Anyway, Sommer's latest release with none other than the super-heavyweight of online naughtiness, Ellora's Cave, is "Poster Boy For Average". A quick scan of the blurb tells me this is a classic Marsden tale, rich with natural emotion, deep and believable connections and the wonderful humour that comes with daily life. I've just grabbed my copy and can't wait to delve into it!
In a genre (romance/erotic romance) which is often chock-full of hyperbole, Sommer's writing stands out to me for the way it can kick me right in the chest. And it's not because the women are supermodel virgins and the men are billionaire cowboys with butts of steel. It's because her characters rise from the page and greet me in everyday life. I see them all around me.
But enough from me. Let's hear from the woman herself.
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I love writing parents into my erotic novels for two reasons. Reason one: parents need steamy encounters too. Duh! And reason two: I think if you toss that connection into the mix—parent and child—it gives you more well-rounded characters. More depths to plumb.
In Angry Sexy I had a mom who was doing it all herself. And then she finds that “herself” needs a bit more. Something to call her own. Which is how she ended up with the hero. This time, in Poster Boy for Average, Mike Sykes is a doting father who adores his two boys. In fact, wanting to get the youngest a pool is what allows him to even consider Aubrey’s suggestion he model for her.
Because really, won’t most of us do anything for our kids? Including model even if the suggestion seems laughable to us? And don’t we all want what’s best for our kids? Which means the someone you care about cares about them?
To some, it might seem counterproductive to write kids into a romance novel. Especially a sick one, which is the case with Mike’s youngest. But to me, the connections we already have—that we cherish—augment the new ones we might make. Say…falling in love…
Indie photographer and book cover artist Aubrey Singleton is living up to her last name. A long summer at the lake has cured her of her recent breakup, and she’s embracing life as a single woman. What she’s not prepared for is to come back home to find she has a handsome new single neighbor.
Mike Sykes is a roofer—though he’s afraid of heights—a father of two and recently divorced. Oh and one might classify him as smoking hot.
The photographer in Aubrey is smitten, the single woman in her is breathless. She’s ready to make Mike a star—on book covers and, though she’s wary of a broken heart, in her life. He’s not so sure. Mike sees himself as a life complication due to his younger son’s illness, and not hot by a long shot. In fact, he thinks he’s the poster boy for average.
But a “business” trip to Key West, rife with hunky models, sets a backdrop for a shot at true love…
They rounded Deerhorn Avenue and Aubrey turned left toward home. She could feel her pulse pounding heavily in her temples. She should never have thought to mix running and attraction. Not her smartest move.
“Not really. I haven’t had sex in eight months. I think a man full of himself would probably be having a lot more.”
She almost tripped, swayed on her feet and reached out blindly for support. He clasped her hand and steadied her.
“Did I surprise you?”
“Yeah. A bit. But…why would you tell me that?” she asked. “Most men I know would die first before copping to that.”
“Why’s that? It just means I made a choice.”
They were standing in the street, staring at each other. Aubrey wasn’t entirely sure when that had happened. She also became extremely aware that his hand was still on her elbow.
“Well, you’re not alone. I made a choice too. And ya know…why not tell a person I just met, right?”
“I told you because I’m flirting with you,” Mike said.
That shut her up. Few things did. Bradlee would be overjoyed.
“Is that wise?”
“Flirting with you or copping to it? Or both?”
“I just mean…we live next door to each other. What if it were to be a colossal disaster?”
“That would only happen if you were flirting with me too, Aubrey. Were you?” The pressure of his hand on her elbow increased just enough to quicken her heart.
“No! I mean, not really…” He stared at her with those pale-blue eyes. “Okay, maybe some. Just a bit.”
Hi gaze grew more heated and she felt it in her belly. Remembered the dream of him making her come. The image made her blush—she could feel it.
He touched her cheek. “I’m glad. Even if it was just a bit.”
She swallowed hard. “Maybe a little more than just a bit.”
He leaned in and her body seemed to tingle with electricity. “Even better.”
She was hot and sweaty and probably gross to look at, and yet all she wanted in the world was for him to kiss her. It was enough to make her feel a little lightheaded.
“I’d kiss you,” he said, plucking the thought from her mind. “But you look terrified.”
“You do. Is it because we’re neighbors and we get along and you want to take naked pictures of me?”
About the Author:
Professional dirty word writer, gluten free baker, sock addict, fat wiener dog walker, expert procrastinator. Called "one of the top storytellers in the erotic genre" by Violet Blue, Sommer Marsden writes for HarperCollins Mischief, Ellora's Cave, Excessica, Xcite Books and Resplendence Publishing. She's the author of numerous erotic novels including Poster Boy for Average, The Accidental Cougar, Lost in You, and Learning to Drown. Visit http://sommermarsden.blogspot.com