Let’s look at another theme from the book before the release of A Twist of Fate on Friday. Today, it’s desire.
That may not be a surprising theme to you – I can hardly write a steamy romance without desire. But desire is part and parcel of so much else: denial, self-awareness, realisation and the hope of love. The extreme desire Callie and Paul feel for each other in the book is borne first out of trauma, but is maintained through conflict, if not explicitly with each other, then for what the other stands for.
In fact, can desire actually be complete without conflict? I believe that unavoidable desire comes from the illicit, whether that be socially illicit, morally illicit, or something that we simply consider wrong for ourselves. Belief in something as illicit creates conflict.
We all know about angry sex. Perhaps it’s some of the best sex we can have. Angry sex is driven by desire which overrides sense but leads us to a realisation (hopefully) of the futility of the original conflict.
The conflict between Callie and Paul is subtle and self-imposed, but it is there, and it leads to an overwhelming desire which cannot be ignored. Will it bring them to a realisation of what they could have and hold onto?
A little taste of their desire … Paul and Callie have just appeared on a chat show after their return to the UK after the plane crash, but are not together as a couple.
‘You know it’s all bullshit, Callie, all that crap you spout about us being incompatible. Who’re you kidding? You know we work better than anything, we would anywhere. Can’t stop thinking about you, can’t stop wanting you. Tell me you don’t feel the same.’
I could have gone. I could have run. He wasn’t blocking me in, just standing close enough to dominate my every sense. And it was wonderful. I closed my eyes to it, but he was still in my hearing and scent. If I lifted my hand, I’d feel him; if I opened my mouth, I could taste him.
‘No, please …’
‘You’re only pleading with yourself, Callie. You’re pleading to convince yourself of a lie. Christ, it was hell sitting on that sofa with you. I wanted you then. I wanted to take you right then.’
‘Stop this. It’s not supposed to be like this.’
His voice was low and gravelly, but his words came with the intensity of a dying man. ‘Shut up with that! Who gives a fuck what it’s supposed to be like? Who cares if we came together through the freakiest fucking thing ever? Perhaps it were all planned. Perhaps it was meant to be. Thrown together through fate. You never thought like that?’
I nodded timorously.
‘Yes, Callie, yes. You and me, we think the same. We may talk different and dress different, but we’re the same; survivors. Life – take it, Cal, take it.’
He was right there, his breath warming me, his body overwhelming me. Again, I wasn’t threatened, only enrapt. I enclosed my hand in a fist, intent on pushing him away, but as soon as I came into contact with that indomitable torso, there was no way back. My fist opened into a palm and I pressed it hard onto him. His heart thudded relentlessly under my fingers. I met his eyes and I was lost. But it was me who launched it, me who curled my hand around his neck, me who pulled him down so that our mouths met so hard it robbed us both of breath, me who curled my leg around his and locked him to me.
But once I gave to him, he took. Oh God, he took.
A Twist of Fate is released in e-book format on 5th June and in paperback on 18th June. It is available for pre-order now.