Jeff is supposed to retool sexy Sheldon's wild-child image (thereby earning his PR superstud merit badge). Only, he knows from media makeovers that he's a "recovering player," and should be cleaning up his own reputation.
But all his extra-naughty urges come roaring back the second Sheldon sets a stilettoed foot outside her limo door. She's headstrong, hard-bodied and seems determined to show him who's on top!
About the Author
Kathleen wrote her first romance at the age of 11, which to her undying embarrassment, was read aloud to her class. After taking over 20 years to recover from the profound distress, she is now proud to announce her new careerromance author.
Kathleen lives in Austin, Texas with her husband and their two children, who outwit her daily. She loves to hear from readers.
Read an Excerpt
JEFF BROOKS STOOD in his kitchen, furiously chopping green peppers, trying to expend some of the sexual frus-tration that currently had his shorts tied up in knots. Making breakfast was infinitely preferable than fanta-sizing about the woman happily snoozing in his bed.
Sheldon Summerville. Party girl. Socialite. Profes-sional shopper. She was off-limits, with a capital O, little f, little f. O-f-f. F-f-o. He recited the jingle in his head, while thinking about her father, who, three months ago, had hired Jeff's firm to "redeem" her image. As if such a miracle could be performed by a mere mortal without the use of a padlocked chastity belt. Anything termined to share with the world.
He selected an onion and began to hack, his eyes burning from the juices. Today he welcomed the discom-fort. Sheldon Summerville left him frustrated profes-sionally, sexually and mentally. He'd never met someone so determined to ignore what the world thought, espe-cially her father, Wayne Summerville, the head of Sum-merville Consumer Products. They were the number two consumer product conglomerate in the world, proud maker of Toothbrite toothpaste, among other things.
Sheldon's party-girl reputation didn't sit well with Wayne's stockholders. Apparently, people with whiter teeth and fresh breath could be real frumps. However, even Jeff thought she went to extremes, and he was no monk himself.
The bigger mystery was why? No matter how long Jeff racked his brain, he couldn't figure Sheldon out, and she provided no hints. Always smiling in that vacant and clueless manner, which had ceased to fool him by Day Three. To make matters worse, she had no qualms about making lewd, yet majorly imaginative propositionsespecially to him. He looked down at the mess he'd made of the onion and tossed the thing in the trash. Maybe shallots would be better.
Imaginative propositions he wanted to ignore. Propo-sitions he should ignore. Okay, propositions that he didn't want to ignore, .
Last night had been a stupid idea, but every night with Sheldon was a stupid idea. She had conveniently left him a message that she was going to the notorious club, Crobar. Jeff, knowing her message was code for multiple doses of alcohol, had shown up at ten, hoping to play re-sponsible chaperone. At ten-oh-nine, he'd pulled her off the bartender, at ten-thirteen, he'd pulled her off the New York Ranger's goalie, and when he caught her kissing the bouncer, he knew it was past time for her to go home.
They'd argued until the cops came, threatening to arrest her, which would be exactly what she wanted. So Jeff had poured her into a taxi and taken her home. With him. It seemed like a good idea at the time. It had still seemed like a good idea six hours later when he woke up on his couch. In fact, it had seemed like such a great denouement, that he had congratulated himself on finally lassoing her into some sort of obedient servitude.
Everything had been fine until he opened the door to his bedroom, and saw her curled up, one hand cupped under her cheek like a child, sheets tangled between bare legs that were anything but childlike. Instantly his
Jeff wasn't a self-disciplined man, had never worried about consequences, but this, The quiet little devil on his shoulder began whispering in his ear, telling him to go wake up her up in the best possible way. She wouldn't mind.Ah, there's the rub. She wouldn't mind. She would welcome him with arms wide open, those sea-blue eyes promising so many things. Glorious, wondrous things,
Thump. Thump. Thump. He whacked the shallots with his cleaver. Hard. Right now he needed to destroy something, and vegetables would be the victim of choice.
SLOWLY SHELDON SUMMERVILLE ROUSED herself from the fog of sleep into the fog that most people called life. She could smell him on the pillow, and she smiled, clutching it tighter to her. A persistent thump-thump echoed in the apartment, possibly the beating of her heart. Sunshine poured in through the window, and she Sated? touching, no kissing, nothing remotely sate-like last night. She merely slept in his bed. By herself.
So if he wasn't in his bed, where was he?
Sheldon threw back the covers, looked around, and then rubbed the sleep from her eyes. The mysterious thump-thump was consistent, and now that she knew it wasn't someone's heart, the sound was annoying.
Silently, she padded into the kitchen and watched him as he chopped, chef's knife in hand. Thump. Thump. Thump. First the green peppers, then back to the red ones. He didn't notice that she was standing, staring, ogling.
It was criminal that Jeff Brooks could be so tasty, so buff, yet still work in the stab-you-in-the-back-world of PR.
What was criminal was how badly she wanted him. She pulled at her tank top and leaned back against the wall, adopting her patented vacant, though sexy stare. As soon as he felt the weight of her stare, he looked up, took a long eye-drinking of her skin, cocked one brow, and then went back to chopping peppers.
"Can you put some clothes on?"
Even his voice was sexy. Deep and rough, with that scuffed up mark of New York City, which he couldn't hide no matter how hard he tried. He was tall and lean, with strong legs emerging from the loose boxers that did more framing than concealing.
She soaked up the sight of him, her nipples harden-ing under the thin material, and without cold air, artifi-cial device, and or a drenching of water.
Did he notice? No. He was happily making break-fast as if she didn't affect him at all.
Her mouth opened, so tempted to lash out at him, but it would ruin her image. Lashing out implied, passion, emotion, feeling. Instead, she leaned one hip against the edge of the granite counter, and let the full cascade of her platinum-blond hair fall over one well-formed breast.
From the time she was a kid, everything had been done for her. All her whims had been granted, all her wants fulfilled. When you were the porcelain doll in the glass case, there was no reason for ambition or dreams.
You would think someone with her life would be happy and at peace, and if she were normal, that would probably have been the case. But there was something wrong with Sheldon, some piece of her wiring that never connected because she only felt empty. A tinman without a heart, a scarecrow without a brain and a lion without courage all rolled into one.
The only tangible assets that belonged to Sheldon dead men moan. Hall of Famers is what the tabloids termed her cleavage and Sheldon had learned to use it whenever necessary.
Like now. "You're complaining?" she drawled.
His strong, capable hands never stopped their me-chanical chopping motion. For weeks, she'd had dreams of those hands on her. Steamy, vivid dreams that didn't disappear when she'd woken up.
"Not complaining, just trying to be helpful." He smiled at her, a toothy, advertising-type smile, possibly attributed to Toothbrite toothpaste. She suspected that he knew she hated itboth the toothpaste and the smilewhich was why he did it.
"Is there something I can do?" she purred, her eyes gleaming when his hand stopped for a second.
He waved her off and continued working. "Hungover this morning?"
She pulled her hair into a ponytail, her chest lifting with the movement.
His gaze drifted down.
Her lips curved upward. "Are you ever closed for business?" he asked.
Her eyes, normally vacuous and sultry, looked down meekly so that he wouldn't see the rage. Rage implied a depth that she didn't want to possess.
She backed away from the kitchen, the knife, and the man with the strong, capable hands, and padded bare-foot across the room.
"I think I'll take a shower," she stated, slipping the tank over her head. It was a picture designed to freeze a man's brain, but he wasn't even watching. She was furious at herself for such an obvious act of desperation, but not so furious that she didn't slide the signature red panties down over her long, tanned legs as well.
"You don't mind do you?" she asked louder than necessary, her heart rapping inside her. He did this to her, reduced all her self-confidence to shreds.
Finally, his dark gaze lit over her, and she felt each and every white-hot touch. This time he didn't smile, only lowered his head and continued the whap-whap-whap against the cutting board.
She left her clothes in a messy heap in the middle of the floor, and retreated to the loneliness of his shower. She turned on the warm spray and let it wash over her lover with knowing, capable hands. She shouldn't have been alone. He should be there, too.
Men didn't ignore herever. Especially men like Jeff. He was no extraordinary example of humanity. He devilish eyes weren't supposed to be steely strong.
He should be weak.
Men in the media business never had scruples. She was sure of it.
Life truly wasn't fair.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Sheldon Summerville, the wealthy ¿Toothbrite King¿s¿ daughter, feels worthless. She believes she is a disappointment to her parents, unlike her med student sister. Sheldon is afraid to let anyone see what she is really like, so she puts on a simpleton/party girl act, performing or seeming to perform scandalous acts in public, which appear in the newspaper to her parents¿ dismay. Finally, in an attempt to show that she can contribute something to her family, she agrees to become engaged to Josh of Con-Mason, USA. The marriage in reality would be a merger. Jeff Brooks, the younger brother of a highly successful Wall Street Exec, is working for a public relations firm, happily just getting by, or so he lets on to everyone else. His brother has supported him most of his life, but he wants to make it on his own. Then he is assigned to makeover Sheldon¿s image. While he is trying to improve her image, he is fighting the attraction he feels for her. He is the only one who can see through her act to the real person underneath. Sheldon botches up every PR opportunity Jeff sets up for her. She is attracted to him, but she can¿t get him to let down his guard. Jeff finally lets loose after a Fourth of July party in the Hamptons. He and Sheldon share an intimate evening, which ends disastrously. To make matters worse, Jeff¿s younger sister, Mercedes, shares the tale of their encounter in her online sex blog, The Red Choo Diaries. This is a funny, passionate story about two people, who have a lot in common. They both refuse to let the world see them as they really are. As they get to know each other, they discover themselves. The sexual tension is highly charged throughout the story. I could not put the book down. I am looking forward to the next installment of The Red Choo Diaries. I loved the first book in this series and I feel the same way about this one. The witty dialogue, fast paced action and the situations they find themselves in will keep you reading. If you like your storylines steamy, this one is for you. You may also want to read the first book in The Red Choo Diaries series, ¿Beyond Breathless.¿
Corporate America is not for the faint of heart. It's a tough no nonsense business, where money trumps all else. Jeff Brooks has been told that by Andrew, his hugely successful hedge fund manager of a brother, before. Jeff may not be a billionaire like his older brother, but he is earning his own way. In fact, when it comes to the public relations business, Jeff is the ultimate miracle worker. He is the best PR man at Columbia-Starr Communications. That is why Jeff is chosen to handle the Wayne Summerville account. Jeff is to help Wayne transform his wild daughter's image. This is the BIG time! Wayne Summerville is the head of Summerville Consumer Products, the Number Two consumer product conglomerate in the world. In just a few more weeks, Summerville CP will sign all the papers to merge with Con-Mason USA. Then Wayne's daughter, Sheldon, will become engaged to the Con-Mason heir, Joshua Mason. Oh yeah, this is the big time. This would make Jeff's career! All Jeff has to do is keep his hands to himself. ====== Sheldon Summerville is a party girl, socialite, and professional shopper. She is blessed with a face and body that no man can resist. The tabloids continuously print Sheldon's latest wild and scandalous actions. To the world, she seems to be the ultimate empty-headed blonde of jokes. She shares her body with someone new every night. And Sheldon wants people to keep on thinking that the image is her true self. No one has ever gotten close enough to see through her simpleton act, until Jeff Brooks. Mister PR Man has a five step plan to reform her public image, but Sheldon wants nothing to do with it. All Sheldon wants is to push Jeff's hot button and see if she can seduce him into her bed. So far he is resisting, barely. However, the more time Sheldon spends with Jeff, the more in love she falls. ==== ***** Those who read Andrew's story in BEYOND BREATHLESS, get to see how he and Jamie are doing. Even though Andrew is a secondary character this time around, his romance with Jamie goes a little further. You will have to read to understand what I mean though. In my personal opinion, Jeff and Sheldon's story is even better than Andrew's. Saying it's 'H-O-T' is putting it in an extremely mild way. As I have said before, Harlequin does not call this book line BLAZE for nothing! (So if you do not enjoy peeking in and seeing the realistic things that happen between two lovers when they let themselves go, then do not bother picking up any book in the BLAZE line.) And of all the BLAZE novels I have read, author Kathleen O'Reilly is one of my favorite writers! Kathleen's husband must walk around with a big smile on his face all the time, because this author has an outstanding and passionate imagination. Very recommended reading here. *****