Autumn Piper had me at “juxtaposition”! 😉
(It’s a super fun word. Really, more people should use it.)
Single Dad…Be Still My Melting Heart
I’m a total sucker for a single dad going it alone as caregiver, protecting… Especially one sacrificing some of his own wants/needs (something moms are oh-so-familiar with, no?), for those of his little guy or girl.
Maybe it’s seeing all that inherent tenderness in action, or perhaps it’s watching him do the chores and meet the needs of someone who needs him. Does it call to my inner evolved mom, letting me know, hey, this guy could totally help you take care of your young?
Maybe it’s just sexy. Ya know?
The juxtaposition of, say, a big muscled man and his small, vulnerable offspring (trusting him implicitly).
Now, a dad who’s letting his kid get away with all sorts of badness and isn’t wielding parental discipline, that’s not so cute. But thank goodness that usually doesn’t turn up in romance novels, right?
In Ripe for Trouble, I “gave” my bad-boy, motorcyle-riding hero, Ridley Tucker, an adorable little mini version of himself. His old classmate, Ivy, is very surprised the wild ladykiller has turned into a responsible parent, and dishes about it with her girlfriend after running into Ridley at the pumpkin patch.
“God, look at that little guy. Isn’t he the cutest?” Kiersten was looking at a little blond boy carrying probably the smallest pumpkin in the whole patch up to the cash resister. He was pretty cute. “That’s little RJ Tucker. Ridley’s his dad.”
Whoa, wait. “RidleyFu—Tucker has a kid? I mean, one he’s taking responsibility for?”
Kiersten snickered. “Yeah, hard to believe after all his hump ’em and dump ’em days, right? But yeah. He’s raising RJ by himself.”
“Must’ve been a pretty sorry excuse for a mother, if he’s the more-fit parent,” Ivy replied. God, the kid was cute. Were those baby Doc Martens he was wearing? And Ridley looked entirely too cute himself, following the little dude up to the register. Same great butt as he used to have. Newer Levi’s, though, and he seemed much cleaner-cut. Same drool-worthy gray eyes, too. If those eyes could talk…they could probably write a whole website worth of pornos.
“I’ll tell you all about her tonight.” Kiersten patted her arm. “We’ll pick you up at eight.”
Born and raised in itty-bitty Rifle, Colorado, Autumn Piper studiously avoided trouble…but is now inclined toward it, particularly in her novels. She thinks the best things in life are funny, and the runners-up, romantic.
An admitted carb addict, Autumn writes, edits, manages two teenagers, one husband and many supersize houseplants, and does the cooking and cleaning when forced to.
RIPE FOR TROUBLE
The biggest mistake she didn’t quite make just sauntered back into her life.
When Ivy Leeds takes a publicity job in her hometown, few things have changed…but Ridley, the bad boy of her graduating class, has cleaned up his act. Or so everyone else thinks. After hearing him and his friend practicing pickup lines, she has her doubts.
Ridley Tucker can hardly believe his eyes when Ivy, the president of the Brainiac Club, comes back to town. Some things never change—she’ll barely give him the time of day, and she still looks as good as she did that night at Prom.
Living in a small town means avoiding someone is nearly impossible, and those most worthy of avoidance turn up in such awkward places…
Content Warning: High school flame revisited plus reformed bad-boy equals combustion suitable for adults only.