By Melissa Cutler
Do opposites really attract? Perhaps a better question is, can opposites who do attract actually build a sustainable life together? That’s a question I tackle in my latest contemporary romance, UNDEFEATED.
I love writing about opposites, not just as characters who are romantic interests, but with friendships and within characters’ personalities, too. To me, it’s about balance—like yin and yang—and also giving readers a flavor of the unexpected in what they’re reading.
Before I get any further, let me tell you about my Bomb Squad series, of which UNDEFEATED is the second book. I decided to write a series featuring wounded soldiers because, to me, there are no heroes more worthy of finding true love than those who’ve sacrificed so much of themselves. I’m really drawn to flawed characters and blue-collar heroes in literature, and wounded vets seemed like a natural fit to write about.
Furthermore, I wanted my series to visit these soldier heroes years after their injuries had been sustained, once they’d gotten on with the business of living their lives, and I wanted to give them something cohesive and uber-manly to do together, to show their bond with each other as well as how strong and able they are. Since my favorite sport happens to be ice hockey, I started researching ice-hockey for people with disabilities. That’s when I stumbled upon information about a real-life wounded warrior ice hockey team in Boston who’d played an exhibition game with a wounded soldier ice hockey team from Russia more than a decade ago. And there you have it. Serendipity!
Back to UNDEFEATED…
Liam and Marlena are polar opposites at the beginning of the book. He’s an aggressive, loner, alpha male who’s more than just a little rough around the edges. But he can’t help his attraction to his twin sister’s best friend, who’s a serene yoga teacher. Marlena is all about the spiritual, but he doesn’t believe in anything after the atrocities he witnessed while at war.
Another element of opposites I like to include with almost all the characters I write is giving them one trait that seems discordant with the rest of their personality. Liam is jaded and wounded and plagued by personal demons, but he loves to dance. Marlena treats her body like a temple…except that she is addicted to hot sauce. We all have element of our personalities like that, don’t we?
I’m not a particularly organized or orderly person, but I can’t leave any cabinets or drawers open. Drives me crazy! I love being alone and value privacy, but I vastly prefer to see movies in crowded theaters than at home. What are some personality opposites that you have? If you have a romantic partner, what are some ways that you two are opposites? For example, my husband’s a homebody and isn’t into adventure, but I love to try to things and be out and about. Somehow, we balance each other beautifully.
From the back cover of UNDEFEATED…
Welcome to Destiny Falls, New York, home of Bomb Squad—an ice hockey team full of rugged military heroes. The team’s battling a losing streak, but the season’s biggest game changer is one player’s second chance with the one who got away…
Yoga instructor Marlena Brodie is always up for a challenge, and her new job of snapping Bomb Squad out of their rut is definitely that, even though it means being in close contact with Liam McAllister, her high school crush gone bad. She can feel the damage pouring off of him—but also a wild and sexy strength that calls to her.
The Army turned Liam McAllister into a man, but as a combat medic, he saw far too much to ever be whole again. He’s not interested in the civilian world beyond his job as a carpenter, but he never stopped wondering what might have been with Marlena—and it isn’t long before she’s crashed through his carefully constructed walls. He longs for a new beginning with her, but to be the man she deserves, he’ll have to step out of his defensive zone and score the most important play of his life…
Books in the Bomb Squad hockey series:
Risky Business (Bomb Squad #1) – August 2014
Undefeated (Bomb Squad #2) – November 2014
Game Changer (Bomb Squad #3) – May 2015
Meanwhile, you can order UNDEFEATED at most e-retailers:
And don’t forget to add UNDEFEATED to your GOODREADS shelf.
Melissa Cutler knows she has the best job in the world writing sexy contemporary romances and romantic suspense. She was struck at an early age by an unrelenting travel bug and is probably planning her next vacation as you read this. When she’s not globetrotting, she’s enjoying Southern California’s flip-flop wearing weather and wrangling two rambunctious kids. She loves hearing from readers at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Facebook (www.facebook.com/MelissaCutlerBooks ) and Twitter (@m_cutler). Visit www.melissacutler.net to learn more about Melissa and her books and don’t forget to sign up for her newsletter.