The Barbershop Girl by Evie Snow
Series: Evangeline’s Rest #3
Publisher: Exile Publishing
Release Date: February 27, 2020
Subgenre: Romantic Comedy
Order here: Universal Link
Synopsis for The Barbershop Girl:
Ben Martindale needs cutting down to size…
You don’t become a notorious British celebrity without rubbing a few people the wrong way, so writer and comedian Ben Martindale has decamped to Australia until the media frenzy surrounding his latest scandal dies down. When he meets Amy Blaine, a perky blonde barber who dresses like a 1950s pin-up girl, he knows he’s hit the comedy jackpot.
Amy Blaine is used to being underestimated because of her appearance. But she knows the dedication it takes to run her own business and to have survived a difficult childhood. She doesn’t need anyone to validate her choices. When she first meets Ben, all she sees is a rich Englishman looking for someone to ridicule, but before long he’s convinced her differently, barraging her with a charm offensive that’s impossible to resist.
Ben begins to fill his weekly London column with snarky observations about Amy’s house, style, troubled family members and dramatic employees. It doesn’t occur to him that Amy, who is slowly letting her guard down for the first time in her adult life, might just be a little bit upset when she finds out…
He set Amy’s glass of wine down on the coffee table and studied her profile. She was half facing the view, absently playing with the skirt of her dress while worrying her bottom lip between her teeth. “You haven’t done this before, have you? Come back to someone’s place the first date.”
“Nope. I’m not that good at it, either.” She heaved a sigh. It did interesting things to the bodice of her dress.
He hoped she was wearing French knickers and a garter belt. Just that thought alone had him casually crossing one leg over the other to hide the rather obvious effect she had on him.
“If it makes you feel any better, neither have I. Brought a lady home the first date, that is,” Ben replied, savoring a mouthful of wine.
“Really?” She turned to face him. Her eyes were huge.
Ben shrugged leisurely, running his eyes over those schoolgirl shoes, then up the curvy little calves delineated by the seam of some seriously sexy stockings. “I don’t know, really. I’ve never had the desire to. Until now. Although, I am getting the feeling I’m doing it all wrong. You were supposed to be overwhelmed by my charming personality by now. Well . . .” He scratched his chin. “Either that, or you were supposed to be taking advantage of me.”
Amy gave a genteel snort, then wandered over to the couch and sat down next to him.
Ben looked pointedly at the space between them. “You know I do bite. Rather well, actually. I’ve been complimented on it in fact.”
Amy took the wine he offered her. “I’m sure you do.”
“Hmm. But now, sadly—and this is going to be rather pathetic—I’m going to have to resort to trying to cop a feel while pretending to watch the view.” Ben theatrically yawned then stretched his arm out along the back of the sofa so that his hand rested just behind Amy’s back. It felt naughty, novel. Like he was a horny teenager trying to get to first base. He casually began to play with her hair, marveling at how soft it was, and waited.
He was rewarded with a double-dimpled smile that unfortunately dimmed a little when she looked him in the eye.
“I don’t know how to do this,” she said in a small voice, nibbling on her lower lip in an endearing way.
“Define ‘this.’ If you mean just sitting back and relaxing with a glass of wine while I clumsily try to seduce you, I’m sure you’ll manage.”
She downed half of her wine in one go and Ben stifled a wince at seeing that much expensive plonk guzzled.
“You really are nervous, aren’t you?” He moved his hand down to rub her back and shoulders, marveling at how petite she was.
“Yeah. My boyfriends before always came to my place . . . not that you’re my boyfriend yet . . . which is sorta weird. Oh bugger, this is awkward.” She wore such a comically concerned frown that Ben chuckled. “Hey!”
“Sorry, but you really are being very adorable.” Ben grinned when her frown got more pronounced. “If it helps, I’d be happy to just sit and enjoy this rather nice bottle of wine with you while watching the view.” It was a blatant lie.
“Really?” A flash of something, disappointment maybe, crossed her features. “You mean you don’t want to . . .”
“Obviously I do.” Ben looked pointedly down at the distinct pyramid in his trousers. “But only if you’d like to.” He moved the hand on her back a little higher so that it rubbed the base of her neck. “I tell you what—and bear with me here—why don’t we try something and see if it works?”
“Hmm?” Amy let her head fall back into his touch.
“Why don’t you kiss me, and if it doesn’t work, we’ll call it a night?” Ben said solemnly.
“Oh?” Amy’s gaze dropped to his mouth. “Okay.”
“Whenever you’re ready. I’m at your complete mercy.” He placed his wineglass on the coffee table, then theatrically closed his eyes and puckered his lips, gratified to hear her surprised giggle. “No?” he asked with his eyes still closed, only to be surprised at the soft touch of Amy’s mouth again his and then, unexpectedly, the dart of her tongue running along his bottom lip, tasting like wine and something sweeter. “Hmm.” He opened his eyes.
“Was that okay?” Amy whispered, her eyes huge.
“Do it again and you’ll give me something to compare it to.”
Ben used his hand on her neck to urge her towards him. He nibbled leisurely at her bottom lip before darting his tongue out to meet hers. Encouraged by Amy’s sharply indrawn breath, he deepened the kiss. She moaned.
“Bloody hell.” He pulled back, chest heaving. “If you want to stop this, I’d suggest you speak up now.”
“I think I’m getting the hang of it. I might need to practice a bit more though. Tell me if I’m doing it wrong.”
Her eyes tilted at the corners when she smiled and he lost himself in them a few seconds.
“By all means, practice away,” he rasped, bringing his hand up to cup a delectably round buttock.
“Okay.” Amy grasped his shoulders and pulled him towards her, this time gently nipping and biting his lips before running a string of kisses along his jaw to his ear. “If that’s alright,” she whispered.
“Perfectly fine,” he breathed, bunching her dress up in his fist until he revealed an expanse of cream-colored thigh delineating the gap between stocking and—
“Damn, I was right.” He was amazed at his good fortune.
“About what?” Amy’s brow furrowed in confusion.
“Would you mind terribly if we got you out of this dress? I’ve been fantasizing about your underwear all evening and I have a feeling it’s going to more than live up to expectations.”
“Oh. Um. Okay.” Amy nodded t, her eyes twinkling. “But if I’m going to take off my clothes, you have to too.”
“With pleasure,” Ben purred.
About the author:
Evie Snow is the pen name for a globe-trotting writing team comprising of Georgina (George) Penney and Tony (The Kraken) Johnson.
George does the actual writing and reads far too many books. In the past, she was well on the way to a contemporary history PhD when moving to Saudi Arabia re-introduced her to a love of writing fiction.
Tony manages plot wrangling and is in charge of caffeine distribution. He once spent twenty years working globally as a petroleum engineer and found the oil industry to be far stranger than fiction.
Together, George and Tony have lived in a bunch of countries including Australia, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Brunei Darussalam and Scotland. They’re currently on a world-traveling adventure, writing books, seeing all the sights, eating all the food and patting as many critters as possible.
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