Playing the Game (Neighborly Affection, #1)
She expects dinner with neighbors, but gets sex with a side of safewords.
Mechanical engineer Alice still drools over her sexy neighbors a year after she’s moved in. She can’t decide whether they’re roommates or partners, but either way, they spark a wanton desire in her that has her imagination–and vibrator–working overtime.
Henry, director of everything around him, studies human nature and applies philosophies to his paintings as well as his relationships. Quirky, polite to a fault, and formal, he follows his own code of honor even when it means denying himself.
Flirtatious and playful, Jay needs stability, guidance, and to please others. His antics counterbalance Henry’s stuffy ways while he brings a level of vulnerability and fun to everything the trio does.
BDSM play with the enigmatic artist and flirtatious joker across the hall allows Alice to put aside the linear thought processes which have kept her unsatisfied and distant with other lovers. She must dismiss her preconception of love, sacrificing her independence, if she’s to find a permanent place in their beds and hearts.
He glanced at her with one eyebrow raised. “My treat, my dear.”
“No, this is your birthday present. If we’re going to dinner, I’m buying.” She was prepared to be stubborn. Recipients didn’t pay for their gifts.
“Ah, but this isn’t within the scope of your gift to me, Alice. This is the transparent ploy of a man feeling his age, enjoying the attentive company of an attractive younger woman and hoping to extend that time in a public setting to boost his own ego. Please, allow me to take you to dinner.”
They stepped out into the cloudy chill of early March. She fumbled to get her mittens on, and Henry tucked the ends of her scarf at her throat. His fingers, encased in dark brown driving gloves, smelled of leather as he raised the scarf over her nose.
She blinked, shivering from his touch rather than the cold, and forced a laugh. “Fine. Your treat. Do people ever tell you you’re honest to a fault, Henry?”
“Honesty is important to me, Alice. Lies can be dangerous, painful things, both for those who lie and those to whom they lie.”
This sexy as hell book brings a new erotic level to BDSM. Alice a smart and sexy women can't get enough of her neighbors Jay and Henry and when she enters into a Dom/sub relationship with them things turn from hot to sizzling, they start of friends and turn into so much more. The author brings you right into their world, the sex scenes are amazingly sensual and crazy hot, she writes these scenes so creatively that you feel part of it and beg for more. The chemistry between these three could bring down the house. I loved the story and the getting to know the characters on a deeper level. I felt a little lost at the end almost as though it shouldn't have ended yet buy otherwise this story brings you on a wild ride sexually. I do t want to give too much away, you have to experience this story on your own. 4 stars
Crossing the Lines (Neighborly Affection, #2)
A safeword won’t save her from love.
After six months of cavorting in her neighbors’ bed, Alice admits signing the contract to be Henry’s sexual submissive is the best decision she’s ever made. He delivers on his promise to give her sexual satisfaction. But submitting to his dominance alongside his long-term lover shows her the sharp line between sex and love. Henry loves goofy, eager-to-please Jay. Neither man has promised to love her.
Hiding her feelings grows harder every night she spends with them. As they struggle with wounds old and new, her emotional turmoil threatens to shred their arrangement. Is it time to bow out before they show her the door? Or can a triangle be the shape of true love?
Inscrutable. Henry, master of the expressionless face.
“I sense a conspiracy here.” He started unbuttoning his shirt from the top. “It’s a wonder I imagine myself in control of anything at all.”
She rolled onto her legs in Jay’s favored pose. Kneeling near the center of the bed, she bowed her head toward Henry. Imitation. Jay ought to be flattered.
She meant to show perfect submission, naive innocence and a soft voice to match, but her stare refused to leave Henry's chest. Lust spilled over, filling her with the need to have his body bared to her. The flat nipples waiting beneath the edges of his shirt. The scratchy-soft patch of hair where she rested her cheek when he cradled her to his chest. “You’re in control of me now, Henry.”
He paused at the final button. White folds of fabric sloped toward the last point of tension, a rushing river leading to his waist. He spread the tails wide and shrugged free. The shirt fluttered to the floor. Bare flesh. All hers tonight.
“Lie on your side, Alice, facing Jay.”
Jay, Henry and Alice are back and sexier and hotter then ever. Each character is trying to figure out the meaning or feelings in their sub/Dom three way relationship and what the future may hold. This book is just as sexy but with more emotions hanging out there. Alice's emotions especially. She doesn't want to give this relationship up, she's more than fulfilled but she also has a deeper connection with these two guys and she can't loose that either. I don't want to give too much away but I know you'll be just as hooked as I was in this story and cannot wait to read book 3. Very sexy, sensual and emotional. 4 stars
The hem of Alice’s dress tickled her thighs as she took her seat. “I think I’m getting better at this interviewing thing.”
“Oh?” Tracing the rise and fall of her knuckles, Henry raised her hand to his mouth and delivered a slow kiss. “How so, sweet girl?”
“Well, I mean, okay, it’s still odd to be telling strangers about our arrangement. Not that I’m ashamed.”
“No, of course you aren’t.” Henry claimed the seat beside her. “You’ve accepted a challenge to explore your sexuality with honesty and purpose.” The solid bulk of his body, the heat of his thigh pressed to hers, steadied her. “It’s a noble, delightful pursuit.”
“A lonnnnng pursuit,” Jay chimed in. Mr. Can’t-Sit-Still dropped to the dove gray carpet at their feet and rested his head against their knees. “What you two need is more snap judgments. No time to brake. You just gotta pedal on through.”
“A dangerous proposition, dear boy.” Gripping Jay’s shaggy black hair, Henry tugged with teasing strength.
Even the suggestion of control fueled Jay’s imagination enough to produce a throaty whimper. Maybe they’d put on a show for her tonight.
“What if, in your haste, you discover too late the package you carry isn’t properly secured?” Henry released his grip and smoothed the wrinkles in her dress Jay’s squirming had wrought. “You might lose what you hold most dear.”
Jay slung his arms around their calves. “Nope. I got a good hold.” Straightening his back, he shuffled closer, tipped his head, and shot them his widest charm grin. “But if you want me to inspect a package for you, I’m always up for that.”
She bumped his ear with her knee. He rocked dramatically sideways, sprawling his legs out but clamping down with his arms so she and Henry rocked with him. “See? Good hold.”
“So noted, stud.” She curled into Henry’s shoulder and let herself feast on the citrus and leather wash of his cologne. “Maybe we’re both getting better at this interview thing now that we have a few under our belts.”
“You’re wearing a belt with that dress?” Craning his head back and wedging himself between her knees, Jay choked on a cough. “Alice, do you know you’re not even wearing—“
“A modicum of discretion, please, my dears.” Henry’s command tone had Jay in a formal waiting pose faster than waffles had him at the breakfast table. “In our increased comfort with interviewing, we must remember to spare a thought for those only meeting us for the first time now.”
Turning, he captured her with his pine-dark gaze. He’d tucked her panties away in a pocket before they’d entered the room. If they got through the interview, maybe he’d allow her to search his suit for them afterward. Desire itched in her fingers. She locked her hands in a tight clasp in her lap.
Eyes gleaming, Henry rewarded her with a wisp of a smile. “Not all of them have joined us for Alice’s recounting of playtimes past.”
“It’s good to stay one step ahead.” For her, for sure. For Henry, hell, he always worked half a dozen steps ahead. “Have you looked at all these bookshelves on our interview stops? These readers have voracious appetites.” Running to catch up with him tended to leave her breathless and sweaty in his presence. Not a bad way to spend the evening. “We should make more memories before we fall behind.”
“Adjourn for playtime?” Henry rose to his feet. His tailored slacks flashed an outline of beauty beneath. “Yes, I believe we’ve finished here.”
Jay shot up and hustled to the door. “Interviews. Piece of cake, right?”
“Yup.” She took Henry’s hand, and he pulled her to him. “Piece of cake.”
The luckiest part about being a good girl? She got to have her cake and eat it, too.
About M.Q. Barber and the Neighborly Affection series:
The story that began in PLAYING THE GAME (Neighborly Affection #1) continues in CROSSING THE LINES (Neighborly Affection #2). A Neighborly Affection short story, THREE-WAY TIE, is available as a free read on Goodreads.
M.Q. Barber likes to get lost in thought. She writes things down so she can find herself again.
Often found staring off into space or frantically scratching words on sticky notes, M.Q. lives with one very tolerant, easily amused husband and one very tolerant, easily amused puppy.
She has a soft spot for romances that explore the inner workings of the heart and mind alongside all that steamy physical exertion. She loves memorable characters, witty banter, and heartfelt emotion in any genre.
The former Midwestern gal is the author of the Neighborly Affection contemporary romance series. Pick a safeword, grab a partner or two, and jump in.
Playing the Game (Neighborly Affection #1)
Crossing the Lines (Neighborly Affection #2)