in short spurts as she felt his very intimate kisses on the inside of her thighs.
Courage of the Heart by Chelle Cordero
Between the letter of introduction that Samantha Chaunce sent to the school and a few personal phone calls she made, Ben had no trouble being allowed on school grounds. He was close by whenever Philip needed him. The teacher even seemed amused when Philip stated that he wanted to bring his bodyguard to class one day for show and tell.
The teaching staff was friendly and so were a few of the moms of other students. In less than a week, Ben had politely turned down two dinner invitations, a theatre ticket to accompany one woman, and had received assorted phone numbers. He was charming, polite and friendly to all. Each day he kicked himself. Ever since he saw Sam again he wasn’t interested in anything any other woman had to offer. Ben told himself he was pitiful. Not only had Sam dumped him once already because he was broke, but now that she was wealthy on her own, he knew there was no way he could ever be of interest for her again. Then he got annoyed with himself for even entertaining the possibility.
The atmosphere back at the house was surprisingly pleasant. Sam seemed to go out of her way to make him feel comfortable. Cook prepared a few of Ben’s favorite dishes for dinners and he couldn’t help but suspect that it had been more than simple coincidence. He marveled that Sam might actually have remembered such things about him. Ben wondered if his services were really needed though. There had been only one incident since Ben had been there. Sam received a letter at her office mentioning some of the security measures she had arranged. It even mentioned the security agency where Ben was employed. She seemed not to be worried by the unfriendly surveillance. Ben didn’t like it at all. He wasn’t comfortable with the level of knowledge her tormentor seemed to possess about her home and her dealings.
The next afternoon while Ben was waiting for Philip to appear after school, he noticed a strange man wielding a camera on the corner of the school block. The man was watching the front of the little school building intently. As soon as Philip appeared, the camera was lifted and pictures were taken. Ben made sure the teacher would keep a close eye on Philip and he took off after the unknown man with the camera. The guy ran fast, but Ben was faster. He caught him in an alleyway just a block from the school.
Grabbing him by his jacket front, Ben pressed his face close to the culprit. “Who the hell are you and who are you working for?” He moved one large hand to the guy’s throat. Ben was ready to strangle the man if he didn’t answer quickly enough.
“Hey, it’s just a picture.” The frightened man tried to escape Ben’s clutches. “The Chaunces’ are news especially since the old man kicked the bucket. And who the hell are you?”
Still holding him by the throat, Ben relaxed his stance a little bit. “You’re press?”
The uninvited photographer nodded against Ben’s hand at his throat.
“Let me see your ID. And your camera.”
As soon as Ben read the media identification, he let go of the guy. He flipped open the back of the camera and pulled out the film.
“Hey! What are you doing?”
“My job.” Ben handed the empty camera back and unrolled the film in the daylight.
“Well that’s my job you’re wrecking there buddy!”
“If I ever see you taking pictures again I will break the damn camera. And it will definitely be in the company of some of your body parts. Am I understood?”
After calling Ben several foul names, none of which even made him flinch, the dejected photographer finally left. Ben threw the exposed and ruined film out in a trash can on his way back to the school.
Philip was gently swinging on a swing set on the school’s lawn; he was under the concerned eye of the young teacher. He had no idea that anything untoward had happened and Ben decided to keep it that way.
“Hi, my name is Chelle and I am a romance writer.” I receive a round of applause and several personal shouts of “Hi Chelle!” And over milk and cookies, we discuss the 12-steps towards REAL writing… (the preceding is a dramatization and should not be attempted, etc and so forth)
Why is it that many writers in the romance genre feel that they must announce their forte in clandestine meetings and apologize for their behavior?
Hey all, I write romance. I am not ashamed of the stories I weave. Yes, there is sex and sometimes I may even find myself blushing as I read aloud at an author event. I have oft been the recipient of “tsk, tsk” and “I’m sorry, I won’t read romance books.” And men, oy, they won’t be caught reading a romance novel, no matter how good a story you may tell. My son-in-law teased me that he planned to cover my first novel with a cookbook cover so he could read it on the train while heading in to work!
The romance genre has gotten a bad rep and romance writers are regarded with condescending amusement. And yet, Romance Writers of America has the following statistics on their website: “Romance fiction: $1.375 billion in estimated revenue for 2007, Religion/inspirational: $819 million, Science fiction/fantasy: $700 million, Mystery: $650 million, and Classic literary fiction: $466 million. Of those who read books in 2007, one in five read romance novels.” Impressive.Often referred to as escapism or fluff, the romance genre is known for the “formula” – boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl, boy loses girl over some stupidity that can’t be helped, boy wins girl back, and they live happily ever after. But if all writers followed the “formula” without a real story plot, do you honestly believe that $1.375 billion would have changed hands in 2007? Romance has many sub-genres as well and contemporary romance (the here and now, situations the average reader can relate to) remains the leader of the pack.
During a recent discussion with my editor/publisher, I asked for her definition of romance, erotica and porn – all too often used to delineate categories of romance. Her response was simple, the focus of the story and whether the plot and love came before or after the sex in the book. This put it all into perspective for me. Just like the ingredient label on our breakfast cereals, which comes first?
To date I have written four contemporary romance novels; three have been published and the fourth, Courage of the Heart (actually a modernized re-release from 2001) is due out in February. The ingredient labels on Bartlett’s Rule, Forgotten, Within the Law and the aforementioned Courage of the Heart would read: Love story. Sub-plots and twists, Sex – yep, they are romance novels. A fifth novel, due out in the summer, is called Final Sin. Final Sin’s ingredient label would read Crime-Suspense story, sub-plots and twist, love story and sex; while there is certainly sex involved, it is more relevant to the crime than to the love story. (I have been assured by the haters of romance novels that they are looking forward to reading my NON-romance.)
Some of the most popular stories throughout time have involved intricate love stories although some do not have happy-ever-after endings: Romeo and Juliet, Gone With the Wind, West Side Story, Guys and Dolls, Gift of the Magi, and more. Many modern day movies and box-office hits illustrate the theme of love and sex: 27 Dresses, Pretty Woman, Love Story, Casablanca, Sleepless in Seattle…
It seems that the story of romance is here to stay. And if you decide to pick up a romance novel, you just might find yourself intrigued by the story.
a total of 7 romantic suspense and 2 mysteries.