Sunday, February 13, 2011

Plus Size Chemistry...

It can be tantalizing or awkward. Funny or hot. A kiss is something that can change everything. But making that first move is scary. Will he make it? Should you? Then you might not be expecting anything, no matter how attracted you are to the hunky guy.
That was the case for Penny. The plus size woman had no clue about Grayson’s desires. He’s her bodyguard and hired to protect her on a European trip. They aren’t dating. He’s never even asked her out. But the chemistry every time they are together is off the charts and her fantasies can’t be tamed. Still she can’t fool herself. He’s sexy, smart, and so calm. He could have any woman! So Penny has no clue what’s going on in his mind, and isn’t at all ready for when he kisses her and takes their relationship to a new level. Men generally aren’t into women her size and she’s used to living in her how dreams. It’s a dream when it comes true but can she believe it? It’s his inner strength that will break through her walls.
And really that’s what a kiss is. Letting down your walls and letting someone close enough to shatter the illusions. To share a moment or lots of moments in intimacy without anywhere to hide the real you. So now, a little taste of Penny and Grayson’s first kiss:
Pushing Penny
Available Now!
Genre: BBW & Bdsm erotic romance (contemporary)

Going to Italy with a sexy man should be hot but for Penny it’s all business. The plus sized designer of plus sized fashions met Grayson Raider at her best friend’s wedding, and now, he’s her bodyguard. While she doesn’t expect trouble, Penny’s rich Texas family is overprotective. She has no reason to protest—Grayson makes her feel safe and beautiful.

Penny had slept through the flight, giving Grayson plenty of time to plan. The woman was self deprecating and kept to herself. Someone had taught her to minimize herself growing up. Not extremely uncommon for a woman, she was raised to be a people pleaser, and he could see she fought that. Still, she had so many walls up around her that he’d never get through in a subtle or suggestive way. Not that he wanted to. Since he’d met her in Vegas, he’d known she was the challenge he’d been waiting for. Leave it to Jake to deliver Ms. Right.

After they’d checked into their hotel, he dropped his stuff quickly in his room and headed to her suite. Finding her busy unpacking her gowns for the show, he took a second to enjoy the view of her with her back to him.

The suite made his apartment look like a jail cell. How could a woman with these resources, talent and success be so introverted?

“Something wrong?” she asked.

“No, just a security sweep.”

Her curly, reddish-brown hair was pulled up in a clip, and those green eyes were all into the gowns. Denial of pleasure was fun to play with, and he’d put her through some paces later on. She threw herself into her work to avoid unpleasant topics.

Grayson had pumped his new sister-in-law for information. Andrea advised him to be careful. Penny was a sweet southern girl, but when she drew a line or felt cornered, she pushed back hard.

Grayson wanted to see her fire. He wanted those lush curves, that pale skin and to have her beg for naughty things in that sweet accent of hers.

“I called down and made reservations for dinner. Once we’re done here, we can eat then try to get on local time,” she said as she fussed over a dress.

The caramel-colored gown would go perfectly with her tawny hair and sparkling eyes. “That’s nice.”

“It’s for me to wear at the show and the after party. It’s close to my finale gown, but a better color for me. And not slit as high.”

“Why not?” he asked suggestively.

She shrugged. “The model for that is only an eighteen. I’m not a model; I’m the designer.”

“So you can’t be sexy?”

Penny looked at him and frowned. “It’s my dress. It’s what I’m comfortable with. Besides, I don’t need to be sexy. I need to be taken seriously. Are you ready? I could use a meal without turbulence involved.”

“Five minutes.” Apparently, he’d hit her wall of defense. He checked the bedrooms in the suite and the bathroom. Nothing looked out of place. He returned to the main lounge. “All good. Should I change?”

“Why? It’s the hotel restaurant. We’re not going out into the nightlife. I’m going in this.” They exited the room and she led the way to the elevators.

“Maybe we should just order room service?” Grayson felt odd. The hotel—at least, the main areas and Penny’s suite—were much fancier than anything he’d ever seen. He had a tux for the show and dress pants, but mostly, he wore jeans and Raider’s shirts with the black and white logo.

“The menu was in Italian. This’ll be easier.” She got off the elevator and headed for the restaurant. “I don’t care what you wear. Men’s fashion isn’t my territory.”

Once they reached the restaurant, they were immediately led toward the back.

“Penny?” a voice shouted.

She turned and so did Grayson. A group of drag queens at the bar waved as if at the Mardi Gras parade.
They hustled over with one less than enthused queen bringing up the rear.

She hugged all of them and introduced them. Grayson caught most of the names and smiled, feigning interest. The leader was Ariana. The pouty one was Gwen.

“These are some of the first people I designed for after Brian,” she told Grayson.

“He really quit the drag queen stage?” Ariana asked. “He was good.”

“Yeah. I think it was an exploratory time for him. And it pissed off Dad.”

The ladies laughed.

“And who exactly is this?” Gwen wrapped an arm around his biceps.

“Grayson Raider. A model in the show,” Penny answered quickly. “Don’t scare him, Gwen.”

“Being the designer has its perks. We’ll see you at the show. You can get us in?” Ariana asked.

“Sure. Come by the ballroom tomorrow while we’re setting up. You’ll be in.” Penny kissed them all on the cheek, and they were off into the night.

“Sorry. They’re fun.” She followed the waiter. “Small world. I knew they were on a drag queen tour of some sort.”

“No problem. Always good to see friendly faces.” Grayson had learned something from the encounter. Penny let her walls down easily with people she trusted. Her brother, Andrea and the queens. But when he got close, she froze up. It was the chemistry. Their sexual tension that triggered the extra armor.

Not that he doubted her putting up shields, but it was deeper than that. When he got too close, he felt it. She retreated automatically.

They listened to the specials and were left to look at the menus. “Sorry about the model thing. Of course, they pawed you. I just don’t want them worried because I brought a bodyguard,” she whispered.

“I am in the finale, but you could’ve just told them I was your boyfriend,” he replied. He held her gaze in his, locked for a few seconds.

In that time, he felt connected to her then she looked down and laughed softly. “Please, no one would believe that you’re my boyfriend. I’d get pulled aside with a lecture about how you’re only after my money.”

“You care what other people think?” he asked.

“They’re my friends. They’d be looking out for me, not judging me. My brother is the worst in the overprotection category along with Andrea. People think because I’m polite and grew up in a small Texas town with southern values that I can’t take care of myself. And obviously, I’m not a bombshell so I can’t get men to do whatever I want with a smile and flirt. It’s rather annoying.”

“So ignore them.”

“I try at times. Their intentions are good, and frequently, it’s easier to play along to avoid a mess. Like bringing you. My parents and brother will worry less and call only five times a day, not ten. I can focus on my work better.” She shrugged and studied her menu.

“It’s always good to have security on international travel when you have valuables and a person of interest exposed.”

“I’m not of interest to many, and my gowns aren’t overly valuable yet. But I do have a decent jewelry collection. My father has the money; I’m just leverage. Too much to handle if any bad guys tried.” She grinned. “If someone is going to be attacked like Andrea’s poor cousin, I’d be the last on that list. Brian is always at gay bars. My sister is too sweet and trusting. I worry about them for those scenarios. Mostly, I stay home and design things.”

“You’re not trusting and sweet?” He had her talking. It was a start.

“I learned young to be sweet and polite because it was expected, and I learned to watch my back. When kids invite you to their sleepovers because their parents make them, it doesn’t make for a good time. They teased me for being chubby. It happened behind my back but loud enough to hear it if I paid attention. When things don’t add up, I get suspicious.” She sipped her water.

“That’s terrible. Too bad Brian wasn’t older. I bet he’d have gotten involved.”

“That’s life. Kids always go after the different ones. Brian deals with it. I’ve dealt with it. That’s why I started making clothes. Nothing fit right or was in style when it did. I created for myself, but now it’s a business.”

Grayson walked a careful line all through dinner, testing her reactions and laying the groundwork.

Afterward, he followed her up to her suite and checked the rooms. Overkill, but he had no intention of leaving. Penny was everything he’d hoped and sensed in Vegas. Smart, sexy and strong. A challenge for him. She needed to be challenged herself.

“Everything okay?” She took the clip out of her hair and stepped out of her shoes.

Those little motions told Grayson she was comfortable with him. “I should stay here tonight.” He stepped into her personal space.

“That’s a bit extreme, don’t you think?” She stepped back, and her legs hit the edge of the bed.

He noticed how she gave people plenty of space, as though she took up too much. “Not at all. Being two floors away is no good if you need help.”

“That wasn’t the arrangement,” she replied.

Grayson pulled her to him and kissed her.

The intense warmth of her and feel of her kissing him back for a split second aroused him, but soon, she pushed him away. Penny was a cat trapped in a cage, letting others define her except for a few key areas where she swiped out for control. He’d help her unlock things and reap the rewards.

“What’s wrong with you?” She sidestepped away from him. “A bodyguard pretending to be model, that’s the plan. You don’t have to pretend to be my boyfriend. I didn’t hire you for that. Andrea said Raider’s was reputable and safe. She and Jake were a special case.”

“Forget who hired who. You felt it in Vegas. The connection. Keep lying to yourself; I won’t.” He’d tried a traditional approach and failed. Clearly, she was untrained and didn’t even know her real needs. It wasn’t her fault the right men hadn’t awakened her. He’d fix things. Grayson stood in her path and blocked her every attempt to escape, only closing in on her more.

“I’m not sure what you’re up to, but I’m not a charity case or a desperate virgin. You could go out and get any woman in Milan, so go. I don’t need this now. I hired a bodyguard, not an escort.”
Grayson grabbed her calf and tipped her back on the bed. He straddled her hips, pinning her. “Not another word.”

“What the hell?” She tried to sit up.

His hand covered her glossy lips. “Not one more word. No putting yourself down or making excuses for those who insult you. I don’t want to hear it, and I won’t tolerate it.” He kept his voice calm and strong. In a quick switch, he replaced his hand with his mouth and pinned her wrists over her head. She couldn’t push him away or deny him now. To his relief, she didn’t try.

Available at ARe, Fictionwise, Amazon, etc….
Have a wonderful Valentine's Day! I write erotic romance so I'll keep the hot hot stuff over at the WC blog:)

Cheryl Dragon


Kasey said...

I like plus-size romances cause I’m a plus-size girl!
I’ll be checking this out!

Cheryl Dragon said...

Me too Kasey! I know that side of things makes it intense to write:)

Kelli Scott said...

I think we're all plus-sized. Do those skinny girls even exist outside fashion mags and TV?

Virginia said...

I love plus size romance because I am plus size, most people are any more.


Marie Rose Dufour said...

Being plus-sized myself, I love reading and writing about real woman. Real woman do have curves!

Cheryl Dragon said...

That would depend on how you define plus sized. For my heroines, they don't count as plus sized unless they're a 20 or larger.

Luckily there are men who love all sizes of women!!

Sherry Gloag said...

Another writer who loved writing about what we call 'plus-size' now was Georgette Heyer. Both her heros and heroines were often of 'statuesque' proportions.

Cheryl Dragon said...

Very true, Sherry. I love that finally a show like Mike & Molly is on TV. Two plus size singles finding love...

LuAnn said...

I'm glad there are men out there who do appreciate a woman for who she is. I've met the ones who only want the anorexic types and they aren't worth a real woman's time of day!

reading_frenzy at yahoo dot com

Cheryl Dragon said...

Exactly, if the man is that shallow---we'd be bored with him in one date!

Laura Kaye said...

Fantastic excerpt!

Cheryl Dragon said...

thanks, i love this book! Penny has a lot of walls to be broken down...

Tory Richards said...

I have to be honest. I'm in the process of writing a plus size romance and you're partly to blame! LOL I can't recall where but this isn't the first time I've read an excerpt from this book. I'm plus size too:)


Cheryl Dragon said...

Lol Tory! I'll take the blame:) it's a lot of fun and sometimes a challenge to write plus size when you are. but when your muse is taken by something, you just have to follow!