The sizzling second novel in a sexy new contemporary romance series featuring the Lawless siblings—from New York Times bestselling author Lexi Blake.
Brandon Lawless is a man on a mission: obtain the information that will clear his father’s name. He’s willing to do whatever it takes—even seduce his enemy’s personal assistant, the beautiful and innocent Carly Hendricks. But with her beguiling smile and captivating intelligence, Brandon soon realizes he doesn’t want to deceive Carly, he wants to win her over—both in the boardroom and the bedroom. Then a twisted crime leaves Carly vulnerable and Brandon finds himself reeling. The stakes of his mission are now life or death—Carly’s life. And Brandon realizes he’s lost his heart to an amazing woman and his plan must succeed, because the stakes are no longer just revenge, but a once in a lifetime love.
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“Are you absolutely sure you want to stay here?” Carly frowned as she brought out a blanket twenty minutes later. “The couch is pretty small. I’m not sure you’ll be comfortable on it.”
Bran was one hundred percent sure he wouldn’t be, but that wasn’t the point. He tugged his shirt over his head and folded it neatly. “I’ve slept in worse places. And I think it’s best I stay here tonight. Unless you want to come home with me.”
He knew she wasn’t going to take that option, but it would be nice. If Drew and Riley and Hatch met her, got to know her, they wouldn’t be so worried about her. All he’d had to do was spend a couple of hours with her to know that she was a deeply loyal woman. All he needed to do was prove he was worthy of that loyalty. She’d been bitten before and she was shy, but the man who gained her trust again would get everything from her.
She deserved to have someone who would watch her back, and that included ensuring that she could sleep the rest of the night. What little of it was left.
If someone showed up on her doorstep, he would take care of them. As viciously as he possibly could. He still intended to write her that check. He would do it because it would bring her peace of mind, but he was going to make sure none of them ever threatened her again. He would handle them in a way that would ensure her safety.
She shook her head. “You said your place is out in Palm Coast. That’s forty minutes away. I have to be at work pretty early in the morning.” She turned and started working on the couch, but not before he’d caught her staring at his chest. She smoothed out a sheet over the leather. “Why all the way out there? Why wouldn’t you set up here in St. Augustine?”
He would have to thank his brother-in-law for all the workouts. It was how they’d bonded. Case Taggart liked to lift weights and he’d brought Bran into his daily routine the last time he was in town. It wasn’t like Bran had been out of shape before, but Case’s daily regime had taken his lanky frame and honed it to something strong and masculine. He wished he could tell her how soft and sexy she looked in her pj’s. She had a robe wrapped around her, but every now and then it slipped open, revealing creamy skin and breasts he would love to get his hands on. He’d spent the majority of his evening watching women strip, but it was Carly in her pink tank top and perfectly respectable pajama bottoms that had his cock engaged.
“We have some friends who have a condo out there and it’s outfitted with the best tech possible both computer-wise and security. Also, we thought it would be best if we were close but not too close. Patricia knew our parents quite well. One new person in her life who reminds her of old enemies won’t cause too much stress but if she were to see me and Drew, or worse, Hatch, she would definitely be suspicious. We’re simply being careful.”
“You have your mother’s coloring, but you don’t really look like her. You look more like your dad,” Carly said as she worked a pillow into a soft-looking pillowcase.
“I’m taller than he was, a bit more built. I looked more like him when I was smaller. Take off about thirty pounds of muscle, cut my hair into a military buzz, and put some glasses on me, and I look quite like him. Of course I’ve been told my father had an air of unmistakable genius about him that I don’t have.” Not that Hatch had put it that way. He’d explained that most people didn’t remember Benedict for his looks. They remembered his brilliant brain.
“Drew is most like him. Another reason I thought it was better for me to go in instead of him. I think Drew would remind Patricia of our father.”
“I don’t know about that. She’s not very observant. One of the things you need to know about her is that she’s a narcissist. She doesn’t care about anything but herself and her bottom line.” She looked up at him. “Your brother is the man behind 4L?”
Naturally everyone was impressed with a thirty-four-year-old billionaire. “He is. I need you to understand that we have resources that we’ll use to take care of you. You’ll have a job at 4L if you want one. I’ll promise you that right now.”
“You need a personal assistant?” she said, her lips curling slightly.
He frowned because he hadn’t thought she’d ask that question. “No. I don’t really need one, but I promise I’ll find something for you. You won’t be left out in the cold. 4L is a big company and we own a lot of other companies. You would have your pick.”
Actually, Ellie could use a new PA. That wouldn’t be a bad fit. Ellie would be good to Carly and Bran spent a lot of time in New York. He could see her from time to time. He would have to think about it. He didn’t mention it, though, because Ellie’s last assistant had been brutally murdered in front of her. It wouldn’t give Carly great faith in them as a group.
She settled the pillow down and smoothed out the blanket. “I don’t know how I feel about a new job. Not that I’m not happy at the thought of keeping my house, but being a personal assistant wasn’t exactly my life plan. I wanted to write cookbooks. Well, I wanted to start out by editing them and work my way up.”
“It sounds like you want to be a chef.”
Her head shook slightly. “No. It’s different. I don’t want my own restaurant or to be in charge of a kitchen. I want to work at a lifestyle magazine. I love looking at decorating trends and cooking trends. A chef tends to focus on one type of cuisine. I want to try them all, not necessarily be a master at them. I like making people comfortable. At my heart, I’m a homemaker.”
Her home was lovely. The minute he’d walked in he’d felt a certain peace rush over him and not simply because the space was well decorated. Carly herself made a person feel at home.
Even when she was crying on his shoulder. She would probably run as fast as she could if she knew how much that had fed his soul. It wasn’t that he liked watching her cry. He’d enjoyed knowing he was helping her. He’d loved the way she’d clung to him, her arms tight around his body.
He probably shouldn’t tell her that, either.
NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog int eh world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance and urban fantasy that she found the stories of her heart. She likes to find humor in the strangest places and believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome, or foursome may seem.