Me: Would you like to tell the readers a bit about your background? Why did you have a grudge against Melodie's family?
Him: No comment.
Me: But what about--
Him: I have a call to take. Excuse me.
Roman was a difficult hero to write, to be honest! Not only is he a security specialist with a locked down life, he was a foster child who never had control over his own backstory, let alone his front one. His mother's attempt to feed him by selling herself was the reason he was put into care and it tarred him the rest of his childhood. His history was reduced to a few pages in a folder that was shared with strangers without his permission. No wonder he's willing to help others keep their privacy in tact!
He later winds up learning to hack computers, gets arrested, and is helped/hired--he thinks exploited--by a security specialist who really gives him an education. This results in his writing a type of security software that has the potential to change his life. Unfortunately, he trusts the wrong investors, Melodie's brother and father. They steal it, threaten to claim he hacked the software if he goes to the police, then give him a sound beating for good measure.
It takes years, but he rallies. He's on the verge of annihilating them through old-fashioned competition when Melodie crosses his path. He's certain her flirting is a set up so she can spy on her father's behalf.
Except, Melodie hates her father as much as Roman does. I knew I wanted him to seek revenge against someone who was totally innocent. I love that moment when a hero realizes he has screwed up, bad. I also love those moments when a heroine knows she's being a fool, falling for this cad, but she has no willpower.
Here's a snippet from Melodie's point of view as she faces that maybe she doesn't hate Roman quite as much as she should, even though she really doesn't know him, and definitely knows better!
~ * ~
I knew that day in the limo that you weren’t really like them. I just…”
“Still hate me.”
“I’m trying to. If I don’t, then you’ll—”
“What?” he prompted quickly, demeanor changing.
He knew. She blushed and had to look away.
A muted noise sounded and they both looked to the clutch where she’d set it next to her glass. Her mobile vibrated inside it.
“Trenton is wondering where I am,” she guessed, then made a face, feeling as though she was with a friend after all, she supposed, because she found herself saying a very uncharitable, “I should text back that I’m ' to you.”
The banked sexual awareness between them flared like the catch of a match.
“That wasn’t—” she hurried to say.
“I know.” He sounded as though he was laughing at her, making her shoot a scowl his direction. “I’m not going to make another unwelcome pass, Melodie. No matter how much I want to.”
Which was a pass in itself, she noted dryly, but managed to say, “Good.” Even though she was suddenly reluctant to accept that. Her mind was expanding with one ballooning thought. What would it be like now, when they’d set aside the misjudgments and animosity?
“I should go,” she said briskly. Before she lost her mind.
“I’ll walk you down.”
“You don’t have to.” She picked up her clutch and headed toward the door.
He pocketed his room key off the bar and followed her. “Better if we both reappear without looking flushed and disheveled.”
“Right.” Flushed. Disheveled. Skin damp and whole body tingling in the aftermath of orgasm. That would be bad. “Yes,” she affirmed. “You’re probably right.”
“Only probably? Don’t give me an opening, Melodie. I will take it,” he said.
They stood at the door, his hand on the latch, his white shirt and black jacket filling her vision.
“An opening for what?” She was playing dumb, not like her at all.
His mouth lifted at one corner, knowing. “I said I wouldn’t make an unwelcome pass,” he said, then touched her chin, gently forcing her to tilt up her face until she couldn’t avoid his eyes. “If this is not welcome say so now.”
His touch was bringing her to life in ways she had thought were manifestations of an overactive imagination.
“I keep wondering—”
He covered her mouth and she knew. They were every bit as volatile as before. They stepped into the kiss with synchronicity, her arms going over his shoulders, his hands sliding to her lower back, pulling her hips into his. In heels she was eye level with his mouth and they both moaned with pleasure at how perfectly they fitted together.
The buzz sounded again from inside her purse.
They broke away.
She threw the clutch toward the sofa, missing. It hit the floor and slid while they stepped into tight contact again, lips meeting without hesitation or clumsiness. Her same distant thoughts of how and why penetrated, but she honestly didn’t care. was the man who did this to her. She couldn’t turn away now that it had started. And there was no evidence of his trying to slow down things as his fingertips dug into her buttocks and he rotated to press her into the door.
~ * ~
It's not HEA from there. Roman keeps a lot of secrets! And for a woman like Melodie, who doesn't bond easily in the first place, this is a difficult relationship no matter how great the sex is. They still have a long ways to go.
Do you like the strong, silent type? What about a revenge romance? Do you love the comeuppance?
If you'd like Roman's full story, Vows Of Revenge goes on sale Tuesday, the 18th. You can pre-order here:
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