by Elizabeth Lowell
I loved the idea so much I once used it for a book title. I’d insert a shameless plug here, but this blog is supposed to talk about my newest novel, Perfect Touch. While this latest romantic suspense has plenty of the action and thrills I love to write, it also deals with a recurring theme for me. It’s a very important one, perhaps one of the most important themes of all—home.
Home can mean different things to many people. In the case of Jay Vermilion, the hero in Perfect Touch, home was the breathtaking mountain scenery of the Wyoming cattle ranch where he and the six previous generations of Vermilions grew up and grew old. Home was also America, the country he had served in two wars–through postings in Iraq and Afghanistan, through battlefield promotions, through the blood and dirt and the squalor of war, which all helped shape Jay into the leader and man who walked through my thoughts and wound up on the pages of Perfect Touch.
For Sara Medina, the heroine of Perfect Touch, home is very much a dirty word. It brings to mind images of a hardscrabble childhood on her family’s coastal dairy farm—too many children, not enough money, and raising her younger siblings because her mother had too many kids and too little time. (And don’t even get Sara started on the cows.) In Sara’s mind, home is unrelenting work and rural poverty and cows ruling the lives of men. She chooses to follow her dream–building her art and design business, named Perfect Touch, into the kind of modern, multi-national taste-maker that will allow her to surround herself with the beautiful things she loves. And to have a career that takes her around the world to discover new things to love as well.
Sara’s visions of her jet-setting future collide with 6’4” of Alpha male in the form of Jay Vermilion. Jay has asked Sara to appraise the paintings of a little known artist poised for a posthumous breakout, and potentially a scandal worth killing to keep quiet. The entirety of this artist’s collection of Western landscapes is held in the hands of one family—the Wyoming Vermilions, headed by the military man turned cowboy, Jay.
While that cowboy may be Sara’s newest client, the man has her tempted to break every one of her own professional rules about mixing work and pleasure. And about getting involved with a marrying kind of man, one whose visions of his home include a huge rural cattle spread, a ranch wife, and a seventh generation of Vermilions to carry on the family’s Wyoming legacy. This reality has Sara wanting to run for the hills, even though meeting Jay in person quickly turns their phone-based business relationship into a dance of seduction and retreat.
However much Sara might want to run from her feelings, she can’t. At first, that’s because the job itself could catapult her business into the stratosphere. And then it’s because the threat of a modern pop-culture art scandal quickly morphs into a murders and a threat on Sara’s life. Through the building sense of foreboding to the knowledge that she is being hunted, there is one constant—Jay’s steadfast and protective presence at her side. And eventually, his unconditional love despite the certainty that she isn’t the ranch wife he had been hoping for.
It’s this love that will force Sara to examine her own feelings—and fears—about the concept of home. Could it be as simple a matter as surrendering to their feelings for one another, with the hope that HOME can be wherever Sara and Jay choose to make it?
And will they survive long enough to find out?
Buy Perfect Touch to find out, or visit www.elizabethlowell.com to read some sample chapters.