I have the pleasure of kicking off the Men of the Zodiac Series for
Entangled Publishing's Indulgence line with IMPULSE
CONTROL. My hero is an Aries, the first sign of the zodiac, and he has all
of the typical Aries traits. He's adventurous, energetic, courageous, confident,
enthusiastic, and quick-witted. Of course, he's also selfish, impulsive,
impatient, quick-tempered, and a foolhardy daredevil. It's the curse of Aries,
our greatest strengths can get us into terrible trouble.
I jumped at the chance to write an Aries hero because I'm a big fan of â€śwrite
what you know.â€ť I've been reading my Aries horoscope for what seems like
forever. I vividly remember poring over The Cosmo Girl's Bedside Astrologer
during my formative years, and when I began brainstorming IMPULSE
CONTROL, I knew exactly what kind of a guy Russ needed to be. A fiery lover,
first and foremost, because Aries is a fire sign. A bold, pioneering adventurer,
because an Aries is a leader, not a follower. He had to be loyal and protective
because an Aries takes care of his own, and his job would involve constant
challenges to keep him from getting bored.
In other words, I needed Bear Grylls. No, really! Well, I needed a guy
like Bear. Enter Russ Donovan, former Green Beret and creator of Wild
Man, an adventure-based reality TV show. He lives on the edge every day,
pushing himself to the top of mountains, driven by the promise he made to his
little brother before he died: Keep living for me, bro. Don't ever stop.
Every day brings new challenges for Russ, especially when an old friend talks
him into a favor: filming a few collaborative shows with dainty homemaking
expert Susannah Stone. Hello, opposites attract! Now what kind of heroine can
keep up with an Aries man?
Somebody as tough as he is...although she doesn't know it yet. Susannah Stone
reminds Russ of a pink marshmallow, yet these two strike sparks from the minute
they step into an elevator together at the beginning of the book. Their first
collaborative show is a camping adventure hot enough to melt all the snow on the
mountain, and when the footage from their tent hook-up is leaked online, things
really catch fire. It was a ton of fun to write scene after scene of these two
challenging each other. Here's one of my favorites from the tent on their winter
His smile was wicked. â€śJust a peek? My imagination was killing me all day
She blinked rapidly, trying to clear the haze from her mind. His hands felt like
they belonged on her body. Had he somehow hypnotized her with his touch? There
was no way she was taking off her clothes. The unfamiliar pulse of arousal
through her body couldnâ€™t make her completely forget reality. â€śImagination is a
â€śNot as beautiful as you.â€ť
A painful laugh shook her. â€śIf tiger-striped fleece is your kink, buy some for
one of your supermodel girlfriends, and have a good time. My body has a
fourteen-month-old baby belly and a whopping big cesarean scar.â€ť He didnâ€™t look
nearly as deterred as she had expected, so she added, â€śAnd stretch marks. Letâ€™s
not forget about them. Stick to your imagination. Itâ€™s way better.â€ť
â€śI donâ€™t believe you.â€ť Laughter crinkled the corners of his eyes. â€śProve it.â€ť
She snorted. â€śIâ€™m not falling for that one.â€ť
â€śHow about you show me yours, and Iâ€™ll show you mine? Scars, that is. If youâ€™re
worried about physical flaws, Iâ€™ve got you beat. Iâ€™m a messâ€”Iâ€™ve got scars all
over. Show me your worst, and Iâ€™ll top it.â€ť
His eyes dared her, and the smug grin on his face said he thought she wasnâ€™t
brave enough to do
it. Either that, or he thought she was playing coy and a little more
encouragement on his part would turn her into a wild and willing stripper.
She arched one brow. â€śDid I mention I cook for a living, and I hate going to the
gym? This body is soft in ways I doubt youâ€™ve ever seen.â€ť
His intent gaze sent a shimmer of heat through her belly. â€śIâ€™ve got hard
covered, sweetheart. I like soft.â€ť His hand curled around her hip. â€śShow me.â€ť
Oh, that Wild Man Russ Donovan is unstoppable! Actually, that's the problem. How
will he and Susannah ever get it together if he spends all his time climbing
mountains and never plans on being home for dinner? Remember...all those
splendid Aries traits have a nearly impossible negative flip side. But, as any
Aries who has his or her mind set on a goal will tell you: where there's a will,
there's a wayâ€”and Russ wants Susannah. Grab the fire extinguisher when an Aries
sets his sights on love!
What's your zodiac sign? Do you embody its traits?
To celebrate the release of IMPULSE CONTROL, I'd like to invite you to take part in my
release blast. I'm giving away tons of books, including the entire Zodiac
series, one book a month as each title is released! Post your Zodiac sign and
best trait on Facebook and Twitter with the tag #ZodiacFTW. And enter the
Rafflecopter giveaway here.
About IMPULSE CONTROL
Survivalist Russ Donovan is the toughest man in America, with a reality TV show
to prove it. Now heâ€™s been strong-armed into filming a new show with dainty
lifestyle expert Susannah Stone. But while â€śAt Home in the Wildâ€ť could mean
millions for his familyâ€™s charity, Russ plans to put Little Susie Homemaker to
the testâ€”in the Adirondack Mountains in the dead of winter. And there's no way
she'll be able to hack it...
Susannah is tougher than she looks.
She's had to
fight her way through life, and there's no way she'll let a bossy mountain man
show her up. When she gets him on her turf, heâ€™s in serious trouble. But now
she's run into a bit of problem. Because no oneâ€”least of all Russ and
Susannahâ€”expects sparks to fly both on camera and off. And now everyone will see
their risquĂ© rivalry break all of the rules...
About the Author
Usen knows two things for certain: chocolate cheesecake is good for
breakfast and a hot chef can steal your heart. Her husband stole hers the first
day of class at the Culinary Institute of America. They live in Western New York
with their three children, one gerbil, four fish, a Russian tortoise, and a
beagle. Amanda spends her days teaching pastry arts classes and her nights
writing romance. If she isnâ€™t baking or writing, she can usually be found
reading a book and trying to get out of cooking dinner.
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11 comments posted.
Thanks for the great excerpt, can't wait to read the rest of the book! I'm a Virgo but I don't really follow my horoscopes!
(Anita H 6:44am January 25, 2015)
I am an Aries, as my two best friends. Stubborn as can be, can't stand not to be in charge, but don't want to be the center of attention. I was clearly off the planet when patience was handed out. Life is a blast!
(Suzanne Walker 1:47pm January 26, 2015)