Lucia opened the door. "They say not to discuss politics and religion on the first date."
“Well, then.” I gave her a huge smile. “We’re screwed.”
Has a political opinion on social media ever made your blood boil? Have you struggled to tolerate friends’ opposing political views? There’s a bitter political divide in many countries, including the US, and those polarized philosophies inspired the story of Blocked.
Heroine Lucia Ramirez and hero Dane Monroe view the world in opposite ways but are thrown together as their parents compete for the US presidency. Underhanded national politics are hardly the place for a trusting relationship to begin, but can love bridge the gap of mistrust and hatred?
The theme of forbidden love intrigues me. Lucia’s conservative father, the Republican nominee for US President, would be horrified to learn of his daughter’s crush on his liberal opponent’s son Dane. Dane and his mother, the Democratic nominee for US President, believe that harsh conservative ideals thwart the American dream.
One lesson from my psychology career is that perception is reality. Democrats see the world quite differently from Republicans, and both groups are hell-bent on proving they’re right. Dane wants equality for all. Lucia stands for individual responsibility. Which philosophy is better? Which will persevere in the next election?
Sometimes, political discussion becomes heated. It gets ugly. In contrast, I tried my hardest to present each viewpoint fairly in this story. Readers and editors from both sides of the aisle critiqued the manuscript, and one reason I self-published the novel was to preserve a delicate balance of political views between Dane and Lucia.
Despite their political differences, Lucia and Dane share one thing in common: volleyball. Both are scholarship volleyball players at a top university, vying to earn a spot on the US national team one day. In addition to swimming, I played volleyball at a small college, and my love for this sport bleeds onto the pages. To smash a perfectly set volleyball down the opponent’s throat? There’s nothing more satisfying. And the closeness of a team is one of life’s special pleasures, experienced by Lucia and Dane.
I hope you enjoy the political and sport elements in Blocked.
Now that we were alone in the hallway, my eyes swept up Lucia’s firm body, and I decided to play with her a bit. “Did you hear what one of those reporters said?”
She studied me with nervous eyes, then shook her head.
“They asked if we slept in the same bedroom.”
Her lips parted as she drew a breath, and her face turned a delicious shade of pink. I watched one hand smooth down her thigh, then dart up to the back of her neck. The other hand fidgeted at her side. It looked like she had to force a swallow.
Sweet Jesus. Her embarrassment totally turned me on.
“So, um...what did you tell them?” she finally asked.
A sense of pressure below my belt pulled me toward her. Her eyes widened as I approached, but she seemed more excited than frightened.
Her breezy, floral scent mingled with the liquid courage in my veins, and before I knew it I was running my fingers into her thick, damp hair. What the hell am I doing? God, it felt good, and she tilted her ear toward me like she enjoyed it too. There was a cute little dimple on her right cheek that winked at me. I found myself leaning closer to her face, and considering her impressive height, I didn’t have far to go. Her shiny eyes turned back to me, and she gazed up with such yearning, such depth.
My heart thundered. Stop seducing me, Devil Spawn!
Those sensuous lips opened for me, their sweetness luring me forward. I held my face over hers, breathing in her smell, and her eyes fluttered shut as she surrendered to me. I stared at her soft features for too long, shocking myself with an insane desire to kiss those sweet lips. Before I totally freaked myself out, I shifted an inch to press a kiss onto her warm cheek, right on her dimple. I could feel her tremble beneath my touch.
My hand still tangled in her hair, I pulled back to gaze into her mesmerized eyes. “I told them I never kiss and tell.”
When I let her go, I heard a little squawk of protest. That adorable noise reminded me of the pressure down below — pressure I needed to do something about. I turned and took swift strides down the hall.
“Where are you going?” Her breathy voice was tinged with desperation.
I grinned. She was just too easy to mess with.
Jennifer Lane is giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Card on her Facebook page for the release!
You can enter HERE.
Get psyched for romance with psychologist/author (psycho author) Jennifer Lane! By day she witnesses growth in her psychotherapy clients, and by night she wrangles misbehaving fictional characters as she writes sports romance and romantic suspense with a psychological twist. She can’t decide which is more fun.
A swimmer and volleyball player in college, Jen wove some of her own experiences into Streamline—a military mystery about swimmers. And readers can dip their toes into Jen’s world of swimming romance by sampling her free New Adult novella Swim Recruit.
College volleyball romance Blocked is Jen’s newest release, launching 10-21-14. Peek inside big-time college sports and even bigger national politics when the offspring of two presidential candidates find out whether opposites really do attract, or their match is blocked from the start.
Stories of redemption interest Jen the most, especially the healing power of love. She is also the author of The Conduct Series, a romantic suspense trilogy that includes With Good Behavior, Bad Behavior, and On Best Behavior. Ultimately, whether writing or reading, Jen loves stories that make her laugh and cry.
In her spare time she enjoys exercising, attending book club, hanging out with her plus-size, “I’m not fat, I’m big-boned” Izzie cat, and visiting her sisters and their families in Chicago and Hilton Head.
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