Hello and welcome to my blog for another round of Meet the Characters! Today I am featuring a guest blogger who has graciously agreed to let me do a character interview, which is my favorite kind of interview. Join me in welcoming author, Sondrae Bennett, and her characters from Brink of Passion (Alpine Woods Shifters, Book #6). It’s a fantastic paranormal romance with wonderful characters so without further ado here is the interview with Max and Laurie.
What are your favorite scenes in your book: the action, the dialog or the romance?
Max (with a smirk): The romance.
Laurie: The dialogue.
Max (the smile slipping into a frown): What?
Laurie: Don’t get me wrong, the romance was fine–
Laurie (biting her lip to keep from laughing): But I love verbally sparring with him.
Max (unable to let it go): Fine?!
Laurie (releasing a laugh): Phenomenal. Out of this world. The best I ever had. Happy?
(Max releases an exasperated sigh)
If you could rewrite anything in your story, what would it be?
Max: Not confiding in Laurie sooner. I thought I was protecting her, but really I was just keeping her in the dark and driving her nuts. I made her doubt me. It’s hard for any two people, especially two dominant people, to combine their lives into one. I wish I’d made it easier on her.
What do you like most about where you live?
Laurie: There’s always a new adventure. Before meeting Max, I lived in a small town in Colorado. Everyone knew…well, everything about you. I miss the sense of community, but in a way New York, and the apartment complex that houses Max’s leap–
Max: Your leap, too.
Laurie: Our leap, has it’s own sense of community. I miss Alpine Woods, but I’ve found a lot to love about New York, too.
What was your first thought when you met?
Max: Hell, yeah!
Laurie: Oh, crap.
(Max gives Laurie a questioning look)
Laurie: All I knew was that I had just met my mate, and he smelled like a cat. Wolves and cats…well, I knew it wouldn’t be easy.
What’s your favorite animal?
Laurie (simultaneously): Leopard.
(They turn to look at each other and share a secretive smile.)
He’ll do anything to protect his mate.
The last thing Laurie expects when she bumps into Max at the shifter convention is finding her mate. Certainly not that her mate can shift into a leopard. Wolves and leopards mix about as well as water and oil. Or should she say, dogs and cats. Mating him means leaving her family, her town, and the only home she’s ever known. But the possibility of a happily ever after is worth the risk, right?
Max couldn’t be happier with his brazen, feisty wolf, but returning home isn’t the welcoming affair he’d expected. In his absence, his brother has been attacked within the leap complex. Something must to be seriously wrong. Could someone be using his loved ones to get to him? When his worst fears prove true, his protective instinct goes into overdrive. Will keeping Laurie mean putting her in danger?
She had to feel the connection between them. The inexplicable pull toward each other. He’d never felt so certain of anything before in his life. Suddenly he understood the possessiveness other men displayed toward their mates. A part of him had always sneered at men who found their mates and ignored everything else. The ones who became so enamored that they professed undying devotion to someone they barely knew. He’d always thought those men weak-willed, or somehow kidding themselves. But now he knew differently.
No, he wasn’t in love with Laurie—he didn’t even know her—but he was completely and utterly captivated by everything about her. Love would grow. What they had between them was more intense and consuming than that.
As they walked down the street, more men stared at her, some shifters in town for the convention, but plenty of full humans as well. Annoyance grew at every eye he caught looking at her with interest. Laurie appeared either oblivious to the attention, or used to it. The thought of the latter irritated him further. Was she looked at so often that she’d become immune to it? Even women’s eyes were drawn to her.
When they got to the pub, Max pulled Laurie away from everyone else and into a secluded circular booth. Away from prying eyes. He scooted into the booth until they were seated together in the back.
Her scent drove him wild, and he couldn’t resist rubbing the tip of her hair between his fingers. Her eyes tracked his movements, her mouth opening as if she wanted to protest, but after a moment, she closed it. Pleasure filled him. Before the end of the night, Laurie would be his.
The smile vanished from his face as a waiter came to take their orders. The man’s eyes were riveted on his mate. A low growl rumbled in his throat.
Pure male satisfaction filled him when the waiter’s eyes widened in fear. He left so fast after taking their drink orders, Max was surprised he didn’t leave skid marks.
“Are you always this friendly, or do I bring out the best in you?” Sarcasm dripped from the words. He’d admit it, watching other men ogle his mate was awakening his beast.
“Doesn’t it bother you?” Because it sure as hell was bothering him.
“The growling? Nah, I have three brothers, so your ultra alpha-ness doesn’t scare me.”
Alpha-ness? Was that even a word?
“Not me. You. Doesn’t it bother you to have so many people making eyes at you?”
“Making eyes? What are you, eighty?” She laughed and the sound swept through him, punched through his frustration and brought a steady burn of lust in his gut. Low, with a hint of roughness that sent chills down his spine.
Desire burned in the back of his throat and pooled in his belly until thoughts of Laurie took over his entire being. With another growl, this time one of pure need, Max leaned forward and nipped the top of Laurie’s ear. Her laughter ceased, breath catching on a quickly indrawn gasp. Fingers dug into his thigh, right above his knee, until he released her ear, soothing it with a small lick before pulling back.
“I’m being serious.”
Her eyes stared at him in confusion, lust still clouding their depths. He’d be lying if he said the sight of her desire didn’t fill him with pride and no small amount of excitement for the night ahead.
After a minute, she shook her head. He could almost see her scattering droplets of bewilderment just as a dog shakes off water after a bath. The image broke through the tension from frustration and lust. He could be patient, because tonight would be the start of forever.
“I’m not sure what you’re talking about.”
She didn’t know. He could see it in her face. She wasn’t trying to be cute, or pretend innocence. She really didn’t see the way everyone stared at her. Somehow, that only made her more attractive.
Unable to resist, he tangled his fingers with hers and leaned his other arm along the back of the booth so that he could play with her hair. Then he began to get to know her in earnest.
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I love romance. I love reading romance, living romance (who doesn’t), but I especially love writing romance. There’s no greater feeling than watching my characters come alive in each other’s arms. Most of all, I love giving my character’s the happily ever afters they deserve. My love of reading developed at a very young age. When other girls went to the mall to buy clothes in high school, I headed straight for the bookstore. Reading a good book still gives me such a rush, transporting me time and again into a different world. By far my favorite world to escape to is romance.
One of my favorite things is picking up a new book and sinking into the story, immersing myself in the emotions between the characters. To put myself in the place of the heroine, and fall in love with the hero, cursing the day I reach the last page because it means the end of my adventure. At least until I pick up the next book and fall in love all over again. I hope someday to inspire readers the way my favorite authors have inspired me.
When not writing. I can usually be found curled up on the couch with a good book, taking my dogs for a walk, working on one crafting project or another, or spending time with my family.
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Thank you for joining us today! I hope you enjoyed this round of Meet the Characters and will join us again next week!