When I first started writing, I never intended to write romance. Not that I had anything against romance, I just didn’t know a single thing about the genre. I didn’t read romance. (Though one day it would become one of my greatest guilty pleasures.) It was quite an accident, beginning a book about a couples’ relationship, their turmoil, the most intimate bits that are normally concealed. I never intended to do it, but that’s why I think it’s so special.
Ironically, I am still working on the first novel I ever finished–one that I hope to introduce you to in the future, but it was because of this, because of my failure to make one novel flourish that I was able to find Rose and Shane’s story, which now has a special place in my heart. After countless rejections, I pushed the novel I finished aside, partly out of anger and partly wanting to see if I had what it takes to become a published author, and began writing something afresh.
I always had the notion that book had no other purpose than to challenge. But the truth is books are about escaping, being whisked away, falling in love, and so much more.
Under Her Authority was a challenge. I needed to know, after so many rejections, if I could do it. I also wanted to take a different approach in this novel. I wanted a change of pace. To write something fun. I wanted people to be able to pick up my book and read it on the bus, sitting in an airport turmoil or curled up in their bed. Give someone a reason to laugh and maybe even cry. No complex puzzles or mind-bending suspense was to be found in this novel. No. I wanted simple, sexy, human. To capture the experiences we all have once or twice or ten times in our lives. Feelings we can’t control. Sweaty palms and goose bumps with just a look from another person. Uncontainable lust. Love so strong it feels like our hearts will rip open if we contain it for too long.
I also wanted to do something different (Their meeting? Oh, it’s totally meant to jar you and to push you out of your normal meet-cute comfort zone) and write a romance where the woman leads not only in the relationship but outside of it. Through determination, refusal to yield or accept no for an answer is how Rose came to be. But a strong woman needs a strong and supportive partner, and Shane Williams was her flawed but amazing counterpart in every way. Sometimes I feel like I should have named the book Dirty, Sloppy, Messy Love because that’s exactly what it is. Now I think I’ll leave that for future ventures.
Under Her Authority isn’t perfect. Hell, what is? But I had so so much fun writing it, and I’m ecstatic to share it with you.
Rose brought out his anger and fervor, and they intermixed so often sometimes that Shane had difficulties distinguishing between the two—like now.
The little thong slipped from his pocket as he pulled it out then hung the lingerie so it dangled on her office doorknob. A smirk on his face and only a small care that anyone other than her would find the panties—unless someone had a meeting with an executive, no one came down to these offices, and Malcolm was out for the day on back-to-back meetings— Shane went through the door beside hers. With a sigh of contentedness, he set his feet on the top of his desk.
Shane heard her shout before a gust of air shifted his hair. She blew through his office door, her panties almost vanishing in her fist.
“Shane!” There was hell-fire in her eyes and it was fixed right at him. “Coming in without knocking? That’s not very professional of you, sugar.” Resting back in his chair, he smiled. She closed her eyes momentarily, as if to get a grip on the situation. “Listen, asshole. If you do something like this again, I’m going to—”
Lowering his feet off the desk, he lifted to his full height that was much taller than her and she seemed to notice. Rose froze as he stalked around his desk. Leaning onto its edge, he crossed his arms. “What exactly are you going to do?”
They studied each other, unspeaking and unmoving, sparks flying like electric bullets between the two. Stressed by the reminiscent scent of her shampoo and the sound of her quick breaths, Shane toyed with the idea of striding across the room and possessing the very lips that scowled at him with rage, tempted to see her dangerous expression shatter to something sweeter.
One of the most admirable traits about Rose’s work was that when running into an obstacle, she never backed down, so he wasn’t surprised that she stepped toward him with her chest heaving and her fists strong at her sides. “You think I’m scared of you, Shane?”
“Yes.” His answer was immediate, and because Shane wasn’t one to lie, it was his honest opinion. Denial was the game she’d been playing ever since she’d stomped those stiletto-clad feet through his office. “You’re scared of your feelings for me.”
She narrowed her eyes to resemble fine cuts of emerald. “What the hell are you talking about?”
“You know exactly what I’m talking about.” He stepped closer.
Her hair waved around her shoulders as she laughed. “He’s delusional,” she said to the room then turned back to him with a straight face. “You’re delusional. I’m your boss.”
His patience threatened to crack as his annoyance built brick by brick. “You’re my boss, are you?” It was on the tip of his tongue to tell her how wrong she was.
Before he could speak, she countered, “Yeah, I am.” Raising her chin, she was the most tempting woman Shane had ever met. “And you’ll do well to remember who is in charge here.”
Shane laughed and it was as harsh as hers had sounded.
That was it. He was going crazy. Hell, maybe he was already locked up in a loony bin somewhere having hallucinations of Miss Karma coming off her high throne and down to Earth to make his life a living nightmare. “God”—his voice was sharper than a knife—“is your sole purpose of working here to drive me insane? Because, if so, I’d say you’ve earned employee of the month.”
“You can go to hell, Shane.”
“I’m already there, sugar.”
She held her head in a condescending fashion. “You’re intimidated because your boss is a woman. It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve dealt with—”
“I’m not intimidated by you, Rose.” It came from between his teeth. “I’m…” attracted to you and your feisty fucking mouth that’d look so much better opening around my cock than opening to yell at me.
It was probably best to keep that part to himself. “You just piss me off.”
“As long as I’m doing my job and you’re doing yours”—she hit Shane with her pointer finger, digging it right into his chest bone—“I don’t give a crap how much I piss you off.”
He lowered his eyes to her hand, noticing how close they’d gotten. When had that happened? Wetting his lips, Shane glanced down at hers. Her mouth was calling to him, those thick pink lips begging to be sucked. Lowering his gaze even farther, Shane was burdened with the image of him on his knees, his mouth working between another step of lips.
She cleared her throat, making him transition his eyes back to her face. “We’ve things we need to do. I’ve got to get in touch with a couple of New York organizers to see if Moreno—”
“Sugar.” How could she not feel this? “We have to come up with a dialogue—” He placed one of his hands on her torso, the other he raised, allowing the side of his index finger to catch her right under the chin, so he could bring her face to his. What am I thinking? Well, he wasn’t. That was the point. He wanted to stop thinking. He wanted her to stop thinking.
“I need to set up a meeting for us with—” Shivering, her voice copied her body.
Working with Rose was burdensome for him and not because of the way she worked— the woman was a champion in the office—but because he didn’t want to be under her, he wanted her under him—a flower spread above his sheets. She was the sexiest woman, made more alluring by watching her work. He loved the way she got that concentrated look on her face and how she’d chew on the end of her pen, all cute, when she was thinking about a challenging task. When she found the solution, her eyes lit brighter than the North Star. Shane laid his parted lips on the edge of her jaw, hearing Rose suck in air like it was water she’d wither without. How was he expected to behave when she responded to him like that?
Amazon | B & N | Totally Bound | KOBO