Sunday, November 6, 2011

Who's your perfect hero?

How would you concoct your perfect hero?

For romance writer Jody Feather, her delectable hero Jake Emerson is the perfect guy. Too bad he's fictional. Or is he? When a guy who perfectly embodies Jake shows up on her doorstep, Jody no longer knows what's real - except he definitely is!
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“Jody Feather?” The deep voice rushed at her like a hot breeze, reverberated through her, and stopped her where she stood.
“Ye—” Her gaze climbed the long legs clad in well-fitting jeans, pumped torso outlined through his tight tee, to the gorgeous model face. Someone might have stolen a cardboard cutout of the perfect hero and breathed life into it, and that’s who stood on her doorstep.
“Yowsa,” she said on an exhale.
He cocked a delighted brow. “Pardon?”
“May I help you?” Please say yes.
“I believe it’s the other way around.”
“Really?” Thankyouthankyouthankyou! “I mean… what do you mean?”
The timbre of his deep voice filled the space between them. “I’m here to help. Use me.”
Wait. This had to be a prank. “I get it. Mimi sent you.”
His brow furrowed. “Mimi? No.”
Patience waning, she heaved a sigh. “Who are you?”
“I think you know.” He leaned a ripped bicep against the doorjamb in a move that seemed scripted—by her.
“No. Tell me.”
“Jake? Ring a bell?”
She might have guessed. “Oh right. Jake Emerson?”
He clucked his tongue. “The one and only. I knew you’d recognize me anywhere.”
“Even at my own condo. Go figure. So why are you here? As a prop for the signing?” Damn, he fit the role perfectly, too. She couldn’t have picked a better actor. She jotted another note to ask Mimi if he could pose for the next cover. A cardboard cutout would be perfect for signings.
“Is that what you need?” he asked with a hint of disappointment.
She peered past him. “No bags?”
“I travel light.”
“Didn’t she tell you? There are several events. Dinner, the keynote, plus the signing itself. You might want a change of clothes.” Though if anyone could pull off wearing the same outfit every day, he could. She could claim it was Jake’s brand, his image, an intentional move to make him recognizable to conference attendees. Mimi always droned on about the brand, the brand.
Besides, who’d notice his clothes? They only wrapped the prize beneath. And what a yummy prize. She had to hand it to Mimi, the marketing genius.
Musing aloud, she murmured, “Where did they find you?”
“They didn’t. I’m Jake.”
“Right. And I’m Lara Croft.” Not even her Halloween costume could turn her into the sexy heroine.
He chuckled. “You’re better than that bimbo.”
Oh boy. “Let’s not get carried away, shall we? It’s temporary.”
“Why? Do you plan to kill me off?”
“Don’t tell me you’ve read the series.” All that and a reader to boot.
“I don’t need to read it. I live it.”
His devilish smile almost blocked out his words, which hit her like a slap.
Yikes. “Listen, Mr…” Rolling her hand, she prompted him to finish.
“Emerson.”
Method actor, apparently. She’d play along for now. “Sure. Mr. Emerson.”
A car horn sounded outside.
“The taxi.” And she hadn’t remembered whatever she’d forgotten. Too late now. “Give me two seconds.” She hurried to grab her jacket.
“Take all the time you need, baby.”
The endearment brought her to a screeching halt. “Hold on. I get that you’re ‘Jake Emerson’ but when we’re together, address me as Ms. Feather. I am not your baby.” Or anyone else’s, unfortunately. After this weekend, she’d change that.
His mouth curled down in a brief frown. “Pity.”
“Give it a rest.” She’d written this scene in the second novel, when Jake first meets that leading lady. How many scenes had he studied? Hopefully he wouldn’t reenact too many. Sure, she loved her work, but not so much she wanted to live it. Except for certain parts, like the shower scene in book three… You don’t have time for this.
After grabbing her bag, she said a quick goodbye to Frank. “It’s only for the weekend. See you Monday.” She glanced at the man waiting at her door. “Tuesday at the outside.” Never rule out any possibilities. Her parents taught her that. And she’d made it Jake’s motto, one of the reasons fans loved him. Time to make it her own motto as well.
The saying had given her the strength to leap from journalism into fiction. If they only knew what she considered leaping into now… well, she was old enough to face those consequences. And enjoy them while they lasted.
Holding a hand to his sculpted abs, he bowed. “May I carry your bag, Ms. Feather? Or are you too liberated for such a show of chivalry?”
Wiseass. He had that aspect of Jake down pat. “Please. Take it, with my gratitude.” It gave her a chance to follow him down the walkway, and admire his rippling biceps and tight end, made more luscious by his swagger. She paid particular attention. She had to, or she wouldn’t be able to describe it in all its vital deliciousness in a later novel.
Oh yeah, she loved being a writer.


5 comments:

Debby said...

Great excerpt. There are a few perfect heroes out there but they are not all the same.
debby236 at gmail dot com

Cate Masters said...

Too true, Debby, but that's a good thing! It's nice to have a little variety. :)

Maria said...

Thanks for the excerpt! I would love for a romance hero to pop up on my doorstep:)

junegirl63(at)gmail(dot)com

Cate Masters said...

He'd be a wonderful surprise, Maria! :)

June M. said...

I have read some books that I would love to have the heroes come to life out of. This sounds like a great story. Thank you for the excerpt.
manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com