Can she overcome her consuming desire for him? Can he make her comfortable with the other C-word…commitment?
Marley Mason is dreading the arrival of the new business consultant. After all, this man will most likely outsource her job to China. The last thing she would expect is a case of mistaken identity, leading to false accusations of kidnapping when she attempts to pick up the wrong man at the airport, or worse…that she would have such a visceral reaction to the right man.
Rick Randy is super sexy, scandalously flirty, and perfect masturbation material, but a relationship is out of the question. Rick is contracted on a temporary basis to fix Marley's ailing company, and then pull out, although as he expresses to Marley, pulling out is difficult for him, in more ways than one! Marley's feelings range from utter confusion to intense contemplation as Rick charms his way into her life. All of those C-words Marley can control, but it's the other C-word she fears—commitment.
Reader Advisory: This book contains references to incestuous sexual abuse, which happened when the narrator was a child.
About the Author
A wife and mother of two loveable, but angst-ridden teenagers, she enjoys movies, gardening, and travelling. Although she loves to write, she is a reader first and enjoys nothing more than curling up with a good book and some tasty Italian (the food, of course!). She hopes you will enjoy her stories and write to her.
Read an Excerpt
I dreaded Mondays. They always loomed up before their time, like some quiet, inescapable, energy-sucking demon. It wasn't because I didn't love my job or minded getting up early. They just seemed to signify the end. The end of another wasted weekend.
I finished my last-minute preparations to the sounds of Manic Monday by the Bangles. It was a clichÃ©, but it was the song my younger sister Stevie blared every Monday morning. I hastily tied my combat boots and adjusted the cuffs of my khaki pants as I thanked the gods for the hundredth time that I worked for a casual company.
I was about ready to leave when my cell phone buzzed in my hip pocket. I did a stunned eye roll seeing Kathy Carver's name light up on the display. She was the executive assistant to David Henley, the owner of our company. I answered the phone hesitantly, wondering why she was calling when I wasn't even late…yet.
"Hello," I said, trying to coax fake cheeriness in my voice.
"Hi, Marley. It's Kathy Carver," she replied, as if I didn't know. She was all business except for the intermittent cough between words. "I need you to do something for me."
Oh boy, this couldn't be good. Kathy Carver didn't like me very much, so the only plausible explanation for such an early phone call was some sort of grunt work she was pushing off her plate and onto mine. On more than one occasion, she'd reminded me that she was an executive assistant while I was just a lowly assistant, although no such distinction in titles really existed at our small company.
"What can I do for you?" I surprised myself with the fake level of enthusiasm in my voice.
"I need you to pick up the consultant at the airport. You know, the one that's going to clean house." My face fell with the reminder that the dreaded consultant was coming today. The whole office was buzzing about the whiz kid from New York Mr Henley had hired to turn around our company. The consensus was that he would fire all our asses and move our production to China. Actually, it was fire almost everyone. People like Kathy were probably safe, but her not so subtle warning let me know I was not.
I worked at an athletic apparel company that also sold a budding line of women's clothing. Times were tight, and although we had carved out a niche market, everyone was worried about our economic outlook. The rumour was that this consultant was a last- ditch effort by Mr Henley to improve our profits. I was completely rooting for him, even if it meant I'd lose my job, which was most likely anyway.
"He needs a ride from the airport?" I realised immediately how stupid my question sounded when that was what Kathy had just told me.
I heard the sigh on the other line, supporting my own conclusion that my question was redundant.
"Yes, Marley, he needs a ride. I was supposed to do it, but I'm sick. I need you to get to the airport, pick him up and bring him to our office. Can you handle that?"
I thought about it for a second. Really, her question was... are you such an idiot that you can't do this?
"Um, sure I can do that. What time is his flight coming in?"
"In an hour."
I glanced towards the clock, tightening my grip on the phone. The airport was almost an hour away.
"I'll email you his flight info. I have to go now. I'm really sick." For emphasis, she ended the call with a few more coughs.
I ran to my laptop and printed the email as Stevie walked into my room.
"Who were you talking to?" she asked, placing my errant clothes in the laundry basket against her hip.
"Kathy Carver," I said, piling a few additional garments into the bulging basket. Stevie cast me her famous eye roll that could probably cut through ice—not owing to the Kathy Carver call but because I had so many dirty clothes in my room. Yeah, I could be neater. Stevie was the epitome of neat. What's more, she was a complete fashion plate. She had an uncanny ability to pair not just colours, but patterns together. Today, she was wearing a red and white fitted striped shirt with a grey pencil skirt and argyle hose. It sounds weird, but she pulled it off like the true creative person she was. Stevie's a graphic artist, and although she wasn't required to dress so formally for work, she always did. Her long brown hair was up in a Tortoise-shell barrette and it even looked like she'd deliberately picked her black rimmed Prada glasses for this outfit.
"What did she want, Marley?" Stevie put down the laundry basket to pet Van Morrison, her cat. I hated that cat. It was mutual. Stevie's boyfriend—well now fiancÃ©— Adam, had bought him for her, because he felt there was too much oestrogen in our household. That cat followed Stevie everywhere. He also loved my younger sister Billie, and our mother. It was me he despised, even when I was being nice and feeding him treats. He would accept my offering, arching his back, showing off his orange fur in my direction, lulling me into a false sense of security. Then, just when I petted him, Van Morrison would hiss, claw my hand and scamper away.
"I have to go pick up the consultant." Stevie knew about him. We called him the consultant because I had no idea what his name was. Everything was supposed to be top secret, but my best friend Dillon worked with me and always had the good gossip. It was Dillon that had found out the guy was some sort of business guru and had apparently saved many companies in crisis.
"Seriously, Marley? Are you wearing that?" Of course, Stevie would ask this question. We were as close as two sisters could be, but our fashion senses differed greatly. I liked to wear comfortable—what Stevie referred to as 'boyish'—clothes. My wardrobe mostly consisted of flannel shirts, jeans and T-shirts.
"What's wrong with it?" I asked, assessing my khakis and plaid button-down shirt.
"Do you want him to think you're a slob?"
"I look fine. I'm in the dress code."
Stevie rolled her eyes, "So? Don't you want to impress him? Maybe he won't be so quick to fire you then."
"Stevie, my days are numbered either way."
"Dress up...just this once." Her voice got sing-songy as she uttered the next words, "I'll let you borrow my Louboutins."
My mouth dropped open. Okay, I'll admit I'm a twenty-five-year- old tomboy, but I'm still a girl at heart. I liked to dress up occasionally and look good, usually in Stevie's clothes. She was very generous with her wardrobe, and we had identical body types. She was, however, prickly when it came to her designer stilettos. A chance to wear Louboutins made my mouth water just a little.
"Deal, but I have to hurry. I'm already going to be late."
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
**ARC copy of the book was supplied in exchange for an honest review** I have no option but to rate this book 5*, if I could rate it higher I would. I couldn’t tell you the amount of times I had to put this book down due to being in tears laughing. I don’t think I’ve laughed and enjoyed a book as much as this one in a long time. Now don’t get me wrong the book is not all humour and does deal with serious issues and these issues were handled well. This is primarily the story of Marley Mason. Marley lives at home with her Mum and two younger sisters and although her best friend Dillion is just that, her best friend he is also part of the family. The family dynamics are portrayed well and are quite real, the banter between them, the love, the understanding, the commitment to each other. Their connection is palpable and for me being able to feel the connection between the characters as you are reading, whether they have a positive or negative relationship, is a must for me in a book. The man of the moment in this book is Richard Randy and there were quite a few jokes about this in the book. It took me quite a while to get over the airport scene, oh my days! Again Marley and Rick have a real connection throughout the book and as their characters develop so does the connection between the two. The scenes flow really well and all of the characters develop at a good pace. There are a few secondary characters that have small roles that are not overdone and they fade into the background quite naturally. The story developed well and came to a satisfying conclusion. All in all I really enjoyed this book and have been raving about it to anyone who will listen. I can’t wait for this book to be released!
You had me at "R U Randy"!! <3 I swear I literally laughed out loud throughout this book- between the banter with Marley and her sisters, to her smart ass comments, to most conversations between her and Rick I, I don't know that a book has ever been this comical. Aside from that, it was also emotional, addicting, and sexy as hell. I hope to read more from this author :)