Beauty is about to tame her beast...Researcher Maggie Donovan has no luck with men, and it doesn't help that she can't keep her eyes off of her sexy boss - the one everyone else in the office calls The Beast. Relationships in the office are forbidden. So no one is more surprised than Maggie when she pretends to be his fiancée to save him during a difficult situation. Not only has she put her job on the line, but the future of the company.Billionaire Benjamin Gale III doesn't believe in love or romance, but the look on his mother's face when Maggie tells her that she's his fiancée is worth millions. Instead of firing her for her insubordination, he goes along with the ruse. In his arms-and in his bed-she'd be everything he could ever want…which is why he can't have her.But if he doesn't let her go, they'll lose everything…
“Benjamin...if we do this, it has to be a business arrangement. It has to be clear-cut and easy. Pretend.” Despite her words, she tipped her face up to his. “If we don’t keep everything fake —it’ll blow up in our faces. Trust me.”
If we do this. That was all he heard out of that whole speech, because that meant she was considering it. He tasted victory, and it was as sweet as she was. “Deal. But we need to be comfortable with one another, too. To sell the whole ‘in love’ thing.”
She nodded. “R-Right.”
“So little kisses like this...” He brushed his lips against hers again and slid his hand down the curve of her hip, tracing the side of that hot little ass he’d done his best to ignore for the past six months. He moved closer, letting her feel exactly how much he wanted her—because there was no hiding that from her. “They have to come as easy to us as breathing.”
She grasped his shoulders. “Mr. Gale.”
“Maggie.” He skimmed his hand around her waist, dipping down to tease the waistband of her skirt. He wanted to feel the soft skin there, to stroke it, but she had her shirt tucked in, and he couldn’t cross that line. “You have to call me Benjamin.”
“There you go.” He chuckled and ran the back of his knuckles over her cheek. “That’s not so hard, is it?”
Her gaze flitted down. “I don’t know. Is it?”
A laugh escaped him. An actual laugh.
He’d spent years with his sights set on one goal only: to succeed as CEO. He’d been living, yes, but with her in his arms, he felt alive for the first time since his father’s death. “I’ll be honest, I’ve thought of doing this before. Touching you. And now here we are.”
“Yeah.” She nodded her head imperceptibly. “Here we are.”
“What do you think?” He splayed his hand across her lower back, his pinky on the sweet curve of her ass, and the pulse at the base of her throat leaped. He pressed a soft kiss there, relishing her reaction to him. “Can we make this thing between us work?”
“If we’re being honest, I definitely feel the attraction, too. That’s why if we get caught up in the lie, it would be catastrophic.”
Would. Not could.
Something told him Maggie had been hurt pretty badly before. That’s what made her cautious about love, while he simply didn’t understand the point of such a vulnerable emotion. It only led to pain. “But it could be really good, too.”
She pulled him closer, her words at war with her actions. “If we do this, we shouldn’t be doing”—she motioned between them—“this.”
Despite her words, she didn’t let go of him. If anything, she held him tighter.
“I’m fine with that, if that’s what you want. I’ll never force you to do anything you don’t want to do. You can walk out of here, tell me to go to hell, and I’ll still fight for your job till I can’t fight anymore.” He let go of her, even though every muscle protested the loss. “Do you want to leave?”
She bit her lip, staring up at him, still holding him tight. “No.”
Diane Alberts is a multi-published, bestselling contemporary romance author with Entangled Publishing. She also writes New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling new adult books under the name Jen McLaughlin. She’s hit the Top 100 lists on Amazon and Barnes and Noble numerous times with numerous titles. She was mentioned in Forbes alongside E. L. James as one of the breakout independent authors to dominate the bestselling lists. Diane is represented by Louise Fury at The Bent Agency.
Diane has always been a dreamer with a vivid imagination, but it wasn’t until 2011 that she put her pen where her brain was, and became a published author. Since receiving her first contract offer, she has yet to stop writing. Though she lives in the mountains, she really wishes she was surrounded by a hot, sunny beach with crystal clear water. She lives in Northeast Pennsylvania with her four kids, a husband, a schnauzer mutt, and a cat. Her goal is to write so many fantastic stories that even a non-romance reader will know her name.
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