"Fox delivers sexy, smart stories with a triple dose of sizzle." –Samanthe Beck, USA TODAY bestselling author
Harper Clark is lost. That is, until she's whisked to the castle to meet a welcoming family and is told they weren't expecting her for another week. Evidently, she was meant to be a surprise for someone. Since her friend sent her on a sexy adventure and didn't share the details, Harper figures she's right where she needs to be.
Billionaire Will Thomas is back in England for a big surprise. Could Harper be it? One thing he is sure of…he wants her for himself. It's been a long time since he's been attracted to a woman like this.
Harper takes one look at Will and her body burns. He's tall, hot, and looks at her with hunger in his eyes. But giving in to their desires means all kinds of complications for them both…
Each book in the Dossier series is STANDALONE:
* Private Reserve
* House Rules
* Under Pressure
* Big Catch
* Brazilian Fantasy
* Improper Proposal
About the Author
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cathryn Fox is a wife, mom, sister, daughter, and friend. She loves dogs, sunny weather, anything chocolate (she never says no to a brownie), pizza, and red wine. Cathryn has two teenagers who keep her busy and a husband who is convinced he can turn her into a mixed martial arts fan. When not writing, Cathryn can be found laughing over lunch with friends, hanging out with her kids, or watching a big action flick with her husband. She is the author of the Blue Bay Crew books, including Demolished.
Read an Excerpt
And so it begins ... or not.
The excitement bubbling up inside me quickly morphs into panic as I watch the cabbie peel away, dust kicking up behind his wheels like a farewell wave — a goddamn middle-finger salute.
"Come back," I yell the second I realize I'm not where I'm supposed to be.
I'm at the wrong freaking castle!
Despite the cool mountain air, I break into an anxious sweat. Jesus Christ — its nearing dusk and I'm lost in the middle of Northern England, my phone battery about to die. Not that I could call anyone for help. I'm on the other side of the Atlantic — stranded and abandoned — a million miles away from anyone who could possibly come to my rescue. Good Lord, this is so not one of my better moments.
I take in the landscape again and try to formulate my next course of action.
I tap my chin. I'm a smart girl, a problem-solving junior partner at Pratt and Winfrey Law Firm back in New York. It's possible I'm lost, yes, but a logical woman such as myself would analyze the situation and figure out her next course of action. So why the hell am I freaking out?
Because a trip across the pond for epic sex is so out of my element.
Pull it together, Harper. Get on with this vacation.
The truth is, this whole adventure was my idea. Two years ago, during a New Year's Eve party, I was the one who suggested we all put our names in a hat and draw one, each girl sponsoring an epic, twenty-fifth birthday vacation for whichever friend they'd picked. I've been waiting thirty-three long months — yes, I've been counting — for a dossier to arrive on my doorsteps, and I am more than ready to get on with it — and the hot sex. If only I hadn't screwed up the addresses.
Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.
As I berate myself, a dog barks in the distance. I go still, my eyes darting over the countryside as the autumn sun dips below the mountains, the last fingers of bruised light clawing at the road before me. My breath comes a little quicker, the pulse at the base of my throat tapping double time as the full moon rides the dark sky, providing sufficient light to see down the curvy stretch of road in front of me. Except I'm too afraid to look. Who knows what lurks in the darkness beyond the moonlight. I gulp air and try to pull myself together. While I'm not normally afraid to be alone in the dark, I am very familiar with the movie American Werewolf in London. That scared the living hell out of me. Another dog howls, and I pull my suitcase to my chest.
Alrighty, then. I suck in the crisp evening air as I take one step forward but stop when an elderly man emerges from a long, winding driveway, his scenic castle rising up like a phoenix behind him. I smile at the man as he pulls a stack of envelopes from a mailbox, a cute, miniature version of his home in the distance.
"Good evening," he says, and eyes me like I could very well shift into one of those wolves I hear howling in the distance. Silver brows knit together as he gives me a once-over, like I fit here in England's countryside about as much as that chocolate factory belongs next door to my health club — the real reason I've gained a few pounds. I mean come on, who puts a chocolate warehouse next to a gym?
Smart people, that's who.
"Good evening," I respond. I turn the embossed invitation over in my hand, and I'm about to ask him how far it is to the address written in gold letters when his eyes go wide and his cane hits the ground with a thump — in much the same way my heart just hit the pit of my stomach.
"What?" I ask and glance over my shoulder, my nerves jumping like a billy goat amped up on Red Bull. With fear firing through my veins, I take a hurried step toward the man, expecting a wolf to emerge from the gloom behind me.
"You ... you're a woman."
His strange observation takes me by surprise. It's not like I've ever been mistaken for a man before. "That's right," I say, trying not to sound as breathless as I feel as my heart gallops in my chest.
"An American woman," he adds with a grin, like that pleases him greatly.
I give him a sheepish look. "A lost American woman, I'm afraid."
A smile reaches slate-gray eyes that match his hair, and there is a warmth about him that instantly puts me at ease. "Not lost at all, my child," he says as he reaches for me with a gnarled, arthritic hand. It closes over my elbow, and he gives me a grandfatherly squeeze. My heart matches that squeeze, never having known my grandfather, or even my father. It was Mom and me growing up — aside from the "uncles" that came and went — and I can't say that I was A-Okay with that.
As a child, I always wanted a big family, but now I'm a jaded attorney who's learned the hard way that letting people in only leads to heartache. Eventually, every man leaves, right? But those thoughts are for when hungry, howling wolves aren't nipping at my heels.
"You must be the surprise we've all been waiting for," the elderly gentleman says, pulling my thoughts back as he taps his cane again.
Wait, if he's been expecting me, maybe I am at the right castle.
"Everyone will be so pleased." His smile is wide, his voice full of joy as I stand there, dumbfounded because I still have no idea who he is or what's going on.
"I ... uh ... don't ..."
He gives me a slow nod, like he understands completely. "You must be tired after a long transatlantic flight." He takes my suitcase from me and says, "This way. Come along. Don't keep us all waiting. You can say hello, grab a bite, and settle in for the night. Tomorrow we'll have a sit down and all get to know you better."
Get to know me better. What the hell is going on?
I must look skeptical because he laughs and says, "My apologies. I'm Charles Winston, George's grandfather. You can call me Gramps."
He pauses for a moment, like he's waiting for a lightbulb to go off. Since I have no idea who he is, I say, "It's nice to meet you, Mr. Winston."
He scoffs, and the hairs on his chin bristle as he scrubs it. "It appears you know as little about me as I do about you." A lock of gray hair catches in the breeze as he gives a slow shake of his head. "Nevertheless, come along, child. Come meet everyone. There are a dozen people inside just waiting to see what surprise George had in store for us today."
I don't make a move to follow. My mind is racing in a million directions. Had my sponsors set me up with a man named George? Am I really where I'm supposed to be?
Charles turns back to me. "Come along now ... ah ..."
"Harper," I say quickly. "It's Harper."
He gives me a reassuring smile and adds, "Come on, no need to be nervous. George said he was coming home today with a surprise, and you must be nervous that you're here on your own, him getting tied up and all, but everyone will be pleasantly shocked at this turn of events." He chuckles under his breath. "We never thought that boy would ever settle down."
Settle down? What the ever-loving fuck is going on? Did one of the girls set me up to get married? Cripes, I know they all found love during their adventures, but that's not what I'm looking for. I'm here for epic sex and nothing more.
My pulse thumps a bit faster as I take a tentative step and then stop to examine the embossed invitation I'm holding. Emblazed across the front is 52 Yorkshire Lane, and the number on the mailbox in front of me is 25. If Piper had set this up, the mix-up in numbers could very well have happened. Even though she's overcome dyslexia, sometimes she still tends to reverse her numbers. But really, would she mix up something this important? I'm thinking no. Then again, anything is possible, save for me falling in love and finding a big happy family of my own — something I wanted as a child.
I'm so over that.
Deciding to see where this all leads, I let Charles usher me through the gate and down the long driveway. That little bubble of excitement is back as I glance at the majestic castle. My God, I've never seen anything quite like it. My entire condo would fit on the porch steps. I have no idea who lives here or what my adventure entails, but I must say I'm super anxious to find out.
We reach the front steps, and he waves at me to climb the three stairs to the wide expanse of landing. As I do, he says, "It's too bad that George won't be back for another week."
"Yes, of course," I fib. Once again, I can't help but think George and my sponsor have been in contact — that he is aware of the pact. If he warned his family a surprise was coming today, he must be involved somehow, right? I just hope he's not the one I'm supposed to have epic sex with. I'm only here for one week, and if the man I'm supposed to meet isn't even here ... Talk about an epic failure. The needy spot between my legs practically cries, a reminder that it's been neglected too long.
Charles exhales an exaggerated breath. "That's the way it is with the British Armed Forces. If you two end up married, it's a life you'll get used to."
If one of the girls sent me here in the hope of me marrying, they're going to hear it from me. I'm definitely not cut out to be a military wife, or any kind of wife at all. I would never set myself up for that kind of failure — not in a million years. I've seen enough uncles come and go over the years to realize that eventually all men leave.
"Oh, we're not planning to get —" I begin, needing to set the record straight. Even if I'm here for George, Gramps needs to know marriage isn't on the table.
Charles laughs and waves a hand. "Look at me jumping the gun. I guess a grandfather just want his great-grandchildren sooner rather than later."
"I don't plan on having children anytime —"
"Later it is, then."
Or never. But I don't say that when I see the wistfulness on his face. Dammit, maybe I should get out of here right now. I open my mouth, but the second I do, the front door opens, and I'm swamped by a mob who can only be George's large — and when I say large, I mean enormous — family.
Do they all live under one roof?
"Looks like this young lady is George's surprise," Gramps says.
I stand as still as a stealth soldier while a dozen people fuss about, looking me over and chatting endlessly in British accents that I have a hard time deciphering since they all speak at once. Any second now, one of them will realize I'm not the surprise George was talking about and call me out. Then again, maybe I am.
God, I am so confused.
I'm passed from one person to the other, air evacuating my lungs as each gives me a huge bear hug and a kiss on each cheek. It's kind of sweet, really.
I mean nauseating.
Charles introduces me and explains he found me at the end of the long driveway.
"Harper, we had no idea George had such a lovely surprise for us today, or that you would still come along even after his delay," a middle-aged woman with big blue eyes and blond hair says excitedly. She touches my hair and pushes it from my shoulder like she's trying to get a better look at my features. "So pretty."
A girl around my age presses her hands to her heart and spins around. "Will you and George be getting married?"
"I ... uh ... no."
"Bronwyn," the middle-aged woman exclaims. "Harper just got here. Let her breathe for a moment."
Bronwyn clasps her hands together. "Well, I think secretly surprising us with his girlfriend is all rather romantic."
"I'm not his girlfriend," I say quickly.
The girl takes my hand in hers. "Oh, whatever it is you call it in America, then. I'm Bronwyn, George's youngest sister, by the way."
Okay, this is just getting weirder and weirder. George said he had a surprise for them all today. I show up, and there is talk of girlfriends and marriage. I glance around the vast countryside. Am I being punked? I'm not sure, but I need to talk to my friends. As I take in the rolling hills, I pray the mountainous terrain doesn't interfere with cell phone reception, because I need to find out what's going on.
"Come in, come in," the middle-aged woman with the kind eyes and warm smile says.
I stand still and sort through my option. I can either tell them I don't think I'm George's surprise — although I'm beginning to believe I am — or go along with it for a little bit and enjoy this welcoming family and countryside and wait for George to return. Only problem is I'm not seeing epic sex in this scenario. As I mull that over, a car door slams. We all turn, and my breath stalls when a tall, drop-dead gorgeous man climbs from a BMW. Could this be George, returning early after all? I hope it is — because, holy hell, he is super hot.
My heart misses a beat as I take in the man smoothing a hand through thick, dark hair. Cripes, how come there are no hot guys like him back home? He lengthens his stride as he makes his way toward us. His gaze locks with mine then slides lower. Goose bumps break out on my body from his visual caress, and in turn I look him over.
Hello, Mr. Gorgeous.
An expensive suit jacket — one that must have been tailor-made to fit his hard body — showcases broad shoulders then narrows to a trim waist. His dress pants accentuate long legs and muscular thighs I can't help but envision holding me down. Good God! While the others are all dressed in casual clothes, this guy looks like he just came from a business meeting or stepped straight off the pages of GQ. After a leisurely inspection, my eyes travel back to his handsome face. As I take in his clean-shaven jaw, the corners of his mouth twitch, like he knows what's going through my dirty mind.
The woman I assume is George's mother takes my hand in hers and squeezes to collect my attention. I turn back to her, and a bubble of warmth cocoons me as she offers me a warm smile and says, "I'm Claire, George's mom. I can't believe in all the commotion I forgot to tell you that." She does a round of introductions, giving me the names of her husband, George's brothers, sisters, cousins, and grandparents.
She points to the man coming our way. "And that's Will, another of George's cousins. His mom, June, is my sister. She married an American and moved to the U.S. ages ago."
I'm trying to take it all in, but my head is spinning so fast, no way will I be able to remember anyone, except, perhaps, for the hot cousin who has my thighs quivering like a leaf in a windstorm. I once read that description in a book and thought it sounded stupid. I mean come on, do thighs really quiver? Up until this moment, I would have said no.
As everyone gives me another warm welcome, it touches me in places I've long ago closed off. With or without George here, I can't let myself get close to this loving family. My chest tightens, and I take a step back, about to tell them that since George hasn't made it back, I should probably go, but my words turn into a yelp when my stupid high heel slips off the top step. Luckily for me, Mr. Gorgeous, aka Will, is there to catch me before I tumble to the ground with an undignified thud and follow it up with a round of curses that would put any drunken sailor to shame — because that's how I roll. I'm pretty sure any man who came from a sweet family like this wouldn't choose a pessimistic, passive-aggressive, emotionally detached lawyer whose motto is: if it can go wrong, it will.
I turn to face Will, and he has a devious grin on his face. I want to thank him, but when he leans into me, instead of speaking, I put my hand on his hard chest and breathe in his scent. A hot jolt runs through my body, hitting every erogenous zone along the way. I'm not sure what brand of cologne he's wearing. If I had to guess, I'd say it was called Let's Do Dirty Things Together.
One whiff of him and my mind is off on an erotic journey. Heat zings through my body at lightning speed, awakening the part of me that has been dormant for too long. That's right, dormant, shut off, closed for business. That's what happens when you work fifteen hours a day to prove you are senior partner material. I was so counting on breaking my dry spell on this trip. If I wasn't a grown-up, I'd stomp my heels and throw a fit of disappointment.
"I missed the round of hugs and kisses," he whispers, his warm breath sliding across the shell of my ear. Oh God, that shouldn't feel so nice. I cough to hide the moan rising in my throat, and resist the urge to drop to the ground, spread my legs, and ask him to take me already.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Improper Proposal"
Copyright © 2018 Cathryn Fox.
Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
For some reason, this story reminds me of a sexy, hot twist on the movie While You Were Sleeping. The plot lines are a little similar, but the overall feel good feeling you get is the same. I loved Harper and her interactions with the family. You could sense her yearning to be a part of them. And she fit right in. Then there was this tall, deliciously dirty, hot alpha Will who just sets the pages on fire. Bring out his inner protector and provider, and some major swooning occurs. Definitely a spicy read that keeps you turning the pages. I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher through Netgalley.
Great Series by Cathryn Fox - start with the first one. Although these are stand alone reads; the stories are all quick romantic reads. Enjoy how a secret vacation planned by one of your friends leads to true love. A copy of this book was provided by Entangled Publishing, LLC via Netgalley with no requirements for a review. Comments here are my honest opinion."
Harper is mistaken by George’s family as their surprise from him. She should tell them the truth that she’s on a trip to get laid, not fall in love with each of them and all their wonderfulness. After all, she gave up on being a part of a family a long time ago. She certainly shouldn’t be lusting after George’s cousin Will. But good intentions and all of that. Will senses something isn’t all it appears to be when he meets Harper. He has to keep his distance from her because what he’s feeling is not how he should feel about his cousin’s fiancée. Then again, no need to make the mistake of welcoming a gold digger into their family. And he knows just how to go about testing her. This was such a cute, fun read. While the characters each had their own struggle with relationships, it didn’t rule the story. Both Will and Harper eventually work through what separates them but there’s one little thing Harper needs to share and she just hasn’t found the time to do it yet. It was pretty typical but entertaining nonetheless. This is a fast paced read with plenty of steam and I loved the secondary characters. The resolution was satisfying and we had a nice little ending to sum up the series. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book provided by NetGalley and Entangled Publishing. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Are you in the mood for a nicely-written novella that is chock full of sexual desire? Then pick up a copy of Improper Proposal by Cathryn Fox, and immerse yourself in an erotic yet poignant story. This is the final book from the sizzling Dossier series, and it can be enjoyed as a standalone. Harper Clark is a hard-working lawyer from New York City. It is her turn to go on an adventure and experience epic sex. As a result, she ends up standing in front of a castle in Northern England. To Harper's amazement, the wealthy family that takes her in believes her to be their son's new girlfriend, the big surprise that he has told them to expect. Billionaire Will Thomas, a first cousin, is also from New York City. He is in town to be a part of his cousin's big news, which is not Harper. Harper and Will share an instant chemistry which evolves into lust and love. They both know that Harper needs to come clean with his family, but the time never seems to be right. Once Harper's secret is discovered, she quickly returns to the States. Like a Hallmark movie, Harper and Will end up together. Ms. Fox does an amazing job of combining a sexy story with a creative plot. Harper and Will are extremely likable, and so is Will's extended family. Their sexy times are steamy, and Will's dominance is hot. Lastly, this novella has a wonderful ending that will leave you with a huge smile on your face. Complimentary copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley.
Last book of this amazing series and we meet Harper, creator of this little game a couple years ago. Drawing names from a hat on New Years Eve to set each friend up with a surprise adventure and epic sex! Harper, you have to love Harper. Single attorney, overworked, under sexed who worked hard for everything she has finds herself in England in front of a castle staring at her envelope and the wrong address. The cab has fled and almost dark Harper starts to panic. An older gentleman appears to get the mail and thinking she is his grandson's surprise welcomes her into the home and family. They mistake her for their George's surprise and not wanting to say anything yet she's overwhelmed and unsure of her next move. So not Harper. Not until a car pulls up and the most gorgeous man she's ever seen gets out. Still in his business suit he's an American too and it's George's cousin Will. Will is suspect of Harper initially because the family has money but they all work this is their norm. Will thinks she looks familiar but unsure. They both work in NYC. The sparks between these two were outrageous. The steam between this two is off the charts. Harper is desperate to reach one of the friends back in the states to be sure this wasn't the set up and did she indeed have the wrong address.. all the while she's feeling embraced and loved by the family she never had and then there's Will. Will is flipping hot. The shared bathroom scenes were outrageously good, and Harper does tell Will what's happened. They agree to keep quiet but also agree that she needs to tell the family what has happened. George is still away on his military duty and when he comes back a bit early? Wooo wee... and poor Harper flees back to the states, leaving Will and all her feelings behind. And what happens from there, you have to read the book. Cathryn is a favorite and this book is just the icing on the series. I love Harper, loved the series and I'd read them all again. They're that good. This one is another must read. Bravo! A shower of stars. *advanced reader copy from NetGalley and Entangled for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own**
Yikes. This is hard for me, as I really don't like giving bad reviews. I've really enjoyed this entire series, and I LOVED book 2 a ton. But, this one was a total letdown for me. It's the final book in the series, and we finally get to meet Harper, who set up this whole 25th birthday dossier plan, and I was so looking forward to her story. Harper Clark is a loner. She grew up with just her mom, and her mom's revolving door of men, who never stuck around long. So, she learned to only rely on herself. It's served her well for the most part, especially in her career as a lawyer. When she made this deal with her friends, for them to plan special trips for each other for their 25th, she had no idea what would be in store for her, besides epic sex, of course. That was the point of the agreement to begin with. Will Thomas is an American living in NYC, but his parents are British ex-pats, and the rest of his extended family all still live in England. He's in town to visit, and hear a big announcement from his cousin, George. He had no idea to expect Harper to fall into his life. This was set up to be a "While You Were Sleeping" type of plot, but it just didn't work for me. She knew from the first minute she was in the wrong place, and she just kept trying to convince herself she was wrong, and maybe she was in the right place? (The address was wrong! You're at the wrong house!) So, needless to say, I was frustrated already by the end of chapter one. I get that she felt happy being around this giant family, which she had never had. But still, come on. I kept wanting to scream "YOU'RE A GROWN WOMAN. USE YOUR WORDS!" She kept just going with it, and it made me not like her very much. Then, Will didn't make the situation any better, unfortunately. His way of dealing with things was not cool either, even if he changed his mind somewhat along the way. While I could feel Harper and Will's physical chemistry, I just didn't find their emotional connection very believable. Granted, this was a very short novella, but that doesn't usually keep me from enjoying a story. I've read plenty of short novellas, and not felt this way before. As things kept getting deeper and deeper, I just found Harper more, and more TSTL. It really bothered me that she wasn't being honest, and how it all came out was a bit predictable too. Again, I'm trying not to be too harsh, but this story just didn't really work for me on any level. And honestly, I'm really sad about it. I've really enjoyed the time I've spent reading this series, and for it to end this way for me is very disappointing. This won't keep me from reading this author in the future, as I've loved many of her books over the years. There are a lot of great reviews for this one, so maybe it was just me. I truly hope others can appreciate and enjoy this story in a way I just couldn't.
This was a great final book to this series! It only seems appropriate that the one who came up with the idea has to wait until the end to get her wild time. It also is part of her make-up to end up in the wrong place, but has the best time, in the wrong place, and it all falls apart, because she was in the wrong place p.s., I don't recall it being explained, but I am burning with curiosity on what the right place plan was, and I can't be the only one! Harper gives the wrong address to a cabbie,and is immediately mistaken for an unknown 'surprise' a family member had mentioned was happening. The people are so warm and kind, and everything she has been missing in life, she decides to soak some of it in before confessing. Then cousin Will arrives, and the attraction is instant, hot, and overwhelming. Through a bit, he learns the truth, and decides to just go with it as well, so he has her longer. The more they spend time together, the more they fall for each other. Of course, reality is going to hit them,and it does, and it all unravels. Luckily, Will isn't giving up! Sexy, hot, sweet, and heartwarming, a case of misunderstandings that works out for the best!
Sexy & Hot! Have loved this series of sexy, entertaining and hot stories about epic trips that have brought true love that I am sorry that this is the last in this series. I have been a big fan of Cathryn Fox stories, she definitely knows how to bring the sexy and the heat as well as love to all her stories. Harper came up with the idea two years ago, at a New Years Eve party, for all her friends to put their names, in a hat and to draw one name and each girl would sponsor an epic twenty-fifth Birthday vacation for whichever friend they picked. She is the last one to get her epic journey. Harper Isn’t looking for love, she is only looking for some Epic, Hot, Sex. But when Harper ends up at possibly the wrong castle in the middle of the English countryside, will her epic journey lead to her epic sex or will her journey be a bust. But soon Harper finds that her mistake might just be fate, that leads her to everything, that she has ever wanted. Loved Harper and Will’s sexy escapades, as well as their sizzling chemistry. You don’t want to miss this series. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Very sexy and fun, Harper ends up with more of adventure than she intended when she arrives at a castle for epic birthday adventure surprise. She is assumed to be George's girlfriend (George's arrival is delayed), but is immediately smitten with Will, his cousin. Always wary of gold diggers, Wills sets out to prove that any rich man will do. However, Will also gets more than he bargained for. While this is a quick read, it is filled with steamy romance that fans of the genre will love. The mistaken identities adds to the tale, as does Harper's back story. While part of a series, this is a stand alone novel. This is just in time for summer reading and is perfect for the beach.
Naughty fun is always around when it involves a dossier. These epic sex adventures are worth the romp. In this sexy story, it's a case of mistaken address and an entirely different adventure. But as always, the Dossier adventures have the ending of your dreams- naughty, dirty talking dreams, but dreams none the less. I will say though that of the Dossiers I've read, this one was kind of a let down. It's not as intense. They have chemistry, yes. However, the situation is off because of the perceived attachment. It's still a fun read. I wish I had these kinds of friends or even adventures. Happy Ever After!