Hello and welcome to the Saturday Book Diver. After another hiatus we’re back into the swing of things and will be talking to several exciting guests within the coming weeks. Today’s guest is Melanie Carson, the heroine of Even Groomsmen Get the Blues.
I’m here amidst the music, food, and drinks at the wedding reception for Mike and Lacey. Maneuvering around the laughing, talking crowd and avoiding being trampled by a vigorously dancing couple, I approach lovely redheaded Melanie Carson.
She greets me with a smile and suggests we step into the ladies’ room for the interview. At least it’s quieter in there and we won’t have to shout above the wedding day noise.
The ladies’ rest room has a small sitting area with chairs, a mirror and countertop so that guests can fix their makeup.
Once settled, we begin the interview.
SBD: It’s great to meet you, Melanie. Thank you for taking time out from the festivities to talk.
MC: Thanks so much, SBD! I’m really happy you managed to find me.
SBD: Would you tell us a little about yourself?
MC: I’m 26 and work for a law firm here in Park Grove. Lacey’s been a friend of mine for years and got me the job. I like it, but it’s not where I see myself in ten years. The best thing about it was getting to see Lacey and Mike meet the first time. He was so cute, blushing all over himself and stammering as he asked for her phone number. [Pensive] I’m really glad it worked out for them. I never thought Lacey would make me a bridesmaid!
SBD: Lacey and Mike make a great couple, but they’re not the only ones here who go fantastic together. I couldn’t help noticing your interest in the hunky guy standing by the bar. I believe his name is Ben. What’s up with the two of you?
MC: He’s really the reason I’m here. I work with his ex-fiancée, too. They were supposed to be married with Mike and Lacey, but that little bitch couldn’t keep her legs together. Poor Ben…he was so hurt when he came home and found her screwing another man on the kitchen table. Lacey showed me a picture and told me about him, and I immediately knew I want him. He’s such a sweet guy, he didn’t deserve what Veronica did to him. [Pauses thoughtfully] I wonder…
SBD: Sounds like he had a rough time, but Veronica obviously wasn’t the woman for him. Better he found out before the wedding. I have a feeling there’s someone out there who’ll give him the love he deserves. So you and Ben have only platonic history together. Is there a possibly of something more in the future?
MC: If I have anything to say about it, there is. From what Lacey’s told me, Ben hasn’t had a woman since Veronica. I’m thinking it’s about time to change that. [She smiles, showing her teeth as she blushes.] You must think I’m absolutely rotten, but…I want him. If nothing else, I want to give him something every man likes with no strings attached. He deserves some pleasure.
SBD: You don’t sound rotten in the least. He’s free. You’re free, so you go, girl! What three words best describe Ben?
MC: Big-hearted, considerate, and HOT! [Laughs]
SBD: What’s the hottest thing about Ben?
MC: [Comic double-take] Did you see him with that little girl on the dance floor? She was totally crushing on him while he danced with her, and at the end he was so gentle as he walked away from her. Any man who can let a little girl down that easy is a gentle soul, and that means more to me than if he had a nine-foot tongue and could breathe through his ears!
SBD: Before the interview ends, would you share one of your favorite excerpts from Even Groomsmen Get the Blues?
MC: Sure! I really hope this is how the night goes. [Laughs wickedly] I can’t wait to get my hands and…other things…on him! [She winks.]
Being single and lonely sucked even worse when he had to dress up in a monkey suit and dance around acting all happy for his best friend, Ben Grimm reflected. He loved Mike like a brother, but right now he wanted nothing more than to "adjust" Mike's teal bow tie until he choked the idiotic, I'm-so-in-love grin off the groom's face.
"Jack and Coke," he yelled to the bartender over the thudding beat of the music. The bartender nodded and bustled off to take the order of a rowdy crew at the other end. Ben sighed, running a hand through his ash blond hair, and peeked at the clock surreptitiously, wondering how much longer good manners demanded he stay.
Being a single guy at a wedding sucked syphilitic goat peckers, Ben ruminated. The few decent-looking women on display were either taken, too young, or eyeballing another potential conquest, which left him out in the cold.
He didn't begrudge Mike and Lacey their happiness, and he certainly didn't want to be a cloud on their day. If Veronica hadn't done what she had, this would have been a double wedding.
Always a bridesmaid, never a bride, he thought sardonically, checking the clock again. His feet ached from standing for most of the day, his lower back was starting to spasm from an overly enthusiastic turn on the dance floor with a cute nine-year-old girl who had a charming lisp and who'd developed the kind of prepubescent crush he just didn't have the heart to turn down, and he felt the beginnings of a low-grade migraine settling in at the back of his head. He'd have one drink, make his excuses, and get the hell away from all this lovey-dovey bullshit.
"Got a date?" a husky feminine voice murmured in his ear, downy soft lips brushing his sensitive lobe.
He whipped his head to the right ruthlessly enough to wrench his neck and provoke a strangled curse.
When he saw the speaker, whiplash tumbled to the bottom of his priorities list. She can't be... His jaw dropped, and a gibbering voice in his head screamed, Say something, stupid!
"Were you talking to me?" Ben's mouth felt even drier.
The redhead laughed, exposing the creamy sweep of her throat and rolling her shoulders so the tips of her breasts pressed against the teal satin of her gown. "I thought if I didn't come talk to you, you were either going to slip out the door or jump out the window." Her large eyes, the exact shade of her dress, played over him appraisingly. "I'm Melanie."
He stuck his hand out awkwardly. "Ben."
She took the offered hand. His cock pressed uncomfortably against his zipper, responding to her heat. Six months of enforced monkitude had done nothing to make his errant manhood behave itself, and Melanie was sexy enough to push every hot button he had just by engaging in basic social contact. For a moment he entertained a fantasy of her spread-eagled on a bed while he took her, and he locked the erotic thought down fast. If he'd been a little quicker, he might have avoided the painful erection the woman before him had triggered.
Melanie pulled away, sliding her gaze south of his cummerbund as if mentally subtracting his tuxedo from the equation.
"You planning to drill through the wall? Or can I suggest a better use for that?"
Ben flushed. "I'm not sure what you mean..."
Melanie cut him off with the faintest hint of an eye roll. "Sure you're not. Look, I'm lonely, horny, and need to fuck. You're obviously up to the job -- unless you're here with someone?"
He growled a little. "Unless you count the groom, no."
She nodded. "I'm with Lacey's party." She paused for a moment, looking up at him with great significance. "I've been watching you."
Ben's eyebrow lifted skyward. "Oh?"
"Lacey told me what Veronica did to you. We work together," she added. "I've always thought Veronica was a stuck-up little c --"
"Young lady?" Ben asked, keeping his tone just on the socially acceptable side of polite as he parried the epithet he knew trembled on Melanie's luscious lips. He didn't want to talk about Veronica. He didn't want to think about Veronica, even though he privately agreed with Melanie's stance on his ex-fiancee at this point. At the moment he only wanted to take Melanie anywhere he could hike up the hem of her expensive dress and ball her into Nirvana without the immediate universe seeing him.
Melanie was hot enough to melt steel, but that clearly didn't make her dense. Quickly, she changed the subject. "Do you want to... go somewhere else?"
Ben didn't need to be asked twice. "Where did you have in mind?"
Melanie grinned and seized his hand. She started towing him across the floor, adding a little extra flounce to her backside as she walked for Ben's benefit. "How would you like to do something really naughty?"
Wow! Can’t wait to see what happens next!
Melanie and I leave the rest room and say goodbye. On my way out of the reception hall, I see her walking toward Ben and I hope it’s the start of something fantastic. If you hope the same and want to see what happens between them, check out