I love to hear about other people’s writing process. My critique partner, the fabulous Jayce Ellis, who is also featured in this anthology, is a planner and a plotter. She lays out everything, does character interviews, story arcs, character development. Basically, she builds the foundation, then the scaffolding, and then builds her story on that very solid structure.
I, on the other hand, am a sculptor. And a bit of a bad one. I take a giant hunk of rock with some vague idea and usually one or two fully formed scenes, and I start blindly hacking away at that stone until I start to uncover something. And it’s generally not even close to my first idea, and I keep hacking away, with multiple drafts and versions. It’s embarrassing how many versions of MANUSCRIPT REALLY FINAL THIS TIME I MEAN IT files I have in Word. But this is my process, and despite my best efforts to try something a bit more, efficient, it seems to be it for me.
“Captive Desire” was no different. It’s a short story, but I still managed to rack up an impressive number of versions. And I’m a LONG-winded writer, with most of my novels getting to the juicy stuff about 200 pages in. So, writing a short, with two characters who had never met, and creating a love scene that didn’t come across as forced, was a challenge. The issues of consent, sexuality and femininity are so important to me, and I think as romance writers we have a huge responsibility to uphold the ideals in our writing we want to see in the world. So, when I wrote “Captive Desire”, the captivity has more to do with our expectations of woman, of what they want and how the world sees them. Sofia might be Lucky’s captive, but she is fully in control of what she wants and by the end, ready to go after it.
I hope you enjoy Sofia and Lucky as much as I do!
Excerpt from “Captive Desire”
Sofia glared from her position on the bed. “How long does this kidnapping thing take? I’m pretty close to dying of boredom, and I’m no expert, but I think the goal is to keep the victim alive.”
He ignored her complaint and crossed the room. “Come on, then. We’ll go for a walk. Stand up and let me pat you down.” His eyelashes were as thick and long as paintbrushes. He was a deceptively beautiful creature, luring her closer with his gentle voice and glacial eyes. “You expect me to believe you’re driving a boat this size? Alone?”
“There isn’t anyone else here, is there?” She stood, holding his gaze. His hands skimmed over the ridiculously small shirt. She’d panicked when she’d realized they were boarding the boat and thought she’d try posing as a crew member. Damn Maddy and her tiny bust. It was another stupid idea in a sea of stupid ideas.
Lucky’s touch was quick and light, but her body clenched at his nearness, heat spreading through her. Her nipples hardened as his hands brushed the underside of her breasts. She felt her body lean toward him, arcing into his touch as her skin screamed for more.
What the hell was the matter with her? She’d never reacted that strongly to Peter. She’d never reacted that strongly to anyone. She’d felt it three days ago on the deck but had managed to convince herself it was a combination of adrenaline and the threat of impending death. This time couldn’t be as easily explained away.
“Speaking of which, where is your new husband?”
She fought not to squirm as his hands slid up her bare thighs. Heat blossomed in her belly and coiled between her legs. Her throat tightened as he crouched behind her, his fingers easing along the waistband of her pants. She forced herself to remain still as his big hands lingered.
“Should be all happily ever after, shouldn’t it?”
The husky baritone of his voice was intoxicating. “Considering the fact you were lying in wait to kidnap us, I doubt there would’ve been much happily ever after, even if we had gotten married.” Every nerve in her body vibrated, quivered. What if he kept going? What if his hands traveled higher to the apex of her thighs? What if he pushed her against the wall and tugged her shorts down her legs? Would she push him away or arch into his touch? She already knew from the easy way his gaze slid sinuously over her that fucking him would be as far from missionary-in-the-dark, over-in-a-minute-and-a-half Peter as she could get. “You think I can actually hide anything in this get-up?” she asked, her voice embarrassingly breathy.