Violet Miller is a teacher savoring her summer break until she's been called in as emergency reinforcements—of the dating kind. She volunteers to help an old flame by pretending to be his girlfriend. In Alaska. At a family reunion. Since the guy is a handsome, lumberjack-sized doctor she's never quite forgotten, faking a relationship won't be hard work.
Mike Ostranski is a desperate man on vacation. His mother wants grandchildren and sees a crazy Alaskan woman as a candidate for daughter-in-law. Mike needs Violet by his side to deflect the lady's advances.
A week in Alaska as boyfriend and girlfriend should be easy for them. They grew up together, even had a brief fling. What could go wrong?
by Jennifer Zane
I write in first person—the book's point of view is the heroine's. So we don't 'see' inside the mind of the hero. It's impossible to know everything he's thinking; is he undressing the heroine in his mind? Does he want to strangle her? This mystery is what makes a hero super hot (at least I think so). I try to show the hero's interest in a look, a sentence, a touch. Since we can't pick his brain for an entire chapter in his POV, I can't do the whole 'tell' thing. It's all 'show.'
“If you keep looking at me that way, I'll....” Mike said, his voice rough.
“You'll what?” I asked, my voice a little breathless.
He leaned in and whispered what he'd do, his breath a soft caress against the shell of my ear.
My gaze darted left and right, even knowing no one could hear Mike's erotic words. “Okay,” I said.
“Really?” Mike's eyebrow went up and I heard him groan. “You'd do that? And the other thing, too?” I nodded. “Holy shit, Vi. Later. Definitely, later.”
I think a reader fills in the blanks themselves and that builds the chemistry even more. In the sample above, what does Mike whisper in Violet's ear? We, as readers, don't know, but each of us imagines his/her own steamy possibilities.
Jennifer Zane has lived all over the country--from Georgia to Maryland, New York to Colorado, including an exciting five years in Montana. Her time in Big Sky country was the basis for this book. When she's not writing, she savors the insanity of raising two boys, is figuring out how many meals she can make with a pressure cooker, and teaches a pretty mean karate class. She currently lives with her family in Colorado.