I started spinning stories as a child when I tried to entertain my younger sister at night when we were supposed to be going to sleep. In the dark, my stories typically took on a scary or paranormal element -- didn't do much to put us to sleep. Today, I hope my stories still fail to put readers to sleep, but rather take them on a journey. That's what I've been on since I decided to make writing my focus. As a reporter and magazine feature writer, I truly enjoy learning as I work on stories. As a romance writer, I enjoy doing the research and following an evolving story of my characters. I'm still learning as I go.
Uncovering secrets and exposing truth are all in a day’s work for private investigator Sterling Aegar. But when her latest case threatens to reveal her own buried feelings for an old love, Sterling runs for cover.
A body in the bathtub and pleas from a jilted wife to find her wayward husband mean a welcome break from the usual humdrum cases Sterling and her sister, Lacey, are called to investigate. But when Sterling’s old flame, Detective Ben Kirby, walks into the murder scene, she feels her world spin out of control. Danger from thugs and murderers poses no greater threat than the peril she’d suffer if she lets daredevil Ben get too close.
Seeing Sterling for the first time in two years is for Ben like drinking in a healing tonic. He could never forget the way it felt to run his hands over her delicious curves or the way she touched his soul. She remains the one person who can make the emptiness in his gut go away. Finding the murderer is his job, but protecting Sterling from seriously dangerous people is his mission.
As the case unfolds, Sterling and Ben not only solve the murder and locate the missing husband, they confront secrets that set them each free from a painful past.
Now for a taste...
Ben stood behind the richly embroidered drapes at the condo’s living room window and discreetly watched Sterling walk to the car as he shuffled paperwork through his fingers. Her petite frame, dressed in a slim gray suit, pulled his attention as though he had no control. That’s the way it was with her. He hadn’t seen her for two years, but all during that time he’d been unable to will her out of his thoughts for very long. Seeing her up close and feeling her presence today had stirred up old feelings inside him. After they’d gotten together, the terrible aloneness he’d grown to live with had vanished. It hadn’t mattered that before she’d come along he’d had no one, no family, because she’d completely filled the emptiness in his gut. Then when she left, he’d felt all the more alone for having known but lost her.
Sterling’s straight, chestnut-colored hair had grown longer, brushing gently against her slim shoulders. He liked it. And the two years apart had worn beautifully on her fine-boned face. She looked even lovelier than he remembered. In the brief moments he’d stood next to her, he’d taken in everything: her shapely curves, her intense, blue-green eyes, her sensuously curved lips the color of a rich Merlot wine.
Ben’s stomach tightened. It had to happen sooner or later, he thought to himself. Even though Sterling had left his life, it seemed inevitable that they’d run into each other sometime while working a case. He’d like to think it meant their destinies were intimately intertwined. That even though their paths might occasionally diverge and meander, they were actually headed in the same direction. She’d been emphatic at their breakup that there was no future for the two of them—that they wanted different things in life—but he just didn’t believe it. He believed in possibilities, and though in the interim he’d given Sterling her space, the hope remained strong in him that eventually, along the way, they would come together again, perhaps even stronger than before.
Ben watched Sterling drive away and couldn’t help himself. Was it too much to hope maybe this time it could be different?
Lynn's Thoughts on Heroes
The characters in the fairy tales and stories I grew up reading frequently were portrayed as the best of everything. The heroine was the most beautiful girl or woman in the land. She was adored by everyone, except the villains, who were jealous or just mean. Even if the heroine had little money and few friends, she remained gracious and kind and selfless. These qualities eventually put her in the path of the hero, who was equally gorgeous, quite often rich, and also powerful. Think Prince Charming, Superman, and the Prince in Beauty and the Beast. These male characters could rescue the heroine if she was suffering and together they could vanquish the villain and live, well, happily ever after being beautiful, powerful, and rich – and most likely feeling nothing but bliss.
There is still a part of me that enjoys the concept of a hero who can manage anything and everything and take care of the heroine. But I've come to appreciate more the complexity of being human and want characters in my stories to portray that complexity. For me, it is much more interesting to read and write stories in which the characters are imperfect. That's what ordinary people are, yet ordinary, imperfect people find their way through life. They deal with the painful parts of ordinary life and live well despite their lack of perfection. So in writing Dancing with Detective Danger, I was inspired by ordinary men to write Ben Kirby, a hero with soft spots and hard edges and wounds that challenge him to make tough decisions, just like a real man. While the fantasy of a wealthy hero whose physique is beautiful makes a fun read and nice place to escape to, a hero with flaws—an ordinary man—is much sexier and engaging for me.
As a police officer, Ben is equipped to handle dangerous situations. He uses his brain and his brawn. He is loyal, forthright, and commanding. He has little patience for deception and injustice and regards his job of taking down the "scumbags" in his city seriously. He does this partly because it's how he assuages his despair over his own failings, and partly because he cares about people. His selflessness is rooted in his despair as well as his belief in humanity. He puts into practice his desire to make the world a better place, because, in heroine Sterling's words, "So most days, no one loses a father, brother, or daughter." It is this willingness to put his life on the line for others, his selflessness, that Sterling both loves and fears, because while it is a quality to admire, it also means she may lose him. Since she's already suffered losses, Sterling is confronted in her relationship with Ben with opportunities to examine her own inner demons. Ben brings to her the lesson that he cannot rescue her from painful circumstance, but rather asks her to redefine her ability to live large, despite the risks. In so doing, he shows her that he believes in her ability to be strong, but he's willing to give her the space to either choose to grow or not. This spacious quality in Ben is what an ordinary man in real life can be appreciated and loved for, and is a much bigger gift in a relationship than simply removing all perceived undesirable situations, which can enable victimization and stunted living. A man who aspires to be his true self, not a one-dimensional "Prince Charming," models being in touch with a range of emotions and imperfections in himself and his partner, yet allows for the possibility of real love flourishing. In fact, not living in denial but allowing for the existence of imperfections and normal shortcomings and discomforts of the experience of living is truly loving.
A true hero, Ben wants to take care of Sterling, wants her to be happy. He supports what makes her happy, such as her relationship with her sister, Lacey, and doesn't feel threatened by Sterling's choices, and she is there for him in the same way as they learn and grow together. He sees the best in her, even when she doesn't, and that doesn't mean she has to be the prettiest and the most perfect. He loves her for being her. A man like that is genuinely heroic and much more lovable than a Superman.
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