Originally a Florida girl, CHANEL CLEETON moved to London where she received a bachelor’s degree from Richmond, The American International University in London and a master’s degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Chanel fell in love with London and planned to stay there forever, until fate intervened on a Caribbean cruise and a fighter pilot with smooth dance moves swept her off her feet. Now, a happily ever after later, Chanel is living her next adventure.
Law school made Chanel realize she’d rather spend her days writing sexy stories than in a courtroom, and she hasn’t looked back since. An avid reader and hopeless romantic, she’s happiest curled up with a book. She has a weakness for handbags, her three pups, and her husband.
Chanel writes contemporary romances. She is published by Harlequin HQN, Penguin/InterMix, and Penguin/Berkley and is the author of the International School, Capital Confessions, and Wild Aces series.
I never hated law school more than I did at ten-thirty in the morning, Monday through Wednesday. There were plenty of reasons to hate law school—hundreds of pages of nightly reading, endless debates over a mythical property annoyingly referred to as “Blackacre,” the constant urge to vomit each time a professor called on me. The biggest one stood in front of me—tailored Canali suit, dark hair, dark eyes, darker soul.
Oh god, he said my name.
I spent an hour, three times a week, mentally bartering with God to keep that man, that sadist, from saying my name. Each week he ignored me.
A collective sigh seemed to ripple through the room as my classmates realized they were spared the guillotine. Seventy-four pairs of eyes bore into me, waiting to see how badly I’d fail.
I rose from my seat awkwardly, my legs wet noodles as I pulled down the hem of my Burberry skirt, struggling to keep the flush on my cheeks from spreading all over my face. Forcing us to stand when we answered a question was an old-school technique, one all of my other professors had abandoned, even for first-year students—1Ls—like me.
“Brief the case.”
I’d read. I always read. But law school was the one place where that didn’t matter. No matter how prepared you were, they always pushed you for more than you knew, more than you had, until you were left feeling like your clothes had been stripped from your body, exposing your every naked imperfection to seventy-four peers.
Crying after class wasn’t uncommon; some students even broke down in class. We all sat on the precipice of an utter nervous breakdown, no more so than in our first-year torts class.
Your first year of law school was a hazing of sorts, an attempt to separate the wheat from the chaff. I’d heard all of the rumors and figured they were exaggerated; after all, I was the daughter of one of the fiercest U.S. Senators. I’d grown up around scary. But there was scary, and there was scary, and unfortunately for me, law school was in the latter category.
If statistics were to be believed, about twenty percent of my classmates would drop out by the end of the first year. They’d be the lucky ones. The rest of us would push through, surviving on alcohol, junk food, and Valium. Just kidding about the Valium. The drug of choice here was Adderall, used to treat Attention Deficit Disorder and to get 1Ls through three hundred pages of nightly reading. And not interesting reading with a large font, but less-interesting-than-watching-paint-dry, need-a-microscope-to-see-the-text, reading. I’d never tried any kind of recreational drug in my life, but if anything pushed me to it, it would be law school.
The sadist stared back at me, an expectant smirk on his face. Fuck.
My language had considerably deteriorated since the first day of classes last month. My mother would have a coronary if she knew what went through my head now. This was what happened when perfect cracked and splintered. This was what happened when your life fell apart.
I started running through the facts, struggling to remember this one case out of the ten I’d read for his class alone. My hands itched to turn the page in my textbook so I could use it for reference, but our gazes caught across the large classroom, and the look in his eyes kept my fingers still.
Weakness was his crack, and there was still enough of the old Blair Reynolds inside me to refuse to cede any more self-respect beyond that which he took against my will.
I stood for fifteen minutes, an eternity, going through the facts of the case, the issue, the law, the conclusion. Stood while he fired questions at me in that voice of his—hard, cold, unflinching. Questions that led me farther down the rabbit hole into an abyss of confusion. Each time I floundered, his smile deepened, as if he got off on my nerves.
He probably did.
When it was over I sank down into my seat like it was a life raft and I’d been adrift at sea for months. My legs never wanted to stand again.
“Nice job,” my friend, Adam, whispered from the seat next to me.
“Thanks,” I whispered back, twenty-three years of manners warring with terror over being caught talking in class.
My heart stopped.
Fuck me, why? Not again.
His eyebrow arched expectantly. Like a puppet, my body automatically rose to a standing position. He had us well-trained, me more than anyone. I was little more than a poodle under his command. There were seventy-five people in our torts class, and we’d all done the math, on average we should be called on three times per semester.
He called on me every fucking week without fail.
“Why don’t you brief the next case as well?”
His gaze drifted to Adam sitting next to me, lingering there for a moment as if to say, you got yourself into this mess when you dared to speak during class. Technically, he should have called on Adam since he spoke first. I was only being polite by answering. That would have been fair. But the irony was, law school had little concern with fair or just. Ego ruled here, and none was bigger than Professor Graydon Carter’s.
So many words ran through my head. So far I’d learned nothing about torts. My class time was typically divided into four activities which consumed me for an hour: begging and pleading with God for Professor Carter not to call on me, creating inventive and filthy names I hurled at him in my head, and elaborate fantasies where I told him exactly what he could do with his questions. But the absolute worst, the moments I hated in every corner of my preppy little heart, were the moments when I fantasized about that voice saying other things to me...those eyes undressing me, those hands on my body.
It was the cruelest irony that the man I despised, the man who tortured me from the front of the classroom three days a week, was the hottest fucking thing I’d ever seen.
His voice, those questions, those eyes that looked at you like they stripped you bare, had me shifting in my seat, edgy and unfocused—
And he knew it.
The author of Flirting with Scandal presents her second book in a sexy contemporary romance series about three sisters in a powerful political family, the scandals that threaten to destroy them, and the passion that drives them…The daughter of one of the Senate's most powerful figures, Blair Reynolds was ready to become the ultimate political wife—until she caught her fiancé cheating on her wedding day. Law school is a fresh start, her shot at putting the pieces of her life back together. That’s the plan, at least. Until trouble comes in the form of her Torts professor, the man whose arrogance infuriates her in class but haunts her private fantasies.Graydon Canter had a fortune and a place on all the hottest "Thirty under Thirty” lists, until a series of personal missteps nearly destroyed his career. A year teaching at a D.C. law school is just the break he needs to get his life back in order, as long as nothing—and no one—trips him up.When Blair and Gray are forced to work together, their explosive attraction becomes impossible to resist. But Gray’s demons have drawn him dangerously close to the edge, and Blair has spent her life playing by the rules. Will she break them for a shot at love?
Check out the Capital Confessions series:
Check out what's up for grabs.
Up For Grabs:
- 1 eBook copy of Flirting with Scandal
- Please fill out the Rafflecopter form to enter giveaway.
**Don't forget to enter the grand prize giveaway!
Special thanks to Chanel Cleeton for sponsoring this giveaway.a Rafflecopter giveaway