This book is a story of love lost, then gained, through a series of not-so-pleasant events.
As I write, I like to have a visual in my head of each character. Today, I want to let you guys into my head and show them to you, along with a little info on each character, and a short snippet from each one. The images are only for visual inspiration!
Cameron – The reserved sister. She knows how to have fun, but she’d mostly rather spend her time quietly, with friends or family. Cameron is the creator and owner of Sugar & Spice magazine, a sexy, modern publication for women of color.
Kyle laughed as he took off his shoes, then climbed into the bed beside her, taking care to leave her plenty of space. “So what do you want to talk about?”
“I want to talk about the shard of glass that seems to have embedded itself in my butt cheek. Can you see if you can get it?”
“Any excuse to show your ass, huh?” Kyle lifted a small corner of her robe to look at the place she indicated. “Yeah, you’re bleeding a little. I’ll get you fixed up.”
A few minutes later, Cameron was glass-free, and Kyle was gently placing a bandage over the spot. “You want me to kiss it, make it feel better?”
“Kissing my ass isn’t necessary… but you can kiss me.”
Jai – The relaxed sister…until provoked. Jai is laid back, but not afraid to speak her mind, even when it may be better to not. She is fiercely protective of the people she loves. Jai is owner and head chef at Honeybee, a trendy restaurant that serves what she likes to call ‘casual’ gourmet.
This wasn’t a good idea. This is a bad, bad, bad, idea.
Jai stared at herself in the mirror again, wondering how she had allowed Rashad to talk her into wearing lingerie for this photo shoot for Sugar & Spice. Well, it hadn’t only been him. Cameron thought it was a ‘fun’ idea as well, so Jai was preparing herself go back out into the now-empty kitchen in nothing but the lacy white boy shorts and bra her sister had chosen. Oh, and a black chef’s coat. She was going to be posing on a stainless steel counter in lingerie and a chef’s coat.
This is a bad idea.
A knock on the office door startled her, causing her to stumble on the hot pink stilettos she wore.
Now for the men, which is the tricky part! I can’t take away the fun of finding out who ends up with who when you read the book, so we’re just gonna go with some very short descriptions here!
Kyle – Cameron’s fiancé. Financial advisor/investor. All-around good guy… or not. 🙂
He skimmed his fingertips along her thighs, only hesitating to ask her about the time before he turned her onto her back, burying his head between them. Even this was an expression of care. He’d already slept through his alarm, and had only been taking an extra “five minutes” when Cameron woke him up. He was nearly obsessive about punctuality, yet he was willing to risk being late to satisfy her need. When it came to her, selflessness seemed to be second nature. Making her happy was as easy to him as breathing, and as Cameron struggled to find her own breath, she hoped that she could give him even a fraction of the peace and sanity that he brought her daily.
Brian – Jai’s best friend of over a decade. Manager and chef at Honeybee. Good-natured and flirty… maybe a little too flirty.
Brian stepped back to give her a playful bow, before turning back to his prep work. “You know I’ll cook for you any time Jai. The question is, when am I gonna get a taste of you?” Jai’s eyes went wide as she looked up at her handsome best friend. Warm brown skin and perfectly groomed black hair that led into a perfectly groomed goatee. Jai knew from experience that his body was solid and firm.
Damn he’s fine.
Jai turned away, heat rushing to her cheeks as she processed what he said.
“I see you over there blushing, girl. Relax. I meant a taste of your food.” He immediately followed that statement with a wink that contradicted it, giving Jai a playful swat on the butt as she exited the kitchen.
Rashad – Jai’s neighbor. Man-whore on the prowl.
Just the person I wanted to see, Rashad thought as he spotted Jai in the lobby of their building. She looked good, he observed, just like she always did, in riding boots, dark jeans that fit her like a second skin, and a thick white sweater.
“Jai!” he called out, almost hesitantly. He was enjoying his view from behind her, and wasn’t in a hurry to have it taken away. She stopped, her locs swinging behind her in a long ponytail as she turned.
“Hey Rashad.” She smiled, a sight that always made Rashad’s heart pump a little faster. He was used to doing the charming, not the other way around. The thing was, Jai wasn’t even trying. After he closed the distance between them, he hugged her, a liberty he took as often as possible since she didn’t seem to mind. Today, he kept his hands a respectable distance from her backside, giving her a slight squeeze before he released her from his embrace.
Derek – Physical Therapist. Laid-back, plenty of patience, even when people are being ridiculous.
Derek should have stayed home. He knew he shouldn’t have agreed to this meeting. He knew it. Yet, there he was, sitting across from Jessica at a table while she cried her eyes out over… whatever the hell Derek had done this time, even though they were no longer together. He shook his head. Jessica was an expert at turning on the waterworks to get her way, but not this time.
He shot an apologetic smile to the group of women eyeing him from the next table, no doubt wondering exactly how much of a jerk he had been to make such a pretty girl cry so hard. He could practically see the wheels turning in their heads as they scowled in his direction. Still, he wasn’t giving in. No matter what Jessica did, or threatened to do, he would offer no apologies, no comfort, nothing. Once she realized that tears weren’t working, she would switch tactics, and maybe then she would finally get to the real reason why she had called and asked Derek to have lunch.
Will – EMT. A pretty no-nonsense guy with a soft spot for one of the sisters.
Will woke up with a jolt. At first, he thought the loud banging was coming from the TV, which playing the same bass-filled tune over and over as the DVD’s menu screen repeated it’s opening sequence. Grabbing the remote, he switched it off. He hadn’t been home very long.
After his shift, he had gone home and showered, then ordered way more Chinese food than anyone needed in one night. He ate, then settled on his couch to watch a movie. Anything to keep his mind off of Cameron and her faint scent of citrus and vanilla. And those long, perfect legs. And those lush, juicy lips that he had almost gotten to taste. He made a mental note to foul Derek hard next time they were on the basketball court. It was his damn fault that Jai had been there. Who knows what would have happened if she hadn’t been there?
Maybe nothing. Or maybe that night would have set the precedent for him to fall asleep in front of the TV with his hands full of Cameron, instead of a remote.
So there you have it, my MVCs (Most valuable characters) from ‘The Trouble With Love’!
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