A Week Of Casting Couch Fun

I’ve got so many WIPs going at the moment, I’m in Casting Couch heaven. So this week, I’m going to share some of the…err…potential heroes I’ve been…err…meeting with for each WIP.

To start with, let’s take a look at Dylan Sullivan.

Dylan is the hero of Misplaced Cowboy, one of the books I’m writing with Mari. Misplaced Cowboy sees an Australian stockman (aka cowboy) finding himself in New York City. Hilarity (and hot sex) ensues…

There were a few “Dylans” to come our way (Mari joined me on this rather delicious search for the perfect Australian cowboy, for more reasons than one). Some looked like this…

Some looked like this…

But ultimately, Mari and I went with this…

And seriously, do you have to ask why?

Here’s an unedited snippet from Misplaced Cowboy. I’d love to know what you think 🙂

“Monnie,” a deep male voice smoothed over Dylan’s chuckles, and he turned, watching a man roughly his height dressed in an immaculate steel-grey suit swan toward Monet and place a kiss on her still smiling lips. “I’ve been looking for you.”

Something dark and cold and tight knotted low in Dylan’s gut. Something that had no right being there. Jealousy. He straighten his spine, taking in the way the man’s manicured fingers wrapped loosely around Monet’s upper arms, noticing the large diamond embedded in the gold band circling his right pinkie. Watching the way he leant closer to Monet, how his lips lingered on hers. How clean-shaven his jaw was, how there wasn’t a hair out of place on his head, how the smell of cologne wafted from him. Cologne. Not horse sweat or plain soap, but cologne. No doubt as expensive as his well-tailored suit.

“Phillip.” Monet disengaged herself from the kiss, her cheeks high with color. She flicked Dylan a quick look, an expression he could only describe as uncomfortable pulling at her eyes. “I didn’t expect to see you here.”

Phillip, whoever the hell Phillip was, obviously didn’t stand for Monet slipping from his grasp. He ran his hands down her arms, catching her fingers with his and tugging her back toward him. “Why ever not? A Monet Carmichael exhibition opening is the perfect place for an art collector to be. Even more so when said art collector is the inspiration for her latest work.”

Monet flicked Dylan another look, her eyes unreadable, her shoulders stiff, before she once again slipped away from Phillip’s grip. “I think you might be placing a might too much significance on our—”

Phillip stepped toward her, apparently deciding Dylan didn’t exist.

Dylan decided it was time to fix that problem. Not because he was jealous, but because Monet appeared…ill at ease.

“G’day mate,” he said, shoving his extended hand at the man’s chest before Phillip could draw closer to her. “Dylan Sullivan. How’ya going?”

Phillip’s eyebrows shot up his incredibly smooth forehead, his stare swinging to Dylan. A plethora of emotions flashed over his suavely handsome face, most making Dylan want to laugh—irritation, shock, curiosity, indignation—the last making him want to ball his fist: contempt.

“I’m sorry.” Phillip’s top lip curled. “But if you’re speaking to me, I’m not going anywhere.”

Dylan gave the bloke his widest, goofiest grin. For good measure, he even tipped his hat back on his head. “Ah, you’re a funny bugger, are you?” He kept his hand out, letting it speak volumes. He may not be from this neck of the woods, but he knew a handshake left hanging was a sign of utter disdain. As far as Dylan was concerned, he was happy to push Phillip to complete the social tradition whether the man wanted to or not.

Phillip’s top lip continued to curl, the kind of expression Dylan expected on a city slicker who’d stepped in a pile of sheep shit.

“Phillip.” Monet moved to Dylan’s side and it was all he could do to keep his doofus grin in place as she ran her hand up his arm. His heart however, well it leapt straight into his bloody throat. “This is Dylan Sullivan. From Farpoint Creek in Australia.”

Phillip ran a slow inspection over Dylan, from the tip of his kangaroo leather boots, to the battered peak of his black wide-brimmed hat. “A cowboy from Australia?” He flashed Dylan a toothy smirk, taking Dylan’s hand and giving it a crushing shake. Or trying to. Dylan spent his days dealing with unruly Angus cattle, unruly hired jackeroos and—when Hunter was in a competitive mood—an even more unruly twin brother hell-bent on beating him at arm wrestling. “Here to throw a shrimp on the bar-bee, ‘eh?”

The man’s voice dripped with mocking derision and the urge to ball his fist rolled through Dylan again. He let his I’m-a-clueless-country-hick grin turn into the very smile he gave drunken hired hands who thought they’d take him on. The kind of smile that said, go on, give it your best shot, mate. “I’m a stockman, not a cowboy. Haven’t been a boy since my balls dropped and I started shaving. And I’m just here to seduce the beautiful women on your side of the pond. Show them what a real man is like.”

The shocked blanch that twisted Phillip’s filled Dylan with perverse satisfaction, just as Monet’s choking laugh sent tight ripples of happiness through him.

“I think you had that one coming, Phillip,” she said, her hand still resting on Dylan’s bicep. He liked the feel of it there. A lot. Too much, given why he was here in New York to begin with. It wasn’t to fall head over heels for a woman he’d only just met, that was for bloody sure. “And as for the seducing…” she turned and gave him a wide smile, that twinkling mirth he liked so much in her eyes, “the accent alone is enough to make a New York girl go all wobbly inside.”

The statement was said in jest. Dylan didn’t doubt that at all, but it had a bloody inconvenient effect on him. His balls throbbed, his cock twitched and his throat grew tight.

“Is that all it takes nowadays?” The charming smile was back on Phillip’s lips, but Dylan couldn’t help notice his spine was straighter, his shoulders squarer. “An accent and a hat? I should have gone to Urban Outfitters months ago.” He turned back to Dylan. “Maybe you can teach me a few choice Aussie phrases? The kind to woe Monet into going all wobbly inside, ‘eh?”

Wanker. The thought shot through Dylan’s head, dark and more than a tad aggressive. How’s that for a choice Aussie phrase?

He drew a deep breath, fighting to control the unexpected reaction to Phillip’s obvious pissing-contest behavior. “Alright,” he said, “how’s this sound?” Turning to Monet, he gave her a lop-sided smile. “G’day, love. Fancy getting dolled up and joining me on a shindig to the local pub?”

The exaggerated Australianisms—so far removed from how Dylan normally spoke—made Monet laugh, and as it had before, his body reacted to the husky, warm sound. Big time. “Oh Dylan,” she said, leaning towards him and grinning widely. “You had me at g’day.”

He chuckled, his hands instinctually coming up to steady her as she laughed against him. The second his palms smoothed over the dip of her slim waist however, the second his fingers brushed the subtle curve of the top of her backside…his head swam, his breath caught in his throat and—completely indifferent of the fact she wasn’t the woman he was here to meet—his cock grew fat and heavy and thick in his jeans.

Fuck a bloody duck, Sullivan. Get your hands off her, now.

But he couldn’t. He stared down into Monet’s face, into eyes the color of the Outback sky, and wanted more than life to kiss her.

To slide his arms around her waist, pull her to his body and capture her lips with his. To delve into her mouth with his tongue, taste her sweetness…

She gazed up at him, her body pressed to his side, her soft breasts pushing at his chest, her laughing smile slowly fading. Fading, until she stared at him, lips parted, breath ragged, her hands smoothing over his chest, up to his—

“Ms Carmichael?” a female voice shouted behind them. “The caterer’s here.”

Monet all but jumped away from Dylan, as if he’d suddenly started shooting live electricity from his body. She blinked, her teeth catching her bottom lip before, with a glance at Phillip, she hurried across the gallery to a woman standing beside a man dressed all in black with a smiling chef printed on his shirt.

Dylan watched her go, his heart not just thumping in his throat, but bloody well slamming in there. Like a sledgehammer swung by a maniac on steroids.

“Well, that was fun.”

He turned back to the man beside him, Phillip’s smirk once again pissing him off. “Fun?”

Phillip slid his gaze to where Monet stood talking to the caterer. “You know, the whole I’m-a-sexy-Aussie-cowboy seduction thing you got going. Pity it’s wasted on Monnie.”

“Stockman,” Dylan said. “And tell me, why’s it wasted?”

It was idiocy of course. There was no point to the conversation. He wasn’t trying to seduce Monet. But for some bloody reason, his brain—perhaps jet-lagged, perhaps still trying to deal with the fact Annie was on the other side of the planet, most likely in his identical twin brother’s company—decided the best course of action right now was poke at Phillip’s disdainful conceit the way he used to poke at red-belly black snakes when he was a kid. One thing could always be said about the young Dylan: he wasn’t shy about stirring up trouble.

Phillip adjusted his cuffs—diamond, Dylan couldn’t help but notice—and then leant a little closer, as if sharing a secret. “Because Monet is a woman of style and taste and class who needs a man the same to satisfy her.” He smiled, apparently satisfied with his argument. “And you…are a cowboy.”

“Stockman,” Monet’s voice slid between them both, saving Dylan from doing something he was bound to regret. Something stupid like knock Phillip to the ground with a swift punch. “Now if you’ll excuse me, Phillip, I think we all know this conversation is done with.”

Phillip’s eyebrows shot up his forehead. He stared at Monet and then let out a snort. “Now I see why you wouldn’t let me get past first base. You’re not frigid or a lesbo like I thought. You’re just into—”

Dylan smashed his fist into the bloke’s jaw. He couldn’t help himself. One second he was standing there, listening to the moron carry on and wondering if it was politically correct to tell him he was a dick, the next shocked hurt etched Monet’s beautiful face and Dylan was balling his hand into a fist and slamming it hard into Phillip’s clean-shaven jaw. There was a bone-dull thud, a collective gasp from the people setting up Monet’s exhibition, and then Phillip dropped to the floor. Just like that.

Holy shit, Sullivan. You’re in trouble now. 


Tuesday, it’s a double casting couch session. A British wildlife cinematographer and an Australian fire fighter. Just wait until you meet Addison Lancaster and Luke Beasley. Can you say YUM-O?

One Response to “A Week Of Casting Couch Fun”

  1. Mary Preston Says:

    My vote is for #3. Thank you for the snippet.

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