We’ve got fabulous author Farrah Rochon visiting with us today! She’s pretty much all things wonderful – and she’s been here to visit with us before. Whee! Beyond all the usual great things, Farrah loves football too! <3
Breaking Rules with the Unconventional Romance
I’ve always regarded myself as a pretty straight-laced person. I make a complete stop at stop signs, refrain from nibbling on grapes before I pay for them at the grocery store, and I have never slipped into a second theater to catch a free movie. I did steal a Hershey bar from K-Mart when I was six, but my dad paid for that, so it really shouldn’t count.
However, when it comes to my stories, I’ve been known to break a few rules. With my latest release, Always and Forever, the second book in my Bayou Dreams series with Harlequin’s Kimani Romance, I took a sledgehammer to some of those old rules of romance.
Rule #1: Never give your heroine a male-sounding name.
Let me introduce you to Phylicia “Phil” Phillips.
Rule #2: Heroines shouldn’t have male-oriented jobs.
Let me introduce you to overalls-wearing, blowtorch-wielding, home restoration specialist Phylicia “Phil” Phillips.
And don’t get me started on my uber-beta, eco-friendly, architect hero, Jamal Johnson.
These two are as far from the typical romance hero and heroine as you can get, but the chemistry between them sizzles. RT Magazine (which gave the book four beautiful stars, by the way), pretty much sets the tone with this review: “Rochon strays from the norm in a subtle yet affecting way in this novel, making it stand out from the rest. The unpredictable storyline makes this a page-turner and must-read for all.”
Strays from the norm?
Yep, that pretty much sums up my unconventional, but, if I may say so myself, very entertaining romance. Take note of the “must-read for all” line. I agree with that one, too!
What are some of your favorite romances that go against the norm?
Oh, and before you start to think that Always and Forever strays too far from what a romance novel should be, here’s just a sample that shows that it is very much a love story:
After a run of lousy luck, Phylicia Phillips is finally close to reclaiming her cherished girlhood home in Louisiana. But before she can buy it back, Jamal Johnson beats her to the punch. The renowned architect plans to completely renovate the old place—and he wants Phylicia to help him! She doesn’t trust Jamal, but she’s helpless to fight the passion building between them.
Hiring the home restoration specialist to help convert the stately Victorian into a B&B was a stroke of genius. Until Jamal finds out the house was in Phylicia’s family for generations. Blindsided by his desire for this alluring beauty, Jamal vows to transform their working relationship into an intimate one. But will threatening troubles from the past keep them from building a blueprint for love?
“I don’t want to be the one who hurts you, Phylicia.” Jamal reached forward and lifted her ponytail from where it draped along her neck. “I think someone did that already.”
She gazed at him, feeling as if she’d been drawn into a trance by his hushed voice. “Why do you always call me Phylicia?”
The edge of his mouth quirked in a smile. “Because it’s your name.”
“Everyone else calls me Phil.”
“That’s a man’s name. And despite that blowtorch you were wielding a few minutes ago, there’s no denying that you are all woman, Phylicia.”
As he dipped his head toward her, a tiny voice told Phil to move out of his reach. But a much louder voice told her to stay right where she was. It had been way too long since she’d been kissed, and after the day she’d had, Phil couldn’t think of a single thing she needed more.
The moment Jamal’s soft lips touched hers her heart melted. He was gentle in his coaxing, but insistent, his lips enticing her to join in. He cupped the back of her head and slanted his to the side to get a better angle.
Phil heard a moan, but couldn’t tell which one of them had made the sound. Without fully recognizing what she was doing, she linked her hands behind Jamal’s neck and cradled the back of his head. She parted her lips and thrust her tongue inside of his mouth, losing herself in the kiss.
An animalistic growl rose from his throat. Jamal held her in place as his tongue plunged into her mouth. He tasted like cinnamon, spicy and sweet, and as his tongue made itself at home in her mouth, Phil allowed herself to enjoy it. He knew just what to do, applying just the right amount of pressure before pulling slightly away, making her reach for him.
After she had enough fodder to fill her nightly fantasies for a while, Phil ended the kiss, leaving Jamal with a dazed expression, his eyes heavy with desire.
Bio: Farrah Rochon is a chocolate-loving, Broadway show-watching, Disney World-vacationing sports fanatic. She writes romance novels in her spare time. I’ll Catch You, the second book in her New York Sabers football series with Kimani Romance, was a 2012 RITA® Finalist. The first book in her Bayou Dreams series, A Forever Kind of Love, is a 2012 RT Book Reviews Reviewer’s Choice nominee. Farrah is on Twitter more than what many would deem healthy, but she doesn’t care. Find her there, on Facebook, or on her website.
What’d you think of the excerpt? Do you like unconventional romances? How about a favorite unconventional romances to share with us? Come on – I want to hear what you think. (On those questions or anything else.) As incentive, Farrah is giving away a $10 gift card to Amazon or B&N!