I collect photos—from Sunday retail ads, magazines, etc.—of people with interesting expressions on their faces—smug, arrogant, confident, angry, devious, maniacal, unethical, or sexy. Their expression usually determines whether they will play a villain, a victim, or the hero/heroine in one of my novels. The moment I saw the photo for Bryce Gannon, the hero in Counterpoint, my July 29th Crimson Romance release, I knew many things about him. He maintained rigid control of the exterior he presented to the world. The blinding white, starched shirt, tailored suit, styling product that leached the warm gold from his blond hair, stoic expression on his face, and the controlled way he tented his hands in front of him all bespoke a man armored for battle. He had bold confidence in his manhood and his professional expertise. He tamped down his emotions for some dark reason buried in his past. He was intelligent and logical, but had a passionate core he kept locked down, but which the right trigger could make explode.
I let him play the cool, competent lawyer in Touchpoint, a March 2013 Crimson release. There, Bryce gave such a strong performance that I knew he had to have his own book. I saw the passion beneath his façade and knew he needed badly to be mussed. He needed fiery warmth to offset his coldness. He needed a strong equal to stand toe-to-toe with him, yet have a vulnerability that would call to him and bring him out from behind his armor. I molded my heroine, Ciara Alafita, specifically for mussing Bryce because I had fallen in love with him and I wanted him to fall in love with someone special. And in doing so, I wanted readers to see why he was lovable.
Never have I felt such glee in plotting a character’s downfall. I needed to crack Bryce’s stern façade, strip away his clothes, his profession, his hair styling gel. To do that, I sent someone to murder him. Find out how Bryce survives to get that mussing in Counterpoint, available now from Crimson Romance.