I recently had the pleasure of reading Eve Dangerfield’s Degrees of Control and really enjoyed it. In particular, her one-liners had me rolling in the aisles. Eve has a great sense of humor and can write a sexy scene, too. I’m pleased to introduce you to her debut romance.
Why I love writing about sex (and I wouldn’t change it for anything)
by Eve Dangerfield
When I first told my family and friends my first novel, Degrees of Control, was being published the big question was obviously “what’s your book about?”
“It’s a romance,” I would say before hastily changing the subject.
You see Degrees of Control is a romance in the same way frozen yogurt is ice cream; technically true, but there’s a lot going unsaid. Degrees of Control is a romance between a rather earnest yoga teacher and a man-pain having former model but it’s also a raunchy, in-depth exploration of a kinky young woman’s sexual journey.
So yeah, maybe don’t tell your grandma little Evie Dangerfield wrote a book?
In our society we are deeply embarrassed by sex. Everyone does it, it’s how most of us got here and I can’t look at the TV for more than thirty seconds without seeing jiggling boobs but still, any direct references to it, particularly when you’re a nice young woman from a good home and a journalism degree is considered a bit… wrong. A bit obscene.
As soon as I announced my happy news and especially after my (admittedly very sexy) cover was released, well-meaning friends and family told me I could have written anything; spiders taking over the earth, young adult fiction, political thrillers… Just something more important! Something not about well… how awesome it feels to go to town on a sexy dude.
I’m sorry to say I used to be a little disappointed in myself. “I’ll try harder guys, I’ll write something about global warming next time!”
Now that Degrees of Control is finally about to be released I have just one thing to say;
SEX IS IMPORTANT! Female desire is important! Getting turned on is fun! Women have kinks and desires and they’re allowed to explore them in the realm of fantasy with hot guys called James Hunter who in addition to adoring them have a thing for bondage and spanking.
I love reading romances and I love the filthy romances the most, so I wrote one. That doesn’t mean I’m not smart, not kind, not a feminist, not anything. If my book makes you uncomfortable, stuff it down your memory hole and get on with your life. I know I will.
“What’s my book about?”
Sex baby. Deal with it.
Charlotte Bell is a typical yoga teacher. She’s friendly, earnest and has some slightly masochistic tendencies. After a painful break-up she’s determined to address her long-denied kinks with the kind of man she’s always been too terrified to approach. Charlie’s friends select James Hunter, a male model turned suit who has some dark inclinations of his own. After a ‘chance’ encounter at a party James agrees to school Charlie in the harsher side of sex. He knows she’s too genuine, too kind, too everything for a guy like him but he won’t turn down the chance to break in a starry-eyed submissive like her. As Charlie and James attempt a strings-free sexual relationship they’re alarmed to discover a connection that runs deeper than either of them could have predicted.
“You leave selling her to me,” Sophia said in the brusque, confident tone she used for her pre-game speeches. Pulling herself all the way up to her six feet, she pointed toward her unsuspecting guests. “Charlie, you asked me to help you have a one-night stand of the sexually deviant nature.”
“Hey, I did not ask for that.”
“I can confirm there are thirty-seven single men here tonight, accounting for absences and unexpected girlfriends.”
Hayley sniggered. “Oh good, Charlie’s first thirty-seven man orgy.”
Charlie tried to stop her stomach from flopping around. This was actually going to happen.
“To make things easier for you I have narrowed your options down to three ideal candidates based on hotness, height and your particular interests.”
Charlie was beginning to regret telling Sophia so much about her fantasies.
“First up, Blair Hudson, eleven o’clock, talking to Simon.”
Charlie scanned the crowd until she spotted an auburn-haired man with a body that rightfully belonged to Superman. He literally towered over everyone around him.
Sophia, nudged Charlie. “Blair is a six-foot-five State Trooper. He and Simon work together. He broke up with his fiancée last year and has been ploughing through every available female in the Midwest since.”
“Holy shit, Charlie, he will destroy you,” Hayley whispered.
“Candidate number two, Conner Moreno. Four o’clock, outside. Tall, dark and handsome.”
Charlie took in the man smoking on the back porch. Conner had a shaved head, two armfuls of tattoos and a brooding expression.
“He’s Colombian, a personal trainer and, by all accounts, a demon in the sack.”
Hayley moaned. “Ten out of ten, would bang. Would. Bang.”
Sophia rapped her on the back of head. “No poaching! You can have Charlie’s cast offs.”
Charlie fiddled with her hair. “Why are all these guys so tall? They’ll make me look like a toddler.”
“You specifically requested someone tall! I’m just meeting your demands.”
Charlie groaned. “Sophia, please stop talking like a pimp.”
Her friend swished her long blonde hair. “No. Tonight that’s what I am, your pimp. Now stop being so dramatic and concentrate. We have a surprise entry for draft number three because I wasn’t sure he was coming tonight—”
“No. Fucking. Way.” Hayley gripped Charlie’s arm with wild abandon. “I thought he lived in Texas? Holy shit, Charlie, you have to pick him!”
Sophia glared at Hayley. “Your third choice is James Hunter. Businessman, former football player, colossal man-whore and, like myself, an accent to die for, Miss Charlie.” Sophia stretched out her Texan twang like a piece of warm toffee.
“He’s the blond over by the bar. Don’t judge by the clothes.”
Charlie felt like she’d been punched in the stomach, her hand leapt to her curls like they were a protective amulet. The man in question was leaning against a wall, nodding to a starry-eyed redhead. His face was half in shadow, arms crossed in front of his chest. The casual attire, sun-streaked hair and powerful body might have suggested he was a surfer but he lacked a surfer’s relaxed attitude. This man’s body language screamed indifference. The set of his square jaw was authoritative, almost arrogant and Charlie felt her spine straightening in response.
“Abercrombie asked him to model in college,” Hayley whispered as though there was some chance the man would hear them halfway across a party. “He got paid to wear jeans with his shirt off, can you believe it?”
Yes Charlie could. If anyone was born to glare at people from monochrome jean commercials, it was this guy. He was the unapproachable kind of handsome that made her want to cross the street when she saw it.
Eve Dangerfield has loved romance novels since she first started swiping her grandmother’s paperbacks at the age of fourteen. Now she writes her own unapologetically sexy tales about complex women and gorgeous-but-slightly-tortured men. Eve currently lives in Melbourne with her lovely sister, extremely chill boyfriend and a rabbit named Billy. When she’s not writing she can usually be found drinking, dancing or making a mess. Often all at once. Degrees of Control is her first novel.