Handy Heroines

Running the Red Light by Kelsey BrowningRunning the Red Light, book two of my Texas Nights contemporary romance series, releases January 6. I’m so excited to share Roxanne and Jamie’s story with you!

The heroine, Roxanne Eberly, is an experienced do-it-yourselfer who falls in love with a seen-better-days Victorian house on the Shelbyville town square. Unfortunately, she’s being sued by a former employer, which not only threatens the project, but her entire business, Red Light Lingerie. Luckily, she has hot-shot, Houston attorney on the case, involved with the renovation, and in her bed.

Today, I thought I’d share some additional deets on the Kilgore house (Roxanne calls her Josephine :-) ).

This Victorian house in Bonham, Texas, was the inspiration for the Kilgore house.

However, I picture the yard more like this one in Jefferson, Texas.

Red Light Lingerie takes up most of the house’s first floor, and I picture this chandelier in the from parlor with the bridal sets.

This café au lait is one of the paint colors Roxanne chose for the walls.

The hallway running from the front to back of the house has this type of molding.

Of course, Roxanne could never have accomplished the renovations in time if not for her friends, the townspeople…and most important of all her sexy attorney, Jamie Wright.

I’ve included a little excerpt to give you a feel for the renovation process.

Over the next quarter hour, almost a dozen people showed up, work clothes on, ready to pitch in. Roxanne fielded a steady stream of questions and assigned critical jobs. She wanted to get her hands dirty too, but needed to make sure everyone else was on track before she jumped into her own project.

“Got something on your list for a desk-riding city boy?”

She’d sensed him the instant he strode through the door, but had forced herself not to look up. Now, Jamie stood inches from her, smelling of her neroli jasmine soap. Her hormones leaped at the enticing mixture of feminine florals and warm male skin. She kept her gaze down, stared at the hole in his right tennis shoe. “I’m sure we can find something that won’t rub blisters.”

“Since I pulled rodent duty last night, how about something that would let me walk out of here with my dignity intact today?”

She snorted. No one had wanted to deal with the mouse invasion, but he’d taken it on. No complaints. “Inside or out?”

“Whatever you need.”

What did she need—Jamie Wright?

And wasn’t that just the problem? “Okay, then why don’t you take the front porch? The wood to replace the warped boards and rotted steps is at the side of the house under a blue tarp. Tools are in the parlor.”

By midmorning, over two dozen people swarmed the property. They were working hard, but was much progress was being made? No, she couldn’t think that way. Everything necessary would be accomplished within two weeks. It would.

When someone bellowed her name from the first floor, she squirmed from behind a crotchety old toilet. “Yeah?”

“Message from the front porch. Something serious happening out there,” a helper called up the stairs.

Concern skipped through her chest at the thought that Jamie might have hurt himself. She never asked him how proficient he was with a crowbar and a hammer. Ripping up and replacing boards seemed like a straightforward job to her, but she kept forgetting Jamie wasn’t a manual labor kind of guy.

She wiped her rust-covered hands down her shorts as she charged downstairs. Her worn work boots found traction on the entry’s oak floor and she dashed for the door hanging open, allowing a swath of sunlight to splash across the foyer.

“What? Oh.” Relief arrowed through her when she found Jamie whole and healthy. Whoa, maybe too healthy, stripped down to a pair of ragged khaki shorts, running shoes and a smile. What was it about this man and natural sweat that made her want to run her tongue over his leanly defined muscles?

“Where’s the fire?” Jamie tucked his hammer through a belt loop. It hung down, drawing her attention to another fine tool he wore inside his pants.

She looked away and was amazed at the progress he’d made on the porch. All the rotten boards were gone, and he’d already replaced most of them. “I thought…”

“You thought what?”

She would not be embarrassed that she’d been concerned about one of her crew members. She’d have reacted the same way no matter who was injured. “I thought you’d been hurt.”

“Now, isn’t that the nicest thing you’ve ever said to me.” He cupped a hand around her head, threading his fingers through her hair, and leaned close. “Other than ‘Come to bed,’ that is.”

Running the Red Light is on pre-order now!

Amazon | B & N

So, are you a do-it-yourselfer or a hire-it-out kinda person? What’s the most ambitious project you’ve ever tackled?


Comments

Handy Heroines — 6 Comments

  1. I love it when an author shares pictures like this. It helps me as a reader visualize while reading – that’s why I love it when both the hero and heroine are on the front cover of a book. I cannot wait to break out this book and read it. I have been so looking forward to going back to Shelbyville!

    • Amy –

      Thanks for popping in today! I have to say that Pinterest is a writer’s dream-come-true. I used to clip pictures from magazines, etc. It’s SO much easier to find my pinned stuff later – LOL. Hope you enjoy Roxanne and Jamie’s story!

      Kelsey

  2. Very cool post, Kels! I love using Pinterest to build visual boards for my books and characters. I’m so excited about reading this book. I’m a reno show junkie. Sexy contemporary romance and home renovation? I’m all over it.

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