I’m currently working on something in the romance genre and I’m slowly starting to feel disconnected from this story. There was an adrenaline rush when I outlined this book and I couldn’t wait to get started, now that I’m a few chapters in, I feel mehhh. Here’s a little excerpt from what I’ve done so far. And please leave some feedback, whether it’s positive or negative…I’d love to hear it.
It came as no surprise to Nate that this little hole in the wall pub was crowded with everyone, from college students to married men looking for a quick hookup. But no one knew him here so he sat and nursed his beer in peace, occasionally peeping at his phone to see if Jimmy had messaged.
He cursed himself. Jimmy was eighteen, a man now, but Nate would never see him as that. He’d always be Nate’s innocent baby brother that needed him…his little Jimbo.
A velvety voice spoke near him and he craned his neck to the side. She had a face shaped like a heart and her green eyes searched him as if they knew him. She said something again as she hiked her short ample legs over the bar stool next to him.
He leaned in to her and caught a whiff of whatever fruity perfume she was wearing, coupled with also a comforting scent that Nate suspected was her own bodily fragrance. It was enticing.
“Sorry?” he asked.
“Ian…Ian Gable from the blind date app?”
She bit her lip, a nervous gesture causing Nate’s jaw to clench. Who was this girl and where did she come from? She certainly lacked the demeanor of the other women present at Sal’s Pub tonight.
He jerked his thumb upward and waved it. “The music’s loud, I didn’t get that.”
She leaned in this time, her round eyes sporting a hint of worry. And there was that unique fragrance again. He willed himself not to inhale so apparent.
“I’m Shelby. We met on the blind date app. You said to look for a green scarf?”
His eyes dropped to the scarf draped around his neck then moved in on her again.
Her work dress told Nate that she probably worked at some law firm, something nine to five that had extensive overtime hours. Nate couldn’t fathom a job like that.
He continued to stare and caught her unease. With a flick of his wrist, the bartender moved towards them and Shelby ordered a drink. Nate half grinned. She ordered a club soda with a slice of lemon.
“You know you’re at a bar right?”
Her head whipped to the side but she didn’t make eye contact. Nate found he didn’t like that at all. Normally women were vying for his attention. Such an arrogant prick, he knew.
“I uh — don’t drink that much.”
“What do you mean by that much?”
She turned sideways by an inch to answer him and he mirrored her move.
“I drink a little champagne here and there.”
Nate deciphered as much. Miss Shelby to his right was probably raised in a strict Catholic home, who probably attended an all girl boarding school, whose parents were probably filthy rich and she probably didn’t have to work hard a day in her life for anything.
Suddenly his mood soured yet he couldn’t fault the girl for her upbringing.
“I’m sorry but I have to ask,” she carried on, searching his face with her lovely emerald green eyes. “How it is that a guy like you uses a blind date app to find a date….I mean somebody would have to be blind not to date you.”
She sheepishly averted her eyes then giggled nervously. She came of as a bit of a goof that Nate had to laugh as well.
What’d she call him? Ian. He was not Ian. He was just bored, and entertained by the blind date app user.
“Why’d you use it? I’m sure you have no problem getting dates yourself?” he goaded, curious to know why Miss Shelby here thought she needed to use a silly app to get a date.
He swallowed the rest of the bitter liquid from his glass and flicked his wrist at Franco, the bartender who nodded.
“Hey Franco,” he called. “Do you have any champagne in this shit hole?”
Franco looked from him to Shelby then nodded again.
“My co-worker Kelly actually accepted your friend request.”
“Ah so it’s Kelly that should’ve been here tonight,” he joked noting that she deflected his question.
She frowned for a brief moment then a false smile spread it’s way on her lips.
“Perhaps,” she murmured.
Perched on the bar stool, she stared at her palms waiting for him to say something. Of course he should say something. This was a date–for her.
“So Shelby, what is it that you do when you’re not using this blind app thing?”
“I thought I told you that in our chat. I work down at the Sandgate City Youth Center, I’m a substance abuse counselor.”
Interesting, he thought.
“How has teaching been going for you?” she asked.
Nate choked. If only she knew what he did for a living.
He could just envision the appalled look on this naïve substance abuse counselor’s face. Who in the world accepts a date with a man she’s never seen on a freaking app of all places? Something told Nate that her intelligence stopped where her payed for education stopped.
Yet he couldn’t help himself tonight. Well, at least until she figured he wasn’t Ian and poured her drink in his face.
“Teaching,” he sighed. “You know how it is with kids…tiring.”
“Kids? But you teach university…you barely look thirty yourself.”
“I’m an old soul…what can I say?”
He flashed his winning grin and felt a slight victory when her thighs clenched. His lie was a good save. Naive. That’s what she was.
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