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Management Skills

Management Skills

2.6 5
by January Rowe

When CEO Grant Edmonds meets with his new production manager, he immediately recognizes her as Silver, an exotic dancer who once mesmerized him at an exclusive fetish club. Though he was forbidden from pursuing her back then, there's nothing standing in his way now. He's not looking for an after-hours fling—he wants to own her. In every way.

As much as


When CEO Grant Edmonds meets with his new production manager, he immediately recognizes her as Silver, an exotic dancer who once mesmerized him at an exclusive fetish club. Though he was forbidden from pursuing her back then, there's nothing standing in his way now. He's not looking for an after-hours fling—he wants to own her. In every way.

As much as Allie Fairfax tries to deny her past, and the way her body responds to Grant, she soon finds herself having mind-blowing sex with the boss. Despite her own desire to surrender to Grant's sexual authority, she's not willing to risk her career. After all, she's been owned before, and it ended badly.

It's all or nothing for Grant. If Allie wants more of the fiercest orgasms she's ever experienced, she must consent to his rules...

22,100 words

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Carina Press
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Read an Excerpt

Grant sat alone at the best table in the house, directly in front of the stage, nervous as hell. It was opening night of the newest Vault production. The club's gothic architecture afforded perfect acoustics. No expense had been spared in the costumes, the scenery, the tech. But something could still go wrong. The show was the most complicated piece of stagecraft Grant had ever designed.

The house lights dimmed. Members of the exclusive fetish club waited, along with Grant, for the spectacle to begin. Out of the darkness, a shimmering balloonlike spaceship drifted down to the stage floor. Music throbbed with tension.

Grant scribbled notes on a pad of paper. Follow spot, too hard-edged. Smoke effects, synchronized. Electrics, a bit sharp. Sound, balanced.

The occupants of the spaceship, a dozen astronauts in reflective-armor costumes, strode out. Each astronaut wore a different color. The overall effect was dazzling. The stage lightning slowly illuminated the background, a planet of twisted trees. Next a series of spots lit the denizens of the planet. Primitive creatures, all men. The music swelled. The giant men, wearing nothing but crude breach clouts and carrying large sticks, stalked the astronauts.

The astronauts were prey.

Grant continued taking notes. What to tweak, what to outright change, what to throw out.

Waving their sticks, the nearly naked giants confronted the astronauts. The audience gasped. Would the brutes kill the elegant metallic visitors?

The two sides, the brutes and astronauts, engaged in a violent, wild dance. Music throbbed. Color exploded all around. Grant took more notes. Mechanical color scrollers, good. Dance boom light levels, too low. Overhead shutter, pulled in too far.

The dance grew even more frenzied. The giants roughly stripped the protective armor from the astronauts. But it wasn't war. It was seduction. The astronauts were women, now nearly naked. The club patrons collectively drew in a stunned breath.

The brutes and women paired off. Some willingly, some not. They engaged in fierce, stylized couplings. Crazy artificial lightning effects, created by media and the gobos, strobed the stage. Electricity sizzled. Drums thumped.

The dance, the stagecraft, the music, evoked sex and fury.

The spectacle was beautiful.

The illumination changed, slowly. The light irised in on one silver-armored astronaut, whole and proud. She stood in the center of the stage. Her costumed body was brilliant, otherworldly. A huge, half-naked brute surged toward her with his stick. Suddenly the stage lights dimmed to darkness. Blackout. The house lights came up. It was intermission.

The audience sighed.

A cocktail waitress in a skintight black leather dominatrix costume slithered toward his table. "Would you like something to drink, Sir?"

The waitress was a sweet little thing with rosebud lips and wide blue eyes. Her youth and eagerness didn't jive with her fetishwear.

"Thanks. I'll take a scotch. Neat."

He nursed his scotch during the rest of the intermission, reviewing his notes. On the whole, it was going well. He hoped the owner of the Vault would be as happy.

The house lights dimmed again.

The armored astronaut, so striking in silver, stood with the half-naked giant in a pool of light. She was fearless. Suddenly, with an eruption of sound and radiance, she ran from him. The brute followed.

Meet the Author

January Rowe lives in Colorado. Happily married, she's a mother of three. She's also a Ph.D. scientist. Her friends accuse her of naming her firstborn after a chemical element. January denies it. The author is a gardener, a die-hard Trekkie, and a kickboxer. Her first BDSM novella, My One, was published in 2010 by Samhain.

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Management Skills 2.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was pretty good, just not one of my favorites, in fact I deleted it from my library.
LASR_Reviews More than 1 year ago
Management Skills has one of the most original takes on "attraction across a crowded room" I've ever read. Grant Edmonds first sees Allie Fairfax when she's performing as "Silver", an erotic dancer in a production he designed the lighting for. Grant is immediately attracted to her, but the club has a no interaction rule between dancers and patrons so he can't even meet her. He meets her again when she's hired as a production manager at his lighting effects company. He immediately realizes she's the "Silver" who has fueled his sexual fantasies for years. Grant is a strong character who knows what he wants. He comes from a large family and is very grounded. He tells Allie he doesn't just want a relationship, he wants to own her. I questioned his forthrightness because he had no idea of her background. He also has a strong insistence for the truth. Yet I never understood if there was a reason for this, or if this was just part of his character. Allie has fought hard to erase her past as an erotic dancer. She's strong, confident, and dresses for the job she wants. She finished school, and worked her way up. She's excited at her new job until she meets her boss, Grant, who recognizes her from her former life. When Grant tells her he wants to own her, she doesn't immediately say yes because she was previously in a D/s relationship that ended badly. Although the book started out strong, it was an interesting combination of strong ideas, great sex play, abrupt scenes, and incomplete storylines. Some great starts included: the overall setting of a high tech lighting company, hot office sex, the Bed and Bondage, orgasm denial, and Allie rebelling against orgasm denial. Some abrupt scenes include: Allie deciding to have sex with Grant, the gaps between them being together, and the ending. Orgasm denial would have worked if they were interacting together. But when orgasm denial simply means that you don't see each other due to business trips, it didn't work for me. And the ending left me questioning what the relationship would ultimately be. Watching them transform from Grant simply owning Allie to a loving relationship would have been beautiful. I would classify this as a happy-for-now romance. Still, the author's voice is solid. There are no noticeable grammatical or spelling errors. The sex scenes and play were steaming and left me hot and blushing. What was needed to make this a truly stellar story is some follow through with character motivations. For example, Allie says yes to being owned by Grant after a business meeting with Satin who was previously owned by Grant. Something was there, but I didn't know Satin and Grant's story. I was left wondering what Allie saw that convinced her to be his submissive. I see great potential in Ms. Rowe's writing and I'll be looking for more from her as she continues to grow as an author. It's one step from the magic that would have made this book great. If you're looking for a hot romance with interesting characters and a unique setting, try Management Skills. You'll especially enjoy the twist at the end. Originally posted at Whipped Cream Reviews
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