Wicked Lovers, Book 5.5
Just when Brandon Ross gave up on the woman he’d always wanted, he found the one he needed—right under his nose.
A politician’s son, Brandon reined in his desire to serve his community for years after a former friend blackmailed him for desiring the man’s wife. Years later, he’s still haunted by Kayla, holding every woman to her standard. And Brandon’s secretary, Emberlin Evans, knows she can’t measure up.
Emberlin would do anything to make her boss notice her. But when one phone call from Kayla sends Brandon running after her, she knows it’s time to stop waiting for him to see her and move on. Funny how her resignation gets Brandon’s attention in a way short skirts didn’t.
When Brandon confronts Emberlin, he realizes that he’s been blind to his feelings for her—and that the way she always calls him Sir and says “please” has his thoughts turning wicked…
“What is the meaning of this?” Brandon Ross grabbed Emberlin Evans’s arm before she could duck into her apartment.
As she gasped out a startled sound and turned to face him, Brandon fisted her letter between them. Goddamn it, he wanted an explanation for why she’d tossed this crap on his desk and left without a word.
Then he saw her face. Redness rimmed her swollen hazel eyes. Tears splashed down her mottled cheeks, rolling past her lips, which were pressed together in a grim line.
His anger evaporated, and he eased closer, relaxing his grip. “Em, are you all right?”
She pulled away, her pale hair like a cloud around her shoulders as she fumbled with her keys. “Fine. I’ve resigned, effective immediately. That’s all you need to know.”
What the hell? Legally, he wasn’t entitled to know more, but personally? “Emmy, what happened? Did someone hurt you?”
“Not in the way you mean.” She closed her eyes, refusing to look at him. “Just…go.”
Fuck no. He’d seen Em cry once in the three years they’d worked together—the day she’d lost her mother. This wasn’t the same calm assistant he’d relied on for everything from faultless organization to uncanny insight. Seeing her pain made his chest feel hollow and tight. Even if she wasn’t going to work for him anymore, he refused to leave her upset.
“Tell me what’s wrong, Em. Do you need help?”
“No.” She edged behind the door, putting it between them, and set her keys on the counter. “I can’t work for you anymore. My resignation letter says everything relevant.”
Incredulity crossed her face. “Why do you care?”
“No one is more efficient or can more ruthlessly prep me for a meeting. You know this business. We’ve been a damn good team. I don’t understand.”
Em gripped the door between them. “You’ll find someone else who’s equally qualified.”
“I don’t want to find someone else. You’re the best. Do you need more money? I’ll do my damndest to get you a raise. You deserve it.”
“It’s not about money.” She started to close the door, shutting him out.
Alarm set in, and Brandon wedged his foot inside, blocking her. He peeked through the crack. “Please. I…need you.”
The thought of her not being his right hand stabbed him with panic. Nothing would run right without her. He wouldn’t run right without her sassy finger wags, sparkling laughter, and ruthless organization.
But instead of coaxing, his admission seemed to crush her. Her face crumbled as more tears spilled. “No, you don’t. You never will.”
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Wicked Lovers, Book 6.5
Retired military colonel Caleb Edgington has spent two long years trying to achieve the most important mission objective of his life—but not behind enemy lines. He’s trying to capture a woman with a broken heart. Having lost at love once, he understands being gun shy. The residual fears from Carlotta Buckley’s nasty divorce have stood between them, but he’s done with that. And he’s got the perfect strategy to lure her in…
Carlotta never thought she’d fall in love again. Once bitten, she’s now more than twice shy. And Caleb is everything she can’t handle—fierce, relentless, uncompromising…sexual. She’s managed to mostly avoid him, but now his son and her daughter need their help. Can Caleb and the spirit of the season convince her that she’s ready to take a chance on love again?
“You deserve to be protected and pampered, Lottie. You deserve someone who will be happy to indulge your whims every now and then just for the pleasure of seeing you smile. And you need someone willing to make sure you take care of yourself properly.”
Carlotta seemed to hold her breath. She blinked at him. “I am too old now for matters of the heart. I have two beautiful grandsons and—”
“And if you finish that sentence, you won’t like what comes next. You are not old.” He gritted his teeth, his palm itching to meet her backside. Hell, he hadn’t felt an urge to punish a woman this way in years… None of them had mattered enough to try. “Do you hear me, Lottie?”
“Caleb, stop. I know that I am no longer young. Once I was pretty, like my Kata.”
“You’re still so goddamn beautiful it makes me hurt to hear that you think otherwise. If you’d give me half a chance, I’d exhaust myself proving over and over how incredibly lovely I think you are.”
A pretty rosy flush crept up her cheeks. “I am far too old for sex.”
Caleb snorted. Is that what she thought? “Wanna bet? I guarantee you that I could make you think otherwise.”
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