A Frugal Man (and the women who love him)

by Mr. Cheap

We’re coming up on Valentine’s Day, when the young (and old) hearts and thoughts take a romantic turn. In this spirit, my posts up to today involved love and personal finance.  I invited fellow bloggers to join in on the fun and send me their links, but sadly I only got one blogger to take me up on it (you’re all a bunch of heartless cupid-scrooges ;-) ).  Fortunately, 2 Cents (the blogger who took me up on it) did an excellent post, True or False: Compatibility = Similarity, about compatibility with your partner.

I actually found out about this a little while ago, but have been saving it as the crescendo of the Valentines day posts.  I’M GETTING A BOOK PUBLISHED!!! (can you feel the excitement?!? :-) :-) :-) ).  I had the idea some time ago when the mother of an ex-girlfriend told me she liked reading historical romances because “she liked to learn something while she was reading a romance”.  I contacted the good people at Harlequin and explained my idea of a romance novel that incorporates personal finance concepts.  They were skeptical at first, but admitted that there is more curiosity about the sub-prime meltdown and general financial topics among their readership than before the recession started and they decided to take a chance on me.

Supposedly the book will be available at finer newsstands and drug stores in July or August, but we’ll definitely get some here at Four Pillars for readers who don’t want to track them down (and I can write a smutty inscription at the front for anyone who buys through us ;-) ).  I’d like to give a heartfelt shout-out to Squawkfox who encouraged me to write a book and to my off-line friends and regular readers.  I feel a little bad about my review of Jon Chevreau’s book now, as I’ve experienced how hard it is to inter-weave financial topics with a “classic fiction structure”.

I asked for permission to post an excerpt, and although the publisher initially resisted, I talked them into letting me post the first few pages (they insisted I use the unedited, draft version I submitted to them – something about copyright, so blame any typos and awkward phrasings on me).  My editor, Carolyn, is amazing (a class act all the way) and after she re-wrote a good part of Chapter 7 I realized she has the filthiest mind of anyone I’ve ever met (which I mean in the best possible way :-) ).  I *still* turn beat red whenever I read it…

“So that’s it, it’s over once again?” she asked, her tone casual, almost like she was inquiring if there was any further discount possible on the floor model from a sales manager.  She propped herself up on one elbow and stared intently at the man in the doorway.  Her womanly curves were hugged by the off-brand Egyptian cotton sheets.

The passion she never failed to ignite, tinged with anger shone from his eyes as he turned to face her.  Like getting an unexpected margin call, he visibly steeled himself to deal with the conflict he’d hoped to avoid.

“You’re an active trader and I’m a passive man, we’ve been through this before” he began, warming up to his now familiar tirade about the dangers of trying to beat the market.  “You can’t stop yourself from taking insane gambles on companies on the verge of bankruptcy.  You thought I wouldn’t find out that you’d lost our downpayment -“

He was cut short as she slipped out of bed, looking deeply into his icy blue eyes as the sheet fell away from her body.  She was every inch a woman, oozing sexuality and fiscal responsibility as she advanced on him, her naked body indifferent to the open doorway behind him.

“Sometimes you make money and sometimes you lose it” she began matching her familiar refrain to his chorus.  “Reward goes hand-in-hand with risk.  Judge me by my whole record, not the most recent trade” she defiantly challenged as she closed on him, pulling him into her embrace with a swift tug on his wool coat’s collar.  She got a mischievous look on her face as she continued “Besides, you always talk about renting being a better option than owning.”  His resolve broke, like an increasing stock price smashing through a resistance trend line and they pressed into one another.

“Oooh” she purred moistly into his ear, running her fingers through his short cropped hair “I can feel that interest rates are rising.”

“The bed wants us to forget about all this and get back to discussing mergers and acquisitions.”

With an irresistible force, like an overvalued real estate market crashing back to fundamental value, he pressed her against the wall and his mouth hungrily met hers.  Pinning her arms above her head, his animalistic hunger exploded as they explored one another’s mouths.  His teeth caught her lower lip and held it with the precise pressure that ignited her like investor greed in a market bubble.  She heard his sharp intake of breath as he greedily sucked in her scent like a gold bug buying yellow rocks in an inflationary environment.

“There is no more ‘us’ Desdemona” he said coldly, his voice matching his eyes, and was gone.

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