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After Hours [NOOK Book]

Overview

For years, levelheaded lawyer Eileen Connolly has been fighting a reckless craving--for sex with a stranger. Well, it's now or never. She's about to commit to her boyfriend--a decent guy who's as irresistible as an unglazed doughnut. All she wants is one wild, adventurous night. After that, she'll be ready to settle into predictability.

Then gorgeous Shane Nichols shows up at Eileen's office to fix the phones. In his tight jeans and tool belt, he's a walking, talking, ...

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After Hours

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Overview

For years, levelheaded lawyer Eileen Connolly has been fighting a reckless craving--for sex with a stranger. Well, it's now or never. She's about to commit to her boyfriend--a decent guy who's as irresistible as an unglazed doughnut. All she wants is one wild, adventurous night. After that, she'll be ready to settle into predictability.

Then gorgeous Shane Nichols shows up at Eileen's office to fix the phones. In his tight jeans and tool belt, he's a walking, talking, chocolate-glazed, cream-filled éclair. And suddenly one night doesn't seem like enough to satisfy Eileen's craving for something so wickedly delicious....

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781426861277
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 4/19/2010
  • Series: Harlequin Blaze Series , #102
  • Sold by: HARLEQUIN
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 473,395
  • File size: 495 KB

Meet the Author


Arizona author Vicki Lewis Thompson's natural element is heat. Her first publishing success while still in pigtails was a weather rhyme for the local newspaper: The sky is blue, but I am not. I love the sun, I love the hot.

Small wonder that some years later Vicki sold her first romance to Harlequin's steamy Temptation line. After writing more than fifty books, the bestselling author still gravitates toward the heat, including Temptation's popular Blaze imprint. Besides Temptation, she's published with Superromance, Love & Laughter and Duets. She's also been a featured author in several continuity series and anthologies. A finalist numerous times for Romance Writers of America's RITA award, Vicki has won the Desert Rose's Golden Quill Award and has been honored by Romantic Times and Affaire de Coeur.

Prior to selling her first book to Harlequin and finding her bliss, Vicki tried on other careers for size. Teaching English proved too restrictive when she discovered she didn't like being trapped in a classroom any more than the students did. Journalism seemed like a better idea, except that she kept getting assigned to scary stories like rattlesnake milking or parachute jumping.

Finally, her husband suggested she write a romance, which she took as a fine testimonial to their life together. Even better, the career was a perfect fit. Writing romances provides freedom from a schedule without fear of imminent death.Besides writing, which she's quite passionate about, Vicki's favorite activities are traveling and laughing. Marriage to her indomitable husband, He Who Journeys Without a Map, has provided ample doses of both. Now that the kids are grown and Vicki has a laptop, she's finally positioned to combine all three of her passions. The trip has just begun!
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Read an Excerpt



After Hours




By Vicki Thompson


Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.



Copyright © 2003

Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.
All right reserved.



ISBN: 0-373-79106-2





Chapter One


No good prospects. As Eileen Connelly sat in a downtown Phoenix bar soaking up he air-conditioning while waiting for
her friends Suz and Courtney, she played what had become her favorite game recently - pretending to troll for cheap
sex.

If she had the nerve to proposition a stranger, which she probably didn't, was there anyone in the vicinity
she'd choose? Not tonight there wasn't. She had her requirements - a rugged physique and dark good looks for starters.
Plus he would need to be someone she'd never see again. That was all part of the fantasy.

Adventure, sexual and otherwise, had dominated her thoughts lately. As a little kid she'd had a reckless streak, but
her parents had almost divorced when she was ten. After that she'd decided security was more important than adventure.
No teenage rebellion for her. She'd gone on to law school, pleasing both parents, and focused on steady career growth.
She'd had few relationships with men, and those had been G-rated.

Yet something seemed to have snapped once she'd passed the big three-oh this year. Apparently she'd been good for too
long, because suddenly she was deliberately taking risky cases at work and seeking thrills in her spare time. Last
month she'd gone white-water rafting, and on Saturday she'd taken a real leap and tried skydiving.

These adventures she could talk about with her friends, but as for sex with a stranger? Forget about it. Despite
knowing Suz Clements since junior high and Courtney McRae since their first pre-law class together at ASU, Eileen
wasn't about to reveal her fantasy to them. They were both on the conservative side and would try to talk her out of
it.

Courtney came into the bar first, pushing her dark hair away from her face. Last week she'd indulged in a new cut that
left her bangs draped over one eye, and she didn't seem used to the change. "Hi!" She hung her lightweight jacket over
the back of a chair, stowed her briefcase under the table and sat down. "Man, it's hot out there. Ordered yet?"

"Waiting for you."

Courtney made a face. "I had to stay late. So, you look like you're still in one piece. Did you jump on Saturday or
chicken out?"

"I jumped. It was awesome. Too bad it's so damned expensive."

"God, you couldn't pay me to leap from a plane."

"I wish they would pay me." Eileen remembered the adrenaline rush as she'd stepped out of the open door into
nothingness. "That would be extremely cool."

"You're becoming very nutty." Courtney said it with a smile that didn't quite disguise her concern. "I get chills just
thinking of you launching yourself into thin air."

"I was perfectly safe. Listen, the happy-hour special is raspberry margaritas. Let's get a pitcher for the three of
us."

"Sounds a hell of a lot better than skydiving."

"That's because you've never tried it." Eileen signaled a waitress and gave her their order.

"And I never will." Courtney leaned both arms on the table and shook her head. "I'll bet Benjamin had a fit, not to
mention your parents."

"Uh, I didn't tell them."

"You didn't tell your parents?"

"Or Benjamin."

"Ah-ha. So that's how you got away with it. Well, I can understand not telling your folks and having them freak. I
admit they're overprotective. But you told Benjamin about the rafting, so why not this?"

"Because he didn't react well to the raft trip, so why stir up trouble?"

Courtney gazed at her. "Shouldn't he be aware that you're turning into a daredevil? What's next, bungee-jumping?"

"Maybe." Eileen hadn't decided between that and hang-gliding. "But it doesn't matter, because once Benjamin and I move
in together, I will give up that kind of thing. That's why I'm getting it out of my system now."

Courtney looked unconvinced. "I don't know if it works like that."

"Sure it does. This is a phase, that's all. Soon I'll - Hey, here comes Suz." She waved at her friend, who was blond
like Eileen but wore her hair in a short boyish cut. Eileen had felt extremely lucky when she'd introduced her two
buddies to each other ten years ago and they'd hit it off.

The three of them had become a unit during college, and the friendship had lasted through graduation, job hunting and
broken hearts. They'd lived together for a while, but then Suz and Courtney had each moved in with boyfriends. Suz was
still with hers, but Courtney wasn't. She hadn't suggested sharing an apartment with Eileen, though, because everyone
expected Eileen to move in with Benjamin when her lease was up.

Eileen expected it, too. Time had flown by, and her parents wanted grandchildren. She was the sole candidate to give
them that, which was fine because she'd always envisioned a husband, a home and kids in her future. Ultimately she
needed that kind of stability. She just had to get past this thrill-seeking phase of hers first. And sex with a
stranger kept nudging its way to the top of her to-do list.

"How's a pitcher of margaritas sound?" Courtney asked.

"Great." Suz, an advertising rep for the Arizona Republic, shoved her briefcase under the table
to join Courtney's and Eileen's. She looked uncharacteristically awkward doing it, using only her right hand and
keeping her left in the pocket of her linen slacks.

Courtney hadn't seemed to notice, but Eileen had her suspicions. She gazed at her friend. "What's up, Suz?"

Suz looked innocent. "Not much. How was the skydiving?"

"Amazing." She glanced at Suz's right hand. "Nice manicure."

"Thanks," she said casually. "I like this magenta." But she only spread out the fingers of her right hand, while
keeping her left in her pocket.

"Okay, Suz," Eileen said, watching her closely. "Spill."

Suz grinned as she pulled her hand out of her pocket to display a glittering diamond. "Chad proposed!"

Pandemonium erupted at the table as the three friends squealed, embraced and even got a little teary. Suz was the first
to become engaged.

"Eileen, you're next," Suz said sometime after they'd started in on their second pitcher of margaritas.

"We'll see." But Eileen thought so, too. Even though she'd been careful not to promise Benjamin exclusivity, she hadn't
dated anyone else in quite a while. Benjamin wanted her to move in with him. After that, knowing Benjamin and his
timetable, the next step would be a proposal. Suz's engagement brought the concept of marriage a lot closer than it had
been an hour ago.

No doubt about it, commitment was closing in on her. As she contemplated a lifetime with Benjamin, she suddenly knew
what she had to do. Before she agreed to forsake all others, she wanted the ultimate adventure - sex with the perfect
stranger.

(Continues...)




Excerpted from After Hours
by Vicki Thompson
Copyright © 2003 by Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd..
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 7 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    A steamy romance

    Attorney Eileen Connolly wants one night of wild sex before she marries her boyfriend, a nice but conventional person. She knows that she will never taste blood-curdling heart pumping sex with her fiancé though she respects and cares for him. Eileen decides she needs one night of passion that a reader can find in Harlequin Romance novels imprinted with Blaze ironically like this novel is. That one last night will have to last a lifetime, but which stranger can she trust and find ardent desire?<P> The telephone repair guy Shane Nichols arrives at Eileen¿s office to fix the phones. Eileen sees this hunk as the answer to her sexual sweet tooth. However, after a night in the sack with a seven-layer victory layer cake, can a plain donut be enough to satisfy Eileen's passion for more of Shane¿s cream filled bell?<P> Though Eileen asking for Shane to fulfill her fantasy is unsafe sex, once recognized by fans they step past that questionable pick-up and will enjoy the heat of the tale. The story line is as hot as a novel gets as the two protagonists spend a blazing evening together that burns the respective brands on one another. Readers (and their fortunate significant others) who appreciate torrid love scenes that make the equator seem frozen will take great delight at any hour with AFTER HOURS.<P> Harriet Klausner

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