Sometimes Naughty, Sometimes Niceby Kimberly Raye
Sometimes Naughty To Xandra Farrel, men are only good for procreation and pleasure-and sometimes they even need help with that. As proprietor of erotic toy manufacturer Wild Women, Inc., she's ready to launch her best product just as soon as she tests it out. Her subject: Beau Hollister, once the sexiest, most popular bad boy in high school, and the man
Sometimes Naughty To Xandra Farrel, men are only good for procreation and pleasure-and sometimes they even need help with that. As proprietor of erotic toy manufacturer Wild Women, Inc., she's ready to launch her best product just as soon as she tests it out. Her subject: Beau Hollister, once the sexiest, most popular bad boy in high school, and the man responsible for the worst sexual experience of Xandra's life. If Xandra can have one mind-blowing night with Beau, the commercial success of her product is a sure thing... Sometimes Nice When Beau started his home renovation company, Hire-a-Hunk, being Xandra's boy toy was not what he had in mind, especially since he blew it way back when. Then Xandra turns up the heat and turns on the seduction. As wills clash and hearts collide, can unexpected love prove that being naughty is sometimes the nicest way a girl can have her Beau...and keep him too?
- Hachette Book Group
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.79(d)
Read an Excerpt
Sometimes Naughty, Sometimes Nice
By Kimberly Raye
Warner ForeverCopyright © 2004 Kimberly Groff
All right reserved.
Chapter OneThis was not happening.
She was an attractive, sexy, vibrant sensual woman in the prime of her life. Not to mention she was the owner and head designer for Wild Woman, Inc., a leading manufacturer of erotic toys and sexual enhancement products for women. Attractive, sexy, vibrant, sensual women who made their living by selling the whole attractive, sexy, vibrant, sensual image to other women didn't have gray hair.
Not down there.
That's what she told herself as she set aside the King Kong Ultra Deluxe Number Five vibrator she'd been trying out. She always tested her own products during the developmental phase and perfected every flaw before handing a prototype over to her manufacturing division.
Her hands trembled as she closed her eyes and tried to calm her pounding heart.
Maybe it wasn't really gray at all. Maybe it was a very light, silvery blonde hair that just happened to spring up among its very dark counterparts. A fluke, like the one hard, dark, skinny french fry always found at the bottom of a hot, piping order.
Or maybe it was the fact that it was ten o'clock on a Friday night-the Friday night that had followed the Friday morning when her live-in boyfriend of eight years had walked out on her-and she was still working, thanks to the King Kong Five that went into production first thing Monday morning. The new version of a tried-and-true product would, hopefully, bring back the dozen or so accounts Wild Woman had lost in the past few months to Lust, Lust, Baby!, the number-one ranked company in the industry that had recently been attracting even more attention with a new line of multicolored, multispeed, musical vibrators.
At five that afternoon, she'd noticed that the King Kong head wobbled more than it rotated. After six hours of going back and forth with the engineering department, she'd managed to perfect the movement. Trying it out had been the last step before calling it quits. She was tired. Mentally and physically worn out. No wonder her mind was playing tricks on her.
Then again, it could just be the poor lighting in her office, where she not only designed her latest products, but tested them as well. She had no fluorescent squares overhead like the ones that lit the suite of Wild Woman, Inc. Rather, she'd traded the bright fixtures for several small lamps strategically placed throughout the large room. The light played off the dark, mahogany-paneled walls and rich, lush pink carpeting to create an overall effect that was soft, subtle, sensual. The perfect atmosphere to relax and tune in to her body, and unleash the wild woman within. Usually.
She forced her eyes open, eased her reclining leather chair upright and smoothed her skirt back down. She double-pressed the button that controlled the red privacy light above her door to make sure that it blinked. It was one thing to be disturbed during a trial test, and quite another to face the world when she was this close to a major life crisis.
Close, but not quite there. Not yet. Pushing to her feet, she rounded the desk. She was not going to panic. Or kick. Or scream. Or cry. She was going to get a better look.
Fifteen minutes later, she sat on the thick carpet, her skirt hiked up to her waist, her lace panties pushed aside and her legs parted in a V. She adjusted the neck of the desk lamp she'd pulled to the floor with her. A pencil cup toppled over as the cord stretched tight and she went in for a close-up view.
Please, she prayed to the Big Lady Upstairs. Don't do this to me. Not now. I'll change my ways. I'll smile at that snotty lady up on the tenth floor who spilled cappuccino on me last week. I'll even stop scowling at that guy down on the second who wears the blue leisure suit every Thursday and offers to bend me over like a shotgun. I'll give up my pot of coffee every morning and stop eating those Snickers bars for lunch and I will never, ever tell the salesclerk at Saks that I found something on the sales rack when I really didn't.
Hope renewed, she gathered her courage and drew in a deep breath. Sixty watts of light illuminated the area in question. Her gaze zeroed in on the hair and a lump formed in her throat.
It was there and it was gray, and it was now officially the worst day of Xandra Farrel's life.
"Knock, knock!" The deep voice rang out as the door to Xandra's office opened.
Xandra lifted her head from her desk, where she'd collapsed after hauling herself off the floor ten minutes earlier. Her gaze went to the man who stood in her doorway.
Albert Sinclair was the head engineer for Wild Woman, Inc., and a bona fide walking, talking Ken doll. He was tall, tanned, and blond with sparkling blue eyes, a white smile, and an athletic body honed from hours of racquetball.
He'd beaten her more times than she could count. Then again, she'd never really played to win. Just to talk. He could talk and listen even better than he could play, thanks to hours of sensitivity training courtesy of his gay parents. He was kind and compassionate, and he was the closest person to her besides her two older sisters.
"Your light was off, so I figured you'd finished the test run. How did it go?"
"We still don't think the rotating head is smooth enough and so a few of us are working late on a new gear. Not to mention, we're brainstorming ideas for the Sextravaganza next month. Have you come up with anything?"
"Not yet." How could she focus on the biggest marketing convention of the year when all she wanted to do was crawl into a hole and never come out again?
"I'm making a midnight food run. Can I bring you anything while I'm out?"
"A gun. Or a noose."
"I was thinking more like Chinese or Thai." "Only if it's loaded with rat poison and guaranteed to put me out of my misery." She reached for a tissue and swiped at the traitorous tear that slid down her cheek. Albert's smile faded into a concerned frown. "Oh, honey, what is it? What's wrong? You're not upset about the Sextravaganza are you? You'll come up with something. You always do."
"I ..." Xandra shook her head and blinked. "No, no. I mean, I'm concerned, but I've already started my brain-storming list for the convention." She eyed the familiar notebook where she kept her prized lists. She penned them for everything, from What to Do Today to Creative Ways to Kill the Competition to New Condom Colors. "Not that I can really think about that right now. Or a new product. And I doubt I'll be able to think about it tomorrow. Or ever. I might be all washed up professionally as well as personally. I might as well call it quits and go file unemployment. I'll lose my new house and my car and end up bagging it on some street corner, my face all wrinkled up from the elements." At Albert's puzzled stare, she added, "I'm just having a moment, that's all."
"One of those life-is-passing-me-by-and-I'm-cooped-up-watching-from-the-inside-out moments?" He nodded. "I know the feeling. I had one of those myself not more than a few hours ago when I watched the marketing girls head off to happy hour at one of those hot dance clubs, while I stayed here with the rest of my team to work on the gear."
"Not that kind. This one's more of a wait!-this-is-going-too- fast! moment. Like when you ride a bike for the first time without the training wheels. Or when you climb behind the wheel of your first car. Or when you climb into the backseat with the hottest guy in high school who turns out to be a total dud in the sack. Or when you find your first gray hair."
"A gray hair?" Albert walked in, closed the door behind him and perched on the corner of her desk. "Is that what this is all about? Relax, honey. That's why God invented Bjorn over at Bolo's. That man works wonders with bleach and foil. He'll blend it in so you don't even know it's there."
"I seriously doubt that."
"He did mine and I've got seventeen of the stubborn little sons of bitches." He pointed near his temple. "Right here. And here. But you can't see even one of them thanks to Bjorn."
"I'm not doubting his ability. I just don't think the hair in question is long enough to foil."
He gave her a get-real look. "Why, your hair is way below your shoulders."
"You've got that right." "So stop worrying. All you need is a little careful bleaching and bam! problem solved."
"I wish it were that easy." Another tear slid free and then another. "But it's not exactly on my head."
"Let me get this straight." He gave her a we'll-get-to-the-bottom-of-this look. "You've got a gray hair, but it's not exactly on your ..." Albert's words trailed off as the truth settled in. "Oh. I guess Bjorn's out of the equation now. He only handles the hair up on top."
She bit her lip and blinked, trying to hold back a new flood of tears. "Not that it's the end of the world, mind you."
His smile seemed forced. "That's the spirit." She blinked frantically. "It's all in the way you look at it."
"Gray, doesn't have to mean old, right?"
"It can also mean mature. Experienced."
"Seasoned," Albert offered, handing her another tissue. "Weathered." At the last word, she cut him a watery stare and he shrugged. "Sorry. Poor word choice. How about ... knowledgeable?"
She nodded. "Knowledgeable. That's good." She dabbed at her eyes and sniffled. "I'm not losing my youth. I'm merely starting a whole new phase of life."
"Right. My life isn't over just because of one silly gray hair. I mean, I think it's just one." Panic rushed through her and her gaze caught his. "What if it's more?"
He shook his head. "I'm sure it's just one."
She nodded and tried to calm her churning stomach. "It's not the end of the world," she said again. "It's not like I'm going to shrivel up and die just because I have a gray hair and I'm alone for the first time in eight years. Alone doesn't necessarily mean lonely. It can mean free. Untethered. Ripe for the picking."
Albert nodded. "You're so ripe, you're about to burst- what do you mean, 'alone'?"
"I'm in my prime," she rushed on, eager to focus on the positive. "I'm enlightened. I'm mature and knowledgeable and weathered." As soon as the words popped out, a tear squeezed past her lashes. She shook her head. "Hells bells, who am I kidding? I'm past ripe. I'm this close to my expiration date. No wonder Mark packed up his laptop and walked out."
"He left you? He really left you?"
She nodded and whacked her forehead on the desktop. "Right after he told me I didn't do it for him anymore." "He didn't!"
"What does that mean anyway?" She glanced up through tear-filled eyes. "I don't do it for him? If he's talking sex, it's his own fault. He works more than I do, even with the Sextravaganza only a month away. When I initiate, he's always too tired. And when he initiates ..." She shook her head. "Come to think of it, I can't remember the last time he initiated." She slumped back in her chair. "It's me. I'm old and unattractive and fat. Do you know that I've gained ten pounds since I stopped smoking six months ago?" She pulled open her top desk drawer to reveal several Blow Pops, a roll of SweeTARTS, six packages of Bubble Yum, and some Mentos. "All this extra sugar is killing me."
"Ten extra pounds makes you voluptuous, not fat." "What about twenty?"
"Metabolically challenged, which you're not. You're attractive and nicely rounded, and Mark is an idiot."
"Mark is perfect. We're perfect. We both like the same things, we both respect each other and we have great sex.
Or we had great sex. In the beginning. In between his meetings and business trips." Her gaze met Albert's. "It's not supposed to happen like this. We had it all."
"Maybe you just thought you had it all." She eyed Albert. "What's that supposed to mean?"
"That you love Mexican food and Thai and any and everything spicy, and Mark lived for tofu."
"I eat tofu, too."
"But it doesn't make your mouth water. Deep down in your soul," he tapped his chest, "you don't lust after tofu. You don't yearn for it. You don't crave it."
"You're right," she blurted after a long, contemplative moment. "It's me. I tried to hide it, but Mark finally saw past the front to the spicy food junkie who dwells inside." She shook her head. "I'm a fake. And I'm fat. And I'm old."
"You're not a fake and we've already been over the ten equals voluptuous issue."
"But I am getting old." "You're only twenty-nine."
"I'm this close to being thirty. Two months and bam! I'm there."
"It's just another year." "It's the year." She eyed him. "Do you know that a woman's number of fertile eggs decreases by fifty percent when she hits thirty? That's half."
A knowing light filled his blue gaze. "So that's what this is all about. You want a baby."
"Of course I do. I mean, not now, at this very moment. But I definitely want one before I hit thirty-five. Or I at least want to be pregnant by then."
"What catastrophic event happens at thirty-five?"
"The measly fifty percent of fertile eggs I have left decreases by another fifty percent. Each year thereafter, it's downhill. Fast." She shook her head. "I invested eight years. Eight. Mark and I were stable. Comfortable. We'd actually reached the no makeup phase of our relationship. I could walk around the house in nothing but my ratty warm-ups and sparkling personality."
"Maybe that's what scared him off." When she cut him a glance, he grinned, "I'm trying to make you laugh." "We were so close to the next step in our relationship," she went on.
"Are you kidding? You know how I feel about marriage.
It's the most archaic form of oppression," Xandra repeated the words that had been drilled into her as a child.
Her widely popular, Harvard-trained sexologist mother and her quiet, conservative conservationist father had been together for thirty-seven years now without benefit of a formal license, their longevity due to her mother's infamous Holy Commitment Trinity. Jacqueline Farrel preached her three-part recipe for relationship success-great sex, shared interests, and mutual respect-every night on her late-night talk show, Get Sexed Up!, and Xandra had learned long ago from watching her own parents in action that her mother was right on the money.
"It's a man's way of enslaving a woman," Xandra went on. "And I value my freedom far too much to just give it up just like that." She snapped her fingers. "No thank you."
"I just thought that since Skye finally took the plunge, you might have mellowed to the whole marriage thing."
Xandra's oldest sister, Skye, had walked down the aisle six months ago and enslaved herself to the hottest, hunkiest driver to ever race a NASCAR series. Worse, she'd been ecstatic about the whole thing. She still was.
"Skye's suffering from a major case of lust," Xandra told Albert.
Excerpted from Sometimes Naughty, Sometimes Nice by Kimberly Raye Copyright © 2004 by Kimberly Groff. 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.
and post it to your social network
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews >