Saturday, August 9, 2014

Hot summer scenes

I thought it would be fun to share an excerpt from Grading on Curves, a perfect summer read. In this scene, Mia and Curt have just returned from a long bike ride. It's been years since she's ridden and she's out of practice with more than simply bicycling.


 Mia hit the garage door opener and they walked their bikes into the garage and stood them against the shelves. She closed the door behind them.

   “I’m so tired,” Mia confessed with a ragged gasp. She could barely force herself to take another step.

   “I expected that. Just be glad you don’t smoke.” He gave her a second look. “You don’t, do you?”

   “No.” She panted her answer and stumbled into the kitchen where she dropped forward at the waist and grabbed her knees to keep from falling on her face.

   Curt gave her a sympathetic smile and went into the upper cabinet for two glasses, filling them with cold water. He held one out to her and she brought herself back up slowly, accepting it with a grateful, “Thanks.” Leaning back against the counter, she emptied it.

   “Water will help keep your muscles from cramping,” Curt explained.

   “I can’t believe it,” she said in amazement. “You don’t look like you broke a sweat.”

   “I’m warm.”

   “Yeah, but I need a shower.” She peeled her shirt away from her sternum and shuddered at how clammy it felt.

   “Well, go and take one.”

   “Do you need the bathroom first?”

   “Give me a second.” He left his empty glass on the counter and Mia set hers next to it.

   She went to her room to get a change of clothes and could hear the toilet seat drop and the inevitable flush through the wall. The faucet came on as she shoved her dresser drawer closed.
The bathroom door opened and Curt came to a stop just outside her bedroom, silently watching her. He didn’t invade her space and she appreciated that, but he was reminding her that he was there.

   Suddenly very conscious of that fact herself, she realized she was about to strip naked
with Curt in her house—and they were very alone.

   It wasn’t easy brushing past him on her way to the bathroom. Maybe that was the reason she did something completely unexpected and out of character. Mia left the door partially open behind her. Curt paused on his way by, perhaps afraid to misinterpret her meaning, but when they made eye contact in the mirror, she gave him a hesitant smile then a slight nod. It was a subtle invitation and Curt slowly pushed the door open and walked in.

Grading on Curves

One-on-one instruction never felt so right—or so wrong.

There’s nothing unusual about Mia Page’s attraction to the young science teacher at the middle school. After all, she’s not the only one who finds him enticing. But when he pulls her son aside to ask for her phone number, she knows she’s in serious trouble. Since her divorce four years earlier, she’s been out of circulation, choosing to focus on parenting instead, and she’s not entirely sure she can handle an entanglement with the sexy Mr. Walden.

There are also other reasons why getting involved with Curt would be a bad idea. He’s two years shy of thirty, and she’s on the downside of that unmentionable number. He’s adamant about never having kids, and she has a son. Even the guy’s romantic gifts are suspect. Energy saving light bulbs? He has to be kidding.

On the other hand, he’s fun, sweet, and smart. He stimulates her intellectually, emotionally, and Lord help her, physically, opening her eyes to life outside her comfortable world. Yet their differences quietly gnaw at Mia even while she succumbs to their undeniable chemistry.

As their romance deepens, so do Mia’s fears that Curt will eventually hurt her. On edge, all it takes is an innocent comment to provoke her into drawing first blood. Mia recklessly wounds Curt, learning only too late that this blade cuts both ways. Frantic to make amends, she fears it might be too late to admit the feelings she’s tried so hard to suppress.

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