Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Scottish Heroes

One of the most surprising things to many of my countrmen is the popularity of the Scotsman as romantic hero. In general, Scots like to think of themselves as the least romantic of men. They may feel as much as anyone else, but they certainly don't talk about it. According to no less authority than my father, the "L" word was something English blokes said :). My own generation was a little more open - although taking no chances I married an Englishman :). And hopefully today's young Scotsmen are more forthcoming still. However, I wouldn't bank on it!

On the theme of unromantic Scotsmen, I thought I'd introduce you today to Rab (a commonly shortened Scots form of the name Robert), from my novella Requiem for Rab. Rab is a sexy, ingenious, fun-loving computer geek, divorced by his wife, Lily, who got fed-up playing second fiddle to his drinking buddies, his computer games etc etc. Since Rab gave her little romance, she didn't have much to hang on to in his frequent absences. Still loving him, she dumped him to get on with her life. And here she is at last, with a much more romantic lover...

Out Now from Samhain Publishing

Rab’s dead but he won’t lie down.

Lili’s luck is on the upswing. Her acting career is taking off, she’s home in Edinburgh to perform in a high profile Festival play, and romance is blossoming with her famous leading man. The last thing she wants or expects on her first night of passion in two years is her ex-husband looming over her new lover’s shoulder, dripping blood on her pristine sheets.

Rab, self-confessed hedonist and computer geek, has always been a joker, but surely even he wouldn’t go to this length to stop her getting laid—inventing a wild tale of being shot dead and having to track down his own body.

Then again, there’s no logical explanation for why she’s the only one who can see him. Why the police are knocking on her door. And why Rab is still the only man who drives her crazy, in bed and out.
All she knows is, it’s all still there. The fun and the pain. The feelings that never really went away. She owes it to him to never stop looking—even though finding him could take him away for good…
First meet Menzies...

    It’s not every day you see a ghost, right? And it’s pretty unusual for your ex-husband to loom over your new lover’s shoulder, especially when you’re in bed at the time. Extraordinarily unlikely, you might think, to encounter both phenomena on the same night, but there you are, they don’t call me Lucky Lili for nothing.

    So there I lay, stark naked on the bed, having been undressed with exquisite care by the man of my dreams, who stood beside me, ripping off his silk shirt to expose his gorgeous manly chest, the sort of predatory blaze in his eyes that was guaranteed to make a girl squirm with lust.

    Menzies was a mature man, distinguished, successful, with all the self-confidence and glamour that normally goes with such qualities. As well as the firm, fit body, he had wonderfully chiseled features, a square jaw, dark brown hair turning to a sexy iron grey at the temples. I was one lucky girl…

    This time, this time…

    He didn’t at once remove his trousers—frustrating, perhaps but it did imply a certain gentlemanly not-counting-one’s-chickens approach. Instead, he sank back down on the bed, resting a hand on either side of me, and began to kiss me while slowly lowering that delicious chest to my breasts. That felt so good I really did begin to squirm.

    “So Lili,” he murmured against my lips in that breathless, soul-wrenching voice that could move nations, “will you make love with me?”

    As a line, it certainly beat, “Fancy a shag?”

    I was enchanted. “Oh yes!”

    His hands were on my breasts, mine on his cotton-covered bottom, stroking, reaching between our bodies to get at his zip.

    “Impatience.” He smiled. “I like that.”

    Brushing my hands aside, he undid his own zip. The trousers and underpants were scooted down his legs so quickly that I didn’t get so much as a glimpse of his tackle. Well, the night was young, and already he was pressing it against me, between my thighs.

    “Oh, yes, you want me, you like this…”

    I gasped, wriggling to help him find the spot. Yes!

    Which is when Rab’s face appeared over Menzies’ shoulder, looking mildly surprised.

    My mouth fell open. “What the fuck are you doing here?”

    “Beats me,” said Rab with his usual helpfulness.

    Menzies was staring at me. “You invited me!”

    Thank God. He hadn’t yet clocked Rab’s presence. I tightened my arms around his neck in a hold that probably resembled a wrestling lock rather than a lover’s clinch. All I had to do was get rid of Rab quick and I could still have my long dreamed of night of passion.

    “Go away,” I mouthed over my lover’s naked shoulder.

    Rab looked around him, then shook his head. “Nah. Who’s the sleazeball?”

    “He is not a…” I broke off, staring at the red drops on my white satin quilt cover. Slowly, I lifted my gaze to the source: a dark, nasty stain on Rab’s T-shirt.

    “Rab!” I sat up with so much force that Menzies and I banged heads. I saw a fine array of shooting stars, though hardly in the manner I had hoped for at the beginning of the evening.

    Menzies rolled off me, swearing. “Who the bloody hell is Rab?”

And now, a little more Rab...

     Slowly, I sank down onto the arm of the sofa. It had been a long and grueling day. I was tired and disappointed and sexually frustrated. No wonder tears of self-pity began to prickle at my eyelids.

     “I’m going to sell this bloody flat,” I promised. Then, glaring into the murky corners: “Just as soon as I clean it.”

     “Get a bod in.”

     My head jerked round. Rab sprawled on the sofa, his head almost touching my hip. He looked a mess, as he generally did, all shaggy hair, a beard that hovered between definite and merely unshaven, and the same old black T-shirt I was sure I’d thrown out after I poured most of a bottle of red wine over it. He’d been wearing it then, too. Obviously.

     Only I couldn’t remember it having that awful messy stain that had dripped on my bed. It was still there, oozing.

     I glared at it. “Have you been fighting?”

     “Only with you, dear.”

     “Then what have you done? Why are you bleeding? And how did you get in here?”

     “I haven’t done anything. I was shot. And I don’t remember, I just sort of—arrived.”

     My mouth closed. I leapt off the sofa arm. “You were shot? Jesus Christ, Rab!”

     I was across the room before I realized it, rummaging in my bag for my phone. “Only you’d get shot round here!” I raged. “Any other self respecting victim gets stabbed in a pub brawl…”

     “I don’t see that that’s any better,” Rab argued. “And it didn’t happen here, it was in Glasgow.”

     I paused, phone in hand, finger hovering as I stared at him over my shoulder. “You were shot in Glasgow? You travelled here like that? Rab, are you pissed?”

     “Lamentably sober. What are you planning on doing with that phone?”

     “Getting an ambulance or a taxi or something to take you to the hospital! I don’t understand how you can still talk with a bullet in your chest!”

     “Ah. Well, there’s rather more than that I can’t understand. But you’d better put the phone down—you can’t dial like that anyhow.”

     He was right. My hand shook like a vibrator on overdrive.

:) So who would you prefer? Menzies or Rab? Leaving aside the inconvenience of Rab's apparent death! How important is the outward romance (the flowers, the declarations of love...) in a relationship?



  1. Well, just to keep it "real," (ahem) I would have to say Menzies since Rab is DEAD!

    Outward romance is very important. Without them we are only guessing, and that gets old fast! For me, they don't need to come out of the wallet (flowers, dinners out, diamonds--well, maybe diamonds!), but the words are vital. They have to say the words out loud, and they have to mean them.

  2. Hmmm...I'll have to go with Rab...that is if he gives up the games and partying. Hoping he learns a lesson out of all of this. I don't think gifts are necessary to show someone you love them. I like when my hubby does little things for helping around the house without being asked or taking the boys to practice so I can have some me time.

  3. Excellent point, Zita. You do need to hear the words every so often :). And of course being dead does put Rab at a bit of a disadvantage!


  4. Exactly, Cindy!

    I have to confess to having a soft spot for Rab - he's fun and unpredictable - but he does need to grow up a bit. Of course, he may have left it too late :)


  5. I like the look of that story. Rab seems fun.

  6. Thanks, Stevie! He was fun to write, so I'm glad he comes over that way :)


  7. I really would like to say neither. I'm not
    getting any positive vibes from either fellow. They both seem to be dead in the water, Rab
    for real and Menzies mentally. LOL!!! You've
    got me though, because now I have to read the
    book to see how it all turns out!

    Pat Cochran

  8. :) Thanks, Pat. Hope you enjoy it!