“National Boss Day began in 1958 when Patricia Bays Haroski, then an employee at State Farm Insurance Company in Deerfield, Ill., registered the holiday with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Ms. Haroski chose Oct. 16, her father’s birthday, as the date for National Boss Day because she felt he was an exemplary boss.”
Nothing Personal Synopsis
Multi-millionaire casino owner Ryan McKay needs a bride in a hurry, and the one he chose has just backed out, which means he could lose his company within hours. He doesn’t know the meaning of the word failure, so he’s scrambling for Plan B and not happy that the ridiculous terms of his grandfather’s will have backed him into a corner.
So when his shy but dedicated executive assistant Faith Lewis tells him she’ll do everything in her power to make sure he succeeds, she’s shocked to realize Plan B = involves her—in other words, he wants to marry her. Like right now.
Faith reluctantly agrees, burying the heavy crush she’s had on Ryan for years. But the shy virgin is going to have to live with, sleep with, and reveal so many secrets to the enigmatic man who sees this as a logical business deal. Faith’s been holding out for love, and that four letter word isn’t in Ryan’s vocabulary after being raised by a cold, loveless family.
But love very rarely follows the rules of business or logic, and this business deal is about to get very personal.
Reissued worldwide on August 1, 2014
Jaci Burton is a USA Today and New York Times bestselling author who lives in Oklahoma with her husband and dogs. A lover of sports, Jaci can often tell what season it is by what sport is being played. She watches entirely too much television, which she considers “book research”. When she isn’t on deadline, Jaci can be found at her local casino, trying to become a millionaire (so far, no luck). She’s a total romantic and loves a story with a happily ever after, which you’ll find in all her books.
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Three swift knocks and she stepped back to wait. No answer. Maybe the room was empty and she was wasting her time. She knocked again, this time louder, and the door flung open, light shining on her from the brightly lit bedroom.
Ryan was still in his tux pants, but he’d removed the jacket and tie and almost completely unbuttoned the shirt.
Faith tried to find her voice, but the sight of her bare-chested husband took her breath away. He had an impressive build and a firm, muscular chest with a sprinkling of dark, curling hair.
He leaned against the doorway waiting for her to speak. “Did you want something?” he asked.
“I…I need some help.” Now she stammered like a teenager. Wonderful impression she was making on her new husband.
“What kind of help?”
He didn’t even invite her in. She felt like a salesperson attempting to sell a vacuum cleaner, fully expecting to have the door slammed in her face at any moment.
“I can’t unbutton my dress.”
Was she speaking another language? Why was he frowning?
“What do you mean?” he asked.
“I mean this,” she said with more than a little frustration. She was tired, hungry and wanted to get out of the dress now more than anything in the world. “Look,” she said and turned around for him to see her dilemma.
“I see. Okay, let’s go.”
“Go? Go where?” By the time she had the words out Ryan was heading towards her room. She lifted her skirt and hurried after him.
He entered her bedroom and waited for her to catch up. “Turn around,” he commanded.
Faith did as she was told, more than a little embarrassed to have her new husband undressing her, despite the fact it was exactly what should happen on her wedding night. On a normal wedding night, maybe, but not this one.
She tried to stand patiently while Ryan slowly slipped each satin covered pearl button from its tiny loophole. But his touch did things to her sense of equilibrium. She shivered each time his warm knuckles brushed the bare skin of her back.
“Are you cold?” Ryan’s voice whispered softly against her ear.
“I don’t know.” Liar.
Ryan’s hands stilled. “Does my touch bother you?”
His touch most definitely bothered her. But not in the way he thought.
“No, it’s fine. Go ahead.”
She steeled herself against any more outward signs of his effect on her. It wouldn’t do at all to fall into bed with him, no matter how much his skin on hers made her tingle. She’d made a bargain for two months and needed that time to get to know her new husband.
These were new sensations, new feelings, and her senses were already on overload from the day’s events. She couldn’t handle much more without a complete meltdown.
But then his hands moved lower as he freed the buttons near her bottom. The chills returned.
“I think there’s enough undone now that I can get out of this thing,” she stammered.
“Just a few more,” he said, ignoring her request. Obviously his touch on her skin didn’t affect him at all. “Do you need me to help you take it off?”
“No!” Faith cringed, not meaning for her denial to sound so forceful. She turned to Ryan. His gray eyes darkened like smoldering storm clouds. Maybe he wasn’t so oblivious to the contact between them. “What I meant to say was, I can get this off by myself. But thank you, anyway.”
He threw her a crooked smile. Now that her dress was all but slipping off her body, why didn’t he leave?
“I’ll just wait here while you change, in case you need me again. No need wandering the halls half-naked for help.”
Half-naked. Her cheeks flushed with heat. The dress was completely open in the back, and she had her hands firmly pressed against her chest to keep it from dropping to the floor.
“It’s almost falling off me right now, Ryan. I hardly think I’ll need any more assistance. But thank you for your help. Goodnight.”
Hoping he’d grab a clue that she wanted to be alone to undress, she fled to the dressing area.
The satin nightgown. She had no other choice. It was either that or eat her sandwich naked. Bet Ryan would like that. The way his eyes had gleamed when he saw her in her wedding gown led her to believe there might be a spark of interest.
She pushed the thought aside. Ridiculous. Ryan McKay had never been interested in her. Why would he be? She was nothing like the women he escorted. Not even close.
Attempting to redirect her thoughts to her hunger, she removed her underthings and slipped the gown over her head. Unable to resist, she ran her hands down the cool satin. A quick glance in the mirror shocked her. The gown molded to her body like a lover’s hand, clearly showcasing every minimal asset she had.
Why hadn’t she heard the door close? Surely Ryan had left by now. Faith waited a few more seconds for the sound of the door closing, but didn’t hear anything.
He was still there but his voice was muffled.
“What are you doing?”
“Oh.” She peered around the doorway into the bedroom. He sat at the table next to her bed, eating one of the sandwiches Leland had fixed for her.
“You haven’t eaten yet, Faith. Come out and have one of these sandwiches.”
“No, that’s okay. I’m not that hungry, really.” Right. She was surprised Ryan couldn’t hear her stomach grumbling in the other room.
“Don’t be ridiculous. Come out here now and eat with me.”
Fortunately the gown had a matching satin wrap that she quickly donned. Hunger won out over modesty. She wanted to get some food before he ate it all. She tightened the belt on the robe and entered the bedroom.
As she crossed in front of him, his eyes widened. Faith clutched the edges of the robe over her chest, feeling less than adequate in a gown that should have been worn by a goddess like Erica, not by her. She didn’t do it justice.
“Hungry?” he asked.
Faith nodded. “Starving. I hadn’t realized that I hadn’t eaten until Leland mentioned something about food.”
Ryan smiled. “I know. When I saw the food on the table my stomach reminded me I hadn’t eaten since breakfast. You don’t mind, do you?”
“Why would I mind?” She grabbed a sandwich and tried not to shove it in her mouth. With as much dignity as she could muster considering the depth of her hunger, she took a bite of the delicious turkey sandwich.
He sipped a glass of tea and watched her eat. At first she was self-conscious, but then her appetite took over and she downed the sandwich in no time flat.
Satisfied, Faith sat back and took a drink. And still he stared at her.
“Is something wrong?” She knew he wanted to say something, but didn’t. She chewed her lip in anticipation.
Without a word he reached across the table and drew his thumb against the corner of her mouth, then slowly dragged it across her bottom lip. Faith watched in rapture as he brought his thumb to his mouth and licked it with agonizing slowness.
“You had mayonnaise on the corner of your lip,” he said, his voice low and oh-so-sexy.
Was he deliberately trying to drive her crazy? She grabbed the napkin and swept it across her mouth. “Thank you.”
His dark eyes warmed her. “It was my pleasure.”
Today I have five digital copies of Nothing Personal to giveaway. To enter just leave a comment! Open to all through Saturday.