His office temptation is now his full-blown fantasy...
Paying down her sister's debts has left personal assistant Emma Strickland with little more than the thrift store suit on her back. And as if the suckfest couldn't get worse, she's forced to get a second job as a waitress to support herself and her cat. At a strip club. Her uptight, sexy-as-hell boss Brody Kane can never find out.
Texas property tycoon Brody Kane hired Emma for her spreadsheet skills, but her prim and proper demeanor sealed the deal. There's no room in his life for a sexy distraction...and yet, he can't stop lusting after the delicious Ms. Strickland.
But then he takes an important client to a Chicago strip club and gets the worst lap dance in adult entertainment history. From Emma.
Now that he knows his office good girl has a naughty streak, Brody makes it his mission to uncover her secrets, one illicit, over-the-desk encounter at a time. But Emma is hiding more than her side job, and her final secret could end up destroying them both.
|Product dimensions:||5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.54(d)|
Read an Excerpt
Taking the Score
A Tall, Dark, and Texan Novel
By Kate Meader, Liz Pelletier, Robin Haseltine
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2016 Kate Meader
All rights reserved.
Why was everyone so desperate to get him laid?
Pondering that burning question, Brody Kane took aim at the hoop. The ball flirted with the rim, cockteased the backboard, and because Brody's life these days was not worth spit, fell away without screwing the basket.
"I should go to a strip club," he said to Flynn Cross. "That's your best suggestion?"
"It's not a strip club." Flynn motioned to the third partner in their Score Property triumvirate, Hunter Dade. "Did I ever mention the words 'strip' and 'club'?"
Maybe not, but Brody had an MBA from Stanford and could read between the lines. "You said I need to stop feeling sorrier than a steer in a stockyard and there's this place you know with strong liquor, bone-melting music, and cock-destroying women."
"Half-naked, cock-destroying women," Hunter clarified.
Brody pointed at Flynn. "Sounds like a strip club to me."
"No, it sounds like the kind of place a man could get into all sorts of trouble." Hunter scooped up the ball and bounced it a couple of times on the hardwood of the University Club's basketball court. Linked by a bridge to the high-rise containing Score Property's Chicago offices, it had the added advantage of being steps away from Brody's penthouse. "As for why Cross knows so much about it, I'm mighty curious."
Good question. Flynn was all loved up and counting down the days to when he'd finally make an honest woman of his fiancée back in Houston. With palms up, he gestured for the ball. Hunter pitched it on his hip and waited.
"It's just a club I took a client to a few weeks ago," Flynn explained as if he were talking to fourth graders. "Drink selection was good, female selection was better. Sealed the deal." While Hunter and Brody stared, he muttered, "Okay, assholes, it's a strip club. But a classy one."
Hunter dribbled the ball and sidestepped Flynn. The two of them duked it out until Hunter finally put the shot away.
"Time to get your mojo back," Flynn said to Brody after about a minute of what had been shaping up to be a blissful stretch of peace. "It's been six months, man."
The words were barely out of Flynn's mouth when he exchanged a guilty glance with Hunter. The guys knew the broad brushstrokes, but as Brody rarely talked about what happened to send him into self-imposed celibacy, they employed the code and didn't press. However, no amount of awkward stinking up the joint could keep the Hunter Dade grin down. These days, he was constantly pleased with himself since he'd bickered with, hate-sexed on, and finally married Tess, the fiery redhead of his dreams, a month ago.
"'Course, if you'd just bang Ms. Strickland," Hunter drawled, "then your mojo problem would be solved."
Ah, Ms. Strickland, who was up on the twenty-third floor organizing Brody's schedule, hanging up his dry cleaning, and being an all-around paragon of Girl Friday. The guys liked to rag on him, imagining they sensed some frisson of attraction between Brody and his assistant. God knew why, as the woman gave new definition to the word "frump."
Which was precisely why he'd hired her.
She couldn't be more than twenty-five, but her fashion sense, gleaned from Sears catalogs circa 1979, put at least ten years on her. In her cheap suits liberally sprinkled with cat hair, with her brown hair in a tight bun, Emma reminded him of his fifth-grade teacher, Mrs. Hennessy. Guaranteed limp dick.
At least, on paper.
Emma Strickland was the perfect antithesis to the women he was usually attracted to. To the woman he'd almost married six months ago before she screwed him over. The reality? Not so clear-cut.
There was something about her that he couldn't put a finger on. She never failed to do her job professionally and without complaint, but occasionally, he'd catch an insolent lift at the corner of her mouth. In a blink, it would disappear, but the challenge to delve further had been thrown down. Specifically to delve into whatever she was hiding under that unfashionably long skirt.
Stellar thighs, he suspected. Brody was an evidence guy, so he had no good reason to believe this. Didn't stop him from spending unreasonable amounts of time trying not to think of whatever assets Emma was rocking under that skirt and wad of fabric she called a blouse. And as soon as he hit the shower, there was nothing for it but to succumb to his fantasy of ripping that blouse off and exposing ... what would she have on underneath? Knowing his luck, another damn blouse. But think of the pleasure he'd have finding out.
Hike up that skirt and show me your sweet ass- ets, Ms. Strickland.
Open your mouth, Ms. Strickland, I've got something to dick-tate.
And the always classic: Over the desk now, Ms. Strickland.
Merely thinking of the things he'd like to whisper in his assistant's ear shot a bolt of desire through him so powerful he had to shake his head to get back to reality. The reality that said devoting even one percent of his brain to those thoughts was a million percent wrong.
"You think she's got some sexy unmentionables under that boxy suit of hers?" Flynn asked, like some kind of mind reader. His casual curiosity, though harmless locker room talk, pushed Brody's recently hair-trigger fuse.
"I think you need to focus less on Ms. Strickland's panties" — my fucking job, dude — "and more on the North Shore Development."
While Brody thought about his own inability to close the deal with the Union Jack Consortium. He was in delicate negotiations with Nigel Smythe-Osborne regarding the luxury hotels he wanted to build stateside. The limey shit was dangling the prospect of a partnership with Score Property, only to yank the carrot as soon as Brody came within nibbling distance.
The similarities between his stutter-stepping sex life and his failure to wrap up his latest business venture in a pretty red bow were a tad too close for comfort. He grabbed the ball, making sure he shoulder-shoved Flynn with more violence than strictly necessary on his way to the hoop. Shot released. Score.
If only releasing his pent-up sexual frustration was so easy. The guys were right. He needed to get laid tout de suite.
"So, Cross. Tell me more about the cock-destroying women."
* * *
"If I wasn't so sure I looked like hot shit in that dress, I'd have had a complex."
"Uh-huh," Emma murmured. Her coworker Serena liked to perch her tiny ass on Emma's desk between eight forty-five and nine every Monday morning and fill Emma in, and anyone else within earshot at Score Property, about her weekend of grinding on some guy, screwing him unconscious, and sleeping off a Red Bull and vodka hangover.
"First he tells me I've got eyes he could drown in, then the next minute he's ogling this skanky redhead with fake boobs and a skirt that shows her ..."
Emma checked Mr. Kane's schedule for the fifth time in ten minutes, assuring herself that she hadn't made any mistakes. Checking, rechecking, and triple-checking her work was the reason why she'd kept this job as long as she had. Neither of her two predecessors had lasted longer than a week, so her three months was some sort of record, according to Mr. Dade. Now that Score Property was expanding and each of the partners had his own PA, she was exclusively at the beck and call of Mr. Kane.
And wasn't that a lovely image? The little flutter between her thighs agreed.
"A skirt that shows her what?"
"Oh, you are listening!" Serena sucked dramatically on her iced mocha. "And here I thought you were putting in time off the clock. Workday doesn't start for five minutes, yanno? You're making us all look bad."
"I just like to be prepared."
Serena's eye roll pronounced that notion a cardinal sin. "Maybe you should quit being such a Girl Scout and come out with me one of these weekends. Mess up that bun. Show a bit of leg. Give the girls some air."
If she knew exactly what Emma got up to on her weekends — her weeknights, too — Serena would probably spit-take that mocha all over her brand-new Ann Taylor suit. Emma merely gifted her a serene upturn of her lips. As Granny Maude used to say, keep smiling, it makes people wonder what you're up to. She'd had a lot of practice with that smile and with fobbing off girls who wanted to be pals. She wasn't here to make friends.
Though if she'd made more of an effort with Serena or her other coworkers at Score Property, she might not be wading in the shit trough right now.
"I'm not really into that kind of scene," said the girl who had invented that kind of scene. Being bad always tasted too good, and she'd lost her appetite while cleaning up after other people. Like Daisy. At twenty-two years old, three years Emma's junior, her sister may as well be in diapers for all the maturity she'd demonstrated lately. Just thinking of the trouble she was in boiled Emma's blood.
Serena wagged a finger. "One day I'll get you to let your hair down and show you how to have some dirty fun. And speaking of dirty fun ..." Her voice dropped several octaves and emerged husky. "If it isn't the Lone Star State's gift to Chicago."
Emma curved her gaze around Serena's back to take in the approaching vision. Texas's gift to Chi-town might sound like hyperbole, but the girl was not far wrong.
The three partners in Score Property swaggered in looking sweaty, muscled, and positively delicious. Doors that had been closed a moment ago inched ajar, covetous eyes peeking through the gaps. The testosterone pumping from the men, dressed in tanks and shorts that showcased smooth, sunbaked skin, tangoed with the sudden influx of female pheromones. Between accounting, publicity, and admin, eight women worked at Score Property, and all of them would have happily worked for free. The fringe benefits were so damn good.
"Serena, don't you have nothin' better to do than sit here gossiping with your coworkers?" Mr. Cross asked in an indulgent tone. "I know I assigned you to making travel arrangements for my trip to L.A., and that ain't happening as long as you're here bothering Emma."
"Sorry, Flynn," Serena said, not sounding sorry at all. "We were just talking about our weekends. I went dancing." She managed to infuse a whole lot of sex into the word "dancing," never mind that Mr. Cross was very happily engaged.
He chuckled. "I bet you did, you minx. You can tell me all about it later over coffee."
With a lusty giggle and a knowing wink at Emma, Serena slid off Emma's desk and headed toward Mr. Cross's office suite. Sixty seconds later, doors had closed and the workday had begun as everyone moved to their starting positions. Everyone, that is, except ...
"Ms. Strickland, did you pick up my dry cleaning?"
Of course, she'd known he was standing there. Her body had a weird radar that knew where he was at all times, and as everyone else had scattered, she'd ducked her head and waited for him to head into his office.
But the footsteps never came.
The door did not open.
Instead, the scent of him — a clean, male sweat — assaulted her nostrils.
She looked up and met the cool gaze of Broderick Kane III. The sensitive flesh between her thighs heated, clenched, and gave a little sigh of frustration. It was bad enough he usually looked like sex on pin-striped legs when he was wearing a suit; the days he and his partners did their workouts were a particular brand of torture.
Making little or no effort with his appearance, he walked around in an abstracted haze that should not have appealed to her in any way. She usually liked built, tatted, dangerous men, not the lean, rangy type. Oh, there was muscle there, ropy cords of it rippling through his forearms and impressive thighs, but she suspected he hadn't worked for it, not really. More like bought them at the gym on the first floor.
Not handsome in the classical sense, he radiated something more compelling. On the day the goddess was giving out the hawt, Brody Kane received an extra helping of sensuality instead of pretty boy. His lips were too full, even when sealed together in their customary grim disapproval. Mahogany hair flopped over his right eyebrow in a way that screamed, "I need a cut but I'm too distracted (making money) to care."
But his most attractive feature was his eyes. Silver gray like moonlight over a calm stretch of water. Eyes that could cut you to pieces and rebuild you with a single look. To add sexy insult to hot injury, he wore glasses.
Yep, total dweeb.
He also happened to be the brains of Score Property, the numbers guy, and wealthier than sin. The money he spent on suits in a year would have paid off all her debts — all of Daisy's debts — and left a little to spare for those business classes Emma needed to complete her degree.
She blinked back to the reality of her day job and drew deep for that other woman — Goody-Two-Sensible-Shoes Ms. Strickland. The fraud.
"Dry cleaning's hanging in your closet, Mr. Kane. I've also set up the tea service in the kitchen and will bring it in when — "
"The tea service?" The sexy hair flop ruffled ever so slightly with his querying eyebrow.
"Today's ten o'clock with the Union Jack Consortium on the Crown Point development. Last time Mr. Smythe-Osborne was here, we didn't have the oolong leaves he requested, but I made sure to get them from the Coffee & Tea Exchange on Broadway. We can't afford to give him any reason to not choose Score Property to be his stateside partner for the project."
Mr. Kane stared as if she were speaking in Farsi, then slowly shook his head. "Ms. Strickland, whatever would I do without you?"
"Get the oolong yourself, Mr. Kane?"
The corner of his mouth hitched imperceptibly. Stop the Facebook updates — was that amusement? The man tended toward automaton around the office and never showed signs of enjoyment. Broody Brody, the girls called him.
"Did you do that on your own time?"
"It was no trouble, really."
He held her gaze long enough to make her skin itch and her stomach queasy. She knew what he saw: cheap, ugly suit; severe, dark brown hair; a woman no man like him would spare a second glance. Perhaps it bothered him that someone so displeasing to the eye required regular interaction.
"Do you own a cat?"
She swallowed, thinking about her cranky cat and his current location. "Yes, I do. A tabby."
He reached out and plucked at the lapel of her ill-fitting, thrift-store suit, just above a tightening nipple. With those long, elegant fingers that had probably never seen a day's hard work in their lives, he rubbed, sending to the ground one of the offensive cat hairs that tended to Velcro to her person. A barely discernible eyebrow lift pronounced his conclusion.
Crazy cat lady.
It rankled, but as she had taken great pains to present a certain image, regretting her success was pointless. These clothes were her secret identity, masking the super-zero underneath, keeping that bad girl in check. Better he saw her this way. An attraction to her boss was a distraction she could not afford, not when her life was a complete disaster-piece.
Turning to leave, he pulled on his sticky tank, which had molded to his impressive pectorals in a way old Emma would have been all over, but Ms. Strickland pretended not to notice. And then, just in case she'd missed how shredded those abs were, he used the hem to wipe his damp forehead.
By the time he'd dropped the tank, she had managed to pin an expression of bland disinterest on her face.
"I'd better take a shower, or Smythe what's-his-face will have a whole other reason to be offended. Can you bring in the Crown Point file and have it on my desk for when I finish?"
She smiled and tried not to look overly smug about it. Failed miserably.
"Already done, Mr. Kane."
Excerpted from Taking the Score by Kate Meader, Liz Pelletier, Robin Haseltine. Copyright © 2016 Kate Meader. 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
It was cute, Emma was a bad girl trying to be good. When she worked in the office for Brody she wore frumpy clothes, two sizes too big for her, hair in a bun, and yet Brody, was attracted to her, wondering if he was losing his mind, what in the world did she have that his mind kept having fantasies about. Poor Emma was trying to pay of her sister's debt to some sleazy strip club owner, and she had to work for him, and not doing a very good job. Brody, ends up taking a client to this strip club on Flynn's recommendation, and who ends up giving him a horrible lap dance, but his highly efficient PA, and the chemistry blows up, what they both have fought for so long takes center stage. We have new developments, revealings, and of course the necessary misunderstandings. Luckily everything gets resolved, but I wont tell you, so that you my friend, can read it, I have purchased whole series, so I have more reading to do. Enjoy!
Loved this book so much!!!
ARC kindly provided by Entangled Publishing in exchange for an honest review. Review 'Taking the Score' is the second, steamy, EPIC read in the novella series, 'Tall, Dark and Texan'! I loved this second volume because of the sexy-as-hell male lead, Brody (otherwise known as Broderick Kane III), and the touching and heartfelt trials and troublesome past of Emma Strickland. The characters were so amazing! As I mentioned before, Brody was an amazing male lead because of the characteristics he possessed. He was strong and compassionate, giving and kind, protective and loyal despite all the hardships he experienced at the hands of his closest. Emma, on the other hand, was such an enigma and learning more about her was incredibly fascinating! We readers know her in the previous instalment as this prim and proper personal assistant to Brody with impeccable organisational skills and a steady, hard, work ethic. But as we delve deeper into her past she becomes more fascinating...I absolutely loved the character development! The chemistry found in this novella was beyond crazy! I so admired the obstacles these two had to overcome to get to where they are now! Brody's and Emma's relationship was fascinating to watch plant and grow. Their entire interactions held so much raw POTENTIAL that tearing my eyes away from the page was near impossible. The writing was incredible as always! Such professionalism and quality! It made the story so much better! The pace was well set and never kept me bored! The plot was also so well structured! There was nothing that I could pick on about this book. Except for a few typos, which I hardly noticed. Weirdly, they made the reading experience sort of...endearing... Congratulations to Kate Meader on publishing the second volume in the 'Tall, Dark and Texan' series! Can't wait for the third! Rating Plan 1 star : Strongly did not like the book, writing and plot was bad. Idea of the book was against my liking. 2 star : Didn't like it, didn't find it interesting or gripping. Seemed to drag on to me. 3 star : An average book. Wasn't bad or good. Everything else was well done. Original idea. 4 star : Like a 3 star but has potential to it as a series or the book grew on me as it progressed and certain scenes captured me. I Enjoyed it and read it in one sitting. 5 star : I LOVED IT! I stayed up late until 3 am. Author is a genius, characters, plot, idea, development, EVERYTHING was EXCELLENT. Nothing else can possibly be said except that its 5 STAR!
I absolutely loved this book!!!!! It was so sexy i couldnt put it down! I read it all in one sitting just because i couldnt get enough. The chemisty between Brody and Emma is undeniable. Will be looking forward to reading more books by this author. A must read if you like steamy forbidden romances!!
Emma and Brody. The secretary and her boss. She was hired to keep his work life organized and on time. He hired her because she was damned good at her job and he needed her to make sure he stayed damned good at his. But Emma's moonlighting as a waitress at a strip club to pay off her sister's debt. Her boss may not know but he does when she lands on his lap and gives the worst lap dance in the history of lap dances. Except Brody's more than a smart rich guy. He's got the hots for Emma and will do everything in his power to 1)get her to tell him the real reason she's at the club and, 2)keep her in his life. What happens is a game of give and take, with the exception of Emma's secret which isn't open for discussion throughout most of this story. The banter between Brody and Emma was laugh-out-loud hilarious. The comebacks were quick and the conversations bold. Their physical attraction morphed into emotional attraction and attachment. But it was Emma's reason for being at the strip club, her big secret, that really did not sit well with me. To love a sibling is one thing. To clean up their mess long after they became an adult is another. Emma was that kind of sibling. Her devotion and love for her sister were incredible but it irritated me that she went that far for a sister who hardly showed an ounce of gratitude. Still, it didn't overshadow what was happening between Brody and Emma. A quick and easy read where romance and love grow despite complications and outside forces. Brody and Emma make an interesting couple. Their circumstances make them less than ideal for one another but they find out soon enough they are perfect for one another. 3.5* Received from Tasty Book Tours for an honest review
4 1/2 STARS! A steamy read! Property tycoon Brody Kane, hired Emma as his personal assistant because she was prim and proper and dressed like a hideous librarian. He doesn't need distraction in the office. Emma Strickland is trying to be a good girl and stop the cycle of she and her sister getting into trouble, but she's stuck in a bad position when her sister ends up owing a louse of a guy a ton of money, and volunteers HER to work it off. Brody can't believe his eyes when he takes a client to a strip club and out walks Emma. His supposedly dowdy assistant is showing off all of her wares! When he takes her in and tries to help her out of her hard spot, will Emma tell him the truth and let him settle the debt for her or will she continue to play games because she doesn't want him to know about her sister? ** Received free in exchange for an honest review **
Emma is doing her best to keep her two worlds colliding. Her prim proper office assistant persona by day and her nights spent at as a stripper. All to save her sister from her debts. But when her boss shows up at the strip club, what will happen when those two worlds collide. The characters have great chemistry, fun and sexy. The story is entertaining with plenty of drama and held by interest throughout. I loved it.
The hero wears R2D2 / C3PO socks given to him by the heroine. Do I really need to say more? ;) (No. But I will...) I just love Kate Meader's sassy heroines and alpha males and their fantastic banter, interspersed with true laugh-out-loud moments and smoking sexy times. Really, no matter which series she's writing, her books have them all--and Taking the Score is definitely not an exception. So. Much. Fun. Emma's starting over--or trying to--with a super-responsible job at Score Property that she's fantastic at, and a second job at a strip club which she's...not. Normally, she's just a (scantily clad) server, but naturally on the night her super-sexy, geeky-nerd-in-the-best-way boss shows up, she's trying to branch out in an attempt to earn more money faster. The conversation she has with Brody after her disastrous lap dance (pretty much a "full-body dry heave" a la Elaine from Seinfeld, only, you know, on her boss's lap. While wearing shiny hot pants) is truly laugh out loud. "And the dancing? Was that your gift to the world? Because if so I hope you kept the receipt." A series of unfortunate (or is it fortunate?) events lead to Emma and her somewhat less-than friendly (though he does like to leave "presents") cat Kevin moving in with Brody temporarily, and then the sparks really start to fly. But Emma's hiding from him the real reason she's working at Club Girl (such a classy name) and refuses to ask Brody for help...though there definitely are shades of Pretty Woman going on here, so I can't say I really blame her. Brody's been burned by love before, though, and he's not going to take the possibility of another betrayal well... How soon until Flynn's (and the person who I'm pretty sure will be in it too, but I'm not going to put their name here, because spoilers) book comes out? Can't wait! Rating: 4 stars / A- I received a complimentary book in exchange for an honest review.
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** Taking the Score by Kate Meader Book Two of the Tall, Dark, and Texan series Publisher: Entangled Brazen Publication Date: February 15, 2016 Rating: 4 stars Source: eARC from NetGalley ***Warning: this is an adult book, and for the eyes of mature readers*** Official Summary: His office temptation is now his full-blown fantasy… Paying down her sister’s debts has left Emma Strickland with little more than the thrift store suit on her back. And as if the suckfest couldn’t get worse, she’s forced to moonlight as a waitress to support herself and her cat. At a strip club. Her uptight, sexy-as-hell boss Brody Kane can never find out. Texas property tycoon Brody Kane hired Emma for her spreadsheet skills, but her prim and proper demeanor sealed the deal. There’s no room in his life for a sexy distraction … and yet, he can’t stop lusting after the delicious Ms. Strickland. And then he takes an important client to a Chicago strip club and gets the worst lap dance in adult entertainment history. From Emma. Now that he knows his office good girl has a naughty streak, Brody makes it his mission to uncover her secrets, one steamy, illicit, over-the-desk encounter at a time. But Emma is hiding more than her side job, and her final secret could end up destroying them both. What I Liked: I didn't love this one as much as I loved Even the Score - that is pretty difficult - but I enjoyed this addition to the series. I don't think I've read a single book with a stripper as a protagonist, so this was a bit different. And yet, the book had the same magnetic quality that Meader's books have. It was fiery hot and well-developed and hilarious. Brody and Emma are such a great pair! Brody Kane is a rich and very successful property tycoon, working with two close friends and fellow Texans. Part of his success is due to his excessively organized secretary/assistance, Emma. Emma dresses like an old lady and doesn't ooze sex appeal, which is why Brody hired her. But some part of him has been attracted to her, and he wants to know why. Emma has good reason for dressing the way she does - she works at a strip club, as a waitress, to help pay for her younger sister's debt with the strip club's owner. But the owner thinks she isn't making enough as a waitress, and so one night, she decides that she'll have to swallow the revulsion and try something new. The night just happened to be the night that Brody takes a sleazy client to the strip; circumstances have Emma giving Brody her first - and worst - lap dance. Brody knows Emma's secret now, and there is one thing he's certain of - she is never working at the strip club again. Brody takes her in (she's a bit homeless), despite knowing that she has more secrets besides working at a strip club. But will those secrets destroy their budding relationship? So I guess you could say this book isn't quite about a stripper - Emma works as a waitress in the strip club, but she isn't really a stripper. She's never worked a pole or given a lap dance for anyone. Her first (and only) lap dance was for Brody. And after that disaster, she never does anything in the strip club - she never goes back. Brody is furious that she works there, so he "buys" her - offers the owner several grand for Emma to do private things with him, outside of the strip club. Read the rest of my review on my blog, The Eater of Books! - eaterofbooks DOT blogspot DOT com :)
A romp of a read that brings on the sensuality. Kate Meader is very well versed at writing stories that are heated and exciting. Taking the Score put those skills on prominent display. Brody and Emma have more going on than just a surface attraction. There are so many secrets that it's a little hard to keep count. I requested an ARC of Taking the Score from NetGalley and Entangled in exchange for an honest review. This story has a lot to offer a prospective reader.
4.5 - "Keep your socks on, Mr. Kane." Stars! Book Two in Kate Meader’s Tall, Dark and Texan series provides a sexy and entertaining few hours of reading, whilst giving the 'rich man/poor woman' trope a slightly different spin. One thing that you always get from Kate’s writing is stellar banter and internal monologues, and that can certainly be said for Brody and Emma. The uptight, strapped down assistant is hiding a lot more underneath her frumpy suits than Brody ever imagined, even in his fantasies! PA by day, T & A by night. Throw in plenty of diverse and dirty talking sexy-times and Taking the Score is probably one of the best Brazen releases I have read for a while. A nice easy-going story-line, likeable characters and the familial drama was kept on the down-low, although relevant it wasn’t overplayed to the extent that it got on my nerves. "Stop thinking so hard… and let this beast be in charge for once." I have to admit the other thing that takes this book from mediocre to marvellous, is the verbal sparring between Brody, Flynn and Hunter. "I’m just here for immoral support." And I am interested too see where the author takes Flynn’s book seeing as he was dumped by his fiancée in this one, and has a ‘fremeny’ situation going on with the sister of one of his best friends. ARC generously provided via Netgalley, and it was my pleasure to provide the above honest review.
3.75 stars--- TAKING THE SCORE is the second installment in Kate Meader’s contemporary, adult TALL, DARK AND TEXAN erotic romance series. This is billionaire property tycoon Brody Kane, and PA Emma Strickland. TAKING THE SCORE can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. Told from dual third person perspectives (Brody and Emma) TAKING THE SCORE focuses on the lies, secrets and hidden life of Emma Strickland. Emma works as a PA by day, and to pay off the debts of someone she loves, works in a strip club at night. But Emma’s second job is soon discovered when her boss and billionaire Brody Kane, finds himself at the same seedy Chicago strip club when Emma is about to embark on a ‘new’ night life position. What ensues are Brody’s attempts to secure and pay back the money that Emma owes, and Emma’s attempts not to be owing to any man especially one with whom she is falling in love. TAKING THE SCORE follows one woman as she desperately tries to escape her past, and one man as he offers Emma something more than the present. The $ex scenes are intimate, erotic and intense. Emma and Brody are no strangers to the bedroom. Kate Meader draws the reader into a story about family secrets; the dark history and the lies people tell to mask their private hurt and personal pain. The premise is entertaining and heartbreaking-I feel a little ‘Pretty Woman vibe going on. The characters are colorful; the romance is impassioned and revealing.
Prepare yourself for laugh-out-loud moments and smexy times galore. Kate Meader and the “Lone Star State’s gift to Chicago” are back in Taking the Score. This installment of the Tall, Dark, and Texans series focuses on Texas-born billionaire Brody Kane and his multi-layered personal assistant Emma Strickland. Prepare yourself for laugh-out-loud moments and smexy times galore. Brody Kane has sworn off women. It’s been six months since he was betrayed in the worst way imaginable and left with a broken heart. He’s one third of Score Property and the brains and numbers guy of the operation, as well as a total workaholic. Brody is a “nerdy” looking man, who makes Armani suits look good. But beneath his exterior is a caring man, who is desperately trying to maintain control, while suppressing his dominant side. Emma Strickland is a reformed bad girl. She’s trying to turn her life around along with the life of her younger sister. Emma doesn’t want to attract the attention of men. She dresses in frumpy thrift-store suits that hide a rocking body underneath. While being Brody’s talented and punctual assistant, she’s had to take on a second “job” to keep her sister safe and pay off her sister’s debts. 9 to 5 Emma is “Ms. Strickland” PA extraordinaire. At night, she’s a waitress turned lousy exotic dancer. Emma’s two worlds collide when Brody shows up at her dumpy club. What follows are moments where as a reader you shouldn’t eat or drink (yeah, Kate’s that funny). There are also cold shower needing moments. As characters, I simply loved these two. Emma isn’t exactly a damsel in distress. Yes, she’s in a tough situation and isn’t exactly sure how to get out, but she’s not looking for a savior. She definitely has a mouth on her, and I loved her contrasting personality traits. Brody also surprised me. I wasn’t expecting him to be so conflicted as to think there was something wrong with him. He has a heart the size of Texas and that helps to make him even more special. While I found Taking the Score to be really good, a couple of secondary characters have me jumping up and down for their story. I’m really excited for the third and final book in the Tall, Dark, and Texan series. Flynn Cross, the other third of Score Property, and Olivia Kane, Brody’s little sister, have a history. The two promise to have an intense love affair. **Received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest unbiased opinion.**
Brody and Emma know how to bring burn up the pages of a book! Emma is the opposite of what Brody usually looks for in a woman. But even with her ugly second hand suits and frumpy looks, he constantly fantasizes about his PA. Emma used to be a wild child who has tried to leave the past behind and start a new life. Unfortunately, she is stuck trying to pay her little sisters debt working as a cocktail waitress in a strip bar. An evening out with a client brings Brody face to face with Emma working her first night as a lap dancer. Brody is shocked to see her there, but feels the need to find out why she's working there and to protect her. This leads to some pretty hot sex between the pair and what starts out as a temporary arrangement soon turns into something that can be forever. I fell for Brody almost from the beginning and loved the way he took care of both Emma and her not so lovable cat, Kevin. Brody's sister is a character and I hope to see her in the next book along with his friend and business partner Flynn. I missed the first book of the series, but will definitely be picking it up. I received an ARC via NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review. I was not compensated for this review, all conclusions are my own.
My Review: I completely and thoroughly fell in love with this story. Everything about it just worked perfectly for me. Emma is a reformed bad girl. After one too many life lessons, she's put that tattooed wild child away, hidden under frumpy, shapeless clothes and her tight bun. But her little sister got into a bit of trouble and Emma has taken it upon herself to take care of it while her sister gets healthy. That means she's moonlighting at a strip club as a waitress, but when her debt isn't getting paid off as quickly as needed, the owner insists she up her job description and add in lap dances. Of course, because you know there is no way this is going to work out well for her, the first lap dance she has to give is to her tightly coiled boss. Brody hasn't gotten laid in six months...not since his fiancee left him. As a result he's been a bit more cranky than usual. That isn't being helped by his unexplainable fantasies about his plain, mousy assistant. So when a client wants to have a little fun, you can imagine Brody's reaction to seeing that assistant in her barely there clothes that leave nothing to the imagination. Immediately Brody's possessive/protective side comes out to play and he buys her for the night. O.o I seriously loved these characters. They are both hiding under a facade of calm, implacable, staid-ness, when the truth is the farthest thing from that. These two are both extremely passionate and they definitely bring that out in one another. They are explosive together and their sex scenes are some of the hottest that I think I've ever read. This story and the connection between these two was so good. But there was so much to love about them beyond their relationship too. Emma is one of these people who has made something out of herself out of pure determination and grit. And to make it even better, she's amazing at her job...and is even better at being a person. She's sacrificed everything for her sister. Then there's Brody who is so smart and sexy in his glasses and his serious composure, but he's a beast in bed...LOVED that dichotomy. Emma and he are PERFECT together in every way. This is a trilogy about three men who own Score Properties. This is the second book in the series and it works perfectly well as a stand alone. I haven't read book #1, but I plan to now as well as #3 when it comes out. I HIGHLY recommend this one. It's in the running for one of my favorite reads for the year. I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.
Emma Strickland's moral compass hasn't always followed the straight and narrow, and she has made some bad choices along the way, but when you've been dealt with a life like hers, doing the right thing isn't always an option. Growing up parent less made her to have to grow up faster than she should have, and forced her step up and be the parent her younger sister needed, which proved to be difficult, but really what other choice did she have. It was hard for Emma to give up so much in her own life to ensure that her sister had a stable life, and while she tried her best to be vigilant in her responsibilities, sometimes things got a little off course. And that is when her sister found herself in a heap of trouble, and in need of some serious help, so once again Emma had to step in and take over. Which also meant finding a way to pay off her sisters debts, and landed her in her current situation of working in a strip club for a unsavory man riddled with greed. Now Emma is left trying to balance both her jobs, and make sure one world never mixes with the other... but that plan goes to hell when her wealthy, sexy, all business boss waltzes through the door of the strip club and is looking for a night of fun. Emma can hardly believe her eyes, the man she has secretly lusted after for months is standing in front of her, and asking her for things she has been fantasizing about for months... but in the back of her mind her moral compass is telling her to run the other direction! Brody Kane is a beast in the business world, and stops at nothing to get what he wants, which also means he must maintain a laser focus when it comes to his work. But no matter how hard he tries he constantly catches himself admiring his alluring assistant, she is a no nonsense kind of girl and maintains a very prim and proper image, but Brody is certain somewhere amongst all that is a naughty girl dying to be released. When he hired her, he thought she had excellent credentials, and was sure her buttoned up appearance would keep him from becoming interested in her, but boy was he wrong, and now his plan has completely backfired on him. Now he is doing all he can to resist her, he is fighting his urges towards her and has no intention of acting on his attraction to her and muddying the work place with inappropriate shenanigans. It has been a while since he has dated or had relations with a woman, and his business partners are tired of his grouchy attitude, and are quite certain a night at the strip club is just what he needs. They of course have a hidden agenda, and hope he will finally make a move on the girl he has been secretly pining over for the last few months. So after their badgering and a new client to entertain for the evening he reluctantly takes his partners up on their suggestion and hits the strip club... and gets the shock of his life!! I have been anxiously awaiting for the opportunity to return to this series, and I have been dying to get better acquainted with Brody, and I have to say that he was definitely worth the wait!! He swooped in and captured my attention right from the start and had me eagerly flying right through the pages!! He totally won me over with his domineering alpha man personality, gentle heart and his smooth and seductive one liners!! The story line was inventive, highly entertaining and unlike anything else that I have read, and I truly enjoyed every minute I spent reading it!!
What a fun and sexy story! The setup is provocative, and makes the situation between Emma and Brody a bit dicey on the ethical side, since she is his employee. While Brody wants to get her out of the club and take care of her, there is the complication of their real attraction for each other, as he doesn't want it to seem as though he's purchasing her time for sexual favors, while at the same time it's hard to keep his hands to himself, especially when Emma is quite a willing partner. There are an abundance of sex scenes, passionate lovemaking and lots of dirty talking from serious and staid Brody, who seems to realize that he can shed some of that demeanor when he's with Emma and she won't take it the wrong way. They are a perfect match in bedroom (or wall, or floor) compatibility. I quite liked both of their characters. Emma has been trying so hard to help support her sister who has a drug problem, having been her primary caregiver for several years. The assistant job with Score Property has been a dream come true for her - a chance to utilize her natural skills at organization (despite the fact that she had to fake parts of her resume to get the job) and moonlighting at the strip club has been a desperate maneuver to keep her sister out of more trouble and pay off her debt to the sleazy owner. It's really hard for her to accept help from Brody because it's hard for her to accept help from anyone, never having been able to rely on anyone but herself. The fact that Brody is rich makes it an even bigger problem, as she knows that other women wouldn't have nearly the dilemma she feels about accepting his help. Brody too is a great character, a handsome and hard working man, who, while having a secret crush on Emma, never imagined that he'd run into her working at a strip club. Her continued reluctance to accept his help grates on him, but at the same time makes it clear that she's not out to use him for his money. Sleeping with her is a mistake, but one he'll gladly keep making over and over again if she'll tell him her secrets and let him do what he's finally willing to do again - open his heart to another woman. The secret to a good romance though, is to have not only the couple be likable to the reader, but also interesting and engaging secondary characters. Here we have Brody with his two best friends, Hunter and Flynn. While Hunter is quite happy married to Tess, we see Flynn having some troubles of his own (and that gives us a hint as to what's coming up next in the series). I enjoyed their camaraderie and the obvious strong friendship between them. Emma's friend Katerina, a stripper at the club was a hoot! Their conversations and antics made for some good laughs (especially when Katerina gives pole dancing lessons to Brody's sister and bridesmaids). This was definitely a fun, entertaining, and super sexy read. 4 stars.
Awesome read!! I do love a hot nerd and this book has one that is sizzling! Brody Kane is a busy man and the last thing he should be doing is lusting after his oh so proper assistant. Lusting he is though but keeps that under wraps until one night he shockingly sees Emma on stage at a strip club. Once he discovers her bad girl side all bets are off but the more he gets to know her to more certain he is that she has secrets. Secrets he's determined to unravel. A book I highly recommend.
This was such a fun read! So entertaining (the burst-out-laughing kind!) and super sexy (the holy-wow-that's-super-hot kind!). I totally enjoyed it! I totally loved nerd-boy Brody and his little geeky nuances. They were just so endearing to me. Loved that connection he had with Emma, the looks, the pull, and after running into each other out of the office, the animosity that ensued and how the hotness level ratcheted up. I mean super hot! *fans self* I really loved Emma's strength and how much she cared for others. And Brody and Kevin... omg! So hilarious. Loved those little moments. They just made me smile! Wonderful connection between the main characters. Nice back stories of both, good build throughout. Loved the epilogue though I thought it was a tiny bit predictable. A lighter read, a bit fast paced but it had good development, storyline, and characters. A nice bit of tension, some light drama, and emotion, a whole lot of sexy. I’m really looking forward to the next book. I’m hoping its Flynn’s story because I felt some serious foreshadowing happening in this one and I can't wait to see if I'm right. A solid read, entertaining, and hot! Just a fun and enjoyable story. If you need some off the charts sexy with laughter mixed in, this is the perfect choice. Complimentary copy received for honest review.
Some good.,some so so....