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Knowing Jack | Creating Character Chemistry, New Release & Excerpt

Knowing Jack by Rachel Curtis 
Publication date: January 17th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance


I am not a slut, although I’ve been called one often enough. Yeah, I spent three months screwing one of my college professors, but I was crazy about the guy. Then he broke up with me.

I am not a bitch, although people like to say I am. I kept our relationship secret. I’m not responsible for telling the university administrators about it, but a lot of students still blame me for getting their favorite professor fired.

I am not a drama queen, although everyone thinks I am now. When I got a few nasty messages, I just deleted them. When I got the threat, I assumed it was someone being stupid. I still think that’s all it was. My parents worry, though, so they hired me a bodyguard. Now Jack follows me around, intimidating everyone who approaches me and looking obnoxiously hot.

This is what I am. I’m Chloe. I’m a twenty-year-old art history major. Kind of shy, although I pretend not to be. Stubborn enough to stay here for my senior year, even though everyone hates me.

And I’m stuck with Jack.

He calls me “Princess,” but I’m not a princess either.

Knowing Jack is a New Adult contemporary romance and includes adult content and language. The plot of the book is fully resolved at the end, but the last page includes a hanging teaser for the next book in the series.

Now would you please get out of here?” I say, raising my voice to make sure it carries appropriate authority. “In case you haven’t noticed, I still have to get dressed, and I’m already running late.”

Let’s not forget that I’m still wearing nothing but my favorite bra and panty set—which I put on a few minutes earlier to give me courage to face the day.

Yeah, I did notice that.”

There is no reason for such harmless words to make me flush so hotly. They do, though. I have fair skin, so I blush a lot. It can be very annoying.

Jack is big—tall with amazing broad shoulders, flat abs, and lean hips. He suddenly seems to fill up all the space in my bedroom. My whole body reacts to his presence. I can’t seem to think of anything else. Just him and his body and his hot blue eyes.

Be careful of the broken glass,” he says, some sort of rough texture in his voice that makes me want to shiver. “You’ve got bare feet.”

I know I have bare feet. Now get out.”

All right. But first tell me this.”


Why do you have naked babies on your underwear?”

They’re not naked babies! They’re cherubs. And if you weren’t such a hulking Neanderthal you’d recognize Michelangelo when you saw it.”

I was absolutely thrilled earlier in the year when I found in a New York boutique this bra and panty set with details from the Sistine Chapel ceiling on them. They were absurdly expensive, as you might imagine, but I couldn’t resist buying them anyway.

Jack stares down at my bra. “Michelangelo?” He sounds rather dazed.

Yeah. From the Sistine Chapel. Look, here’s where God’s hand meets Adam’s. Everyone recognizes that much at least.”

He clears his throat. “Uh, princess, you might think you’re showing me a famous work of art, but what I’m seeing is…”


The most gorgeous thing I’ve ever seen in my life.”

By Rachel Curtis

I think the best chemistry in stories happens in the tension between everything that’s pulling the couple together and everything that’s tearing them apart. The stronger that tension, then the more powerful the chemistry between the characters can be.

For Chloe and Jack, they have a lot that’s driving them together. Their physical attraction is off the charts—they want to tear off each other’s clothes when they’re together—but they also have increasing emotional connection and are able to meet needs in the other. Chloe is vulnerable because of her situation at school, and Jack meets her need by protecting her physically, supporting her emotionally, and spurring her on to be stronger. At the same time, Jack is haunted by a failure in his past, and Chloe answers that need in him, giving him reason to be move forward, to see himself as worthy, and to do something worthwhile with his life. So both physically and emotionally, they’re being pulled together irrevocably.

At the same time, there is a lot tearing them apart. They are from entirely different social worlds. Chloe is used to dating privileged men and academic types, and Jack is all rough physicality. Jack is her bodyguard, and that makes a relationship between the two beyond the boundaries of his professional position. Chloe is on a “man-fast,” taking a break from dating all together, after the way she was hurt by the professor she slept with. Plus, Jack is so burdened by his past that he doesn’t believe he’s good enough for anyone, much less someone as amazing as Chloe. So all of these things are holding them apart.

So the chemistry comes in the clash between the two—the battle between attraction and resistance. The more the attraction wins, the deeper the relationship gets, and the more invested the characters and the reader are in reaching a resolution when the couple is happy together.

Rachel is a writer, a teacher, a romance reader, and a dog-mom. She loves animals and art and hot men with soft hearts under a tough exterior. She tries to write love stories that feel real, even in unlikely circumstances.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for hosting Knowing Jack and Rachel Curtis!