OPEN IN PRIVATE erotic Christmas romance—A Character Interview With Carli and Parker
I was fortunate to be able to snag a few minutes with Charlene Vance and Parker Simmons from OPEN IN PRIVATE. They agreed to sit down with me and share a little bit about their Christmas story.
Thank you Parker and Charlene for taking time from your busy schedules. Especially you, Charlene. As a professional personal shopper, this is definitely your most hectic time of year.
Carli: Thank you for inviting us, Samantha. And please…call me Carli.
Parker: (grins at Carli) She’s so well organized that even with this being her busy season she’s able to make time in her schedule. As for me, I’m happy to tackle any questions you want to throw my way.
Carli: You’re right about this being my busy time. In addition to individuals, I have several corporate clients whose shopping lists include employees and business associates in addition to family and friends.
If I’m not mistaken, wasn’t Parker one of those corporate clients?
Parker: I still am. In fact, that’s how we met. Carli had been doing all my shopping, both personal and business, for five years. It had become a very comfortable and efficient working relationship. We had also become friends during that time. Then one day, everything changed.
That sounds ominous. What happened?
Carli: We had our Christmas shopping meeting just like every year—prior to Thanksgiving. I gave him a list of everyone I purchased a gift for on his behalf the previous Christmas, what I bought and how much it cost. The process was always the same. He would go over the list, add and delete names, and approve a price range for each individual. Only this time it was different…very different. This year he hit me with a real shock that changed everything.
That’s a very dramatic statement.
Parker: (laughs) It wasn’t really all that dramatic. I told Carli I had gotten divorced several months earlier, the previous April to be exact, and my ex-wife, all her family, and all her friends were off the list.
Carli: I have to admit…once I got over the shock, I was elated. (shoots a sly sideways glance at Parker) I had secretly lusted after this man the entire five years we had worked together, but he was married which made him off limits. Besides, he had never done or said anything improper that would indicate his marriage was in trouble or that he had any interest in me beyond our professional relationship. Then suddenly he was available, but second thoughts reminded me he was a client. I had always believed that it wasn’t wise to mix business with personal, to possibly jeopardize an excellent working relationship for what could end up being nothing more than a short-lived fling—a momentary mistake.
Parker: My marriage had actually fallen apart a year earlier, before the previous Christmas. Then last Spring I finally took that big step of getting a divorce. I had trouble coming to terms with what I had originally perceived as my failure. And during that year my thoughts had often gravitated to Carli, thoughts far removed from anything connected to business. So, I turned our Christmas shopping meeting into lunch…
Carli: Which resumed that evening as dinner…
Parker: Which unexpectedly exploded into one hell of a night! But the cool clear light of dawn also brought its share of doubts and concerns. The thought of jumping into a relationship, of once again becoming emotionally involved, frightened me big time. Commitment to another relationship was definitely not on my agenda. Been there…done that…was very leery about trying it again.
Carli: Everything happened so quickly. I didn’t know which way to turn or what to do. I was so confused about what was happening between us. Could I be content with the no-strings-attached situation Parker seemed to prefer? I had been divorced for seven years and ‘never again’ for a serious commitment had been the constant in my life. But with the passage of time and the prospect of developing something real with Parker, the concept of ‘never again’ began to rapidly slip from a priority position to no longer occupying an important place in my life.
It sounds as if the two of you definitely had some problems to work out.
Carli: Smooth sailing it was NOT. For a while, I thought it was over as soon as it began. My pragmatic side also feared that I might have lost my best client.
Parker: And I have to admit that I didn’t help matters. Everything seemed to be moving too quickly and I didn’t know how to handle it.
I’m sure there are many couples who have had to deal with these same issues. Could you share with us how you handled it?
Carli: We certainly could, but…
Parker: We won’t.
What? You’re going to leave us hanging? Or worse yet, let us think that everything suddenly and miraculously turned out okay?
Parker: Nothing is that easy. You don’t wake up and discover that there are no longer any problems.
Exactly. So…what happened?
Carli: (smiles) I’d love to tell you, but…
Parker: (nods his head in agreement) You’ll need to read the book.
That’s all you’re going to tell me?
Parker: (makes an exaggerated show of looking at his watch) Oh no! I think we’re out of time. (laughs)
Well, I guess there’s nothing left to say except thank you, Parker and Carli, for being with us.
As a personal shopper, Charlene Vance values her professional association with long time client Parker Simmons. But at the meeting to discuss the list for this year’s Christmas purchases, she learns that Parker is divorced and the ex-wife is off his list. When lunch leads to dessert between the sheets, Charlene is eager to move their relationship beyond good business and incredible sex.
Parker Simmons doesn’t want anything more permanent than what’s on the menu for today. But Charlene’s enthusiasm to experiment in bed satisfies his darker appetites and suddenly he’s craving more. Parker might need her help with holiday gift ideas but he’s got his own shopping agenda. On his list? Gifts only for Charlene—to open in private.
OPEN IN PRIVATE an erotic Christmas romance by Samantha Gentry from The Wilder Roses (the Scarlet Rose line of erotic romance at The Wild Rose Press) http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/wildcatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=182&products_id=955
Also available at Amazon for Kindle and Barnes & Noble for Nook as well as other online vendors of eBooks.
Be sure to check out my website for more excerpts from OPEN IN PRIVATE and information about my other books. www.samanthagentry.com