Undone by Her Tender Touch (Harlequin Desire Series #2155)

Undone by Her Tender Touch (Harlequin Desire Series #2155)

by Maya Banks

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780373731688
Publisher: Harlequin
Publication date: 05/01/2012
Series: Harlequin Desire Series , #2155
Pages: 192
Product dimensions: 4.30(w) x 6.60(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Maya Banks lives in Southeast Texas with her husband and three children. When she’s not writing, she loves to hunt and fish, bum on the beach, play poker and travel.

Escaping into the pages of a book is something she’s loved to do since she was a child. Now she crafts her own worlds and characters and enjoys spending as much time with them as possible.

Read an Excerpt

She shouldn't be so nervous about catering for a bunch of muckety-mucks, but Pippa Laingley wanted everything to be perfect for her friend Ashley Carter's housewarming.

And really, why should she be nervous? Just because the net worth of the assembled guests was more than the national debt shouldn't be cause for her to sweat. Okay, and there was the fact that Pippa was on the verge of opening her own storefront cafe and catering business and she needed this to go off without a hitch so there would be good word of mouth and maybe a few referrals.

She spun around in Ashley's huge kitchen, mentally taking stock of what was ready to go out. Where were the damn waiters?

On cue, the door swung open, and a guy who couldn't be more than twenty hustled through. Pippa took one look and groaned.

"Where's your uniform?"

He gave her a blank look.

She sighed and closed her eyes. "White shirt? Black slacks? Nice polished shoes? Preferably well-groomed hair?"

His mouth worked and then he snapped it shut. "I'm sorry, ma'am. I'm the emergency fill-in. I just assumed whatever I needed would be here."

Pippa blew out her breath. "First day on the job?"

"Yeah," he mumbled. "A friend told me about part-time gigs that paid good money. I'm sort of filling in for him."

Her gaze narrowed. Great. She wasn't even getting an official employee. Some moron had decided to skip and had worked a deal with his buddy to split the proceeds for a night's work. No way he was going to handle a room full of people. Which meant she was going to have to wade in and help.

So much for having a nice glass of wine with the girls and gushing about Ashley's new house.

Grabbing the kid by the arm, she pulled him toward the stairs. "Come on. You have to get into something better than that."

He blinked but allowed her to drag him all the way to Ashley and Devon's bedroom. She barreled into Devon's closet and hurriedly riffled through his clothing until she found something appropriate.

"Strip," she ordered crisply.

A dull flush rose up the kid's neck.

The sound of a clearing throat was Pippa's first warning that she and the kid weren't alone.

"Perhaps I should come back later."

The low drawl shivered over Pippa's nape and she squeezed her eyes shut in mortification. Now she and the kid both were blushing fools. She turned to see Cam Hollingsworth leaning lazily against the door, his eyes flashing with amusement.

"Why, Pippa, you cradle robber."

She could never understand why the man always caught her at a disadvantage. She was an intelligent, well-put-together, very articulate career woman. She owned her own business, never took any crap off anyone and people rarely intimidated her. And yet, every single time she crossed paths with Devon's friend, she always made an ass of herself.

No way she was going to let this spiral into a mire of humiliation. She glared at Cam and then stalked over, tossing him the shirt and slacks.

"Get him into this. I need him downstairs in two minutes."

To her utter delight, Cam blinked in surprise. She'd caught him off guard. Then he frowned and looked beyond her to where the kid still stood.

"What the hell? Aren't these Dev's clothes?"

"I need a waiter or no one is going to get food or drink," she gritted out. "He's all I've got. I'm not letting Ashley down tonight and neither are you. So get your ass in gear."

She stomped past him and hurried down the stairs, not waiting to see Cam's reaction to her dictate.

When she got back into the kitchen, she quickly lined up the trays, set wine and champagne glasses out and then grumbled under her breath about having to help ferry food and drinks to Ashley's guests.

She'd asked for three servers. She'd gotten some college kid in need of beer money. Just great.

A moment later, college kid presented himself, and to Pippa's surprise, he'd cleaned up well. The pants and shirt were a bit too large for his lanky frame, but he looked neat and presentable. His hair had been combed back until he looked almost polished.

She gestured him over, shoved a tray of lobster tarts into his hands and then pushed him out of the door toward the living room, where Ashley and Devon were entertaining their guests.

Then she returned to the island and began pouring wine into half the glasses. She filled the rest with champagne. "Would you like some help?"

She whirled around, still holding the bottle, and darn near tossed the contents onto the floor. "Help?"

Cam nodded slowly. "Assistance? You look as though you could use it. How on earth did you think you'd manage this on your own? Ashley was nuts for allowing you to cater the event."

Pippa was horrified by the offer and then, as she processed the rest of the statement, she was just irritated as hell.

"I'd hate for you to sully those pretty hands," she snapped. "And for your information, I've got this under control. The help didn't show. Not my fault. The food is impeccable if I do say so myself. I just need a way to deliver it into the hands of the precious guests."

"I believe I just offered my assistance and you insulted me," Cam said dryly.

Her eyebrows drew together. Oh, why did the man have to be so damn delicious looking? Why couldn't he be a toad? Or be bald? Although on the right guy, bald was totally hot. Why could she never perform the simplest functions around him?

"You're Ashley's guest," Pippa said firmly. "Not to mention this isn't your thing. You're used to being served, not serving others."

"How do you know what my thing is?" he asked as he reached for one of the trays.

She had absolutely nothing to say to that and watched in bewilderment as he hefted the tray up and walked out of the kitchen.

She sagged against the sink, her pulse racing hard enough to make her dizzy.

Cameron Hollingsworth was gorgeous, unpolished in a totally sexy way, arrogant and so wrong for her in so many ways, but there was something about the man that just did it for her.

She'd seen him often enough ever since Ashley had become involved with Devon Carter. Cameron and Devon were close friends and business partners in a consortium of luxury hotels and resorts. As Ashley's best friend, Pippa had been to many of the same social events as Cameron. He'd been paired with her at Ashley's wedding, and that had been ten sorts of hell, being close enough to smell him, and him so perfectly indifferent to her.

She sighed. That could be what irritated her the most. He was a luscious specimen of a male and he couldn't be any less interested in her.

Maybe she just wasn't his type. The problem was, she didn't know what his type was. She never saw him with other women. He was either intensely private or he didn't have much of a social life.

She was itching to shake his world up just a little.

Realizing she was spending far too much time mooning over Cam, she grabbed another tray, took a deep breath to compose herself and then headed toward the living room.

Pippa smiled brightly, hoping her lipstick at least was still visible. The rest of her makeup had probably melted off by now. She made her way through the room, relieved to see that many of the guests now held wineglasses. Cameron had indeed delivered the goods.

"Pip, what are you doing?" Ashley hissed.

Pippa jerked around to see her friend staring aghast at her.

"Hey, Ash, how is everything going? All your guests arrived?"

"Stop acting like the hired help," Ashley said with a frown. "Why are you and Cam walking around serving drinks and hors d'oeuvres? And who's the kid wearing Devon's clothes!"

"Don't get worked up, Ash. It's not good for the baby," Pippa said cautiously.

Ashley folded her arms over the noticeable baby bump—really, it was so adorable—and pinned Pippa with her most ferocious stare. Not that anything Ashley ever did could exactly be called ferocious. Could puppies or kittens be ferocious? "Pip, I asked you to do this because I wanted to help. Maybe get the word out about you, but I didn't want you working yourself silly at my housewarming party. I need my best friend beside me, not serving me!"

Pippa sighed and handed Ashley one of the yummy snacks off her tray. "Look, the help didn't show. All you got is me, the kid wearing your husband's clothes and Mr. Mouthwateringly Gorgeous over there."

Ashley's eyes widened. "Cam? You're talking about Cam?"

Pippa gave her an exasperated look. "I'm damn sure not talking about the infant wearing Dev's clothes!"

"Whoa," Ashley breathed. "I had no idea. I mean, yeah, Cam is hot in a broody kind of way, but I had no idea that was your thing."

Pippa couldn't even look over at him without getting a betraying flutter in her belly. "I'd like to lick those brooding lips," she muttered.

Ashley giggled and then clapped a hand over her mouth. Her eyes sparkled merrily.

"Stop staring at him!" Pippa hissed. "You may as well be holding a sign up announcing we're talking about him."

Ashley turned her back to Cam, a grin still flirting with her mouth. "So how'd you get him to help out? Did you bat those gorgeous green eyes?"

"I don't even know," Pippa said in bewilderment. "He offered. I was kind of rude to him."

Ashley snickered. "You? Rude?"

Pippa glowered at her. "Shut it."

Ashley put her hand on Pippa's arm and rose up on tiptoe to look over her shoulder. "I think I'm being summoned. Seriously, though, Pip. I'm not worried about the food so much that I want my best friend to be the serving wench for the evening. Go put the tray up and join us for a drink."

Pippa switched the platter from one hand to the other as she surveyed the room. There were too many important potential clients to just shrug off such an opportunity. Ashley had given her the chance and she wasn't going to squander it.

"I'll check with you later, Ash. I have mingling to do. Your guests look hungry."

Before Ashley could respond, Pippa was off, wading into the crowd, a bright smile on her face.

Customer Reviews

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Undone by Her Tender Touch 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 64 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BEWARE: This is a reprint of Bank's "Undone by her Tender Touch." Look at reviews of that story (or check your archives) before purchasing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book. I have to admit, i cried in parts of it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love Maya Banks books, i am a devoted fan. I have read the 3 books before this one, in the pregnacy and passion series, and was not let down by this one. I was rooting for Cam to get over his past so he could be happy and of course was fastrated when he got in his own way. But all in all this book was the cherry on top to end the series.
ssmommie75TB More than 1 year ago
Cam was a complete jerk from the beginning. One of those men that thought if they kept everyone pushed away life would be fine. Pippa proved to him otherwise, sweeping in and knocking him of his feet and never taking a back seat. This was a really good book. I recommend this and all Maya Banks books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Perfect ending.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great love story. My first adventure with this type of story, but my faith in Maya Banks' writing gave me the impetous to try it. Of course I was not disappointed. I'm looking forward to reading other works and will know I will find satisfaction. LA-TXN
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it !!!!!! What a great luv story definitly buy it u wont b dissapointed
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love Maya's books, read them all and many more than once. I love how she writes a series but has a full story in each release. No wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am releases from Maya, per normal there's a beginning, middle and an ending not to mention as engaging as always. <3
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Series is awesome read about all 4
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm a great fan of Maya Banks. I have read many of her books and have never been disappointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great ending to this series
DComfort More than 1 year ago
ABOUT THE BOOK: Just one night? Yeah, right. Pippa Laingley should have known better. When an unplanned evening of passion with Cameron Hollingsworth results in unplanned pregnancy, she's at a crossroads. She knew going in that the enigmatic entrepreneur had built a fortress around his feelings. What she's just discovered is that he's loved and lost before&mdash;wife and child. Tragically. Now Cam stands to lose it all again. If he lets Pippa get too close. If he pushes her away with loveless arrangements of financial support. Either way, he's doomed&hellip;unless he can let himself love again. THE REVIEW: Ms. Banks amazes me every&hellip;single&hellip;time. She has an ability to choose any topic and draw me in. Hell, she could be talking about the Periodic Table of Elements and I&rsquo;d follow each one of her words as if they were water and I was on a stranded island. This book gripped me right away and drew me in to the drama. The beginning throws us right into the problem and it made sense to do it that way. Ms. Banks has a way about her writing that is smooth and again, gripping. Her scenes flowed well from one to the next and I sat there reading, falling in love with Pippa and Cameron as we went. Pippa is just the right female for a broken hearted Cameron and it sure takes him awhile to realize that. But it&rsquo;s what makes the story THAT good. There was one point in the book that I felt tears prickling behind my lids &ndash; and that speaks for the author herself and just how well she writes. This is number four in her series but it won&rsquo;t be the only book I&rsquo;ll read &ndash; I&rsquo;m definitely picking up the other three now that I&rsquo;ve read this great book. Five out of five stars for a job well done.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I cried buckets! Loved the story!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The connection between the characters was not very strong. I found myself skipping pages; I was eager to be done with it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
10520406 More than 1 year ago
I enjoy Maya Banks' writing. That being said, there is much emotional angst and unsaid feelings in this book about millionaire Cameron Hollingsworth and caterer Pippa Laingley, but in the true course of a shorter (originally) Harlequin Romance, life comes to a crisis and everything gets resolved. A nice shorter length read. *note: I had to search hard for this book on the Barnes and Noble website in order for it to come up so I could write the review. Typing in Undone, brought me the original longer title by Harlequin and not this one. Only when I clicked on Maya's name in order to see all of her books, did this come up as Undone. So, yes...it has been published before! Beware.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A very drematic story filled with love snd raw emotions
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eklamae More than 1 year ago
Maya Banks has quickly become one of my favorite authors.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What are the titles to the other books in this series.. I am reading Enticed now, but there is no listing of the other books.
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