sabato 29 aprile 2017

Lovestruck by Lila Monroe





Synopsis:

One week in paradise with the one man I can’t resist… 

Will Cassidy is hot, infuriating, and the guy behind the biggest heart-stomping humiliation of my life. He’s also hosting my BFF’s destination wedding at his super-luxe tropical resort, so short of a hurricane or outbreak of the plague (here’s hoping), I’m stuck within t̶o̶n̶g̶u̶e̶’s̶ arm's reach of him for the next seven days.

But I’m not a naive college girl anymore, and there’s no way I’m falling for his (many) charms again. I just have to ignore the romantic wedding shenanigans, his miraculous abs, all those intimate beach sunsets... And did I mention those abs? 

Maybe a wild vacation fling is exactly what I need to even the score... But between the scorching chemistry and all-inclusive margaritas, I’m getting drunk on love. Which definitely isn’t part of the plan. 

Can I keep my heart zipped - even if my bikini bottoms are lost somewhere on that nude beach? And how do you let go of the past when you’re holding on tight to the past’s (very ripped) torso? 


Review:



This was such a lovely and smexy second-chance romance and I so love those kind of stories I couldn't read it quick enough.

Ruby and Will were best friends at college but at some point they drift apart only to meet again few years later at their mutual friends' wedding in a fabulous tropical resort.Our main characters are two certified workhaolic,it seems like they don't have enough time in a day for a committed romantic relationship but the chemistry between the two is undeniable and I was hoping for their HEA throughout the book.

I have enjoyed once again Lila Monroe's writing,her characters made me smile and I fell in love with her tropical scenery.



Remember When by Lindsay Detwiler


Release Date: 04.29.2017



Synopsis:

This wasn’t how it was supposed to be….


They met at a wedding, Todd the only man wearing jeans, Jessica the beauty with a troubled background. Settled into married life after falling in love, they have so many things left to do in life. They think they have so much time… until Jessica and Todd’s average married life comes to a halt on a snowy back road. When their truck careens down an embankment, they find themselves in a life-or-death situation. With rescue seeming impossible, they cling to the only hope they have left: their love for each other.


As they fight for survival, their connection carries them through the biggest challenge of their lives. Memories and regrets swirl around the couple as they finally take a moment to reflect on what they’re doing in life.


There’s one big, icy question that haunts them, though: Is this where their story will end?

Review:


Remember When is a simple story packed with so much love and raw emotions that make it beautiful and unforgettable.

I loved to see Todd and Jess' story unfolding between the pages,some of their memories made my heart smile others shattered it,I was so engaged in it I could feel all their mutual love.

I think Lindsay Detwiler can write whatever she wants I'll read it because she can do no wrong.


Excerpt:

Together, they were a functioning but crazy couple, living in the adult world of responsibility but straying from the normal every now and then to experience life to the fullest.

Together, they could get through anything. She had to cling to that.

She perked up at the thought of having some temporary relief from the cold as Todd wriggled to get closer to the driver seat, being careful to not jiggle his leg too much. He reached over to the keys, turning it with a whispered “Please.”

Nothing happened.

“Shit.” He slammed the dashboard in frustration. His temper was always one of his flaws.

“Let me try,” she uttered, reaching for the key in his hand.

“It’s not working.”

“Move.”

She shoved him away, trying the key herself, whispering “Please.” If her toes weren’t so damn cold, she’d cross them all in hopes of the engine coming to life.

She turned the key and laughed at her luck. The engine chugged to life.

“Wrong again,” she gloated, a huge grin on her face.


“You know, I should push you out in the snow.”

The smile stifled itself at his words, even as the sound of the engine underscored her hope, emphasized the soon-to-be warmth that would be theirs.

She didn’t respond to his statement, lost in her own bout of regrets and guilt.

“Jess?” he asked finally, concern in his voice.

She warmed her hands in front of the heater. It already felt heavenly, even though it wasn’t even close to being completely warm. Finally, she responded in a disconsolate voice, “Probably should. This is my fault.”

“Hey, stop it. Don’t blame yourself.” He put a hand on her arm, shaking her a bit.

“If I’d listened….”

“We might still have ended up here, or worse. Things could be worse. We could’ve hit a tree head-on. By some luck, we landed right between them. It’s all okay. It’s all going to work out.” He, too, rubbed his hands in front of the heater.

“I love you,” she whispered, still feeling guilty, still not quite believing him. This was her fault. She’d messed up, big-time. Who knew what price they’d pay for it.

“I love you too.”

She smiled again, leaning against him as she basked in the warmth of the heat radiating through her fingers. They sat, wordless, reveling in the simple but heavenly feeling.

Todd interrupted the silence a few moments later. “You do know, when we get out of this, I’m never letting you live this down.”

She groaned, shaking her head as she pulled away from him. “You just said it’s not my fault.”


“Of course I did. Because right now, I can’t blame you or I look like a dick. Later, though, oh man, is this going to be a great addition to my amateur comedic stand-up at parties.”




venerdì 28 aprile 2017

Unsteady by Melissa Collins


Release Date: 04.28.2017


Synopsis:

Micah Hudson and Jude MacMillian were both lonely teenagers. One the new kid and one the target of relentless bullying, they quickly became friends. But when friendship grew into more, the relationship was too much for either to handle. As their tenuous bond was tested, everything tumbled down, leaving them lonely once again.
A decade later, Micah is on the brink of losing his will to live. Beyond exhausted from lying to everyone, including himself, Micah thinks of the one person who knows his deepest secret. Desperate and alone, Micah makes the only decision he feels he has: he must leave. But his need for closure depends on one thing.
Can Jude make room in his Unsteady life for Micah once again?

Review:


If you have read the other books in this series you've already met Micah but you didn't have get half of his story.I was so curious to read of this complicated character and it didn't disappoint me.

Micah and Jude were high school best friends but after their graduation their lives took them to different places until they meet again after ten years and maybe this time they will find the courage to fight for their relationship and they will trust each other and their love.

Melissa Collins has once again wonderfully portrayed the life of a former soldier suffering of PTSD,his struggles to have a life worth living and to make peace with his past choices.
Her writing pulled me into the pages and I couldn't reach the end fast enough in order to go back to breathe normally.



Box of Hearts by Nikki Ashton


Release Date: 04.28.2017



Synopsis:

Millie is unlucky in love and when her long term relationship ends like a soap opera story line, she takes drastic action.  She applies for an overseas job as home school teacher on an American family Ranch and finds herself instantly attracted to Jesse-her boss.  As for Jesse, well he doesn’t need her getting in his business and constantly reminding him that he neglects his daughter.

In Jesse Connor’s eyes his life would be simple if it consisted of three things.  His ranch, his cattle and his horses.  But it doesn’t- for one, there’s his young daughter, Adeline, who is fighting for his love and attention because he’s the only parent she has.  Then there is Millie Braithwaite-that damn beautiful English woman.

Millie & Jesse are two broken souls who are both fighting against the inevitable, because they both know that this time their hearts could be shattered beyond repair.


**Box of Hearts is the first book in the Connor Ranch series and tells the story of second chance love and the joy and sorrow it can bring.**


Review:


Box of Hearts was so nice and engaging I've devoured it in one day.I think I was starving for a country kind of story.I want a nice cowboy all for me now!

Addy is a bright,smart and lovely kid and I'm sure you'll love her as soon as you meet her.I loved how a little 4 years old girl becomes the "red string of fate" that helps all the characters to come back together,to find themselves,some peace of mind and love.

Millie and Jesse incredible chemistry is obvious since their first encounter but they can't surrender to their instincts because they are too scared,the first one of the awkward future she can get into falling for her boss and the second is obviously still trapped in his past to make a move.

I can tell Nikki Ashton succeded writing a really good contemporary romance,I look forward to reading the next one.

martedì 18 aprile 2017

Stuck With You by Carla Burgess


Release Date: 04.10.2017



Synopsis:

One lift. Two strangers. Anything could happen!
Elena thought that today would be just like any other day…until the supermarket lift jams and she realises she’s stuck.
And not just stuck in the lift. Stuck with her childhood crush, Daniel Moore, who unfortunately seems to be just as gorgeous as she remembered…
Review:


Stuck With You was a low on drama and full of romance kind of read and a very enjoyable one too.

I really liked that the main characters have their second chance to fall in love thanks to the fate and an unreliable lift.

I've read Carla Burgess words effortlessly,swooning from page to page...I have to go back and read her debut novel as soon as possible.

venerdì 14 aprile 2017

The Valentine Quest by Melissa McClone


Release Date: 02.02.2017



Synopsis:

Keep your competition close…and your heart even closer.
When Nevada Parker travels to Marietta, Montana, she anticipates enough peace and quiet to finish her PhD dissertation. Cupidville turns out to be anything but quiet. In fact, it looks like Valentine’s Day—her least favorite holiday—exploded all over the small town.

Among the sea of red hearts, “Be Mine” signs, and pink, pink, pink, Nevada spots a flyer for a multi-day race called The Valentine Quest. The grand prize—a luxury tropical vacation—would be the perfect welcome-home gift for her brother who’s leaving the military.

Dustin Decker sure could use a break from giving city slickers sleigh rides—and from the now ex-girlfriend who issued an ultimatum. Even with a bum knee from his bull riding days, the race’s grand prize is as good as his—until he realizes he needs a partner for some of the more complicated tasks.

He makes a strategic pact with the prim, bookish Nevada. But with a kiss, their unlikely alliance turns into something more…and soon racing isn’t the only thing on their minds. As the finish line nears, they must decide if the grand prize is worth more than what they’ve found together…or if one of them will walk away empty handed—and broken hearted.


Review:


This series of stand-alone stories keeps get better book after book.
The Valentine Quest was another well delivered sweet and a bit emotional story.

I've loved to read Nevada and Dustin's journey,they have nothing in common,the first is on her way to be the best professor ever and the latter is a cowboy,but their aversion to long term love relationships.Fortunately the Marietta's Valentine Quest will help them discovering their true fears and helping them to overcome their limits in order to reach their happiness.

I can't wait for Melissa McClone 's next story because her words are so good and easy to read.

lunedì 10 aprile 2017

Cooking with Kandy by Peggy Jaeger


Release Date: 04.04.2017


Synopsis:

Sugar and spice and everything sexy make the perfect recipe for romance in this brand-new series by Peggy Jaeger. Look for exclusive recipes in each book!

Kandy Laine built her wildly popular food empire the old-fashioned way—starting with the basic ingredients of her grandmother’s recipes and flavoring it all with her particular brand of sweet spice. From her cookbooks to her hit TV show, Kandy is a kitchen queen—and suddenly someone is determined to poison her cup. With odd accidents and threatening messages piling up, strong-willed Kandy can’t protest when her team hires someone to keep her safe—but she can’t deny that the man for the job looks delicious. . .

Josh Keane is a private investigator, not a bodyguard. But with one eyeful of Kandy’s ebony curls and dimpled smile, he’s signing on to uncover who’s cooking up trouble for the gorgeous chef. As the attraction between them starts to simmer, it’s not easy to keep his mind on the job, but when the strange distractions turn to true danger, he’ll stop at nothing to keep Kandy safe—and show her that a future together is on the menu. . .
 

Review:


This was the first time I've read something written by Peggy Jaeger and I've enjoyed it so much.

I was attracted to this book as soon as I've seen the cover and the title.
Cooking with Kandy was such a good read,the story unfolds page after page keeping me glued to my reader in order to solve the mystery.

Kandy and Josh are two workaholic brought together by some upsetting events that urge our heroine's overbearing family to hire a PI.
I really liked them,their chemistry is clear since their first encounter but they have other priorities and they try to fight their sexual attraction at all costs. 
There are a lot of supporting characters but the author made a good job to introduce them not confusing the reader.

Ah and the recipes at the end of the book left me with a dreamy look and 
an incredible craving for comfort food.

I can't wait to read Gemma's story.

The Wanderer by Dahlia Donovan


Release Date: 04.08.2017



Synopsis:

Graham Hodson lives for adventure. His entire life has revolved around his obsessive wanderlust. His inner fear of staying in one place or being with one person for too long has kept him on the go. The last thing he expects is a sudden diagnosis to ground his travel—permanently.


Boyce “BC” Brooks has screwed up his lifelong dream of being the captain of the English national rugby team. He’s lost everything. When his uncle leaves him an inn and a dog in Cornwall, he has little choice but to try his hand at innkeeper.


Can two jokesters kicked around by life and their own decisions find stability when their world shakes beneath their feet?


Review:



This was a nice,smooth read until it broke my heart and even if I wasn't expecting that at all I enjoyed it nonetheless.

Graham and BC met at a wedding but their first encounter is so unforgettable to make them nervous when they meet again months later.They are not ready for a long term relationship but the fate will stick them together and we will see their self growing and self discovery chapter after chapter.


"Love is like the perfect Summer day in London.It's never guaranteed,always worth the wait,and occasionally happens when you've given up on the clouds parting.Enjoy it.Don't run away."




Excerpt:

Weddings.

Weddings were a pain more excruciating than a broken nose, or tooth, or both—an event to be avoided when at all possible. Only the blissfully ignorant would voluntarily submit themselves to the farce of “marital bliss,” never mind the noise, whimpering women, and a priest who would undoubtedly drone on and on unless someone whacked him upside the head.

Why did I agree to this shit? If this bint sobs into my sleeve one more sodding time, I’ll shove her into the aisle, manners be damned. I should’ve claimed a sudden bout of dengue fever in Macau and been done with it.

Graham Hodson had returned home early from yet another adventure to attend the wedding of his best mate, Francis, and his soon-to-be husband, former rugby star Caddock Stanford. He’d contemplated doing a runner. His twin brother, Rupert, had threatened to drag him in by the ear, pointing out that they couldn’t disappoint their childhood friend, could they?

Even if he were tempted to do so, Joanne, Rupert’s wife, had promised untold pain if he did anything to ruin Francis’s day. The spoilsport also vetoed all of his ideas to improve the day for the two grooms. He didn’t see why they wouldn’t enjoy having massive cod strung up to their escape vehicle.

Graham glanced across the room, and his mood brightened when he spotted an old mate, Jack Sasaki. They’d spent summers playing on Cornwall beaches together as kids, along with Rupert. They often flirted with the same boys, though one date with each other had been enough to realise they made far better friends.

The half-Japanese and half-Cornish man made his living as a barber a few villages over, in Fowey. Graham hadn’t seen him in a while and would have to find time while home to have a beer and chat with him. He hoped Jack was having better luck romantically than he currently was.

Wanderlust didn’t come with the perks of being romantically available. His passport might’ve been filled with stamps, but his nights had been filled with loneliness—aside from occasional casual sex. His adventures brought joy to his life.

I don’t sodding need anyone to be happy.

Now, repeat the mantra until the wedding stops making you act stupidly moody.

It might be the wedding of a close friend, but boredom continued to make his mind drift. Did anyone other than the couple care about the cute dog with a bow tie or the adorable child in the tuxedo? No. The answer would always be no. People went to ceremonies for the food and drink that followed after, and no one would ever be able to convince him otherwise.

A sniffle from the woman beside him was a reminder that maybe some people did care. With a less cynical view, Graham could admit the tuxedos had been well chosen. Tastefully done bouquets of white roses were adorned with pale blue ribbons that had antiqued copper rugby charms dangling from them.

Adorable.

Graham could also admit, however painfully, that the blissful happiness on Francis’s face made him slightly envious. “Sodding weddings.”

A gasp from the weepy twit reminded him not to mutter out loud. He summoned a smile when Francis glanced his way. The things one did for friends.

Oh, hello.

Who the bloody hell are you?

Never mind who you are. Can I see you naked?

An absolutely gorgeous bloke sitting on Caddock’s side of the church had caught his attention. Tall, with a closely shaved head and black beard, he had a strong jaw—sharp lines all over really, from what Graham could see. He wore a suit that bordered on obscene for the way it clung to his muscled form.

Suddenly this event looks far more interesting than it did a minute ago. Now how do I get myself an introduction? Should be easy. It’s a wedding; single people come to hook up at them, right?

Right.

Their eyes met. Almost identical grins of acknowledgement followed, which intrigued Graham. People didn’t always read him so well. Mr Tall, Bald, and Gorgeous smirked as if he knew exactly what Graham had been thinking.

They’d definitely made a connection.

Interesting.

If the wedding ceremony hadn’t been in full swing, Graham would’ve immediately wandered over to introduce himself. They settled for not so subtle flirtatious smirks. His impatience grew more palpable waiting for it to be over.


Their eyes continually drifted towards one another. An electric shock hit him each time. It sounded dramatic even in his head—but he did feel a mysterious sense of adventure just from contemplating a brief encounter with the mystery man.

giovedì 6 aprile 2017

Tempt The Boss by Natasha Madison


Release Date: 04.03.2017


Synopsis:

Lauren

Going back to work was supposed to be a painless transition, but when my new boss turns out to be an arrogant, cocky jerk, he quickly turns my professional life into a world of torture. Okay, fine, calling him an asshat before knowing he was my boss wasn't my finest moment. Hating him should be easy. I just never counted on him being so gorgeous or charming when he's not annoying me.

Austin

I expected my new assistant to be professional and punctual, but all I'm getting are dirty looks and rude comments. I should fire the little hellion, but instead all I can think about is bending her over my desk and breaking every rule I've ever made for myself.

One look. One touch. One night. If we break the rules, our lives will never be the same again.

Good thing rules were made to be broken. And besides, it feels so good to Tempt the Boss.



Review:


Tempt The Boss was a funny,refreshing,sexy read.
I absolutely recommend it if you need a good laugh in your books.

I wasn't sure Natasha Madison had in her a romantic comedy bone but she surprised me making me smile from page one until the end. The engaging plot and the witty characters made me so curious I couldn't turn the pages fast enough.

I loved and admired Lauren strength to not let her life to be influenced by a single bad experience,I admired how she try to take back control of her life for herself and her two kids.
It was really interesting to see how Austin grew up throughout the book.He started like a naughty "child" and became a charming man chapter after chapter.

I really hope to read Noah's story next.

Excerpt:

Lauren


I’m singing along to Maroon Five’s “Don’t Wanna Know” when a call comes in. Penelope’s name flashes on the screen. Penelope is my friend from college, the only friend who I kept in touch with. She runs an HR firm that specializes in placing temps. She is the reason I have this job right now.


“Hello,” I say while I wait for her voice to fill the car.

“Hey, there, just checking in. You ready?” she asks me. I hear her rustling papers in the background, so I know she is already at her desk.

“Yup, I’m on my way there now. I’m so nervous, I may puke, though. But I’ll be on time.” I chuckle at the thought of me barfing all over my new boss. I brake for the traffic that is slowing to a crawl in front of me when I feel my van jerk forward slightly. My head flies forward and then snaps back. Looking in my mirror, I see that someone just hit me.

“Oh my god. Someone just ran into me. Fuck me, P. I have to call you back,” I say, unlocking my seatbelt and climbing out of the car.

I put my Tory Birch sunglasses on top of my head, walking to the back to see the damage. I don’t even have time to get there before I hear a raspy voice ask, “What the hell is wrong with you? You just stopped!” I put a hand over my eyes to block the sun and see him. And boy, do I see him. My heart skips a beat when he whips his aviator sunglasses off his face.

He’s about six feet tall, maybe taller, with dark hair that’s short on the sides and a bit longer at the top, which almost looks like it was combed back by his hands. His eyes are a mossy green with shimmery gold flecks in them that I can see thanks to the sun hitting them just right. A freshly-shaven face that shows off the strong angles of his jaw and hints at where I’m sure a five-o’clock-shadow of delicious stubble will emerge in a few hours.

He’s wearing a suit minus the jacket. His dark blue pants are a perfect fit, molding to him like they were made especially for him, and from the looks of them, they probably were. His crisp, white dress shirt is open at the collar and covers his broad chest and thick biceps. His sleeves are rolled up to his elbows and show off a big, masculine silver Rolex watch.

He throws his hand up as he angrily asks, “Is something wrong with you? Are you drunk?”

I take a step back, putting my hand to my stomach. “Are you talking to me?” I look around wondering if there is someone else he could be talking to. “You hit me. You. Hit. Me.” I storm to the back of the car to assess the damage. I see that my bumper is a bit scratched, but his Porsche is going to need some body work.

“I can’t believe this. I can’t flipping believe this! Now I’m going to be late because you were probably too busy on your phone texting to pay attention to the road.” I walk to my car, opening the door and leaning across the seat to grab my purse. Cars pass us slowly, everyone taking a look to see what’s going on.

Looking at the clock on the dash, I see that I have to be at my new job in twenty minutes. Grabbing my license, registration, and insurance ID card, I slam the door and walk over to see him leaning on the side of my car, watching me.

“I’m going to be late. Is there any way we can just exchange numbers and get all the information after?” I ask, looking through the papers.

I hear him huff. “You probably don’t have insurance, which is why you want to call me later so you can get some while I drive around with a missing a light.” He walks over to his car, leans down, and grabs his phone from the driver’s seat.

I look at him. “So, you weren’t on the phone? Riiighhhhttt,” I say glaring at him.

“I don’t have all day. Some of us have actual work to do. What do you want from me?” His tone is snarky.

“Actually, I don’t want anything from you. My car has a scratch, yours is the one that is damaged. Besides, it wasn’t even my fault. Maybe we should call the police to make a report so we can get it on the record that you were driving while texting.” I lean my head to the side. “I’m not a police officer or anything, but I think that’s against the law.”

He snarls at me, “Just give me your number.” I tell him my number, and when he asks my name, I gladly tell him. “The woman whose car you hit because you were texting while driving.” He looks at me and his eyebrows pinch together. “Is that name already taken?” I ask him, waiting for his answer. When I realize he isn’t going to reply, I ask him, “Now, what’s yours?” He shoots off his number, and I store it in my phone.

I turn around to walk away. “Aren’t you going to ask me my name?” He puts his hands on his hips, his biceps bulging and his chest looking impossibly broader.

“Nope, no need. I just put you under ‘Asshat who texts while driving and hit my car.’” I smile at him. “Have a fabulous day,” I grumble, turning around and getting back in the car.

Fuck. I see that I now have ten minutes to get there. I dial Penelope right after I buckle and take off watching the asshole get into his car. “I think I might still make it,” I tell her even before she says hello.

“It’s okay. I called and told them there was an accident on the way, and they said not to worry, that Austin was going to be late, too. So, you’re still good to go.  How’s the damage?” she asks.

“Minivan: 1 – Porsche: 0.” I laugh and tell her I’ll check back in with her at lunch.

When I finally make it to the office building, I check my face and apply lip gloss one more time before walking inside. I look at my phone and notice that I’m only seven minutes late. Not bad all things considered. I walk in and tell the security guard I am there for Barbara at Mackenzie Jacob Associates. When he calls up, he gets the all clear to send me up.

I make my way up to the forty-sixth floor and walk to the receptionist, who is smiling from ear-to-ear. “Hi. I’m here to see Barbara. My name is Lauren. I’m the temp,” I explain as she gets up and comes around to shake my hand, introducing herself as Carmen. She then takes me back to meet Barbara.

Barbara is short with white hair, and her glasses are perched on her nose. “Hey, there, Lauren. I’m so happy to finally meet you. I’ve heard great things from Penelope.” She reaches out to shake my hand and motions for me to sit down.

“Thank you so much, and I’m so sorry I’m late. I was in a little fender bender, and I tried to finish as fast as I could,” I tell her, sitting down in the chair in front of her desk.


“No worries. I heard Austin was going to be about ten minutes late, but he got here right before you did. Now, if you will fill out these papers here, I will get your elevator pass ready for you,” she says while she goes to her cabinet in the corner.

Because this is just a temp job, I don’t have to do much. Just an emergency contact form. “Now, I should warn you that this is the tenth temp we have hired for this position… this month,” she finishes quickly.

I look at her, confused. “But it’s only the seventeenth of November.” My heart starts racing. What if he throws me out? What if he laughs at me since I haven’t worked in ten years?

“Mr. Mackenzie is, um, well… special to work for,” she murmures while looking down at the papers in front of her and not even trying not make eye contact with me.

“Special? What does that mean?” I ask, my eyebrows pinching together.

“Let’s just say that my money is on you.” She gets up. “Shall we?” She points to the door. I nod at her, trying to get some saliva going in my mouth. It’s dry, and my palms are sweating. I think my armpits are actually starting to sweat, too. Oh boy. I can’t do this. I should turn around and run away.

But before I can make my move, we reach a door that is closed. The big brown door is solid, and the windows that look out into the office have their shades drawn. I hear Barbara knock on the door before we enter.

I don’t see much in front of her. I just look around the office at the view of the city, since there are wall-to-wall windows affording it an amazing view. I don’t have a chance to look much further, because all I hear is a raspy voice asking, “Are you fucking stalking me? Did you follow me here?” I whip my head around to look at him.

Just my luck. It’s the asshat from this morning, the one who hit me. Except now, the asshat is sitting behind the desk, the desk that apparently belongs to my new temporary boss.

Austin

I’m already having the shittiest day ever and it’s only fucking eight o’clock. My alarm didn’t wake me at five a.m. like it does every day, so I didn’t have a chance to get my run in before I had to head to work.

Just a quick shower and a coffee before I hurried out. I walked out of my apartment, rushed to the elevator, and ran smack into my ex who, according to her, ‘just happened to be in the area.’

It took a lot for me not to roll my eyes at her. She wasn’t in the area; she’s fucking the dude who lives upstairs. Not that I care. I was the one who let her go. Whatever, I blew her off and headed to my car.

Right as I started up my car, my mother decided it was a great day to call and lay out everything that’s wrong with my life. I’m nearing forty; all I have is my career, blah blah blah. Newsflash, Mom, that’s all I want.

So, just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, I hit a mini bus, or a van, or whatever the hell it’s called.

I expected a frumpy housewife to get out of the car, but instead I was greeted by a woman who could only be described as sex-on-a-stick, or I guess I should say two sticks, because those legs of hers aren’t something I’ll forget anytime soon. I couldn’t even talk I was so stunned. Then she bent over her seat and presented me with the most perfect ass. I think I actually groaned.

My cock was getting ready to salute her right then and there as she walked back to me from her minivan. The thought that she was someone’s wife and I was jonesing on her made my skin crawl. I may be an asshole, but I don’t fuck with marriages or people in relationships. There are more than enough single people on earth to not get involved with someone who isn’t.

I tried to see if she was wearing a ring, but I couldn’t see anything. I took her number, and she rushed away.

The whole way to work, I replayed the scene in my head over and over again. I tried to think back on anything that I could have said that would have had her reacting so hostilely.

I got to the office just four minutes late. I absolutely loathe tardiness; people who are late drive me nuts. I built this company from the ground up. I am now the most sought-after commercial contract developer in the city, especially when it comes to entertainment establishments. If you want to open a restaurant or nightclub in this city, let’s just say I am known widely as the best choice to make sure it happens.

There is never a dull moment in this business. If I have to get in there and swing a hammer or wash the damn glasses myself, I do it. There is nothing I won’t do to protect my and my company’s reputation. If you are opening a restaurant or a nightclub and you attach it to the name Mackenzie Jacob, chances are it’ll be a hit from day one.

So now, here I am walking into my office a few minutes late. The cute new receptionist, Carmen, is batting her eyes at me as I walk in, dragging out her greeting. “Good Morning, Mr. Mackenzie.” She’s new here, so she mustn’t have heard the news yet, but I don’t fuck where I eat. Ever.

“Morning. Is my new temp here yet?” I ask her, getting right to the point as she hands me my messages. A new temp who is yet another thing I didn’t need today.

Since my secretary retired last month, I’ve gone through six or seven temps…okay, maybe ten. But it’s not all my fault. I can’t take it if they’re stupid and I have to sit there and spell things out for them. I need someone who can take direction, get it right the first time, and just do what I ask the first time I ask it. It’s simple, really.

When I ask you to get me coffee, I’m not asking you to join me for a cup. When I tell you to scan and email something, I don’t need reporting of the task as if you’re waiting for a sticker on your paper. When you have a caller on hold, I don’t need you announcing them to me through the intercom in a singsong voice. I also don’t need you knocking on my door every few minutes to ask me if I need anything. Trust me, when I need something, you’ll be the first one to know.

“Can you tell Barbara I’m in now?” I prompt her, walking away while I pull the collar from my neck, making my way down the hall toward my corner office.

I walk into my office, taking in the view of the city. We are on the forty-sixth floor, so I can see the skyline perfectly, and at night, it’s even better. I eat, sleep, and breathe my work. There aren’t set hours for my work. So, if I have to be at the office for fifteen hours a day, then that’s what it takes. Which is why I don’t need, or want, a wife at this point. I’d just let them down.

I’ve lost count of how many relationships I’ve had that have ended because I wasn’t there when I said I would be. I’m married to my work, and she is my first priority.

Sitting in my chair, I start going through the messages. I flip through them, seeing two messages from Vegas. I’m thinking of branching out and opening an office there, but something is stopping me. I like to stay local. I like to show up during construction. I like to pop in when you least expect it, and I wouldn’t be able to do that if I branched out to Vegas.

I’m about to call them back when there is a knock on the door. I don’t even have to tell them to come in before Barbara opens the door. I look over at her. She’s been here from day one, but she isn’t what I’m looking at this morning; it’s the girl behind her.

Fucking unbelievable! This crazy chick followed me to my work. She is probably coming to sue me. I’ll show her. “Are you fucking stalking me? Did you follow me here?” I growl at her while I stand up behind my desk.

Barbara’s face pales and her mouth hangs open, but not the sassy one behind her. “Follow you? Are you insane?” She looks at Barbara. “I can’t do this. I totally understand why you’ve gone through so many temps. Who would work for him?” She shakes her head. “Not only did he hit my car”—she looks at me—“while texting. The first thing he asked was if I was drunk!” She looks back at Barbara, who then glares at me. Great, just great, she’s on crazy chick’s side. “You would think he would ask me if I’m okay, right? Nope, not this guy. He wanted to know if I was drunk at eight a.m. Who the hell drinks at eight am anyway?” She folds her arms under her breasts, unnecessarily pushing them up. Fuck. I can’t stop the mental image of her standing there, arms crossed under her tits, in nothing but her shoes. I shake that thought from my head.

“Wait.” I throw the messages on my desk. “You, you’re my temp?”

“No, sir,” she says, and fuck me, but does that ever make me want to hold her hands behind her back as I bend her over my desk and pound into her while she calls me sir. “I was your temp.” She looks at Barbara. “I wish you well.” Then she turns and starts walking out the door.

Barbara’s raised voice stops her. “Wait a second!” She looks at me.  “Austin Montgomery Mackenzie, is Lauren telling me that you hit her car and then asked her if she was drunk? I raised you better than that, young man,” she chides in that sharp tone I remember from my childhood. Okay, so Barbara was also my nanny growing up. That was to be expected when you’re the child of world-renowned doctors who jetted around the globe saving lives. One is a cardiologist, and the other is a brain surgeon. They had very little time to raise a child. So, that’s where Barbara came in, and she stayed until I was eighteen. She retired, but when I opened this firm, she was the first one I thought of to handle the HR side of the company, something I knew she would handle far better than me. “Apologize right this second, Austin,” she demands, and I scoff at her. I will not do any such thing.

“She braked suddenly for no reason! There was no one in front of her,” I defend myself. Barbara’s eyebrows pinch together, and she takes her glasses off so they hang on the chain around her neck. I know that if I don’t say sorry, this will just end in her quitting again. Last time, it cost me a month-long Mediterranean cruise. “Fine,” I huff out, “I’m sorry I accused you of being drunk. I should have just called you what you are—a reckless, clueless female driver.”

Lauren stands there glaring at me as Barbara yells, “I quit!” This must shock Lauren, because she immediately goes to Barbara and strokes her back. “Oh no. No, no, no. Please, really, it’s fine. It’s totally okay. I accept his apology.” She aims a glare at me. “I understand now why so many women left, he’s a...” She leans in and whispers in Barbara’s ear. I don’t know what she says, but they both snicker. Great, just great.

“Yup, my money is on Lauren.” She looks at me. “You’re lucky she saved you this time.” She smiles at Lauren. “Let’s do lunch tomorrow. Austin’s treat.”

She leaves the room leaving us all alone. “Fine. I guess I’ll try and work with you, for Barbara.” She walks out to the desk facing my office. She puts her purse on it. Turning the computer on, she grabs a pen and notepad and comes back in. “No time like the present to get this out of the way, so why don’t we start with your expectations of me?”

I look at her while she sits in the chair in front of me, crossing her legs at her ankles. I sit down, leaning back in my chair, and start rocking. “Okay, fine. I expect you to be on time. Every day. No exceptions.”

She doesn’t write it down. “That isn’t a problem. I hate when people are late, so you don’t have to worry about that. Unless, of course, irresponsible people hit my car while I’m innocently driving, I’ll be here on time.”

“There is a list on your desk of routine tasks required of this position that you can read. If it’s not clear enough, then come ask me questions. How’s that?”

She gets up. “That sounds like a plan.” She turns to walk away, and I watch her. Every fucking step she takes she swings her hips; the best thing is, she has no idea she’s doing it. She has no idea that I’m sitting here negotiating with myself about my own rule. I’m not sure how I’m going to get anything done, because fucking her on my desk is the only thing I can think of that needs to be done right now.