D is for Dangerous
Would you call a heroine in a romance novel dangerous? Aren’t they usually well-educated, perfectly normal, polite, young women? Attractive women? That’s what Adam Stern thought in my book, DANGEROUS GAME, when he sought a companion to accompany his mother to St Lucia. His mother suffered terribly from arthritis and her doctor had suggested three months in the sun, away from icy cold English winters, would do her good.
After interviewing Penny Brooklyn Adam decided she was perfect for the job. However he could not get her out of his mind, convinced he had met her somewhere before, even though when he questioned her she denied it. So he decided to join them on the island.
Actually Penny is out for revenge. She had been summarily dismissed from her job with his company not long after starting there at the age of sixteen. He claimed she had leaked information to one of his competitors and nothing she could say in her defence had made him think differently. At first she had been angry and hurt but over the years had got over it, and actually never thought about Adam Sterne any more.
But now, with circumstances throwing them together, she decides it is the perfect opportunity for revenge.
Here are the opening paragraphs:
“You do realise,” said Adam Sterne, “that this is a full-time job, and when I say full-time I mean twenty-four hours a day. Is that understood?” His thickly fringed rich brown eyes were narrowed, his hard face unsmiling.
Penny nodded. “I understand perfectly.”
“You don’t mind that you’ll have no time for yourself?”
She returned his gaze steadily. He was a handsome man, with a good strong jawline, an angular, chiselled face, and an incredibly sensual mouth. It was strange she hadn’t noticed anything sensual about him before. Her memories were of a cruel, ruthless tyrant, a hard-faced man, a man who never considered other people’s feelings. “I expected that when I applied for the job, Mr Sterne,” she told him firmly. “It’s no hardship.”
“Good.” He appraised her thoroughly for a further few seconds. “Actually I find it difficult to accept that such an attractive woman should want to commit herself to something like this for the next three months.”
Attractive woman! She should have been flattered but she wasn’t; she barely even heard the compliment. “I wouldn’t have applied for the job if I hadn’t been willing to give up my spare time,” she told him with a faint smile, a difficult smile. She had no reason to smile where this man was concerned. “It’s not as though it’s for ever.”
“Are you suffering from a broken heart? Have you been let down by a man? Is that it? As he spoke he pushed himself up and, skirting his desk, strode over to her, a tall, lithe man in his late thirties, strong, dominating, powerful – and totally, totally male.
Something like that.” Her lips twisted wryly. He really had no idea, none at all. “I have no wish to discuss it.”
He continued to look at her thoughtfully and speculatively. “Have we met before, Miss Brooklyn?”