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The Hot-blooded Husband

A novel by

Dan Herrera can't believe that his passionate wife, Paz, has called a halt on their love life - all because he won't back down in his quest to win his hedge clippers from their neighbor, Brad. He knows she can't resist him, and he sets about to prove it. When he and Brad settle their feud, Paz assumes they'll go back to loving as usual. But Dan has a surprise of his own.

TO MY READER: I've always loved the bawdiness of the classics. A contemporary retelling of the story of Lysistrata seemed natural for Red Sage. It's the ultimate power of the female body over her man. The Hot-Blooded Husband tells the story of Dan and Paz Herrera, the folks next door who won my heart.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR ALICE GAINES: Alice Gaines loves the fantastic and the ultra-sensual. Writing gives her the opportunity to combine these two pleasures. Besides spinning tales in her head, Alice's passions include vegetable gardening, the San Francisco 49ers, and America's Test Kitchen. Alice has a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of California at Berkeley and lives in Oakland, California with her two pet corn snakes, Casper and Sheikh Yerbouti.

EXCERPT FROM THE HOT-BLOODED HUSBAND: How in hell did you bandage a lip? Dan stared at his face in the bathroom mirror. The cut still oozed blood. He'd found some gauze but no way to hold it in the right place. Both a bandage and tape would have to go inside him mouth, and that would never work.
"Oh, Dan." Paz stood on the doorway, giving him her I'm-so-disappointed-in-you look.
"Here to gloat?" he asked.
"I came to see how you are."
"You could have done that in the kitchen when I really needed some help," he said. "You were more worried about your carpet."
"Stop it right there, okay?"
He huffed and turned back to the mirror. Paz used guilt on him when it would do her some good. He might as well return the favor. He'd come home to his woman - wounded from battle - and she'd made him go around to the back of the building. Actually, the front, but why split hairs? She'd sat with her girlfriend - the wife of the guy who'd cut his lip - instead of taking care of her man.
"What are you doing?" she said.
"Trying to figure out how to bandage the wound. Not that you care."
"Oh, for heaven's sake," she said. "Sit down and let me do it."
He put the toilet cover down and sat, staring up at her. Giving her what she called the big eyes. She always fell for them. She glanced at him and then shifted her gaze to the medicine cabinet. After opening the mirrored door, she searched inside for a moment and finally pulled out a tube of something.
"Salve," she said. "Antiseptic."
"Let me see."
She removed the top and handed it to him. He sniffed it. "Whew. That won't taste good."
She took the stuff back from him. "Then, don't suck on it."
"You have a bad attitude, you know it?"
"You're a fine one to talk." She took his chin in one of her small hands and pulled his face up to study it. "It doesn't look too bad."
"I'm bleeding."
She squeezed some salve into her finger and dabbed some onto his lip.
"That stings," he said.
"If you're so afraid of pain, you shouldn't start fights."
"I didn't start it. He did."
"Well, just finish it."
She started to step away, but he put his hands around her waist and held her in place. "I know what I can finish."
"Oh, no, you don't."