His To Keep
Publication date: August 19th 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
From Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestseller Vivian Wood
Nothing this fake should feel so good.
CEO Connor Cavanaugh is a man in charge. He dominates in meeting rooms and at the gym, and his sinfully sexy body is proof. His upcoming wedding is supposed to seal the deal, putting his company in the spotlight and making it rain.
That all goes down in flames when he walks in on his bride-to-be with another man.
No one can know that a woman tried to make a fool of Connor Cavanaugh.
Cancelling the wedding is the only option… until he spots a gorgeous brunette at the wedding planner’s office. Samantha. The perfect fake fiancée.
She has a body that makes him want to walk her over the threshold, but she’s sweet. Harmless. She’ll suit the position perfectly.
The only problem? Samantha has a wicked smile that keeps him up at night. Every day, she’s more tempting than the last.
He swore he wouldn’t f*ck around with his fake fiancée. He signed a contract. He paid. But the more he sees, the more he wants… too bad Sam has plans of her own.
He took her empty hand and began to forge a path through the crowd. Huddled at the end of the bar was his small, but usual crew. His three buds from high school, two of them with their short-term girlfriends. Connor couldn’t be bothered to learn their names, they moved through them so quickly.
“Hey, guys,” he shouted over the music. “This is Sam. My girlfriend.”
One of his friends didn’t even bother to stop his mouth from dropping open. “Girlfriend? But didn’t you just—”
“Didn’t I just what?” he asked quickly.
“Nothing, man. Hey, Sam. I’m Chase, and this is Jay and Dan. We’ve known Connor forever, so feel free to ask us for any embarrassing stories about him. And this is my girlfriend, Anna, and Eve over there.”
“Hi,” Sam said smoothly to each of them. She worked her usual magic with ease. Connor was aware of the girls as they sized her up, on edge because of the clear competition. However, Sam had a way of putting snark to bed and lavished compliments on them.
“I have to say,” Chase said. “You’re, uh, not what I expected.”
“No? What did you expect?” she asked.
Chase downed the last of his drink. “To be honest, Connor’s type is usually blonde and dumb as a brick.”
“Chase!” his girlfriend said, and smacked him on the chest.
“What! It’s a compliment,” he said. “I mean, I don’t know you, Sam, but I can tell you’re a smart girl.”
“Since when is my type dumb and blonde?” Connor asked, honestly confused. Sandra hadn’t been blonde. Was that really what his friends thought of him? He knew Chase could be an ass at times, but he was also brutally honest when he was drunk. And he was plenty drunk now.
“Uh, since THOT was all up on your junk,” Chase said. He pointed to the girl who hanged off the male model. “Don’t worry,” he said to Sam. “Connor walked right away from that trainwreck.”
“He can dance with whomever he wants to,” Sam said with a smile. “It’s who he comes home to that I care about.”
Amidst whoops and hollers, Connor put an arm around her, and felt her stiffen. “You got yourself a good one for once,” Jay said.
“Yeah,” Eve slurred. “You should kiss her!”
Somehow, the little group rallied their thoughts enough to start a chant of, “Kiss her!” over and over. “C’mon, man, we’re doing you a favor,” Dan said.
Unable to think of a way out of it, Connor leaned down to meet Sam’s lips. Why not? She should be expecting this anyway. It’s not like I’m asking her to sleep with me.
He meant it to just be a peck, but as soon as their lips met he couldn’t pull away. Her lips, though he knew they’d be soft and supple, were also magnetic. She tasted like just the faintest trace of scotch and her own sweet, natural self. Sam responded, and parted her lips.
She turned to face him, and he slid his hand from her shoulder to the back of her head. He traced her jaw with his thumb and pressed himself against her. He felt one of her hands on his back, and her breasts squeezed against him. Connor couldn’t help it. He grew hard against her stomach.
Sam pulled back, startled and wide-eyed. His friends hollered some more, but simultaneously turned back to the bar as they realized their drinks needed refreshing.
“Sam!” The redhead, Ellie, was suddenly by their side. “We couldn’t find you. We looked and—who’s this?” she asked, and turned to Connor. Her big doe eyes searched his.
“Um, this is Connor,” she said. Sam dabbed at her lips. “My, uh, my boyfriend.”
“Your boyfriend?” Ellie asked. “Then who the hell was the guy you came—”
“Just a friend,” Sam said.
“He didn’t act like just a friend,” Ellie said suspiciously as Henry approached from behind.
“He’s gay,” Sam said.
“Oh. Well, nice to meet you, Connor,” she said. “This is my boyfriend, Henry.”
“I’ve heard a lot about you,” Connor said to him. It was rare to meet a man in civilian life that matched his height and brawn.
“We haven’t heard a thing about you,” Ellie said. He saw Henry nudge her.
“Sam likes her privacy,” Connor said.
“Thanks for the tip. I’ve only known her for five years,” Ellie said.
“As fun as this is,” Sam interrupted, “I think I’m about to head out. I have a massive headache.”
“Justin Bieber will do that to you,” Henry said, clearly happy for the excuse to leave. “Ready?” he asked Ellie. Ellie looked out to the crowd with a pout.
“I guess. If my boyfriend and best friend are leaving, it would be pretty awkward for me to stay.”
Sam gave Connor a look, said her goodbyes to his friends, and left with Ellie and Henry in tow.
“Damn, Connor, how’d you pull that?” Chase asked as soon as she was out of earshot.
“What, you think she’s out of my league?” Connor asked. He took another sip of his scotch.
“Uh, yeah,” Chase said as Anna rolled her eyes.
“She seems nice, Connor,” Anna said. “Good for you.”
“So are you hitting that, like, on the regular?” Dan asked.
“Oh my God! Could you be any hornier?” Eve asked. “Do you want, like, a play by play or something?”
“More like a blow by blow, if he can be bothered. Everyone here is getting laid besides me. Cut me a little slack!”
Connor remained quiet as his friends continued to talk about how much they liked Sam. “So, hey,” Anna said as she slipped between him and Chase. “What was up with you on the dance floor with that girl, then? I mean, I’m guessing you and Sam are a new thing, but still—”
“Why don’t you worry about your own relationship?” he asked and nodded toward Chase.
“Asshole,” she said, and moved away from him.
Alison Brodie is an internationally-published author. GOOD HOUSEKEEPING chose her debut for their Pick of the Paperbacks. The Scottish Daily Mail reviewed 'Face to Face': "Vain but wildly funny leading lady."
Alison has a criminal record for busking/disturbance of the peace in Piccadilly Circus; speeding in Spain and hustling in Athens. She lives in Biarritz, where she can be found speaking unnintelligabuble French.aGet a FREE Vivian Wood secret office romance by copying and pasting this into your browser window: http://vivian-wood.com/get-news.
Vivian likes to write about troubled, deeply flawed alpha males and the fiery, kick-ass women who bring them to their knees.
Vivian's lasting motto in romance is a quote from a favorite song: "Soulmates never die."
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