As the CEO of a large tech company and a semi-reformed bad boy, Ethan Hill is used to calling the shots. But when he’s sentenced to work two hundred hours of community service-for reckless driving, of all things-this chief executive needs to keep his real identity under wraps. Which gets increasingly difficult when he can’t stop thinking about his sexy new (temporary) boss.
The moment Graciela Ramirez meets Ethan, she’s tempted to throw all professionalism out the window. She can’t afford to get emotionally involved, but after a steamy session behind office doors, a no-strings-attached fling might be exactly what they need. He’ll protect his secret. She’ll protect her heart. What could possibly go wrong?
“We have a dinner reservation at eight. I figure we could go bowling before then. It’s a family favorite. I used to play a lot when I was a kid. Are you game?”
Gracie loved the idea, but she downplayed her excitement. Maybe this date wouldn’t be as terrifying as she’d imagined. “Sounds like fun. You’ll have to be patient with me, though. I haven’t played in a long time.”
He pushed off the wall and sidled up to her. “I was hoping you’d say that.” Then he took her jacket from her hands and stood behind her. As she slipped her arms through the jacket’s sleeves, he caged her in his arms. His warm breath drifted near her ear and she jumped. “Are you nervous?”
“What gave it away? The sweat on my upper lip?”
“Yes,” he said.
She whipped around and stared him down.
He took a step back with his hands in the air. “I’m kidding.” Then he grabbed the ends of the scarf she’d just draped around her neck and tugged her flush against him. “Why don’t we get the kiss out of the way? From there, everything should go smoothly.”
Oh, yes, please. She reached into his jacket and threaded her hands together at his waist. “I should say no just to spite you.”
“Ah, Gracie, but you’d only be punishing yourself.”
She couldn’t help but to grin at his conceit. “Wow. Someone’s cocky this evening.”
“Hold that thought for a couple of hours. Trust me. It’ll come in handy later.”
She lifted her chin. “Are you stalling?”
He didn’t answer. Instead, his mouth swept over hers as his hands rubbed her back. Gracie opened her mouth and welcomed him inside. His lips danced across hers like silk, and then he followed his careful ministrations with a gentle tug of her bottom lip. Gracie was startled by the attention Nic paid to her mouth. The kiss was not a means to an end. It was the end itself. And Gracie enjoyed every minute of it.
Pressed against him, Gracie knew Nic was as affected by the kiss as she was. She reached between them, seeking his hard length. Once again, though, he stopped her. “Bowling,” he said in a rough voice. “We’re going bowling. And we need sustenance. Then you’ll see how cocky I can be.”
Gracie laughed and pushed him away. He seemed to know exactly what to say to ease her jitters. “If you don’t stop talking yourself up, I’m going to start to think you’re all hype. Let’s go.”
Mia Sosa was born and raised in New York. She attended the University of Pennsylvania, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Communications and met her own romantic hero, her husband. Mia once dreamed of being a professional singer, but practical considerations (read: the need to pay bills) led her to take the law school admissions test instead.
A graduate of Yale Law School, Mia practiced First Amendment and media law in the nation’s capital for ten years before returning to her creative roots. Now, she spends most of her days writing contemporary romances about smart women and the complicated men who love them.
Mia lives in Maryland with her husband and two daughters and will forever be on the hunt for the perfect karaoke bar.