Available May 17


                         © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Franki was about to dig into her noodles when she realized the restaurant had forgotten to include a fork in the bag. Eating noodles with her hands not being an option, she toed her way around for her shoes and came up empty. She stuck her head under the massive desk and looked for them. It was dark under there and it took her eyes a few moments to adjust. Finally she located a shoe she’d kicked to the left and was holding it triumphantly in her hand and reaching for the second when a deep voice laced with an arctic coolness pierced the solid wooden desk.

“It didn’t occur to me you were going to like it, Geoffrey. I pay people like you to make things happen, not for your incredibly insightful strategic thinking.”

Harrison Grant. Oh, my God. What is he doing back tonight?

She reared her head up, her skull connecting hard with the inch-thick top of the desk. Stars exploded behind her eyes. A curse escaped her as she dropped the shoe, clasped her head in her hands and absorbed the pulsing aftershocks.

“Good God.” The harsh-edged voice came closer. “Geoffrey, I’m going to have to call you back.”

Frankie was vaguely aware of strong male hands levering her chair away from the desk and lifting her chin. She blinked as he pulled her hands from her head, and tipped her skull back. A clear head might have been a good weapon to face Harrison Grant with for the first time, but her cerebral matter was hazy, her vision shadowy as she took him in at close range. Dressed in a black trench coat in deference to the rainy, overcast New York day, he was tall, imposingly tall. The charcoal-gray suit he wore beneath the trench coat, the amount of rough stubble shading his aristocratic jaw and the laser-like stare of his black eyes under designer glasses made her giddily wonder if he was the devil himself.

Biting out a low curse, he tossed his cell phone on the desk and cupped the back of her head with one of his big hands, his fingers pressing into her scalp to feel for a bump. When he located the growing mass that was causing the deep throb in her head, a furrow ruffled his brow. “What exactly were you doing down there?”

“Shoes,” Frankie muttered absently as the world began to right itself. She sucked in a couple of deep breaths and examined him closer. Along with those deadly dark eyes, he had a perfect aquiline nose that framed a firm, wide mouth. Apparently the devil came in extremely good-looking versions that also smelled amazing.

He held up three fingers. “How many?”


“What day is it?”

“Tuesday, the sixth of August.”

He let his fingers slide from her head. His black gaze, however, remained pinned on her face. “Unless this is Goldilocks and the Three Bears redone to feature a brunette, you are sitting in the wrong chair.”

Her heart sped up in her chest at his low, silky tone, as curiosity radiated from the inky darkness of his somewhat mesmerizing gaze. “What if this is actually the right chair?” she offered in an attempt to defuse the tension.

His mouth curved. “Now I know that would have to be a tale, because this chair belongs to my assistant, Tessa, and you,” he murmured, his sweeping stare taking in all of her, including a rather comprehensive study of her legs, “are not her.”

Frankie swallowed hard and followed his gaze. In the commotion, her conservative skirt had ridden up her thighs, baring the lacy black pull-ups that were her one nod toward femininity in her proper office attire. Oh, God. She tugged the summer-weight wool back to her knees, so much heat rushing to her face she might as well have been on fire. With difficulty, she moved her gaze back up to his and saw…disappointment?

“Tessa,” she murmured, searching vainly for a way to rescue the situation, “went into premature labor and had her baby last night. Co—” Her words died in her throat as a flash of silver glinted across the room. She blinked, thinking her swimming head had manufactured it, but when she looked again, the sight of two armed guards bearing down on them, guns drawn, made her mouth drop open.

Put your hands in the air.”

The guards roared the words at them, their attention fixed on Harrison. Frankie stuck her hands in the air, her heart slamming so violently against her chest she thought she might pass out. Her gaze sat frozen on the glare of the lights reflected off the silver barrels.

She tore her panicked gaze away finally, flicking it to Harrison, whose face had a bemused look on it. Instead of following the guard’s orders, he put his palms on his thighs and moved to straighten.

I said put your hands in the air,” the guard bellowed, waving his gun at Harrison. “Now.”

Her boss put his suit-clad arms in the air in a slow, exaggerated movement. He might have acquiesced, but every muscle in his big body was tensed to revolt, his black gaze glittering. They sensed it, their eyes remaining trained on him. “Hands behind your back.”

The CEO’s mouth parted. “I think—”

Hands behind your back.”