Fortunately there’s inspiration for hot heroes nearly everywhere. I had a vivid picture in my mind of the hero in my sexy new romantic suspense novel, A Shot of Red—a towering muscular body, overlong dark hair, smoldering eyes, and a perfectly-kissable mouth. But his physical attributes were the easy part. There had to be more that made him sexy. Because sexy is as sexy does, right?
While doing research for the book, I came across The Hill’s 50 Most Beautiful People list. Since A Shot of Red features House of Cards-style political intrigue, and my hero works for a high-ranking senator, I figured I’d have a quick click-through. (Tough research, huh?) It didn’t take long to find what I was looking for. A super-steamy guy who wore suits and rode his shiny BMW motorcycle to work. Instant hotness!
Check out this excerpt and decide if you’d like to take a ride with him!
Mia tentatively grabbed two handfuls of Gio’s leather jacket as he veered onto the parkway and picked up speed, easing the motorcycle through the graceful wooded hills and valleys of Rock Creek Park. The night air was cold and invigorating, much of it blocked from her by Gio’s sheer size and his broad shoulders. Mia wrapped her arms around him and tucked her hands in his coat pockets. She scooted up close and rested against his back, enticed by the scent of leather, leaning in and out of the curves with him, exhilarated by speed and adventure. Exhilarated by him. He felt strong and sturdy in her embrace, raw power emanating from him and the rumbling motorcycle.
At this late hour, they were often alone on the parkway, encountering only an occasional passing car. The surreal thrill of it all swirled through Mia, and her blood tingled. She couldn’t help but wonder what other enticing adventures she’d been missing out on. If any of them were half as exciting as this, she was totally game.
After a good twenty minutes, he pulled onto Wyoming Avenue in Northwest DC. Mia’s quiet, upscale neighborhood practically vibrated with the noise of the motorcycle. She squeezed Gio’s biceps and pointed up the block to the house where she lived, disappointed her time on the bike was nearly up.
Gio eased the bike into her driveway, stopped, cut the engine, and set the kickstand. He stood and took off his gloves and helmet, his dark hair wild and tousled. Mia’s stomach fluttered at the sight of him, his dark eyes glinting in the moonlight. She fussed with the chin strap of her helmet just to have something else to focus on.
“Let me help you with that.” He hung his helmet on the handlebar, hoisted one of his long legs over the bike, and sat facing her.
Gio had been magnetic, even with his back to her. But facing her, he was irresistible. Her insides were a knot of nerves and excitement…and expectation? Was he experiencing the raw chemistry she was feeling?
He tried to unclasp her chin strap, but had difficulty with the catch. Leaning in, he took a closer look. “Enjoy the ride?” he asked, his lips mere inches from hers.
“More than I even imagined I would,” she said softly.
The strap loosened and she tipped her chin with the shifting weight of the helmet. Her lips brushed his ever so lightly and he drew back.
Mia’s heart clamored as he captivated her with his questioning gaze, and she willed herself not to look away. He gently swept his fingertips along her jawline, threaded his fingers through her hair, and pulled her toward him. Her helmet fell to the ground as his lips met hers—strong, supple, and searching.
Mia melted into his kiss, alive with anticipation and overcome with an aching need she hadn’t realized was there. A cool night breeze rustled the shrubs in the nearby hedge, and she shivered. Gio clutched her waist, lifted her onto him as if she were nearly weightless, and wrapped his jacket around her. His lips never left hers, each slow sweep of his tongue seducing her senseless.
He braced his feet on the ground as she straddled him, one hand around his neck with a fistful of his silky dark hair, the other stroking his sandpapery cheek. She’d never pictured herself in a position like this—but that made her even more into it. Her blood ran hot, pulsing through her as if it carried sparks. She shifted on his lap and his breath hitched—maybe the sexiest sound she’d ever heard.
“Gio,” she said breathlessly, liking the sound of his name on her lips. “Let’s go inside.”
Sexy is as sexy does. What else besides a hot body makes a man attractive to you?
After fleeing DC following a one-night stand that had her reeling, biotech company heiress Mia Moncure has thrived working with a humanitarian aid team administering vaccines in Haiti. When the United States is threatened with a flu epidemic, Mia’s grandmother demands her return to unveil a new flu vaccine for Moncure Therapeutics. She arrives to find that her ex-boyfriend, the company’s PR Director, has died in a suspicious accident in Switzerland that Mia soon suspects was murder.
Determined to reveal a killer, Mia heads to Switzerland, where she’s threatened as she discovers a plan to infiltrate the vaccine for nefarious purposes. Desperate for backup, she turns to sexy Gio Lorenzo, Communications Director for her mother, a high-ranking senator—and Mia’s one-night stand. While negotiating their rocky relationship, they race to uncover a deadly scheme that could ruin her family’s reputation. But millions of people are being vaccinated, and there’s more than her family’s legacy at stake. Mia and Gio struggle to discover the truth about the scheme and their feelings for each other, but it just might be too late.