Okay. Here’s a question for you. It’s one women ask each other all the time, but I’m not sure how often the answers we give can be taken at face value. Maybe that’s because it’s a very personal question, and we reserve the right to keep the whole truth to ourselves. (So don’t answer unless you really want to.) Or maybe it’s because our thoughts and feelings on subjects as tricky as this one are more complicated than we realize sometimes, even in the privacy of our own minds. But here it is: what is most important to you in a relationship? If you had to choose between two extremes, would you go with unflagging trust and reliability, or—I’m gonna say it—really great, commitment-free sex?
Josie, the main character of my novel IN THE DARK, starts the story thinking that is roughly the question facing her. Of course there’s a lot more to each of the guys in question than a short phrase can capture—we’re all more complicated than that. But those are their most salient characteristics in Josie’s eyes, and in their interactions with her. So which way does she lean? At first, she tries really hard not to choose. She doesn’t want to acknowledge that it could be more complicated than a black-and-white, on-off kind of choice, so she tries to get what she needs from each of them in a limited way without crossing the line into relationship territory. But that doesn’t work for long. Then she begins to realize that she’s misjudged both guys in some pretty major ways. That’s when qualities that seemed like opposite extremes begin to blur together.
So maybe these are just my personal rose-colored glasses, but I think these questions have a tendency to create a false dichotomy. That’s certainly what’s messing with Josie’s head at the beginning of IN THE DARK. Maybe the great sex is the excuse one woman makes to get involved with a guy she cares about even though she knows he has no steady boyfriend potential. Maybe the ultra-dependable, solid-citizen thing is the excuse another woman makes to commit to a guy she knows deep down she doesn’t love. Maybe both things come from trying to pick a partner from the readily available options, when the fact is that Mr. Right is stuck in traffic and hasn’t arrived yet. In the end, I don’t think we have to choose or settle. I think that when we find the right person, both partners are capable of rising to the occasion, and being there for each other in all the ways that really matter. If you need your man to be a world-class polo player, and a world-famous Polo model, you may have to adjust your expectations. But if you want a good guy with a good heart who will be there for you when it counts and go the extra mile for you in bed, I kind of think they’re everywhere, and trust is a perfect place to start the search. If you ask me, for women, trust may be the single most important ingredient in ultra-hot sex, anyway. And there’s nothing more handsome than a man who smiles with his whole heart every time he looks at you.
What do you think? What is the most important thing to you in a relationship? Do we have to choose, or can we have it all with one guy?
One commenter will win a copy of IN THE DARK (e-book)
A woman drawn into a dangerous game. A man who may not be what he seems. Passion raises the stakes in Sally Eggert’s electrifying novel of deception and desire.
Josie Nielsen’s anonymous life as a bartender is a world away from her classified job at a covert agency—and the terrifying night she was almost killed for her country’s secrets. That was the night Josie found out the hard way that no one had her back, especially not the man she thought she loved. But she’s pulled back in when her new boyfriend becomes the target of a government drug sting.
A sexy, laid-back barfly, Johnny Boyer is the kind of guy Josie can count on . . . to disappear before things get too complicated. But after she learns that Johnny is part of a major international trafficking operation, Josie can’t let him out of her sight. And yet even as she plunges into the mortal danger that surrounds Johnny, her attraction to him burns hotter than ever. She just isn’t sure whether she’s falling for a ruthless, cold-blooded criminal or the only man she’s ever met worth trusting with her life.
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