This month, I am in the Harlequin Blaze line up with a book called MY SECRET FANTASIES… a steamy title to a sexy read. But since the course of true love never runs smooth, my heroine’s secret fantasies are thwarted by old hang ups. She’s writing a “naughty” novel as a form of self-therapy, writing about what she wants in bed and an in a relationship since she’s never had much luck expressing herself… er… physically.
I loved writing this heroine and her quirky, can-do attitude despite some major personal baggage. And in thinking about the title the other day, I realized there are lot more “Secret Fantasies” at work in this book beyond the obvious. Sure, Miranda Cortland daydreams about erotic encounters with a guy who looks more and more like the hero as time passes. Yet there are more secret fantasies just beneath the surface.
One of them is the fantasy of controlling your own destiny. Miranda felt trapped in her upbringing and couldn’t wait to light out of her Midwestern childhood home so she flipped a coin at seventeen to decide which coast would be her destination and off she went to L.A. She found a paying job and worked part-time at another in the hope of making it as an actress. Surprise, surprise, she found she liked her day job in a tearoom more and her dreams turned to opening her own tearoom.
Which brings me to another secret fantasy so many of us harbor—being self-employed or owning our own business. Not quite the sexy stuff the cover implies, but working independently is a real fantasy we can relate to! Maybe you’ve dreamed of writing your own book, opening your own boutique, running a restaurant or hosting a new and improved cooking show ala Ina Garten, but certainly you’ve thought of some way that it would be more fun to carve out a living, and chances are it would be a venue where you make your own hours.
The hero has a secret fantasy in this book, too. He runs a thoroughbred farm in Sonoma County and had made it a thriving venture. But having grown up in a wealthy, prominent family, Damien Fraser wants more than financial success. He needs to give back. His private secondary venture isn’t a money-maker at all. It’s a thoroughbred rescue that re-trains racehorses for adoption and provides a place of retirement for others. In the beginning of the book, it is this facet of his work that he’s expanding.
Seeing characters explore their goals and test their strengths is a really rewarding part of writing romance. The pay-off in finding love along the way is all happier when the hero and heroine have undergone a transformation—not just as a couple but individually. I like to think that falling in love forces us to be our best selves, to grow, change and adapt. Or maybe that’s just my secret fantasy ;-).
What about you? Have you ever dreamed of opening your own business? Being self-employed? Or maybe you’ve just fantasized about taking over the company you work for so you can run things the right way!
Tell me about it today on the boards and I’ll
give one random poster a copy of MY SECRET FANTASIES.
***Joanne's winner is Laney4! Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your mailing details!***