Jayce stopped by to talk about Office Romance. Jayce’s new novel, Andre is out today!
Office romances are an, in my opinion, uniquely sexy thing. They’re rife with built-in conflict, but the source of that conflict is what makes them tricky to get right. They’re like fated mates: how do you know the characters love each other for themselves and not because Fate has predetermined they’re perfect together (I’ve read an absolute ton of paranormal and Omegaverse in the past three months and I will not apologize for it)? In office romances, how can you be sure they’re together because they want to be, not because someone desperately needs this job and will do…whatever, to keep it? Power dynamics are real, and office romances risk exacerbating them. I thought about this a lot when writing André, and while I leave it to you, dear reader, to decide whether I hit the mark, here are some things I considered and steps I took.
André and Marcus’ first meeting isn’t on the job. It’s at a neutral location where they’re on an equal playing field, and because they’re riled up and can’t keep their hands off each other, there’s no question about their attraction. Whether it be physical like André, or the soon-to-be employee dressing down the employer for being too big for their britches in a non-work setting, some equality at the start sets the tone. It has the added benefit of giving immediate conflict when they meet again in an unequal setting, which is all sorts of fun.
I’ll be honest, I’m not sure I did it intentionally (read: I definitely didn’t do it intentionally), but I flipped the desperation card. Often, the employee is desperate for this job. They have family to care for, or a major bill coming due, something that all but ensures them they won’t say no to a lucrative position. In André, the reverse is true. André is the one who needs the intern, who’s not in a position to say no if he wants to land a contract that might save his company. While André is the superior here, he has as much to lose as Marcus if things go awry, and that informs his every step.
Mentally, I was fairly clear early on that, despite their initial one-night-stand, André and Marcus wouldn’t have sex again until after they were no longer on unequal footing. I made Marcus’ time with André an internship rather than a full-time position, and I made the length of it fairly short. Now, let’s be clear, the guys don’t quite make it, because who cares what the author wants, but they come pretty doggone close. And Marcus, the intern/employee in this situation, is also the initiator, prodding André to let Marcus give him what he needs, regardless of an arbitrary timeframe.
So, those are a couple of my thoughts about making office romances work. Start them on equal playing fields, consider who needs what and why, and be aware of how sex makes things better (or worse, we love some worse). I hope these help, and let me know how you think I did!
Title: André, High Rise, #2, by Jayce Ellis
Book Description: After a week filled with nonstop work, André Ellison heads to the club to blow off some steam. One night off is the perfect distraction from the project that’s about to make his career—or tank it completely. A few drinks in and he leaves with a smoking-hot stranger for some scorching, burn-the-sheets-up sex.
Marcus Thompson is going places, so he can’t think of a bigger waste of time than being put on loan to a two-bit firm to prepare some small-time report. The last thing he wants—or needs—is his impeccably dressed, hot-as-hell one-night stand as his boss.
As they work side by side, their attraction grows to a fever pitch, but there will be no kissing, no touching and absolutely no sex until the project is over—if they can wait that long.
And don’t miss Jeremiah, available now from Carina Press!
About the Author
Jayce Ellis has three loves: her husband and her two turtles. Hubby loves her back. The turtles she’s not so sure about, but they do love their sports (Bay Area teams FTW!). She still hasn’t figured out why she lives in Northern Virginia, where there’s weather, instead of California, where she’s from, and where it’s just…pretty. Jayce spends her days divorcing happily-married couples (or so she’s been told), and her nights talking maniacally to herself. Thankfully the recorder catches her rumblings and magically turns them into words on a screen. Painting nails is way easier when you don’t actually have to type, and with well over 600 polishes to get through, there’s a lot of painting going on.
Notwithstanding her no-good, very bad, horrible day job, Jayce seriously believes that true love conquers all. Even Malificent said it. Sure, she was having an epic Mean Girls moment, but points were made. The only thing Jayce loves more than writing about true love conquering all, is hearing from readers who feel the same way.
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