Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Beauty Within: Coming September 30th

When full-figured barber Tyler Carver enters GD Fitness for a personal training session, she immediately butts heads with her trainer Gunnar Daniels. Refusing to allow Mr. Just-Walked-off-an-Abercrombie-&-Fitch-Billboard’s rudeness, she gives him a piece of her mind and storms off. Too bad she can’t stop thinking about the gorgeous gray-eyed grump.

Former fashion model-turned-gym-owner Gunnar Daniels, having a day sent express from hell, thinks it can’t get any worse until Tyler Carver, in all her curvy, chocolate glory, takes his breath away the moment he locks eyes with her. Knowing he acted out of character during their session, he apologizes to her. Yet, he wants so much more.

Can Tyler and Gunnar help each other discover that beauty is more than skin deep…that the beauty within is what truly decides the beauty without?


Tyler really wished she were more surprised to see Gunnar walking through the door than she was, but she’d been expecting…hoping…he would stop by for another haircut again.

She refused to think of the implications of doing so.

It had been two weeks since his first visit, and she hadn’t seen or spoken to him since then; but given the way Damon had interrogated and Wendy had teased, Tyler had deduced Gunnar had said something to warrant such reactions. It was bad enough her sister had sniffed out her attraction from the beginning, but the fact Damon all but said Gunnar had some interest in her was a little more than disconcerting. Wendy, of course, had taken that and ran all the way to the altar and a house in the suburbs, and Tyler had to tell both of them just because there was a possible mutual attraction, that didn’t necessarily mean anything would come of it or that she even wanted something to happen. It was possible to window shop without going into the store and making the purchase, after all.

Possible, but damn hard sometimes.

Gunnar was wearing his usual leather jacket and smirk, but instead of the breakaway pants he’d been wearing the last time, black jeans hugged his strong thighs and ass she knew damn well would make an excellent trampoline for a quarter. He took off the jacket and hung it on the coat rack this time, revealing a deep blue crew neck sweater that enhanced the musculature of his torso and arms.

She really needed to buy a new smock!

Tyler shook her head. The smock she wore had been her father’s, and its sentimental value made it priceless. She would not become so silly over a man to replace her father’s smock for one that would make her, what, sexier? Please.

“Hello, Mr. Daniels,” she said. She’d been sweeping when he entered, and she hadn’t paused in her chore.

“Ms. Carver. How are you?”

“Fine. You? How may I help you?”

He brushed a hand over his head. “Can I get a haircut? I know I didn’t make an appointment, but I figured it would be okay to walk in since the last time I was here it wasn’t busy.”

Tyler shrugged, trying to go for a nonchalance she didn’t feel. “Sure. You can have a seat—”

“Ah…I was wondering if I could get a wash too? I figure I should go for the full effect since I missed out on it last time.”

Tyler eyed him. His smirk didn’t seem as cocky as it had been in the past. In fact, there was a hint of red in his neck and cheeks, and she was suddenly struck by the fact he seemed nervous. She blinked at him, not knowing what to do with that revelation.


“I mean it’s okay if—”

“Sure,” Tyler said quickly, then shook her head in bemusement. This was the strangest man she’d ever met. “It won’t cost extra if that’s what you’re thinking.”

“That’s very nice of you to throw in a wash,” Gunnar said with a wink.

She refused to acknowledge the heat that had flooded her body. “You can have a seat at the bowl. I’ll be right with you.”

She quickly swept the debris into a neat pile on the dustpan and threw it in the trash. She set the broom and the dustpan in the corner before going to her bathroom and washing her hands. When she returned Gunnar was still sitting up right, looking at her with a tiny grin on his face.


“You’re so thorough.”


“Yes. It’s not a bad thing. It’s actually quite refreshing.”

“Is it?”

Gunnar nodded. He was staring at her again. She’d never known eyes to have such a presence of their own, but his did. It didn’t matter that the rest of him was such an impeccable specimen of the male form, his eyes ensnared her every time. He probably spoke more with his eyes than with his mouth, and Tyler admitted she tended to like what his eyes said.

She shivered slightly.

“Are you cold?”

“A little,” she mumbled, though that was the farthest from the truth. She went to him and pressed against his shoulders to get him to lean back. His eyes were ever on her, piercing as always, and Tyler wondered if she would be able to complete her job without making an absolute fool of herself.

“Let me know if the temperature is okay,” she murmured, turning on the water. She took the nozzle and wet his hair gently, breathing a sigh of relief when his eyes slid closed. Now she would be able to work.

“Feels great,” he said, his voice a low hum. Her body matched that hum. She was dismayed by how it reacted to him. She hadn’t felt this way since…

She shook her head, refusing to darken her day with thoughts of that time.


Anonymous said...

I like the story. I wanted the exerpt to go on and on.
I am glad that your book was such a success at your high school. Good going.

Anonymous said...

By the way, I loved Being Plumville. It was a good read. It made me laugh and cry at the same time.

Bana said...

Thank you so much! I appreciate it! And I'm glad you liked Being Plumville as well!

All the best,