Monday, July 30, 2007
Buns of the Week...Oops, I mean Book of the Week
Back on track, this week’s Backlist Book of the Week is The Adventures of Molten Man, No. 1.
A lot of people have asked me if this story is the beginning of a series, since it’s “No. 1” and I won’t rule anything out, but The Adventures of Molten Man was meant to be a standalone story for The Lusty League Amber Pax Collection at Amber Heat. I added the No. 1 to the title because I imagined the cover looking like a comic book and what’s more valuable than the very issue of a comic book?
Trace Edward Zaber, Amber Quill’s art director, chose a different style for the cover, so the No. 1 really didn’t serve its purpose after all, but I can’t complain about the way the cover turned out – those are the hottest buns I’ve ever seen!
Paige Weller is a lot of things, but one thing the accident-prone market analyst is not, is a Super Groupie. Feats of derring-do usually bore her, but when Brad Compton saves her life, she’s eternally grateful. Besides, it’s been a while since a man who wasn’t some kind of mutant asked her out and she’s determined not to let Brad get away...
Five hearts! Molten Man does more than melt metal, he’s sure to melt the reader’s heart too and cause a fever deep within. – Valerie, Love Romances.
Excerpt from The Adventures of Molten Man, No. 1 by Bernadette Gardner
Amber Quill Press, 2006
There was just something about the mysterious Brad Compton that lit Paige's fire. In the health-conscious, gym-obsessed 2020s, blond-haired, green-eyed hunks were a dime a dozen. Unlike most of the men Paige met these days, however, Brad had a fresh, outdoorsy charm.
He smelled like citrus soap and warm summer breezes, not overpriced cologne and new money. Beneath his open denim jacket, his abs and pecs rippled under a tight white T-shirt. She wanted to run her hands over all his...ridges and valleys. These were muscles that came from honest physical activity, not endless reps and a handful of steroids. Her hands ached to wrap around a thick bicep and squeeze.
What had gotten into her?
Well...nothing for a while. That was the problem. It had been months since she'd met a man who wasn't trying to emulate one of the Daring Dozen, or some other rogue mutant. The superhero craze was getting out of hand and her sex life was suffering.
All her girlfriends wanted to bag a man in spandex and thigh-high vinyl boots, and Paige was the odd girl out. Regular guys just weren't chic anymore and that was a terrible shame.
She'd met a few of the toniest superheroes and found them all yawn-worthy. How long could you listen to a guy talk about stopping bullets with his teeth or tearing apart a burning building with his bare hands to rescue a dozen trapped schoolchildren?
Guilt stabbed at Paige again. Of course, saving people's lives was wonderful and noble, a tremendous gift...but after the fifteenth telling, even the most hair-raising tales of derring-do got old.
She grinned at Brad as they settled into two wrought iron chairs on the sidewalk outside the café and set their lattes on the dinner-plate sized table between them. "So, do you always happen to walk through that alley, or did I just get incredibly lucky today?"
He sipped his coffee, then pursed his lips to blow on the hot liquid before speaking. Paige found her gaze riveted to his mouth and her own fell open in frank admiration.
"Hello?" he said.
"What? I'm sorry. I zoned out for a minute there. I guess I'm still in shock."
He smiled in a self-conscious way. Had he noticed her drooling? "I was saying, I usually take the subway. I guess fate stepped in today."
"What do you do...that normally takes you on the subway?"
"I'm a landscape architect. I own a little company called Sunny Side Lawn and Garden. We mostly handle homes in the suburbs north and west."
"Mmm. Nice areas." Paige mentally kicked herself for not paying attention. "It must be nice to work outdoors all day. I'm a market analyst. Most days I never even see daylight."
"That's too bad. I'd go stir crazy if I couldn't get outside." He sipped his coffee again and Paige tried not to stare at the sensual way his lips curved. She found herself wondering if he'd taste like mocha and rich, Colombian coffee. "Considering what happened today, though, maybe you're safer in your office."
She laughed, only mildly mortified. "Please. Welcome to my life. If I didn't go looking for trouble, it would come and find me. I'm one of those people that proves Murphy's Law every day."
"Well, I guess Murphy cut you a break this afternoon. You seem none the worse for wear."
"Yeah..." Once again she'd sunk into a daydream about his lips, his hands, his chest... She roused herself with a quick sip of latte and burned her tongue. "Ow! Hot."
He nodded and Paige got the impression he wasn't referring to the coffee.
To read more about The Adventures of Molten Man visit Amber Quill Press