Professor Katherine Hardin can't believe she's agreed to give a man control over her--three wishes, any time, any place of his choosing.
But just after her fortieth birthday she was blindsided by sudden, thigh-clenching lust for a twenty-two-year-old senior whose bold stares said he saw her as more than his professor. To cover her desire, Katherine grilled him with questions all semester in front of the class. Now Jarrett Jones has appeared, demanding she make amends, and she can't resist fulfilling her fantasies of him.
Unaware of what Jarrett's willing to do for domination and retaliation, Katherine finds herself walking a dangerous line between honoring her secret agreement and maintaining control over her personal life and professional reputation.
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November 13, 2009
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Excerpt from Hard on Miss Hardin by Lyla Sinclair
I never saw it coming, but just after my fortieth birthday a new semester started and something happened to me that had never happened in nearly twenty years of teaching.
As usual, I walked into my journalism ethics class and wrote my name and the course title on the board, for those soon-to-be-embarrassed freshmen who'd stumbled into the wrong room. Turning back toward my desk, I pulled out the folder containing the semester syllabi, then looked up to glimpse the young minds I was expected to mold this time around. But as I did, I saw something that sent a surge through my entire body to the point of dampening my panties, which were nestled safely inside my pantyhose, thank goodness.
He was sitting in the front row, apparently for the leg room, since he had one long appendage stretched halfway to my desk. Unlike some of the other students who looked a bit nervous about starting a new semester with a new professor, he seemed completely at ease in his distressed jeans and a t-shirt that stretched over a slim, yet broad-shouldered body. He gave me a sidelong glance of appraisal, but it didn't feel as though he was sizing up the new professor. He looked me up and down as obviously as a man on the prowl in a pick-up bar.
When our eyes met, I braced myself on the desk. They were deep blue, framed in long black eyelashes, but they didn't have the guileless innocence that some blue eyes relay. They thoroughly invaded my body, boring through me until I was afraid they could see my heart thundering in my chest and my blood rampaging through my veins.
This was new. Although I'd always liked my students, I'd never seen them as anything but my students. They weren't my friends and they certainly weren't objects of lust.
I somehow managed to pass out the syllabi and do the usual first day monologue, but my eyes flitted back to his, over and over again, as though they were no longer under my control. Each time it happened, I found him staring confidently into my face, a slight enigmatic grin driving me to distraction as I wondered what he could be thinking. I finished as quickly as possible, told the students to use the rest of the class time to buy their books and dismissed them.
Without looking up, I grabbed my papers and files, shoved them into my briefcase and headed out the side door, completely disturbed by my newfound lechery. But as soon as I got back to my office, I couldn't resist taking out the First Day Questionnaires. I knew his name from roll call--Jarrett Jones. Nice alliteration.
I shuffled through until I found his form. It contained all the basic contact information, which was written in casually neat manuscript. I saw that he was a graduating senior, but I needed to know something more about him. My eyes hurried down to the question, "Why did you enroll in this class?"
The typical response was, "Because it's required for my major," or "Because I heard you were a good professor." However, Jarrett had gone a different way. I had to read it three times before I could believe it.
"Because I'd heard Miss Katherine Hardin could make even Journalism Ethics seem hot."
What did that mean? Was it just that I made my class as interesting as possible? Or did I actually have a reputation on campus for being "hot"?
That was hard to imagine after what I'd been through over the past two years. The divorce had stolen so much of my self-confidence that I'd felt the farthest thing from "hot". Of course, for propriety's sake, I'd still made sure I dressed well, got my shoulder-length brown hair cut regularly, put on makeup every morning...but I didn't feel any of it. I was just going through the motions.
And I hadn't even considered facing the whole dating scene again. As far as I was concerned, my personal life had become a lonely-middle-aged-woman statistic, and all I had left was my career.
But now, I found myself aroused like I hadn't been in years by a--I glanced at his birthdate--twenty-two-year old. Oh, for Pete's sake! What was happening to me? Maybe this was what they meant when they said a woman reached her sexual peak at forty. But I never thought it was so literal. Turn forty and five minutes later, bam, you're a nympho-cougar.