Penalty Number One: Men
Making time for men and relationships doesn’t fit into Valerie Chase’s game plan. This crisis-counselor-turned-cocktail-waitress knows the score–Men are a distraction. But when a certain hockey player tempts her wild side, part of her wants to indulge in a little harmless fun.
Penalty Number Two: Desire
As the star center for the Texas Highlanders, Darren Moran’s good looks and deadly determination make him a fan favorite. But after the previous season’s disaster, the last thing he needs is to let some woman crawl under his skin. But… Valerie is different. She brings out the best in him–both on and off the ice–and he’s not about to lose her.
Penalty Number Three: Passion
When the game moves to the next level, Darren and Val have got to call timeout. An unplanned romance is a game-thrower, a sinful temptation that neither of them can afford. After all, there’s no way to have order in matters of the heart when the penalties tally up to an ejection from the game.
Suzan Butler is a romance author, both contemporary and fantasy with a penchant for Dr. Pepper, ice hockey, and world domination.
Heroes get a lot of attention in romance. I mean, why not? They’re big, strong, strapping lads, with crazy awesome abs… At least that’s how I see every romance hero. But what about heroines?
I think this is where a lot of my own experiences come into play. I’ve spent most of life trying to be a strong, independent person. I’m a single parent. My ex-husband is not around. I’m military, so I’ve been trained to take the bull by the horns as much as possible. I love to write strong, powerful heroines. I want to write heroines that know what they want from life, and aren’t afraid to go after it.
But the problem I often run into is that I make them too strong. They don’t have any vulnerability. I had this problem with Off Her Game originally. I had a professional woman who had a five year plan and knew exactly what she wanted from life. She was on track to greatness.
But a story about someone like that is boring. Where’s the conflict? So, I had to screw her up. I took away her job, I messed up her five year plan and then for the heck of it, I set a six foot four irresistible hockey player on her heels. I’m so mean. 😉
Off Her Game deals with a woman who is unprepared for the unknown. She’s always had a plan in mind, and for the first time, she’s having to trudge through the forest without a flashlight. For someone who always knows what’s going on and always knows what to do, being faced with the unknown is terrifying.
That’s what I love about writing these heroines. They are so strong, and they face each challenge head on, but sometimes, they just want to curl in a little ball and be fragile. Maybe they might not want their prospective heroes to see that, or maybe they feel safe enough around their hero to do it, but everybody has that point in their life where bringing down the strength wall is as important as being that strong person. It makes them realistic, human. It’s part of what makes us fall in love.