My Bare Lady, a funny and heartwarming romantic comedy standalone from Piper Sheldon and Smartypants Romance is available now!
Suzie Samuels is the only thing standing between Clifford and his life’s work. All he has to do is change everything about her. Perception creates reality and Clifford Rutledge needs the irascible stripper to prove it.
Suzie Samuels is set to prove once and for all she’s more than Short Fuse Suze, stripper for the Black Demons and renowned motorcycle arsonist. If all it takes is hard work, then Suzie knows how to work it hard.
But Suzie’s scandalous spirit tests Clifford’s resolve. And Clifford’s buttoned-up bullying is driving Suzie bonkers.
Can Clifford move past their differences long enough to pull off the impossible task of changing the bare lady into a fair lady?
More importantly, as perceptions shift and priorities change, will he want to?
‘My Bare Lady’ is a full-length contemporary romantic comedy, can be read as a standalone, and is book #1 in the Scorned Women’s Society series, Green Valley World, Penny Reid Book Universe.
Review by Jennifer Mitchell, Bibliolater
Special thanks to Smartypants Romance and Social Butterfly PR for the advance copy in exchange for an honest review.
My Bare Lady by Piper Shelton is my favorite Smartypants Romance to date. It is a modern day remake of My Fair Lady.
Our hero, Clifford Rutledge, is a professor trying to raise funding for his research on underprivileged children. He is most passionate about this because of his own upbringing. Our heroine, Suzie Samuel, is a low class stripper just trying to get by while caring for her Dad and trying to stay away from the Iron Wraiths. The two enter a social experiment that leads them both to so much more than romance.
Reader, do not sneer or roll your eyes for Suzie’s occupational choice. It works really well with the plot of My Bare Lady and creates a lot of dramatic scenes. In fact, there was so much drama (love this!) that my head was left spinning a few times.
As for the aspects of the novel that I love, there are too many to list out, so let me just highlight one or two. The first is my love for the Scorned Women Society. They are a fierce group of women who have all been scorned by Jethro Winston. I love how protective they are of each other, how loyal, how there is never a woman left behind.
I also love how Clifford and Suzie make each other better. It may take a while. They do not get a long at first. Their romance is definitely of the slow burn variety. But they will take you on one wild ride…..
My Bare Lady is not a romantic comedy. It is pretty dark with very little smut. Please note the following content warnings: Verbal Abuse, Physical Abuse, Attempted Rape, Violence.
As my favorite (sorry others, you were good too!), I wholeheartedly recommend especially for those romance readers who do not want a lot of smut.
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I was transfixed. It wasn’t just the way she mastered the room. It wasn’t just how her choreography perfectly correlated with the entrancing music. It wasn’t just her sex appeal. It was that unwavering gaze and focus on her task. To the rest of the room, staring blatantly at her admirable—ahem—assets, she was an object, but I recognized the barely controlled passion roiling under her skin. What would it be like to be that strong? Not just physically, but strong in a way that allowed her to bare her soul to a group of greedy strangers. My passions were locked away safely inside me and yet she put it all out there. Such bravery and passion.
In certain moments, I swear she looked right at me—quick stolen glances that shot a bolt of adrenaline down my spine. Perhaps this was a skill she learned to earn more tips, as the money was out in droves now, peppered over the stage and her sweating skin. But I swore she saw me. Saw through me. To the things I didn’t want seen. I stepped back further into the darkness knowing my concerns were irrational but unable to tear my eyes off hers. I was stronger than this. I was thoughtful, pragmatic, and not a victim of animalistic natures and poetic fantasies.
Though she occasionally snapped the thin strips of material that made up her outfit in a playful tease she never took any clothes off. She didn’t need to. She’d managed to capture the attention of every person in that room with her movements alone.
My body reacted despite my rationale; heart pounding, skin aflame. I needed to leave. I wouldn’t be like the rest of these people.
The song crescendoed and in a show of strength, she launched herself back to the top of the pole once again. A small gasp escaped from me but the music drowned out all noise. She performed a trick that made her appear to fall down the entire length of the pole, tumbling over and sideways, limb over limb, only to catch herself at the bottom using only her thighs. She hung upside down, panting, dark hair sprawled out around her and her gaze set on me. Her eyes were a brilliant emerald, unlike any color I’d ever seen. They were luminescent in the stage lighting. Even across the hazy bar, they were transcendent. Glowing. Fixated on me.
I swallowed but it wasn’t easy. The song ended and the lights went out. The crowd went wild. Several moments passed before I gained control of my faculties again. With that control came the shame of watching her. The understanding that just seeing her perform was enough to make me forget who I was. That couldn’t happen.
I got out of there as fast as I could. The entire drive back to Knoxville my chest heaved at an alarming rate; my body remained a mass of tension. Her hypnotic gaze flashed repeatedly in my vision no matter how often I tried to shake it loose.
Thankfully, I’d never see her again.
About Piper Sheldon
Piper Sheldon writes Contemporary Romance and Magical Realism books that hope to be New York Times bestsellers when they grow up. For now, she works as a technical writer during the day and writes about love the rest of the time. Of course she also makes room for her husband, toddler, and two needy dogs at home in the Desert Southwest.
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