Sneak Peek Sunday for Neighborly Affection: Playing the Game

Sneak Peek Sunday | Sample six paragraphs from various authorsSo Sneak Peek Sunday has been going on for weeks now, spearheaded by romance author Sara Walter Ellwood, and I’ve been shamefully slow to jump in. Picking six paragraphs that represent my debut novel, Neighborly Affection: Playing the Game, seemed a daunting task.

(Also, I keep burying my head in writing my latest WIP and thinking about this about five minutes to midnight every Saturday. But not this week! I have conquered forgetfulness. Once. Yay me!)

You can check out six paragraphs from Playing the Game below and then hop to the Sneak Peek Sunday page to sample more than two dozen other authors’ hard work.

A note of setup — in this peek, Alice is having an unconventional dinner with her neighbors Henry and Jay and getting a taste of Henry’s dominant streak. It opens with Henry speaking.

“Alice, though you haven’t asked, you are, of course, free to do so. If you want your underwear returned for the rest of the evening, however, you’ll need to say your word.”

Was he serious? Firm gaze, one eyebrow arched. Waiting for her reply. Yes, definitely serious. Did she want to use her word to stop him? Hadn’t things stopped already? Or had they started again now? Fuck it. She didn’t want to stop.

“It’s that important to you?”

“The important question for you, Alice, is which is more important to you. How attached are you to the idea of wearing underwear? Is this something you feel you cannot sacrifice? Search yourself for your boundaries. Whatever the answer, you will find no judgment here.”

“I’ve never…no one’s ever asked me to…” She paused, considering, grateful when Henry didn’t rush to fill the silence and Jay picked up his plate and moved into the kitchen. No pressure.

She meant it sarcastically, but the thought rang true. Henry would accept her choice either way, and maybe he’d rearrange his thoughts about her comfort level, but he wouldn’t be angry with her. She shifted her legs and found her answer.

Want to read more? Here’s a longer excerpt from Playing the Game, an erotic romance that will be available from Lyrical Press in September.

M.Q. Barber

M.Q. Barber is the USA Today bestselling author of the Neighborly Affection contemporary romance series. She's also an inveterate, unrepentant scribbler of ideas on whatever's handy.


  1. What a lovely tease of an excerpt!

  2. Great excerpt! Good choice. Definitely piqued my interest. 🙂

  3. Interesting snippet. Hmm… I wonder what she decided. I think I could guess. lol

  4. I enjoyed this excerpt. Interesting times and exploration ahead for Alice, I think.

  5. Oooh, I am intrigued. Umm, why did she lose her underwear? 😉

    • Excellent question. House rules? Appetizer course? Catastrophic elastic fail? Underpants gnomes? The possibilities are endless. Alas, Henry won’t allow me to specify which is correct. 😉

  6. Wow, you ARE a tease! I can’t wait to read all about how Henry and Jay, er, expand Alice’s boundaries. What delicious characters you’ve created! Thanks for giving us a glimpse of what’s to come 🙂

    • I’ll own it gladly, LOL. Teasing is the goal of a peek, right? A little flash of ankle? 😉

      Thanks for stopping by, Dana. I wouldn’t have gotten this far at all without your encouragement.

  7. Damn, NICE tease. Love. It.

  8. I am absolutely in love with Henry! Such a delicious tease. Can’t wait to line up to purchase this series! So exciting!!

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