Her Shirtless Gentleman by M.Q. Barber


Her Shirtless Gentleman

Her heart is in his hands…
 
After her marriage ends in betrayal, Eleanora Howard finds herself struggling to navigate the dating scene as a thirty-one-year-old divorcee. But feeling undesirable, and living alone in the house she once shared with her ex, is hardly the recipe for finding new love—until she meets Rob. He’s just the kind of charming, old-fashioned guy she needs—but he’s also eager for intimacy…

After serving in the Air Force and getting a well-paid civilian career, Rob Vanderhoff planned to settle down with the right woman and raise a family. But at thirty-six, he’s still single and searching—until he meets Eleanora. She’s everything he wants. All he has to do is draw her out of her shell. Soon he’s taking her on high school-style dates, fanning the flames of her desire—and helping Nora re-discover the sexy, adventurous woman they both know she really is… addtogoodreads_zps55cd15da16 Angela_s PonderingsTAG

As a fan of Barber’s Neighborly Affection series, I was both excited and nervous to read Her Shirtless Gentleman. Excited because I love the author’s writing style, yet nervous because the book is unlike the Neighborly Affection series and I worried that I would discover it was the series and characters and not actually the author’s writing I enjoyed. However, within mere pages my nervousness was obliterated as I fell under the spell of Rob and Nora and their unfolding romance.

 

We first meet Nora as she is out with the girls from work, and she means that literally as there is almost a decade between her and her 22 year-old coworkers. But as a divorcee, she doesn’t feel she can be too choosey if she wants to avoid hitting the dating scene alone. Even though she’s striking out when compared to her friends, an encounter with a young man who can’t hold his liquor insures that her evening will be memorable (<= that’s a serious understatement by the way). It was Nora’s ability to laugh off the incident that endeared her to me because I’m not sure I would have been as understanding. But this unfortunate incident leads to her meeting Rob and him offering her the shirt off his back … literally … so that she doesn’t have to suffer the indignity of the incident further. Unable to risk missing out on a chance with a woman that has finally caught his interest, they exchange numbers and a couple days later Rob invites her to lunch. And thus begins their courtship as Rob sets out to discover if Nora is all that she seems, if she could indeed be his forever girl.

 

Unlike the Neighborly Affection series, Her Shirtless Gentleman is a vanilla romance, but don’t for a minute think that equals a lack of steam. Barber reminds us what it’s like to discover new love and a new lover – the joys of kissing, touching, making out when it can only go so far, and finally embarking upon a new sexual relationship – and just how erotic it can be to learn someone new as they learn you, especially when that someone is invested in your pleasure. I loved watching Rob woo Nora, and that’s exactly what it was … a wooing. He paid attention to what she said, what she didn’t say, and how she reacted to him and situations, and because of this he realized rather quickly that his skittish Nora needed a soft touch. Fortunately for Rob, he was looking for a woman to settle down with for the long haul, not just a night or two, so he took his time with Nora. That he was also truly a gentleman made it that much easier for him to woo her because Nora’s ex-husband was so not a gentleman it wasn’t even funny. I loved the interactions between Rob and his parents and how inviting Rob’s family was of Nora. Her Shirtless Gentleman was a sweet romance with just the right amount of steam and a good dose of laughter. I cannot wait to read what Barber writes next!

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