He needs a wife for three weeks…
Owen Phipps is out for revenge. His mission? To expose the man who stole his sister’s money and dignity. All he needs is a “wife” who can play along. Too bad his last best hope is an actress who tries to mace him with perfume when he offers her the role of a lifetime.
Lindy Knight is a real sap. She loves too hard, feels too deep, and often finds herself saying yes when she should be saying “Let me think about it.” She can’t believe her good fortune when Owen offers her more than enough money to hold off foreclosure until she can find a job. Three weeks at a resort, money she desperately needs, and she gets to help bring a criminal to justice? Score.
It seems easy enough until a couples bonding game turns intimate, and they realize how dangerous their mutual attraction could be. Can they keep their hands to themselves long enough to find the evidence Owen needs? Or are the close quarters more temptation than they can handle?
“I’m going to take a shower, probably a long one. Feel free to, you know, go somewhere or whatever,” she called over her shoulder.
She turned to find herself eye to chin with him and nearly jumped out of her skin. “What are you, like a vampire? How did you get over here so quick?” She clutched a hand over her galloping heart.
“Never mind that. I think we need to have a little talk, hmm?”
“About what?” She craned her head back to make eye contact and regretted it immediately. His eyes were hot, but not with the anger she’d expected. He looked partly amused, sort of…aroused? And entirely terrifying.
“As I was saying, in a perfect world, Sarabeth falling for our ruse would be enough to make me happy. But I find myself oddly wounded by your portrayal of our sex life.”
He lifted a finger to sweep the lock of hair from her forehead. “I do. And I’m not typically the sort of man who cares what other people think, so this is unsettling.”
She took another step back and hit the wall. “I was only fooling around, and you turned the tables on me anyway. I’m sure Sarabeth doesn’t think you’re bad in—”
“It’s not Sarabeth’s opinion that interests me,” he said, pressing close enough that she could feel the heat coming off his body. “For some bizarre reason, it’s yours.”
“Mine?” She swallowed hard. “No, don’t worry about that, okay? I bet you’re a real stallion.” She reached out to give his shoulder a maternal pat, but when she got a load of the firm muscle bunching beneath her fingertips, she snatched her hand back.
His eyes burned even brighter and he shook his head slowly. “Not okay. That’s lip service. I want to make you a believer.” He dipped his head, closing the last bit of space between them, his mouth brushing against hers as he spoke. “Do you want to be a believer, Lindy?”
She couldn’t answer that, but she couldn’t pull away either. For a moment, she withstood the sensual onslaught. Then, with a low groan, she bounced to her tiptoes and smashed her lips to his. It was out of control, and she knew it was stupid, but she couldn’t bring herself to stop. His tongue slipped and slid against hers in a primal dance she never wanted to end. Her nipples tightened into stiff peaks and she pressed closer, plastering her body to his.
He growled low in his throat, a raw sound that sent a thrill skating down her spine and she shifted closer, giving in to the urge to bump her hips against his. Damn, his whole body was hard and tight. She lifted a tentative hand to lay it on his abdomen. The muscles bunched beneath her fingers, rippling under her caress.
His kiss grew more demanding, until the pounding of her heart was eclipsed by their shared, shallow breaths. Punishing fingers closed over her hips, kneading them, sending flashes of heat between her legs. He was the sun and she was a Popsicle, melting into a puddle for him.
She pulled back. “We’ve got to stop.” Her voice sounded husky with need, undermining her words completely.
He regarded her with eyes gone so dark they appeared to be black. “Why is that? I thought things were going rather nicely.”
“I-I need to get in the shower now, though.”
“Feeling dirty, love?”
“Yes. No. I mean, not particularly. In that way.” The fingers on her hips continued their mesmerizing massage and she was fast losing the struggle for sanity. His perfect lips were still scant inches from hers. If she tipped her head back, a tiny bit, she could—
This guy was out of her league in every possible way. She blinked hard and then did what she always did when she felt confused and overwhelmed. She opened her mouth and let it rip. “I’m a novelty to a guy like you. I get that. This is a fun little cat and mouse game, and it triggers your urge to conquer. I get that too.” She gathered her courage and peered up at him now. “But I’m not you, Owen. I can’t…do this when there’s no chance that it can ever turn into something more.”
Q: What would you like readers to know about the book before they read it?
A: Hmmm…if they love a sexy billionaire hero with an Irish accent and a funny, quirky heroine who wears her heart on her sleeve, then they will love this book! If they don’t, I will make them a grilled cheese sandwich next time I see them. Unless they’re lactose intolerant. Then that would just be mean. For those unlucky souls, I offer toast. *displays delicious-looking toast with a flourish*
Q: What do you hope readers will take with them after they’ve read the book?
A: A warm feeling in their chest. Not, like, from a heart attack or anything, but just like that goodly feeling after having read a satisfying, entertaining book.
Q: Who is your favorite character in this book?
A: Lindy. Although I loves me some Owen (he pronounces it Ooh-un, because he’s hot). Lindy is the backbone of the story. She’s neurotic and funny and sort of throws herself into everything she does, heart wide open. She’s my hero.
Q: Is there a character who gives you fits and makes you want to go ninja?
A: Well, not so much in Wife for Hire. Sarabeth is a secondary character, but she is the heroine in the next book of the series and then she and I have our moments. She can be so stuffy sometimes!
OH, wait! The villain in this story is Nico Stephanopoulis and he definitely makes me want to roudhouse kick him for sure.
Q: You may have noticed we like to include our favorite quote in our reviews of the books we read. What is your favorite quote from this book?
Lindy is trying to convince Owen to hire her and says:
“I do have some acting experience, though. Right now, I’m between businesses, so I got a job waitressing at Medieval Days. I spend my shift pretending the mutton’s delicious.”
Q: What’s up next for you?
A: Lots! I have a new three book series called Dare Me, the first of which comes out tomorrow from the Entangled Brazen line. It’s called Down for the Count, and I’m super excited about that. Then, the rest of the For Hire series will be coming out as well over the next year. That’s slated for 4 books. Last but not least I have a new book coming out in January with Samhain under my Chloe Cole pen name called Overdrive. Busy busy, just the way I like it!
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