by Robin Covington
Hi Stella! Thanks for having me here . . . this will be fun.
A Night of Southern Comfort, is based upon a traditional romance trope—the one night stand. Now, this is one of my very favorite storylines and I wanted to write it, but I knew I needed to make it romantic on some level if I was laying the foundation for the love affair to follow. It couldn’t just be about sex, even though it was a one night stand. I decided the key to that dilemma was in the characters.
Almost any writer can throw two people together, have them spend hours in bed doing hot, sensual things to each other and portray a hot scene. Sex is sexy and two people who want each other on an immediate, I-can’t-wait-to-get-your-clothes-off-physical level is bound to create a spark or two. You craft a scene which is intense, decadent and an overload of all the senses and lead the reader into the bedroom with you. To place characters in a situation where they throw caution to the wind and get naked with a stranger or risk exposing a standing relationship to the drama created by engaging in intercourse is an exciting thing all on its own.
But, how do you take it to the next level and make it romantic or plant the seeds to allow it to evolve into something much more in a believable way?
I knew that I needed to show that my characters were into this encounter for more than just the orgasm. They probably didn’t know it or they might be in denial but in their subconscious they were seeking a connection with someone and this was the only way they knew how to do it. Through sex, they could appease the need in themselves without jeopardizing their heart or asking for something they didn’t think they deserved.
In my book I had a troubled hero who thought he wasn’t good enough for a woman worth having and I had a heroine who was seeking the best way to demonstrate her independence and her new lease on life. They wanted each other —yes. They openly and with full consent engaged in a night of sex with no strings—yes, they did. They both wanted more and were too afraid to ask for it or dream of having it—yes, they were. I wove their deepest desires into the scene and planted the seeds for what would follow:
“Rising up, Jack shifted until she was underneath him, every inch of her luscious body soft and open for his invasion. He propped himself up on his forearms, burying himself inside her body, the urge to move overwhelming. He forced himself to remain still. He loved this part. It was like base-jumping—standing on the edge, toes curled, muscles taut, adrenaline intensifying every sound, taste, smell, and touch. The precipice was a rush but the free fall was so much better.
But he didn’t want to take this leap alone.
As if she could read his mind, Gwyneth’s eyes fluttered open and his breath caught at the naked desire in their depths. Working as a deep-cover cop, his survival depended on him being the invisible man, but she saw him—really saw him—and he understood the meaning of regret. His choices made it impossible for him to pursue a woman like Gwyneth.”
By using a moment of intense sexual connection, I made sure that Jack acknowledged one of his demons—his belief that he didn’t deserve a good woman—and took this encounter one step beyond just sex. The result, I think, was an emotionally charged and romantic moment in the middle of an anonymous one night stand.
And then I got to the really fun part . . . making sure this one night was only the beginning.
Have you read a one night stand that you felt was also romantic? What about the ones that didn’t feel that way—what didn’t work for you? Let me know and you could win a digital copy of my book, A Night of Southern Comfort.
Thanks for hanging out with me today!
She doesn’t miss the boy-toy at all.
Robin is a member of the Romance Writers of America, the Washington Romance Writers, a faculty member at Romance University, a member of the Waterworld Mermaids, and a guest contributor to the Happy Ever After blog at USA Today.
Robin lives in Maryland with her hilarious husband, brilliant children, and ginormous puppy. You can find Robin on her website, Facebook, and Twitter (@RobinCovington).
Mr. Sex-on-a-Stick took his last shot and accepted the congratulatory thumps on the back from his friends. He didn’t smile in response, just quirked his full, sensual lips and turned to face her head-on with an expression full of hot promise. Catcalls and low whistles from his friends drifted across the crowded bar.
Come on, handsome. Don’t let me strike out at my first real bar pickup.
The breath she didn’t realize she was holding whooshed out as he separated himself from his friends and headed over to her. His movements were precise, controlled, and deliciously predatory. He possessed the confident demeanor of either military or law enforcement. He definitely wasn’t a paper-pushing warlord or a politico. Years of experience trained her to spot those guys a mile away. No, his mask of control was one born of the need for survival, much like hers.
Okay, big boy. You let me peek behind yours and I’ll let you peek behind mine.
He stopped in front of her, his thigh brushing her leg and setting off a series of sparks underneath her skin. His chocolate brown eyes met hers, filled with the assurance of decadent possibilities.
Michaela opened her mouth and shut it again. Now that he was here, she had no idea what to say. What would Angelina do? Channel your inner Jolie.
She cleared her throat. The result was a sultry, sexy voice she didn’t know she possessed. “May I buy you a drink?”
He glanced at the glass in her hand and nodded.
“A Southern Comfort.” She spoke in the general direction of the bartender, unable to tear herself away from her companion. “Neat.”
He slid onto the stool next her, his leg still against hers and her temperature hovering near the boiling point. He leaned on the bar, creating their own intimate circle as the noise of the busy bar faded into the background. His lips curved into a slight smile.
“Is there something funny?”
“No. Not at all.” His deep voice rumbled in her ear, his warm breath grazed her cheek. “I didn’t take you for the whiskey type.”
“And what type am I?”
He leaned back, examining her ice-blue satin, strapless cocktail dress and matching Manolo Blahnik pumps. She squirmed in her seat as her body responded to the desire pulsing between them.
“Honestly?” He cocked his head. “You strike me as the chardonnay type. A proper drink for a proper lady.”
She laughed. Any other night, his description would have been close to the mark. “Whiskey’s a drink of control and power.” She took another sip and caught his stare over the rim of her glass.
“I see.” He lifted his glass and downed the contents, then turned his full attention back to her. “So…why are you drinking alone?”
“I’m not drinking alone. Now.” Michaela gestured toward his drink and ordered him another when he nodded.
“Okay, so you’re here…?”
“Celebrating my new life.”
“Aahhh.” He lifted his glass to her in salute. “Let me be the first to say that your ex-husband is an idiot.”
A Night of Southern Comfort by Robin Covington
One night of passion...
Detective Jackson Cantrell never imagined that one night with an irresistible stranger would turn his life upside down. He’s spent years living in the shadows, but Dr. Michaela Roarke awakened a passion inside him he'd buried years ago.
He never expected the woman would turn out to be the governor's daughter...and his next assignment. The governor blackmails Jackson to secretly watch over Michaela and protect her from a stalker, or kiss his dream job at the FBI good-bye. Swearing to keep things strictly professional, Jackson moves in with Michaela. Too bad his heart can't keep the same promise.
But when the stalker's attacks quickly escalate beyond mere photographs to bodily harm, Jackson must race to save Michaela's life. And he’ll have to figure out how to keep her once she discovers his lie.