Monday, June 13, 2011

R.I.P. to Romance with Guest Blogger Jaime Samms

Welcome author Jaime Samms to the Book Boost today!

Here's what she had to say...

Some people say romance is dead. It might be. I wouldn't know. I've been married going on fifteen years. If there was ever romance in the world, I've forgotten what it looks like. Not that my husband isn't attentive and kind, just that he doesn't go in for the big, romantic gestures.

Like, for instance, one partner I had way back in the age of dinosaurs used to do some really outrageous stuff. If I was late getting picked up, it was likely because my date had stopped somewhere to buy wine or chocolates, or, once, to shop for a CD of a play we had just gone to see, and they wanted to relive the romantic night as we drove to...wherever it was we were going that night. An event that we missed, as I recall, because of the time it took to find this obscure CD.

Sweet, but really? Didn't we have plans?

Or another time, after I'd complained about the expense of all the purchased gifts, I remember sitting on the porch waiting and here comes my date, having stopped on the roadway to pick a bouquet of fresh flowers for me. Bugs and dirt, it turns out, are also free.

Not that I don't appreciate the grand gestures every once in a while, but it is also nice to know my husband realizes my idiosyncrasies don't really allow for me to deal with sudden changes of plans very gracefully. So his version of romance for me is to plan a weekend where I know what's going to happen, even if it's a trip to the mall with the kids, I feel the love when we leave on time and actually make all the planned purchses. No stress, no muss, no fuss, just straightforward awareness of what I need. That's romance.

And that's what my character, Steven in As Advertised is so very good at: seeing what Tyler needs in his life and providing it. The love is in the small things, baby. Like a pair of sunglasses for a migraine.

A Note from the Book Boost: Thanks for sharing your experiences with us Jaime. I think we can all relate. Glad you found a hubby that understands the appeal of subtle seductions. Please tell us more about your latest book.


Tyler's life perked up when he met Jake. So what if long-time friend Marty can't stand him and his landlady has no use for his new beau. Tyler's determined not to see the dark side of his lover. It's his own fault for believing people don't go around keeping secrets and lying.

Tyler should know better. He's an ad executive. He knows the packaging is what sells, and Jake is quite a package. His lover is no slouch when it comes to false advertising, either, and when Tyler finds out the truth, It hurts. Weathering Jake's lies and secrets gets easier with the help of new friends, Libby and Steven. In fact, Tyler figures that maybe a lot of things would get easier with Steven.

Tyler should have known better. Not even someone as seemingly perfect as Steven Jessop is completely as advertised. This time, though, Tyler has to make a decision. After all, sometimes, even if what you see is not what you get, what Tyler's uncovered in Steven might just be what he's always wanted.


Steven reached over and put a hand over his. “What is it?”

“It’s nothing.” Tyler would have rubbed at his temple, but for Steven’s hand lightly pinning his to the table, and the fact that so much movement seemed suddenly beyond him.

“Not nothing. Talk to me.”

Tyler sighed. “Headache. I should have skipped the coffee.”



“Can you wait here? I’ll pay the bill and bring the car over. It’s just down the street. I’ll be less than ten minutes.”

“You don’t have to.”

Steven beamed at him, a vibrant expression Tyler would have enjoyed more if his head hurt less.“Remember?” Steven prompted. “I like this role.” He stood. “Just sit tight. I’ll have someone bring you water, and I’ll be right back.” He leaned down and placed a light-as-air kiss on Tyler’s forehead. “Don’t worry. I’ll take good care of you.”

Remaining as still as possible, Tyler let Steven talk to the waiter, pay the bill, and hurry out the door. He’d focused on the dark tablecloth when a glass of water entered his field of vision, placed gently at his elbow. He reached for it, but the hand that placed it there didn’t let go. It took a minute to recognize the thick, square hand, and he dragged his gaze up.


“You look like shit.”

“Fuck off.” He wanted to put his head down in his arms on the table, but he wouldn’t show that kind of weakness now.

“I just came in for lunch and saw Jessop going out. He left you here?” Jake crouched beside him. “Ty? Come on.” He took Tyler’s elbow in a proprietary grip and stood. “I’ll take you home.”

“No. I’m fine. Steven’s just getting the car.” Tyler pulled his arm free.

“Let me help you.” Jake took his arm and put a hand on the back of his chair, ready to pull it out.

“No!” Tyler stood, the motion seeming to force his stomach into his throat and most of his blood down to his feet. He swayed. Jake’s arm went around his waist. “I don’t need your help.” He tried to shove Jake away, staggering a little as he stepped back. His heel hit the leg of his chair, and he might have fallen, but someone gripped his shoulders.

“Is everything all right?” Steven’s warm voice throbbed in his ear. Steady hands grounded him enough for the spinning to ease.

“Everything is fine.” Jake enunciated the words through clenched teeth.

“Thank you for your concern, Jake.” Tyler turned his head, but couldn’t lift it for fear the sun would carve into his brain through his eyes. “Steven?” He’d meant that to sound stronger than it did. “Ready?”

“Well”—Jake cast Steven a surly glare—”as long as your escort is here....” His voice sliced a nasty gash through the atmosphere around the table. He pushed Tyler’s chair in and stood back to let them pass.

Tyler caught the exchange of furious glares between the two men. “Once again I get to be the damsel,” he muttered.

Steven slipped an arm around his waist and guided him to the door. “I’m so sorry. I had no idea he was here.” Steven’s apology was edged with anger.

“Don’t worry about it.” Tyler sighed, unable to figure out where Steven’s anger was coming from.

“He’s got some nerve.”

Tyler made a face. Steven’s words glittered with resentment he hoped was directed at Jake. He just didn’t understand why. “He does.” Gently, he freed himself from Steven’s grip. “You don’t have to coddle me.”


Tyler managed a smile. “Don’t be. I appreciate it. I just—”

“Don’t want Jake to see it.”

Tyler glanced at him, and Steven smiled.“At least put these on before you go outside.” He handed Tyler a pair of large, dark sunglasses.

“Stylish.” Tyler eyed the ugly wrap-arounds dubiously.


Tyler donned the glasses, grateful for Steven’s thoughtfulness, and shuffled through the door he held open. In the back of his aching head nestled the thought that this might be the best date he’d ever had. It was one thing to be swept off his feet with a kiss, danced and dined and doted on. It was something else to be cared for, to have someone think of a little detail like sunglasses for a migraine.

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Ariel Tachna said...

What a great attitude toward romance! Mind if I borrow it for a book or two?

Jaime Samms said...

Be my guest :) I do think the grand gestures are overrated. Thanks for stopping by!

Anonymous said...

The trouble with grand gestures is that so often they're meant to make the person overlook a lot of slights. Give me little gestures with real meaning.

Jaime Samms said...

You're so right, PD. That's why I appreciate what I have now. I'll take a coffee in bed in the morning any day of the week over a bouquet of daisies with the roots and sand still attached :D