Thursday Things: The Hamptons
There are few places in the world that you can write about and have most readers recognize—Paris, Hawaii, Texas, New York City. These are all spots for which people, even if they’ve never been there, have a mental image of the sights, smells, sounds, and—most importantly—the people.
Well, my favorite iconic place on the planet, though I’ve only written about it briefly, and only in one book to date, is The Hamptons.
The Hamptons are just… Well, they’re hard to describe. They’re horribly wonderful and wonderfully horrible and everything in between. They represent privilege and desirability, class and decadence. The region itself is actually really beautiful, although sometimes it’s hard to look away from the people long enough to see the landscape.
I grew up in New York, but have never had much interest in writing stories set in the city. It always seemed too dark and gritty, too varied to capture in a single book. But maybe it’s the Great Gatsby factor, but the Hamptons call to me as a perfect setting.
Though now that I think about it, The Great Gatsby took place on the North Shore, which is a different scene altogether. From what I understand, the North Shore is a lot more exclusive than the towns near the tip on the South Shore (Including East, Bridge, and Southampton.)
But see, that’s what The Hamptons do to you—they make you wonder if there is a place even more exclusive…where the people are even thinner, more glamorous, and more other wordly than where you are now.
The alluring thing about the Hamptons isn’t the fact that the towns are beautiful. No—the attraction is that just around the bend, there’s something even more gorgeous than what you’re currently seeing. There’s a better party, or a more exclusive beach. A restaurant only a few people can get into, or a country club where you might meet a drug czar or a president.
It’s that spirit of social aspiration that led me to use The Hamptons for the vacation home of my Player and the Prude hero, Brooks Price. In Holsum College 5: Player and the Prude, Brooks comes from a family of social climbers. And he starts the book by kissing up to one of Holsum College’s most well-connected students, Hunter Ford.
But little does Brooks know that he’s going to fall in love with the son of a minister–a quiet, uptight guy who nonetheless gives Brooks a chance to be a better person.
Here’s a teeny, tiny excerpt that makes me want to go out to the beach…
* * * * *
The whole house was lit from within, but still, the Long Island sky was beautiful overhead. Brooks’s house was right on the water, and at night in their room, Matt heard the clanking of boats in the nearby marina. Of course, Matt couldn’t hear it at that moment, since music and talking were filtering through from the open sliding doors.
Brooks appeared at one of those doors, easing open the screen. “Hey, you okay out here?” He walked across the candlelit courtyard, wearing a crisp white shirt under a pale blue jacket, his eyes bright and excited against his tan skin. And he was so handsome Matt thought his heart might stop beating.
“I don’t know,” Matt answered honestly. He glanced inside at all the people he didn’t know. On the one hand, who cared if people he didn’t know knew he and Brooks were planning to get married? But on the other hand, they hadn’t told hardly anyone yet. And this was a big step.
“C’mon.” Brooks snatched his hands and pulled Matt across the lawn toward the guest house. It was tiny compared to the majestic main house—just a couple rooms smelling of salt water and sand. When they’d cleared the screen door, Brooks pulled him to the bedroom, and fell on top of him on the bed.
“What’re you doing?” Matt chuckled, trying not to crumple his suit.
But Brooks pinned him down. “Oh, my God, I’m so stressed out. I need a quickie.” He yanked off his jacket and tossed it on the floor, then unbuttoned his shirt.
“You’re insane.” Matt ran his hands over Brooks’s bare skin. He hadn’t wanted to have sex at all under Brooks’s parents’ roof, but with Brooks getting naked, it was hard to resist.
“Nah. We have at least a half an hour before everyone gets here.” He shoved at the shoulders of Matt’s jacket.
* * * * *
Whew! It’s beach porn AND suit porn! Maybe that’s what I love about The Hamptons…seersucker suits on beaches…*sigh*
So—what’s your favorite romance novel location?
* * * * *
Brooks Price loves a challenge. So when a frenemy dares him to sleep with a dorky, over-tall, film major, Brooks amps up his considerable charm.
Matt Porter can’t guess why Brooks is flirting with him. Raised religious, Matt doesn’t believe in sex before relationships. Unfortunately, Brooks is all about sex, and Matt doubts Brooks is interested in anything else.
Slowly, Brooks chips away at Matt’s armor—taking him on dates, asking for kisses, holding hands—baby steps none of which Matt can resist or refuse. However, when Brooks pushes too far, Matt freaks out.
Despite his stoic exterior, Matt’s painfully conflicted over his sexuality—scared of his darker desires, worried about hurting Brooks. The pair explores boundaries, but when things turn rough and Matt unleashes his inner wants, he doesn’t know if he can overcome his shame about sex in order to be with the man he’s growing to love.
* * * * *
Birkenstock-wearing glamour girl and mother of two by immaculate conception, Daisy Harris still isn’t sure if she writes erotica. Her romances start out innocently enough. However, her characters behave like complete sluts. Much to Miss Harris’s dismay the sex tends to get completely out of hand.
She writes about fantastical creatures and about young men getting their freak on, and she’s never missed an episode of The Walking Dead
* * * * *