When I was preparing to submit the manuscript for my latest release Hidden Heat to my editor, I had to come up with some possible taglines – the one that kept coming to mind was "appearances can be deceiving." You see, the hero Troy McPherson is not the man all his friends think he is. His boss knows he used to be a sniper for the government but not that he still is. His friends know of some of his past – about how he was orphaned during the Troubles in Ireland, but not the whole story. And very few people know his real name. Which made him such a fun character to write.
In the very first paragraph you learn that Troy McPherson's an assassin.
The red dot of the laser site centered on the target’s forehead milliseconds before a hole appeared in its place. Not until the body dropped to the ground did Troy McPherson lower the pistol.
He's very good at his job. Which creates all sorts of internal conflicts for him—you have to read the book to find out why it disturbs him.
Just after I'd submitted the manuscript, I watched the movie RED and the scene where they introduced Karl Urban's character made me sit up in my seat. He's planting evidence, and then very calmly kicks the chair out from under a guy who is strung up by a rope and watches him hang – all while calmly talking over his Bluetooth headset to his wife discussing mundane events of their marriage. I can totally see Troy acting exactly the same way.
Given the nature of his job, I figured Troy would be an adrenaline junky, so he'd probably love having a little adrenaline in his personal life as well. And since I write hot romance, I brought all that adrenaline and testosterone into the bedroom. And threw in a spice of naughty-and-nice in the form of his love interest, Sandy Hallquist – one of the few women able to keep all the Hauberk men in line. In the office, that is. Once they're out of the office, all bets are off. But the handcuffs go on. ;)
But still I wonder whether some readers might not find a man who works as an assassin (even for the right reasons) sexy? Do you like anti-heroes like Troy? Or would you only find him sexy if he is redeemed and changes occupations?
Be careful what you don’t wish for. Fate might snatch it away.
When handling Hauberk’s managers, efficiency is Sandy Hallquist’s watchword. In her personal life? Excitement all the way, baby. That’s why she escaped Minnesota—and her marriage-minded mother—for a job with one of the hottest bodyguard companies on the eastern seaboard. What more could she ask for than to be surrounded by all that alpha-male testosterone?
Invisibility is Troy’s stock in trade, the only way he can manage Hauberk’s international offices while answering the call of his other career: assassin. Nothing about him is real, not even his name.
In one moment of weakness, he allowed Sandy a glimpse behind his carefully crafted mask. The more he’s around her, the sharper his yearning for stability. A home. Love. Pity those are the last things she’s looking for. And revealing that she’s the one true thing in his life could be the very words that drive her away.
At the first whisper of the “L” word, Sandy’s first instinct is to hit the brakes. By the time Sandy admits to herself that Troy is more than a passing fancy, though, his next mission could take the decision out of her hands.
Product Warnings: This book contains sexcapades in secret clubs, voyeurism, a touch of bondage and risqué office shenanigans.
Read an excerpt now.
Hidden Heat releases from Samhain Publishing on May 1st, but you can pre-order it now from Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Samhain
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