Sunday, 3 September 2017

Author Spotlight: Cailin Briste

The Hero’s Flaws – It Takes a Cat Burglar, A Thief in Love Suspense Romance

Sebastian St. Croix is a wealthy businessman with a specialized hobby. He steals things. As in entering without permission and purloining expensive artifacts and art objects. This could be his flaw, a penchant for taking what doesn’t belong to him, but it isn’t. He’s a thief in a white hat. The items he takes have all been previously stolen from public museums and are in private collections. He returns these priceless works of art once he appropriates them.
Like most romance heroes, Sebastian is handsome. When Darcelle sees him for the first time after a year of interacting through notes this is what she thinks. “He was gorgeous. Only a master sculptor could have formed a face of such perfect symmetry. The masculinity of his high cheekbones, angled jaw, and straight brows was softened by his exquisite lips. From beneath black locks slanting over his forehead, pale green eyes stared at her.”
On the surface it doesn’t look as though Sebastian has any flaws.
Rich? Check.
Good looking? Check.
Uses his skills for good? Check.
But a romance book isn’t as fun to read if the hero doesn’t have at least one flaw he must struggle with or overcome to find his happily ever after. The aspect of Sebastian’s personality that makes him an exceptional cat burglar also makes his love life one of physical release with no long-term connections. He must be in control. And then Darcelle Lebeau enters his life. She exposes that flaw, so that even Sebastian recognizes he must change or lose her.
It Takes a Cat Burglar is a novella, so the length limits creating a hero with multi-layered flaws. The best full-length romances are a spider web of the hero and heroine’s flaws, intractable situations, and devious villains. I personally love a hero who struggles to relinquish control. When he lets go, the result is so satisfying.

Which flaws are your favorites? Are there some flaws that would make a hero unacceptable? What about dark heroes? The darker the hero, the more flaws he has, but getting a bad boy to fall in love is a huge favorite among romance readers. So, what part of the bad boy persona is flawed and needs a makeover and what part shouldn’t change? Let me know what you think.

It Takes a Cat Burglar: A Thief in Love Romance
Cailin Briste
Genre: Romantic suspense, sci-fi romance

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When Darcelle Lebeau throws off the invisible chains that keep her bound to her family, she discovers a new vocation. Tempted to enter the illegal playground of a man she nicknames Matou, she becomes a cat burglar in training. Deeply ensnared with each task he entices her to fulfill, she fails to discover his identity and true intentions.

Sebastian St. Croix, a wealthy businessman, has a dark side. He’s a thief, a cat burglar who steals art and historical objects. For one year, he trains Darcelle to become his assistant, remaining incognito, observing her from afar. His admiration grows along with his desire for her with every phase-one challenge she completes. Phase two will test the limits of his control. Hands-on personal training? Yes. Sex? No. With his sister’s happiness at stake, nothing, not even the tempting Darcelle Lebeau, can interfere with accomplishing the biggest break-in of his career.

“There’s a price for my services. It’s time for you to pay.”

Heat bloomed through Darcelle. What did he mean? Hadn’t she been serving him this whole time?

He rose and moved to stand behind her, placing his dexterous fingers on her shoulders and gently massaging her taut muscles. Head tipped to the side, she succumbed to his ministrations even though she ought to resist. Over the last year she’d dreamed of him seducing her, and now the man of her most erotic fantasies was rubbing his hands over her. A tremor coursed through her body.

He nuzzled soft lips against her check and whispered, “That’s better.”

Resistance had drained away. He clasped her hand and led her to a sofa. “Sit with me.”

Darcelle sat at one end of the sofa. A faint gasp fell from her lips when he positioned himself next to her, his thigh touching hers. She dropped her gaze to her russet, reddish-brown fingers engulfed in his warm beige hand. When he spoke, she looked once again into his eyes, her heart thudding.

“I’m an artist of sorts. A dilettante. I abhor that the wealthy keep so many of the universe’s masterpieces to themselves. I cannot change that, but I can recover works that have been stolen from venues open to the public.”

With one finger he brushed a trail from her temple to her jaw. “I rescue beautiful things.” A smile played along his lips, and he withdrew his hand.

“I need a partner. You.”

Darcelle’s mouth fell open. “What?”

He smirked. “I’d been looking for some time when I discovered you.”

One question moved through Darcelle’s mind like sludge. Discovered me? She was pulled back to the conversation when Matou squeezed her hand.

“You surpassed my expectations.”

“Did I?”

His gaze softened. “Yes. You’ve passed your initial training, but more will be required before we can work together. Once you’ve completed the next phase, you may decide whether to join me. If you choose to, you can leave now, and I will never contact you again.”

“What does the next phase involve?”

“You’ll be learning the rules I require of anyone who works with me. A series of tests will help me decide where to focus your training. Simulations will play an important part in preparing you to be under me. It shouldn’t take more than a month.”

Under him. Gods, she wanted to be under him. Had he meant what that word implied? Her nipples tingled. Stop it! This is your life. It’s more than getting laid.

Considerations raced through her mind. One more month and she could be done with this whole thing. Or not. What was another thirty days of cat burglary? Her clandestine adventures had offered the most fun she’d ever had. She didn’t want to quit. But could she handle going solo? She slid her gaze over Matou. He wasn’t just a handsome face. He was built like a sleek black panther, lean, muscular, and thrumming with lethal energy. What would it hurt to discover what this mortally alluring man had in store for her?

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About Cailin:
Cailin writes sci-fi suspense romance, lighter on the sci-fi, heavier on sexy romance, and always with an element of suspense. Her current series include the Sons of Tallav and A Thief in Love Suspense Romance. The first two books in the Sons of Tallav have been released and the third is a work-in-progress. A prequel to book #4 will be released in October as part of the Cosmic Cabaret anthology by the SFR Shooting Stars. The second book in the A Thief in Love Suspense Romance series will take up Cade’s story. Cailin’s books are available at all the main online eBook retailers.

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