Mallory Sims is late for her first day of work.
After spilling her tea, she discovers she has no gas in her car. Add that her arm keeps sticking to her dress from syrup left on the console of her car, flustered feels like an understatement.
Then she sees her new boss.
Graham Landry is the epitome of NSFW in his custom-fit suit, black-rimmed glasses, and a look so stern her libido doesn’t stand a chance. Being flustered is just the start of her problems.
Her punctuality is only the start of his. With a pink slip in hand, he’s been waiting on his new secretary to show up only to let her go. Then she rushes in with her doe eyes and rambling excuses, smelling like bacon and lavender. The termination paper falls to the side as she falls in his arms.
This is a disaster in the making. Not because of his pinpoint exactness or her free spirit, but because when they’re together, the sparks that fly threaten to burn the whole place down.
We both know we aren’t just talking about a moved stapler or a mishmash of files. As that really sets in, the air around us gets heavier. Hotter. Hazardous.“Those things always lead to dangerous situations,” he says, his eyes trained on me.
I shift in my seat, the throb between my legs growing stronger by the second. “People do it every day and survive.”
“They may survive, but don’t things get messy?”
“Only if they do it right.”
His chair flies backwards and he’s to his feet and next to me before I know what’s happening. He doesn’t ask that I stand, but he doesn’t have to. It’s implied and my body reacts accordingly to his silent command.
We stand face-to-face, our breathing ragged. Our chests heave with the anticipation, the possibility, of what might come next.
“You are, quite possibly, the most dangerous of them all,” he says, his voice rough.
“Why is that?” I breathe.
“There’s no plan for you.”
“But you’ve already penciled me in, haven’t you, Graham?” I ask, finding the courage to play this little game with him. Being strictly professional is incredibly hard, and this is way too easy.
I can flirt with the best of them in a bar or on a college campus. But here, with him, it’s a game all its own. A level I had no idea I’d ever be a contender in. Maybe I’m not, but I’m going to play the hell out of it while I’m here … even though if I keep it up, I might not be here for long.
“What do you want, Mallory?”
“I want to do all the things you ask of me and do them better than you ever expected they could be done.”
A rumble emits from his throat as his eyes darken. My knees go weak and I grab the table with my left hand to ensure I don’t fall.
He licks his lips and flips his gaze to my mouth. I think I whimper as I lift my chin, waiting to see what he does next. My entire body is on fire for this man, my heart thumping so hard I’m sure he can hear it.
He moves so my back is pressed against the table, our food long forgotten. His hands are on either side of me, caging me in. Our eyes locked together, he leans in, a slow smirk spreading across his gorgeous face.
“Excuse me, Mr. Landry. Ford is here to see you,” Raza chirps through the line.
We exhale simultaneously, a giggle escaping with mine. There’s nothing funny about this, but the energy has to come out in some way.
“Mr. Landry?” she asks again.
“I’ll be right out. Thank you, Raza.”
“Oh, you’re so welcome, sir.” The line clicks off and Graham marches across the room and punches a button. The light on top indicates he’s not to be disturbed.
I busy myself with cleaning up our lunch, and before he’s at my side again, I have everything bundled up.
“Thanks for lunch,” I say like nothing just happened.
“Mallory …” He runs his hand through his hair, leaving one lock sticking up. Knowing what that will look like if we walk out together, I reach up, hesitating for a split second, before smoothing it out.
His hair is silky against my fingers. He jumps when I touch him at first, but doesn’t back away. “What are you doing?”
“Nothing went on in here. I refuse for it to look like something did. That’s the way rumors get spread, Mr. Landry.”
“Mallory, I …”
I get a final look at his face, reach up and straighten his tie as his eyes go wide, then turn towards the door. “I’ll send Ford in.”
“Yeah?” I turn to see him over my shoulder. He’s standing by the table, his hands in his pockets looking frazzled. When he doesn’t respond, I place my hand on the knob. “I’ll have that file back to you before I leave today. Thanks again for lunch.”
I walk out before I can change my mind.
USA Today Bestselling author Adriana Locke lives and breathes books. After years of slightly obsessive relationships with the flawed bad boys created by other authors, Adriana has created her own.
She resides in the Midwest with her husband, sons, and two dogs. She spends a large amount of time playing with her kids, drinking coffee, and cooking. You can find her outside if the weather’s nice and there’s always a piece of candy in her pocket.
For sneak peeks, giveaways, and more, please join Adriana’s Facebook Group, Books by Adriana Locke, or her Goodreads group, All Locked Up.
From New York Times bestselling author, Penelope Ward, comes a sexy, STANDALONE second-chance romance.
They called him Mack Daddy. No, seriously, his name was Mack. Short for Mackenzie. Thus, the nickname. Perfect, right?
So was he: perfect. The perfect physical male specimen.
At the private school where I taught, Mack Morrison was the only man around in a sea of women.
Everyone wanted a piece of the hot single father of the sweet little boy.
I was riddled with jealousy, because they didn’t know that—to me—he was much more.
They didn’t know about our past.
He’d chosen my school for his son on purpose, because Mack and I, we had unfinished business.
As my friend Lorelai so eloquently put it: “Unfinished business between two people who are clearly attracted to each other is like an eternal case of blue balls.” And I was suffering in pain from my case.
I was still intensely attracted to Mack. I tried to resist him, immersing myself further into a relationship with another man just to protect my heart.
Not to mention, getting involved with a parent was strictly against school rules. But seeing Mack day in and day out was breaking me down.
And soon I might be breaking all the rules.
Author’s note – Told in alternating points of view, Mack Daddy is a full-length standalone novel.
MACK DADDY EXCERPT
Copyright © 2016 by
It was the evening of our monthly PTO meeting. On the agenda was to designate the volunteers for several fundraisers that would take place in the spring.
Setting up the refreshments and a coffee urn in the hallway outside of the classroom, I couldn’t wait to get this over with so that I could go home, get into my pajamas, and relax. It was always exhausting to have evening commitments when the workday ran so late to begin with.
A deep voice from behind startled me. “A keg would be much more fun, wouldn’t it?”
I turned around to find Mack standing there, holding a box of chocolate chip cookies from the supermarket.
“What are you doing here?”
He placed the cookies on the table. “This is the parent and teachers meeting, isn’t it?”
“Yes, but…” I hesitated, not even knowing what to say.
He finished my sentence. “But I’m not supposed to be included in that group?” Mack snapped his finger. “Oh, I’m sorry. I thought PTO stood for ‘pissing teacher off.’ My bad.”
“Well, if that were the case, you might be in the right place.”
“This is the right place for me tonight.”
“This meeting is for serious participants.”
“I’m serious about the teacher. Does that count?”
“Actually, in all seriousness, I’d also like to help. It’s the least I can do after crashing your school year. I really would like to be as involved as I can in Jonah’s education. That’s the truth, okay? Getting to spend time with you is an added benefit.”
What could I say? He had just as much right to be here as anyone else.
“Just be aware that this isn’t the right place to be joking around or distracting the other attendees, for that matter.”
“I don’t plan on distracting anyone but you.”
“Yeah, well you have quite the fan base here. We have a very strict agenda to adhere to.”
He moved in closer and just stared me down for a bit. The contact caused my skin to prickle and my nipples to harden. “Don’t worry,” he said as he looked down, seeming to notice that my nipples were piercing through the fabric of my shirt. “Your points are well noted, Miss O’Hara.” He wriggled his brows. “I’ll see you inside.”
I hated that he knew he was having an effect on me. If my body had this kind of response now, what would have happened if he’d actually done more? Spontaneous impregnation? Some things just never change, and my reaction to this man was an example of that.
A long table sat in the middle of the spare classroom where we held the meeting. There wasn’t a single man in the room besides Mack. He was like the centerpiece.
I took my seat at the end of the table. “So, shall we get started?” Looking down at my list, I said, “First on the agenda is the book fair. We need to elect someone to be in charge of it and coordinate the volunteers.”
Mack raised his hand.
“Yes?” I asked.
“That sounds like it’s right down my alley. I’d like to volunteer to run the book fair.”
“What makes you want that task? It’s a lot of responsibility.”
He thought about it for a moment then said, “I write children’s books. I think I’d be a perfect fit.”
“That’s a good point,” one of the women said. “He might be the perfect fit.”
I’m sure you’re thinking he’d be the perfect fit, alright…in your vagina.
“Okay…but I hope you know that there is a tremendous amount of work that goes into organizing that particular event. It takes place over the course of an entire weekend. You have to place orders with the bookseller, do inventory, delegate tasks, and arrange for an onsite food vendor because many people just come for the food. Ultimately, the food is the bait.”
“I can bait people. I’m a master baiter.” He paused. “I mean…I can handle it. I’ll get a shitload of people to sign up.”
An attending nun gave him a dirty look for his use of foul language.
He cleared his throat, seeming to regret his choice of terminology. “I’ll get people to attend. Don’t worry.”
“I’ll put your name down as a possibility. We’ll take a vote at the end.”
Looking around the room, I asked, “Is there anyone else here who is interested in taking the reigns on the book fair?”
Not a single person budged.
One woman said, “No, but I’ll be happy to help Mack with whatever he needs.”
I’m sure you will.
Mack nodded then offered a smug smile. “Thank you.” He then took a bite of his cookie and winked at me.
Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today and #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling author. She’s a fifteen-time New York Times bestseller of twelve novels.
Having grown up in Boston with five older brothers, she spent most of her twenties as a television news anchor, before switching to a more family-friendly career. She is the proud mother of a beautiful 12-year-old girl with autism and a 10-year-old boy. Penelope and her family reside in Rhode Island.
Connect with Penelope Ward
A Bleeding Stars Stand-Alone Novel
Coming January 23rd
She stared back at me with big chocolate eyes.
Her gaze washed over me like lava.
Burning up everything in its path.
“You are so beautiful,” she said, voice hoarse.
“Peaches,” I whispered as a warning. Wasn’t sure I trusted myself with her right then.
“You are. Did you know…did you know the first time I saw you…when you were lying covered in blood and you opened your eyes and looked at me, that I saw it? Something so beautiful and raw and powerful. Even when you’d been broken. The way you looked at me shook me straight to my bones. And then tonight…what you did for me…I don’t…”
I roughed a hand through my thrashing hair, a perfect mirror to my thrashing heart. “Peaches.”
I didn’t deserve the way she was looking at me. Like I was good and right when I was no better than the bastard we’d left lying back there on the floor.
So slowly, she reached out, shaking fingers gentle as she traced them along the scar that marked that night beneath my eye.
A tremble took me whole.
Energy pulsed and shivered and shook.
I gripped her by the wrist and pressed the underside to my nose. “You’re killing me, darlin’.”
“And you’re saving me.”
A hard frown hit me. “It was you who did all the saving.”
Sitting back a fraction, she shook her head. “If it weren’t for you, I’d be home tonight, hiding in the dark.” Her tongue darted out to sweep across her lips. “I never would have been brave enough to go there or to stand up to him. To say those things.”
“But that’s where I think you’re wrong, darlin’.” This time it was my turn to reach out and touch her. I cupped the side of her face, glancing between her and the road. “I think you’re so much braver than you’ve been giving yourself credit for. I see it there. Feel it every time I look at you. You’re incredible, Willow. Every time you walk through my door, I know it. So good that I know I shouldn’t be doing whatever the fuck it is I think I’m doin’ with you.”
She was still panting those breathy pants, and she leaned into my touch.
“I…” she attempted before she looked down, averted her gaze. Even with her head downturned, there was no missing the blush creeping to her cheeks. She hesitated before she spoke. “When you kiss me…it doesn’t feel like pretending. It feels like the best thing I’ve ever felt.”
I swallowed hard, crossing a line. Pushing into the boundaries that should have been firmly set in place. “That’s because when I kiss you? It’s not pretend. When I tell you you’re gorgeous—the best thing I’ve ever seen? I mean it. And when I look at you…”
I touched the center of my chest, feeling ripped open wide. Exposed. Maybe telling her the truth when it wouldn’t do either of us any good was wrong. But there was no hiding when this girl was looking at me that way. “I feel it right here. We might be pretending, but you can’t fake this.”
Like she didn’t trust herself, she pressed farther against the door. “You make me want things…things I know I shouldn’t want.”
“And what is it you want, Peaches?” I prodded low, knowing full well I was pointing us in the direction of no return. “Told you when I came into your store that I’d give you anything.”
“I want…” She tucked her bottom lip between her teeth, nervous or unsure whether to give me the truth.
Blood pounded mercilessly through my veins. Thickened with lust. All of it clouded my judgment, knocking loose my center of gravity.
Because I knew the look on her face. Desire was written across her like a musical score.
The way her body rocked and trembled and silently pled.
Desperate to be played.
I knew I should close my mouth. Shut this down. Drop her at home. Instead, I let the words slide free. “Tell me, Peaches.”
The needy rasp fell from between her lips. “I want you to touch me.”
From NYT & USA Today Bestselling Author A.L. Jackson comes the next sexy, gripping Bleeding Stars Stand-Alone Novel…
I’m Ash Evans.
The life of the party.
Hot. Rich. Charismatic.
A tattooed rock star with the world at my feet.
I burn through women faster than the strike of a match.
I’ve embraced my lifestyle and live it to the fullest.
Until the day my lifestyle caught up to me.
Willow Langston found me at my lowest.
Facedown in a puddle of my own blood.
I owe her my life and I have three months to repay that debt.
What I never should have done was touch her. Kiss her. Take her to my bed.
Love wasn’t supposed to be a part of the equation.
I gave up that nasty complication a long damned time ago.
Now I want her more than my next breath.
But she doesn’t know what I know.
Do I leave to protect her? Or can I face my demons and ask her to Stay?
Connect with A.L.
The night I met Drew Jagger, he’d just broken into my new Park Avenue office.
I dialed 9-1-1 before proceeding to attack him with my fancy new Krav Maga skills.
He quickly restrained me, then chuckled, finding my attempted assault amusing.
Of course, my intruder had to be arrogant.
Only, turned out, he wasn’t an intruder at all.
Drew was the rightful occupant of my new office. He’d been on vacation while his posh space was renovated.
Which was how a scammer got away with leasing me office space that wasn’t really available for rent.
I was swindled out of ten grand.
The next day, after hours at the police station, Drew took pity on me and made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. In exchange for answering his phones while his secretary was out, he’d let me stay until I found a new place.
I probably should have acted grateful and kept my mouth shut when I overheard the advice he was spewing to his clients. But I couldn’t help giving him a piece of my mind.
I never expected my body to react every time we argued. Especially when that was all we seemed to be able to do.
The two of us were complete opposites. Drew was a bitter, angry, gorgeous-as-all-hell, destroyer of relationships. And my job was to help people save their marriages.
The only thing the two of us had in common was the space we were sharing.
And an attraction that was getting harder to deny by the day.
Available for Pre-order on iBooks, B&N, Google Play, and Kobo now!
Sometimes what you’re looking for comes when you’re not looking at all.
I hate New Year’s Eve.
Two hours in traffic to make it not even the nine miles home from LaGuardia. It was after ten o’clock at night. Why weren’t all these people at a party by now? Whatever tension two weeks in Hawaii had relieved was already back to coiling tighter and tighter inside me as the town car inched its way uptown.
I tried not to think about all the work I was coming back to—the endless string of other people’s problems to compound my own:
Get me full custody of the kids.
She can’t have the house in Vail.
All she wants is my money.
She hasn’t given me a blowjob in three years. Listen, asshole, you’re fifty, bald, pompous, and shaped like an egg. She’s twenty-three, hot, and has tits so young they almost reach up to her chin. You want to fix this marriage? Come home with ten Gs in fresh, crisp bills, and tell her to get on her knees. You’ll get your blowjob. She’ll get her spending money. Let’s not pretend it was ever more than it really was. That doesn’t work for you? Unlike your soon-to-be ex-wife, I’ll take a check. Make that out to Drew M. Jagger, Attorney at Law.
I rubbed the back of my neck, feeling slightly claustrophobic in the back of the Uber, and looked out the window. An old lady with a walker passed us.
“I’ll get out here,” I barked at the driver.
“But you have luggage?”
I was already exiting the back of the car. “Pop the trunk. It’s not like we’re moving anyway.”
Traffic was at a dead stop, and it was only two blocks to my building. Tossing a hundred-dollar tip at the driver, I grabbed my suitcase from the trunk and took in a deep breath of Manhattan.
I loved this city as much as I hated it.
575 Park Avenue was a restored pre-war on the southeast corner of Sixty-Third Street—it was an address that gave people preconceived notions about you. Someone with my last name had occupied the building since before the place was converted into overpriced co-ops. Which is why my office was allowed to remain on the ground floor when other commercial tenants were tossed out years ago. I also lived on the top floor.
“Welcome back, Mr. Jagger.” The uniformed doorman greeted me as he swung open the lobby door.
“Thanks, Ed. I miss anything while I was gone?”
“Nah. Same old, same old. Peeked in on your construction the other day, though. Looking good.”
“They use the service entrance down Sixty-Third like they were supposed to?”
Ed nodded. “Sure did. Barely heard them the last few days.”
I dropped my luggage inside my apartment, then headed back downstairs in the elevator to check things out. For the last two weeks, while I was screwing off in Honolulu, my office space had been getting a total renovation. Cracks in the high, plastered ceilings were to be patched and painted, and new floors installed to replace the old, worn parquet.
Thick plastic remained taped over all of the interior doorways when I walked in. The little furniture I hadn’t put in storage was also still covered with tarps. Shit. They aren’t done yet. The contractor had assured me there would only be finish work left by the time I returned. I was right to be skeptical.
Flicking on the lights, I was happy to find the lobby completely done, though. Finally, a New Year’s Eve with no horrible surprises for a change.
I took a quick look around, pleased with what I found, and was just about to leave when I noticed a light streaming from under the door of a small file room at the end of the hallway.
Thinking nothing of it, I headed to turn it off.
Now, I’m six foot two and a half, two hundred and five pounds, and maybe it was just my frame of mind, my not expecting to see anyone, but when I opened the door to the file room, finding her there scared the living crap out of me.
I took a step back through the door.
She got up, stood on the chair, and began yelling at me, waving her cell phone in the air.
“I’ll call the police!” Her fingers shook as she dialed nine, then one, and hovered over the last one. “Get out now, and I won’t call!”
I could have lunged for her, and the phone would have been out of her hand before she realized she hadn’t dialed the final digit. But she looked terrified, so I retreated another step and put my hands up in surrender.
“I’m not going to hurt you.” I used my best soothing, calm voice. “You don’t need to call the police. This is my office.”
“Do I look stupid to you? You just broke into my office.”
“Your office? I think you took a wrong turn at the corner of Crazy and Nutjob.”
She wobbled atop the chair, holding both arms out to regain her balance, and then…her skirt fell to her feet.
“Get out!” She crouched down and grabbed her skirt, tugging it up to her waist as she turned her back to me.
“Do you take medication, ma’am?”
“Medication? Ma’am? Are you joking?”
“You know what?” I motioned to the phone she was still holding. “Why don’t you push that last one and get the police over here. They can drive you back to whatever loony bin you escaped from.”
Her eyes widened.
For a crazy person—now that I was really looking—she was pretty damn cute. Fiery red hair piled on top of her head seemed to match her firecracker personality. Although from the looks of her blazing blue eyes, I was glad I’d held off on telling her that.
She pushed one and proceeded to report the crime of entering one’s own office. “I’d like to report a robbery.”
“Robbery?” I arched an eyebrow and looked around. A lone folding chair and crappy metal folding table were the only furniture in the entire space. “What exactly am I stealing? Your winning personality?”
She amended her complaint to the police. “A breaking and entering. I’d like to report a breaking and entering at 575 Park Avenue.” She paused and listened. “No, I don’t think he’s armed. But he’s big. Really big. At least six feet. Maybe bigger.”
I smirked. “And strong. Don’t forget to tell them I’m strong, too. Want me to flex for you? And maybe you should tell them I have green eyes. Wouldn’t want the police to confuse me with all the other really big thieves hanging out in my office.”
After she hung up, she stayed standing on the chair, still glaring at me.
“Was there also a mouse?” I asked.
“Considering you jumped up on that chair.” I chuckled.
“You find this funny?”
“Oddly, I do. And I have no fucking idea why. It should annoy the crap out of me that I come home from a two-week vacation and find a squatter in my office.”
“Squatter? I’m no squatter. This is my office. I moved in a week ago.”
She bobbled again while standing on her chair.
“Why don’t you get down? You’re going to fall off that thing and get hurt.”
“How do I know you’re not going to hurt me when I get down?”
I shook my head and contained my laugh. “Sweetheart, look at the size of me. Look at the size of you. Standing on that chair isn’t doing jack shit to keep you safe. If I wanted to hurt you, you’d be out cold on the floor already.”
“I take Krav Maga classes twice a week.”
“Twice a week? Really? Thanks for the warning.”
“You don’t have to ridicule me. Maybe I could hurt you. For an intruder, you’re really kind of rude, you know.”
After a full minute stare-off, she climbed off the chair.
“See? You’re as safe on the ground as you were up there.”
“What do you want from here?”
“You didn’t call the police, did you? You almost had me there for a second.”
“I didn’t. But I can.”
“Now why would you go and do that? So they can arrest you for breaking and entering?”
She pointed down at her makeshift desk. For the first time, I noticed papers all over the place. “I told you. This is my office. I’m working late tonight because the construction crew was so loud today that I couldn’t get done what I needed to. Why would anyone break and enter to work at ten-thirty at night on New Year’s Eve?”
Construction crew? My construction crew? Something was going on here. “You were here with the construction crew today?”
I scratched my chin, half believing her. “What’s the foreman’s name?”
Shit. She was telling the truth. Well, at least some of it had to be the truth. “You said you moved in a week ago?”
“And you rented the space from whom, exactly?”
Both my brows shot up this time. “John Cougar? Did he drop the Mellencamp, by chance?”
“How should I know?”
This wasn’t sounding good. “And you paid this John Cougar?”
“Of course. That’s how renting an office suite works. Two months’ security, first and last month’s rent.”
I shut my eyes and shook my head. “Shit.”
“You got conned. How much did all of that cost you? Two months’ security, first and last month? Four months in total?”
“Ten thousand dollars.”
“Please tell me you didn’t pay cash.”
Something finally clicked, and the color drained from her pretty face. “He said his bank was closed in the evening, and he couldn’t give me the keys until my check cleared. If I gave him cash, I could move in right away.”
“You paid John Cougar forty thousand dollars in cash?”
“I paid him ten thousand in cash.”
“I thought you said you paid four months.”
“I did. It was twenty-five hundred a month.”
That did it. Of all the crazy shit I’d heard so far, thinking she could get space on Park Avenue for twenty-five hundred a month took the cake. I broke out in a fit of laughter.
“What’s so funny?”
“You’re not from New York, are you?”
“No. I just moved here from Oklahoma. What does that have to do with anything?”
I took a step closer. “I hate to break the news to you, Oklahoma, but you got ripped off. This is my office. I’ve been here for three years. My father the thirty before that. I was on vacation the last two weeks and had the office remodeled while I was gone. Someone named after a singer scammed you into giving him cash to rent an office he had no right to rent. Doorman’s name is Ed. Walk through the main building entrance, and he’ll verify everything I just said.”
“That can’t be.”
“What do you do that you need office space?”
“I’m a psychologist.”
I held out my hand. “I’m an attorney. Let me see your contract.”
Her face fell. “He hasn’t brought it by yet. He said the landlord was in Brazil on vacation, and I could move in, and he would come back on the first to collect the rent and bring me the contract to sign.”
“You’ve been scammed.”
“But I paid him ten thousand dollars!”
“Which is another thing that should have tipped you off. You couldn’t rent a closet on Park Avenue for twenty-five hundred a month. Didn’t you find it strange that you were getting a place like this for next to nothing?”
“I thought I was getting a deal.”
I shook my head. “You got a deal alright. A raw deal.”
She covered her mouth. “I think I’m going to be sick.”
We hope you enjoyed this extended preview!
Vi Keeland is a native New Yorker with three children that occupy most of her free time, which she complains about often, but wouldn’t change for the world. She is an attorney and a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, & USA Today Best Selling author. Over the last three years, eleven of her titles have appeared on the USA Today Bestseller lists and four on the New York Times Bestseller lists.
In 2013, she released her first romance novel and never looked back. To date, she has thirteen novels released, with PLAYBOY PILOT also releasing in 2016. Her novels have appeared on #1 on Amazon and are currently being translated into German, Polish, Portuguese, Korean, Hebrew, French and Italian.
From New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis comes the next sexy, standalone novel in the Heartbreaker Bay series…
About ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE:
There’s no such thing as a little in love . . .
Elle Wheaton’s priorities: friends, career, and kick-ass shoes. Then there’s the muscular wall of stubbornness that’s security expert Archer Hunt—who comes before everything else. No point in telling Mr. “Feels-Free Zone” that, though. Elle will just see other men until she gets over Archer . . . which should only take a lifetime . . .
There’s no such thing as a little in lust . . .
Archer’s wanted the best for Elle ever since he sacrificed his law-enforcement career to save her. Their chemistry could start the next San Francisco earthquake and he craves her 24/7, but Archer doesn’t want to be responsible for the damage. The alternative? Watch her go out with guys who aren’t him . . .
There is such a thing as . . .
As far as Archer’s concerned, nobody is good enough for Elle. But when he sets out to prove it by sabotaging her dates, she gets mad—and things get hot as hell. Now Archer has a new mission: prove to Elle that her perfect man has been here all along . . .
Pre-Order ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE in ebook or paperback, releasing 1/24/17
Amazon | iBooks | Kobo| Barnes & Noble
“Hey, honey,” Trudy said in her been-smoking-for-three-decades voice. “Need anything?”
“Nope, I’m good.” Good plus mad, but although she adored Trudy, the woman couldn’t keep a secret to save her life. “Just taking in the nice morning.”
“Oh, that’s a disappointment,” Trudy said. “I thought maybe you were looking for that hottie with the nice package, the one who runs the investigation firm down the hall.”
Elle nearly choked on her tea. “Nice package?”
“Well I’m old, not dead.” And with a wink, Trudy pushed her cart down the hall.
It was true that Archer was annoyingly hot, not that she cared. Hot was useless to her. She’d much rather have the things that had eluded her for most of her life—safety, security…stability.
Three things Archer had never been accused of.
At the other end of the hall, she stopped in front of the door with a discreet sign: HUNT INVESTIGATIONS.
The investigative and elite security firm was carried on Archer’s reputation alone, no ads or marketing required. Basically Archer and the men he employed were finders and fixers, independent contractors for hire, and not necessarily tied by the same red tape as the law.
Which worked for Archer. Rules had never been his thing.
She opened the door and let herself into the reception area, which was much bigger than hers. Clean, masculine lines. Large furniture. Wide open space. A glass partition separated the front from the inner offices.
The check-in counter was empty. The receptionist wasn’t in yet—it was too early for Mollie. But not for the other employees. Past the glass Elle could see part of the inner office. A group of men, five of them, entered by a private door. They’d clearly just come back from some sort of job that had required them to be locked and loaded since they currently looked like a SWAT team.
Elle literally stopped short. And if she was being honest, her heart stopped too because sweet baby Jesus. The lot of them stood there stripping off weapons and shirts so that all she could see was a mass of mind-blowing bodies, sweaty and tatted and in all varieties of skin colors.
It was a cornucopia of smutty goodness and she couldn’t tear her eyes away. In fact, she couldn’t speak either, mostly because her tongue had hit the floor. Her feet took advantage of her frozen brain, taking her to the interior door, where she wanted to press her face up against the glass.
Luckily, someone buzzed her in before she could. They all knew her. After all, her job required her to work closely with the security firm, and therein lay her deepest, darkest problem.
Working closely with Archer Hunt was dangerous in oh so many, many ways, not the least of which was their history, something she did her best to never think about.
She was greeted with variations on “Hey, Elle” and “Mornin’” and then they all went their separate ways, leaving her alone with their fearless leader.
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About Jill Shalvis:
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill’s sexy contemporary and award-winning books wherever romances are sold and click on the blog button above for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.