USA Today Bestselling Author
He wanted a fling. She wanted forever. All they got was a “goodbye.”
Taking over as the temporary associate producer on a television show, Chaney Sullivan comes face-to-face with her former boss who stole—and broke—her heart. He’s more attractive than ever, which complicates working together. But she knows better than to fall for him all over again.
Nobody denies billionaire Drake Llewelyn anything, but Chaney’s done it—twice. Even though he’s too busy for a relationship, her beauty and sass intrigue him. But she’s changed. Her zest for life and her little dimple are missing, and he wants to uncover why.
When an unforgettable kiss brings them together, fear drives them apart. Drake pushes her away—not believing in love. Tired of trying to please everyone, Chaney retreats. Can they find the courage to risk their hearts or will their pasts keep them alone forever?
Chaney has taken the opportunity to step in as assistant producer for a high rated cable show to increase her chances for a promotion. She wasn’t unfamiliar with the production company, she had interned for Drake Llewelyn five years ago. She was replacing her friend who is now on bed rest with a difficult pregnancy. What she didn’t account for was her attraction to Drake still being as intense as it was back then.
Drake decided to do more of his company’s show The Billionaires Playground as soon as he heard Chaney had accepted the position. He’s missed her, but he appears to be more interested in a fling rather than a relationship. That’s something Chaney won’t compromise on and certainly not with her boss.
This is a favorite scene.
Chaney tucked her hair behind her ears. “How do you remove the costume?”
He lifted his left arm and pointed with his right hand. “Buckles are hidden underneath. They attach the armor pieces. You have to undo them.”
Okay, that didn’t sound difficult.
As she walked toward him, a wall of heat hit her. Not from the fireplace, but from Drake. She knew he was hot, but not literally. Warmth emanated from him. His scent— sweaty, musky, and male— surrounded her.
“I’m looking forward to getting out of this costume and into a shower,” he said.
No thinking about him doing that. She glanced at the bed again. Thinking about him there wasn’t a good idea, either.
Chaney pulled apart the armor plates to find the buckles. “All I want to do is sleep.”
“That bed looks… inviting. The staff left chocolate on the pillows.” He stared down at her. “Two pieces.”
Uh-oh. She undid a buckle. “The staff may have assumed you’d have a guest.”
“I do. Are you interested?”
Her fingers fumbled. “What?”
His eyes danced with laughter. “In chocolate.”
“I’m not a guest. I work for you… your company.” As she unfastened another buckle, her fingertips brushed the chain mail underneath. “How many layers are you wearing?”
“A few, but once the chain mail is off, I can handle the rest. Unless you’d rather help with that, too.”
Her fingers trembled. No way would she respond to him. Anything she said would come out wrong and might sound as if she were interested in helping with… more. She pressed her lips together.
Chaney focused on the armor, not the man underneath it. She caught glimpses of chain mail, a quilted shirt, dark hair. Intriguing images. Tempting impressions. Ones she ignored. She unbuckled the pieces on his chest and shoulders before placing each in its container on the floor.
She knelt at his feet to remove the lower half of the armor. Reaching around his thigh, she found her hands between his legs and her head much too close to his, um, codpiece.
“I appreciate this, Chaney,” he said as if she were tying his shoes, not practically fondling him as she reached for a buckle. “I know you’re tired.”
Chaney kept her eyes focused on the buckle, not allowing herself to look anywhere else. Or touch any part of him. “Almost done.”
Please, oh, please let me be almost done.
She hurriedly undid the buckle. Unfortunately, three more needed her attention and kept her in an uncomfortable, embarrassing position.
“Finished,” she said finally, laying the last piece of leg armor into its spot in the container.
Chaney turned. The words “you’re welcome” died on her parted lips.
Chain mail molded to his muscular shoulders, arms, and chest. The metal shirt fell to his hips. Talk about hot.
He was every woman’s fantasy and her worst nightmare. But that didn’t stop her knees from going weak and her blood from boiling.
“The chain mail attaches in the back,” he said.
Chaney forced herself into action. She fumbled with the first hook. Her fingers wouldn’t do what she wanted them to do.
She blew out a frustrated breath.
Ugh. His soft-looking hair tempted her to touch it, to see if the strands would curl around her finger.
“Having trouble?” Drake asked.
He had no idea. “I’m getting there.”
Or would. As soon as she reminded her traitorous body she wasn’t interested in Drake Llewelyn. He couldn’t give her what she wanted: a forever kind of love. Not to mention she was on a break from dating men.
An almost two-year break, a voice— maybe her heart— mocked.
“Excuse me?” he asked.
Oh, no. She hadn’t meant to say that out loud. “Sorry, I was trying to quiet the voices in my head.”
“What were they saying?”
“That it’s past my bedtime, but don’t worry. I won’t leave until I finish the job.”
“I knew I could count on you.”
Chaney didn’t understand his confidence in her when she wasn’t sure she could count on herself in this situation.
Finally, the snap came undone. Slowly, much too slowly for her liking, she opened each of the remaining ones. “They’re all unsnapped.”
“Can you help me out of it?”
“Sure.” Her voice sounded stronger than she felt.
“Open the back.”
As she did as he asked, Chaney realized how much the chain mail weighed. He shrugged out of the shirt, so it rested on his upper arms.
“Now come around in front of me,” he said. “Be careful, it’s heavy.”
Chaney held on as he pulled one arm out and then the other, never once leaving her to hold the entire weight.
He placed the chain mail in the container. His damp, quilted shirt clung to him. He pulled out the tails from the waistband of his pants. “Much better and cooler.”
Maybe for him. “I should go.”
“Stay.” One soft word in that delicious, accented voice.
She sucked in a breath. “We’re finished.”
His eyes lit again with that wicked laughter. “Darling, we’re just getting started.”
Melissa McClone. The Boss (Kindle Locations 525-531). Cardinal Press, LLC.
Drake is pretty relentless when it comes to Chaney, he wants her and he really doesn’t want a relationship. He has no desire to get married and he feels his reasons are justified.
I love the way this tale unfolds, the behind the scenes glimpses are fun and the growing romance sigh worthy. I enjoyed the members of the crew and meeting some of the more difficult hosts. The places they filmed sparked my imagination but I just really couldn’t figure out how this was going to work out for Drake and Chaney. They are both so dang stubborn and the twists that come into play are definitely not expected.
I can’t wait to see what Melissa comes up with for the next book in this series.
5 Contented Purrs for Melissa!
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USA Today bestselling author, Melissa McClone has published over forty novels with Harlequin and Tule Publishing Group.
With a degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University, Melissa worked for a major airline where she traveled the globe and met her husband. But analyzing jet engine performance couldn’t compete with her love of writing happily ever afters.
Her first full-time writing endeavor was her first sale when she was pregnant with her first child! When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her driving her minivan to/from her children’s swim practices and other activities.
Melissa lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three children, two spoiled Norwegian Elkhounds, and cats who think they rule the house. They do!