Monday, June 30, 2014

Give me a man in a blue-collared shirt with his name on it…

Some women love powerful sheikhs and princes. Rich chief executives. Wealthy playboys with ski lodges. Cowboys. Pilots. Navy SEALS.

I get it. There’s plenty of appeal in Alpha Males of all kinds. Contemporary Romances thrive on those heroes.

As for me, though, give me a man in a blue-collared shirt and I can’t resist him.

Firefighters. Police officers. Maintenance men. If their name is over their breast pocket, I want to take them home with me. I love men who would never think of calling someone to change their tire alongside the road. Men who change their own furnace filters and spark plugs. They mow their own lawns, put a roof on the garage with their own two hands, drive your car and tell you why it’s making that wub-wub-wub sound. They can back a trailer using only the side mirrors of the truck. They know how to put out a chimney fire. They can operate a chainsaw, foil a robbery, install your new microwave. They actually know what they are looking for when they open the electrical panel at your house.

Call me crazy, but a man who can actually do things is sexy as hell.

The hero of my new contemporary romance The Gull Motel is the former maintenance man for the motel who is busy fixing up the pirate bar next door. Skip McComber finds time to help his spring-break-fling Savvy Thorpe when she takes on the task of running the beach motel. Here’s a taste of The Gull Motel when Skip interrupts Savvy as she’s trying to read the instructions for running the motel’s pool pump. If you like a man wearing a toolbelt (with or without a shirt), you might just fall in love with Skip McComber in The Gull Motel.

“I know a lot about fixing things,” he said.

Of course he did.

“I’ll keep that in mind just in case,” I said. “I have to go check on the…um…air conditioning units.”

He smiled, not giving up his post blocking the exit. “Planning to recharge the condensers?”

I know a challenge when I see one. I also know enough not to swing around a sword with my eyes closed. Recharge a condenser? If Skip thought he was going to exact some masculine advantage over me by testing my mechanical knowledge, he had a surprise coming.

He was going to discover how humiliatingly easy that would be.
But I hadn’t gutted my way through college to be vanquished by an air conditioner or a pool pump. He’d have to go push buttons on his power equipment because my buttons were off limits.

“There are plenty of things that I should consider recharging around here,” I said, side stepping through the doorway and taking care not to touch any part of Skip’s delicious body. He did not make that easy for me. Somehow, his scent—man soap mixed with sawdust—erased the chlorine smell and took me back to spring break before I could put on the brakes.

“I hope I’m one of them,” he said, filling the doorway with his broad shoulders.

“Not on the books,” I said. “Got plenty of other things that need attention.”

“Savvy,” he said. I turned to face him, not wanting to be rude, not knowing what to do about him next door, not knowing if air conditioners even had condensers.

“Come over sometime. I’ll buy you a beer.”

“Not a huge offer from a man who owns a bar,” I said.

He grinned. “Doesn’t mean it’s not a good offer.”

“I have to get to work.”

“Have to check the circuit boards on the shower heads?” he asked, the corners of his mouth inching up.

“Don’t be ridiculous,” I said. Of course I know shower heads and electronics don’t mix. At least, I was pretty sure.

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