Mercurial and charming, Tate Larson is a rising author and playboy who has a different woman on his arm every night of the week. Focused on his work, Tate has no plans to settle down any time soon. That is until he meets his pretty new assistant, Piper Donovan.
Desperate to escape the promise of backwater living, Piper ditched her Alabama hometown and never looked back. That was almost two years ago. Now that she is out of a job and her bank account is running on fumes, she’s desperate to find a job, fast. She finds the break she is searching for when she lands a position at JB Publishing. A little dancing and a lot of drinks with the girls seem the perfect way to celebrate. After a brief but explosive encounter with a man she was never supposed to see again turns out to be the same man she will be bending over backwards to please, her every instinct tells her to run. But when running means leaving the life she has struggled so hard to create, Piper decides her only option is to continue working for the devastatingly sexy Tate Larson...even if it kills her.
Unable to deny their growing attraction, they struggle to keep their distance in a relationship that requires anything but.
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USA Today Bestselling author J.C. Valentine is the alter-ego of Author Brandi Salazar, whose enjoyment of tales of romance inspired her to branch out and create her own.
She lives in the Northwest with her husband, their wild children, and far too many pets. Having graduated with honors, she holds a degree in English, which she hopes to use to pursue her dreams of becoming an editor. Brandi entertains a number of hobbies including reading and photography, but her first love is writing fiction-in all its forms.
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Checking his watch again, Tate gritted his teeth and dropped his eyes back to the screen before him. So help him God. Felix promised he had found a good one this time. He swore this was the one. Foolishly, Tate had believed the man, though why he did was beyond him. The last dozen or so certainly hadn’t worked out, so why should this one? Was it too much to ask for a person to be on time these days? Well, Felix was going to be pissed to hear that he fired this one on the spot. He didn’t tolerate incompetence well.
The bell over the door chimed again, announcing another arrival. Pausing mid-sentence, his fingers hovering over the keys, Tate lifted his eyes to the door once more, pausing on the pretty little thing that stepped inside.
Dressed as a professional in a nice buttercream blouse and fitted pencil skirt, he was unable to keep his eyes from wandering over her luscious curves. She wasn’t as tall or slim as the women he normally chose, but there was just something about her that drew the eye. Maybe it had something to do with the woman he had hooked up with at the club over the weekend—lush lips, curvy body and bedroom eyes. Exactly the type of woman he went for and actively avoided.
He was still reliving that moment nightly, hell, daily.
He never should have kissed her. It went against his personal code of never kissing a one-night stand. But kiss her he had and now he was suffering the memory of that kiss and the way the woman tasted endlessly.
Glancing around, he noticed that half the men in the shop had paused what they were doing to take notice of the woman, too.
He watched curiously, studying her form, the way the morning sunlight created a total body halo making her look positively heavenly, the way her eyes darted around the room nervously, landing on each man only long enough to disregard them and move on. Hmm, why only the men, he wondered as those innocent brown eyes snagged on him.
Oh, hell no.
Tate straightened from his slouched position and dropped his feet from the chair in front of him to the floor with a dull thud.
It couldn’t be.
This had to be some kind of trick. Some sick twist of fate. Two things occurred to him at once: He was looking at the object of his current fantasies—the woman he had screwed in a women’s bathroom and hadn’t been able to shake from his memory since—and he was pretty damn sure she was his new assistant.
He knew she recognized him by the way her mouth dropped open in a small O and her brown eyes widened. She started toward him, her steps faltering only slightly before she visibly pulled herself together. His eyes narrowed as the woman stopped in front of his table and peered down at him.
“Hey, fancy meeting you again.” She smiled, showing off pretty white teeth that weren’t exactly perfect but still managed to set off her smile. His gaze lingered on her full, pouty bottom lip, remembering how it had tasted against his tongue.
“Yes, fancy that,” Tate replied tightly. “Piper was it?”
Dressed the way she was, looking the way she did, he never would have figured her for the business type. Judging from their first encounter, he pegged her as easy, just some bimbo, good for taking to bed and not much more.
Okay, that wasn’t entirely true. She seemed different from the women he normally screwed. Compelling him to kiss her was proof enough of that. Not that he would have minded taking this woman to bed, though. Hell, he already had her once bent over a bathroom sink, but he needed an assistant just now. What he didn’t need was the aggravation of working with a woman who he’d already slept with. Sitting back, he folded his arms over his chest and propped his foot up on the chair across from him.
“Ah, you remembered.”
“What can I say? I’m good with names, and I never forget a pretty face,” he replied smoothly.
She blushed, which oddly pleased him. Too bad he was going to have to wipe that pretty look off her face. “So, what are you doing here?”
“I’m supposed to be meeting my new assistant,” he said, looking up at her meaningfully, “but they’re late.”
Brows pinching, Piper frowned at him. He knew the exact moment that she put two and two together. “You’re Tate Larson?” she screeched.
He pursed his lips. “I am. Are you the assistant?”
She swallowed, her hands twisting nervously in front of her. “Yes, that’s me.”
“Good. You’re fired.”
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