Convincing these women he’s found their matches is hardly a smooth ride for cabbie Mario Capelli…
Just whistle There’s no way jaded Zachary Evans will help new grad Hannah Robertson land a swishy publishing gig. What’s the point? She can’t even hail a cab! But Hannah knows what Zach needs to find his inner optimism. It’s called S-E-X…in NYC.
Driven to distraction Rachel Marlowe doesn’t know a thing about her supersecretive lover Roman Brach. Sure, the sex is great. But why does he jump at every pager beep? Heck, it’s enough to have him followed. Hmm. Now there’s an idea…
Taken for a ride No sale! Psychic Sabina Amanar is never going to sell her grandmother’s Eat Village storefront, even if it is worth millions. Real-estate developer Alec Harnett predicts Sabina will cave. But first he’s got to wine her, dine her…and then fall in love.
“Driven To Distraction” by Julie Elizabeth Leto
Rachel Marlowe doesn’t know a thing about her super secretive lover Roman Brach. Sure, the sex is great. But why does he jump at every pager beep? Heck, it’s enough to follow him and find out what he’s up to. Hmm. Now there’s an idea…
Ordinarily, Rachel Marlowe wouldn’t have minded a little vibrating action while naked in her bed, luxuriating beneath her silk sheets, sated from the second explosive orgasm of the night. Ordinarily, she would have snuggled deeper beneath her comforter and allowed sweet exhaustion to lure her into dreamless sleep.
But damn it, over the last four months, making love to Roman Brach had elevated her ordinary, everyday, work-for-a-living existence into an intriguing, captivating adventure. To achieve this level of excitement, she usually had to stuff her duffel with a week’s worth of whatever and catch the next cheap flight to another continent. Her whirlwind, spontaneous one-woman excursions had, not too long ago, been her only means of finding balance in her life—excitement to offset the boring; magnificent to alleviate the mundane.
Until Roman, who thanks to his vibrating pager, was now rolling out of bed. He opened his mouth to speak, but Rachel silenced him with a soft palm over his generous lips.
“If you say, ‘duty calls’ I might have to kill you,” she jokingly warned.
His grin, warm beneath her touch, pooled her insides into melted goo. She yanked her hand away. Despite her threat, the only lethal one in the room was Roman.
“If you kill me,” he warned, “I won’t be able to return to you tonight.”
She rolled her eyes, determined not to show her emotional hand. What fun would that be? “I’ll live.”
“Yes,” he agreed, leaning back and running a strong, callused finger from her lips, down her neck, to the slightly moist crevice between her breasts. “But without me, what quality of life would enjoy?”
Despite her ire, she laughed at his unstoppable ego and swatted his hand away. He chuckled and started rummaging through the clothes scattered about the room for his pants, shirt, tie and jacket. He’d find them all. And they’d be impeccably unwrinkled. She wasn’t sure how he managed that feat, but it annoyed the hell out of her.
Lots of stuff about Roman annoyed the hell out of her, even while concurrently thrilling her right down to her curled toes. With some choice television consulting job that took him to the four corners of the world on a regular rotation, Rachel never knew when he’d show up on her doorstep, his blue eyes rich with desire, the hard muscles in his arms and chest tense with need, his impeccable Armani suit and custom-made Dege & Skinner shirts practically begging to be ripped free from his body. That’s how he’d shown up tonight just after midnight—and similarly every night this week. Such regularity was downright weird, but who was she to complain? The sex was great. The conversation witty and quick. Yet now, at nearly five o’clock on a Thursday morning, she found herself once again in the unenviable position of either pretending his inevitable departure didn’t bother her in the least….or she had to confess that she wished he’d stay and risk looking like a needy, clingy woman.
She smirked. She’d keep her mouth shut. As always. God forbid that she exhibit vulnerability. She’d learned long ago that putting her heart on the line might make her feel empowered in the short run—but in the long run, she’d end up just like all the women in her life—her mother, her sisters, her roommate, Jeannette—hell, all the chicks she knew from the gym and the various offices she worked in—lonely and bitching about all the men who’d broken their hearts.
Not Rachel. She’d come to New York City from Miami with one thing and one thing only on her mind. Her career. Okay, two things. She also wanted to travel. Come to think of it, math was not her strong suit. Her third most important goal revolved around having lots of hot sex with all the intriguing, international and successful men she’d inevitably meet in the famed Big Apple or wherever her passport took her in between freelance gigs as a graphic designer. And yet, for the last four months, she’d only been having sex with Roman. She wasn’t complaining, of course. Not, at least, until his annoying pager went off.
“Any idea when you’ll be back?”
She delivered the question with the right combination of vague interest and cool boredom. Or at least she hoped so. She practiced hard enough every time Roman prepared to disappear.
He turned, his iced blue eyes warmed by a simmering desire that never seemed to cool when they were together. From the first moment her attention had flashed on his hypnotic gaze, she’d been snagged. Caught, like the tarpon her stepfather used to fish for off his yacht. And just like the mighty silver game fish, she’d fought and flailed against the hook.
Well, she’d struggled at least until she’d found a way to justify that flirting with a consultant was not the same as coming on to a boss. Technically, for the duration of his contract at the network—and hers, since she freelanced—he’d been her superior. He’d supervised her work, but he didn’t sign her paychecks. He didn’t even write her performance reviews. Armed with those facts, she’d thrown caution to the wind and succumbed to a potentially destructive affair with a colleague.
She’d been working for A&E at the time. Or maybe Bravo. Encore? She couldn’t remember the cable network exactly, but her project had reeked of high-brow entertainment, that she remembered. As a freelance graphic artist who specialized in opening credits and flashy promo pieces, she went where the job took her and generally, she switched focus every six weeks at the most. She worked hard enough in a short period of time to save money, and then she took off for parts unknown. Indonesia. Pakistan. Brazil. She’d been on the verge of heading out on another unplanned, unrestricted trip to Costa Rica when Roman had strolled into her life and made leaving the last thing on her mind.
As he dressed, she thought back to the first time she’d seen him. She’d been in the studio, working on the final edits for a documentary promo. On mating. Of apes, of flamingos, of New York City drag queens? That detail blurred. Unforgettable, however, was the glance over her shoulder when she caught sight of Roman Brach conferring with some uppity-up in the company.
She’d stared. Brazenly. And after a few long moments, he’d looked up. Locking gazes with Roman, even for just a split second, filled her thoughts with enough sensual possibilities to script several rather lurid short films of her own.
He’d been wearing grey. Dusky coal grey. And a silver tie flecked with slate blue that matched his steely eyes. He’d tried to blend. To remain unnoticed. That in and of itself was enough to arrest her attention since her experience told her that here in New York, just like back home in Miami, men as handsome as Roman usually wanted nothing more than to catch the attention of every female within a ten mile radius.
But not this guy. Oh, no. He’d wanted to move stealth-like in the television graphic arts room, glancing over shoulders and lingering at workstations just a few seconds too long to be an ordinary executive only interested in increasing ratings. When she’d asked around and discovered he was actually a consultant, she’d made the first move.
One well-timed quip later, and she’d received a charming invitation to dinner. One elevator ride down from the restaurant and she’d started a hot, lusty, unstoppable affair that she knew, soon, would be all too…over.
“Sorry, Love.” He secured the buttons on the cuffs of his sleeves. “Don’t have a clue when I’ll be back. But I know it will be soon.”
She loved how he didn’t sound like Hugh Grant when he called her Love. She wouldn’t have minded Colin Firth, but Roman’s accent wasn’t as easy to peg as British or Aussie or South African or even Scottish. He’d claimed to be American by birth, but a resident of the world. It was one of the few things about him she believed.
She shrugged one shoulder. “Your loss.”
He quirked half a grin, bringing one devastating dimple into sharp relief against his stubble-roughened cheek. “You have no idea.”