Today on XOXOAD we welcome visiting author Roni Loren who has written New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance novels. See below to read what her inspiration was for her male characters!
When I first got the idea for OFF THE CLOCK, I knew that it might be some work to create a sexy, alpha hero who also happened to be a therapist. I think that when most people think of a male therapist, they picture tweed coats and a calm voice and someone who is generally not intimidating. After all, a therapist’s job is to make you feel comfortable and safe enough to spill all your deepest secrets, right?
Well, yes, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be sexy and alpha at the same time. This guy has spent his entire learning how to figure people out. He is smart, a good listener, and impossible to manipulate. He sees you. The real you. And nothing is more intimidating and powerful than that. That’s how the character of Dr. Donovan West came to me. Great sex therapist. Awesome at putting clients at ease. And completely intimidating and sexy as hell when off the clock.
So what makes Dr. West hero material?
1. Brains are sexy. – I don’t know about you, but I love a sexy nerd. He reads. He’s got a quick, curious mind. He wants to be the best at everything he does.
It’d started with the day he’d had to take over the lecture when Professor Paxton was sick. Donovan talked about arousal and the physical mechanics of that process. It was technical. He’d been wearing a T-shirt that read Sometimes I Feel Like a Total Freud. It shouldn’t have been sexy. But Lord, it’d been one of the hottest experiences of her life.
2. He’s spent his whole career studying female sexual arousal—in other words, what turns women on.
“You can catch up on the experience thing. That’s easy.”
She laughed, though the humor felt forced. “Right, so easy. I just need it done in time for tomorrow’s sessions. No biggie. Maybe I’ll just run into town and pick up a guy who could show me a few things. Have him give me some kinky Cliff’s Notes. Or maybe I could call Lane. That’s what he does, right? Teaches.”
Frown lines bracketed Donovan’s mouth. “You don’t need Lane.”
His sudden shift in tone caught her off guard. She lifted her head, matching his frown. “I was kidding.”
Donovan’s gaze turned shrewd. “You’re not going to go from novice to unshakable in one day. And bedding some random dude isn’t going to do much good. You’re not embarrassed by the basics of sex. And that’s all most guys are going to give you—the blandest version of vanilla. And at least half have no idea what the hell they’re doing anyway.”
She smirked. “I love that you say that like obviously you know better. Humble, much?”
He shrugged, not denying it. “You spend your career focused on sex, you learn a few things.”
3. He’s a dirty talker. – His research was on female sexual arousal from auditory stimulation. In other words, dirty talk. So he’s gotten a whole lot of practice. (I’ll keep this excerpt PG but I promise this guy can get filthy.)
She cued up the recordings, and Donovan’s voice filtered into her head.
“I spot you first across the bar. You look beautiful and I know you’ve come here with someone else. I can see him getting you a drink. But I can feel your eyes on me, taste your desire, and I know that tonight, it’s going to be my hands on you, my body moving over yours, and my name on your lips . . .”
4. He’s got no shame and nothing’s going to shock him.
“I didn’t make the offer last night because it would’ve been a selfish move. And a risk. But I want you in my bed. Know that. It’s not altruistic. Or professional. And it’s out of line.” His voice was like water gliding along her skin—smooth, clear, quietly powerful. He lifted her hand and flattened it against his chest over the inner pocket of his jacket. “But if you decide you might want that anyway, know there isn’t a thing on this list that I wouldn’t love to check off for you. Completely and thoroughly. I could make you shameless, Rush.”
5. Healer, heal thyself. – He can help others with their problems, but the guy’s got his own wounds and secrets. For me, nothing makes a better hero than one that has to fight through his own dark stuff.
He glanced away, his posture rigid. “No. I’m not. I’m worse. Don’t fool yourself into thinking otherwise. You haven’t seen me—how I am now. You’re still seeing who I used to be. When it comes to women, I’m good at two things. Getting them off. And leaving. I try to find the ones who are okay with both.”
The words were delivered with sharp, slicing edges. They should’ve scared her. Instead, she had the urge to move closer to him. “Quite a resume tagline you got there. Is that the line you drop on a woman when you meet her in a bar?”
So that’s Dr. Donovan West. Anyone ready for a house call? 😉 What books have you read that had a sexy hero in an unexpected profession?
Thanks for having me!