Free today on Amazon – Rebound Baby, Too!
I’m so thrilled that this book was a finalist in the Stiletto Contest by Greater Detroit RWA’s chapter of Contemporary Romance Writers for Contemporary Erotic Romance!!!!
Anna Kincaid is a PR intern and ready to graduate and begin her career. When she meets Jake McComas, who has earned the name Mr. Lickable at the office, she is immediately drawn to him. For Jake, it’s love at first sight. Her sense of humor, her creativity, and her beauty make him want to forget about the no-fraternization policy at work.
Chapter One – Fresh Meat
Anna Kincaid shifted her weight on the balls of her feet, easing the pressure on the blisters forming on her heels. Her day began with snapping her heel clean off her shoe in the elevator door, leaving the elevator inoperable and making her and her roommate dangerously late for their first day of their internship. With no time to change outfits she hastily decided to wear her only other pair of black shoes. The four-inch black stilettos were purchased with every intention of being worn for a hot date that never happened. So here she stood, toes pinched, fighting with a copier that had an instrumentation panel so complicated she thought a degree in nuclear physics would be a minimum requirement to make a simple color copy.
She hissed between her teeth as the machine taunted her, swallowing a sheet of paper within its depths. Opening the contraption’s door, she heeded the warnings to not touch and carefully took apart the machine, step by step. At least these instructions were easy to follow, she thought wryly, since she’d probably end up on her knees in front of this thing often.
“Can I help?”
Her hand brushed against the hot roller and she squeaked. Standing up quickly she turned to face the speaker. Mr. Lickable, as she and Melinda, her roommate and fellow intern, named him this morning. He was definitely the most lickable man in the office, and perhaps the world. Sandy blonde hair and blue eyes along with self-confidence and a relaxed air made him attractive. The broad shoulders and tapered waist? Yeah, that made him lickable.
“You startled me,” she answered in her husky voice.
He smirked, his eyebrows arching over his mischievous blue eyes. “Do you need any help?”
Anna composed herself under his assessing gaze. “Are you insinuating that my copier repair and paper fluffing abilities aren’t up to task?”
“Yes.” His smile lit up his whole face and Anna held her breath, counting to five. His simple one word answer and arched brow told her that he knew he was affecting her.
She quelled her hormonal response, blew her hair out of her eyes and rested one hand on her hip. “Ok.” She challenged, “If you can get eight color copies collated and stapled, I will concede that you are the Conquistador of Copies.” She handed the presentation to Mr. Lickable, shaking her head and mentally reminding herself that his name was Jake McComas. It would be more professional to think of him as a manager, not Mr. Lickable.
He winked. “I see. You think flattery will blind me to the fact that you are having me do your work?”
Anna tilted her head and winked back, a talent she hadn’t practiced in years. “If necessary, I can offer fresh-baked cookies as payment.”
He laughed then, pulling the last of the jammed paper out of the machine and closing it. He leaned against it as it hummed back to life.
“Bribery and flattery.” His grin returned to his handsome face, his smile framed by two deep dimples. He tapped his fingers against the copier and added with amusement, “So public relations comes naturally to you then.”
“I’m afraid so. Can I watch how you manage this feat?”
“Sure.” Jake moved over, leaving a respectable distance between them and she tried to focus on his words instead of the way her body reacted to his nearness. He had a nice voice, pleasant, calming, and he smelled so good. Dammit, Anna chided herself, refocusing on what he was saying.
“There’s a list of the shortcut keys on the wall there. Just click on the shortcut key and then enter the number of copies.”
“Thanks.” Anna stepped back putting more distance between them. She was fighting the urge to lean against him.
Jake nodded, “Anytime, and I prefer white chocolate macadamia nut.”
Anna picked up her copies and gave him a mock salute. “Sure thing, Conquistador.”
Anna tried to wipe the stupid grin off her face. She could feel his heated gaze on her backside and tried not to sway too much. No sense teasing the man, she mused. She had promised herself that until she was legally divorced, she wouldn’t even consider a non-platonic relationship, and Jake inspired feelings that were anything but platonic.
Three more weeks and the divorce should be finalized. She took a calming breath, three more weeks and she’d be free of the asshole, legally. The last thing she wanted was to end one crappy relationship and immediately start another based on sex, she reminded herself. That thought cooled her hormones.
She handed the presentation to Jolie, her internship mentor. Jolie gave her a quick smile before pressing a flash drive into her hand. “Edit the document called ‘first draft’, please.”
Anna nodded and headed back to the corral, the small work area for the interns. Settling into the cramped area, Anna slid her shoes off and delved into the document. The document in question was an analysis of an author’s work and marketing ideas that would tie in with her book release. Relieved, Anna felt capable of the task. Her adolescent summers were spent at her father’s business, Cache Publishing, a boutique publishing firm. After editing the document Anna added her own marketing idea to build a social presence by sending “virtual muffins” since the story was set in a bakery. Anna added a promotional idea where they could have a “bake-off” and a few lucky winners would receive a signed note and muffins from the author. It sounded ridiculous, but it could go viral. She returned the flash drive to Jolie and said goodnight, meeting up with Melinda at the elevator to head to the parking lot.
They waited until they were situated safely in the car before Anna asked about their new officemates. “Ok, spill it. What did you learn today?”
Melinda raised an eyebrow. “Well, Kerry from the Art Department’s girlfriend is half his age, but legal. The copywriters are not well-respected and steal lunches from the fridge.” She looked over at Anna at the red light “And… an intern of Mr. Lickable filed a sexual harassment suit against him a couple of years ago. He won it, but that’s when they started the no dating interns policy.”
Anna looked puzzled, “What? Is that even legal?”
Melinda shrugged, “I have no idea, but they have a no frat policy. It was in the memo from this morning’s meeting. Didn’t you read it?”
Anna turned to Melinda’s cherubic face, “Why bother when you’ll just tell me anyway?”
Melinda’s brows furrowed, “I’m not that bad am I?”
Anna shook her head, “No. I’m just teasing. It is amazing how you can remember all that crap though. It goes in one ear and out the other for me.” Anna looked out the window and sighed, “I had a moment with Mr. Lickable today.”
“Oh my.” Melinda sighed, “He’s got charisma in addition to that lickable body.”
Anna blushed. “Yes, and I feel bad for objectifying the poor man.”
“Poor man, my ass.” Melinda muttered, “He made me update a mailing list today. Do you have any idea how tedious that is?”
Anna pulled a long face. “Poor Mel. We’ll get take-out from the deli after we hit the grocery store.”
Mel perked up at the mention of take-out. “Tell me about your moment.”
Anna shook her head slightly. “It was really nothing; he helped me at the copier. By the way, there’s a list posted for shortcuts for the most popular copy jobs. Save yourself a headache and read the list first because the machine is really a pain in the ass.” Anna added quietly, “I told him I’d make him cookies.”
Mel snorted, “Ohmigod! Anna, you’re flirting with him! You. Are. Flirting.” Mel’s voice was incredulous. “Four years we’ve lived together and I’ve never seen you flirt.”
Anna smirked, “Well, it doesn’t matter. Nothing’s going to happen, right? No frat policy because of him? I doubt he meant anything by helping me.”
Mel’s lips pinched tight as she quirked a brow.
“I don’t know what you’re thinking right now, Mel, but stop. Nothing is going to happen.”
“Um-hmm,” her over-protective friend murmured. Mel’s hands tightened on the wheel and she changed the subject. “I was thinking we should plan a night out when your divorce is finalized.”
Anna smiled, tilting her head back. “Yes. Absolutely.” She wrinkled her nose, “By then the blisters will have healed and I can wear these shoes again.”
“Oh!” Mel bounced in her seat, “Dancing! We should go dancing!”
Anna leaned back, amused at Mel’s enthusiasm. “Um, I haven’t been dancing in years.”
“We’ll get Sarah to come, and maybe Scott.” She dropped her voice low and did an imitation of Scott’s nasally Midwestern voice, “Uh, Melinda, I was wondering if… Do you know if Anna is seeing anyone?”
Melinda rolled her eyes. “He’s not bad-looking.”
Anna shook her head, her face twisted in disgust, “He’s not… he’s just not…”
“Mr. Lickable,” Mel offered.
Anna grinned. “Yeah.” She sighed, “Oh hell, I have a crush on the Conquistador.”
Mel laughed, “I knew it. I’m totally going to find out every dirty detail of that man’s life.”
“Mel, don’t get in trouble.” Anna looked at her best friend, “But, thanks. I don’t even know what it’s like to really date, you know? Argh!” She dropped her face into her hands, “How the hell do I explain an ex-husband?”
Mel slapped her shoulder. “Stop that. Half the married people get divorced, so don’t even freak out about it – and who says you have to bring up the bastard anyway?”
Anna’s stomach soured at the thought of explaining her past to anyone. At the same time, she knew from experience that no secret stays hidden for long.
“If I don’t say something, it’ll bite me in the ass. Besides, technically I’m still married for a couple more weeks. God, four years and six revisions of a divorce which says I get nothing and he gets nothing and finally, finally, I’ll be free.” Anna looked over at Melinda, “I want to celebrate. Drinks for sure. I might have to work up to dancing… It’s been so long and I’m not sure I’m ready for close contact.”
“You need close contact,” Mel said dryly. “Trust me. You need a night to let your hair down and have a little fun. Preferably with Mr. Lickable because the man looks like he’s got skills.”
“Mmm, I believe he does. Damn.” Anna bit her lip at the images that flittered through her brain.
Mel laughed, “Damn, indeed.”