Monday, May 7, 2012

Laura Sheehan - Dancing with Danger

A visit with Laura Sheehan, plus a fabulous giveaway!

Struggling dancer Lily Brookstone has never been a priority to anyone, but now she’s the center of attention for two men: a psychotic stalker who will do anything to possess her, and an L.A.P.D. officer who will do anything to protect her.

Laura Sheehan is visiting today with a unique take on the action movies the menfolk insist on dragging us to. Hmm...maybe we should look at them from a different perspective...

The Best Action Movies are really Romance Novels on Film
When I told my father-in-law that my book, DANCING WITH DANGER, was being published, he asked me what kind of book it was. I told him it was a romantic suspense.  “Suspense, huh? What is that, like an action movie?”
And I thought: yes, actually, it is.
Go ahead and raise a skeptical eyebrow.  “How can action movies be anything like romance novels?” you scoff. But it’s true. 
Think about it. 
Romantic suspense novels have a central love story in which the lovers have to traverse a perilous plot of nail-biting adventures before they can live happily ever after. Right?
Now think about your favorite action movies.  Most of them fit this description, don’t they?
And I don’t just mean those romantic comedies that happen to have action in them, like Knight and Day, I mean honest-to-goodness Action Movies, with a capital A, lots of testosterone, hardcore one-liners, and theatres full of teenaged boy fans screaming “BOOYAH!” at the film’s more exciting moments.
Most of them are simply romantic suspense novels on film, I swear.
Some men (and women) might be horrified to realize it, but as a huge fan of both romance novels and action movies, it makes total sense to me.
Now there are a lot of great action movies that don’t fit this description, it’s true. Some are buddy films, rather than romances (like Pointe Break), others don’t have an ending that would count as happily-ever-after (like Casino Royale), and others have a bit of a romance, but not enough to be a motivating factor in the plot (like Aliens).
But still, ya gotta admit that most of the best action movies do fit the same definition as romantic suspense novels.
So, without further ado, here’s my Top 10 Best Action Movies that are really Romantic Suspense Novels on Film:
10. Spider-Man – A shy, awkward young man develops supernatural abilities after being bitten by a genetically modified spider. In disguise, he uses his super powers to fight evil, but will he risk exposing his identity to save the girl-next-door that he secretly loves? Some might argue that this movie is more action than romance, but to them I say: Hottest Upside-Down Kiss Ever.
9. Romancing the Stone – You can’t have a romantic action movie list without this movie on it.  Its heroine is a romance novelist, for heaven’s sake! It’s got jungle adventures, treasure maps, gun fights, man-eating crocodiles, giant emeralds, and Michael Douglas. Enough said.
8. Speed ­– “You know, relationships that start under intense circumstances, they never last.”  Maybe not, Sandra, but this action-packed thriller stars Keanu at his finest, so we’re going to pretend Speed 2 never happened and tell ourselves that you two lived happily ever after.
7. True Lies - Harry Tasker is a secret agent, but his wife Helen has no idea. When Helen grows bored with her humdrum life, Harry sets out to give her the excitement she craves, but instead unwittingly draws her into a battle with real-life Arab terrorists in possession of an atomic bomb. This movie might be a bit silly, but it’s jam packed with both action and romance. And surprisingly, most of the romance is actually quite sweet, rather than the hot-and-heavy type of romance typically found in most action movies.
6. Mr. & Mrs. Smith – Whatever you may think of their personal lives, you can’t deny Pitt and Jolie’s chemistry on screen.  This movie simply works. It’s engaging, funny, exciting, and hot. And I mean hot.
5. The Matrix – Like Spider-Man, some might argue that there isn’t enough of a love story here, but seeing as the most climatic moment in the film hinges on a kiss, I’d disagree.  Neo and Trinity’s relationship is followed consistently throughout the film, and though some might not think the romance between them is overt enough, I think it works.
4. Raiders of the Lost Ark - Indiana Jones and his ex-flame Marion Ravenwood battle Hitler and his Nazis to recover the Ark of the Covenant. “Well, Jones, at least you haven't forgotten how to show a lady a good time.”
3. Terminator – I almost didn’t include this one on here because it skirts the line on the whole “happily-ever-after” ending requirement. But, whatever. A man flings himself back in time to protect a woman he loves, but has never met, from a practically unstoppable killing machine.  If that’s not romantic, what is?
2. Die Hard – New York cop John McClane comes to Los Angeles to keep his marriage alive, but instead ends up in a desperate battle to keep her alive as terrorists as hold her hostage. “Yippee-ki-yay, motherfucker.”
1. Bourne Identity – This one was a novel before it was a film, but it wasn’t considered a romance novel. However, I’d argue that Marie and Bourne’s relationship is just as central to the story as Bourne’s search for his identity. Besides instigating a rather steamy sex scene in the middle of the film, Marie also plays an essential role in the development of both the plot and Bourne’s character. She shows Bourne what his life could be, as he searches for what his life was. This is a first-rate thriller with excellent writing, superb acting, and top-notch directing.

So, ladies and gents, there you have it.  Laura’s Top 10 Best Action Movies that are really Romantic Suspense Novels on Film.  What do you think? Am I calling a spade a spade, or am I way off base? What are your favorite romantic action films?
Let me know in the comments below.
And check out my new romantic suspense novel, DANCING WITH DANGER (Red Sage Publishing), available May 1st!

I may never look at an action flick the same way! Thanks for the thought provoking post, Laura. Now, here's an excerpt from Dancing With Danger.

Marc set down his empty glass and glanced around. He hadn't been to a strip club in years. The present company was great, and the dancers were beautiful, but it wasn't really his scene. Sure, the ladies were hot, he couldn't deny that, but it all seemed so... methodical. They had some sexy moves, but that's all they were: a series of movements that showed off their very flexible limbs. There didn't seem to be anything sensual about it. He liked a woman to be just as turned on as he was, not simply going through the motions for his benefit.
"Marc! Your turn, buddy."
Marc caught the now-empty pitcher as Ben tossed it to him. With an exaggerated groan, he stood up and went to the bar to fetch another. As he watched the bartender refill it at the tap, he heard the DJ croon, "Get your cash ready, guys, Miss M is on the stage! You won't see this masked Vixen on the floor, so if you want to get up close and personal, get your ass to the rail and bring out the green. No one knows the true identity of this mysterious, little sex kitten but trust me, after her performance, you won't care!"
The crowd was a little louder than before, and even the bartender glanced at the stage. Curiosity piqued, Marc turned around and watched the "mysterious Miss M" stride out and take command of the room.
She was a tiny little thing, but not super-skinny like some of the other dancers, nor were her boobs ridiculously huge. The music pulsed quietly, building slowly in tempo and volume, but she simply stood there, legs spread wide, her head tilted a fraction to the left, as if contemplating her first move. The mask concealed most of her features, but he could see her eyes sparkling as she scanned the crowd, as if assessing them. Marc's groin gave a slight jerk as he realized her mouth was shaped just like Lily's, with a bit of an overbite that pouted her upper lip slightly forward. He watched those lips shift into a very slow, very wicked grin. The men crowding the stage went wild, banging their mugs on the rail and shouting at her to dance.
With a suddenness that took Marc off guard, she whipped into a crazy, spinning kick. Her booted leg whirled over her head, giving him a tantalizing peek of black lace panties. Her long, brown hair whisked out behind her as she bolted forward and launched into some sort of gymnastic move that flipped her sideways in mid-air. She landed gracefully with those incredibly sexy legs spread wide, barely pausing before bursting into another series of martial arts-like maneuvers. With a laugh, he took in her costume. She was playing out every man's fantasy of the sexy super-hero: she was Silk Spectre in the flesh, employing real karate moves to convey a mood of complete sexual abandon.
He noticed that she wasn't stopping to gather the cash that the men waved at her. Despite the fact that she hadn't removed a single piece of clothing, she had the crowd whooping and shouting for more. He was just beginning to wonder how long she could pull this off before the crowd got too impatient, when suddenly the music changed. She was crouched low, her left leg stretched out to the side. One daring member of the audience strained to stuff a bill into the top of her boot, but he couldn't quite reach since they were so damned tall. As the music transitioned into a more sultry rhythm, Miss M slowly folded in her leg and stood up. She was breathing hard, the rise and fall of her breasts mesmerizing. She retreated to recline against the nearest pole, as if spent yet aroused by her acrobatics.
Marc realized that this, too, was totally in character. He'd seen Watchmen over the summer and remembered how Silk Spectre had gotten turned on sexually by action and heroics. Judging from the hollers in the audience, he wasn't the only one who remembered what came next.
Miss M let her head fall back as she ran her gloved fingers through her hair, down the sides of her neck, around her breasts, and then diagonally across her belly to converge between her legs. Her lips parted with pleasure, and he felt himself harden in reaction.
With her hands still between her legs, she slid her spine down the pole. Suddenly he wanted to rush on stage to catch her. He almost felt her round, little butt in his hands as he imagined lifting her and pressing her up against the pole with a thrust of his hips.
He shook his head out of that fantasy and adjusted his stance to make more room in his pants.
Miss M slid back up the pole and twisted into one of the fancy pole maneuvers he had seen earlier that night. But for some reason her moves seemed more natural than the others had been, as if she were teasing herself as much as those who watched her. Hanging upside down with her legs wrapped around the pole and her hair flowing down to the floor, Miss M jerked her tight, yellow and black corset and ripped it wide open.
Underneath, she wore a black lace demi-cup bra. The contrast of that lace beneath the leather and spandex superhero outfit was tantalizing. Placing both hands on the ground below her head, she kicked out one leg, then the other. She planted her feet on the stage and kept her legs straight as she climbed her upper body up along the pole, her ass pushed outward and her back arched. Her breasts almost spilled out of the bra as she slowly stood upright. She pulled the straps of the opened corset off her shoulders and slid the entire outfit down her body, rocking her hips from side to side as the fabric slipped down. She stepped out of the outfit, now clad in a lacy bra and panties, plus those boots, gloves, and mask. The contrast of all that black up against her milky skin was mouth-watering.
She laughed, a sweetly innocent and shameless gesture that reminded him suddenly of Lily. Smoothly, she gyrated her body to the music, twirling around the pole and along edges of the stage, allowing the men to tuck cash in her boots and into her panties. As she turned around and bent over, Marc saw that she wasn't wearing a G-string like most of the other girls, but that the bottom curve of her cheeks peeked out from below the lace. The panties were transparent enough, however, that when she turned to the front he thought he glimpsed an enticing shadow leading down between her legs.
Miss M was dancing again. The way she moved was an enchanting mix of natural grace and teasing sensuality. She moved only in ways that seemed to give her pleasure, and watching her made him almost feel guilty, as if he were intruding on a private moment of intimacy. But then she would smile and make eye contact with the crowd, making it clear that she was intentionally inviting them into this shared moment of sensuality. A sudden wave of anger and jealousy toward the men closest to the stage rushed through him.
He laughed at himself. Damn, she’s good.
His laughter faded away, however, when she finally removed that tiny excuse of a bra. Her breasts were perfectly round and just bigger than a handful. Her nipples were hard, little peaks of rosy pink, exactly the same color as Lily's lips had been this afternoon. Damn, he thought again.
Before he knew it, the song was over, and Miss M was gathering the remaining cash before striding off stage with one last sultry wave.
It was another few moments before he realized he had company at the bar. The entire bachelor party crew stared at him, laughing.
"What?" he retorted defiantly, hoping they couldn't see the bulge in his pants.
"Boys, I think one of the Vixens finally caught Officer Sloan's attention," Pete roared.
Scowling fiercely, and relieved that it was too dark for them to notice if his face was flushed, Marc snatched the now full pitcher from the bar and headed back to the table. The guys followed, thumping him on the back and punching him in the arm, teasing him mercilessly the entire way. When a blonde dancer came around to their table offering lap dances, Steve asked her about buying Marc a lap dance from Miss M.
The blonde raised an eyebrow and said a little too sweetly, "She doesn't give lap dances, honey." She slid closer to Steve and whispered, "But if it's mystery you're lookin' for, I've got more than enough for you, big boy."
"You sure do... And I'll take it!" Steve shrugged unapologetically at Marc before stuffing a ten dollar bill into her G-string and sitting back to enjoy the ride.
Pete flagged down a busboy and asked him something that Marc couldn't hear because the music had started again and another girl was dancing on stage. The kid shook his head, but gestured to a curtain next to the bar. Pete gave him a wad of cash and the boy ran off.
Taking a look at his beer mug, Marc decided to cut himself off so he could drive home. He eyed Pete suspiciously and narrowed his gaze even more when he realized Pete was purposefully not looking his way.
When the busboy came back and nodded to Pete, Marc groaned inwardly. When Pete smiled at him and announced to the table that Marc had a surprise waiting for him behind the curtain, Marc groaned out loud.

My, my, my! *fans self* Goodness, Laura, that's some excerpt! I can't wait to get my hands on this one!

Buy Dancing with Danger from -
Red Sage
Barnes & Noble

About the Author -

Laura Sheehan grew up in Las Vegas, but currently resides in Encino with her husband, a thoroughly-spoiled cat, and a handful of fish who keep her thoroughly-spoiled cat entertained. When not working at her office day job, she can usually be found in a dance studio, on a softball field, writing at her computer, rehearsing for a play, snuggling with her amazing husband, eating milk chocolate, or curled up on the couch with a good book. Sometimes she can be found doing more than one of these at a time, although when doing so, she has to be careful not to get chocolate on the computer keyboard (or on the amazing husband… although now that she thinks about it, that might not be such a bad thing).
Laura writes suspense, paranormal, and fantasy romances. She can be found online at:;;!/TimesNewLaura; and

So, readers, what are your favorite romantic action flicks?
Laura will award a $10 Amazon Gift Card to one lucky commenter! 


  1. Love the movies list, really can't disagree about any of your choices - many of my top favorites! Enjoyed the excerpt from your book as well - best wishes!

  2. Killer list you got alot of my favorit films but my vote has to go with "The Highlander" the film is packed with sword fights and men that live forever unless they have there head cut off, which can happen around every turn with ever one driven to kill until there is only one left. Pretty romantic right? Well the other half, the story half is, it about man from the highlands of scoot land fighting to the death anyone that gets in his way to having a normal life were he can grow old along side his lover.