Originally published by Ellora’s Cave Books as Do Geek Girls Dream of Electric Sweeties, Geek Girl’s Romance was my first published book. Looking back at the text now, my writing style is a bit different, but I’m still proud of the story, and I like Mary Allison and Holden together. For a limited time the sultry office romance between the graphic novel artist and her editor is on sale for 60-88% off. Check out an excerpt and grab your copy today! Sale ends 5/28/2020.
Since her days as a skinny, chicken-legged teenager submerging herself in art and science fiction, Mary Allison has blossomed into a beauty. With her exterior hiding her inner geek, most people never suspect she’s Marlon A. Gates, the author and artist of a popular series of hardcore, slasher graphic novels. She’s attracted to Holden, her handsome but strict and uptight editor, but their creative differences tend to make them adversaries.
Holden wasn’t happy about being transferred to work in the graphic novel department, but reading the works of Marlon A. Gates convinced him to stay. He was shocked but enthralled when he met the author for the first time. Her beauty drew him in, but her passion for her work set him on fire. He wants her, but no sooner than she’s within his arms, he learns she might be playing with his heart.
Will the geek girl and the stuffy editor learn to communicate and connect before ego and stubborn pride keeps them apart forever?
Reader Advisory: (Previously published by Ellora’s Cave Publishing as Do Geek Girl’s Dream of Electric Sweeties?) This story has graphic sexual language and scenes—no closed bedroom doors (or other rooms) here!
Mary Allison recognized the distinctive knock of her editor and secret crush, Holden Carter. She sighed, perturbed by his love of showing up whenever the hell he wanted to start riding her like a Russian racehorse. She made a living writing and illustrating what amounted to comic books. Her bestselling title, Nemesis’s Bedtime Story, the tale of a female pickpocket who works with the mafia as she tracks down her twin brother’s killers, had struck a chord with a desirable demographic, selling enough copies to provide her a comfortable living. Unfortunately, a little over a year ago, her previous editor retired, sticking her with Holden. He was sexy but could be a major pain in the ass.
She called out, “Just a minute,” before running to the bathroom and checking herself out in the mirror. Ugh! He has to come when I look like crap. She yanked off the elastic band holding a messy ponytail on top of her head and ran a brush through her red hair. I’m so pale! She splashed some cold water on her face and pinched her cheeks to bring up a little color before applying some chapstick to her lips.
She stood back from the mirror, frowning at her thrown on clothing. Oh well, it will have to do. She ran out of the room before heading toward the front door and unlocking the deadbolt but leaving the chain as to leave a crack about four inches wide.
“Good Morning, Mary Allison.” Holden looked as polished and perfect as ever.
“What are you doing here?” She winged an eyebrow, eyeing him suspiciously. “I don’t owe you any work until Friday.” How Holden always knew when she was running behind, she would never understand, but he seemed to materialized right when she was on the verge of turning things around but not quite there.
“I just wanted to check on your progress.” His innocent tone annoyed her while his sexy accent set her heart thumping.
“And why should I let you in when you barge over here without calling ahead?” She continued to block the entrance, peering at him through the small opening.
“Because I brought you an iced coffee and your favorite treat.” He smiled holding up a bag from her favorite donut shop.
Mary Allison sniffed, taking in the aroma. “Coffee, huh?”
“Double light, double sweet.” He smirked.
She sucked in a breath and then pursed her lips before huffing. “Oh, all right.” She released the chain and opened the door wide.
In his usual polite manner, Holden wiped his feet on the porch mat before entering and handing over the goodies. He made himself right at home, walking straight through the small foyer and across the living room and into the small nook where Mary Allison had set up her work station in front of her home’s only bay window. As he stood there, pouring over her work, she hung back, enjoying the view.
Standing over six feet tall, Holden had stayed fit for someone who jockeyed a desk. Originally, Mary Allison pegged the tall, attractive brunet as a pretentious elitist but as time passed, his manner had begun to wear a grove into her resolve to dislike him.
Holden was different from any man she had ever known—sexy, well-traveled, intelligent, and even quite elegant. Three-piece suits and impeccably styled, light-brown locks polished his professional appearance. Mary Allison’s gaze glided over firm ass as he leaned forward to study her work. Her pulse reacted and her breasts tingled.
As her editor, Holden was attentive to an obsessive degree. She noticed his posture change and rolled her eyes, creeping up behind him until she was standing beside him. He turned to her. “Where’s the rest?”
Anger filled her belly, but as she met his gaze, the man’s gorgeous blue eyes softened the blow even though he was a dreamy, unobtainable ideal for a laid-back, creative type like her. She pursed her lips. “That’s it.”
He furrowed his brow. “I thought you would be up to the scene in the basement by now.”
“I was working toward it, but then someone interrupted me. Don’t you have any other artists to harass? Why is it always me?” She smirked at him before taking another bite of lemon-filled doughnut.
He tilted his head, catching her gaze. Her heart fluttered. If he wasn’t wearing his glasses, those beautiful blue babies might have brought her to her knees. “This is what I’m talking about when I say you’re getting too caught up in the details.” Holden pointed to the drawing she had just been working on. “What’s important is Reggie has been shot, but you’ve been stuck on the gun.”
Mary Allison’s nostrils flared and her short nails bit into her palm as she balled up her fist, wishing she could deck him for his nitpicking. She lifted an eyebrow and glared at him. “The devil’s in the details, and I want her readers to know exactly what kind of devil Kat is. There’s no way Kat would carry anything but a baby Glock. She doesn’t give a damn that it isn’t the prettiest gun on the block—reliability is key. Doesn’t matter if it’s wet, dirty, or even muddy—if you pull the trigger, that bitch is going to fire! How will the readers know it’s a baby Glock if I don’t show them?”
The corners of his lips turned up slightly. “I do enjoy your passion and dedication, but you’re going to have to finish it up and move along. The readers need to know why she shot Reggie too.”
“Alright, alright,” she said. He wasn’t wrong so arguing for the sake of pride was pointless. “Scoot,” she added as she waved him away from her stool and took her seat.
“And what is with all this gore?” He pointed to the panel depicting Reggie’s demise. “Do we really need to see the brains oozing out of his skull? It’s macabre.”
Mary Allison’s nostrils flared as she folded her arms across her chest and turned to her side, throwing him the nastiest look she could muster. He’d gone too far now—how could he question her vision and trample on her artistic freedom with such ease? She balked, “How can a graphic novel about bloody revenge be anything but grisly? The bleak tone is kind of the point!”
His eyebrows raised and he even took a step back, obviously realizing how pissed off she was. “Mary Allison,” he started his calm tone and sexy voice sending a shiver down her spine. “You know how much I respect your work, but…if the tone is too dark…well, I just don’t want to have to insist on revisions before we go to print. Did deep. The ability to find the perfect balance is within you.”
Mary Allison’s jaw dropped and the room went silent. As her stare cut jagged little holes into Holden, he stood there quietly, most likely carefully contemplating his next words. She raised an eyebrow at him, sucking in a breath as she prepared to let him have it, but then, he broke the spell; he smiled. Motherfucker! Here I am ready to chew him to bits and as usual, he’s completely unflappable.
After that, she barely listened as he calmly and clinically presented all of the statistics and documented trends proving he was right and she could suck it. She argued passionately, but he never so much as raised his voice while he bulldozed over her. Damn, he pisses me off!
“Just be quiet!” She turned towards her work. “The oozing brains stay.”
“Mary Allison.” His voice remained calm.
“I got it. I’ll plug some comedy into the next panel, but this scene isn’t changing.” Can’t he understand how much this means to me? This is my work, a story I pulled out of my heart and my head and breathed life into with my own breath. She’d given Kat’s journey as Nemesis her blood, sweat, and tears. Who was he to tell her to take it down a notch?
“Don’t clinch the pencil so tightly.” He placed a hand on her shoulder.
She clutched the pencil with enough force it nearly broke while gritting her teeth. “Now you’re going to tell me how to draw?”
“Certainly not, but you’re going to break the bloody thing in half if you grasp it any harder. I wouldn’t want my star artist to injure her hand.” He reached over and gently unwrapped her fingers from around the drawing instrument.
Her chest tightened as her heart swelled. Damnit! He had her in the palm of his hand again. Once she calmed down, she worked through the better part of the day with him over her shoulder. At least he had come on a day when her part-timers weren’t there to help with shading. Being criticized in front of them would have been super embarrassing. She worked straight through lunch. By the time Holden left her house, she was back on schedule but starving to death.
As her stomach growled, Mary Allison grabbed her phone and ordered a pizza before tottering into the living room and collapsing on her couch. As she waited for her four cheese and veggie delight, she stared up at the ceiling and reminisced over the tingle that had shot all the way up her arm when Holden touched her hand. Fuck! I’m really starting to get pathetic!
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