A big thank-you to the 69 Shades authors for hosting me today!
When you’ve had your trust broken by someone you love, it can be very difficult to open up to a new relationship. Sometimes it seems easier to just give up and be alone.
In my novel With Every Touch, Sheila Holloway and Erich Zahn are both trying to protect their hearts. After an abusive relationship in college, Sheila made the decision to live her life for herself, not depending on anyone or allowing anyone to depend on her. She’s had one-night stands and a couple of friends with benefits, but never anything more serious. And most of the time, she puts her career as a TV reporter ahead of everything else.
While Erich was in Afghanistan, his wife left him for another man. The divorce turned bitter, and Erich decided he was better off not having a woman in his life for anything other than sex.
Erich and Sheila meet when Sheila calls the plumbing company Erich works for to have her shower fixed. The physical attraction between them is almost instant, and when Erich returns to complete the repairs a few days later, they end up in bed. Sexually, they’re completely compatible, and being friends with benefits seems like a good idea.
But then memories of Sheila’s past come back to haunt her, and she turns to Erich for support. Without either of them realizing it, lust has turned into love. Slowly, they accept the possibility of trusting each other and having a real relationship.
After a betrayal of trust, trusting becomes even harder. But with the right person, and with time and patience, sometimes it’s possible.
With Every Touch releases Tuesday, March 24, from Loose Id, http://www.loose-id.com/with-every-touch.html. Here’s the blurb and a short excerpt:
TV reporter Sheila Holloway is jaded on love. Plumber Erich Zahn is still reeling from a nasty divorce. Neither is looking for a relationship, but when Erich is called to fix Sheila’s shower, sparks fly and they begin a friends-with-benefits arrangement.
Before long, both realize that being just friends isn’t enough. They’re falling for each other, and might have a future together, until Sheila receives her dream job offer from a TV station in Boston. If she chooses her job over the man she loves, will their relationship survive?
By the time the doorbell rang, Sheila had composed herself. She refused to appear anything other than completely calm. She opened the door to a tall man with bits of gray peppered in his brown hair. He hadn’t shaved, but stubble looked good on him. So did the thin T-shirt that clung to his muscled chest.
He was as attractive as he’d sounded on the phone, and Sheila couldn’t help letting her mind wander to what he would look like without the shirt and the slightly baggy jeans he wore.
Then she pulled her brain back to where it belonged. The guy wasn’t there to be fantasy fuel.
“You’re the plumber?” she asked, even though the tool bag the guy carried and the van in front of the house with the name of the plumbing company painted on the side were enough indication.
“Erich Zahn.” He held out his hand.
Sheila shook it. “Sheila Holloway. Come in. The tub’s upstairs.”
“Excuse me if I stink up the place.” Erich stepped past her into the house. “I’m a little too sweaty. The air conditioning’s busted in the van, and it’s humid as hell out there already.”
“You’re fine.” Very fine. “I’ll let you know if you smell too bad.”
He raised an eyebrow. “Thanks.” He probably didn’t know whether she was joking. Sheila decided to let him wonder. She indicated the staircase beside them. “Up here.”
He was a gentleman. Sheila liked that. She preceded him upstairs, feeling his gaze on her, though when she glanced back over her shoulder, he was carefully looking at the banister.
She motioned him into the bathroom just around a narrow wall from the stairs.
Erich stopped in the doorway. “You broke the faucet right off.”
“Yeah. I was trying to stop the dripping.” Sheila leaned against the wall. “I pretty much fucked it, didn’t I?”
“You could say that. I still might be able to fix it. Sometimes all it takes is the right touch.”
Erich went to the faucet and bent to take a closer look. Despite her agitation, Sheila couldn’t help admiring the way his jeans hugged his ass. To be drooling over the plumber at a time like this, she had clearly gone too long without sex, but he was hot. And he gave her definite ideas.
Hell, half the porn she’d seen started with a repairman of some sort showing up to “service” a female homeowner. And since she couldn’t do much while he was inspecting the damage she’d done, she might as well indulge herself in some fantasies.