What fun is Mr. Right without Mr. Wrong? Like Mr. Right, he comes in many flavors—in Mr. Wrong’s case, the arrogant jerk, the sniveling coward, the cheater, and more—but unlike the hero of a book, he doesn’t always get the appreciation he deserves. And he should get love because, even when he’s bad for the heroine, he can be a lot of fun for the reader.
In my latest release, The Fugitive’s Sexy Brother, Mr. Wrong stole my heart while I was writing. Matthew Lodi was once a star bounty hunter, but now he’s down on his luck and in over his head, mooching off everyone he knows to make the crushing payments he owes for the thing he loves more than anything else in the world, an orange Lotus Elise 2008, California Edition. At the start of the book, he’s stolen from the main character and mistreated her, but that’s only the beginning of what he gets up to in pursuit of his beloved car.
I couldn’t get enough of him.
He made me mad in such a satisfying way, and I could just see the cocky smile that convinced women to go to bed with him even when they knew better. I loved describing his wrong-headed thought processes, and loved watching the way his supremely callous behavior slowly forced the heroine to stand up for herself.
Much as I’d never want to be the girlfriend of such a jerk, the writer in me was head over heels. Whenever it felt hard to make progress on the book, I’d think about the next scene I wanted to do with him.
I’d like to raise a glass to the Mr. Wrongs who show up in books, providing a person we can love to hate, a target for satisfying comebacks, and a guy the heroine can feel great about walking past when she’s holding hands with Mr. Right.
A rattle marred the powerful purr of the car’s engine slowing and stopping. Matthew Lodi swallowed hard, trying to control his anger and anxiety, but his fists clenched on the steering wheel, whitening his knuckles. Lotus Elise 2008, California Edition. Those words alone could make him happy on the worst of days. Too bad the car had turned on him in the last eight months.
He ran a finger over her sleek dash. A crack tugged at his skin and he sucked air in through his teeth. First the rattle, now this. One part after another had developed problems since he’d crashed her late last year. But no matter what went wrong, he couldn’t let her go. He’d never been this wound up even over a flesh and blood woman. He hemorrhaged money to keep her running and he didn’t like to think about the repo man he’d seen poking around his yard the other night.
He hoped Guy’s little secretary, Neva, had her story straight. He could use a big payday.
A stream of curse words pouring through the window jerked his attention away from the flaw in the dash. Matthew popped up out of the car. A month before someone had keyed the Lotus while it was parked outside Guy’s Bail Bonds. Since then, every hostile word or movement near his employer’s building seemed directed at Matthew’s car.
The guy with the foul mouth appeared around the corner of the building, but Matthew forgot him the moment he focused on the woman pushing him forward. Emily. Protective emotions surged in Matthew’s chest at the sight of his ex-girlfriend’s slight body and big, innocent blue eyes. He locked the car and stepped forward.
“Need some help bringing this joker in?”
Emily’s pretty, freckled face wasn’t made for the sour expression she gave him in response. “I can’t afford to ‘share’ any more commission with you, Matthew. Go get your own.”
Thirty seconds and she’d already brought up this old fight? He wished Emily would stop denying the strength of her feelings for him. “Emily,” Matthew protested. “I’m not trying to take anything that belongs to you. But we both know it’s no good for you to try to do all this alone. You should let me help you with the physical part so you can concentrate on the stuff you can do well.”
The fugitive in her grasp gave a sudden grunt. “Sorry,” Emily told him. “That one really wasn’t for you, even if you did spend the drive over calling me every name in the book.” Matthew rolled his eyes. Emily insisted on treating her quarry like people responding to a dinner invitation. She lacked the stomach to handle them the way they deserved. Matthew reached for the man, mentally planning a hold that would inflict the right amount of pain without leaving bruises that would concern prison officials.
Emily blocked his approach, interposing her body between Matthew and the fugitive. He didn’t think she should leave her back open like that. His forehead wrinkled in concern. “Get your hands off my quarry,” she growled. Thin cheeks showed Matthew that she hadn’t been eating well. Her desperation made him worry about her even more.
“Emily.” He couldn’t resist touching the side of her neck. A few freckles dotted the skin there, but he knew they were just a tease compared to the dots splashed over her shoulders and breasts.
Her shove shocked him, knocking him back onto the sidewalk. Matthew blinked. She shouldn’t have done that when his guard was down. He scrambled to his feet and followed her in.
Emily Boysen is sick of low-level bounty hunting jobs that don’t pay her rent, and sick to death of her ex-boyfriend taking credit for her work. Ready to claim her due, she takes on the quarry of a lifetime, the notorious Fernando Bonavita. But instead of the fugitive, she captures his sexy younger brother, Javier.
Javier Bonavita never wanted to know the truth about his older brother’s activities, instead protecting him out of loyalty. When he uses his hacking skills to pose as Fernando, he never expects to uncover crimes he can’t stomach. Beautiful Emily has no idea how glad he is to be in her custody—as long as he’s her prisoner, he doesn’t have to face his brother.
Passion flares between Emily and Javier, and soon he’s putting the handcuffs on her. Suspicion grows along with their feelings, though. A sinister plot centers around Fernando, and untangling it will test their loyalties to the limit.
Annabeth Leong has written erotica of many flavors. She loves shoes, stockings, cooking and excellent bass lines. She always keeps a new e-book loaded on her phone and a paperback stashed in her purse, but her eyes are still bigger than her stomach whenever she visits a bookseller. She blogs at annabethleong.blogspot.com, and tweets @AnnabethLeong . Watch for her next contemporary erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave, Get Laid.
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