Recently I've been revisiting books from my older catalogue and bringing them back out so new readers can discover them. Some of these are anywhere from six to seven years old, but will probably be new to many people. So, let's visit one of my sexier contemporary titles. When it first appeared back in 2004, it was briefly part of a collection, and ended up being an Eppie Award Finalist. When it was republished by Liquid Silver books a couple years later, it had undergone a rewrite - and I'd added a few things that the original didn't have, like a rather voyeuristic scene, and some added heat to the sex scenes between the very passionate main couple. So, have a look at my Mirage, where things are always as real as they appear...
When Kristy signed on to be John Smythe's executive assistant, she never imagined falling in love with the coldly handsome and ruthless CEO. Yet, that's precisely what happened. In Smythe's hands, the company prospered, even if his partner didn't. Wheeler Enterprises is in the middle of a fraud investigation when Douglas Wheeler dies, and his only daughter is all that stands between Smythe and complete control of the Wheeler company.
When Detective Peter King comes into the picture, and accuses Smythe of more than corporate dirty-dealing, Kristy's life is suddenly a lot more complicated than she wants it to be...
Read an excerpt...
“That was not one of your brightest ideas, Karen,” Smythe stated when he was seated at his desk.
“Obviously not,” she agreed through clenched teeth. “But I’m getting desperate to make someone listen to me.”
“Why can’t you just let go of this?” John said, his quiet, controlled voice pitched to a lulling tone. “You’re only causing yourself unnecessary aggravation with this nonsense.”
“Aggravation?” she repeated in disbelief. “You’re systematically killing off my family, and you call it aggravation?”
Smythe’s expression darkened dangerously, and he rose from his chair. The motion was graceful, like a sleek, stalking leopard scenting prey. Karen shifted uneasily in her seat, her eyes never leaving the smooth flow of his movement, fascinated by him in spite of her instinctive aversion. She still couldn’t conceal the tiny start of fright she felt when he leaned over her, lithe, long fingered hands curving over her shoulders as his voice murmured near her ear.
“You would do well to keep thoughts like that to yourself, my dear,” he advised. “If you continue to push me, Karen, I promise things could get very unpleasant. Not just for you, but for those around you.”
“What are you planning to do, Smythe?” she snapped. “Arrange to have a building fall on me?”
John’s laughter was chilling, and he drew her out of the chair and brushed aside a soft strand of rich, dark hair. He let his touch linger on her cheek just long enough to make her wince.
“Continue to push me, Karen, and I’ll begin an investigation of my own. One that will not relent until I know who attempted to kill Douglas. Though I have pretty solid suspicions about that now.”
Fear instantly lit her expressive eyes, and she jerked away from him. His laughter chased her from his office a moment later.
* * * *
Peter and Kristy were almost back to Smythe’s office when the door swept open and Karen burst into the corridor. Peter left Kristy and was at Karen’s side in an instant. Tears streamed down the woman’s ashen face. Behind her, like a silent wraith, John stood framed in the doorway, his expression thoughtful.
“What’s going on, Karen?” Peter asked, too absorbed in the woman to notice they were the center of attention within the office complex.
“Nothing!” she said, her voice quivering. “I want to go home, Peter. Please, just take me home.”
Kristy saw Peter finally take notice of John standing in the background. He got a single step toward John before Kristy stopped him with a firm hand on his arm. He swung around to look at her and Kristy shook her head. “Take Karen home as she’s asked, Peter. I’ll let you know what’s going on, I promise.”
He was surprised into silence, and Karen’s tug on his arm drew him away from any question he might have asked.
He and Karen headed for the elevator, and Kristy made sure they got on it before she entered John’s office with him and closed the door.
“Is there really a need to leave that girl in tears every time you speak to her, John?” Kristy asked.
He laughed quietly and perched on the wide window ledge. His gaze was focused on the two people getting into the detective’s black Honda parked in the Wheeler lot.
“Her defeat upset her. Not me.”
Kristy sighed, her hands on his shoulders. She leaned forward, kissed his cheek and waited for him to look at her. When the cool blue eyes met hers seconds later, she smiled. “You own Wheeler Research and Technology, darling. Leave it at that.”
John smiled back at her and pulled her into his arms. He bent to place a light kiss over her heart and let his tongue dip into the intriguing shadow just below her neckline. She shivered slightly and eased back.
“For the first time in my life, I have everything I want,” she whispered, her voice filled with rarely expressed emotion. “I don’t want to lose any of it.”
“You are getting sentimental, Kristy,” he teased. He ran a delicate caress along the curve of her cheekbone, long fingers like the brush of velvet against her skin. When his touch reached her mouth, he pulled her forward to meet his kiss.
“What is it you really don’t want to lose?” he asked her minutes later, his hand closing over one of her breasts, stroking persuasively.
She shook her head, and buried the response that would have revealed a truth she wasn’t sure she wanted to give him. The buzz of the intercom saved her the need for a reply, and she laughed in spite of her mood when John took the call but remained standing to answer it. She understood a moment later when he settled her in his chair, then unbuckled his belt and the button at his waist. She pushed his hands away and finished opening the front of his designer suit pants, freeing him from the suddenly confining briefs. John’s long fingers tangled in her hair as she took his smooth, hard cock into her mouth and began to suck and stroke with her tongue.
A few minutes later, she heard the phone being placed on the corner of the desk, and John drew her away with a hiss of reaction to the loss of her mouth engulfing him. He took her hands and tugged her to her feet, then pulled her soft, cashmere sweater over her head and tossed it aside. She hadn’t worn a bra and he had told her that morning to forget the underwear as well. Now she knew why. He turned her back to him, and hiked her skirt up around her waist as he stood behind her and made her lean over his desktop.
Kristy spread her legs and stifled the gasp of pleasure that quivered through her when he drove into her with a suddenness that was almost painful. His hands reached around and cupped her dangling breasts, squeezing and caressing them as he pinched her nipples to greater sensitivity. For an eternity of minutes the only sounds in the luxurious office where soft gasps and the slick, wet stroke of frenzied sex. Kristy’s teeth sank lightly into her own forearm as her body exploded with rapture and John’s low moan of release was lost in the center of her back a second later.
In a distant part of her mind, she wondered if anyone had knocked on the office door in the past ten minutes...
Read what the reviewers said:
"5 Cups!...Technically, there are four main characters in this tale, John Smythe and his assistant Kristy, Karen Wheeler and police detective, Peter King. Kristy is a wonderful character smart, strong, and ambitious. When she falls in love, she falls completely. Even when John is being accused of horrible things, she remains loyal and confident in her love. The love scenes between her and John are steamy and plentiful. The story itself is a pleasure. Within these pages, you will find danger and intrigue, mystery, along with lots of sizzling and sultry sex. Considering the book is only a mere 98 pages, the fact you can find all that inside tells you a lot. The story is well written and nicely delivered at a pace crisp enough to hold the reader's attention without being hurried. My first by Ms. Bridger and it will definitely become the first of many!"—Johnna Flores, Coffee Time Romance
"4 Angels!...A perfect blend of romance, mystery and steamy sex. Ms. Bridger has outdone herself. I was captivated from the first word and could not put this book down. The chemistry between the couple is intense, both sexually and emotionally. John and Kristy's relationship is rocked by the accusations thrown at John but their love does not falter."—Tewanda, Fallen Angel Reviews
"4 Stars!...A short story with its very deft handling of the intricate storyline and characterizations that are brought to life through Ms. Bridger's writing talent. There are some interesting twists and turns that keep the reader on tenterhooks to find out the when, what and why's of this story. As the title suggests there are some hidden illusions and facets which make it a very fascinating and fast-paced book to read. There are also some very pleasant surprises in store for the reader. There are some truly hot, hot, hot scenes in this story. Despite John's outward nature, he's a very passionate and romantic man in private. And some of that passionate nature is directed toward his very fortunate executive assistant Kristy. You'll find a cast of characters and an exciting plotline that make Mirage a very enjoyable story that will keep you guessing, like me, to discover what the outcome will be."—Aggie Tsirikas, Just Erotic Romance Reviews
"4 Hearts!...A wonderful book that will thrill readers with the mystery and intrigue that abounds on every page. John is dangerous with a sensual personality and an alpha attitude. Kristy gives new meaning to the phrase 'stand by your man,' she is willing to believe the best in John and defend him to the end. The villain in this book is no surprise, but it still makes for interesting reading. Love scenes are so hot the pages almost burn; Denyse Bridger has done an excellent job of creating a plot that will keep readers glued to the pages."—Angel Brewer, The Romance Studio