Publication date: November 9th 2022
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
In the rough and tumble world of New York City, these men don’t mind getting down and dirty—in business or each other.
It isn’t every day a gorgeous stranger shows up in my bedroom wearing not much more than an arrogant smile. When I discover he’s a high-priced escort and a surprise birthday present from my sister…now she’s gone too far.
Except I haven’t been able to stop kissing him long enough to tell him to leave.
No one has to know he’s spent the night. And when we’re done, he’s gone and out the door. Never to be seen again.
Well, not exactly.
Because for some crazy reason, I can’t quite forget Archer Strong.
It’s a job like all the others. Another evening of million-dollar seduction and fake desire that’s made me the most exclusive escort in New York City.
But after one kiss from billionaire real-estate mogul Madden Steele, I’m not pretending anything.
And when he wants to see me a second time, I break my rule of one and done.
Because just one night with Madden isn’t enough. I want to see him again.
Now he’s asking for something more. Something that could solve all my problems, and his. But it’s something I can’t give him.
Or can I?
With an enemy from inside Madden’s family scheming to take control of his company and destroy me, we’re in for a fight. Holding on to each other might be the biggest risk of our lives, but it’s the only way to reap the greatest reward—love.
From Lambda Literary Award-winning author Felice Stevens comes a passionate story of two men fighting the demons of their past and unexpected desire for each other. Expect steamy encounters, backstabbing relatives, lots of cuddling and junk food in bed.
I slid my hand to his nape, grasping him hard and bringing him flush with me. “Let’s go to bed.”
Wide-eyed yet still possessing that air of arrogance that was a fucking turn-on, Madden shook his head. “I don’t think so.”
He walked out of the bedroom, leaving me in the unusual position of feeling frustrated. Frowning, I slipped on my briefs and pants, and set off to track him down. The apartment was huge, at least five thousand square feet, and with a killer view. It made sense—if you had more money than God, you’d live in the closest thing to heaven.
I saw him on the balcony, standing by the railing, and went to him. “It’s beautiful here. How old is this building?”
He inched away from me. “About ten years. But this space wasn’t renovated until two years ago.”
I’d read that his father died a couple of years earlier, so maybe that had something to do with the timing. What I didn’t know was why I bothered to ask him that, or anything else personal. It went against everything I stood for in my business: nothing personal, and certainly no in-depth questions about life. Kissing a client was a rarity, and yet I couldn’t stop staring at his mouth. I wanted to plunge my tongue past those soft lips and battle with his. Feel his hot breath stutter in my ear.
Jesus, get a grip. He’s no different from any other client.
“Well, it’s beautiful. Shall we go inside?” I slid behind him and pressed my mouth to the pulse pounding at his throat. “Unless you want people to watch us.”
He twisted away from me. “Look. My sister is crazy. This whole idea is. I’m fine as is. I’ll pay you whatever you were going to charge her, and you can leave. What do you want, a check or direct deposit to your account?”
Madden pulled away and strode inside, leaving me to scramble after him. Dammit. I should say screw it and leave. I had my money already, so there was nothing to lose.
Except knowing what it was like to fuck Madden Steele.
I swiftly left the ballroom and saw Madden entering the bathroom. Pretending I was on a call, I leaned against the wall and waited.
Madden stepped out the door and paled when he saw me. “What’re you doing here? Are you following me?”
“Don’t flatter yourself. Christine’s husband was ill, so she asked me to step in for him.” I crossed my arms, deliberately slowing my heated gaze over him. “You’re looking well.”
“Excuse me. I have to return to the party.”
“Come on, Madden. Don’t pretend you’re not the least bit happy to see me.” I caught his arm as he pushed past me. “Why did you really text me the other night?”
“It was a mistake.”
A quick glance around the hallway showed we were the only ones there, so I took advantage of it by opening a door marked Linens and pulling him inside with me. “I don’t believe that.” I cornered him against the door.
“What the fuck are you doing?” he spat at me. “Get off me.”
“You wanted to see me again, didn’t you?”
His hot breath hit my cheek. “No. I didn’t.”
“Yes. You did. But you can’t bring yourself to ask me.” My eyes bore into his. “You don’t want to want me. But you do.”
“How do you fit through the door with that overinflated head of yours?” He shoved me, but I remained steadfast. “I told you it was a mistake.”
“Madden Steele doesn’t make mistakes. Not from what I’ve seen.” I desperately wanted to kiss him, so I leaned in close. “I won’t tell anyone. It’ll be just one night. Tonight. You and me.” Our breaths mingled. “After the party. No one will ever have to know.” My mouth settled over his, absorbing his heat. As before, I lost myself in the incongruity of this hard man’s soft, sweet kiss. His tongue parried and teased with mine as we grew frantic and desperate. What was it about him that made me lose the control I so prided myself on? Breathing heavily, I reluctantly loosened my grip on him.
“I-I…” He touched his reddened lips, swaying slightly, those moonlight gray eyes glazed and hazy with lust. I had zero qualms about pushing him past the point of no return, so I cupped his groin, tracing the thick bulge behind his zipper. The strangled sound that escaped those lips was one I’d hear in the dark of night for a long time.
“Say it, Madden. We’ll leave separately, and I’ll meet you at your apartment.”
“I have to get back to the party. They’re going to be looking for me. I have a speech to make for Chelsea.”
Disappointment filled me, but I shrugged. “I won’t keep you, then.”
I stepped away, and without another word, he opened the door and walked out. Waiting a minute, I left the room and entered the bathroom to check my appearance. The last thing I needed was Christine suspecting something. The woman was relentless and could sniff out a scandal, especially one involving sex. I straightened my bow tie and noticed with some relief that the flush of desire had receded from my cheeks.
When my phone buzzed, I sighed, knowing she was probably wondering where the hell I was.
Hello. What do we have here?
My smile grew wide as I read the message.
I’ll be home by 2 a.m. You can come if you want.
Grinning, I slipped the phone into my pocket and washed my hands. I’ll be there, Madden, and I won’t be the only one coming.
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Felice Stevens has always been a romantic at heart. She believes that while life is tough, there is always a happy ending around the corner. Her characters have to work for it, because just like life in NYC, nothing comes easy and that includes love.
Felice is the 2020 Lambda Literary Award winning author in best Gay Romance. She lives in New York City and has way too much black in her wardrobe. If she’s not writing, you’ll probably find her watching reality TV or procrastinating on FB in her reader group, Felice’s Breakfast Club.