Title: Even the Score
Author: Kate Meader
Release Date: July 21st, 2015
He’ll make her an offer she can’t refuse…
Actress Tess McKenzie is performing in the Tenth Circle of Showbiz Hell—dinner theater. All she really wants is to start a theater of her own. Then Tess receives an offer she can’t refuse. She’ll get her funding…if she pretends to be the fiancée to her nemesis, Texan property tycoon Hunter Dade. If she’s going to pull this off, she’ll need all the luck she can get.Break a leg, indeed.
On the verge of a big business deal, Hunter needs to hire a fiancée. He hasn’t quite forgiven Tess for ruining his wedding, but when their chemistry goes from combative to straight-up lust, the “no sex” clause in their mutually beneficial arrangement is tested. Which is a serious problem, because if Tess isn’t careful, she’ll go from breaking a leg to breaking her heart…
She had shaved above the knee, packed her suitcase with her skimpiest lingerie, and the instructions on the Sexy Weekend Fun Box said, “Just Add Texan.” What she had not expected was Hunter putting her on a Tex-free diet.
“You might think it’s clear, but I need it explained to me.”
He strummed his long fingers on the armrest. “Given that there’s a lot of money in play, we— I thought this would be for the best. That way, there’s no confusion.”
His expression was pained. “My business partners.”
“You discussed not having sex with me with your business partners?”
“You discussed how you would not be getting down and dirty with me, and you felt it necessary to put it in a contract. What if we have sex anyway?” What if it had gone the way she had expected all along? Every heated look, touch, promise fulfilled beyond her wildest dreams. “Does that void the contract? Do I not get my money?”
Bewilderment improved his hotness by a factor of ten thousand. Damn his sexy confusion. “Of course not. As long as you stay the entire weekend and play your part, you get paid. The clause is there so you don’t feel pressured. So you don’t feel I’m paying—”
“Me to have sex with you?”
He gave a slow, southern gentleman nod.
“Are you worried I’ll turn into mush and fall for you? Because newsflash, your penis is nowhere near that powerful, Hunter. I’m not interested in a relationship.”
His handsome features turned to granite. “I’m not good enough for Jenna, so I couldn’t possibly be relationship material for you. Is that it?” “No—no, that’s not what I mean.” Heat scalded her cheeks and that uncomfortable sensation in her chest came back. The one that reminded her of his hurt at losing sweet, perfect Jenna. Never mind that her friend was cheating on Hunter. “You and Jenna would have… destroyed each other.”
He stared, undiluted disdain hardening his eyes. “Is that what you told her, princess?”
She swallowed back a near-hysterical laugh because Tess’s life was so unprincess-like it wasn’t even funny. Damn, she wanted to strangle Jenna for messing with Hunter’s mind, but the woman was still her friend. No matter how wrong she had been to string Hunter along, it wasn’t Tess’s place to tarnish his perception of his former fiancée—or melt that chip on his shoulder he had about people with college degrees or an appreciation for the Arts.
“I told her it couldn’t work between you.” His brows slammed together. “Guess I have my uses, though. Or maybe that’s how you view all men.”
“Is that so surprising?” “I’m just a country boy, so it’s mighty hard for me to wrap my head around you city girls.” His headshake was more sad than confused. “A woman who doesn’t want a ring on her finger after that screaming orgasm I gave her a week ago? Hell, I must be losing my touch.”
She rolled her eyes indulgently, relieved they appeared to be back to the flirtatious vibe between them.
“I didn’t scream, you ass.”
“Nah, you made those soulful little sounds in your throat. More like, Unh, unh, oh, oh…oh, Huuuunter.” He had not just mimicked her O sounds.
About the Author:
Originally from Ireland, Kate cut her romance reader teeth on Maeve Binchy and Jilly Cooper novels, with some Mills & Boon thrown in for variety. Give her tales about brooding mill owners, oversexed equestrians, and men who can rock an apron or a fire hose, and she’s there. Now based in Chicago, she writes sexy contemporary romance with alpha heroes and strong heroines who can match their men quip for quip.