Release date: March 21, 2016
English professor Claudia Manchester secretly writes spicy romances as April Mayes, the Queen of Steam. She wants to keep her side job under wraps till she’s secured tenure, but when she’s pressured by her agent to appear at some out-of-state conferences, she agrees … if she can go in disguise. Dressed as her sexier alter ego, she meets historical romance writer and high school history teacher Bradley Davis and passion ignites. But can true love be built on lies? And will he still want her when she reveals her real self?
by Peggy Bird
Sensuality Level: Sensual
Peggy Bird lives in the Pacific Northwest where she stays out of trouble and the rain by writing romances and making the occasional piece of kiln-formed glass art.
Find Peggy Bird at www.peggybirdwrites.net, on Facebook, and on Twitter @peggybirdwrites.
An excerpt from The Professor’s Secret:
Had she been the woman she was pretending to be, Claudia would walk up to the man who’d just strolled into the waiting area at the gate, smile seductively, and say, “Let’s blow this popsicle stand.” He was so attractive, paying for a drink, a meal, or a trip to wherever he wanted to go would be worth it to have the chance to get to know him.
Tall and self-assured looking, he wore a tight, black T-shirt that hinted at ripped abs, a leather bomber jacket that emphasized his shoulders, and jeans that caressed a butt that every woman in the place was surely itching to pat. And then there was his rugged, fashionably stubbled face, sapphire blue eyes, and dark, almost black, slightly shaggy hair, which begged to be ruffled.
If she had the nerve to approach him, Claudia was sure she’d get a response. What she was wearing guaranteed that. Hooker heels, a blouse that barely covered her midriff, and a miniskirt so tight and short she suspected her gynecologist wouldn’t need her in stirrups to do an exam. If it had been a Halloween costume, it would have been labeled “Slutty Romance Writer”—which was exactly the look she was going for. Today she was April Mayes, Queen of Steam, her hot, romance-novel-writing alter ego. She was on her way to her first big romance writers’ conference and had dressed for the part.
But no matter what her outside looked like at the moment, inside she was still Claudia Manchester, PhD, professor of English literature at Portland State University. In her usual twinsets and midcalf skirts, Claudia was anonymous in any crowd. Not so now. People were staring.
Which brought her back to Mr. Hot and Handsome. Like several of the other men in the waiting area, who looked like they wouldn’t kick her out of bed for eating crackers, as her grandmother used to say, he was surreptitiously watching her. But she was still too much the PhD professor to walk over to him and introduce herself, even though that was what April would have done. Maybe. Probably.
Oh, hell, what did she know? No matter how many times she reminded herself she was April Mayes now, not Claudia Manchester, she had no idea what she was doing. She had no experience as the flamboyant seductress her alter ego was reputed to be. It was a skill set she had never developed, only written about in books. Not once in the years she’d been writing had she imagined she would want to put into practice in the real world what her heroines did in their fictional ones.
She sighed and looked down at her iPad. Maybe by the time she got to San Francisco, she’d have gathered up her courage, and there’d be another hot guy she could experiment on.