He seethes with raw power the first time I see him—pure menace and rippling muscles in shackles. He’s dangerous. He’s wild. He’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.
So I hide behind my prim glasses and my book like I always do, because I have secrets too. Then he shows up in the prison writing class I have to teach, and he blows me away with his honesty. He tells me secrets in his stories, and it’s getting harder to hide mine. I shiver when he gets too close, with only the cuffs and the bars and the guards holding him back. At night I can’t stop thinking about him in his cell.
But that’s the thing about an animal in a cage—you never know when he’ll bite. He might use you to escape. He might even pull you into a forest and hold a hand over your mouth so you can’t call for the cops. He might make you come so hard, you can’t think.
And you might crave him more than your next breath.
"Sexy, dark and thrilling. I loved every second of it!" – New York Times bestselling author Katie Reus
Four reasons why I will never stop sending my characters to hotels.
I just had this crazy realization today: almost all of my heroes and heroines in books by both my pen names have really intense scenes in hotels or motels. (Except my urban fantasy, but hey, the hero is trapped in a Mongolian Restaurant a lot of the time.)
Sometimes when I realize I’m doing something a ton (like…er using the term “ragged breath”) I try to stop it. I don’t want to be a repetitive writer. But I don’t want to stop setting scenes in hotels and motels. I Love Them!!
Hotels and motels rooms are blank slates.
Think about it—when you take a date to your home, all your stuff is there: books, chairs, pets. That picture of Aunt Mildred. The cookies you baked last week. A home is full of baggage, but a hotel is blank, and in a way, the whole world is shut out. The mood can be anything, and the focus is totally on the characters and how they are with each other.
A hotel room: characters confined with each other and a bed.
I love a hotel scene because it’s usually just the hero, heroine kind of trapped together with a bed. It creates instant tension and excitement. Even when one goes off to take a shower, the other hears it (and is usually thinking about them naked in there—did you ever notice that?)
A hotel room bed is almost like another character that you can’t ignore. In a car, there’s never the issue of sex in the air like there is in a hotel room. Because…hero, heroine, bed. (Unless you’re reading my kinky bank robbers books, then it’s three heroes and the heroine drinking champagne closed up in a luxury suite with a hot tub and a bed, but…same idea.)
My characters are usually in danger or up to something, but when they get to a hotel or motel, it’s downtime, and the attention goes off everything in the world but each other. I think PRISONER has the most intense motel scene; Skye and I really got into it—it’s where Grayson, our dark and troubled escaped convict, takes Abby, his college girl hostage, to this motel after a long, tense day of being on the run. It's the first time they’ve been alone and not on the move. Grayson has these dark plans for Abby, but there is this powerful psychological back and forth between them, and they each give something up and get closer in a sort of twisted way.
Hotels and motels: the edge of the forbidden.
Of course, hotels and especially motels have a kind of seedy, dirty edge. There’s the fact that people go to them to have sex a lot, but it’s not just about sex, but it is where people go to be anonymous or escape something. Also, the sort of everyday demands of life aren’t there—there are no dishes or bills or anything. Dirty no demands of usual life.
Its where people go to not be known, or to be somebody else.
How about you? Do you like seeing characters wind up in hotels? Or would you rather see them sent home?
About the authors:
Annika - I’m a NYT bestselling author living a stone’s throw away from the Mississippi with my awesome husband and two cats in a home full of plants, sunshine and books. I'm heavy into writing love stories about criminals--some of them are dirty and fun (my Kinky bank robbers!) others are dark and intense (Prisoner!)
I also write gritty romantic suspense as the RITA-award winning author Carolyn Crane.
Skye - Skye Warren is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of dark romantic fiction. Her books are raw, sexual and perversely tender. For those new to her work, consider the bestseller Wanderlust or Don't Let Go.
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