Her Shirtless Gentleman: Gentleman Series Book 1 by M.Q. Barber, 2nd edition book cover

steamy standalone romance

Her Shirtless Gentleman

Gentleman Series Book 1

Meet Rob and Nora from Her Shirtless Gentleman. Rob is a longtime bachelor who knows he’s finally found the right woman; Eleanora’s a recent divorcee struggling to define herself. In the scene below, Rob’s trying to convince her to take a chance and go out with him.

Her Shirtless Gentleman

Her heart is in his hands.

After her marriage ends in betrayal, Eleanora Howard finds herself struggling to navigate the dating scene as a thirty-one-year-old divorcee. Living alone in the house she once shared with her ex and feeling undesirable beside her younger coworkers is hardly the recipe for finding new love—until she meets Rob. He’s just the kind of charming, old-fashioned guy she needs—but he’s also eager for intimacy.

After serving in the Air Force and landing a well-paid civilian job, Rob Vanderhoff planned to settle down with the right woman and raise a family. But at thirty-six, he’s still single and searching—until he meets Eleanora. She’s everything he wants. All he has to do is draw her out of her shell. Soon he’s taking her on the kind of dates she dreamed about as a teenager, fanning the flames of her desire—and helping Nora rediscover the sexy, adventurous woman they both know she really is.

divorced heroine | ex-military hero | small town romance | HEA

Her Shirtless Gentleman by M.Q. Barber

Her Shirtless Gentleman

Read an Excerpt

Rob shrugged and leaned back in his seat. Women liked confidence on a man. He’d put his desires on the table no matter how his heart quailed. “Good thing my schedule’s clear.”

“What if mine’s not?”

He caught and held Eleanora’s gaze, his voice low and steady. “I’ll keep asking until it is.”

Her eyes widened. Her nostrils flared. The sharp intake of her breath sent blood rushing to his cock. He pined for her just so, naked and squirming and pouring sounds in his ears.

“I—” She broke their stare and released a bitter-edged laugh. “I’m sorry. I don’t know how to do this. I’m not—I’m sure you date women who know what they want and say all the right things and flirt intelligently, for god’s sake. But I…”

He waited in stillness, but she didn’t seem inclined to finish her thought. Sliding his hand across the table, he risked brushing her fingers. “But you what, Eleanora?”

She grimaced. “I was barely old enough to drink when I started dating David. We married young, and…” She sagged like a windsock on a calm day, listless and empty. Way her husband had made her feel, maybe.

“Been a while since you’ve been in the dating market.” He’d envy her the freedom from the chase, if her marriage hadn’t turned out to be such a botch job. He’d have rather washed his hands of the whole dating scene and settled down a good six or eight years ago himself.

“Ten years.” Sighing, she stared at their hands.

He risked a second touch, rubbing his thumb over her knuckles.

“Bars aren’t my speed.” She aimed her mumble at their empty plates and crumpled napkins. “The last time I dated, social networking didn’t exist, and my girlfriends argued over whether letting a boy put his hands under their shirts was okay, not whether they should give a guy a blowjob in his car or invite him inside.”

Red crept up her cheeks. The mix of boldness and innocence swirling around her drew him like lightning to a mountaintop. She might embarrass easily, but she powered through with courage and sass. Two more points in her favor. His Nora needed a smidge of old-fashioned high school wooing and confidence-building. Inspiration struck.

“Let me take you out Friday night.” He squeezed her hand. “No blowjobs, I promise. But I might let you put your hands under my shirt.”

Praise for Her Shirtless Gentleman


I was hooked from the beginning by a level-headed career woman I could relate to and a hero who finds her attractive for all the right reasons. … Lose yourself in Nora’s transformation from emotionally stunted divorcee to confident girlfriend under Rob’s tender assault of patience and gentleness.

– You Gotta Read Reviews (5 stars)


Rob, like Henry in Neighborly Affections is a loving, nurturing person yet at the same time very sexual and dominant, blessed with the wisdom to know exactly how to fulfill his woman.

– 5 star Goodreads review


Tautly controlled passion filled with a responsive connection is a superb thing to witness and experience, even second hand, through the pages of a book such as this.

– 5-star BookBub review


While we’re watching them become a couple, we also get to watch Nora become a strong woman, confident in herself and her sexuality. We get to watch Rob who is finally allowed to focus his love, his protectiveness, and his strength on that one special woman. So we get to watch them grow individually and together. It really is a special story.

– 5-star Goodreads review


Barber’s writing is so much more than the tab / slot that so many books offer, and regardless what category you find the book listed under, remember: sweet, intelligent, romantic exploration.

– Author Marialisa Demora (5 stars)


It has scenes that are simply scorching hot, but there are all the feels that go with pretty much anything that M.Q. writes. … M.Q. does sweet romance with one-handed read sex. I don’t know how she manages it, but she does.

– 4-star Goodreads review