For those of you who’ve read my book Power Struggle, you may remember Gabe, the Master Dom from le Château who helped Tori and Dev figure things out when their “power struggle” threatened to end their new relationship. So many people commented about wanting Gabe’s story, and I really wanted to write it, but it took a while! Turns out Gabe is a very complicated man.
Okay, getting off topic for a moment - don’t you love it when writers talk about their characters like they’re real people? As if they “discovered” this character and put him in a story? I mean, really. I invented Gabe. I created him. I’m the one who made him complicated. Let’s be real here.
But that’s how it feels, for me anyway. Yes, I created him, but he became so real to me, I believe in his background and all the things he went through and why he is the way he is.
It was also difficult to find the perfect woman for Gabe. I actually rejected several. They even had names. But they just weren’t good enough for him. (Go ahead, roll your eyes at my craziness, believe me - I understand. Writers are nuts.) Reagan is a woman who’s had to overcome some struggles of her own and has become a strong, independent woman. She’s strong enough for Gabe—strong enough to stand up to him but also strong enough to submit to him. But...is Gabe strong enough for her?
I also want to mention that if you’ve read Taming Tara, you will meet up again with Tara and Joe in Power Shift. And if you’ve read Taming Tara and Power Struggle, I think you’ll like the Epilogue at the end of Power Shift, which I did not include in my original version of the manuscript. During edits, my editor suggested an epilogue. At first I had no idea what I was going to say! Should I tell you that the characters spoke to me and told me what to write? Really, I’m sane! I am, I am!
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Here's a little excerpt from Power Shift:
“What happened to your marriage?” he asked softly, leaning closer.
She moved her head from side to side. “You didn’t answer my question. What makes you think I’ll answer yours?”
“Fair enough. My wife...” He hesitated and she sensed he was about to tell her something he hadn’t told many people. Her chest tightened. “My wife didn’t like to have sex.”
She choked on her wine. “Oh.”
He grinned and once again, the genuine smile lit up his face. The corners of his eyes crinkled up appealingly. “You asked.”
She licked her bottom lip. She wanted to look him up and down and say, “Was she crazy?” because he was gorgeous and so damn sexy she was having a hard time concentrating on business every time she was with him, lust rolling inside her. But instead she looked down at her hands holding the stem of her wineglass.
“Sex can definitely ruin a marriage,” she said.
“Speaking from experience?” he asked softly.
“You know, this is an entirely inappropriate conversation for two business colleagues,” she said, unhappy with the breathless quality of her voice. But when she looked up at him and saw the way he was looking at her, pretty much the up and down, I-want-to-eat-you-up look she’d wanted to give him a moment ago, with an added layer of power, her entire body went hot.
“We can’t be friends, too?” he asked softly.
She tried to ignore the inferno in her face. “Mr. Pejovic.” She leaned across the table. “Are you flirting with me?”
Flirting? He didn’t know how the hell to flirt. His relationships had involved seeking people out in the club, women with needs that matched his own. The feeling that Reagan had those needs kept growing every time he saw her. And yet she didn’t seem aware of it at all.
Aware of him, certainly. He wasn’t oblivious to the sexual tension arcing between them every time they met. He’d been amused by her distraction earlier in his office, knew she was feeling it too. But the subtle cues that told him what she needed were at odds with her determination to appear assertive and in control. Her innocence and gentleness, the way her gaze dropped sometimes, not with uncertainty― she was clearly confident and assertive―but rather just a subtle deference in her tone and body language. The way she tried so hard to keep control. It was annoying. Frustrating. Sexy as hell. And a challenge.
He sipped his beer, watching her, and he thought of Tori. How her strength had appealed to him. How an easy conquest no longer satisfied. And he had to admit, despite the hints of submission, Reagan was strong. But what the hell was he thinking? He’d already decided he was taking a break, no matter how appealing the sub.
On the other hand, flirting―just flirting, with a woman, not in the club―was...fun.
She waited for his answer and he shook his head, smiling in spite of his internal battle between the decision he’d made and his attraction to her. Between his certainty that he could give her something and his suspicion that she could make him feel things he wasn’t sure he wanted to feel.
“You know what?” He too leaned forward, voice low among the other people on the patio, feeling like he was stepping off a scaffolding into thin air. “I think I am.”