Does anyone remember when you used to open to the first page of a novel and it would have a half or less page excerpt from one of the most tense moments from the novel? In romance, that usually meant a kiss scene and some snappy dialogue.
It took me a while to figure out what I should do for a sneak peak at Adam (yet Untitled, because title is the next to last thing- cover is last, because no title, no cover). It was a toss up between first chapter, a tense moment, just a scene that I loved. Maybe a mash up of good tension moments.
So before I give you your sneak peak, please tell me what you like to see from sneak peaks so in the future this process will be less stressful.
When Adam met Libby:
Adam was surprised at the mousy little woman who showed up on his doorstep. She was supposed to be the premiere stager in the greater Vancouver area.
Given what he was going to pay this woman he expected her to be taller. More substantial. And blonder. He preferred blonds. That was a ridiculous thought. Why did it matter what he preferred? All it mattered was that she could sell his place faster and for more money. And he wasn’t paying her, exactly, he was paying her firm.
With little more than hope, he opened the door. “Hello.”
She balanced a clipboard on her left forearm, attached to a hand that held an enormous bag and extended her right hand to him. “Hello, I’m Libby Theron.”
“Adam Johnson. Nice to meet you.” He shook her preferred hand, but realized she was already edging past him into the condo. She set her bag by the door and started scrutinizing the place.
She spotted the closet just inside the door and smiled. “Great, front entrance closet. Buyers always want storage.”
Unsure at what else to do, he stood and watched her hang up her coat. It was a bit like watching a peep show as she revealed herself. At least, his body reacted as if he were watching one.
He followed her knee high boots to a scant inch of skin, before cutting off at a gray knit dress, that looked soft. He could especially appreciate where it stretched over her breasts. When his eyes made it to her face, he saw her disapproving eyes behind her glasses.
So she had the naughty schoolteacher look down. He cleared his throat. “Right, would you something to drink? Water, a glass of wine?”
Good grief, why was he suddenly attracted to her? “Nothing right now, thank you. I apologize for starting assessing your place as soon as I walked in the door. I’m not much for small talk.”
“Me neither. Right to the point.” Right into bed. He blinked. Stop, this was professional. He’d never been a professional a day in his life. He lived for fun and excitement. And right now, what excited him most was wondering what the patch of skin between her boots and skirt felt like. What it would taste like.
She was staring at him. She’d asked him something. “Pardon me?” He raised his eyebrows.
“I asked if there was a place we could sit while I ask you some questions then I’ll take a tour of the place. What do you do for work Mr. Johnson?”
“I recently retired from professional hockey. I played twenty-five seasons, I broke three different records during my career, and I won a Stanley Cup.”
He sat on a sofa, and Libby took the seat across from him, on an entirely different sofa.
“With your team.”
“You didn’t win the cup alone did you? You played with an entire team, on and off the ice. It was a team effort.”
“I guess. I lead the play-offs in goals scored.” Was she kidding him? He was the captain, the leader in goals scored. He’d lead that team to victory.
She wrote something and he longed to look over and see what it was. “Well, we can definitely use your fame to our advantage. Lots of guys will want to live where the Adam Johnson lived.”
“Yeah, well I don’t want a bunch of rabid fans digging in my garbage or underwear drawers. Or touching any of my memorabilia.”
“Usually when you sell, you put most of your personal stuff away. You want the prospective owner to imagine themselves in the space. Where their furniture would go. Or what they would buy. Why are you selling?”
“I retired and I have no reason to stay in the city. I am not sure where I’m going. Also, this was the condo I shared when I was married.” And with the woman I dated afterward. “I need to move.” He gave her his best puppy dog eyes. Look vulnerable, that was always sexy to women.
She gave him a sad knowing smile. “That is a common reason from many of my clients. I’m sorry things didn’t work out between you and your wife.”
“Thank you. Let’s not dwell on the past.” Plain and simple, he would seduce her. From the way she bit her bottom lip to the way her dress clung to the flare of her hips, he knew he had to have her. And from the look of sympathy, he knew it wouldn’t be hard to do. “Anything else you need to know about me?” He’d had less invasive prostate exams.
“Oh, lots of other things. How comfortable are you with walls being repainted? With having furniture moved around, removed and replaced?”
“You can do whatever you want with the place. As long as it gets me a better price and it doesn’t cost me anything extra.”
“Any minor work like painting and furniture storage are covered by my fee. If we had to substantial construction, we’d have to discuss payment, but the building is new enough I think the layout is just fine and all the fixtures should be in good shape. If we find any surprises, we can talk about them later.” She scribbled on her clipboard checklist. “Do you know of any troubles with the property, Mr. Johnson? ”
“Call me Adam, please. I suspect that I’ll be underfoot while the work goes on, so we might as well be on a first name basis. And no, I don’t know of any problems. Maintenance was always taken care of right away by a professional.”
She made one more note then tucked her pen away. She got to her feet. “Let’s start the tour. I’ve made note of the entranceway and this room, what I’d change.”
He moved to stand beside her and peer onto her drawings. She pulled back. “I will have a full report to you, as well as to your agent, about what I recommend be done, and the proposed time-line. Typically, it takes us one to three weeks to get a house ready to go on the market. So far, it’s looking like we’ll fit that time-line just fine.”
He wasn’t used to letting a woman take charge of anything he was involved in. He sighed, hoping that the time-line was only a week. For a week, he could just keep out of the house as much as possible.
He followed her, watching the way her hips made her ass move.
Looks like she will give Adam a good run for his money. I’m just waiting to hear back from a couple beta readers, make any proposed changes, off to the editor which is a week to ten days (I love my editor), and some cover art. I will make it my goal to have the release done by my birthday. Ambitious.