Guest Blog by Kat Martin, author of Against the Night
Being a Romance writer, I ought to know a little on the subject, right?
I thought it might be more fun to give you my idea of a not so perfect date, in fact a perfectly awful date, some I actually went on before I met my darling husband.
Fun Date #1: Descent looking guy asks me out to dinner, says he’ll take me somewhere really nice. With apartment rent and gas being so high, I haven’t got all that much money, haven’t been anywhere nice in weeks so I am really looking forward to going to a place with linen tablecloths and flowers. Instead, when he picks me up and I’m wearing my best little black dress and high heels, he says…
“You look really nice, but, hey, I’ve got a lot better idea. I thought it would be way more fun if we went to my house and I cooked dinner for you there.”
Inward groan. What he doesn’t say is that he’s a terrible housekeeper and the floors are dirty, the kitchen sink is stacked to the ceiling with filthy dishes. He doesn’t say that before he puts the steaks on the barbeque, he thinks it would be a good idea to get in the hot tub, then proceeds to strip off his clothes and climb in naked while I am standing there staring at his scrawny body in horror and disbelief!
Fun Date #2 : Good-looking guy, set up on a blind date by friends. Enjoyable evening but on the way home he makes an unexpected turn and drives his little two-seater sports car up into the hills. Two hours of wresting with the jerk, bruises all over, muscles so sore the next day I can barely get out of bed. Lucky to get home without date rape.
Fun Date #3: Lunch date, another great chance for a free meal somewhere nice. I only have an hour because I’m at work. What could possibly go wrong?
He says, “Instead of a boring old restaurant, I thought we’d do something different and have a picnic in the park.” Something different? Temperature in the nineties? Best linen suit stuck to my back, perspiration circles under my armpits, heels sinking into the dirt, ants on the table cloth, gnats in the wine, wasps buzzing around my head. Please, God, let it end.
But dating isn’t always so awful. I remember my first date with my husband. He took me to lunch at a gorgeous restaurant in Beverly Hills. We spotted movie stars, ate a gourmet meal, and enjoyed a great bottle of wine.
Snow skiing can be wonderful. Hiking, swimming, canoeing. It’s the timing that’s important–and of course the man or woman you’re with.
In my new book, AGAINST THE NIGHT, ex-Ranger, Johnnie Riggs, isn’t thinking about a date when he sees Angel Fontaine pole dancing nearly naked at the Kitty Kat Club on Sunset Strip. All he’s thinking about is taking the lady to bed.
But Angel isn’t what she seems, and Johnnie soon learns she isn’t an exotic dancer at all. Her name is Amy Brewer and she’s a kindergarten teacher who took her missing sister’s job as a pole dancer to find her.
But Amy needs Johnnie’s help and Johnnie wants Amy. Maybe some kind of an arrangement can be made…
I’d love to hear some of your dating catastrophes, and I hope all your dates are fun from now on. I also hope you’ll watch for Johnnie and Amy in AGAINST THE NIGHT.
Till next time, all best wishes and happy reading, Kat
She’s got the face of an angel and the body of…well, isn’t that what he’d expect from an exotic dancer? But there’s something about this girl that Johnnie Riggs can’t shake. The former army ranger is hot on the trail of an elusive drug lord—and suddenly very hot under the collar, as well.
Amy’s got her own agenda to pursue: her sister is missing and Amy seems to be the only one who cares. She’ll enlist Johnnie’s help and do her best to ignore her growing attraction to finally get some answers. But when the two trails begin to converge and reveal something even more sinister than they imagined, their mutual desire is the least of their problems. They’ll bring the truth to light…or die trying.
Ohmygod! She was going to do a lap dance for Johnnie Riggs! And the weirdest part was, deep down in her womanly core, she wanted to do it. Ohmygod!Johnnie took a seat in one of the comfortable rooms the club provided for private dances. For a seventy-five bucks, he got three songs. He wasn’t sure he could handle one.
“Welcome to the Kitty Cat Club, Mr. Riggs. What would you like to drink?”
A corner of his mouth edged up. He had the sexiest mouth. “You know my name. That means you asked. That’s good. It’s even better if you call me Johnnie.”
Her mouth went dry. “…Johnnie. All right, what can I get for you…Johnnie?”
“Bud Light.” His gaze slowly raked her, took in every inch of her body. Her stomach swirled as she turned and walked toward the bar to get his beer. She delivered drinks to a table on her way to his, then set the Bud Lite bottle down in front of him.
“Thanks.” He tipped his head toward a girl named Ruby, who gyrated in a gee string, lap dancing for a customer sitting at a table not for away. “You do lap dances?”
Amy’s hand trembled and she had to take a better grip on her tray. “I’m…I’m kind of new at this. I haven’t done one before.” Tate had suggested she wait until she was more comfortable with the customers. Her plan was not to do them at all.
“That so…? How about doing one for me?” He was leaning back in his chair, those powerful arms crossed over his massive chest. He could have been wearing sun glasses for all she could read in those dark, dark eyes.
“They…ummm…cost fifty dollars,” she said, hoping the price would dissuade him.
“Private costs a seventy-five. That’s what I want.”
Her breath stalled. “That’s a lot of money.” The dancer got a percentage, a way to make extra cash.
“Think you’re worth it?”
“I don’t…don’t know…”
His smile came slow and easy and it made her skin feel hot. “Oh, yeah,” he said. “I think you’d be worth every dime.”
Her legs were shaking. “Even…even if I said I would, you know you can’t touch me.” There were rules about what she could and couldn’t do, how far she was allowed to go. What the customer could and couldn’t do. She wasn’t a prostitute, after all, she was a dancer.
Well, actually, she was a kindergarten teacher, but he didn’t know that.
“I’ll talk to Tate, arrange for a private room.” He slid back his chair and stood up. Even in six-inch heels, she had to look up at him.
When he started to leave, she grabbed his arm. “Wait a minute. I-I didn’t say I’d do it.”
His mouth edged up. “What’s the matter? You aren’t afraid, are you?”
She stiffened. Of course she was afraid. She was terrified. But she wasn’t about to let him know. “No, of course not.”
“Good.” He turned and started walking. As he sauntered off toward the owner, Amy stared after him.
Ohmygod! She was going to do a lap dance for Johnnie Riggs! And the weirdest part was, deep down in her womanly core, she wanted to do it. Ohmygod!
Johnnie took a seat in one of the comfortable rooms the club provided for private dances. For a seventy-five bucks, he got three songs. He wasn’t sure he could handle one.
The truth was, he had never bought a lap dance in his life. He wasn’t the voyeur type. Watching a naked woman parade around in front of him just didn’t cut it, not unless he was taking her to bed.
But there was something about this particular woman. He wanted her. More than he could remember wanting a woman in a very long time. Maybe ever. He had a feeling it wasn’t going to happen–not without a great deal of trouble.
He was pushing her buttons, he knew. She wasn’t comfortable dancing for him. Hell, she wasn’t comfortable just being in the room with him, and yet he had a hunch the only way to reach her was to push her hard enough to cave.
So he walked into the small, dimly lit room he had paid for and sat down in the only piece of furniture inside, an overstuffed mauve velour chair. He took a long swallow on the fresh beer he’d picked up at the bar then set the bottle down on the table built into the arm. Leaning back, he made himself comfortable and prepared to watch the show.
“You’re kidding, right?” Babs stood next to Amy outside the door to one of the private lap dance rooms. She had changed back into her red sequined gee string and the red sequined pasties that covered her nipples, proper attire for the show.
“It’s just a dance,” she said, trying to sound more confident than she felt. “We need this man’s help. I’m going to dance for him and then I’m going to see if I can hire him to help us.”
Babs stood there in her shiny blue wig, the fake hair thick, straight, blunt-cut and just a little longer than her own dark hair. She planted her hands on her hips, a thoughtful look in her eyes.
“Actually, it’s not a bad idea. Nothing’s going to happen. Tate’s got cameras in there. The client’s been told he’s being video taped. He gets out of line, you just yell out, Bo Jing comes in, and it’s over.”
“I don’t think he’ll get out of line.” She wasn’t sure why she felt that way, she just did.
“He’s a pretty cool customer, all right. I can’t see him turning into a lust-crazed maniac. On the other hand, sometimes the quiet ones are the ones you have to watch.”
“I’ll keep that in mind.” But as she walked into the room and spotted John Riggs in the chair positioned in front of the fake parquet dance floor, her mind went completely blank and she couldn’t think of anything at all.
One of his big hands curled around the beer bottle sitting on the built-in table. He watched every move she made as she approached, but he didn’t get up from his chair.
“Just so you know, this is a first for me, too.”
That surprised her. “Really?”
He took a sip of his beer. “You intrigue me. I want to take you out. I’m hoping once you realize how harmless I am, you’ll agree.”
He didn’t look harmless. He looked like a big, lazy cat ready to pounce at any moment. She thought of the help she needed to find her sister. In the time she had been in the club, she hadn’t accomplished much. Getting an appointment with that cheese-ball Kyle Bennett was the only real progress she had made.
The music started just then, saving her from having to make some sort of comment. She walked a little away from him, turned her back, tried to fill her head with the heavy beat of the music, the thud of the base, the rhythm of the drum, tried to relax.
It was a lot harder to perform in here than on stage, a lot more difficult to block out the image of John Riggs watching her every move when she knew exactly what he was thinking. Knew he was here because he wanted her in his bed.
The music swelled. She let her head fall back, felt her long straight hair brush against her bottom. Instead of blocking him out of her mind, she decided to go with it, set her sexuality free, dance for Johnnie Riggs, a man who attracted her physically as no one ever had.
She started to move, slid her hands into her hair and lifted it away from the back of her neck, turned toward him, let the hair slide down around her shoulders. The lower portion of his face was hidden in shadow, but she could see his eyes, read his hunger.
She moved toward him, stopped just inches away. Her breath rushed in and out, hot and sharp. She closed her eyes, let the music take over, arched her back, thrust out her breasts, and began to sway. Even with her eyes closed, she could feel him, feel the powerful lust he barely contained. Her body heated, softened, silently responded.
Dear God, she had never felt anything like it.
Contest: I have a copy of Against the Night to one commenter on the blog. Winner can choose from Kindle, Nook or paperback format. Open international for digital copies and US / CAN for print. Like her Facebook fan page for an extra entry: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kat-Martin/322579975013. Last day to enter is March 9, 2012.