Thanks so much to the For the Love of Military Romance for having me on the blog today to talk about my upcoming military romantic suspense novella Sudden Heat which releases September 25. Sudden Heat is the first story in my Love Under Fire Trilogy.
The Love Under Fire trilogy was a gamble. How could military romantic suspense be a gamble? Especially when it’s erotic romance? What if a trio of brothers, all in different branches of the military, came back to their old hometown and landed right into a firestorm of danger? What if that danger put them in the position of protecting three women they’re very attracted to? Even those questions wouldn’t seem terribly controversial.
Okay, let me step back a second. As a writer I create stories that call to me. I don’t plan series or novels based on how popular that type of story is at the time. My creativity doesn’t work that way, and I get so much more creative pleasure from writing books that I love rather than planning books to trend. When I realized I wanted the stories to be set in a mall during a madman’s rampage, I knew it could make some people edgy. I put the stories on the backburner to finish some other books, knowing that I’d come back to them later. I did and got them ready to submit to Ellora’s Cave. Within almost the same month, the Sandy Hook shootings occurred. Obviously I was horrified by the shootings, and I wondered if the stories I’d just written would find a home. After all, who wanted to read about people trapped in a mall with a shooter? Then I reminded myself that these stories are about much more than that. I’d created stories where the heroes and heroines would work together to survive, and their love would develop through what they’d learn about each other and themselves living through such a trauma. Luckily for me, Ellora’s Cave loved the idea, too!
Take a tiny taste of Sudden Heat.
Sudden Heat from Ellora's Cave!
Denise A. Agnew
Book one in the Love Under Fire series but can be read independently.
Where do you yearn to be in the face of danger? In the arms of a man bound to serve, to protect and to love…
Librarian Melanie Falconer knows too well the horrors of war. Military men, as far as she’s concerned, are off the marriage menu. As maid of honor at her best friend’s wedding, she makes a mall run and lands straight into the arms of seriously hot marine Matt Frasier, the best man. Matt has seen too much violence, and his heavy attraction to Melanie promises to soothe his soul and set his body on fire. Gunfire erupts, the game is on, and Melanie and Matt fight for their lives and the heat exploding between them.
Juggling two large shopping bags, soon-to-be maid of honor Melanie Falconer stepped out of the lingerie shop and slammed into a hard body.
It was late Tuesday and the mall would close in less than an hour. She couldn’t afford one more delay in her busy life. Especially when the totally ripped body belonged to best man Matt Frasier. She registered Matt’s surprised face a half-second before momentum won and their bodies collided.
“Oof!” Her breath rushed out and her packages went flying in all directions.
Strong hands gripped her waist and prevented her from landing on her butt. She faced an intense stare that reminded her of sky fading into night. No, his eyes did more than look into her soul and bring forth her secrets. They caressed her, wrapped her in instant warmth that enveloped her body with breath-stealing attention. Every time the tall, muscular marine walked into a room and she was there, Melanie’s breath halted and her pulse skittered.
Ridiculously aware of him, she wanted to run from the crazy attraction that stole her self-control. And she needed all the self-control she could get.
This last week didn’t bode well for that.
Work at the library had ramped up with the introduction of a new computer system, her boss had come down with the flu and Thanksgiving week always gave Melanie that sinking feeling. When her best friends and bridesmaids Kathleen McSwain and Lena Williams had decided the wedding party should buy a group present for the groom Patrick and the bride Danielle, Melanie went into overdrive. What to get the couple who seemed to have everything? It was Melanie’s idea, initially, to have a large frame engraved as an additional present, and the others had been thrilled. Patrick and Danielle had established their own business in Constitution and they’d moved in together two years ago. With a well-appointed house, they didn’t need many things a couple would normally ask for on a gift registry. Melanie wanted to give her friend something special for her wedding. The biggest strategic problem had been figuring out how to get the entire wedding party to the engraver’s. The engraver had told her he wouldn’t have time to see them until about five fifteen today.
She’d agreed to the idea with relief. With everyone there at once there wasn’t much chance she’d have to spend any time alone with Matt Frasier.
“Hey Melanie.” Usually his eyes looked somewhat stoic but now they had softened by a degree. “Sorry. You all right?”
They bent at the same time to grab her purchases. Heat filled her face as he gathered a red lacy demi cut push-up bra in his big hand. A thirty-four C-cup. His gaze lingered on the bra and she imagined his big hand caressing the bra while it was on her. Heat shot through her.
She snatched the bra from him and stuffed it back in the small bag. “Thanks.”
His assessing gaze said volumes. Straight-laced librarian Melanie Falconer wore screaming red underwear? Say it isn’t so.
“Are the other ladies in the shop too?” he asked as they stood.
“Heading that way.”
He gestured back toward the tuxedo shop. “Jake and Rick are still having last-minute measurements on the tuxedos. Rick was late getting here. He’s chronically late to everything. I decided to head over to the engraver’s.”
“We’re all late tonight. Kathleen and Lena got caught in traffic. We split up to get things done.”
As he handed her one of the bags, his fingers brushed against hers. A tiny shock went through her body and coiled in her stomach. A hot, undeniably sexual spark that refused to be extinguished.
His hands fascinated her—which was strange considering she’d never given a man’s hands much thought. They felt and looked so strong, so purposeful.
She almost winced, not because of pain but because Matt Frasier turned her on. His brand of masculinity seemed to have found her brand of femininity and called to all the primitive channels inside her. Oh yes. It wasn’t only his body that floated her boat. Since she’d met him at the party, he’d impressed her with what he’d said, his opinions and an inherent sense of the honorable.
And she wondered too much. She wondered how he’d make love, if the sensuality he seemed to have in spades would bring her to a mind-stealing orgasm. Orgasm. Yeah, well, she hadn’t experienced one of those in a while. Heat filled her face, her entire body. God, she needed to forget these raging hormones. Matt would leave town soon and that would be it. Fini. Done. And there was no way in hell she’d get involved with a marine who’d experienced what he’d no doubt experienced recently in Afghanistan. No way.
Sudden Heat releases September 25! Stop by my website www.deniseagnew.com for all the details and be sure to join my Sudden Heat contest on my blog that day at www.deniseagnew.com/blog. There you’ll find all the details that day on how to enter. You could win an Amazon gift card.