It’s my pleasure to welcome Eve Dangerfield today, hot on the heels of the release of her second romance Locked Box. I’m reading this one right now and it’s been very enjoyable. I love Eve’s writing. She’s funny and smart and I think you’ll like her post on unconventional heroines.
Congrats on your release, Eve!
I was pretty darn nervous about releasing Locked Box. It’s my second novel and I was worried that everyone would think I peaked at one, aka Harper Lee. But what kept me going was that while Degrees has a special place in my heart the lead character in Locked Box, Julia Bennett, is the kind of heroine I dreamed about creating back when being an author was a laughable pipe dream. She’s tall, gangly, self-deprecating and best of all she’s a gamer. When she’s not lusting after Max Connor’s she’s sitting on a beanbag playing the latest first person shooter with a lapful of popcorn.
I know a lot of female gamers (and am one) but I don’t think I’ve ever read a romance novel where the heroine is casually and unashamedly into Call of Duty or Skyrim. I’ve read a lot of romances where the dude character is into games and the women stand around rolling their eyes and saying “Oh men, they’d rather kill imaginary goblins than shop for impractical shoes or whatever it is I’m into. I guess that’s why they’re from Mars!
I’m not saying all women should be into games, but the fact is a lot of women are into games. They deserve to see versions of themselves represented in the genres they love, including romance and erotica without being patronized. Julia is my humble offering to those women and whatever people think of my second novel I’m proud as hell of her.
Julia Bennett isn’t having a great day. Funding for her video game is running low, her IT job is sucking her dry and to cap it all off she’s locked in a police station with the very handsome, extremely married guy she’s been avoiding at all costs. Max Connor isn’t having a great year. He’s getting divorced, his best friend is squatting in his spare room and his inappropriate crush on the IT girl is getting dangerously out of hand. And that was before he locked the two of them in an evidence room for the weekend. Surrounded by three decade’s worth of drugs, guns and floppy disks, Max and Julia are forced to confront the heat that lies between them with dangerous, funny and occasionally toe-curlingly sexy results.
Teaser: Gaming, cider and RAM are all things young IT woman Julia Bennett understands. Her agonising crush on a seemingly married cop? Not so much. Julia’s been avoiding Max Connor for six years but now they’re spending the weekend trapped in an evidence room full of whiskey and mice. Locked Box is a novel about two people with an unspoken connection who are forced to look each other in the eye and say “I really, really, really want to make out with you.”
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 and a rabbit named Billy. Locked Box is her second novel.
“Hey! Hey! Is someone in there?”
It was a man’s voice, calm and controlled and Julia knew it was a cop. Relief blasted through her, so all-encompassing she could barely speak. She slapped at the door trying to tell her would-be rescuer she was alive and in need of evacuation.
“Hang on a second,” the cop barked. “I’ll go get the spare keys.”
There was a pounding of feet as her rescuer dashed away. Julia inhaled, trying to calm her racing heart. The footsteps returned. Whoever this guy was, he was quick.
Julia swiped a hand across her sweaty forehead. “Oh my god please let me out.”
“Don’t worry Henri, I’ve got this.”
So the cop thought the actual evidence supervisor was the one entombed in Brenthill’s evidence room? That was awkward, then again who cared? He could think she was Humphrey B Bear if it got him to let her out. There was an agonizing rattle of keys, a muttered curse and then the door clicked open. Julia didn’t think she’d ever heard a sexier sound. She and the cop turned the handle at once, jamming the door. Julia laughed and let go, allowing him to open it. “Thank you, thank you, thank you. I’m going to nominate you for Cop of The Ye–”
It was him. Of course it was him. She was locked in a room, making a total dick of herself. Why wouldn’t it be him? Julia’s mouth went dry as Senior Constable Max Connor’s gaze flicked over her flushed cheeks and quivering mouth. His eyes were as dark as Julia remembered, black you could barely make out the pupil.
“Julia? What are you doing in here?” His voice was so low and deep she could practically feel his voice reverberating in her bones.
“I-I…” She stared blankly up at Max wondering if she’d remembered to wear mascara today.
Max’s expression was a mixture of amusement and disdain as though he couldn’t figure out how someone could be quite so ridiculous. Julia cheeks burned hot and she knew that if she’d been given the choice she’d have gladly starved to death in the property office to avoid this situation.