In the last ‘forced proximity’ post in our series about romance tropes, Cathleen Ross explains how she used the trope in her novel Base.
Forced Proximity. Hmm, I hear you say. Is that one of those steamy politically incorrect romances? Probably, but romance readers love their tropes and this is a favourite, usually because the sexual tension is always steamy in this kind of romance.
What happens when you force two people together who don’t like each other?
In my novel Base, the world’s gone to hell thanks to a virus that turns people into flesh-eating zombies. My hero, Captain Jack Lang, is in charge of the military base, one of the few fenced-off compounds in Sydney’s exclusive Mosman. With the sea and cliffs on one side, he and his commandos are trying to regain territory and save lives. The trouble is the first live woman he finds thinks she’d be safer on her yacht, not with him.
Doctor Ruth Parker is used to giving orders, not taking them, but she doesn’t have the survival skills she needs in the new world. The Base needs doctors, and women. Locking Ruth up as his prisoner is only going to work for so long and Jack has to convince Ruth and her two girlfriends to stay.
I loved mixing two strong personalities and adding a dose of fear, hunger and sensuality. Captain Lang has a need to save the world and he’s great with his men who are used to obeying orders. He can reward his commandos with alcohol and a great gun anytime, but his seduction skills with women are lacking. If Ruth got hold of a gun she’d probably shoot him but locking her up isn’t the answer. She’s not even impressed with his display of firepower, ability to slay zombies or his super-sexy hot body, which he’d willingly let her use. It takes showing Ruth his vulnerable side, his loneliness and his appreciation of her skills that eventually wins her heart.
For those interested in a taste of an extended scene from Base, my novella Heat can be downloaded here.
The world’s gone to hell, and her only chance of survival is the sexy, dominant soldier determined to keep her safe…