Join us for the Insatiable Reads Summer 2013 Tour
We're kicking off with Delilah Fawkes and her latest book
Tied To Him
the third book from The Billionaire's Beck and Call series
From the blurb:
Jackson Pierce is a man with a secret...
Becoming Governor isn't in the cards for billionaire and former D.A. Jackson Pierce unless he can squelch the unsavory rumors flying around. He's not ashamed of his bad boy past being a dominant at a BDSM club, but he knows the revelation could ruin his political career before it even begins. He's skeptical of his campaign advisor's idea--find a do-gooder wife to give him a more respectable image--until he meets Rose Turner, a former foster kid working in a local community center. Compassionate, feisty and passionate about helping troubled youth, she's perfect for his needs. But as they get to know one another, his feelings for her grow all too real. Rose Turner can't take another heartbreak, not after being abandoned by everyone she ever loved. When she accepts Jackson's proposal, she vows to keep her distance, but the more she gets to know him, the more she wants to let him in. But trust doesn't come easy--if he wants it, he'll have to earn it. As the two draw closer, threats roll in: if Jackson doesn't flip on education reform, a blackmailer will expose the fake marriage, ruining his career and tarnishing Rose's reputation. But if he gives in, funding for the community center will be cut, and Rose's kids will lose it all. With everything on the line, he must make an impossible decision as the clock runs down. What's a man of principle to do when everything he believes in falls apart?
There it is. Pride in what she does. She knows she’s good.
“These kids will eat anything,” she said. “They’re teenagers.”
“Yeah, but kids are picky. They might eat it because they have to, but from the looks on their faces tonight, your food is something special. You go all out.”
She did smile, then, a softness coming over her, making her look delicate and feminine, despite the firm muscles I could see on her arms and the tall, fit build of her body. She was used to working hard, and it showed.
Beautiful, I thought. She really is different than other women I’ve met. There’s something about her I can’t quite put my finger on…
“Like I said earlier, I get to experiment on them is all. I find a new recipe, or I throw some stuff together at home, and I want to share it. They get enough of the regular cafeteria stuff like sandwiches and chicken nuggets, so I figure why not, right? Like Paul Prudhomme said, ‘You don’t need a silver fork to eat good food.’ Oh…”
She stopped short, looking at me with wide eyes.
“I didn’t mean-“
“It’s okay,” I said. I laughed at the look on her face. “I don’t think being a billionaire is a protected class. Besides, I’m not offended in the least.”
She looked down at her sneakers and let out a nervous laugh, then yanked her bandana down around her neck and ran her fingers roughly through her hair.
“I’m always putting my foot in my mouth. Honestly… I’ve never been around… someone like you before.”
She looked up at me, her short hair wild and rough, and chewed her lip in a way that made my [...] stir in my pants.
Whoa, there… Where did that come from?
“You make me nervous,” she said.
I cleared my throat and tugged my apron strings a little looser.
“Just because I’m running for office doesn’t mean I’m not a regular guy.”
She crossed her arms and smirked at me now, one hip thrust sideways in a way that displayed exactly what she thought of that statement.
“Mm hmm. You’re just a regular ol’ billionaire who just happened to have a star career as a D.A. and are now trying to run my state. No biggie, right? Just one of the guys.”
“Exactly,” I said.
I chuckled at the look on her face. She was something else, indeed.
“Seriously, though, Rose… I know you can cook, and I see how much you love helping here, but how do you afford it? Is that rude to ask?”
She straightened up and stared at me, her jaw clenching for the space of a heartbeat.
“I have a job. This place is important, so I make it happen, okay? I’m good… We’re good.”
I licked my bottom lip, and noticed her eyes flick down to my mouth, then back up again, meeting my gaze.
“I’m not saying you’re not making it happen. I’m just wondering… Would you be interested in another job? A much, much, better paying one than your current employment?”
“How do you know it’s better paying? You don’t even know what I do.”
She was getting angry, and I could tell she was starting to view me as an outsider again. An intruder in her world. I had to talk fast, or I wouldn’t have a chance to convince her of what I needed.
“How does five million dollars for a year of work sound?”
She raised a finger, her mouth already forming an argument, when she froze, mid-motion. Her eyes widened until I thought they might fall out, and her mouth worked, as if trying to speak, but her brain wouldn’t provide the words.
It would have been funny, if my political career didn’t hinge on this one moment. This one woman.
“A problem just popped up for me,” I said, “and I need your help to make it go away. I probably should have asked this first, but, are you currently seeing anyone?”
That seemed to snap her out of it.
She reeled back until her butt hit the counter behind her, her eyebrow raising incredulously.
“Well, the job would be highly unusual, and I’d need you to keep things absolutely confidential during the year you work for me. I also can’t have you seeing anyone, or you won’t be right for this position.”
“Rose, I can’t tell you more details until I know you’re interested. I can’t disclose my problem to just anyone. I need you to sign a confidentiality agreement before I can tell you about what you’d be doing if you accept my job offer.”
“But… did you say million?”
“Five million dollars. For one year working for me. It can all be yours, Rose, along with an unrestricted spending allowance during that year, lodging, health care—the whole enchilada. I will take excellent care of you.”
I moved closer, and she didn’t flinch away. I put my hands on her shoulders. This close, I could smell the soft scent of her shampoo, something fruity and sensual.
“If you take this job, Rose,” I said, “You can do anything you’d like for the rest of you life with the right financial planning. You can make feeding these kids a full time job and live off the interest.”
She looked up into my eyes, her breathing shallow, and I could see her trying to take this all in. What must this be like for her? A stranger offering her more money than she could ever make in a hundred years at a high-paying management job.
It was funny to think that an amount like this could simultaneously be so huge and so small, depending on who you are. I spent five million on a vacation home in Bora Bora smaller than the east wing of my estate here. I realized now I’ve only been there once.
I’d almost forgotten I owned it.
“What do you say? Are you willing to hear more?”
She opened her mouth, then closed it again, squeezing her eyes shut like she was harnessing her chi. She finally opened them and nodded.
“Excellent! I can have the confidentiality agreement drawn up immediately. Are you available tomorrow evening to meet?”
She nodded again, and a small squeak left her lips. I smiled and ran my hands over her shoulders.
“Good. Let me have your address, and I’ll send a car for you at 7:00 p.m. We can discuss business over dinner.”
I handed her my cell phone and she plugged in her information with trembling hands.
“Thank you,” I said. “I appreciate you hearing me out.”
I walked toward the back door, when I heard her release the breath she’d been holding.
I turned back. She had her hand on her hip again, her chin held high.
I grinned and put my hand on the door handle.
“Because you’re perfect.”
About the author:
The Billionaire's Beck and Call, Book One
Bound to Him: The Billionaire's Beck and Call, Book Two
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All materials for this post provided by Delilah Fawkes/Insatiable Reads Tour.
All materials for this post provided by Delilah Fawkes/Insatiable Reads Tour.