Researcher Maggie Donovan has no luck with men, and it doesn't help that she can't keep her eyes off of her sexy boss – the one everyone else in the office calls The Beast. Relationships in the office are forbidden. So no one is more surprised than Maggie when she pretends to be his fiancée to save him during a difficult situation. Not only has she put her job on the line, but the future of the company.
Billionaire Benjamin Gale III doesn't believe in love or romance, but the look on his mother's face when Maggie tells her that she's his fiancée is worth millions. Instead of firing her for her insubordination, he goes along with the ruse. In his arms–and in his bed–she'd be everything he could ever want...which is why he can't have her.But if he doesn't let her go, they'll lose everything...
“All right.” His pulse surged. “So, back on topic, if we’re going to do this, we’ll have to kiss fairly often, to make it real. We’ll have to be comfortable enough with one another...” He slid his hands back into place and dropped a kiss on her lips again, pulling back right away. “To do things like this without hesitation.”
She lifted her face to his, a small breath puffing out, and her lids dropped down. She looked so damn kissable and fit into his arms like a missing piece of himself. “All the time. Try it again.”
He kissed her again, his lips lingering over hers. “Like that?”
“Mm hmm.” Her eyes opened, and she took a deep breath. “This is all a horrible idea.”
He stepped back and cocked a brow. “Do I sense a ‘but’ coming?”
“But I’ll do it.” Her lips quirked. “You’re right—we are a good team. If anyone can make this look real, it’s us.”
Feelings he hadn’t let himself experience in years hit him. Gratitude, satisfaction, victory, and excitement—they were all there. The urge to pick her up and swing her in a circle was a tangible thing, but he didn’t move. The man he used to be? He’d have done it. But the man he’d become wouldn’t. Couldn’t.
“Thank you, Maggie.” He held his hand out for her to shake, even though he would rather kiss her. “You won’t regret this. I promise.”
She shivered and slid her hand into his, her gaze dipping to his mouth as she stepped closer. “Let’s kiss on it. Make it official. That way we get more practice, and we get more comfortable—”
“You don’t have to sell me on the idea.” He hauled her into his arms and dropped a kiss perilously close to her lips. She gasped and rested her hands on his chest. “You want me to kiss you? I’ll damn well kiss you.”
He nibbled on her ear gently this time.
“G-Good. But we need to lay out rules, and times where I have to be seen with you, and—” He bit her ear a little harder, then sucked on it to ease the sting. She even tasted sweet there. Like cotton candy, but more addictive. And he fucking loved that fluffy, sugary shit. “Benjamin.”
Releasing the lobe he’d bitten, he kissed the side of her neck again, flicking his tongue over the sensitive skin there. He was coming on strong, but she kept making sexy little sounds every time he touched her, and he couldn’t help it. “Was that too much?”
Her resistance faded with each brush of his lips on her soft skin, and the undisputable attraction between them was drawn so tightly it should snap. “Um, maybe...”
“I’m sorry.” He brushed his lips across hers again, ever so slightly, lingering this time. “Just practicing.”
“Yeah. Sure.” She moaned and grabbed hold of him, swaying closer. “Practice.”
Diane Alberts is a USA TODAY bestselling Contemporary Romance author with Entangled Publishing. Under the name Jen McLaughlin, she also writes New York Times, USA TODAY, and Wall Street Journal bestselling books with Penguin Random House. She was mentioned in Forbes alongside E. L. James as one of the breakout independent authors to dominate the bestselling lists. Diane is represented by Louise Fury at The Bent Agency.
Diane has always been a dreamer with a vivid imagination, but it wasn’t until 2011 that she put her pen where her brain was, and became a published author. Since receiving her first contract offer, she has yet to stop writing. Though she lives in the mountains, she really wishes she was surrounded by a hot, sunny beach with crystal clear water. She lives in Northeast Pennsylvania with her four kids, a husband, a schnauzer mutt, and four cats. Her goal is to write so many fantastic stories that even a non-romance reader will know her name.