Big promotion, complete with $300 pen? Check.
A hot man who cuddles, spends the night and makes breakfast? Check.
Waiting for the other shoe to fall? Check.
"If it feels too good to be true, it probably is."
Five years of obsessing over her career pays off when Melanie Gordon gets a promotion that could make or break her. But the new job takes her back to her hometown to face the family she's distanced herself from, and forces her to leave behind sexy, mysterious philanthropist Raine Mason, who just might be the man of her dreams.
By the time Raine makes his move with Melanie, her one-way ticket to Cleveland is booked. He convinces her to take a chance on him long-distance, but can't yet trust her with the whole truth about himself.
Raine and Melanie slowly peel back each other's layers (starting with his bicep-hugging sweater). She is finally ready to give her heart to him until she learns the dark secret of his past. He'll have to prove to her that love is worth the risk.
About the Author
Past president of her local RWA chapter and a panelist at the 2017 Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, Reese is an advocate of the romance genre and diversity in fiction. Visit her online at ReeseRyan.com.
Read an Excerpt
Damien Jasper is brilliant and asshole in equal amounts, wrapped in one stunningly handsome, well-dressed package. And he's headed directly toward me.
This cannot be good.
There are only two reasons Damien Jasper visits the peons this early in the morning. He's in hot pursuit of a new female employee, or the building is on fire. We haven't hired anyone new, and the building isn't on fire. So I'm pretty sure I'm screwed.
His intense eye contact is unnerving. Especially since Damien's idea of eye contact usually lands somewhere in the vicinity of my boobs.
"Good morning, Ms. Gordon."
I force a smile. You'd think shoving your tongue down a woman's throat would give you the right to call her by her first name in perpetuity. But the rules in Damien Jasper's world are pretty hard to follow. "Good morning, Damien."
"When you're done with your phone call, please come to my office." The muscles in his face barely stir. His voice is a deep, low rumble.
My shoulders tense and a hard knot forms in my gut. I nod and force a smile so stiff it's more of a grimace.
Damien turns on the heels of chestnut-colored loafers that cost more than my rent.
My heart is beating a mile a minute. I've completely forgotten I'm on the phone.
"Melanie? You still there?"
I take a deep breath and nod. "Sorry. Yes, I'm here. I've got, like, three minutes." I look at my watch. "What's up?"
Raine clears his throat then attempts to speak. His words come out too fast and at least two octaves higher than his normal speaking voice, like an old vinyl record that's been sped up.
"What was that?"
"Sorry, I just...I wanted to talk to you about..." He sighs. "You know what, you're busy. We should do this later."
"Why don't I give you a call later tonight or over the weekend?" I watch as the elevator door closes behind Damien.
"Great. I really have to go. Talk to you later."
As I return the phone to its cradle, my glass of water topples over. Thank God only my copy of the San Francisco Gazette gets wet. I toss the paper in the trash and take a deep breath. My hands shake like crumpled, brown leaves barely clinging to the trees at the end of fall.
Damien Jasper's late-night trysts with overeager female employees are legendary here at Jasper&Graevel. A fact I wasn't privy to that late night two years ago, when I was invited to accompany him to a client dinner.
We nailed our pitch over dinner and snagged the new client. Damien, in turn, tried to nail me. I'd had a drink or two more than I should have, at his urging, but I wasn't drunk enough to believe that screwing the company CEO wouldn't end badly. I politely extracted his tongue from my mouth, inserted my knee into his crotch and excused myself from the elevator we'd been sharing.
Jasper&Graevel is a major player in my industry. So rather than raising hell over the incident, I chose to ignore it and hoped Damien would do the same. For the past two years we've nodded politely and exchanged pleasantries whenever the situation required it. Still I've always had this nagging feeling that one day Damien would exact his revenge. That day, I fear, is today.
My throat is parched. Wish I had that damned glass of water. I survey my cubicle. Maybe I should box up my things now, rather than suffer the humiliation of stuffing my things in a box while two impatient rent-a-cops hover over me. Legs wobbling, I climb to my feet and take small, wooden steps toward the elevator.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Reese Ryan's debut novel has burst onto the literary scene with a powerful punch. I enjoyed reading "Making the First Move." This story is well written with great characterization. I enjoyed how each character’s flaws were strategically unveiled throughout the story, creating enough depth and intrigue to hold my attention. The relationship between the main character, Melanie Gordon, and her love interest, Raine Mason, is very well developed. They have a nice blend of friendship, romance, and sexual chemistry between them. I especially enjoyed the unexpected twist of Raine's identity secret, which gave the story a refreshing spin instead of your typical run-of-the-mill story twists. The pace of the story moved fairly well, except for the parts where too much attention/emphasis is given to Melanie's job. I could’ve used a little less job focus once Melanie's career goals and aspirations had been established. I also would’ve enjoyed more dramatic scenes between Melanie and her nemesis, Priscilla. I loved the well-written tension between Melanie and Priscilla and wanted to see more behind the scenes development for how Priscilla pre-meditated her backstabbing endeavors. Overall, I think the author's writing voice and eye for storytelling makes this novel a pleasure to read. I completely recommend it to other readers.
Making the First Move was a thoughtful story about a woman who's searching for the perfect life, and realizes that maybe perfect isn't all its cracked up to be. I liked Making the First Move, but actually don't have a lot to say about it. It was nicely written, the story was good. It just didn't make a strong impression. I will say that the first half was a bit slow. I get that the characters and their lives needed to be established, but it felt a bit tedious. For me, there were too many details about Melanie's job and her family. I wanted more Melanie and Rains. The second half was definitely more enjoyable for me. I liked Melanie's struggle to make a long-distance relationship with Raine work. Her struggle to balance her idea of independence and her ideal life and love seemed realistic and thoughtful. The synopsis hints at Raine having a dark secret. I assumed the secret would be obvious and typical, but it happily came out of nowhere, and seeing Melanie come to terms with it was great. And the story did wrap up well. Not to be trivial, but my favorite aspect of Making the First Move was the steam! The author did a really fabulous job with the sexual chemistry between Melanie and Raine. Although I could have used a little more, those scenes were pretty hot, but weren't too explicit. Overall, I liked Making the First Move, I just didn't love it. I do think many readers will enjoy it a lot.
Raine Mason and Melanie Gordon are strongly attracted to one another and have been for some time. A promotion and a move forces Melanie to move to another state. Do they finally acknowledge their feelings? Will they discover they are just right for each other or will secrets and distance get in the way? Only time will tell. Reese Ryan’s “Making the First Move" was a very good novel. I really got into it and couldn't wait to see what was going to happen next. The author held my attention throughout the entire novel. I really liked the surprises along the way. Although it took a little time to introduce all that was going on in the novel, once all the characters were introduced, the storyline really came together. I look forward to other novels in the future from Reese Ryan’s as I too am a hopeless romantic. This novel was well executed. I give this novel a strong 4.5 stars and I think it’s one readers will enjoy. Keep up the good work Ms. Ryan! Reviewed by: Lisa M. 4.5 stars