Series: The Secret Invitation #1
Author: Devon Hart
Published: June 3/15 by Soul Mate Publishing
Genre: erotic romance
Back Cover Blurb:
Nothing exciting happens to someone like me. I live between the lines, only dreaming about breaking the rules. My chance at love disappeared the night I left home to escape my old life.
Eight years later, I never expected that “old life” to resurface in my bookstore.
Foster Wagner is the type of man most women would crawl through fire or broken glass to possess. And judging by the way he’s staring, that danger goes both ways.
I’m in trouble.
The next morning, dressed in my favorite power suit, I park outside Erin’s bookstore and review her profile for the hundredth time. With my professional connections, I have access to private records. I scan the last page. She’s 5’5, 120 pounds, athletic, and in good health. Kevin will consider her the perfect specimen. We’ll find out after he examines her in his downtown office this afternoon.
I secure the file in my brief case, then grab the bouquet of green orchids off my backseat. Mary greets me from the counter.
“Good morning Mary. Is Erin here?”
“She’s in the back.”
“Can I find my own way?”
She eyeballs the flowers and smiles. “Don’t tell her I said yes.”
“Your secret is safe with me.”
I end up at a closed door and knock.
I peek inside. Her face is buried in a book and she doesn’t look up. “Need help, Mary?”
“I’ll let you decide.”
At the sound of my voice, her head snaps up. “Foster Wagner.”
I step into her office. “That’s all you have to say to me after all these years?”
“It’s more than you deserve.”
I laugh, knowing Erin is all pretense; I can tell from the way she sits and her tight expression. “Still can’t forgive me for being young?”
“You mean desperate?”
“Don’t blame your hormones for crude behavior.” Her gaze sweeps downward, pausing on my crotch.
She blushes, then glares at me. “Don’t be rude.”
“What’s on your mind, beautiful?” I lay the flowers on her desk. “Peace offering?”
“Light green orchids.” She looks confused. “How did you know? There’s at least fifty stems here. I can’t accept such an extravagant gift.”
“A peace offering.”
I love the way she says my name. Those lips should be wrapped around my cock, not chastising me for past sins.
“Why are you here?”
“We didn’t part on good terms.”
“I’m fully aware.” The painful memory has never faded, but I’ll do anything to make it up to her. I’ve waited years for this moment. “Let’s have lunch.”
“I-I . . .”
“It’s not a lifelong commitment, Erin, it’s lunch.”
She sets her book aside. “I know.”
“Is that a yes?”
She shakes her head. “What about yesterday?”
“What do you mean?”
“Why didn’t you tell me who you were?”
“I wanted to see if you’d figure it out.”
“But you told Mary you didn’t like Edgar Allan Poe. Return the books, Foster, they’re too valuable to end up with someone who doesn’t appreciate them. I don’t like games.”
“No?” I ask, knowing differently. “Who said anything about a game?”
She stands, rubbing her hands together. “So I’m supposed to believe you waltz in here to simply reconnect after you spent nearly five thousand dollars on me over the course of two days?”
“Five thousand?” I play stupid.
“Those flowers cost a fortune.”
“I didn’t ask for a receipt.”
“My goodness.” She edges closer, a mixture of emotions on her pretty face. “Is it possible the obnoxious jock has grown a heart? Learned to be a gentleman?” She’s so close I can smell her delicate perfume over the fragrant flowers. “Did your mother put you up to this?”
“My mother?” I laugh. “She’s on an extended holiday in Italy.”
“Your father? Our parents still play golf together.”
“I haven’t spoken to the old man in weeks.”
“I suppose you were never the kind of son who took orders very well.” She perches on the edge of her desk, her legs spread wide enough so I can see the shape of her pussy lips through her snug jeans. “Congratulations on your successful business endeavors. How was Saudi Arabia?”
That catches me off guard. I’m starting to think she recognized me in the book store, but didn’t want to admit it. “You’ve kept up with my career?”
“My mother keeps me up-to-date and I occasionally watch the local news.”
A perfectly reasonable explanation, but it still surprises me. “My sixth trip in four years. We’re about to close a deal on wind turbines. Green energy is the future.”
“I agree, but how can you specialize in environmentally friendly technologies and pump the earth dry of petroleum and natural gas at the same time. This fracking bullshit is a nightmare. Earthquakes near Dallas?”
I brush a stray hair out of her eyes. “Geopolitics mostly. But don’t get too preachy, baby. If I want to debate environmental issues, I’ll call the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Right now, all I want is to spend time with you.”
She presses her lips together. “Just searching for moral and intellectual clarity.”
“Something I’m sure you’d swear I’ve never had.”
“There’s always hope.”
I chuckle. She’s still my angel, the moral compass I always needed to help keep me on the straight and narrow. Only she’s gone from pretty to beautiful.
“If I agree to meet you for lunch, will you stop harassing me?”
“Can’t make any promises.” I’d do anything for her, but I can’t let her know that too soon.
She folds her hands on her lap, staring up at me. “I don’t know whether I should be flattered or run. You always were cocky, Foster.”
And you were always a patronizing little tease I couldn’t get enough of. With all the references and stares at my man parts, I know what she’s thinking about.
I reach around her and pick up the phone. “Mary?”
“Do you keep vases in the break room?”
“Please bring a large one filled with cool water to Ms. Covington’s office.” I replace the headset, letting my arm brush against Erin’s thigh. “Easy fix. If you don’t get those expensive flowers into water, they’ll wilt.”
“This is a waste of time.”
She slides off the desk, but I block her path. “If you didn’t want me here, you would have ordered me out of your office.”
“Maybe,” she admits. “Or perhaps I’m just getting my daily dose of entertainment.” She gazes up at me, her forehead creased in stubbornness.
I’m lost in her eyes, wishing I could bypass all the formalities and just fuck her now.
Hot! Hot! Oh so very hot! Hart has creataed a story that readers will live vicariously though. She’s created a portal into your wildest fantasies via some superb characters that you won’t be able to forget. I couldn’t put it down! Hart held my attention for many different reasons, the heat of the tale being only a small part of it. This was a fantastic story!
Although very well off and living in a different stratosphere than me, I found the main character to be very easy to relate to. She is such a gem, trying to make sense of her life via the only outlet she finds available to herself, and discovering a lot about herself in the process. Foster is a true gem. He goes after what he wants, and what he needs, no matter what. His alpha takes all approach may be a little different (and definitely unorthodox), but it creates a steamy story for readers. Hart definitely highlights the difference between romantic love and familial duty throughout. It really mad me contemplate what I would do in that situation, while at the same time questioning why the characters are even thinking about going through with it.
This was definitely a great introduction to Hart’s new series. This hot & steamy story has left me on pins & needles, dying to know what happens next.