Author: Alice Bello
Title: Hope Springs
Release Date: June 24th
Here’s the synopsis:
Hope Jones has two problems: one is new, the other is depressingly old.
The new problem: the bestselling author the publisher she shoots romance novel covers for hates her newest batch of covers. She has until the end of the week to come up with a breathtaking shot or she’ll be replaced.And there’s a sudden model shortage; they’re out of season.
The old, depressing problem: she hasn’t had a date, sex or a relationship in over two years.
She also has one hell of a headache.
Hope finds the cures for her two problems during a search through Wal-Mart for a painkiller to kill her headache.
Turns out the aisles of the retail giant are rampant with hot young model worthy specimens.And when her trusty Ford Taurus breaks down in the parking lot, a hunky mechanic in the Tire and Lube Express department fixes more than just her car.
Seemingly her troubles are good as gone…but then her new, fabulous cover is rejected, and in a desperate moment she has to choose between keeping her job and keeping the man she’s just starting to fall in love with.
The Book Boyfriend Dilemma
I—like so many of my reading addicted sisters out there—am afflicted with the need for a Book Boyfriend.
It’s not that men in general are so far gone that I absolutely have to troll the bestseller rack… or the erotica bestseller’s list on Amazon, just to find a man worth getting worked up over. I have to say that my current boyfriend—the hottest little ginger haired man with the most delicious peach toned skin, and the most amazing… well, let’s just say he’s not lacking in the pleasuring department—is probably as perfect a mate as I’m ever about to find.
But like any man, any real live man, he has flaws and limits… and it seems, he is—unbelievably—too much the gentleman for a certain hot blooded side of me; the side that drools over sexy passages on my Kindle like a ravening wolf.
As women of this new and exhilarating century, we would never put up with a man that thought he owned us, or acted as if we were their slave. And to their credit, many men have either been raised by strong women, or just naturally know they are but only our equals in this world.
They have adapted to the ever changing modern woman.
But that leaves the side of us—that deep down very much wants to be dominated by a brutish, dominating, absolutely gorgeous bastard—unfulfilled and itching for a good roughing up.
Harlequin has been putting out stories with such Alpha Males for decades, and we as a sex have devoured them in bulk every single month.
And it’s not just the Billionaire sadist CEO we swoon over. There’s the bad boy, the rich bad boy, the damaged bad boy, the Alpha shape shifter or vampire, and the infuriating asshole.
Okay, The Infuriating Asshole is the name I’ve given him. He’s the man that our heroine absolutely detests and actively fantasizes about pushing into a giant meat grinder, off a cliff, or into a volcano roiling with molten lava.
This man usually is an alpha something-or-other, and he takes great pleasure in torturing the heroine, and making her insane with loathing. But because he’s a character in a romance novel, he always, always changes. If he doesn’t, then we’d never get to our Happily Ever After, and that just wouldn’t do.
Many of us have succumbed to the Billionaire CEO sadist, like Christian Grey, Gideon Cross, or Sara Fawkes’ sexual deviant Jeremiah Hamilton. I had a pretty good time with Jeremiah, but Christian Grey lost me the second he schlepped out his helicopter on their first date.
Really? Why does a man need a helicopter for a first date?
Then there are the loving but confused men in Bella Andre’s Sullivan series. JR Ward’s brutal and lecherous Black Dagger Brotherhood.
Sometimes we even want to literally be bought and sold as a sex slave by a man like Adam Wise in Claire Thompson’s The Auction.
My first book boyfriend was Art Bechstein in Michael Chabon’s Mysteries of Pittsburgh. Yep, I fell for a bi-guy, and when he dumped Phlox for Arthur Lecomte… I cried myself to sleep.
Book Boyfriend number two was Louis de Pointe du Lac from Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire. Again, I kind of flubbed the whole finding a straight guy thing… but I was fine with it… until Louis and Claudia tried to do in Lestat… and then Claudia died and Louis left Armand…
And then I got all twisted up with Elliot Slater in Anne’s Exit to Eden. Another bi-guy that I wasn’t solidly sure would stay with Mistress Lisa in the long term.
So I stayed away from romance for a while, having once-in-a-blue-moon one-night-stands with Robert Kincaid in Robert James Waller’s Bridges of Madison County, and with Johnny Howell in Cathleen Schine’s The Love Letter—I still feel guilty about those two…
Then I had a brief, messy, road kill catered fling with Skink (aka Captain, aka Clinton Tyree, and former Governor of Florida) from all those Carl Hiaasen novels. Stormy Weather was where I found him most irresistible.
I devoured Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum novels. I loved Morelli… but no Hobbit traveled further than we had to read for Steph and Joe to finally fall into bed together! But at least it was one hell of a sex scene. Twice the distance was traveled before Miss Plum road tested Ranger… and all we got was, “He ruined me for all other men… and then he did it again.”
But then my best friend suckered me into reading Twilight. I fell hook line and sinker for that sparkly vampire… until book two when he left—HE LEFT HER IN THE FREAKING WOODS! So I switched camps and became totally Team Jacob. He was there, he was hot (literally hot to the touch and hot, hot…hot) and he was just the best man…
Until he imprinted on a newborn baby…
My book boyfriend for the past few years has been a thousand year old blond vampire by the name Eric Northman, a creation of the wondrous Charlaine Harris.
Whether he’s slaughtering his enemies, scheming for more power or ravishing Sookie Stackhouse until her bed-frame falls apart, I just cannot get enough of him.
He’s one of those gorgeous Infuriating Assholes I’ve told you about.
But this year Eric has been pushed out of the spotlight for—shudder, gasp—a fictional human.
Simon Parker, who is known more affectionately by readers of Alice Clayton’s hilarious, amazingly sexy novel, as Simon Wallbanger. In Wallbanger he is single minded, rude, too funny for words and too sexy to be safely contained by his clothes or a strategically wrapped bed sheet.
But the best part, besides his seemingly endless ability to please the women (yes, I said WOMEN!) in his life: be it sex, food, spanking…
Ahem… well, this man can and will go literally to the mat to please the women beneath, on top, or sandwiching him.
But even better than his willingness to stretch the bounds of sexual gratification, it’s his ability to change, to give up all his ladies and his lady killer ways, and become a one woman kind of man.
Now that’s a book boyfriend to burn for!