For #Sample Sunday here’s a short excerpt from Hardball, my sexy contemporary romance that I wrote with my husband under the pen name of VK Sykes. Holly, a rather buttoned-up pediatric surgeon, is going on her first date with Nate, a very alpha, very hot pro baseball player.
When the doorbell finally rang, Holly stuck her eye against the spyhole just to make sure it was him. Nate stood on her front porch, hands in his pockets, looking like he’d walked off the cover of some men’s fashion magazine. She leaned her forehead against the door for just a second. She actually felt a little light-headed.
Shaking away the crazy sensation, she opened the door.
For a moment, Nate didn’t say a word. He stood there and did a slow appraisal, a leisurely up-and-down movement of his eyes as he took her in from head to toe.
“Well?” she ventured, feeling intensely shy.
He reached for her hand and raised it to his lips for a lingering kiss. “You look as beautiful as a summer sunrise, Holly. The way your hair tumbles down onto your shoulders makes that amazing dress even more perfect on you.”
She blinked at the unexpected flowery compliment, wondering how many other women he’d practiced on before he’d perfected a fluid line like that.
Stop it, Holly. Take the compliment!
“That’s a beautiful thing to say, Nate. And you look fantastic yourself.”
She was no expert on men’s clothes, but a true expert had tailored Nate’s lightweight gray suit. It draped his long, lean body perfectly. A black shirt, open at the neck, and black Italian-looking loafers complemented the suit. The outfit accentuated his rugged, tanned features, and Holly had no doubt most women at the banquet tonight would lock onto him like heat-seeking missiles.
Nate gave her a little bow. “Would you care to take my arm, Doctor?
“Why, thank you.” She slid her hand over his bicep, delighting in the feel of the rock-hard muscle under the silky material of his expensive suit. “Lead me to your conveyance, sir.” She smiled when she saw the sleek machine parked by the curb. “I have to say I’m pumped to finally get a ride in an Aston Martin,” she confessed, abandoning her attempt at sophisticated banter.
The prospect of a drive up the freeway in the DB9 sent a flutter of excitement along her nerves. Maybe if she and Nate hit it off tonight, she’d muster up the courage to ask if she could drive his wildly expensive baby home. Not that she would likely have any success. Men were often nuttily protective about their cars. Her dad had been like that, and Nate was probably the same.
He popped open the passenger door and turned to help her into the seat, but Holly slipped past him and walked to the front of the car.
“Wow.” She gave a low whistle as she stroked her hand across the sleek nose of the famous British sports car. “What a beauty.”
Nate stared at her, not at the car. “You can say that again.” His voice was low and slightly rough, and that was even more thrilling than his sweet ride.
Feeling a bit reckless, she began to circle the car, trailing her fingertips across the smooth metal side strakes. “The lines are so smooth, so sexy,” she purred. At least she tried to make it sound like a purr, even though part of her wanted to burst into giggles. Holly Bell, flirting with a guy like Nate Carter?
“Sexy, yeah,” he purred back, his gaze still glued to her body. Then, raising his eyes to meet hers, he went on, “I remember that Aston Martin describes the bodywork as gently curved, like an athlete with great muscle tone. It stuck in my mind. I guess because I thought it was a pretty cool way to describe a big chunk of metal.”
But Holly had the feeling he wasn’t really describing the car.
She tilted her head and pretended to study him. “I couldn’t compare them. I haven’t had my hands on an athlete with great muscle tone. One of the drawbacks of pediatrics, I suppose.”
Nate chuckled, but her remark had obviously stoked what was already burning inside him. He began to stalk her, his hot gaze locked on her body as she moved around the car. The hunger in his eyes set off a little jolt of sensation low in her belly.
“Aston Martin custom designed the interior leather tones, and the wood is handcrafted,” he continued, his voice so gravelly it was almost a rumble.
She smiled as she bent to look through the driver side window. “Really? Well, that leather is the deepest and richest-looking I’ve ever seen. Absolutely decadent.” She deliberately emphasized her southern drawl, and his dark eyes flashed with laugher and sensual heat.
But as she gazed through the window, Holly experienced an unexpected stab of irritation as she imagined all the other women who had probably ridden in Nate’s sex-on-a-stick car. She cut a cautious glance his way and realized that he’d silently prowled up right behind her, just like a dangerous beast of prey.
A very big, handsome, and sexy beast of prey.
Heart thumping in her chest, she dodged by him and completed her circle of the car to the passenger door. Nate followed right behind, throwing off enough masculine heat and energy to power up a small city.
Too much, too soon. Slow down, girl.
Holly opened her mouth to make some casual remark, intending to ease the sexual tension spiking between them, but every thought flew out of her head under his scorching gaze. He leaned over her and, for a heart-stopping moment, she thought he was going to kiss her. Instead, he lightly grasped her arm and gently urged her down into the seat. She drew in a shaky breath as she slid onto the butter-soft leather, admonishing herself to get a grip. It was just a date, after all.
Have a great Sunday!