Wicked Beautiful (Wicked Games #1)
Life coach and best-selling author Victoria Price has it all: a successful career, fabulous friends, a fantastic penthouse in Manhattan. What she doesn’t have—and doesn’t want—is a husband. Fifteen years ago her high school flame broke her heart so badly she swore she’d never love again. Now she makes millions teaching other women how to be just like her: a ruthless bitch.
Drop-dead sexy restauranteur and infamous playboy Parker Maxwell has only three rules for the women he dates: no questions about his past, no expectations for the future, and no spending the night. When he meets Victoria, however, he’s willing to break his own rules if it means sating the explosive desire she arouses in him. What he doesn’t know is that the alluring Victoria Price used to be the mousy Isabel Diaz, the girl he deflowered and dumped long ago.
Presented with a perfect opportunity for revenge, Victoria decides the game is on. But when her connection with Parker proves more than just skin deep, she has to make a choice: continue with her plan for payback, or risk her career, her reputation, and her heart by taking a second chance on love?
Excerpt from Wicked Beautiful
“You have the most interesting internal conversations,” says Parker, watching my face. “Someday I’d love to be in on one of them.”
I blurt, “I was just thinking about sleeping with you.”
He stares at me. I’ve never seen such a look of hunger. Softly, he says, “Go on.”
“I…cannot believe I just said that out loud.”
Parker hasn’t blinked. His pupils are dilated. I wonder if mine are, too.
“Seriously, let’s just pretend I didn’t say that, OK? Rewind. Erase. Press play again.”
Aware that I’ve begun to babble, I snap my mouth shut. We stand in silence, looking at each other, until Parker lifts his hand and brushes his thumb over my lower lip.
“OK. We’ll pretend you didn’t say it. Please ignore the churro in my pants, because he’s not quite as good at pretending as we are.”
My gaze involuntarily drops to Parker’s crotch. And there, in all its glory, is one large and determined-looking bulge.
“I just said ignore it, Victoria, not stare at it. Show some mercy, woman.”
I press my lips together to keep from smiling. Mercy is the one thing he’ll never get from me.
Gazing up at him, I capture his thumb lightly between my teeth and nip it playfully. “I can’t help it. Remember I told you how much I love churros? Your churro looks particularly big and yummy.”
He exhales, hard. “Jesus. I can’t decide if I should laugh, kiss you, or bend you over the counter and have my way with you. That was just evil.”
I giggle. “Evil’s my specialty. You’ve been warned.”
He clasps my face in his hands and plants a firm, potent kiss on my mouth. In a husky voice he says, “If we’re going to dinner, we better get to it, because we’ve got only about thirty seconds left before Mr. Big Yummy Churro takes control of the rest of my body and I rip off your dress. With my teeth.”
That’s as blatant a proposition as I’ve ever heard. I’m thrilled he’s so affected by me.
I’m far less thrilled by how affected I am by him.
But if there’s anything life has taught me, it’s that every worthy endeavor is difficult, challenging, and usually painful. Nothing truly valuable comes easy. A battle easily won is no battle at all.
And we are at war, he and I. Blood will be shed. By the end of it, we’ll both bleed.
But he’s the only one who will be dead.
I stand on my tiptoes, brush my breasts against his chest, and whisper in his ear, “Let’s go have dinner, then. I’m hungry. But maybe we’ll save the dress-ripping for dessert.”
I turn and walk away, leaving him standing in the kitchen, chuckling to himself and muttering, “So goddamn evil.”
Oh Mr. Maxwell, I think, smiling, you really have no idea.
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