Nights Like These by Chris Scully
Starting over sucks. At forty, Miles Koprowski thought he had life all figured out. He had a nice car, a hot young lover, and a cushy job… and then he didn’t. Call it fate, or karma, or a downturn in the market, but this opinionated cynic is now forced to play rent-a-cop in a dying office building in the burbs just to make ends meet. Throw in an unhinged ex, a coworker who hates him, and a hot new boss, and suddenly everything is uncertain.
Miles doesn’t plan on liking the night shift or becoming embroiled in a mystery that reawakens old passions and puts him in danger. And he certainly doesn’t plan on falling for the overbearing head of security, Colton Decker, former soldier and doting dad. But nights like these can change a man, make him start to believe there’s more to life than a high paying job and a warm body in his bed. With a thief on the loose and his new job in jeopardy, Miles will have to decide what’s truly important. He might discover things he never knew he wanted… as long as he makes it through the night.
“Why don’t you watch where you’re going, dumb—” I managed to sputter before my mouth stopped working entirely and dropped open. The ability to speak, to think, deserted me at the first sight of the hunky stranger standing in front of me, his face contorted with apology as he tried to mop up my sodden jacket with a handful of napkins. He was a few inches taller than me—closer to six feet—and on the stocky side. His broad shoulders filled out a nicely tailored suit, and he projected an air of confidence that I’d never be able to pull off in a million years. He was clean-shaven too, with a dark buzz cut that made me long to run a hand over his head simply to feel the texture. And gorgeous. Did I happen to mention that?
In short, he was the kind of guy you’d want to be stranded with on a deserted island; the kind you could count on to save you. If you were so inclined. Me? I didn’t need saving.
A pair of friendly, light-colored eyes now stared back at me, bemused. Odd that his lips were moving, but no sound was coming out.
“What?” I asked, blinking back to attention. I couldn’t remember the last time anyone had literally made me speechless. Me, Miles Koprowski, who never met a silence he didn’t want to fill.
Hell, I couldn’t recall the last time I’d been on the receiving end of a full-body pat-down either. At least not so quickly. His hands were still drifting over my chest, wiping up the last drips of coffee, and the simple touch was doing alarming things to my heart rate.
“Are you okay?” he demanded. “Did you get burned?” Before I could react, he seized my wrist and held my hand up for inspection. Strong, lightly calloused fingers, I added to my mental list. Working hands. Dumbly, I looked down. The skin on the back of my right hand was red and stung like a son of a bitch, but it wasn’t blistering. I did flinch slightly when he skimmed his thumb over the sensitive area, but not from pain, more from the touch itself. My entire body lit up, as though I’d stuck a finger in an electrical socket. “It doesn’t look too bad. I think you’ll live. Put some aloe on it when you get home.”
“Doctor?” I croaked, because really, that would be too perfect.
“Nope. Just seen a lot of injuries.” His lips twitched with barely contained amusement. “Sorry to disappoint you.” Sense of humor, check.
CHRIS SCULLY lives in Toronto, Canada where she grew up spinning romantic stories in her head. When the tedium of a corporate day job grew too much, she took a chance and found her creative escape in writing. Always searching for something different, she has discovered a home in M/M romance and strives to give her characters the happy endings they deserve.
What is for you the perfect book hero? In the romance genre my perfect hero is someone who changes and learns a lesson over the course of the story. Someone who rises above his circumstances and has to do something hard. Maybe they have to sacrifice or risk something, or learn to compromise. I don’t need a muscle-bound, gun-toting alpha. I’m much more interested in what happens when you throw everyday people into “heroic” situations.
When you start a book, do you already have the whole story in your head or is it built progressively? It depends. For books that are more character-driven I don’t always have all the details planned, but I do have an outline, even if it may only be a collection of random scenes. Then I let the characters take over. It's a balance; you don't want to stifle your characters, but at minimum I think you need a plan, if only to make sure the pace is correct. Occasionally I will think of a great scene at the last minute and then need to fit it in somewhere.
For something like Nights Like These, which has a mystery built-in, I did have a detailed plan in order to properly develop the mystery. You have to drop hints in the right places and build suspense. In that case I had the whole story worked out in advance. I do this by writing individual scenes on cue cards and then playing around with them to order the scenes properly and expose gaps in the narrative. Even though I had the plot points all worked out, I wanted to leave flexibility in the characters, so they could still develop a voice. Miles for example, started out as cynical and sarcastic, which he still is, but along the way developed more vulnerabilities than I intended.
The days are 25 hours. How do you spent that extra hour? Sleeping or day-dreaming (if you could combine the two it would be perfect).
Tour Dates/Tour Stops:
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