Playing for Keeps (Erotica Erotic Romance)
Maddy Beaudet needs to shake things up, but playing a board game isn't exactly exciting. Jace Michael has just moved across country to recover from an ugly divorce. Anxious to dive into work, the last thing he needs is a distraction, but the minute he meets Maddy, his employee no less, and learns about the game she's playing with her friends, a whole different game comes to mind... More
Maddy Beaudet needs to shake things up a bit, but playing a board game isn't exactly what she considers exciting. Jace Michael has just moved across country to recover from an ugly divorce. Anxious to dive into work with both feet, the last thing he needs is a distraction, but the minute he meets Maddy, his employee no less, and learns about the game she's playing with her friends, a whole different game comes to mind...
(Previous published as PRIVATE GAMES)
“What game is that?” He lifted one eyebrow but left the other where it was.
“It’s this stupid game my friends insisted I play. Candace bought it, and it involves stupid challenges, like collecting men’s underwear in a public place and modeling lingerie in a store.”
“Did you do that, model lingerie? And I missed it? Damn!” He slapped his hand, palm down, on the table and gave her a crooked smile.
“No!” Feeling herself smiling right back, she fought the temptation to reach out and touch his hand again. It was so close, and the brief connection they’d shared earlier had been so electric. She raised her gaze to his face. Damn it, he really was cute. Not only did he have a serious, in-charge kind of look that turned her into a puddle of goo, but a playful little boy kind of look, too.
Did she want more than sex? Did she need more? Even the idea of seeing him naked was making her blood simmer. No man had stirred that kind of heat in her, ever. Feeling her panties getting wetter, she shifted in her chair. “I’m playing along because I want the prize, but I’m not enjoying the challenges.” Except for one, meeting you—at least up until now.
“So, was I one of your challenges?”
She nodded, feeling a little guilty for admitting it. “Kinda. Last week, I had to find the best-looking guy in the bar and get his name and phone number.”
“Best-looking? Me?” He looked genuinely stunned, which made him that much more appealing, if that was possible.
Truly, he had to realize what a hunk he was! She’d never seen a guy with such a gorgeous face, at least not in person. The way his dark whiskers made deep hollows under his cheekbones, and the sexy sideburns that cut down the sides of his face. “Quit trying to look so surprised. Yes, you. Are you fishing for compliments?”
The smile that followed was a panty-scorcher. Hot, hot, hot. She needed a cold shower. Now!
“Me? Never.” He leaned forward, his gaze riveted to hers. “But I am flattered.”
The way he was looking at her, she was in danger of losing her head completely. In the interest of remaining somewhat lucid, she gazed down at her empty glass.
“Would you like another drink?” His deep, low voice hummed in her head then dropped down between her legs where it did things nothing had done in ages.
“I probably shouldn’t. I think I’ve had my limit, unless a buzz gets better than warm tinglies all over and a head that doesn’t quite work right.”
“Nope. That sounds like the optimum effect.”
She heard the chuckle in his voice and looked up, not surprised to see that knee-buckling smile again. Talk about warm tinglies.
“So, what do you think?” he asked.
I like warm tinglies, among other things. “Think? About what? That drink’s left me pretty much brain-dead.” And hornier than hell! “I don’t normally drink, you know.”
“I gathered that.” He stood and walked around the table then reached for her. “What do you say we leave?”
“Already? I was just getting…er, comfortable.” She squirmed when another wave of heat pulsed between her legs. Liar. You’re about as uncomfortable as a toad on a porcupine. “Besides, I think my friends have deserted me.” She turned to scan the packed room. There was no way she’d ever find them. Not a chance. Oh, well!
“That’s okay.” He scooped up her hand. “I was hoping we’d leave together. Maybe play a different kind of game.”