With: Tessa Bailey
Writing male friendships is one of the most enjoyable aspects of creating a story. Not only do I get the chance to create some comic relief and give the hero some time away from the heroine to think, but we learn the most about our hero when he’s around his friends. Unless you’re writing a friends-to-lovers type situation, the man is not his usual self around the heroine (at first), so we find out more about his sense of humor and how he treats others. Even the way his friends treat him back is a testament to the hero’s character.
I had a really fun and easy time writing the male friendships when I wrote cops. They were good guys who wanted to unwind with a beer and talk baseball. And women, because hey, we’re writing romance here. With this new cast of antiheros I’m writing in my Crossing the Line series, however, I quickly realized the repartee and ball breaking wouldn’t be quite so easy. Bowen and Connor (my heroes from books one and two) are hardened criminals that don’t trust easily, meaning it takes a little more than wings and a Mets game for them to bond. Since they’ve been placed on an undercover squad that is required to work as a team, they can’t avoid each other, so their interactions are mostly stilted insults that serve to give us insight into their personalities, while giving us a break from the drama and romantic storyline as well.
The challenge has been awesome, though! I’ve found it really rewarding when something small creates a tiny, new increment of trust between two stubborn, wounded, hardheaded, loner males. With these guys, the simple act of thanking each other for having one another’s back can create a sense of the bond I achieved in my earlier series with beer and baseball. And somehow it makes it all the more poignant when the eleventh hour arrives and they have to rely on one another to get a job done.
Never start a fire you can't control...
Connor Bannon is supposed to be dead. Dishonorably discharged from the Navy SEALs, he's spent the last two years working as a street enforcer in Brooklyn for his cousin's crime ring. Through a twist of fate, he's now in Chicago, working undercover to bust criminals. But when a cute little arsonist joins the team-all combat boots, tiny jean shorts, and hot-pink hair-Connor's notorious iron control slips.
Erin "she's getting away" O'Dea knows two things. She hates authority. And... Nope, that's it. When she's forced to operate on the "right" side of the law, her fear of being confined and controlled blazes to the surface. The last thing she expects is a control freak like Connor to soothe her when she needs it most. Worse, something behind the sexy ex-soldier's eyes ignites a dangerous inferno of desire. One that invites Erin to play with fire. And one that could get them both killed...
Tessa Bailey is originally from Carlsbad, California. The day after high school graduation, she packed her yearbook, ripped jeans and laptop, driving cross-country to New York City in under four days.
Her most valuable life experiences were learned thereafter while waitressing at K-Dees, a Manhattan pub owned by her uncle. Inside those four walls, she met her husband, best friend and discovered the magic of classic rock, managing to put herself through Kingsborough Community College and the English program at Pace University at the same time. Several stunted attempts to enter the work force as a journalist followed, but romance writing continued to demand her attention.
She now lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband of seven years and three-year-old daughter. Although she is severely sleep-deprived, she is incredibly happy to be living her dream of writing about people falling in love.
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