Suspecting she’s the butt of a practical joke, Isabel tells her most embarrassing secret to a stranger at a party–then he asks her out! Why does it seem to make her more attractive to him, not less?
Burke isn’t who he appears to be. He fools everyone. Isabel is honest to a fault. Will she still want him when she uncovers the truth?
What happens when friends conspire to throw together two high-IQ, over-controlling engineers with anger issues? The clash of wits and the splat of misunderstandings will leave you laughing, crying, and possibly learning a thing or two.
Books one through four will be free from Nov 27 to Dec. 1, 2019. Grab all four to enjoy yourself over the holidays!
Targeted Age Group:: 18-80
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
As you might guess from my books, I'm an engineer, an experienced traveler, computer geek and lover of cutting edge technology.
Romance novels often left me flat because the characters were shallow, the men too quick to go from slutty to devoted, and the women were instantly turned on by rough and painful sex.
Bad childhoods were given a passing mention, despite the reality that when you have one, it looms large and takes work to overcome. Self-destructive men just stopped, on a dime, without any good explanation. The women had incomplete lives which simply made no sense.
Worst of all, people were labeled intelligent without ever acting intelligent. Guys became rich without being obsessed with their business. Things I know do not feel good were anointed with orgasm-inducing powers.
So I decided to write my own. Could a story about people who didn't plug the dongle into the socket be the steamiest thing you've ever read? Could readers love truly smart people while getting a bona fide roadmap to making a woman happy?
I decided to give it a shot and write it anyway.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
The start of the first book came to me in a dream. I felt compelled to write it down, and I simply kept documenting what I saw and heard.
“When I was 23, I went out for a jog.” Burke began to tell a story as he set his coffee on the end table. ”I was married a year by then. Had a nice job. I ran through the parkway, something I’d done dozens of times. I was running on the sidewalk along the road. There’s a big intersection where I turn the corner, don’t even cross the street.
That day, I got there, jogging, and there was a car accident. Someone was turning and someone else ran a red. They hit. One of the cars spun out. Pieces of the car flew off. One piece sliced me here” –he gestured a stab towards his genitals–“and another hit me on the leg, and here”–he pointed to a little dimple of a scar on his stomach.
“There was a lot of blood. They took me to the hospital in the ambulance. They sewed me up. The scar hardly shows.” Without any hesitation or self-consciousness, Burke pulled down the front of his flannel bottoms with his left hand and tugged his wiener sideways with his right to show the scar at the base. I leaned forward to see. The fine, slightly white scar ran the whole width. It must’ve been almost severed off, more than halfway.
While I looked, Burke continued. ”They sewed it up, but there was nerve damage. The doctors said in cases like this, especially with young men, they recommend chemical castration. Taking pills. I didn’t want to do that. It would change my appearance, maybe even my voice.”
I leaned down and kissed his scar. "Does it hurt?” I asked when I sat up.
“It did at first.” He said. ”Maybe the first two years. Now it’s mostly numb.”
“Mostly? What do you feel?”
“Well, I still feel a bit here, along this side.” He rubbed up the right side of the shaft, opposite the scar. ”Up to about here.” He was halfway up. “But it’s just feeling, like on your stomach. The rest, I can feel if something moves against it or something presses on it, maybe because other skin around it is moved or touched and my brain just fills it in. For instance, I can’t feel this–“ he tapped the circumcised tip lightly with his forefinger “–but I can feel this.” He pushed the palm of his hand into his genitals.
“My doctor, Dr. James Reinholt, was worried about me. He gave me a prescription for the castration pills and said to take them if it gets too tough. I said I wasn’t going to do that. He said get the pills, and if I get too angry, that’s what he called it, ‘too angry,’ to take two, just once, for one day. That will help, he said, but won’t change your body. If you want to start the regime, just take one every day. When you stop taking them, your testosterone levels will return, he said. But after about two years the body changes will probably not go back.”
“He gave me his personal cell number. He said if I got to the point where I was going to do something illegal or harmful to myself or others, call him any time of the day or night. Any time. Please, he said. Take two of the pills and call me. This should not destroy your life. You have a lot to give the world. Call me.”
“I thought he was being melodramatic.” Burke paused for several seconds.
“Six months later I called Dr. Reinholt at 11 PM on a Saturday. We talked for an hour. I was a wreck. In bed with my wife I cried all the time. If she got naked, I lost it. I went in the bathroom once and threw all her makeup on the floor and stomped on it. When she tried to be affectionate I just cried. She got tired of it. A guy made a crude joke at work and I slugged him. The joke wasn’t even about me, it was just a joke. I quit that day, before they could fire me. I was out of work and sleeping in the guest bedroom. He talked me into taking two pills.
“He told me some other things to do that might help. Exercise to fatigue. Get massages. I did those things. They helped. I got another job. I got a new charge card to put the massage charges on. I didn’t want my wife to know. I was too embarrassed. I weight-lifted until it hurt. I ran until it hurt. I did everything until it hurt. About a year after the accident, my wife found the charge card on my computer with all the massage charges. She thought I was seeing prostitutes. She was enraged. She beat me up. I didn’t even fight back. She picked up one of my gymnastics trophies and beat me with it until it broke. When her arms got tired, she stopped. Then she left the house.
“I had a black eye, bruises all over, the side of my face and lip was swollen. I had a cracked rib. I looked in the mirror and thought, I feel better than I have for a year. Suddenly I understood why teenage girls cut themselves. Psychological pain can be so bad that physical pain is a blessed relief.
“I didn’t go to work for three days. When I did, I told them I had a bike accident. My wife filed for divorce. She said she didn’t like the person she had become with me. The bruises healed. A few weeks later, I was speaking in front of a meeting at work. A girl at work had been flirting with me for several weeks. This day she sat in the front row and wasn’t wearing underwear under her dress. She flashed me while I was speaking. I tried to ignore her. She kept spreading them wider. I burst out crying. Just started weeping great sobs in front of twenty people. I collapsed into a chair and bent over, crying like my mother’s funeral. Everyone left the room. I went back to my desk, collected my stuff and left. Never returned. Just didn’t see how I could explain that.
“I called Jim again. This time he said he had another medication. It wasn’t indicated for this, but caused low libido without being castrating. I started taking it. It helped.
“While I was jobless, Mark, a high school friend called. Asked if I would join them in their ecommerce venture. Sure. We worked insane hours. We just worked, slept, ate, all four of us. None of us had a sex life. I felt normal for the first time since the accident. I worked harder than anyone. Anything to keep from thinking about myself. By the time we got the offer, we’d hired about twenty employees. I took on hiring the employees. I hired only straight guys and menopausal women. No one particularly noticed. I still remember one woman, Arlene. She would hug me every day, sometimes twice a day. I asked her why she did that. She said she just felt I needed it, she didn’t know why, she just knew.”
“I was still living with my wife. She divorced me but she didn’t move out. After a while, she even brought dates to the apartment. Told me to sleep in the guest room, they wanted the big bed. I wouldn’t. When her dates came over I left the apartment and got a motel room. Same place down the road each time. After a while we worked out a discount deal, $40 per night if I didn’t touch the towels or soap. I didn’t care what they thought. I’d show up at 10 PM with clothes for tomorrow still on the hangers, thrown on the front seat. I was getting numb to being humiliated.
“Then the ecommerce business sold. My share was four million; after taxes and fees, I had $2.6 million. We were already divorced. I didn’t have to give her a penny. I gave her fifty thousand and told her I never wanted to see or hear from her again. I bought the condo downtown, top floor, got some furniture, enjoyed the view for a month and then started job hunting. I got a job in the IT department of a national bank headquartered in Chicago. I could walk to work, it was about eight blocks. Most mornings I took a cab. There was a hotel right next to the condo, I could step to the cab stand any time. I had a Ferrari I hardly ever drove. I flew to Hong Kong and bought six custom made suits, just because that’s the best place in the world for suits.
“I must’ve looked like somebody any guy would want to be."
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