Calculated Exposure is the second book in my “Geeks” collection. It’s an erotic contemporary that tells the story of Curt Ryan—an Irish mathematician who tends to compartmentalize his emotions. It takes the brazen audacity of a Cuban-American newspaper photographer to make him even consider a long-term commitment. In the excerpt below, he revels in Erica’s boldness—he loves that she doesn’t beat around the bush.
From Calculated Exposure:
“I can turn the captioning on.” She poised herself to sit up, but he tightened his arm around her.
That anxiety again. Perhaps it was the tail end of the jetlag he’d been trying to shake or something.
“Uh, that’s okay. How’d your adjustment to the time zone change go?”
“I guess it didn’t bother me as much as I expected. Maybe it’s because I keep such an odd schedule. Whenever there’s breaking news, I have to drop what I’m doing and go.
Peril of being a full-time employee, I guess. Can’t say no.”
“You’ve got youth on your side, darlin’. The quick back-and-forth has been riding me all week, so excuse me if I pass out. I nearly fell asleep writing on the whiteboard during a class I taught this week.”
She tensed. “If I had known, I would have rescheduled.”
“Don’t sweat it. It’s cool. I’m on clean sheets next to a warm body and well-fed. It’s a trifecta of good things.”
She nudged his ribs with her elbow with a scoff. “You could get all that from a housekeeper and a hot water bottle.”
He cupped her chin with and angled her face toward his. “Quit it.”
In his experience, when women made self-disparaging remarks, the response they expected from him in turn was a compliment of some sort. He never took the bait. If he was going to give one, it was because he really meant it. A couple of women had called him out on his lack of sensitivity in the past. “You could say something nice, Curt,” one had said. “That’s what any other man would do.”
He’d rolled his eyes and asked the waitress for the check before responding with, “And that’s your number one mistake. Assuming I’m just like any other man.”
Conceit hadn’t driven him to say it--his brutal straightforwardness had. He wasn’t like any other man and hadn’t had much practice being soft, except with the kids. Being kind to them came naturally. He didn’t have to work at it like he had for all those forgettable women he’d dated.
Erica…she was different from those vacuous girls. Uncomplicated. She had enough of her own confidence that she didn’t need him propping her up. Low-maintenance. Sexy.
He propped his glasses onto the top of his head and bent to meet her lips. Her lips against his quirked into a grin as she turned beneath his arm. With her angle improved, she wound her fingers through the hair at his nape and gave it a small yank, forcing his chin up.
“Who’s in charge here?” he asked as she kissed down his Adam’s apple and lingered at the neck of his shirt.
“You don’t believe in equal partners, rubio?” She trailed her fingers along the sensitive skin at his collar, sending tiny jolts of electricity into his core.
“When it comes to sex? No.” He drew away from her touch, his skin prickling where her fingers had been, and pulled his shirt over his head. “It’s a dance, darlin’. Someone has to lead, and someone has to follow.”
“Oh. I see.”
He sucked in some air as her palms pressed flat against his belly and she clamped her lush bottom lip between her teeth.
“What?” he nudged.
“You’re not so skinny.” She drew slow, tantalizing circles around his nipples with the tips of her fingers, and he pulled her closer to straddle his thighs. Fine. He’d lead.
“I told you I’m fat where it matters.”
Calculated Exposure – from Lyrical Press – is available now at major e-book vendors such as Amazon and iTunes. Check out the previous Geek book – Saint and Scholar – to meet historian Grant Fennell.
Two lucky readers who comment on this blog post will be randomly selected to win an e-book copy of Calculated Exposure. Just tell Holley the nationality of the hero in the last book you read. Good luck!
Holley Trent writes sassy, sensual romances set in the American South. To learn more about her, visit her website holleytrent.com or chat with her on Twitter where she tweets as @HolleyTrent.