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The Barbershop Girl by Evie Snow
Release Day Blitz: February 27, 2020 Contact: email@example.com
The Barbershop Girl by Evie Snow
Series: Evangeline’s Rest #3
Publisher: Exile Publishing
Release Date: February 27, 2020
Subgenre: Romantic Comedy
All buy links or pre-order links: Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0814559CT/ref=sr_1_1?tag=eviesnow-20&qid=1573176800&refinements=p_27%3aEvie+Snow&s=digital-text&sr=1-1&text=Evie+Snow Apple: https://books.apple.com/us/book/the-barbershop-girl/id1486843976 Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-barbershop-girl-evie-snow/1134795811?ean=2940163649037 Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ww/en/ebook/the-barbershop-girl-3
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…
The Kewpie doll had curves—curves she’d wrapped up in an impossibly cute blue and white pinstriped dress last seen on a screaming teenager at an early Elvis concert. It curved down from a high boat-neck collar and capped sleeves to a tiny waist cinched with a blue ribbon tied in a bow before flaring out to a full circle skirt that fell just below the knee. Ben couldn’t be sure from the front, but he was almost positive she was wearing French stockings. Her dark-blue patent leather Mary Janes instantly kick-started a few naughty schoolgirl fantasies he hadn’t visited for a number of years.
“You look … fascinating.” He was aware that it might not be the most appropriate of compliments.
“Gee, thanks. You look nice too,” Amy replied pertly.
Ben was aware of Myf next to him, hiding a smile behind her coffee cup.
“Thank you, I do try, although I can’t possibly compare . . .” He looked Amy’s ensemble
up and down again, resting finally on the loose curls framing her face. She was wearing fuchsia lipstick, the same color she’d worn when he’d visited the barbershop on Monday. He was developing a penchant for fuchsia.
“Do you mind if we change the playlist?” Ben slanted Amy a sideways look. She’d been singing off-key karaoke for the past ten minutes and, amusing as it was, he’d reached his limit.
“Oh, sorry.” Amy’s cheerful smile dimmed momentarily.
“Anything else is fine. Just no more Elton John doing Disney. It’s an insult to my car.”
“That’s what you said about Gerald.” Amy nudged his arm.
“He’s an insult too. Thank God you didn’t bring him along or he would have been howling at all this noise.”
Amy snorted. “He loves my singing.”
“How can you tell?”
“He wagged his tail once. Be nice about my dog or I’ll make you drive back to Myf’s to pick him up.”
“Perish the thought. If I remember correctly, we weren’t talking about the dog, we were talking about your abominable taste in music. Disney?”
“It makes me happy. Come on, everyone loves The Lion King.”
“I don’t. Can’t stand it. It’s a tragic tale of death and woe overshadowed by a blatant marketing campaign. It says a lot that I’ve put up with it this long.”
“It says that you’ve been too distracted doing indecent things to your car accelerator to notice anything else. What d’you want to listen to then?” Amy flicked through her music selection. “Cos most of my stuff is like this. Lady Gaga—”
“Britney Spears. Okay, I can already guess the answer to that one. This is all I have. I like happy music.”
“So do I. Britney Spears doesn’t make me happy. She makes me want to pre-emptively burst my own eardrums. No more ditties from ladies who flash their titties. Time to flick through my collection.” He was rewarded a few minutes later with a loud snort of amusement.
“Jay-Z, Dizzee Rascal, 50 Cent, Wu Tang Clan? Stormzy? Ben, you’re white, sweetie.”
“Sort of pink in some parts too,” Ben said blithely. He had a passionate love for most forms of music and refused to let a little thing like the fact he was white and middle-class get in the way.
“Jack Johnson, Ben Harper, Michael Franti . . . This is better.”
“How about something a bit louder? This is a very impressive vehicle and a very long stretch of road.”
“Okay. Hmm. How about . . . this.” The sounds of Bon Jovi filled the car.
“That is not in my collection,” Ben exclaimed in horror. Even as he said the words, he vaguely remembered Marcella adding a few songs that he had yet to purge. It seemed she was haunting him.
“Yes it was. Look at this! Poison, Cheap Trick . . . I never would have guess you had a thing for eighties cock rock.”
“I do not, and it can be purged right now.”
“Okay, then this.” The Foo Fighters fired up and Ben grinned.
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.
She gave in to the urge to run her hand over the sleek muscles on his shoulder. He smiled a naughty half-smile in his sleep and the icky feelings were blown away.
She’d accepted today that she’d fallen in love with him. Looking at him now, bathed in the soft yellow lamplight, it wasn’t much of a surprise. He was funny, intelligent, kind in his own weird way and a brilliant lover. She just hoped he liked her just as much as she liked him.
“I can hear your brain working from here.” Ben’s huskily spoken statement startled her out of her reverie. His eyes were still closed, but there was still a faint smile on his lips.
“Am I keeping you awake?” Amy asked in hushed tones, taking the liberty to run her hand up his neck and over the top of his head, enjoying the rasp of hair against her palm.
As expected, he purred. “You are now, but keep doing that and I’ll forgive you.” He opened his eyes and even in the dull light their pale green color was startlingly vivid.
He groaned as her hand drifted down to his neck again and began lazily massaging the muscles. “Was I a bastard today?”
Amy paused. “A little bit of one.” She patted his back to tell him it was okay.
“Do I need to apologize? It looked like you were having a difficult time of it this afternoon and you didn’t say much over dinner at the restaurant. I was a little worried.”
“It’s okay.” Amy ran her hand in wide circles over his upper back. “Actually, I was just quiet because I was making sure I got to eat my share before you inhaled it all. That’s the last time we order a tasting plate, mister. With you, I don’t need to worry about dieting.”
“You calling me a glutton?” Ben rolled over and pulled her against his chest. “You do know that you’re contradicting everything you said earlier about my magnificent body.”
“Yes. Feel these muscles. Actually, don’t bother with those. Feel this one.” He playfully dragged her hand further down his body.
Amy desperately tried for a poker face. “Is it a functional muscle? It’s not like the ones gym junkies have that look good but aren’t useful, is it?”
“Functional? Functional?” Ben feigned offense, grabbing her hips and pulling her against him. “I must be going deaf, because I could swear I heard you telling the world just how functional I was a couple of hours ago.”
She suppressed a grin and ran a nail up and down his length, completely gratified by his badly disguised gasp. “That was the wine you forced down my throat. My judgment was impaired.”
“Is it impaired now? Because you know this isn’t a renewable resource right? Who knows what could happen tomorrow. I may never be able to get it up again, so we better make the most of it.” He leaned forward for a slow, persuasive kiss.
Amy let herself enjoy it for a few moments before putting her hands on his shoulders. “Tempting, but how about a hot chocolate instead?”
“Only a woman would think a hot chocolate is better than sex.”
“Well, I plan on making a really nice hot chocolate.”
“I’d much rather do this.” Ben pulled her back towards him, nuzzling her neck and then across her jaw to her mouth. “You know you never did tell me how you got this.” He nuzzled the white scar above her lip, catching her completely off guard and leaving her with a swirling icky feeling in her stomach.
Since that first—and only—time he’d mentioned it, she’d always done her best to keep it covered. Lately, it had come to represent just how different her life really was from Ben’s, and her growing fear that he’d realize just how improbable their relationship was. She was terrified that Jo was right. That no matter how far she ran, she was still a hairdresser who’d grown up poor, while Ben’s every word dripped with old money.
“Let me up.” Amy pushed at Ben’s shoulders.
He rolled onto his side and propped himself up on one arm, searching her expression. She waited for him to talk, say something funny, but at the same time didn’t know what she’d say if he did. Instead she just sat up, hugged her knees to her chest and looked down at the rumpled bedding in front of her.
“Amy?” Ben’s voice, unusually serious and low, startled her back to the present.
“I meant it about the apology. Have I really been that much of a bastard?” He reached out a hand and trailed a finger down her cheek.
She leaned into his touch, briefly closing her eyes when they began to prickle. “No. I was only teasing before.”
“Well, that’s something at least. So I’m correct in understanding this shift in mood isn’t my fault?”
She took a few seconds to process his words. “Yes.”
“Yes. It doesn’t involve you so you don’t have to worry.”
“Now I’m really worried.” Ben sat up and swung his feet off the edge of the bed, giving his stomach a scratch and stretching.
“Because if it doesn’t involve me, but it’s serious enough for you to turn down what would have been spectacular sex, something is obviously wrong.” His expression was so comically disgruntled, Amy felt her mood lighten . . . until he stood up and walked out of the room.
“Where are you going?”
“To get started on this hot chocolate, which is supposed to be better than sex, and then to find something to restrain you with.”
When all she heard in response were cupboard doors banging open and closed in the kitchen, then the sound of running water, she looked around the bedroom floor and located one of Ben’s T-shirts. It was black and had fit him quite snugly. On her, it fell almost to her knees. She had a funny feeling that Ben was semi-serious about the restraining her part. On top of all that, previous experience had shown her the man didn’t know how to make hot chocolate worth a damn.
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.
Links: Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/evie.snow/ Newsletter: https://eviesnow.net/head-over-heels-newsletter/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eviesnowauthor/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/EvieSnowWrites
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This is so much more than a love story…it even feels bigger than an MC read. It truthfully has all the elements I love. It’s a magical live story, and you get all the angst of an MC read. ~Cali Gals This book had me feeling all kinds of anxious and wondering where the author was going with this or that. It left me feeling happy and hoping for a certain couple of people to get a book in the future! ~MLS- Amazon reviewer This author is an MC goddess in her story telling. In this book she created a raw and grit filled story that I could feel, smell, taste and see. ~Elysian Fields- Top 1000 Reviewer: Vine Voice Wow!!! What a refreshing MC read. Finally a story about a prospect. This one felt a little different in a great way. You still get all the love and romance Miss Wilder is known for but you also get a great story about a guy finding his place and where he belongs in the world. ~Book Club Gone Wrong
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𝐖𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐚 𝐬𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐚𝐥 𝐤𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐫 𝐨𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐥𝐨𝐨𝐬𝐞, 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐛𝐚𝐟𝐟𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐦𝐲𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐲 𝐨𝐟 𝐀𝐢𝐝𝐞𝐧’𝐬 𝐩𝐚𝐬𝐭, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐢𝐫 𝐭𝐞𝐧𝐮𝐨𝐮𝐬 𝐛𝐮𝐝𝐝𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐫𝐨𝐦𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞, 𝐀𝐢𝐝𝐞𝐧 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐅𝐨𝐮𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐫𝐝 𝐭𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐫𝐨𝐮𝐠𝐡 𝐚 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐥𝐝 𝐨𝐟 𝐦𝐚𝐠𝐢𝐜 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐦𝐲𝐭𝐡 𝐨𝐧 𝐩𝐚𝐝𝐝𝐞𝐝 𝐬𝐡𝐨𝐞𝐬, 𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐫𝐢𝐟𝐢𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐨 𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐫 𝐮𝐩 𝐬𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐧𝐞𝐢𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐜𝐚𝐧 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐫𝐨𝐥 𝐨𝐫 𝐝𝐞𝐟𝐞𝐚𝐭.
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