Temptation on His Terms. Robyn Grady
“You’re planning to kiss me again. And I’m afraid I might kiss you back.”
If that happened, and things got out of hand then turned irretrievably sour, Shelby would have no one to blame but herself.
That night when their lips had brushed, time had wound down, hormones had sat up and, for that moment, the urge to surrender it all had been hypnotic. They’d barely kissed and yet never in her life had she felt that level of raw sexual need. She’d been gripped so soon, so tight, her reaction afterward had been just as fierce.
Reaching forward, she swept the bag off the floor. “I don’t want to complicate things.”
As Dex came to stand before her, those wonderful, frightening feelings sparked again. When his fresh male scent slipped into her lungs, she held her breath and skirted around him.
Leaning back against the lounge, he crossed his arms and ankles. Relaxed. In control. Insufferable…and irresistible.
About the Author
ROBYN GRADY was first published with mills & boon in 2007. Her books have since featured regularly on bestseller lists and at award ceremonies, including a national Readers’ Choice Award, a booksellers’ best Award, CataRomance Reviewers’ Choice Award and Australia’s prestigious Romantic book of the year Award.
Robyn lives on Queensland’s beautiful Sunshine Coast with her real-life hero husband and three daughters. When she can be dragged away from tapping out her next story, Robyn visits the theater, the beach and the mall (a lot!). To keep fit, she jogs (and shops) and dances with her youngest to Hannah montana.
Robyn believes writing romance is the best job on the planet and she loves to hear from her readers. So drop by www.robyngrady.com and pass on your thoughts!
Temptation on His Terms
This book is dedicated to my wonderful father,
who was always a hero in my life, as well as in
the lives of so many others. Love you, Jack.
Shelby Scott glared at the spectacle unfolding in front of the world-famous hotel and pursed her lips. With amused people skirting by, Dex Hunter was going all-out, kissing—or was that mauling?—one extremely enthusiastic lady. The blaze from her diamanté dress could help bring home a ship in a gale. A starlet wannabe, Shelby surmised, given that Mr. Hunter owned his very own movie studio.
When they’d met earlier that day—after she’d splashed hot coffee all over his shirt cuff—Shelby had promised herself that waitressing was only a stopgap. New to California, she had her heart set on finding a good nanny position. She had experience and everyone back home knew she loved kids. As luck would have it, Mr. Hunter was in the market.
A busy bachelor and head of Hunter Productions, Dex needed a suitable someone to help care for his little brother who was due to pay a solo visit. When Dex learned that child care was her vocation of choice, he’d seemed interested. Then he’d discovered that she’d read every book in the boy’s bestloved children’s series and even knew the difference between a stegosaurus and a T. rex. Apparently his brother loved dinosaurs.
Dex said he felt as if he’d struck gold. She’d felt the same way. Because he’d been short on time, they’d agreed to meet tonight to talk more and hopefully finalize the deal.
But the cheap display she was witnessing now quashed any chance of them working together. When his five-year-old brother arrived from Australia, Dex Hunter could make other arrangements. She’d had enough of dealing with Casanova types. In Hollywood or Mountain Ridge, Oklahoma, in blue jeans or tailored trousers…
Hell, they were all the same.
The snap-lock kiss finally broke apart. Dex Hunter’s focus shifted and, as if guided by radar, landed smack-dab on Shelby. While she watched, he set the clearly giddy woman aside then strode past two awnings and straight up to Shelby. Over the scent of coming rain, his fresh musky scent filled her lungs at the same time his masculine presence enveloped her. Broad through the shoulders and tall—even compared to her five-foot-ten-inch frame—tonight he exuded a born-to-bed confidence.
But his lidded, tawny-colored gaze was the kicker. Beneath the streetlights, those eyes might be mistaken for a lion’s…an intelligent, potentially dangerous beast’s.
“You’re early,” he said, straightening his collar.
“I’m sure I’m right on time.” Shelby couldn’t help herself. “Are you in the habit, Mr. Hunter, of making a downright show of yourself in public?”
His eyebrows knitted together before he caught on and threw a glance over a jacketed shoulder. One corner of his mouth curved with a grin.
“She did kind of pounce, didn’t she?”
“Oh, and he palms off responsibility, too.”
His gaze sharpened, then he dragged a finger and thumb down each side of his mouth. When his hand lowered, his jaw was tight and his grin was rubbed clean away. “We’ve gotten off on the wrong foot.”
“We’re not getting off at all.”
Finished and done, she headed for the nearest bus stop.
She’d been in Los Angeles two weeks. Other than a few days in Oklahoma City years ago, she hadn’t set foot outside of her hometown before. She’d only settled on California because of a much-loved old movie where the heroine, who had needed a new start, had lucked out when she’d ended up here. Now, feeling alone—and naive—the idea of buckling and going back to “familiar” surged up to grip her like a vise. She had a lifetime of memories in Mountain Ridge—mostly good.
Some seriously bad.
Which was why she’d made that promise to stay away and stay strong. She refused to endure pitying or even disapproving looks from folk she’d known all her life. And if some said that was running away, if there were people who dared imply that was yellow…well, who gave a fat fairy’s—
She heard the slap of footfalls on the pavement behind her. Next minute, Dex Hunter reappeared, his dynamo frame physically blocking her this time.
“You said you’d have dinner with me,” he said, “to discuss my proposition.”
“If that’s how you conduct yourself in public while expecting company, I don’t care to know what you’d get up to in the privacy of your own home, whether an innocent little boy was staying or not.” She tipped forward, spoke clearly. “I won’t be a part of it.”
“That woman’s a friend.”
“That would be a friend with benefits?”
“We were saying goodbye.”
“I might be a country girl,” Shelby drawled, “but I didn’t fall off the back of a hay cart yesterday. That embrace was not a friendly farewell.”
It was a prelude to something much deeper. Burning, desperate. She’d come across that kind of kiss before.
“Bernice had too much to drink,” he told her, catching up as she set off again, a single stride of his equaling two purposeful steps from her. “She’s meeting some buddies and wanted me to tag along. When I said I had plans…” He scratched his ear. “Well, she tried to convince me.”
“And you put up such a fight,” Shelby said prettily.
“For all you know, she might’ve been my girlfriend. A fiancée even.”