It has arrived! Big Girl Panties has been released in the UK. This rollicking feel-good romantic comedy has won an army of fans Stateside and we've got an exclusive extract of Janet Evanovich's debut novel so you can see for yourself.
Sexy and witty, this is Bridget Jones for a new generation. A chance meeting on a plane with personal trainer and total hunk Logan Montgomery is just the fresh start widow Holly Brenan needs. At 32, she suddenly realises she has sought comfort in food for far too long. Whilst he is cocky and arrogant, Logan's offer of a personal fitness programme is hard to turn down.
But now her first gym session with the Adonis has arrived, and she finds herself more hot and bothered than she could have ever anticipated….
"Lie Down," he said. "On your back."
"Beg your pardon?"
"I'm going to stretch you out," he told her.
"For a minute there I thought we were taking this relationship to another level." Holly laughed uncomfortably. She wasn't sure what he was talking about, but it sounded like something that happened in a dungeon and involved a rack.
"I'm waiting." He settled his hands on his hips, all business.
"I'm all sweaty and smelly," she said uneasily. She couldn't think of anything she wanted less than for him to touch her.
"I know. I got you that way. And I'm still waiting."
"That's okay. I don't need you to stretch me. I'm fine."
"Who's the expert here? Now you're fine. You won't be tomorrow when all your muscles are screaming. Now lie down," he repeated tersely, holding out his hand for her water bottle.
"You don't need to go all tyrant. I was trying to do you a favour," she mumbled, doing as he told her.
"Thanks for thinking of me," he replied, having clearly heard her.
Once she was settled on the mats, he spread her legs, and straddling one leg, he took hold of the other. Placing one hand on the heel of her sneaker and the other on her calf, he slowly began to raise her leg. When her leg was perpendicular to the floor, the hand that was previously on her foot moved to her lower calf. The hand that was on her calf moved and now rested on the back of her thigh. And then he increased the pressure.
Holly wanted to remain unaffected. But he was towering over her, seemed all around her.
"Try to relax. It won't feel as uncomfortable if you don't fight against it," Logan said, feeling her tension.
Relax? Holly thought. What is he, crazy? She hadn't been touched by anyone in almost two years. Now Zeus was climbing all over her like she was Mount Olympus. His legs were firmly pressed up against both sides of her thigh to keep her leg on the mat from moving. His hand was an inch away from her backside.
And her backside was mere inches away from her front side. She was still hot, but now in a completely different way. Fresh sweat broke out on her forehead. He gently pushed her leg farther.
"Breathe into it," he told her.
She didn't even know she was holding her breath. He pushed a fraction of an inch more with the hand on her thigh. It was uncomfortable, but nothing compared to the feeling of the pure electricity emanating from his splayed fingers.
"Breathe, girl," he ordered with a smile. "Like during takeoffs."
Holly took one look at the perfect dimples his smile created on his check and let out all her pent-up air. He pushed a tiny bit farther, holding it for a few seconds. How the hell did he remember that? Those were the first words he ever said to her.
"I have a great memory." He read her mind as he stood. Then he bent her leg and, moving his hand to the bottom of her sneaker, pushed her knee toward her chest. "Damn, you're flexible," he remarked, pushing her knee up farther.
"You sound surprised." She tried to sound casual. The sight of his exposed biceps flexing to maintain the pressure was making it next to impossible.
"More like impressed," he replied before asking, "You okay? Tell me if anything hurts."
"Sure. I'm fine." She lied. Nothing actually hurt, but she couldn't have been farther from okay.
"Your face is red," he said. "Keep breathing."
He took her bent knee and, after kneeling down next to her, shifted it over her other leg. He placed a hand on her shoulder. Applying equal pressure, Logan held her shoulder in place and pushed her bent leg downward toward the mat, stretching the entire side of her body. Holly thought she might perish from how wonderful it felt.
She fought back the urge to squirm in ecstasy beneath him. He was so very close, masterfully holding her down from above. She could smell his skin, clean with a hint of expensive cologne. He looked down from his position over her and the dimples reappeared.
"This one is a crowd favourite," Logan said.
She was both disappointed and grateful when it ended and he laid her back flat on the mat.
And then he straddled the leg he was done with, he grabbed her other leg, and the exquisite torture began all over again.
She managed to withstand his repeating the process by thinking of nothing but breathing and refusing to look directly at him. It bordered on hopeless. His being invaded every one of her senses with every one of his.
He softly murmured words of encouragement and support, and his hands overran all her nerve endings. She was certain if she actually looked into his face and he smiled at her again, she would liquefy. She didn't see how it could get any worse. Until he sat her up, knelt behind her, and began to massage her shoulders.
His strong powerful hands were surprisingly gentle. He moved her ponytail to the side to gain better access. She could feel his breath warm on the back of her neck. He was completely unconcerned with her drenched condition. His warm hands sensually kneaded; his thumbs pressed into her shoulder blades and rubbed.
She wanted to scream, she wanted to moan. She felt as languid as if she's just been made love to. He finally rose. He moved in front of her and, bracing his feet, held out his hands. She automatically put her hands in his and planted her own feet on the floor. He exhaled and easily hauled her up until she was standing beside him.
"Fantastic job" He looked down on her, beaming.
You took the words right out of my mouth, she thought.
Reprinted by permission of William Morrow © (2013) Stephanie Evanovich
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