He looks like a man who breaks hearts for a living, observes Fiona Ames when she gets her first glimpse of Nick Killian. And his underwear is as wicked as his grin, she thinks as the silk briefs spill out of his suitcase and onto the luggage carousel. Fiona has flown to Las Vegas to talk her father out of his surprise wedding, never expecting to find an irresistible ally on the other side of the aisle. But a late-night strategy session with Nick inspires her own whirlwind affair.
Nick may not think Walter Ames is any match for his vivacious aunt, but Walter’s beautiful, blushing daughter might just be the match for Nick. Fiona’s a little uptight for his taste, but that’s not the only hitch—Nick doesn’t believe in love. A divorce lawyer by trade, he’s seen plenty of honeymooners turn into bitter enemies. Now, even as they try to silence the wedding bells of Sin City, Fiona’s fighting a battle of her own: convincing Nick that true love is no mirage.
Includes a special message from the editor, as well as excerpts from these Loveswept titles: Back to You, Morgan’s Woman, and A Case for Romance.
|Publisher:||Random House Publishing Group|
|Sold by:||Random House|
|File size:||2 MB|
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Fiona Ames sat on her suitcase in the middle of the baggage-claim area at Las Vegas’s McCarran Airport, wilting in her white wool suit as she searched for her transportation.
And then she saw him.
For twenty minutes she’d scanned the crowd, wondering how she would recognize a man she’d never met. All she had was a vague general description—tall, dark, and handsome. But when it happened, when she saw the tan leather suitcase split open on the baggage carousel and disperse its contents, her quick speculation became absolute certainty.
Male underwear, skimpy, silk, and lurid, tumbled out along with a few tame shirts and a blow-dryer.
Fiona glanced away, hoping that when she returned her gaze, the owner of the bag wouldn’t fit the description of the man she was supposed to meet.
He did—in spades.
She shouldn’t have expected less, though, given how her day had begun.
She had to admire his aplomb—or was it brass?—the way he gathered up the sexy briefs, returning the smiles of feminine on-lookers without missing a beat. Several of his admirers looked ready to offer him their hotel keys—and he looked ready to accept.
Maybe she was wrong. Maybe this wasn’t the man she would be sharing a ride with from the airport. He could be here for any number of reasons, logical reasons—such as … an underwear convention. But when the man zipped his bag closed again and turned around, his blue-eyed gaze scouring the terminal, she knew he was searching for her.
Fiona’s white wool suddenly grew warmer.
He was handsome, in that hard, lean, illicit sort of way that held women in thrall. His deep tan gave him a decadent look, as if he did nothing more ambitious all day than sip tall drinks poolside. The ends of his rich brown hair were sun-tipped and ruffled, curling carelessly over his shirt collar.
She noticed the well-fitting cut of his light-colored suit and caught herself wondering if he had a pair of those racy briefs on beneath. Maybe in a wild island print, a palm tree swaying seductively over his—
Fiona checked the direction of that thought.
She wasn’t in Nevada to think about what the man wore next to his … tan. She was there for her father’s wedding, a wedding that would take place tomorrow—that was, unless she could find some way to put a stop to the ceremony before then.
But that was a problem she would deal with later—after she’d gotten to her hotel, and peeled off these hot clothes and her panty hose that had sprung a half-inch-wide run somewhere over Denver.
Still, she knew that unless she wanted to wilt outside waiting for a taxi, Mr. Sexy was her best bet for a ride. Fiona dragged in a deep, steadying breath and started toward him.
“Mr. Killian? Nick Killian?” she asked as she neared.
He raised one dark eyebrow and his speculative male gaze skimmed over her. “Miss Ames?”
His voice was low, self-assured, and seductive—like the man. It had a slow drawl to it, a sensually erotic quality that stirred Fiona to her nail beds. “I’m Fiona Ames.”
That dangerous smile edged his lips. “I hope I didn’t keep you waiting,” he said. “I had a small, uh, mishap with my luggage.”
At that moment the baggage carousel made a full revolution, and rotating slowly toward them was a skimpy scrap of leopard print. Fiona considered ignoring the hot item and ushering him toward the door, but unfortunately he saw it too.
“Yours, I believe,” she said.
He only grinned, a slow, sexy slash in his tanned face. Fiona was not about to let the silk go around again for all to see—at least as long as she was standing there beside him. She reached down and plucked it off the carousel.
He didn’t even have the good grace to look embarrassed, only amused, and Fiona realized that she was the one caught holding the silky scrap. The smile on his face made her feel as if she had her hands on his body instead of just his rakish underwear.
“Here,” she said. She shoved the silk undies at his midsection, then wished she hadn’t. It was rock-hard beneath his pale blue shirt, just as she’d imagined it would be.
“Thanks.” His naughty grin widened. “This is my favorite pair.” The silk danced between them for what seemed like forever before he finally stuffed them into the pocket of his jacket. “Do you always blush like that?” he asked, tucking a finger beneath her chin.
Fiona wasn’t in the habit of blushing, and she didn’t know why she was now, except that this man seemed to provoke that response in her. Or maybe it was fondling his seductive underwear. Whatever had prompted the blush, she wasn’t about to admit to it.
“It’s the heat. I’ll adjust,” she snapped back. She reached for the strap on her suitcase and tugged the thing along as she headed for the nearest exit.
Nick hadn’t been at all enthused about winning the silky briefs at that bachelor auction for charity his long-time friend and frat brother had coerced him into in New York. He’d been less enthused seeing the undies tumble out of his bag on the carousel. That was, until he watched the hot color rise up Fiona Ames’s pretty neck.
Nick grinned as he picked up his bag and followed her. If he’d enjoyed the way the lady blushed, he enjoyed the sassy swing to her hips in that snug white skirt even more. Sexy, very sexy, he decreed.
He suspected she’d be stripping out of that white wool damned fast in this climate though, and for one unvirtuous moment he found himself wishing he could be there for the show. He stopped the momentum of that thought. Fiona Ames was hardly the kind of woman he was accustomed to. Too haughty for his tastes. Still, she had him intrigued.
Her flame-red hair was pulled into a knot at the back of her head, no doubt in deference to the heat, but wispy ends refused to be tamed and flew around her face in tight little coils. He wondered if that might be a clue to her personality as well—tightly coiled yet a part of her refusing to be tamed. The prospect of that combination stirred him, perhaps more than it should have.
This upcoming wedding might prove more interesting than he thought.
In his heart of hearts he doubted Walter Ames was any match for his aunt. Winnie claimed she’d fallen in love at first sight, but Nick didn’t believe there was such a thing.
He didn’t believe in love at all.
Maybe if he hadn’t been out of town so much the last few months, consulting on those legal cases, he might have headed off this fiasco. Still, the wedding bells hadn’t chimed yet.
They’d reached the curb. He motioned to the waiting limousine driver, and when the limo pulled up, he escorted his pretty passenger inside.
“I hope dropping me at my hotel doesn’t inconvenience you,” she said, sliding into her seat.
The hem of her skirt skimmed up a delicious inch or two. And he noticed that she had a run in her nylons. He followed the streak up her leg until it disappeared beneath the white fabric. Quickly he chastised his mind’s eye, which seemed hell-bent on tracing it farther up her silky thigh. Her blush had faded, at least for the moment. But he’d like very much to see it again.
“Winnie asked me to see you safely to your hotel and to make sure you were comfortable. It was fortunate we were arriving at the same time. Did you have a good trip out?”
“Yes, fine,” she returned. She didn’t add that she’d spent nearly every moment of her air time trying to decide what to do about her father and his sudden wedding plans. Fiona hadn’t even known there was a woman in his life until this morning when he’d phoned, asking her to fly out for the ceremony.
Since Nick’s aunt was the blushing bride-to-be, she didn’t want to bring up the subject with him. Winnie was probably a very nice lady—Fiona wasn’t saying that she wasn’t—she just didn’t want to see her father make a mistake that might well cost him his happiness. She loved him too much to let that happen.
Walter Ames hadn’t been able to come to the airport to meet her himself because he was busy having his tux fitted for the ceremony, thus abandoning Fiona to the man seated beside her, a man whose good looks and intense masculinity rattled her senses.
She pressed a hand to her temple, thinking of the fast trip she’d made across the country. If it wasn’t for her father and his hasty wedding she would be home right now, polishing antiques for her shop and planning an evening at the symphony with friends.
Nick Killian—and his sexy briefs—were about as far removed from a night at the symphony as she could imagine.
Fiona leaned back in her seat and swung one leg over the other, trying hard to ignore his presence.
She supposed she could use the few days off this trip would bring. She’d been working hard, too hard. But her shop was important to her. She’d struggled to turn it into the business she’d envisioned, a shop where people could come and feel welcome, sip a cup of tea while they browsed, and hopefully buy an heirloom-quality antique.
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