Sunday, March 20, 2011

Romance begins with good chemistry

We’ve all experienced meeting someone and feeling a zing of physical awareness. Physical attraction or chemistry is an invisible, but real force that strikes without warning or reason. It makes us aware not only the other person, but of ourselves and our own bodies. The attraction beckons us to move closer, to touch. We smile more, we giggle stupidly.

Chemistry provides the initial glue to bond two people together so love can form. It can be the start of marriage, happily-ever-afters, and golden wedding anniversaries. But the same force also destroys marriages, breaks up families, derails careers and ends political aspirations.

Chemistry causes us to be intrigued, attracted, and aroused for no good reason. Chemistry isn’t rational. We know why we like someone, we know what we love about a person, but attraction cannot be explained. It isn’t that he’s handsome (although when we’re in the throes of the force we’d certainly call him sexy), or smart, or witty. There are many handsome men we’re not attracted to. We know people we wish we could be attracted to, but aren’t. And we know people wrong for us we wish we weren’t attracted to, but are.

Physical attraction can grow out friendship or after a long association, but usually it rears its libidinous head at the first meeting, even a chance encounter. The one who stirs us might be the stranger in the elevator. A colleague. A client. The guy standing in line at the grocery store.

Physical attraction can be felt as a mere blip on our radar screens of awareness or a wallop that leaves us reeling, looking for the bus that hit us.

Jamie Douglass, my heroine in Intimate Submission, is hit with a wallop. She’s not thinking about love and marriage when she goes off to a job interview. She’s worried about how she’s going to pay her bills after being downsized, worried about making a good impression.

She isn’t expecting to be run over by a freight train of desire when she meets Reese Nichols, her would-be boss. But she is, and it leads her to behaves in a very uncharacteristic fashion.

Here’s an excerpt from Secret Desires:

Jamie Douglass paused outside the offices of Reese Thomas Enterprises and tugged at her too-short and overly-tight black skirt, regretting her choice of attire. She’d worn her favorite mini and her highest heels because today she needed the confidence they usually afforded her.

All of her hopes hinged on the outcome of this job interview. Since graduating from college three years ago with a bachelor’s in business, she’d worked as a project manager for a software development company. When the economy took a turn for the worse, her boss, a teddy bear of a man, had been forced to let her go. He’d been as upset as she was—almost.

She’d sent out scores of résumés, but the only one that resulted in a call was the one to Reese Thomas Enterprises.

Assistant needed to handle special assignments for hard-driven, intense executive of business consulting firm. Must be able to multitask, operate out-of-the-box, push the envelope, yet thrive on discipline. Desire motivated, responsive individual willing to perform under pressure in return for exceptional reward and excellent benefits.

As it turned out, her former boss knew the company’s chief executive and founder and put in a good word for her. To Jamie, he offered a pep talk—of sorts. “If Reese seems hard and stern, it’s because he is. But he’s also uncompromisingly fair. He demands a hundred and ten percent, but he gives the same. Don’t let him scare you. You’re a terrific asset to any company, and I’m certain you two will hit it off. You’re perfect for him.”

Poised on the threshold with her old boss’s words ringing in her ears, Jamie’s doubts caused her stomach to churn. How could she satisfy someone who expected a hundred and ten percent?

Taking a deep breath, she pushed open the door and stepped inside. Her feet sank into lush, thick carpeting as she surveyed the rich mahogany furniture and the original art adorning the walls. A professionally-coiffed and uber-efficient-looking receptionist was retrieving her purse from a drawer in her L-shaped marble-topped desk.
She smiled at Jamie’s approach. “May I help you?” She set her purse on the credenza.

“I’m Jamie Douglass. I have a twelve o’clock appointment with Reese Thomas.”

The secretary arched one eyebrow. “Yes, of course.” She nodded and picked up the phone. “I’ll let her know.”

The receptionist looked at Jamie. “His conference call is running longer than expected.

Please take a seat. He’ll be with you shortly. If you’ll excuse me, I was on my way to lunch.”

Jamie tugged at her skirt again before perching on a hand-tooled leather sofa. She pressed her legs together and kept her posture straight, wanting to make a good first impression. The minutes ticked by. Five. Ten. Fifteen. As she waited, her nervousness grew. By the time the door opened and a man emerged, Jamie’s flip-flopping stomach had mastered the chacha and two other dances.

Piercing eyes zeroed in on her. “Are you here for the job interview?” His raspy, commanding tone sent a shiver up her spine.

“Yes, sir,” she answered automatically. She rose as he approached, craning her neck to see his face. “I’m Jamie Douglass.”

His unfriendly features appeared carved out of stone. Although it was only midday, a new beard shadowed his jaw. His chin was square, his mouth firm, but it was his eyes that caused her stomach to flutter with trepidation. Flinty gray, they betrayed no emotion, only impassive disregard. No one would dare call him handsome. Deadly attractive, brutally sexy, but never handsome. Despite her nerves, her body quivered in response to his rugged masculinity.

“Reese Thomas?” She extended her hand courageously.

“Reese Nichols,” he corrected as he shook her hand with an aggressive grip. He had strong hands, broad fingers. “Thomas was my father. I named the company after myself and my father.”

Stupid! She cursed silently as heat flooded her face. Why hadn’t she checked that out?

“Of course,” she forced out an answer. “I apologize.”

This close she could smell the soap he used and a wholly masculine scent that was all his own. His gaze swept over her, assessing and appraising, as if to glean from her demeanor whether she could handle the job. She felt his scrutiny as a palpable thing, stroking her from head to toe. Her ears buzzed. Her stomach fluttered as her pussy surged with wetness and her nipples started to salute.

Jamie’s heart thumped in horror as desire hit her like a bullet train at rush hour. Never in her twenty-five years had she experienced such a strong reaction to a man. She didn’t want to feel this way about a stranger, a potential employer no less, and judging from his shuttered expression, her desire was one-sided, so why did she feel abandoned when he released her hand?

“You were on time,” he said. His voice sounded as rough as his beard would be grazing over her breast, before sliding lower…

Stop it! She suppressed the erotic images that flooded her mind.

She moistened her dry lips. “Yes, sir.”



Jacqueline said...

That looks an interesting read, Cara. I do like my sex with a serve of believable romance. Makes things much more stimulating.

Cara Bristol said...

Thanks for commenting, Jacqueline!

Savanna Kougar said...

Hi Cara, great insightful blog, and sex-thrill type of excerpt. Thanks for sharing.