With her phone pressed to her ear, Tiffany Winters ducked out of the rain and into the Kiss, an eclectic Manhattan bar, to return calls and take care of a mountain of text messages that had piled up during her dinner meeting. She listened to her client’s wife explain why she didn’t want her husband traveling too often to endorse a hotel chain Tiffany was planning on pitching to him next week. Her client had already nixed any mention of his family in the advertisements, and reducing his travel would make it an even harder sell.
“I hear your concern, Allison,” she said as she sat on a barstool. “If you and Matt decide this isn’t the right thing for your family, we’ll turn our efforts in another direction.” As a sports agent, dealing with significant others was part of the job, a part Tiffany enjoyed and other agents rued. Sure, some wives assumed their husband’s success granted them the power to be overly demanding. Ass kissing was part of the game. Sometimes she wished she could give the meeker wives lessons in how to be tough. Teach them to have balls as big as their husbands’ and come right out and say what they meant instead of beating around the bush with bullshit hypotheticals. She reminded herself often that not every woman grew up in a testosterone-laden house with two competitive older brothers and a father who won the Heisman in college and went on to play pro sports—a house where mincing words didn’t cut the mustard.
“You missed the wedding.”
The deep male voice drew Tiffany’s attention from her phone call to the fine specimen of a man standing behind the bar. He looked like he’d just stepped off a Hot Guys in Suits Pinterest page. His tie hung loosely around the collar of his white dress shirt, which was open three buttons deep, revealing a smattering of dark chest hair, a rarity nowadays, when so many men manscaped every inch of their bodies. Tiffany preferred a man to look like a man, which included hair in all the right places. His sleeves were rolled up to his elbows, exposing heavily corded forearms, and his jacket hung casually from two fingers over his left shoulder. Her fingers itched to send the last few buttons—and that jacket—flying to the floor. The guy’s chiseled jaw and dark eyes were movie-star classic, and his dark hair was thick enough to hang on to. She’d had a long, hard day, and he looked like he could provide a long, hard, pleasure-filled night.
Holding his gaze, she spoke into the phone as he laid his jacket across the bar, giving her the impression he wasn’t the bartender, but rather a guest who’d happened to wander back there. “Allison, I’ll see what else I can come up with and get back to you. Right. Okay, hon. Thank you.” After ending the call, she responded to the stud behind the bar. “Wedding? Who gets married at a bar?”
“My brother, for one.” He nodded across the room to a group of men and women who were holding their glasses up in a toast.
She zeroed in on one she recognized as her tall, dark colleague. “Mick Bad is married?” The high-powered attorney was a workaholic like her, and he’d been unattached two months earlier, when they’d worked together on a deal for one of her clients. She’d never understand couples who claimed to fall in love practically overnight. Love was a crutch for weak people who needed someone else to lean on. Except Mick Bad had never needed anyone to lean on. She wondered if his new bride was pregnant.
“The one and only.” Hot guy’s eyes took a long, luxurious stroll down her body, lingered on her breasts, then roamed north, hovering around her mouth, before finally meeting her gaze. He flashed a wolfish grin full of sinful promises.
“Dylan Bad at your service.”
Pushing thoughts of her newly married colleague’s expedient nuptials aside, she focused on his very available brother. A definite player, which was fine with her. She had no time—or interest—in anything but a quick hookup, and the six-two or -three stud had already shot to the top of tonight’s fantasy list.
“What’s your pleasure?” he asked with more than a hint of innuendo.
You. Naked, with your head buried between my legs, to start.
“Surprise me.” She watched him turn to prepare her drink and checked out the way his dark slacks hugged his perfect ass. It had been a long time since she’d found a man this attractive. But Mick Bad’s brother? That spelled trouble.
Bar owner Dylan Bad is ready to settle down, and on the night of his older brother’s wedding he believes he might have finally met the one. The only problem? Tiffany Winters is already married–to her job as a very successful sports agent. She’s been burned by love before, and anyway, she’s much too busy for anything more time consuming than a one night stand.
Okay, maybe two nights. She’s only human–and he’s Dylan.
It was entertaining watching Dylan do all he could to win Tiffany over–and she made him work for it, not being a flowers and chocolates kind of girl. He never gave up, though, and that was a huge check mark in his favor.
Tiffany had a lot of issues to work through, not only with her fear of relationships but also her need to have total control over every aspect of her business. When she meets Dylan, she’s available to her clients 24/7, and even her vacationing assistant is texting her about business from the beach, with neither of them thinking anything of it. Tiffany spends much of the first few weeks of their relationship waiting for Dylan to be tired of her giving so much of herself to her career and ending things…which (spoiler alert) isn’t going to happen, because romance.
Honestly, though, the whole is-Dylan-going-to-get-tired-of-her-job question is the biggest conflict in the story, and it really doesn’t feel like it’s enough. Tiffany’s really the only person who thinks it’s going to be a problem–the reader isn’t concerned about it, even for a second, because we see things from his POV and we know better. As a result, this is a sweet and steamy story with likable characters, but without a whole lot of dramatic umph.
Rating: 3 1/2 stars / C+
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
Melissa Foster is a New YorkTimes & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance, new adult romance, and women’s fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Melissa’s emotional journeys are lovingly erotic, perfect beach reads, and always family oriented.