Sleeping with your co-worker can lead to all sorts of inter-office complications, but sometimes the rewards are worth the trouble. At least they are in Jess Dee's latest release, Office Affair. Instead of the usual boss/employee relationship we've seen in many recent erotic romances, Office Affair tells the story of two colleagues whose close work relationship evolves into something more. Today the author shares what makes office romances so appealing, and the difficulties the hero and heroine face trying to balance business and pleasure.
So here I am, on the RT blog, talking about … work. Oh, woops, look at that — I can already see you frowning: Do we have to talk about such a tiresome, boring, monotonous topic? Yaaawn.
So let’s perk it up … in the best way a romance writer knows how. By creating a little office romance. Seriously, what better way is there to add excitement to work than with a crush on a sexy colleague? Waiting with anticipation to see him each morning, enjoying the little frisson of electricity up your spine when he arrives…
C’mon, admit it. You’ve been in that position, so you know work is always just a little more intriguing if there’s someone around to sit up and take notice of. Sometimes it’s the boss. That person in a position of power, totally out of reach yet so … appealing. You know you can’t have him, but just watching him manage a company full of people … mmm. (Oh, yeah, there’s been a romance — or two — written around that scenario.)
And then sometimes it’s your colleague. The guy you spend approximately eight hours with every day. You have shared projects, shared interests and you’re working together to achieve a common goal. You know each other pretty well. You’ve worked side by side so extensively, you understand the way his mind works, you’ve even begun thinking a little like him, or predicting what he’s going to say next. Maybe you’re talking about him when you get home, bringing up the brilliant idea he had earlier, or the strategy he used to close the deal. You’ve always admired him for his mind — and lately his body is getting to look pretty darn good too.
But you and he would never work — romantically speaking. You can’t have him simply because you’re a professional, and professionals don’t sleep with their colleagues. Period.
No matter how much they might be discouraged by company policy, office affairs happen, and they happen often. And I couldn’t resist the idea of exploring one of these affairs in a steamy erotic romance of the same name: Office Affair.
Melissa Sparks, an overachieving, goal-oriented business woman with no time for a personal life, has a crush on her colleague, Ben Cowley. He’s sexy, he’s smart and he shares her interests and objectives. She knows about his life, about his break-up with his fiancé, about his move to Sydney, and she knows the way his mind works. How could she not? The two have spent two years working together.
They’ve planned and strategized, celebrating their triumphs and commiserating their failures. She’s seen him at his best and his worst. And she likes what she sees. Altogether too much for a professional relationship. So when she finds him all alone in the offices of Preston Elks, she finally gives into temptation and seduces Ben.
Just like work, Melissa’s objectives with Ben are quite concise. A brief, private fling to work off the sexual tension, and then it’s back to business as usual. But for the first time, Melissa and Ben find their goals clashing. While she insists on them going back to being the consummate professionals, Ben’s discovered a whole new side to Mel — a sensual, sexy, personal side, and he wants to get to know that side of her a whole lot better.
Now what? There are two alpha personalities working together to achieve common goals at work, but clashing constantly when it comes to the rest of their lives. Plus there’s the off-the-charts sex they can’t seem to stop having. How on earth can they continue to act professionally?
And isn’t that just the key to the appeal of an office romance? The need to keep up the pretense of a professional relationship when so much more is happening beneath the surface. Privately the boundaries begin to blur, but publicly the façade must be maintained.
The question is can an office affair ever become more than an affair? Can it begin the romance of a lifetime, or is it doomed from the start? Can the professional and personal sides of the relationship blend together to seamlessly create a perfect future, or will the conflict destroy everything?
It’s hard to say in real life, but hey, I’m a romance writer. It’s my job to create a happy ever after. So if you’re looking for an office affair with a whole heap of conflict, love scenes to make you pant and a romance to last forever, you’ll find it with Ben and Mel.
- Jess Dee