The Story Behind Two-Step by Stephanie Fournet

08 Dec 2020

By Stephanie Fournet

I have my husband of twenty-seven years to thank for the inspiration for my tenth novel, Two-Step.

I was struggling with a manuscript that just was not taking off, and on a bike ride back from our favorite brunch spot one Saturday, he gave me a suggestion. All of my novels are set in our hometown of Lafayette, Louisiana, in a quirky/artsy/folksy neighborhood called the Saint Streets. He pointed out that a lot of my MCs are artistic, but I’d never had a dancer, and wouldn’t it be fun to have one of the characters be a Cajun-dance instructor?

And something just clicked.

You see, my husband hates to dance, and I knew he was right: it would be fun to write about a reluctant dance student and a sexy, confident dance instructor. And that’s how Iris and Beau were born.

Their love story is of the funny, feel-good, steamy, and sweet variety, and I had a blast writing it.

Here’s a peek at one of Beau and Iris’s dance lessons:

“Let’s warm up,” he says.

I’m expecting the same breathing routine we’ve used every time, but instead of Bill Withers, Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy” fills the room. I almost choke on a laugh. Beau turns to face the three of us. “Follow my lead.”

The beat is faster, more in-your-face than our other warm-ups, and I watch Beau keep time with it just by using his hips. Ramon and Sally imitate him, but I stand still. No way am I going to shake my hips. I’ll do it wrong and look like an idiot.

“C’mon, Iris,” he prompts.

I shake my head. “No thanks.”

“We’re just warming up,” Beau says, stepping in front of me, shaking those sexy-as-sin hips. “No big deal.”

No big deal? Who is he kidding? Has he seen himself?
He’s just standing there, barely moving to the rhythm, but all the movement, all the rhythm makes it impossible to look away. He’s the sexiest damn thing on two legs, and I am beyond intimidated. Frozen solid.

That is, until Beau settles his hands on my hips. “Just let go, Iris.”

It’s not that simple. It can’t be that simple.

He looks down at me, his dark eyes soft and patient. I look away, over at my friends, who are hip-shaking like pros. For about two seconds, I let myself hate them.

Scowling, I look back at Beau. His mouth quirks. If he laughs at me, I’m going to knee him in the balls.

“Trust me, Iris.”

The invitation is low, intimate. My throat goes dry at his words, and I swallow. The last couple of weeks have brought down my guard. I’ve gotten comfortable with the routine, even if I’m still awkward and clumsy and mess up more than I get it right. But he’s made it easy even when I botch it. The temptation to trust him is just unfair. It’s almost as if someone is offering me a chance to learn how to fly like a bird. Thrilling. And equally impossible.

Stephanie Fournet is the author of the new book Two-Step.

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