Most people don’t think of engineers as sexy romantic heroes. Did you know Leonardo DaVinci was an engineer? Engineers figure out how things work, then try to design a system to make them better. Karl Benz was an engineer and an inventor, plus the creator of the Benz automobile. Robert Fulton, an American Engineer, designed the first steamship, then the first steam-powered battleship, then finally the first practical submarine. Not only was he making it easier and faster to get places, but he was also protecting his countrymen. You don’t get much more alpha than that. Ferdinand Porsche, the inventor of the super sexy car is an engineer too. You can’t get much cooler than that.
American women have a bad attitude about engineers, because they aren’t obvious bad boys riding on a gas mixture of testosterone , promises, and alcohol. I imagine a few of the women who turned their nose up at Larry Page, the creator of Google, are kicking themselves right about now. Google is the best company to work for because of pay, perks, and just plain fun. Does this company sound like it is ran by a man who doesn’t understand what women want? His partner, Sergy Brin, is an engineer too. I hope I am changing your view of engineers.
Everyone agrees that a military man is a prime alpha male. Did you know that the Army Corp of Engineers goes ahead of the fighting forces to scope out the terrain, building bridges and roads. This isn’t an easy or a safe job. An engineer often has to be very physical in his line of work. Others rely more on logic and keyboards. Without engineers, you couldn’t take a train, plane, or even a car. There would be no cell phones, no computers, or even pantyhose. Engineers design everything from the treadmill you use at the health club to the elegant chair you perch on at your favorite coffee shop, as well as the cappuccino machine.
Think about what contributions your average bad boy makes, besides filling out a pair of jeans, and leaving a string of broken hearts behind. That’s why I chose to go with someone totally different for my hero in Unexpected Cougar, a soft-spoken engineer named Jackson. While attractive, Jackson doesn’t try to charm and dazzle the ladies. He’s a polite man who walks Elise out to her car, and waits until her wonky car starter catches. Since that’s not enough for him, he wants to make sure she gets the car fixed and recommends a mechanic. This is pure engineer. Jackson sees a problem and tries to fix it. Instead of plastering her against the car, and groping her, he tries to take care of her. Would you rather have a man who opens your car door or someone who gropes you while helping you with your coat?
Other women also have their eye on Jackson. Why not? He’s thoughtful, intelligent, courteous; all wrapped up in a nice package. What holds most engineers back from being dating chocolate? American women stereotype engineers as being dull and boring. Surprisingly women in other countries don’t feel this way. They realize an engineer makes a great husband. A much better deal than a player who really can’t settle down with one woman, no matter what promises he makes.
Why do I defend engineers so hard? There are quite a few in my family, but I fell in love with one too. My husband is the most romantic, thoughtful man I’ve ever met. He always opens my car door, brings me flowers, and listens to me ramble on about books and writing. Any heroine would be lucky to have such a man. That’s why I created Jackson.
Read Jackson’s dialogue carefully. Since my husband wrote the dialogue it’s pure engineer. Here’s an excerpt.
Another couple entered the dining room following the playful host. Elise gulped when she realized they were her clients. The same clients who believed she was happily married. Sitting here with Jackson would blow her story if they saw her. Sliding down in her seat and under the table might mean she’d have to tell Jackson about her sham marriage. Not a good idea, never sounding reasonable even if it made business sense. The best thing would be to hide her face by kissing Jackson. Yes.
She smiled at Jackson, calculating the closeness of the approaching couple. Placing both hands on his face, she swooped in for the kiss. Jackson who had just put a chip in his mouth, sputtered, but quickly swallowed. Elise kept her eyes open, tracking the couple through her hair until she felt Jackson’s lips move under hers. He kissed her back and did it very well. His firm lips softened under hers opening enough to allow the tip of his tongue to tickle her lips. Who knew engineers could be excellent kissers?
“Ah ya, ya, ya. Maybe you do not need margaritas,” the waiter teased when he approached their table.
Elise blinked, forgetting for a moment what her reasons were for kissing Jackson. The man managed effectively to destroy all rational thought processes. Instead, primal drives took over, and she knew which drive she wanted to fulfill. Her eyes moved over Jackson again. Why had she never noticed how he made her mouth water? His kiss certainly indicated interest. The waiter slid her margarita in front of her with a knowing smile. He walked away leaving the two encased in an awkward silence. Her eyes darted around to find the couple who orchestrated her impulsive action. The man faced his wife, but the wife’s eyes wandered around the room and met hers. Not good. What to do?
“Do I make you uncomfortable?” Jackson inquired, touching her hand lightly to regain her attention. “I can leave if you want.”
“Are you kidding?” She turned back in surprise. “Why would I want you to leave? Remember I kissed you.”
Jackson blushed. She never had a clue men could blush, never seen it happen before. He looked down, back up at her, and a look of wonder crossed his face. He said softly, “I thought that’s what happened, but I wasn’t sure. First time a beautiful woman kissed me in a public place.”
“Really? Never?” Her voice’s timber mirrored her disbelief.
Jackson’s grin grew wider and more confident. “Trust me. I would remember being kissed in a public venue.”
“No, not that,” Elise began, but stopped, not knowing how to finish her question without sounding needy. The margarita beckoned in lieu of conversation. The frozen sweetness slid across her tongue and hit her throat with a belch of fire causing her to choke. Jackson immediately pounded her on the back until she managed to quit coughing.
“How much tequila did they put in there?” she managed to gasp out.
She sat her glass down carefully grateful she hadn’t spilt any after Jackson’s backslapping session. The man could deliver a powerful slap. He took a healthy swig of his drink. Maybe he was considering how she’d behaved since they had walked into restaurant. What happened to that cool, sophisticated woman? Instead, she angled for sweet nothings.
Jackson took two more sips before putting his drink down. “Tastes okay to me.” He picked up the glass again for an additional swallow. “Umm.” He cleared his throat once. “You are a beautiful woman.” He picked up his glass again after delivering his comment.
“Really?” Talk about being a dim bulb. Why couldn’t she come up with something more clever? Still, it had been a long time since someone told her she was beautiful. She just couldn’t remember who now. Jackson gulped his drink. Strange behavior. Did he regret calling her beautiful? Did he want to call the words back?
Before she could decide what he meant, the female half of her client couple walked by and gave her an arched look. Elise said nothing since she didn’t acknowledge her clients outside her office, which gave her an easy out. Knowing the woman was looking for a recipe for a happy marriage, she covered Jackson’s bare left hand with her right hand and squeezed it. She even leaned over and rubbed her cheek against his. Talk about improv.
He leaned into her before whispering. “I never expected such a lovely woman to ever talk to me. Let alone kiss me.”
“Hmm,” she offered, keeping her cheek next to his. His cologne teased her nose, making her guess at the components. Woodsy, touch of citrus, underlying musk.
The waiter appeared out of nowhere with his pad. “Have you decided on what you want?” he asked, while managing to make the question sound suggestive or maybe her mind twisted it into something salacious. Well, she definitely knew what she wanted.
“Fajitas, chicken.” She knew it took a while to make them, prolonging her time with a particularly delectable engineer. Jackson ordered the special featuring chicken in a mole sauce.
She’d never been overly affectionate. Pretty much her ex-husband’s words when he left for the other woman, correction, women. Sure, he’d been a player, probably still was, but she hadn’t felt the incredible hunger for him she currently felt for Jackson. She reached for her margarita glass, contemplating the shy engineer. Not a player, not a bad boy, not even a man who successfully picked up women, she’d bet. How did one manage a bashful guy? She probably scared him off with all her touching and kissing. He probably considered her some sex-starved cougar. Maybe it would help if she explained.
“Jackson, you do know I am not after your body.” Ugh, could she sound any worse? Not smooth.
His face fell, and the chip he was holding dropped to the table. “You’re not.” He sighed heavily. “You wanting me seemed too much like a dream.”
Unexpected Cougar is currently for sale at Amazon, SCP, Bookstrand, and Barnes and Noble.
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