This excerpt comes from Her Shirtless Gentleman, the first standalone book in a new series for me. Rob is a longtime bachelor who knows he’s finally found the right woman; Eleanora’s a recent divorcee struggling to define herself. In the scene below, Rob’s trying to convince her to take a chance and go out with him.
Her Shirtless Gentleman excerpt:
Rob shrugged and leaned back in his seat. Women liked confidence on a man. He’d put his desires on the table no matter how his heart quailed. “Good thing my schedule’s clear.”
“What if mine’s not?”
He caught and held Eleanora’s gaze, his voice low and steady. “I’ll keep asking until it is.”
Her eyes widened. Her nostrils flared. The sharp intake of her breath sent blood rushing to his cock. He pined for her just so, naked and squirming and pouring sounds in his ears.
“I—” She broke their stare and released a bitter-edged laugh. “I’m sorry. I don’t know how to do this. I’m not—I’m sure you date women who know what they want and say all the right things and flirt intelligently, for god’s sake. But I…”
He waited in stillness, but she didn’t seem inclined to finish her thought. Sliding his hand across the table, he risked brushing her fingers. “But you what, Eleanora?”
She grimaced. “I was barely old enough to drink when I started dating David. We married young, and…” She sagged like a windsock on a calm day, listless and empty. Way her husband had made her feel, maybe.
“Been a while since you’ve been in the dating market.” He’d envy her the freedom from the chase, if her marriage hadn’t turned out to be such a botch job. He’d have rather washed his hands of the whole dating scene and settled down a good six or eight years ago himself.
“Ten years.” Sighing, she stared at their hands.
He risked a second touch, rubbing his thumb over her knuckles.
“Bars aren’t my speed.” She aimed her mumble at their empty plates and crumpled napkins. “The last time I dated, social networking didn’t exist, and my girlfriends argued over whether letting a boy put his hands under their shirts was okay, not whether they should give a guy a blowjob in his car or invite him inside.”
Red crept up her cheeks. The mix of boldness and innocence swirling around her drew him like lightning to a mountaintop. She might embarrass easily, but she powered through with courage and sass. Two more points in her favor. His Nora needed a smidge of old-fashioned high school wooing and confidence-building. Inspiration struck.
“Let me take you out Friday night.” He squeezed her hand. “No blowjobs, I promise. But I might let you put your hands under my shirt.”
Teach a wounded submissive the value of his service. The task ought to be an easy one for an experienced dominant like Henry Webb.
But novice Jay Kress challenges his teacher like no other. Still bearing the bruises of an encounter outside the bounds of safe consensual play, Jay is desperate to submit to the man who saved him—and shamed by his desires.
Henry recognizes the dangers of a relationship built on hero worship. He’ll teach Jay how to stay safe, that’s all. He won’t take advantage of the younger man’s trust. He won’t share his fantasies about his dark-haired, athletic student. He’ll never claim this submissive for his own...
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M.Q. Barber likes to get lost in thought. She writes things down so she can find herself again.
Often found staring off into space or frantically scratching words on sticky notes, M.Q. lives with one very tolerant, easily amused husband and one very tolerant, easily amused puppy.
She has a soft spot for romances that explore the inner workings of the heart and mind alongside all that steamy physical exertion. She loves memorable characters, witty banter, and heartfelt emotion in any genre.
Her advice? Get a solid grounding in how language works, and then just write. Write every idea that comes along, even if it’s just a single line. You never know which line is the start of a thread that leads to a novel.
The former Midwestern gal is the author of the Neighborly Affection contemporary romance series. Pick a safeword, grab a partner or two, and jump in.
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Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/M.Q.-Barber/e/B00DKBBSMU