Escape, it was the reason James Riley flew to the other side of the world. His family believed he’d left for career progression—an opportunity he couldn’t pass up, and his lie was so good even he believed it. Australia was perfect for him. It helped him forget his one and only mistake. A relationship was the last thing on his mind because he was never going to fall for a woman again.
Ariana Scott thought she wanted a Dom. That choice cost her both blood and tears. A year later, she was still trying to put the pieces of her life back together. Her interest in the sexy British guy was too soon, too fast, and because of her job, off limits. But the lure of James Riley was a temptation she couldn’t shake off.
When a safe vanilla fling turns into a relationship, her career, her family, and her lifestyle threaten to tear her world apart. She’s fallen hard and is prepared to put everything on the line for James. He makes her question everything she thinks she knows about herself but there is only one answer when casual sex becomes more than desire.
I’m fortunate to have my own office. Olivia and the rest of the team work in an open-plan space just beyond my door. I don’t shut my office door much, as I like working with people, and office banter amongst co-workers is a good thing, as long as it doesn’t interfere with productivity. However, my open door is being forced shut more and more, and the reason is Ria.
John’s desk sits directly in front of my office, so when she visits the team and works with John, I have a clear view of her. It’s like I’m spying on her—the profile of her face, the lines of her body—all there for my perusal. She’s driving me fucking crazy. And there is no sense in it. We’ve barely spoken a handful of times. I’ve met dozens of women since I’ve been in Australia, yet the only action my cock has seen is from my right hand while imagining bending Ariana over my fucking desk. It’s this girl that has sent my brain into overdrive and diverts the blood supply to my cock every time.
Whenever I see her, she is wearing green. She is a goddess, and I’m turning into a petulant child. Despite my earlier conversation with her, I’m still to see what she is working on. She spouts some marketing lingo during our meeting, and I go with it. Obviously, it’s my dick thinking and not my brain.
My mind is always elsewhere when she is around. I can’t concentrate. I’m too busy fantasising about her legs being wrapped around my waist or what lies underneath whatever shade of green she’s wearing that day.
A knock at my door breaks my daytime fantasy, and I bark my reply.
“I’m sorry, James, is this a good time?” Ria slips inside my office and lingers without shutting the door.
“What can I do for you?” I quash the visions of her that immediately invade my mind.
“I want to go over the plan I’ve been working up. You said you wanted to sign-off before anything concrete happens.” She pushes the door closed, and with the snick of the latch the room temperature soars.
“Alright.” I man up and take a breath. She sits in the seat opposite my desk as if she owns the room.
“So, Scott Brown and Partners has been losing ground to competitors, and I want to up our corporate visibility. We work with some of the biggest and best clients in Australia, but more often than not, we don’t see those news stories or deals in the press.”
“Many of the transactions we advise and negotiate aren’t ones our clients want plastered over social media, Ria.”
“I know that, but we can still capitalise on what we’re doing. I want to look at a charity event. Sponsors, press…”
“We do charity events,” I snip.
“But you don’t involve the clients. What Scott Brown has done so far is to try and show a charitable side to the company by putting on those events. That’s fine for brand profile, but I want to leverage the names of our clients as well.” She holds my gaze, and it does nothing to help my pulse. I don’t see the difference between what we do and what she is proposing, but at least I understand her words and my tongue is still in my mouth.
“So you propose?”
“A gala event where we align our clients without the obvious PR spiel.”
“And you really think a gala event is going to work?” I didn’t buy it.
“I know it will.” As she presents her pitch, I see her excitement. She’s animated and passionate, and it just makes her look even more damn appealing.
“So, what do you say?” she asks.
“Draft the proposals you’d send to the clients. John will look over them, and he can continue to advise on which ones would be suitable to target.” I see the smile on her face falter for just a second.
“Yes, John.” I try not to jump to the conclusion that perhaps she is looking forward to working with me. My dick is thinking for me and getting way ahead of itself.
I walk around the desk, and she quickly jumps toward the door. She gives me the perfect opportunity to check out her peachy arse, clad in another shade of green fabric.
“Do you ever wear a colour other than green?” I know I shouldn’t have said that. It is fucking insane, but every time I see her, it makes me want to strip her down to her ivory skin.
“Yes, umm, why?” she whispers, her back to the door with me closing in on her. It’s the first sign of any vulnerability I’ve seen from her, and I resist reaching out and grabbing her.
“Because you look…” I trail off, realising everything I want to say could get me slapped with a sexual harassment suit faster than I can get a flight back to London. Because you look fucking incredible. Because I can’t think when I see you wearing green. Because it makes me want to strip it off your body. Because I’m losing my fucking mind, and I need a break. “Because it suits you.” I watch as her green eyes darken and her breathing speeds up.
I affect her! Watching her eyes dilate just makes her harder to resist. I lean toward her and reach for the door.
We’re inches apart, the closest we’ve been, and the energy between us buzzes in the air. The insane attraction I’ve been fighting isn’t one-sided. All I have to do is tip my head, and my lips will brush against hers. I’d get to taste her—just one little taste.
I open the door and break the spell. Ariana escapes. I close the door and rest my head against the wood. I didn’t come here to fall for the first fucking girl I see. Fuck, I need to get laid and get rid of this stupid attraction.
This is the second book I have read of Rachel De Lune’s and I love this one as much as the first.
James and Ria’s story will strike a note with every romance reader because of how real these characters are. Their story is one that I honestly thought was going to go one way, but was pleasantly surprised when it took a turn that I absolutely loved. The story is as much about finding compromise in a relationship without compromising yourself. It shows you that there are times when you HAVE to communicate. Let’s face it ladies, as much as we would love for our s/o’s to be mind readers, they’re not. But boy wouldn’t that be nice! Same with us. I could relate to Ria so many times it was like I was in her head. thinking you want one thing, realizing that you need something entirely different but not quite knowing how to articulate it…story of my life! The steamy times were quite hot too. I love how she affected him, I love seeing a strong man get knocked on his heels by a beautiful woman.
Added to my ever growing tbr pile is the rest of this series. I love the writing, the characters, and the romance. Rachel De Lune has a fan for life
Meet The Author
Rachel De Lune writes emotionally driven erotic romance. She began scribbling her stories in the pages of a notebook several years ago. Today she’s still scribbling stories of dominance and submission and creating Happily Ever Afters.
Rachel lives in the South West of England and daydreams about shoes, lingerie and chocolate, in-between being a mum and a wife. She would love to give up her day job to devote more time to her scribbles. For every woman who’s ever desired more. www.racheldelune.com