He's her main target…
Julie Kent is looking for excitement in her life. She wants to save the world — and earn a cool nickname while she's at it — but her crime-fighting career has been more paperwork than perps. And if Eric Ranger has any say in the matter, she won't get out of her cubicle!
Eric is a battle-scarred agent temporarily helping his friend's security business. He wants to protect Julie from the world he knows. She reminds him of what he's been fighting for; he's attracted to Julie, but he won't touch her. He even goes so far as to let her think she's isn't sexy enough to be a decoy on their current case.
But Julie turns the tables on Eric by making the first move. Trying out one sexy alias after another, Julie finds trouble wherever she turns. And though Eric is determined to be at her side to protect her, now he just can't keep his hands off her….
Julie bunched her hands into fists at her sides and took a deep breath. “I want to be a decoy.”
“I said no.” She could keep saying it, and he would give her the same answer. “And knowing your aptitude for self-defense, my alternate answer is not in this lifetime.”
“Fine.” She turned and headed for the door. “I’ll just have a little chat with Perry.”
“No way.” Eric was there, flattening his hand against the door so she couldn’t open it.
“He won’t say no,” Julie informed him as she tugged at the doorknob.
That was what he was worried about. Perry had a soft spot where Julie was concerned. “He’s not in charge of this. I am.”
Julie hesitated, as if she were trying to come up with a new tactic. She let go of the doorknob and slowly, almost reluctantly, turned around.
When she tilted up her face, her lips were just inches away from his. A tremor swept through his body as his mouth went dry. He was very tempted to brush his mouth against hers. Taste her sweetness and feel her soften against him.
“Tell me the real reason why you won’t let me be a decoy. Do you think I’m smart and sexy?” she said in a low tone. She looked him in the eye and then her gaze skittered away.
This was dangerous territory. “I think you’re reckless,” he answered gruffly. He’d seen how she would jump into a project with unrestrained enthusiasm.
Her eyes gleamed with determination. “I can be cautious.”
Eric rolled his eyes.
“And I can do sexy.”
Just the way her voice got rough was sexy as hell. His body tightened with anticipation. “But you can’t seduce a man.” He wasn’t going to let her seduce a stranger. Not on his watch.
“Yes, I can.”
Eric shook his head. “And you’re not the type who could seduce a man you’re not interested in. You’re too honest.”
Julie thrust her chin out and narrowed her eyes. Why was she taking offense over that statement? “I can seduce anyone when I set my mind to it.”
Eric lifted his hands as if he were surrendering. “I’ll take your word for it, but you still don’t get the job.”
She pressed a finger against his chest. “I can seduce you if I wanted to.”
The room suddenly went quiet. Eric’s muscles locked as the blood roared through his veins. He wanted to take that as an invitation, but he knew Julie didn’t mean it that way. He swallowed roughly. “Do you want to?”
The tension arced and shimmered between them. It coiled around them, drawing tighter and tighter until he thought it would spring wildly.
Julie dropped her hand and the tension shattered. She took a step away and winced when she bumped against the door. “For a chance to become a decoy?” she asked in a high voice. “Sure.”
Eric took a deep breath as the heavy disappointment pulled at him. Of course she wouldn’t go after a guy like him, unless it was to prove something. “You plan to seduce me to show you can be a decoy?”
She crossed her arms protectively in front of her. “I think that should give me enough qualification.”
What was that supposed to mean? Eric studied her expression, but he couldn’t get a good read. Did she think he was a hard catch, or did she think he was some kind of man-whore? He didn’t think he wanted to know. “But I know what you would be up to,” he pointed out.
She gave an arrogant shrug. “That makes my seduction of you all the more successful.”
Eric could see that Julie was giving this proposal serious consideration. This was bad. This was real bad. He was torn with wanting her to give it her best shot and wanting to get out of target range.
“Forget it,” he said angrily. “This is ridiculous.”
“My seducing you is ridiculous?” She placed her hands on her hips and glared at him. “That’s it. I’m taking the challenge. If I can seduce you, I get to be the decoy. Deal?”
“No way.” He’d rather make a deal with the devil.
Julie gave him a knowing smile as her eyes shone with defiance. “Because you think I could be successful.”
He tried to scoff at her statement, but he wasn’t sure if he’d pulled it off. He had to get her out of this mind-set. For both their sakes.
“I have known women who have been trained in the erotic arts,” he said through gritted teeth. “They are experts at seducing a man and they never got close with me.”
“So I’m not in their league, and you think you have nothing to worry about. Then why are you stalling?” she taunted. “Do we have a deal or not?”
She wasn’t going to quit. He had to call her bluff. She might make a clumsy move and he would restrain himself long enough to gently rebuff her. He could do this, knowing the other option was allowing her to walk into the jaws of danger.
“If it will get you to shut up about this, then sure.” Eric gripped her outstretched hand, gave it a firm, quick shake. “It’s a deal.”
End of the excerpt. Like it?
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