About the only thing hotter than a man who can cook is a man who’s holding a baby. I don’t have any heroes who routinely go around picking up random babies, but all of the heroes in my stories are comfortable in their own skin. And for me, that is an absolute turn on.
Have you read Cara McKenna’s Willing Victim? Flynn is a rough around the edges, take no mess boxer who knows exactly what he wants in bed. He likes it rough and makes no apologies for it. His self-confidence is attractive and his ability to deliver even more so.
If you follow Janet Evanovich’s series and are a Stephanie Plum fan, no doubt you know who you think Stephanie should choose. If you ask me, it’s Ranger. He of the tall, dark and deadly variety. Who is good at everything he does…and I mean everything.
What about the contemporary Sherlock Holmes, played by Benedict Cumberbatch. It’s not the cockiness that has women flocking to their televisions, but the self-assuredness of an intelligent man who really doesn’t give two hoots about what you think about him.
The hero of my foodie novella Once Burned: Close to the Heat 1 is Darien Priest, bald head, sleeves of tattoos and all. Not only that, but he’s a cook…whose tattoos are of food and other things that are close to his heart! *swoon* You keep your men with tats of naked women and curse words; I’ll stick with the guy who immortalizes the important things in his life by etching them onto his skin. Take a look:
“Have you ever really looked at my tattoos?” he asked as he folded it. His bare hand swiped a box top. The jacket was set there once he seemed to consider the surface clean enough.
She swallowed past a drying throat. Damn, he looked good in the sleeveless tee. Way good. The muscles of his arms flexed beneath the light, corded muscles almost shining in their beauty. The miserable lighting somehow managed to accentuate the sleeves of tats she regarded now. “No. Never had the chance.”
“Every one of these tattoos is here because of its significance in my life. Every one chosen with care. If you’re not really looking, it seems like they’re just a bunch of jumbled images, but those who look closely know better.” Static charged the air. “Come here and let me show you.”
“You don’t have to do this,” she muttered. What was going on with her heart? It beat so fast, as if it would race its way out of her chest at any moment.
“Look at this one.”
A smile curved her mouth. CIA. “We graduated high school together, but you still managed to graduate the Culinary Institute of America two years after me.”
“Good,” he said with a note of approval. “Everyone sees those letters and thinks clandestine service. I wanted to commemorate the schooling that’s brought me an incredible career and life. And this here? This slice of lemon meringue pie earned me a lot of ribbing over the years, but it’s the first dessert I finally mastered. My grandmother’s recipe.”
Pep smiled. “That’s very sweet.”
Priest lifted his left arm away from his body, turning the inside toward her. “Now look at this one. I had it placed exactly there so it would be pretty close to my heart.”
As she studied the swirling design, realization of what faced her sank in. Pepper’s breath caught, and she looked up at him sharply. “Priest?”
“I’ve never stopped thinking about you, Pepper. What we could have been. What we could be…”
She couldn’t keep her trembling fingers from tracing over the small gray container at the center of the swirl. It had a stylized P centered on its surface, but if that wasn’t enough to make someone recognize a pepper shaker, more had been done to the tattoo. Next to it, a small orange misshapen habanero had a vine interwoven with the stem of something that looked suspiciously like a jalapeno. Three different peppers.
“Give me a chance, sweetheart. I won’t let you down this time. Promise.” She couldn’t stop touching it. Couldn’t stop tracing over the vivid colors. “If it wasn’t for you, I probably wouldn’t be the person I am today. It changed me. You changed me. I never took the time to tell you, but I’m telling you now.”
And then tell me about your favorite hero who marches to the beat of his own drummer.
Dee Carney is a registered nurse by day, Twitter addict by night. She’s also a best-selling, award-winning author of erotic romance and erotica. Whether she’s writing about plus-sized foodies, bad boy chefs, alpha vampires or tough as nails nurses–who may or may not be based on Dee’s real life experiences–all of her stories are sure to deliver sizzling heat and heart rending emotion. Her alter ego, Morgan Sierra, writes even steamier tales meant to tantalize both the mind and body. Visit them both on the web, www.deecarney.com