With Wrestlemania in my own backyard this year, I decided to share an inside look (and a hot excerpt) from my sizzling Amber Heat romance, A Perfect Match. At the time I got the idea for A Perfect Match, I was deep into working on a very different contemporary, Trust with Hearts. I set that book aside and started writing about wrestlers!
A Perfect Match is a contemporary romance set in the world of professional wrestling As anyone who knows me will attest, wrestling has always been a part of my life, so it was only natural that one day I’d write a book with wrestling as the backdrop.
People who have read the book have asked me to questions: 1. Which wrestlers are the characters based on? and 2. How do you know all this stuff about wresting?
It’s easier to answer the second question first. Wrestling has always been a staple in my family. (I like to say it’s our family tradition.) Years ago, I was fortunate enough to be on friendly terms with a bunch of wrestlers. My husband and I would go to matches and hang out with the guys after the shows. (No, I wasn’t a ring rat.) I picked up a lot of terms and got a real feel for what they did and how they experienced life on the road. I wasn’t even thinking about writing then, so I had no idea that one day I’d use what I learned in a book. When I got the idea for the book, I was able to incorporate much of what I knew into the plot, through Danni’s point of view.
The male characters in my book (Vinnie, Ev, Thorn, Nick) aren’t based on any one wrestler or real person. Like characters in any story, they’re a combination of real and invented personalities and have their own individual traits. I specifically made sure that Vinnie and the others aren’t linked to real wrestlers, because it would take away from the story. Also, since I’m writing fiction, I was able to invent whatever character flaws and backstory info that I wanted.
After the book was finished and polished I submitted it to a bunch of writing contests and “big-name traditional” publishers. Results were mixed – the contest people loved it. They said it had great characters, interesting (and different) kind of plot, and lots of sexual tension. A Perfect Match was a top 10 finalist in the first “American Title” contest and won awards in a few other contests. But editors told me that nobody would want to read a romance about wrestlers. (Really? Tell that to the thousands of wrestling fans out there.) I’m happy to say that the book has received several excellent reviews. (You can read them on my site: www.KelliWilkins.com)
Here’s a short summary & an excerpt:
Falling for the wrestler she had been assigned to interview wasn’t part of Danni’s plan, until Vinnie Valentine pinned her heart in a flash.
Disgruntled with her job as the office gopher for a national sports magazine, Danni Stone impersonates a reporter to prove herself to her boss. Her assignment? Spend thirty days on the road with Vinnie Valentine, a sexy professional wrestler.
Life isn’t going well for the Heavyweight Champ. Vinnie is struggling with a manipulative boss, prepping for the most important match of his career, and feuding with his arch-enemy, Thorn. The last thing he needs is a nosy reporter following him around—even if she is hot.
Thrown together in close quarters, Danni can’t help falling for Vinnie. Their mutual attraction grows, and Danni gives in to the lustful feelings she’s repressed for years. As their relationship deepens, she finds herself drawn into Vinnie’s world and becomes a key player in his title bout. But before Danni can tell Vinnie that she isn’t the reporter she claims to be, he discovers her deception. Her lie threatens to destroy everything between them. Is their fragile love destined to fail, or are they a perfect match?
Danni hurried down the hall to the locker room. She hadn’t meant to be late picking up Vin tonight, but the moron lot attendant wouldn’t let her back into the parking area. She pushed open the locker room door and rushed inside. “Vin, I’m sorry I—”
Her tote bag slipped through her fingers and dropped to the floor. Vin stood less than three feet away, soaking wet. A white towel barely covered his waist.
“Oh, my God!” Her entire body flushed as a tingling sensation built deep in her belly. Vin was practically naked and dripping wet from the shower.
“I…um…you’re…I…oh God,” she muttered and whirled around. Why wasn’t he saying anything?
Vin’s warm hand settled on her shoulder. He gently turned her to face him. Beads of water dripped down his chest, and she longed to lick them away. “Um…you…you’re wet.” She glanced at the towel and prayed it would fall off his waist.
“And you’re not?”
She squealed as Vin drew her to his chest. His mouth covered hers, and she lost all sense of reason.
A wet heat built between her legs as Vin’s tongue entered her mouth. Her body surged beneath his touch. She clutched him tight and dug her fingers into the solid flesh of his back and ribs. He smelled like soap and water and yet there was a hint of something manly, musky about him.
Vin moaned and cupped her buttocks through her sundress, melding her body against his. A high-pitched mewing sound escaped her throat as a long-denied lust flared within her. Was this really happening? She’d had this fantasy for so many nights, would she wake up and discover it was only another dirty dream?
She slid her hands down Vin’s flat stomach to the edge of the towel. For a second, she hesitated, unsure. Did she dare do what every instinct commanded? Vin’s tongue plunged deeper into her mouth, wordlessly urging her on.
The book link is: http://amberquill.com/AmberHeat/PerfectMatch.html
I hope you’ll check it out! I’d love to hear what readers think about the book, the story, and the characters.
Until next time,Kelli