Delicious-Delay200x300My first entry for today’s Exotic Places Book Brew is Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. I lived there for two years, and I also spent eight hours stuck in their airport. This experience served as inspiration for my modern day sheikh romance, Delicious Delay.

Here’s an excerpt:

Left with a single option, Michelle made her way down the aisle toward the mysterious stranger. A fragrant aura of myrrh and spice surrounded him despite the trail of sweat trickling down the side of his face. His neatly trimmed beard covered his square jaw like a dark shadow. His cheekbones slashed high, at a dramatic angle. Supermodels would kill to possess those long curly eyelashes.

Mid-thirties, she’d say, though he could be older. Born with oil-coated diamond spoons in their mouths, natives of the Gulf seemed to age at a slower rate than most. “Excuse me. Would you mind translating what they just announced?”

He whipped his head to face her. She had to stop herself from jumping back. Some people entered this world with a commanding presence, and this man epitomized the phenomenon. She wouldn’t describe his features as handsome— his face possessed a certain edge that would make most people avert their gazes. For some reason, hers remained glued to his almost black eyes. […]

His dark gaze raked her from head to toe before zeroing in on her bared legs. Having been cursed with short limbs, the gray cotton hem grazed the top of her knees. Nonetheless, his thick brows drew together, and those full lips firmed into a disapproving line. Faint crinkles formed on the bridge of his sharp nose.

She resisted the urge to tug down her shorts. While her attire would be more than acceptable in the U.S., she understood how this man might find it offensive. Taking a deep breath, she straightened her spine. She was American, this plane on its way to America. If the guy couldn’t stomach a woman wearing shorts and a T-shirt, he should cancel his trip.

Plastering on a winning smile, she repeated her question. “Would you mind translating the announcement? My Arabic isn’t very good. I was only able to pick out a few words.” The jaw muscle on the side of his face ticked. He seemed incensed about something, and she had a sinking suspicion her attire could be it. The awkward silence continued long enough for her to fear he wouldn’t bother with an answer. When he did, his snooty voice thrummed with annoyance. “The plane has been grounded. They’re asking passengers to prepare to disembark.”

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