Saturday, September 8, 2012

Return of the Rogue (2)

I love Jared Morgan as a character and am so damn glad he surfaced from the more playful part of my psyche.

Jared is the opposite of certain other heroes of modern erotica. For one thing he hasn’t got his own jet, his own car or even his own place. All he owns is his jeans, his guitar and the nous to get from one blue collar job to the next. Added to this there are no demons with which he’s constantly wrestling. He loves and embraces life and women and if he has no dealings with commitment, that’s simply because he enjoys running with the wind too much. Okay, maybe someday he’ll be confronted with his own deeper emotions and life’s deeper meaning, but for now he’s living it daily and to the full, letting tomorrow look out for itself.

There’s a fundamental honesty to him as well. Girls he meets are under no illusion as to his intentions or the likelihood of him sticking around, however much some may want it. He’s a player, but he’ll let you know you’re being played even as it happens. You don’t have to stick around, do you? This review of ‘The Jared Effect’ sums him up admirably I think:

Jared is the ultimate bad boy. You think maybe he's a loser, but he's not at all. He is way sexy, hunky and I like that he's so dominant. His adventures are great fun to read. I recommend this book highly if you want a ride down lovers lane with the guy you know is going to take advantage.

Here he is in action during the second story of the trio, ‘Jared’s Roller Coaster’. Having begun dating one of two girls he meets at the fairground where he’s working, Jared catches up with the other and slays her with honesty:

Libby said she’d consider the date, but in truth she thought more about Jared. She was doing so the following afternoon, when her coffee shop interlude was interrupted.
“Hey! Little Miss Sweetness, I knew it was you.”
Startled, Libby looked up from her novel. Jared had breezed in as though summoned by her wandering thoughts. “Little Miss what?”
“It’s okay, Libby, I’m not busting your chops. I was talking about the fudge. Touching gift.”
“Yeah, you keep mentioning it.” She shifted in her seat and wondered on a one-to-ten scale how flustered she appeared.
“Although you and Sasha do have quite the sugar and spice routine going, it’s gotta be said.”
Was he searching for ways to goad her? “Jared. I’ve no idea what you’re talking about. We don’t have any routine going. Was there something you wanted?”
 “That’s a little unwelcoming, Lib. I thought since I’m dating your friend it’d be polite to say hello.”
“So what about phoning me up when you’re in the middle of … of whatever, is that polite too? Sharing with me? Is that a game you like to play? Is Sasha in on it?”
“Hey, Lib,” he remonstrated. “It was an accident. I’m as mortified as you are. Why would I do that deliberately?”
Libby studied his face and relented a little. She was sure she shouldn’t, but somehow he made her feel like she was over-reacting “You … You here for coffee?”
“Yeah, thanks, love to join you. Get you another?”
“Ehhh …” Libby hadn’t meant to initiate a sit-down chat, but Jared returned with two freshly-steaming cups and dropped into the chair opposite.
“What you reading?”
Libby held up the novel, embarrassed. “Woman in love with her married boss. Very chicky. You a reader, Jared?”
“Yeah. Kerouac, Thompson. Love the beat writers. Joseph Heller … Oh, and Loaded Magazine. That’s a quality Brit publication.”
“I’m sure you think so.” She could not help but be amused.
“Hey, sorry about that ‘sugar and spice’ thing. I was just being funny.”
“Hilarious. What did you mean by that?”
“Just me fuckin’ around. Don’t mind it.”
“No, you can’t just shrug it off.” Libby was glad of some irritant to pursue. It distracted her from the buzz in her lower stomach. “What made you say that?”
“Well,” he leaned back in his chair, “when we met that night, you and Sasha had different approaches. And if I’d been with a buddy who you liked, maybe it would have worked out better.”
“What? You … I didn’t have an approach.”
“Sure you did. Only when Sasha wants something she takes a direct one. Yours is more sugar-coated.”
Libby tried to keep her cool. “Sorry, Jared, you’ll have to enlighten me. What exactly did I want?”
“Me.” He sipped his Americano.
Libby’s mouth hung open. “You have an amazing ego. And no sense of boundaries.”
Jared planted his coffee mug back on the table. “Honesty is what I’ve got, Libby. And no bullshit false-modesty. Ego doesn’t come into it. It’s body language. Pupils dilating, like yours are now, shortening of breath. Human biology. I know when I’m being shot down for real, but you’re just pretending. Come on, tell me you’re not attracted to me.”
Libby eyeballed him, but her boldness wilted under his calm scrutiny. “Look, I may or may not have been that night, but if you go bragging about it—”
“Who’s bragging? I recognise when a woman thinks I’m hot. Just like you know when a guy finds you hot.” He dropped his voice and leaned in, causing her to do the same. “You’ll deny it to me and to yourself, but I can tell you right now, the barristo who served you that coffee, and that guy two tables down with his girl? They’d both love to bone you six ways from Sunday.”
“Jared!” Several heads turned at her burst of outrage.
“And I know how they feel.” He took another sip of his drink. “You’re totally as hot as Sasha. I’d as soon have hooked up with you. Maybe more so.”
Irritation tussled with flattery inside Libby, the former only just winning out. “So why didn’t you?”
Jared shrugged. “I was horny and she was less work. But I wanted to. With you. Trust me on that.”
Trust you,” she spluttered. She recalled his words to Sasha in that phone call, the sounds he had drawn from her friend. “No girl in her right mind should trust you. When you’re done hitting on me, what makes you think I won’t tell Sasha?”
He raised a hand in placation. “I’m not hitting on anyone, just giving you a compliment. You’re a sexy-ass girl and you need to start believing it, not hiding your light all the time.” He waved a hand that indicated her default baggy jeans and sweater. She blushed like he had ignited a blast furnace within her. “Look,” he said, “I’ve talked way too much and I’m gonna go. But I’ll say one last thing. Sasha thinks you’re Rebecca of Sunnybrook fuckin’ Farm. She doesn’t get you at all.”
“Oh …” Through a broil of emotion, she attempted scorn. “And you do?”
“Hell, yeah. I know what’s inside you bursting to get out. I have a sense for it, Libby. It’ll just take the right guy.”
Rational thought was sidelined by a swell of illicit longing. Those azure blue eyes were drilling into her and she was failing to slap him down. If he didn’t up and leave, she’d have to flee the shop herself.

Will Libby succumb to her dangerous attraction to Jared? Will she get boned ‘six ways from Sunday’? You know the answers, but the devil’s in the detail. I hope you’ll check out the full story in ‘The Jared Effect’.

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