Wednesday, July 23, 2014

He's Just Not That Into You; Kind of Says It All by Margo Hoornstra

He's Just Not That Into You. Though I've never seen the movie, I have a feeling it's about boy meets girl, boy loses girl, and boy really isn't all that broken up about it.

Doing a little research, I discovered this is another movie based on a book, a self help book of the same name. The basic premise is that men will do whatever they can, move mountains if they have to, to be with the woman they love. If that's not who you're with, if he makes excuses to avoid seeing you like, 'my dog barfed on the carpet and I have to clean it up right now or it will stain' -  yeah, what guy thinks that way - well, He's Just Not That Into You. Many men, in fact, consider love a verb rather than a noun.

Night Stars and Mourning Doves and Only If You Dare my most recent releases in the Dearly Beloved series from The Wild Rose Press, have heroes with the latter mindset. They turn themselves inside out trying to avoid commitment.

Take Eric Matthews from Night Stars and Mourning Doves

Devastating life events have taken a toll on Eric Matthews. After losing his wife and unborn daughter, he's come home to heal. Serving as best man at his kid brother's wedding is the only relationship he cares to contemplate--no matter how attractive the maid of honor.

Here's an excerpt:

As his father left through the front door, Eric walked into the kitchen on his way to the back entrance. Jay sat at one end of the oval shaped oak table wearing his favorite T-shirt, the red one with a cartoon inspired race car on its front. His grandmother bustled nearby.

“Let me do that,” Eric told her. “You sit and I’ll bring you a cup of coffee or something.”

She waved a spoon in a shooing motion. “Don’t be silly. What else would I do?”

“I don’t know. You must be busy with Chris getting married in a few weeks.”

“Those arrangements are coming along just fine with very little help from me. Anyway, you know what they say. The only job the mother of the groom has is to wear beige and keep her mouth shut.”

“I’ve met Angela. She certainly doesn’t seem like the bridezilla type.”

In fact, in Eric’s mind the woman his younger brother had chosen to spend his life with had all the qualities he’d once sought in a wife.

“She’s as far from being that as any bride can get. And I’m kidding about the mother of the groom stuff.”

“What’s it like working with her mother?”

“I wouldn’t know. Since there is no mother of the bride. Just a sister who flew in recently from somewhere out west, Los Angeles, I think.”

He collected his cross-trainers and sat down at the other end of the table from Jay. “Angela has a sister?”

In place of answering, she addressed her grandson. “Do you want cereal for breakfast, sweetheart?”


Eric lifted his head to stare across the table. “Not, yeah, yes. And yes, what?”

The boy looked at him then his grandma. “Yes, please.”

“Nice work,” Eric said and returned to tightening laces.

His mother set a bowl of cereal down in front of Jay then pushed the child’s chair closer to the table. “Angela had us over for dinner to meet her one day last month.” She poured milk on the cereal and set down the spoon she’d been holding. “Orange juice or apple, sweetheart?”

“Apple.” He glanced at both adults. “Please.”

“The sister moved to town shortly after Chris and Angela became engaged, though Angela says there’s no connection between the two events.”

Eric began to tie his second shoe. “What’s her name? The sister.” He had no clue why he wanted details. Curiosity about the family his brother was about to join maybe.

“Elyse. She’s very nice.” For the first time since his arrival in the kitchen, she straightened to look him square in the eye. “Someone you might like to meet, even get to know.”

He stood, too, then couldn’t back up fast enough. His thighs hit the chair he just vacated and knocked it sideways. “I’m sure I’ll meet her eventually.”

Getting to know her, or any woman just now, was flat out of the question. On the off chance he decided someday to care about someone again—which he seriously doubted would ever happen—the pursuit would be on his terms and no one else’s.

Then there's Jonah Colt from Only If You Dare

Waking up after spending the night with a woman he barely knows, Jonah is stunned to realize sex for the sake of sex isn't enough for him anymore. A veteran of more military battles than he cares to count, he wants to forget it all and focus on peaceful civilian life. Except flashbacks won't allow it.

Jonah's excerpt follows:

It had never been his intention to deceive her. Jonah Colt never set out to do much more than have a good time when someone like Cynthia Buckingham literally fell into his life.

Alone in his living room on a Saturday, kicked back in the dark brown leather recliner, he’d sat for so long he hadn’t noticed the room growing darker as late afternoon gave way to early evening.

A million dollar view through floor to ceiling windows had been a major selling point when he bought the top floor condo five years ago. But when was the last time he’d actually slowed down long enough to enjoy it?

The shades were drawn on a sight that was only worth seeing in the day time anyway. A man made forest was to the right, complete with squirrels, birds and other indigenous critters. And to the left, a precisely trimmed and pruned golf course stretched along the edge of the city. Also man made. Another one of the original attractions when he bought the place, thinking he’d like to learn to play. Then finding out, after a year of lessons, the pace of the sport bored him to tears.

He didn’t like golf because he didn’t like golf. Period. Not because he was losing interest in life or in any other damned way becoming depressed or antisocial. Nor was he embarking on any excessive behaviors involving liquor, sex or drugs.

What could he say? Two out of three wasn’t bad.

The last swallow of the two fingers of high end vodka he’d indulged in gave off a subtle heat as the thick liquid slid down his throat and trickled into an empty stomach.

As he moved to put his glass on the table, it slipped sideways on a clatter. With his legs pushed down to bring the chair upright, he steadied the tumbler to set it firmly on its base. Then snatched it up as he stood to walk out to the kitchen where he opened the dishwasher, dumped the glass onto the top shelf then slammed the door.

There. Evidence disposed of.

Yes, sir, two very reluctant heroes. Wait until their respective heroines get a hold of them.

My days to blog at Roses of Prose are the 11th and 23rd. For more about me and my stories, please visit my WEBSITE


Jannine Gallant said...

Both excellent scenes. Someone has to be reluctant--and it's usually the guy. All those Alpha heroes. Hmm, I might have to go into reverse and have a reluctant heroine one of these days. Really, really reluctant. Not just sort of reluctant. You've got me thinking...dangerous!

Alicia Dean said...

Love the scenes, Margo! I also seem to have quite a few reluctant heroes, but I've had some reluctant heroines as well. :) You're close on what the movie is about, but not exactly. It's more of a 'girl convinces herself guy is into her even when he doesn't do much to prove he is' 'guy later realizes he really is into her but it's almost too late' :)

tqbrock11 said...

Great scenes! I do love a reluctant hero - they're so much fun to mess with. :)

teresa said...

Such great scenes, Margo. Perfect portrayal of reluctant heroes and its gonna be fun when love and the heroine catches up!

Diane Burton said...

Love reading a reluctant hero story and watching him fall hard. Great excerpts, Margo.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Jannine. This is me running for cover if you're thinking again! Come to think of it, (pun intended) some of my other heroes weren't all that reluctant. Just these two.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Alicia. Thanks for the clarification. Guess reluctance is what makes a romance a romance, huh? Glad you liked the scenes.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Thanks, Kristen. Mess with indeed. It's what makes writing interesting.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Hey Teresa, welcome! It's always interesting when boy meets girl.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Thanks, Diane. Guess making them fall hard is what we're all about.

MJ Schiller said...

I love knocking a guy off-balance with love. When the feeling is so strong that it can't be ignored, there is nothing more attractive. Thanks for sharing this, Margo!

Melissa Keir said...

Wonderful books. Guys are often reluctant in relationships. They want the benefits without the work. But when they fall for the girl, really fall... they can move mountains!

All the best!

Patricia Kiyono said...

Love the excerpts. I have the series downloaded and need to make time to read them. Gotta love those reluctant heroes and heroines!

Laura Strickland said...

I love a reluctant hero! It's always such fun watching him get worn down--usually by his own emotions. Could anything be more delicious?

Margo Hoornstra said...

MJ. It is nice to keep them a little off balance, isn't it? Thanks for stopping.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Melissa. You are so right. Nice to see you here.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Music to my ears, Patty. Hope you enjoy them!

Margo Hoornstra said...

My thoughts exactly, Laura. Nothing better!

Susan Coryell said...

A non-reluctant hero would be boorrring! Thanks for two enticing excerpts and for an intriguing blog topic!

Margo Hoornstra said...

Thanks back to you, Susan. I can't take full credit for the blog topic. That was a joint effort.

Leah St. James said...

Love the line about the mother of the groom. :-)

Margo Hoornstra said...

Leah, planning weddings can be fun!

Jana Richards said...

Love the excerpts, Margo!

Margo Hoornstra said...

Thanks so much, Jana. Great to 'see' you.