Sometimes, I hate the opening of a book, either reading or writing one. I want something that will pull me in with the first word. I want something that won’t map out the entire book for me in just a few lines. I want the tone to be real, to be something someone would do or say, to be different, to be shocking, to be wicked and naughty.
I’ve asked a friend for her opinion of my books and the openings and she picked, as I knew she would, Cracklin’ Rosie. It’s a personal favorite of both hers and mine. We understand Rosie in ways that I guess most don’t…
“Rose!” Decker pulled up alongside her and called out her name through the open window. When she didn’t acknowledge him or his beat up work truck, he called out again. “Rose!”
She finally turned, pulled the bright green earbuds from her ears, and cocked her hip out to the side with her hands on her waist. “The name is Rosie. Not Rose. R. O. S. I. E. Rosie. Now, you try it.”
She gestured toward him, and he grinned. She hated being called Rose. He didn’t think there was a real reason why, but after a few days he’d learned that she wasn’t going to respond to anything with any kind of delicious heat unless he called her Rosie. “Rosie. Better?”
She grinned back. His dick hardened, and his heart melted. He wasn’t sure what it was about the curvy, pint-sized waitress that turned him on, but he couldn’t stop thinking about her, wanting her and damn when the roofing job was done, he was going to figure out her weakness and get her into bed with him.
“Yes, better. What do you want, Decker? I’m on my way to work and don’t want to be late. Besides, you’re blocking traffic.”
Decker laughed and shook his head. There was no traffic in the small town at this ungodly hour of the morning because everyone was either still asleep or having a nice leisurely breakfast down at the diner. “I stopped to see if you’d like a ride to work.”
“It’s only about a half mile down the road. I think I can make it. Thanks. And you’re going in the wrong direction anyway.” She started walking again, summarily dismissing him. He drove up to the next street and turned around. When he pulled up alongside her again, she didn’t wait until he’d shouted her name to look at him. She kept walking though.
The way her peach-colored dress pulled across her hips and ass when she walked did nothing to sway his libido in any direction other than the current where’s-the-nearest-flat-surface one. The bodice hugged her breasts in just the right way, not too tight, not too loose, but dear Lord in heaven she had a beautiful pair. He hadn’t seen them naked yet, but he had a pretty good imagination and it told him that she’d overflow his hands and respond so well to the teasing tip of his tongue.
She had pretty, blemish free skin, save for the few freckles dotting her nose and cheeks. She walked to work every day, too, and had strong-looking legs. She wasn’t thin, slender or skinny. She had too many curves for that, which suited him just fine. He didn’t go for the rail thin, magazine-size women. Never had and it was too bad that L.A. was all about skinny and bikini and boy hips. He didn’t go for the centerfold type either. He’d always been partial to real women that took care of themselves but weren’t afraid to indulge in real food and that had a little extra flesh. It marked up so well to his spankings, floggings, whippings. They could take a real good fucking, too, and he wasn’t afraid he’d break them in half. Oh yeah, Miss Rosie was perfect for him. He just had to convince her of that.
“Why are you following me? Aren’t you supposed to be working on my house?”
She was still walking but had looked in his direction as she spoke. “I’m not following you. I’m walking you to work. Sort of.”
“Cute. You don’t have to. I can make it there on my own.”
“I know, but I wanted to. What’s wrong with that? Ever hear of something called chivalry? Did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed this morning?”
Was that a blush he saw coloring her cheeks? “You seem a little grumpy.”
“Oh. Well, I’m not grumpy. I just don’t like to talk in the mornings.”
“You’re in the wrong line of work then, aren’t you? Don’t you have to talk to people?”
“That’s different. I prefer not talking to anyone on my way to work.”
“Kind of like your alone time? Gearing up for the day ahead?”
“Exactly.” Her face brightened in the early morning sun. “That’s exactly what it’s like. Thanks for understanding. Now, go away.”
“Afraid I can’t do that. We’re too close to the diner, and I’m suddenly famished. I need a good breakfast before I start my day. As they say, breakfast is the most important meal.”
She stopped then, and he put on the brakes. He was a little surprised when she pulled open the door and climbed up into the cab of the truck. She slammed the door and stared straight ahead with her arms crossed over her chest. “Fine. Take me to work so I can get you some food and then you can get me a roof.”
Decker grinned again. Hell, he’d been grinning since he woke up and realized the hard-on he was sporting was all because of her. Then, he spotted her walking this morning and knew he was in danger of that grin being a permanent fixture on his face He couldn’t remember another woman with that effect on him. Ever.
Rosie was special.
When Buck, one of his best friends, contacted him about a roofing job and new business opportunity, Decker had packed his gear, grabbed the keys to his truck and headed out. He didn’t stay in one place very long, liked travel, liked seeing different parts of the country and Buck’s call had come at just the right time.
During the last storm, a branch had dropped from a tree outside Rosie’s little cabin and straight through the roof into the kitchen, leaving a large gaping hole.
He was replacing the old shingled roof with a beautiful red metal one. The red would stand out against the green mountain countryside the cabin was nestled in. Surrounded by trees, the dark worn wood would take on a whole new life with the red.
“I think I know what the problem is,” he said quietly.
“What the problem is with what?”
She turned her head sharply in his direction. Dark auburn tendrils of hair framed her face while the rest was pulled back in a ponytail that hung against the top of her dress collar. He rarely saw her without her hair up or pulled back, but then he rarely saw her anywhere other than the diner.
He’d been in town for two weeks and had taken to her like a fish to water. He was hooked and wasn’t afraid to admit it.
“Me? What the hell are you talking about?”
“The problem is that you want me. You’re trying to deny it, trying to fight it. It’s making you really grumpy.”
She dipped her head, looked up at him from under her lashes and over the bronze metal frame of her glasses. “I want you?”
“If I wanted you, shouldn’t it make me happy rather than grumpy?”
Decker shook his head and pulled into the diner drive, parking in a spot directly in front of the door. He shifted in his seat to look at her, hooking his arm over the steering wheel. “Not if you don’t want to want me. Which, I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t. I mean, I’m rather amazing.”
He puffed out his chest and tilted his head in profile like the kings of old he’d seen painted in portraits. The next thing he heard was the slamming of the truck door for the second time that morning. Rosie stood on the ground, scowling and trying to fight a laugh. Her lips were quivering, and her beautiful eyes were crinkled at the corners. He drove her crazy and he liked it, was proud of it, but after two weeks of her fighting the heat and attraction between them, the time had come to make some forward progress.
“Well, let me put your mind at ease before you hurt yourself preening like a peacock. I do want you. I want you so much I can’t sleep at night because when I do manage a little of it, I dream about you. It’s driving me nuts. You—,” she pointed a finger at him, “—are driving me nuts.”
He sat there stunned and speechless, nothing coherent forming in his mind beyond the admission that she wanted him. Her words played over and over in his head as he stared at her, mute.
“I’m going inside now. When you’ve gotten your wits about you again, come on in and I’ll get you some food so you can go work on my house and get the hell out of my life. Okay?”
She turned on her heel and walked up the concrete steps, flung open the glass door, and went through, out of sight. She wanted him. She’d said so and even though he’d already known it, her admitting it…well there were no sweeter words at the moment.
She said she dreamed about him too.
Of course, then she’d said she wanted him out of her life. No way, no how. Not after that confession, no matter how grudgingly given. She was stuck with his happy ass now.
Have a wonderful Saturday and don’t forget to check out the following authors with Opening snippets of their own: