Four days on the water . . .
Four nights in his arms . . .
Charlene “Charlie” Stanton doubts her maiden voyage on a lusty singles cruise will direct her sails toward love. But an unexpected lothario just might change the tide in her favor . . .
Charlie boarded the Cozumel-bound Lovers Sail cruise hoping for nothing more than writing an article that would make it into the pages of City Wings, a trendy travel magazine. Still recovering from a highly publicized divorce, love is the last thing on her mind—especially when she realizes she’s mistakenly booked herself a spot on a kink cruise. That is until she meets Ford, an outsider just like her, and he whips her attitude into submission. Despite rules limiting their interaction, he shows her a world where pleasure is encouraged, and nothing is forbidden. And with Ford as her anchor, she begins to wonder if she can turn four nights of fantasy into more nights of reality when the trip is over . . .
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Is it really cheating if you keep him between the sheets? by Demi Alex
Falling in love is a wonderful thing. There is nothing like butterflies fluttering in our tummies and tingles dancing in our hearts when this magical emotion takes hold.
In fact, there are many benefits to being in love. Numerous studies have shown that these benefits are not only emotional, but physical as well. Simply put, being in love makes us happy. Happiness reduces our stress levels, which in turn boosts our immune system, heals our hearts, and even adds a glow to our complexion. Sounds like a win-win situation, right?
But, if we fall in love on Monday with a hard-working rancher who needs a woman to show him what a slow dance could do for the soul, Wednesday with an international tycoon who has a soft spot for raking the leaves at his great aunt’s home in order to catch a glimpse of the girl next door, and Saturday with the Dom who makes it his mission to meet your every carnal desire, are we truly committed to our book boyfriends or are we cheating on them with the next one?
Fine. I know you’re smirking, but you know it’s true. As readers and authors, we claim to be in a committed relationship with our books. And while that’s a true statement, for the most part, it’s not completely accurate. It’s more like we fall hard for our book boyfriends…for now…forever…plus, these boyfriends are so exceptional. How can anyone else compare?
Have you ever downloaded a book you’ve been waiting to read for ages, then just stared at your E-reader because you don’t want to finish the story too quickly and have to leave the characters too soon? I have. And it’s a real problem.
As an author, the root of this dilemma can splinter in two directions. The first, I’m so psyched to write the next book that I find myself changing files every few hours. Or, as is more common, I know the heroine, but the hero has still to reveal his true makeup, and I find myself still swooning over the hero in my last work.
It’s part of the writing process for a romance author, and we either need to breakup with the last book boyfriend or chose to believe that he’s so magnificent; he gives (or they give) us his blessing to let a new one into our hearts.
This happens continuously at my desk, and in writing each of the International Affairs stories. I encountered the same issue.
Marko from 26 Hours in Paris is my dream man. He’s a multi-layered, smoking hot best friend who is professionally competent and successful, considerate of those around him, a real family man, and totally committed to loving Kat. Oh, did I say he’s a bit arrogant and high-handed because he can be? He is. But the love for his woman sets it all in perspective.
Spoiler alert—but you already know this because 26 Hours in Paris is an erotic romance, and by definition romance means there is a happily ever after. Once Marko and Kat overcame their obstacles and were together, it was time for Charlie’s romance in book 2 of International Affairs, Four Nights at Sea.
Since Charlie is Kat’s BFF and coworker, I knew her from the very beginning. I knew her fears and hurts. I knew what she wasn’t looking for in a man. But other than his name, Ford was a complete enigma to me. I wanted him strong enough to soothe away her hesitations, and I knew he’d be wonderfully sexy and adventurous, but I wondered if it was cheating on Marko if I allowed Ford to whisper in my mind.
Not—Ford was worth it. He’s also drool-worthy, competent in a different way than Marko, and a take-charge kind of man who can’t resist Charlie. And of course, it’s only because of Charlie that his beliefs on the inevitable failure of romantic relationships are slayed. Yes, Ford is worth adding to my heart.
When the time came for book 3, One Week in Greece, I stared are the computer screen for days…fine, for weeks. I knew Paul and Justin from books 1 and 2, but the heroine was a complete mystery. A mystery until the thousandth rewrite of the opening chapter and the guys bumped into Justin’s first love on a ferry ride to Mykonos. The game was on. Miss Muse came out to play.
So by now, I’m guessing you know my answer to the original question posed: Is it cheating if you keep him between the sheets?
Not in my world. The sheets of paper in a book lend themselves to escape and dreams. And while I never forget a true love, there is always room for more love in my heart.
What about you? Do you face the same dilemmas with your book boyfriends?
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