Welcome Meg Benjamin to the blog!
My hero in Fearless Love, Joe LeBlanc, is bald. Well, not bald exactly I guess—he’s a chef and he shaves his head because he spends all his time in hot kitchens. I never really thought about whether baldness was sexy or not before I started working with Joe. He showed up as a secondary character in Don’t Forget Me (in fact, some readers seemed to think he should have been the one the heroine ended up with, rather than her former boyfriend). But once I had Joe’s story down on paper, I started to wonder if readers would accept a hero with a naked dome.
There are lots of chefs with shaved heads, of course. Michael Symon, Joe Bastianich, Hosea Rosenberg, and Tom Colicchio among them. And then there are the sexy non-chefs with shaved heads: Michael Jordan, LL Cool J, Dwayne Johnson (at least some of the time) and Andre Agassi among them. I’m also one of those who prefer Bruce Willis without a wig and Jason Statham with fuzz—to me they both look a lot tougher without hair.
There’s something very…masculine…about a shaved head. Which isn’t to say I don’t like long hair on men too. Still, variety is the spice of life you know, and I’d hate to eliminate a hero just because his hair was too short (or nonexistent).
So I hope you’ll be willing to give a bald guy a chance. Of course, there’s more to Joe than just his bald pate. He’s loyal, honest, and sexy as hell. Plus he can cook—what more can you ask?
Fearless Love Excerpt
Here’s a quick introduction, when Joe rescues the heroine from an angry rooster:
The rooster gave a cackle of triumph and she dove for the gate, fiddling frantically with the latch. Already she could feel the air from his wings. Any second, it would be accompanied by pecks around the ankles and, if she was really unlucky, a few scratches from those talons on his feet. “Shit, shit, shit.”
“Allow me.” The voice at her side was close to basso profoundo.
MG started so violently she almost dropped the basket, which would have been a victory for Robespierre even if he hadn’t caused it.
The man standing on the other side of the fence was massive. Or maybe he only seemed massive because he was blocking her path to freedom. His bald head shone with perspiration, along with his face and his biceps. Now that she looked at him, she could see the damp sweat marks on his T-shirt stretching down his broad chest. Running shorts. New Balance shoes. Okay, that at least explained what the hell he was doing up and around this early in the morning, although how he came to be standing outside her chicken yard was still a bit of a mystery.
“Who are you?” she blurted.
He gave her a lazy grin. “Darlin’ you’re being attacked by a rooster. Does it really matter who’s getting you out of there?”
Something sharp hit the back of her leg. She glanced over her shoulder to see the enraged leghorn rooster dancing around behind her.
“Ready?” the man asked, his hand on the latch.
MG nodded, dodging around Robespierre’s forays. “Don’t let the rooster out, okay?”
“No ma’am,” he rumbled, then pulled up the latch and opened the gate slightly. MG darted through, then turned to see him pull the gate closed behind her before Robespierre could adjust, flipping the latch across.
“Got yourself a mean one there.” He gave her another slow grin that suddenly made her toes curl.
She nodded. “He’s got attitude.”
“Joe LeBlanc.” He extended his hand in her direction.
MG blinked. “Pardon me?”
The grin became slightly dry. “My name. Which you requested.”
Fearless Love Blurb:
Sweet music doesn’t come without a few sour notes.
Konigsberg, Texas, Book 7.
MG Carmody never figured her musical dreams would crash against the reality of Nashville. Now the only thing she has going for her is her late grandfather’s chicken farm, which comes with molting hens that won’t lay, one irascible rooster, and a huge mortgage held by a ruthless opponent—her Great Aunt Nedda.
With fewer eggs to sell, MG needs extra money, fast. Even if it means carving out time for a job as a prep cook at The Rose—and resisting her attraction to its sexy head chef.
Joe LeBlanc has problems of his own. He’s got a kitchen full of temperamental cooks—one of whom is a sneak thief—a demanding cooking competition to prepare for, and an attraction to MG that could easily boil over into something tasty. If he could figure out the cause of the shy beauty’s lack of self confidence.
In Joe’s arms, MG’s heart begins to find its voice. But between kitchen thieves, performance anxiety, saucy saboteurs, greedy relatives, and one very pissed-off rooster, the chances of them ever making sweet music are looking slimmer by the day.
Warning: Contains hot kitchen sex, cool Americana music, foodie hysteria, and a whole lot of fowl play.
Meg Benjamin is an award-winning author of contemporary romance. Her Konigsburg series for Samhain Publishing is set in the Texas Hill Country. Book #3, Be My Baby, won a 2011 EPIC Award for Contemporary Romance. Book #4, Long Time Gone, received the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award for Indie Press Romance. Book #5, Brand New Me, won the Holt Medallion from Virginia Romance Writers and was nominated for Book Of the Year at Long and Short Reviews. Meg lives in Colorado with her DH and two rather large Maine coon kitties (well, partly Maine Coon anyway). Her Web site is http://www.MegBenjamin.com and her blog is http://megbenj1.wordpress.com/. You can follow her on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/meg.benjamin1), Pinterest (http://pinterest.com/megbenjamin/), and Twitter (http://twitter.com/megbenj1). Meg loves to hear from readers—contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.