Yep! She's here, and I could not be more exited.
Please join me in welcoming today's guest, award winning novelist, Irene Vartnoff.
I enjoy a good abduction story, but I've hardly ever read one, which is why I wrote Captive of the Cattle Baron. I wanted to do the power dynamics correctly, not letting one person dominate and subdue the other, and I wanted to show the pitfalls of an abduction situation, too.
Pitfalls? Yes, because at the end of an abduction romance these two people supposedly are about to get married and live happily ever after. Yet how can a heroine ever trust a hero who has kidnapped her and possibly mistreated her, too? Even if the most he did was not listen to her side of things—I don't have to tell you how poorly that will go over during marriage. But typically these men do more, a lot more.
The hero of an abduction romance usually wants to have sex with the heroine. Strangely, this man thinks that the woman should allow him that privilege despite any resentment she feels at being a prisoner. Hold on a minute. What? No way. My feisty heroine, Addie Jelleff, tells her captor to back off, despite her growing attraction to him. A few kisses are all he's likely to get until she is free to make her own decisions.
My misguided hero, Baron Selkirk, truly believes he is acting in Addie's best interests, but then his own demons make him behave badly. Despite getting to know her and coming to care for her, he crosses the line. How Addie responds to Baron's ultimate act of savagery is what I believe makes Captive of the Cattle Baron different from any other abduction story you've ever read.
Abducted by rancher Baron Selkirk—okay, it was an accident, but now he won't let her go—former TV child star turned horse whisperer Addie Jelleff wants to return to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, to defend her actor pal in court. Baron and his vast, isolated ranch appeal to Addie as a respite from the media circus, but he's awfully domineering and she can't possibly give in to their growing attraction while she's virtually his prisoner, can she? Baron wants Addie to open up about her mysterious past and her commitment to another man. Why won't she give in to Baron, when every time they touch, they catch fire? It's a battle of wills—with neither one backing down.
Addie sat down at the table, and a few seconds later Baron arrived, his mind clearly somewhere not pleasant. After a casual glance at Addie, his gaze sharpened. His eyes examined her clothes. He frowned.
Suddenly conscious of how much skin the cami and shorts revealed, she asked, “Is there something wrong with my clothes? You’re giving me the stink eye.”
“Not much clothing in evidence,” he said, scowling.
“Last night I got the distinct impression you liked that,” she replied.
“What?” Miss Betty shrieked.
“All I did was kiss her,” Baron told his housekeeper.
“Excuse me, but there was a lot of touching going on, too, Mister-Holier-Than-Thou. There’d have been more if I hadn’t escaped.”
Baron’s face flushed red. “You responded. Don’t deny it. I could have had you if I’d pressed.”
“How dare you?” Addie cringed mentally at the show they were putting on in front of Miss Betty, but couldn’t stop. “This isn’t about my clothes. It’s about you being frustrated because I keep saying no.”
“Set yourself down and concentrate on lunch,” Miss Betty advised.
Addie took an angry turn around the room. “I’ve lost my appetite,” she replied. “Excuse me.”
She left the kitchen.
Back in her room, her stomach growled. Breakfast was a long time ago. She stared at her body in the mirror on the bathroom door. There was nothing provocative about her shorts and cami. Why was a frown from Baron Selkirk enough to set her off? She’d jumped down his throat. Was it because they’d come so close to making love last night, but been frustrated? Yet they’d been okay this morning. This morning had been sweet. Why had she blown up at him?
Amazon | Amazon UK
[Cattle Baron is currently Amazon only and in Kindle Unlimited. It will be on CreateSpace shortly.]
Award-winning author Irene Vartanoff started reading romances and comic books as a teenager. Emilie Loring and Superman were her gateway drugs, which led to the serious stuff, Gothic novels and Lois Lane comics—and romance comics. Writing comic books and working on staff at Marvel Comics and DC Comics absorbed her early career years, aspects of which are gently spoofed in her superhero adventure novel, Temporary Superheroine. Editing for major publishers of romance Harlequin, Bantam, and Berkley inspired her next career shift to writing novels. Captive of the Cattle Baron is her first sweet contemporary romance.