Today’s topic is: holding out for a heroine. I pretty much have one of those in every book. Always, actually. Thought this might be a good time to give you a sneak peek of Sophie, the heroine in my second Hanover Brothers book, A SIMPLE TWIST OF FATE. This one comes out in July but Sophie is in my March release, NO TURNING BACK. Take a loook…
With one hand she pushed the hall bathroom door open, ignoring the creak as she spun and jumped inside. Her back hit the door and her eyes closed in relief. It took her a second to realize her sneakers slid across the black and white checkered tile beneath her and a wall of heated steam smacked her face.
When she opened her eyes again, she came face to shoulders with bare skin. Her gaze trailed over the broad chest and light sprinkling of hair that ran the deep groove to his flat stomach then down to…yowsa.
There was not as much as a washcloth covering him. Nope. She got an open shot of skin, balls and, yeah, totally naked hottie dude. Looked like Beck Hanover excelled at something other than arguing.
Fingers snapped, breaking her woman-versus-penis staring contest. A deep male voice floated through the tiny room a second later. “Uh, hello?”
No, no, no.
“How about we try eyes up here for a second?”
She followed his command and the finger pointing toward his head. Ignoring the amusement in his voice, she glanced up to meet Beck’s ice blue stare. Water beaded on his chest, probably on every part of him. The ends of his dark hair curled the longer he stood there and one of his biceps twitched in a way she found oddly mesmerizing.
She drew an invisible line across his throat and mentally banned her gaze from dipping lower. Every body part but his eyes was off limits. The stuttering thing started in her head a second later. It took a few deep breaths to get the oxygen flowing to her misfiring brain.
This was all about the shock and not about how good he looked naked. She’d expected to be alone in the room.
She kept repeating the excuse until she tricked her mind into believing it. “What are you doing in here?”
His eyebrow lifted. “Should I shower in the dining room?”
“There are five bathrooms in this house and some of those even work. You could go anywhere else.” In fact, anywhere outside of Sweetwater or any other part of Oregon would be good.
“Are you serious?” He did that frowning thing. Even naked, he fell back on the annoying expression. Didn’t bother to hide any part of himself either. Even though the towel was right there on the bar above the claw-foot tub.
She tried to grab onto an argument…and keep her stare from wandering beneath his chin but seconds ticked by. She’d bet a full minute passed until a few words finally unscrambled in her brain. “This isn’t the bathroom you usually use.”
“But it is my house and as you can see,” he held his arms out to the sides, “this particular room is occupied.”
Her gaze did a little bounce that time. Really, he invited it, so she refused to feel guilty. She was desperate to search the house but not dead from the waist down…and clearly he wasn’t either. Any half-awake woman would look and he sure didn’t disappoint. Every last inch of him looked tan and fit, including a very prominent part of him that was now stirring.
“Hey there.” She held up her hands, careful not to block all of the tantalizing view while pretending to be horrified. “What are you doing?”
“I’m confused by the question.”
Her act slipped as her hands fell. “What?”
“Are you looking for a biological explanation or something else?”
“You’re being obtuse.”
He exhaled in that loud women-are-so-difficult way men did so well. “Okay, I think we can agree your reaction is a little extreme here. Mine can’t possibly be the first penis you’ve ever seen.”
“Of course not.”
“Because, really, if it is feel free to look as long as you want.” He crossed his arms over his chest, leaving the view of the most interesting part of his body unblocked. “I can wait.”
At twenty-four she had what likely amounted to the less than usual wealth of experience in the boy parts department, but there was that one fumbling guy right after high school who nearly strangled her while taking off her bra off. Who knew the front clasp concept could be so confusing to a horny boy.
Then that other guy, and how embarrassing was it she couldn’t call up his name from memory, then Kurt. They dated for a full year before his niceness combined with her extreme boredom to cause a break-up implosion so tame it ended with breakfast muffins and a trip to buy a lamp.
“Tell me about all this experience of yours.” If possible, Beck’s eyebrow inched up even further.
Now that was annoying. “I’m not a virgin.”
“Did I ask that question?”
“Seemed like it.” She swallowed, surprised she still could without choking on her tongue. “And, no.”
He wiped his hand through his hair, sending water droplets flying in her direction. “Meaning, no you’re not or…?”
Oh, there was no way they were going down this road. “Are you done?”
He flashed that stupid dimple at her. “I thought you were opening a dialogue on the subject of nudity and its uses.”
He was doing a bit more than stirring now.
Not that she noticed.
A SIMPLE TWIST OF FATE
Copyright 2013, HelenKay Dimon
All Rights Reserved, Penguin Berkley
Don’t forget to check out the other snippets: