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Friday, February 19, 2010


The door was ajar. She heard soft jazz music and Nick’s irritated voice. “You’re late.”

She pushed the door and entered, peering around the hotel room. Nick stood near a small conference table, perusing a Services menu, his lean fingers tapping a column container filled with ice and a bottle of White Zinfandel.

“Another five minutes and I would have assumed a no-show.” He sipped a Scotch on the rocks.

“I brought money.” Heart hammering, she licked her lips. Nerves constricted her throat. “Twelve hundred. My savings. I’m looking into a bank loan. And to do some freelance work.”

“Freelance work.” He laughed. “That’s one way of putting it.” White shirt loose at the collar, Nick lazily stretched his legs. He separated his tie, tossing it on the table. “Money isn’t what I want, Jordan.”

“I won’t do this. I can’t do it to Jack or to myself.”

Sans tie, buttons loose, muscular furry chest exposed, he stood, sexy and dangerous. “Don’t give me that ‘I can’t break my vows’ crap.” He exhaled impatiently. “That’s for nuns. I was very specific as to my expectations.”

“And I was very specific.” She blinked, curling her fingers into fists. “I can’t – oblige you.”

“Tragic thing to happen, a pretty marshmallow like you in a cold, dark cell. But I’ll come visit you.” His dark eyes glittered and his teeth flashed. “Maybe they’ll grant us conjugal visits.”

“Not you,” she said low in her throat. “You don’t give a rat’s ass about Jack, do you?”

“He’s your husband.” He shrugged. “Just another client to me.”

“You’re just another greedy lawyer to me.”

“Aww. C’mon,” he taunted. “You can do better than that.”

“How about ‘go to hell?’”

“Tell me.” His brazen confidence outraged her. “Why did you come here today?”

“To give you what money I have.”

“You could have sent it over to the office. Instead, you meet the big bad wolf in a hotel room. Pretty risky, wouldn’t you say, knowing the way I feel about you?”

“You won’t lose control and jump me,” she jeered.

“If you’re so sure, why do you keep backing away?”

Her heart pounded heavily. “I won’t sleep with you.”

“You like when I chase you, don’t you? I will, if you get any closer to that door.”

“The twelve hundred. Do you want it?”

“F*ck the money. You know what I want.”

Jordan bolted. Nick ran faster, pinning her against the door, yanking her purse from around her shoulder. His raw masculinity and musky scent began to weave the familiar dizzying spell. Jack was more like a brother. Nick Carlotta was Hades. He’d scoop her up into his clutches and drag her down into the darkness.

“We’ll skip the flowers and holding hands part,” he said, breathing just as hard as her. “Now, this comes off.” He tugged at the belt around her trench coat, wrenching it from her shoulders. She managed to yank her wrists from his hands, only to have them snatched again.

He cradled her jaw and lowered his dark head, lips brushing hers, softly at first, deepening the sensual onslaught until she unraveled. His greedy mouth opened over hers, persisting until she kissed him back, gasping, her entire body trembling.

Hearing his triumphant soft laugh galvanized her. In Nick’s collection of conquests, she refused to be a statistic.

Jordan twisted violently. Using the spike of one heel, she bore into his bare foot.

“I hope I burst a damned blood vessel!” she shrieked.

MELISSA: Wow, I need a cold shower now. That was pretty intense! I have just a few suggestions for you. First in sentences like this one: In Nick’s collection of conquests, she refused to be a statistic. It kind of reminds me of Yoda, so I would just switch it around. I realize you're trying to switch up how you start your sentences but if you go back through and really read, you'll see that you do just fine with it as it is and don't really need to do that.

You use strong verbs, great pacing and excellent dialogue. Over all, I think you've done well. I am wondering though if maybe you might want to slip in some kind of dialogue from Nick where he's not being the a**hole simply to make the reader better relate to him more. He comes across as a smart a**, which I get is exactly what you want but... it might give us an insight into a different side of him. As well as let Jordan see a softer side and hence increase her attraction for him. I've had this problem before and my crit partners told me to slip in a surprising piece of dialogue that might surprise the reader from him to make him almost likable. For instance have him look into her eyes to give her a poetic compliment. It would probably surprise Jordan as well and might give her more to be confused over. Just a thought though. It's a wonderful scene and I thoroughly enjoyed it!

GAIL: This was a very interesting excerpt. I liked the high stakes and tension. The writing flows smoothly. My only real criticism is that Nick does not seem heroic in this scene. I hesitated to mention that because it's always hard to judge a character from a short excerpt taken out of context. Just be sure he has shown some kindness early on in the book, so we know he has his redeeming qualities. He also needs really good motivation for his behavior here. Thanks for letting us critique this piece. I enjoyed it.

HEATHER: Very powerful and intense scene. I'm not quite certain I like your Nick, but this is only a very short extract from your work and perhaps his motivations are better described elsewhere. The "furry chest" doesn't really attract me, but everything else was great.

SAMANTHA: Now for me, a furry chest seems to fit. He's animalistic, compared to a wolf. It doesn't bother me. The drama is great and the dialog natural. The disadvantage to not seeing the whole story comes in trying to form an opinion based on a small snapshot, so please don't take this as me believing myself to be all knowing. There's a good chance I'm completely wrong and would know that if I had access to key information. My concern is that this scene comes across as if Nick is attacking her rather than them sharing a kiss. Maybe that is the way it is supposed to read, but then I'm wondering is he's the hero? How would they overcome this conflict? However, this concern aside, I really enjoyed the scene.

LYDIA: I was wondering too if he was the hero, until she equated her husband to more of a brother. So, that leaves me thinking Nick is the hero, but he doesn't particularly come off as heroic in this scene. Still, I am partial to the reformed bad boy, so that's not necessarily a bad thing, at least not for me. I hope the situation with her marriage is resolved soon, because infidelity is a real hot button issue for me.

I don't have anything to say about your writing, I think it flowed well. I wish I knew more about the story so I could gauge my comments better. But since I want to know more, that's a good thing. Good luck!

JERRICA: I loved this scene! Well done! I'm not going to make assumptions about whether or not he's the hero, I'm just going to critique the scene, out of context, and all I really have to say is well done. Your writing is strong, your voice is strong, your characters are VERY strong. All the makings for a page-turner. I do have one nit-picky thing and that is that it should be "...breathing just as hard as SHE." Otherwise, I loved it!

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