The idea for my latest contemporary romance simmered around in my head for a couple of years before I actually decided to write Dee and Alex’s story. Fascinated by a snippet in the UK press about a housing development that would centre around an ancient stone and the controversy it generated, I let the idea for my own take on such a concept stew until I had exactly the right characters to make it work.
While Dee is a modern woman, with her own business and her feet planted firmly on the ground, she is driven by love for the grandmother who raised her and a respect for the traditions of the village she grew up in. So when Alex McKinley arrives and threatens to destroy an old fairy gate which is central to the village’s rituals and beliefs, Dee steps in to fight him all the way.
His rigid and uncompromising attitude soon earns Alex the nickname “Bull” but only he knows the demons he must fight to adequately provide for his young daughter. As a single parent, he plans to give his child the best money can buy and that means throwing his weight behind the prestigious, and lucrative, new development in what he considers an antiquated English village.
While I love Dee’s fiery passion, and her equally “bullish” attitude toward protecting the intangible things she holds dear to her heart, I also feel for Alex, who thinks the only way to protect his child is through more practical means. These two people and their differing desires certainly make an explosive mix and, of course, neither considers the influencing power of the old fairy gate.
Here’s the blurb and an excerpt from Bull at the Gate. I hope you enjoy reading it.
Alexander “Bull” McKinley’s reputation as a hard-nosed businessman is tested when an old Fairy Gate and local superstition stand in the way of a lucrative development contract. Alex has his hands full trying to convince the villagers to play ball, without the unexpected—and definitely unwanted—attraction to the feisty redhead leading the revolt.
Dee Ashman detests those who put profit before people, and she’s damned if an arrogant, insensitive and, okay, wildly attractive capitalist is going to destroy the symbolic heart of the village and break her beloved grandmother’s heart.
But they cannot deny the desire that burns between them nor the unleashed passion neither can resist.
Extract from Bull at the Gate:
He walked a few steps forward and peered up at the ironwork arch. “The only thing I got when I touched the bloody thing, was an electric shock.”
Dee moved to join him. “That’s because it knows you mean it harm.”
“It? The thing’s got a life of its own?”
“‘Course. It’s got a few hundred years worth of energy gathered in its structure. Think of all the people who’ve touched it hoping for their wishes to come true.”
He turned and looked down at her. “What about you? Have you ever made a wish here?”
“A couple actually.”
“Did they come true?”
No, they hadn’t. Neither one. Her mother had never come back for her, and she’d never discovered the identity of her father.
Alex stood, awaiting her answer.
“I think I made the mistake of telling someone what my wishes were. Apparently, if you tell, they don’t come true.”
“Convenient. Maybe you should try again. How about tapping it twice and wishing I’ll disappear.”
“It’s tempting.” So were his eyes with the moonlight shining in them, and the curve of his lips as they slid into a smile. “But if I gave it another shot, you’d know what I was wishing for, which means it wouldn’t happen.”
His expression turned serious. “I’m not here to cause trouble, Dee. I just want to build a few houses.”
“Hardly a few. Plus there’s the commercial buildings, bet they’re going to turn a nice tidy profit.”
“Can’t deny it. Making profit is why I’m in business.” Reaching out, he touched her arm and slid his fingers from elbow to wrist. “Doesn’t mean we can’t reach some amicable conclusion in all this. No reason we can’t all win.”
“How will that happen exactly?” Hmm. Maybe he could stop running his hand down her arm like that. “You won’t re-route the pipes and the villagers won’t agree to having the Gate removed.”
“Whatever. Err, do you think you could stop doing that? We’re having this important conversation. It’s distracting.”
He moved in, taking both her arms and easing her closer. “See there? Something we agree on. I’ve been distracted ever since you yelled at me in the village hall.”
Bull at the Gate available from The Wild Rose Press: http://www.thewildrosepress.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=175_133&products_id=4648
Thanks, Tricia, for being my guest. I love the idea of a Fairy Gate!
– S.G. Rogers