Celebrating Romance 2018 : Lissa Linden talks steamy romance and introduces her debut

Posted May 18, 2018 by Nix in Celebrating Romance 2018 / 2 Comments

I like my romance steamy.

I like it when I’m there for every ragged breath. Every ache. Every squirm and gasp and moan. I like it when the characters lose themselves in each other in all the literal and figurative ways. But mostly, I like it when they, well, like each other.

Sex scenes are great, but let’s be honest: there are only so many ways bodies fit together. When it comes down to it, sex is sex. It should be boring to read about the same body parts doing essentially the same things over and over again, but it’s not.


The only time I get bored reading about characters and their sexy times is if I don’t understand why they’re doing it – and I don’t mean in any sort of mushy way. The characters could still be miles from having love-type feelings and I’ll still be fully invested in all the ways they’re feeling each other as long as I understand their desire. Not desire on the physical level where humans are made to enjoy the thing that ensures the continuation of our species, but their desire for this particular person, at this particular time.

So, what makes a good sex scene? All the scenes that don’t have any sex at all.

It’s the longing. The internal pros and cons list. The banter. All of those things that flesh out these characters – who they are, what they want, and why we want them to have it – that make me care about what it is they do with their flesh.

And it’s this motivation I hope people find in my debut, ONE MATCH FIRE. It’s what I hope readers see through the ease of Paul and Amy’s banter.  Under their reminiscing of the summers they spent together when they were young. In their shared respect and in the fun they have together, even with their clothes on. I hope readers see how much they want each other is because of how much they like each other.

It’s what I hope, but hey. You tell me.


Sleep is for people who have their shit together. It’s for people who don’t see the rise and fall of perfect breasts heaving off the mattress and straining towards them whenever they close their eyes. Who don’t hear gasps of lust and mixed moans of need and frustration when the lights are off—when they should be resting.

Sleep is for people who are content and satisfied and not in a constant state of wondering what the fuck they’re doing.

So I’m not surprised that Amy’s already up when I let myself into the rec hall the next morning. The door bangs shut behind me when I catch sight of her in the middle of the room, ass in the air, palms on the floor.

My eyes flick over her body, and I swear she shifts her weight on purpose, wiggling her hips so slightly that I barely see it, but can imagine exactly how it would feel against my dick. I clear my throat. “So. Some people do actually use those pants for yoga.”

“Apparently.” Her voice is strained, the air cut off in her bent position. It’s the same way she sounds when she’s under me, and it sets my skin on fire.

I swing the pack from my back and chug some water to douse the flames from inside. Bottle chucked back inside, I fumble around in the pack until I find an energy bar. I slide it across the floor and it stops a foot from her head, but she doesn’t move. “Come on,” I say. “Eat up. We’ve got work to do.”

If she hears me silently begging her to put her body into another position—some position where I can’t see how easy it would be to grab onto her hips, tug those pants down, and fuck her from behind—she doesn’t let on. An eternity later, she folds her body to the floor and sits cross-legged, facing me. We’re separated by the floor between us, and bound by the deal holding us together and pushing us apart, but she reaches for the protein bar—for the offering I laid at her feet. I force my eyes closed before she puts it in her mouth.

I wish I could remember the first time I touched her. That I could savor the memory. It was probably during a camp-wide game, clinging on to each other’s hands to form a barricade. Or maybe her fingers skimmed over my skin with the flaky paint we used to pick and designate teams. I don’t know when our skin first touched, or what year I started to hug her when she got to the bus. I can’t remember when I started watching for her family’s old station wagon, driving in from the suburbs to drop her off. But I remember waiting for her. Watching for her. Ditching whoever I was standing with to wrap my arms around her for an instant.

A wrapper crinkles in the present. “What are you thinking about?”

She looks up at me from the floor, a smear of chocolate next to her lip. “Hugging you,” I say. “Years ago. Before we got on the bus.”

Amy smiles. “Those hugs were always terrible.”

“What?” I laugh. “They were not.”

Her soft chuckle joins with mine. “They were! Your arms were all wet-noodle. I may as well have been circled by a light breeze for all the effort you put into them. It’s the hugs when we went home that I remember.”

“Man, do you know how much effort it took to give you your goodbye hug? You were always hiding.”

She flattens the wrapper to the floor. “Not hiding. Just…”

“Preparing to make a run for the woods? Building your forest shelter in your mind?”

Amy flicks her eyes up. “Exactly.”

I stand and hitch the backpack onto my shoulders. “Alright, then. Let’s go build it.”

“A shelter?”

“Yep. Whatever kind of shelter you want.”

“Might be a little late for that, Paul. I get your house, remember?”

I swallow. “Yeah, but only if I get you trained to take over. When’s the last time you built a shelter?”

She slides her hands down her legs. “When we were sixteen. The camp I worked at was a little more country club than cabins.”

“Then come on.” I reach my hand down to her. “Staff always go to the director with questions. Let’s make sure you know what you’re talking about.”

She grips me tight. In one tug she’s on her feet. My thumb skirts down her cheek and I half expect her to pull away after the shit I pulled last night, when I left her riled, a wet spot on the apex of her pale denim shorts. But she tilts her head instead, giving me better access. “Chocolate,” I say.

She opens her mouth in an offer to suck it off my thumb, but I wipe it on my jeans and get us the hell out of there before I back her onto one of the vintage couches in here and tease her until she can’t help but want me.

Amy doesn’t drop the hand I used to help her up, and I don’t relax my fingers, either. I tell myself that it’s innocent. Totally nonsexual. And it isn’t—a turn-on, I mean. But our hands stay wrapped together as we leave the rec hall, pass the cabins, and weave our way into the quiet of the forest.


Author Name: Lissa Linden
Book Genres you write in: Contemporary Romance
Title of your latest, or soon to be released book: ONE MATCH FIRE
Release date: March 19, 2018
How a reader can contact you: Contact form: https://lissalinden.com/
Website address: https://lissalinden.com/
Twitter link: https://twitter.com/Lissa_Linden
Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17470446.Lissa_Linden
Buy link for your latest or soon to be released book: https://www.carinapress.com/shop/books/9781488097041_one-match-fire.html



Lissa Linden writes contemporary romance about women she’d like to hang out with, and the men who can keep up with them. When she’s not writing, she’s either reading, traveling, or reading about traveling. Luckily, her husband is completely on board with spontaneously booking trips to say, eastern Europe. A proud history and languages nerd, Lissa is fluent in Shakespearean insults and dirty jokes through the ages.


One Match FireA sexy, summer camp-set reunion romance from debut author Lissa Linden

When Amy left her beloved summer camp, heartbroken and ashamed, she swore she’d never return. Twelve years later, she’s desperate to unearth the person she was before turning into a workaholic. When her old camp advertises for a new director, Amy leaps at the chance to start over—only to find herself face-to-face with the very guy who broke her heart.

Paul hasn’t forgotten kissing Amy beneath a shooting star, or how she bolted from camp without saying goodbye. When she shows up to take the job he never thought he’d leave, Paul can hardly believe his luck. Amy is now a woman with killer curves and a sexual appetite to match. With serious vibes between them, and him nearly dead from the celibacy of life at camp, they strike a deal for a few days of sexy fun in the wilderness.

But when feelings that started long ago enter the mix and it becomes clear Amy will only trust him with her body—not her heart—Paul desperately wants to break through the armor she’s built to protect herself. And although Amy knows there’s something special about the way she reacts to Paul, something beyond skin on skin, the stakes are high enough to scare her.

With a past like theirs, they’ll either ignite a future…or burn out for good.


2 responses to “Celebrating Romance 2018 : Lissa Linden talks steamy romance and introduces her debut

  1. Nicki S

    WordPress won’t let me “like” this, and I’m wondering if others are experiencing a similar issue. So, don’t take the lack of “likes” to mean anything more than nobody can actually register one.

    So, I’m commenting to say I liked this post, and the excerpt (despite not being a huge fan of CR; I’m more of a PNR/UF girl). I agree that it’s about the build-up outside of the act, and also agree that there should be “acts” before, during, and after the falling in love part. I’m all for the smexy times, probably because I don’t have any….

  2. Amy R

    Thanks for the post and I agree I need more in sex scenes than just sex it needs to have reason and emotion for me to feel it belongs in the story.

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