Wednesday, September 30, 2015
Shopping For A CEO by Julia Kent
Shopping for a CEO by Julia Kent
I’m thrilled to be the maid of honor in my friend’s wedding, but the best man, Andrew McCormick, is a chauvinistic pig with a God complex.
And I can’t stop kissing him in closets.
He’s the brother of the groom and the CEO of my biggest mystery shopping account, but suddenly he’s refusing to be in the wedding. He won’t talk about it. Won’t see reason.
He’s such a man .
And he still won’t stop kissing me in random closets.
I’m a fixer. That’s what I do. I can fix anything if given the chance. But when the game is fixed there’s only so much I can do.
The ball’s in his court now.
* * *
Shopping for a CEO is the 7th book in the New York Times and USA Today bestselling Shopping series. When CEO Andrew McCormick and mystery shopper Amanda Harrington find themselves in the unlikely position as maid of honor and best man in the Boston society wedding of the year, an undeniable attraction and dual stubborn streaks add fuel to the fire in this romantic comedy from Julia Kent.
The set-up: Amanda overheard Andrew talking about being CEO. He's chased after her, kissed her in front of Shannon/Marie/Declan to shut her up, and now he's summoned her for a meeting at his office.
Andrew spins around in his Herman Miller chair and holds one finger up to me. His face is intense, eyes dark in concentration, and he’s coiled with the kind of frustration that comes from negotiations that are stalled. The telephone conversation he’s having is one that probably calls for more privacy, but I instinctively do as told.
As I lift his suit jacket from the chair, his cologne fills the air.
It takes every bit of self control I possess not to huff his jacket like a little kid with fruit-scented markers and no adult supervision.
My fingertips can’t help it, though. They’ve seceded from my rational mind, stroking the fine cloth that has just been resting against those cultured pecs minutes before. The cloth is warm, still, as if he shed the jacket seconds before I walked in. It’s almost like being in his arms last night.
The pale imitation is worse than nothing. I would rather never, ever see him again than sit here, trying not to lick the wool weave, using every ounce of restraint I possess to maintain a professional exterior that shows my true nature.
I am a fixer.
I can fix this.
I can fix me.
Andrew ends the call and gives me his full attention. It’s like drinking from a trickle at a water fountain and suddenly having a fire hose aimed at your face.
A sensual, sultry, hot-as-Hades fire hose.
“I assume you’ve kept your mouth shut?” he starts. Nothing like cutting to the chase. I see what this meeting is about. We’re here to talk business. The business of keeping his secret about becoming the new CEO of Anterdec Industries. Nothing more. I can play this game.
“Except when you’re kissing me.”
Or I can play my own game. My rules. My board. My pieces.
The way he tilts his head just so as his mouth tightens, then spreads into a smile is like watching a rainbow form in the sky.
“I appreciate that.” His voice goes low and suggestive. Flirty, even. I’m not imagining this.
“Open-mouthed kisses? I noticed.” I match his tone.
He blinks repeatedly, the smile impossible to suppress. Dimples. Dear God, he has the McCormick dimples. Of course he does. His family’s DNA has more dimples in it than Tom Brady’s.
“I was talking about silence,” he says, standing quite suddenly. The movement may be abrupt, but his animal grace is studied. He knows how his body affects mine. Andrew McCormick is a master at knowing how to read other people.
He has a problem, though.
So am I.
Andrew has tells. One eyebrow quirks up right now as he gives away the fact that he’s less self-assured than he was when I entered the room. The open discussion about kissing is intriguing him, but it’s not distracting him. This meeting has a purpose.
And he’s determined to stay focused.
“Silence. You mean the kind of silence that comes after being kissed by you? Or the kind of silence you assume you can kiss your way into?”
The eyebrow goes down. His face goes slack. Those smoldering eyes narrow.
Now I have his full attention.
“I kissed you because you were about to spill a family secret at a less-than-opportune time.”
I look pointedly at the door to the closet in his office. “Really? Which time? After your spin session right there?” I motion toward the door. “Or after Shannon swallowed your mother’s engagement ring?”
“You know perfectly well which time.” His voice is full of an amused smoothness. Instead of resuming his seat behind the desk, he walks around and sits on the edge, manspreading in front of me, a foot and a half the only space between us.
There goes that cologne again.
“I do?” My words come out breathy, like Marilyn Monroe running after the ice cream truck. “It’s getting hard to keep track of all the kisses. I’m nearly ready to draw up a spreadsheet.”
“Would you like my assistant to create a database instead?”
-- from Shopping for a CEO, coming 9/29
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Julia Kent turned to writing contemporary romance after deciding that life is too short not to have fun. She writes romantic comedy with an edge, and new adult books that push contemporary boundaries. From billionaires to BBWs to rock stars, Julia finds a sensual, goofy joy in every book she writes, but unlike Trevor from Random Acts of Crazy, she has never kissed a chicken.
She loves to hear from her readers by email at firstname.lastname@example.org