Bound and DeterminedSexy Capers, Book 1
Wanted for kidnapping: a beauty with a penchant for trouble. May be armed and dangerously seductive…
Kerry Sullivan is running out of time-and patience. With her brother wrongfully accused of embezzling millions, she can’t face one more humiliating hang-up from the man she’s begging for help. Rafael Dawson may be one of the top electronic security experts in the country — and the only man who can prove her brother’s innocence — but his phone manners are appalling. Damn Yankee. Too bad kidnapping the man isn’t an option. Or is it?
There’s nothing Kerry wouldn’t do for her brother. There are lots of things she longs to do to Rafe Dawson when he’s lying tied-up and naked in her secret hideaway. Rafe is certainly something to look at, but Kerry’s brother’s life is riding on her pulling off the impossible: getting this man who’s always in control to lose it. But when the tables get turned, Kerry finds herself at Rafe’s mercy. And the only way to get her way is to let him have his way — with her…
It hadn’t escaped Rafe’s notice that Kerry with a K was one very sexy woman.
Or that she was a nervous one.
He sipped on a Black Irish, his drink of choice, grimacing with pleasure as the whiskey and Kahlua burned a sweet path down his throat. Very nice. Most limo services didn’t pay that kind of attention to detail. Then again, Standard National, after a recent security breach in which an employee had electronically embezzled nearly three million dollars, was worried enough to pay through the nose for his services to tighten things up.
Desperate enough to hire a limo, complete with his own personal “hostess.”
And since Rafe didn’t live in Mayberry, he was pretty sure he knew what “hostess” meant. Interesting for a bank, usually conservative to the core, to have sent such a woman…but who was he to look a gift horse in the mouth?
Except that fair-skinned, wide-eyed Kerry didn’t act like a woman who fucked for a paycheck.
So what the hell was she?
Generally, Rafe dated worldly women. A little conversation, maybe an evening at the theater, lots of experienced sex, then an air kiss or two goodbye. No scenes if he encountered them later by chance on the street. No tears, no regrets, no messy emotional shit.
Kerry wasn’t sophisticated. In her, he sensed an odd sort of innocence that went beyond the appearance of her pink-bowed mouth smeared with too-dark lipstick and the artless sunshine ringlets beginning to overtake her hairstyle. Hell, for someone who “entertained” men for a living, she’d certainly covered up a pair of hard, heart-stopping nipples faster than a preacher’s wife.
Getting naked with someone hired for the job had never appealed to him in the least.
Getting naked with Kerry…very appealing—as the hearty erection south of his belt buckle could prove.
Where did that leave him with Kerry? He pondered, swallowing more of his cold, tangy drink. Was she a sure thing? He couldn’t possibly have misread the situation, right? No one wore a fuck-me skirt with boots like that, along with a shirt so small it made a bikini top look like nun’s garb, if she wasn’t a sure thing.
It sounded logical, but that question niggled in his mind: Why was she so nervous?
Then again, why question the situation? This simple job with Standard National would finally put him over the five-million-dollar revenue mark. He’d worked two bartending jobs to afford college and damn near starved through his first year in business–all without the help of his father’s money—just to reach this milestone before his thirtieth birthday. And he’d make it with two weeks to spare. He’d be someone in his own right then, more successful than Benton Dawson III had ever been. Screw the past—and his old man.
The car door opened and Kerry slid into the backseat with him. She sat close—but definitely kept air between them. A tense silence ensued as the driver took his seat, started the car, and drove away. Sipping at his drink, Rafe studied Kerry. She couldn’t be a day over twenty-two, twenty-three tops. Why was she working as a glorified hooker? And her breathy, starlet-on-Valium voice? He shrugged. Maybe she thought it was sexy.
His thoughts scattered when she scooted closer and leaned in, providing a spectacular view straight down the front of that tiny red halter, which instantly confirmed two curiosities: Yes, her breasts were naturally large, and no, she wasn’t wearing a bra.
Rafe bit back an insane urge to tear the tiny scraps of her clothing away and persuade her to dance the horizontal mambo with him in the limo’s backseat. Now. His cock got even harder at the thought she might oblige him.
He closed his eyes. Where was his self-control? Normally, he didn’t take the Neanderthal approach—stupid and ineffective. But Kerry made him feel surprisingly primal.
Rafe searched his memory for the last time he’d had sex—and came up empty. Two, three, four weeks ago? Hell, he couldn’t remember. Not after being treated to a view of the best breasts he’d ever seen.
Wearing a wobbly smile, Kerry with a K tapped one of her fingers to his chest and began tracing a light, random pattern. Where did her teasing sugary vanilla scent come from? That alone made his mouth water. Coupled with her touch, his heart started chugging.
If she smelled that good, how fabulous would she taste?
Kerry stared, batting thick, dark lashes over huge green eyes. “We’re going to be busy tonight—lots to see and do. If you have someone to call, someone you should check in with, now is the time. We’ll be much too busy later.”
The words sounded sexy and ripe with promise. His cock certainly stood at even greater attention. But the look on her face did not say come hither. More like now what? When the privacy panel between the two of them and the driver slowly rose with an electronic buzz, her sweet-faced confusion turned to dread. She crossed her arms over her chest self-consciously.
Again, he wondered just who she was and what she was doing here. Kerry didn’t seem comfortable alone with him or with exposing her…assets. And was she asking if he was single? Would a real professional “hostess” care?
He blinked, feeling suddenly too tired to solve the riddle. Too little sleep and too little coffee were not a good recipe for a late night with a beautiful woman.
“Nope,” he answered. “No one to check in with. My mother died years ago and my friends don’t bother me when I work.”
“Great news—about the friends.” She smiled, showing a sweet pair of dimples. “I’m sorry to hear about your mother.”
Whoever sent Kerry his way must have read his fantasies. He was a sucker for blondes with dimples… Would she surrender herself completely? The question rolled around his mind the way candy rolls on the tongue. He’d give his right arm to be inside her in the next five minutes, but the reticence she was trying to hide made that doubtful, no matter her occupation. Instead, he sipped the last of his cocktail and fished around for another tactic.
His sluggish brain took a while to cooperate. “So Kerry, what’s a nice girl like you doing in a skirt like that?”
He tossed the question at her playfully. Her defensive stare took him aback.
“What do you mean?”
Rafe sighed. “You seem awfully nervous. I won’t bite…unless you want me to.”
She sent a stilted, dimpled smile his way but said nothing.
Damn it, his head was beginning to hurt. A nap before dinner would probably be a good idea.
“You don’t…entertain men regularly, do you?”
Those green eyes widened to big-screen proportions. “I–I…”
“First day on the job?” he guessed.
“Exactly.” She nodded vigorously, emerging curls bobbing.
Oddly, her answer pleased him. So she wasn’t a hooker and she was having second thoughts. Which was good. He didn’t like the idea of another man pawing her in the back of this limousine. For some reason, the image pissed him off.
Lord, he must be tired to be caught up in a woman he’d met all of fifteen minutes ago. What was wrong with him?
Still, his thoughts continued to spin in his oddly lethargic brain. Why had she felt compelled to take a job she obviously did not want? Was she in some sort of trouble?
“This job is more difficult than I thought. I—I’m sorry if you were expecting someone sexier.” Her apology broke into his contemplation, startling him.
Forcing himself to focus, he peered across the inches separating them. Kerry had bowed her head and apparently taken up hand-wringing as a new hobby.
Something—compassion, empathy?—stirred to life within him. He placed a gentle hand beneath her chin and lifted her gaze to his. Tears shimmered in her eyes, disturbing him.
“If you were any sexier, I couldn’t restrain myself. You already blow my mind.”
Kerry’s jaw dropped. She blinked once, twice. “Me?”
Rafe nodded—and noticed a lock of stray golden hair curling about her moist bottom lip. Slowly, he lifted his hand to brush the hair away. Kerry didn’t flinch, didn’t tense.
Was her silent acquiescence a green light to touch her more?
Fighting off a wave of exhaustion, he smiled and dragged his thumb along the edge of her full, red-painted lips. Damn, how would she taste? He was dying to know.
“Yes, you. Very sexy. If you don’t hear that often, the men in your life are stupid and should be beaten.”
That sweet pink flush crept into her cheeks again. She tried to reproach him with her stare, but that low-lashed gaze caressed more than punished him. A hint of a sexy smile played at her pretty mouth.
She was an amazing combination of angel and temptress. And he wanted her under him, legs splayed wide, in the worst way. But jet lag and an oddly fuzzy brain were beginning to spoil the moment. And damn, it was hot in here. Wincing, Rafe loosened his tie.
“I’m sure my brother has never considered whether or not I’m sexy.”
“Your boyfriend?” he prodded, stifling a yawn.
Why was he asking her this? The guy was likely a loser who simply couldn’t appreciate Kerry with a K the way he ought to. What kind of guy would let his woman “entertain” other men for a living?
Sleep. He needed sleep. That would restore his common sense.
“No boyfriend,” Kerry whispered.
Rafe grinned, despite his weariness. “That’s a shame.”
His teasing made her laugh, and her dimples came out to play once more. A bleary-eyed moment ruined it, and he knew he would need that nap before dinner whether he wanted it or not. He really should have eaten lunch during his layover in Baltimore…
Hell, why did he have to give out now?
No. He would not fold like a cheap tent—not without tasting her.
“Kiss me, Kerry,” he blurted, aghast to hear his words slurring.
Top Pick! “Innovative and exhilarating, Shayla Black continues to take erotic romance to dizzying new heights. A born storyteller, Black’s bold confidence and expert writing skill are quite evident in this edgy romantic suspense mixed with some witty humor to keep you on your toes.”
– Night Owl Reviews
Top Pick! “Shayla Black has outdone herself with this highly entertaining read. Falling in love should be so much fun!”
—RT Book Club
“A sinfully sexy hero, snatches of humor, intrigue, and sultry love scenes should be treasured for the gem it is.”
“BOUND AND DETERMINED is a flawless story that grips a reader from page one and doesn’t let up… Ms. Black's imaginative storylines and irresistible characters keep her readers coming back for more… Don’t miss it!”
—Road to Romance
“BOUND AND DETERMINED had me laughing out loud one minute and reaching for a glass of ice water the next… a definite Perfect 10.”
—Romance Reviews Today
“This fast paced romantic adventure will take you on the hottest ride of your life.”
— Coffee Time Romance Reviews
“You simply won’t want to put BOUND AND DETERMINED down once you turn over the first page. Ms. Black simply shines… A fabulous book I’m not likely to forget in a hurry.”
— Just Erotic Romance Reviews
“BOUND AND DETERMINED is steamier than a Florida night, with characters who will keep you laughing and have you panting for more!”
—Susan Johnson, New York Times bestselling author
“Plenty of chick-lit wit… In BOUND AND DETERMINED, much sexy fun is had by all.”
—Angela Knight, New York Times bestselling author
“A searing, frolicking adventure of suspense, love and passion…A must read!”
— Lora Leigh, #1 New York Times bestselling author