I’m very pleased to bring you a guest post from Ruthie Knox, author of such tales as Ride with Me, How to Misbehave and About Last Night. I’m very excited to have her on my blog, talking to all of you.
Now, let me hand you over Ruthie.
I’m here today to talk about Along Came Trouble, my latest novel (and longest so far). Out next week from Loveswept (Random House), it’s the second story in my Camelot series.
Along Came Trouble is what you might call a bodyguard book, but I think of it as a story with hidden seriousness. To my mind, this novel is really about what happens when a woman meets the right man at the wrong time and has to decide how much of herself to give him when she doesn’t feel like she’s got any self to spare. And most of all it’s about how hard it is to find a balance between dependence, independence, and interdependence—and how love can lift our burdens and help us become better versions of ourselves, if we are brave enough to let it.
In this little snippet, the heroine, a divorced single mother named Ellen, is talking to her brother, Jamie, about the sorry state of their respective love lives. Carly is Ellen’s neighbor—the woman Jamie recently waltzed into town, wooed, and then broke up with. Because Jamie is a pop star, the whole episode has created complications in the form of paparazzi descending on the normally quiet college town of Camelot, Ohio. Caleb, the hero of the novel, is a security guard hired by Jamie. Right before this scene, Ellen met him. Then she fired him.
“You know who really seemed to like you?” she asked. “Carly. Maybe you ought to give her a call.”
Jamie’s sunny expression dimmed. “Fair warning, if you’re going to make me talk about Carly again, we’ll be talking about your love life, too.”
“I don’t have a love life.”
Ellen ignored the jab, as well as the way the words love life had catapulted Caleb Clark’s face into her brain again. That smirk. Those happy brown eyes. “See, the key difference between your love life and mine is that you’re making a big mistake, which makes yours worth discussing—”
“There’s nothing new to discuss.”
“—whereas I’ve mastered the art of not making mistakes.”
“You haven’t mastered anything. You’re just refusing to play the game at all.”
“Who’s refusing? It’s not as if men are lining up to worship me.” She stacked a neat pile of tiny T-shirts in the basket and moved on to the towels.
The truth was, she didn’t have room in her life for a man— didn’t have room in her life for a life, really. On the days when Maureen took care of Henry, Ellen took care of her clients. The rest of the week, she had to mother and clean, cook and organize, fitting her income-producing activities in at the margins.
“If they were beating down your door with bouquets, you’d still give them the boot. You’re totally closed off, Ellen. All work and no play.”
“I play with Henry. And quit trying to distract me by taking the offensive. You have something good going with Carly. You should be here trying to fix it.”
He huffed an exhale, a resigned sound. “You know she told me to take a hike.”
“So? She probably didn’t mean it. Carly is impetuous. That’s one of the reasons you love her.”
“Nobody said anything about love.”
“I did. I’m saying it.”
“It was a fling. Now it’s over.”
Ellen didn’t believe him. She’d never had a meaningless fling, but she’d been watching Jamie have them since puberty, and she knew what they looked like. His affair with Carly was different. He didn’t see it, but that was only because he was kind of an idiot.
“I don’t buy that.”
“You should. Carly doesn’t love me. She thought I was cute, and now she thinks I’m a hassle. But if you’re seeing love everywhere you look, maybe you’ve got more romance left in you than I thought.”
“No, don’t worry, I had my romance gland removed.”
More like assassinated. Marriage to an adulterous alcoholic poet would do that to you. On the plus side, it turned out to be full of useful life lessons. Downsides of Codependency 101. By the time Ellen had filed for divorce, she’d been more than ready to try her hand at self-reliance. Her life was finally hers, and that was the way she liked it.
Along Came Trouble by Ruthie Knox
Camelot series, Book 2
Releases March 11, 2013
Ruthie Knox’s Camelot series continues in this sizzling eBook original novel, featuring two headstrong souls who bump heads—and bodies—as temptation and lust bring nothing but delicious trouble.
An accomplished lawyer and driven single mother, Ellen Callahan isn’t looking for any help. She’s doing just fine on her own. So Ellen’s more than a little peeved when her brother, an international pop star, hires a security guard to protect her from a prying press that will stop at nothing to dig up dirt on him. But when the tanned and toned Caleb Clark shows up at her door, Ellen might just have to plead the fifth.
Back home after a deployment in Iraq and looking for work as a civilian, Caleb signs on as Ellen’s bodyguard. After combat in the hot desert sun, this job should be a breeze. But guarding the willful beauty is harder than he imagined—and Caleb can’t resist the temptation to mix business with pleasure. With their desires growing more undeniable by the day, Ellen and Caleb give in to an evening of steamy passion. But will they ever be able to share more than just a one-night stand?
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Ruthie Knox graduated from Grinnell College as an English and history double major and went on to earn a Ph.D. in modern British history that she’s put to remarkably little use. She debuted as a romance novelist with Ride with Me—probably the only existing cross-country bicycling love story yet to be penned—and followed it up with About Last Night, which features a sizzling British banker hero with the unlikely name of Neville. Other publications include Room at the Inn (a Christmas novella) and How To Misbehave, book 1 in the Camelot series. She moonlights as a mother, Tweets incessantly, and bakes a mean focaccia.