In Your Arms
For Your Love #2
By: Shannyn Schroeder
Releasing December 27, 2016
A KNIGHT IN SHINING LEATHER…
Sean O'Malley has never tried to hide who he is. He shows it in the motorcycle thrumming between the legs of his tight jeans…the shaggy hair that falls in his gorgeous eyes…the wicked gleam in his smile when he asks Emma out for a drink. Sean is a rebel, a bad boy, and a ton of fun: exactly the kind of guy she's sworn off forever.
Emma isn't just the prim kindergarten teacher she appears to be. And somehow Sean can tell. As soon as he pulls up to her overheated car he knows that a fast bike and a cold beer will fix her rotten day better than compliments or a bubble bath. Her straitlaced exterior and her wild heart light him up. But Emma wants to escape her past and settle down—and if her desk jockey dates don't understand where she comes from, at least she doesn't worry about them bringing her back.
One weekend of intense connection can't change the paths Sean and Emma have chosen. But with a little space to be themselves together, maybe the rest of the world can wait...
They climbed back on the motorcycle and left the parking lot. Sean drove them into a quiet residential neighborhood of single-family homes. Not an apartment in sight. Her radar immediately pinged. This was not a guy who had his shit together enough to own a house.
She could write a book on how to pick up the man-boy. Sean parked and she shoved the thought away. This was about the weekend. About her getting what she wanted—no, needed—for the moment. Then she’d go back to her real life and look for what she should have. What she really wanted. At least find a guy who was adult enough to not live at home with mom.
Sean held her hand and pulled her to the back of the building. When he moved toward basement steps, she pulled from his grasp. “Where are we going?”
“My place.” He hitched his chin in the direction of the door. “My room’s in the basement.”
“What are you? Twelve?”
“My brother Tommy and I have it set up as our own place.”
She sighed. “Do you at least have your own bedroom? Or am I supposed to screw you with an audience?”
He laughed and reached for her hip. His voice dropped into the sexy range. “While I share a lot of things with my brother, a woman isn’t one.”
Then he turned and pushed her toward the steps leading upstairs. “We can have a drink upstairs first so you can see I’m not a crazy guy looking to lock you in my basement.”
She laughed a little at that. For a bad boy, Sean was pretty adept at reading things. He opened the back door and flicked on the light, flooding the kitchen. As he locked up, she saw how beat up his hand was. His knuckles were red and swollen.
She winced. “You should ice your hand.”
Sean reached into the refrigerator and handed her a bottle of beer. With his own bottle in one hand, he grabbed a bag of frozen green beans with the other. Emma took his beer from him and opened it.
He flexed his hand and looked at it as if he hadn’t noticed before. “No big deal.”
But it was a big deal. She’d been in similar situations too many times to recall. Her mom had taught her to smile and laugh it off, but Emma had never been able to do that. It rattled her every time. Memories of the guy pressing against her, trapping her, washed over her now. From deep in her bones, she felt every part of her start to tremble. To cover it, she gulped some beer.
She gripped the bottle tightly as she set it on the table and took a seat across from Sean. He watched her closely. “You sure that guy didn’t do anything to you? I mean, other than get in your face?”
She shook her head and didn’t like the way the room started to spin, so she answered, “No.”
“You look really upset.”
“I’m fine. Are we going downstairs or what?” Right now, she’d give almost anything to forget this day. She pushed off the table, wobblier than she’d thought she was.
Sean stood, still eyeing her, and tossed his vegetables back in the freezer. She finished her beer and suddenly realized the goldfish crackers she’d eaten in her car were the closest thing she’d had to dinner. No wonder the alcohol had hit so hard. Sean grabbed her hand and led her downstairs.
The basement was mostly unfinished. Concrete floor and walls. A washer and dryer sat against one side. Sean pulled her toward the back of the basement. Actually, the front of the house. There, crudely constructed walls divided the space.
He pointed toward the corner. “That’s the bathroom. Tommy’s room is next to it. This one’s mine,” he added with his hand on the doorknob.
She snickered. “This is your idea of having it set up like an apartment?”
“It’s better than a mattress on the floor or sleeping on the living room couch.”
The last remark hit home because that was exactly where she’d found Nicky more often than she cared to consider. So at least Sean was a step up from her loser brother.
For a few years now, I’ve been developing my process for writing a book, especially since I’m not a plotter. I can’t outline a book before I write. One of things I do that I find really helps ground me in a book is having a playlist. I create the playlist before I ever write a word. I choose songs based on what I know about the characters and the arc of the story. Sometimes I choose songs that still fit by the time the book is done, other times, not so much. Once the playlist is created, I listen to it almost nonstop before writing (to the point of annoying my children) and every time I sit down to write.
It’s been almost a year and a half since I drafted In Your Arms and I have to say this is one of the best playlists I’ve ever created. It still holds up for the characters and the book. It’s also one of my favorite lists. It’s mostly fun and upbeat, just like the book.
If I had to choose just one song to represent the book as a whole, it would have to be Shut Up and Dance by Walk the Moon. It’s all about being attracted and belonging together, but she holds back and he knows it. Running a close second would be Bad Enough for You by All Time Low because Sean knows that Emma loves his bad boy side. It’s what she’s drawn to, and she doesn’t really want him to be nice to her.
Shannyn Schroeder is the author of the O’Leary series, contemporary romances centered around a large Irish-American family in Chicago and the Hot & Nerdy series about 3 nerdy friends finding love. Her new series (For Your Love) will release this summer with the first title Under Your Skin. When she’s not wrangling her three kids or writing, she watches a ton of TV and loves to bake cookies.
Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads