Just Trust Me... [Secure eReader]
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eBook by Jacquie D'Alessandro
eBook Category: Romance
eBook Description: She was an adventure he hadn't counted on... Dr. Brett Thornton's latest discovery--an anti-aging formula--should have had him set for life. Instead, everyone he meets wants a piece of him. He needs to get away, to clear his head. And he figures a once-in-a-lifetime trip into the wilds of Peru should help him put things into perspective. That is, until a gorgeous fellow tourist messes with his quest ... and his libido! Kayla Watson used to like traveling on business. But that was before her boss insisted she spy on scientist Brett Thornton on his trek into the Andes mountains. Now she's tired, dirty ... and seriously in lust with sexy Brett. Lucky for her, he encourages--and helps her exercise--that lust. Again and again. But will Brett still want her when he finds out what she's really after?
eBook Publisher: Harlequin/Blaze
Fictionwise Release Date: September 2006
1 Reader Ratings:
"YOU WANT ME to go where? To do what? With whom?"
After uttering those questions, Kayla stared at Nelson. Until thirty seconds ago, she'd thought her boss was a rational human being. Clearly, however, the man was insane.
Nelson stared right back at her over the tops of his bifocals. "To Peru. To spy. On Brett Thornton."
Brett Thornton. Kayla barely managed to suppress a grimace. How was it possible to so thoroughly dislike a man she'd never even met? In the course of only four months, he'd become the bane of her existence. She was well accustomed to dealing with everything from the media to demanding executives to high-maintenance, diva-like models. Who would have thought that some unknown nerdy scientist could prove such a problem?
"I flunked Spying 101," she said with a breezy laugh. "So clearly I'm not the best choice."
"You are the best choice," Nelson said in the deep, implacable tone Kayla recognized all too well after working for him for the past ten years. It was the tone that indicated he'd made up his mind and there'd be no changing it. "Thornton's claims of developing an anti-aging formula that will not only render cosmetic surgery obsolete but has aphrodisiac qualities, as well, is the cutting edge we need."
"Unfortunately every other cosmetics company in the world feels the same way."
"Exactly. Which is why I want to make sure La Fleur has the upper hand right from the beginning. We lost out two years ago on that new sunless-tan formula. We're not losing again."
"But Thornton's been dangling that golden carrot for four months and hasn't produced yet."
"Doesn't mean he won't."
She made a disgusted sound. "My personal opinion is that he's loving all the attention every cosmetics firm—including us—is lavishing on him. Basking in the perks, the wining, dining and wooing—he's milking it for all it's worth, and when it finally comes time to put out his so-called miracle product, he'll have nothing."
"That is a possibility," Nelson agreed. "But it's also just as likely he's being cautious, and as aggravating as that is, I can't blame him. If his claims are true, the product will revolutionize not only skin care but foreplay as well. Who could resist such a product? You know as well as I do that sex sells. And La Fleur will own the product."
There was no need for him add "or else"—it was fully implied. And certainly if Thornton's claims were true, Kayla wanted La Fleur to own the miracle formula. But after months with no physical proof, she had serious doubts as to whether Thornton's claims were valid.
And then there was her personal dislike of the man. While she'd been spared dealing with him personally, her staff had not been so fortunate, reporting that Thornton was standoffish, refused interviews and didn't return phone calls. Bad enough—but her one near-encounter with him two months ago had convinced her he lacked any redeeming qualities.
She'd spent weeks arranging a fabulous party in Thornton's honor to introduce him to key La Fleur people, seen to it that every mover and shaker in New York had been invited, along with a host of local celebrities and all the La Fleur models. And what did Brett Thornton do? He'd abruptly left—without a word, before the party had barely begun. And before he'd been introduced to the managerial team, herself included. Furious and appalled by his rudeness, she'd been forced to improvise a plausible excuse to the company's president, CFO and board of directors who looked to her to explain why the guest of honor was MIA.
Just thinking about it now fueled her anger all over again. As far as she was concerned, Brett Thornton—oops, sorry—Dr. Thornton as he'd insisted upon being called—was more of a headache than a roomful of hungover supermodels. He was just another arrogant overnight sensation who courted media interest, then turned into a first-class whiner about the "intrusive" attention. Exactly the sort of person she most disliked.
Nelson slid a sheet of paper toward her over his lake-sized glass-topped desk. "Here's your itinerary. Your flight to Lima leaves at nine o'clock. That gives you plenty of time to go home and—"
"Whoa, hold it," Kayla said, extending her hand like a stop sign. "Nine o'clock tonight?" Good grief, she hadn't even unpacked from yesterday's re-booked Miami flight.
"Tonight," Nelson confirmed.
Everything inside Kayla groaned. In an effort to save herself, she said, "I'm attending the launch for the Hidden Secrets fragrance line tomorrow—"
"I've reassigned that to Caroline," Nelson interjected, naming Kayla's senior publicist. "She can handle your calendar until you return."
"Caroline—or someone else on my staff—can just as easily make this trip to woo Thornton."
Nelson shook his head. "You're missing the point. This trip isn't about wooing or schmoozing. It's about gathering information—discreetly. I want to know why he's going to Peru, of all places."
Kayla's curiosity was piqued in spite of herself. "You think it has something to do with his formula? That maybe there's a secret ingredient in some plant found only in South America?"
"Maybe. If the man merely wanted a vacation, why not just go to the Caribbean or Hawaii or even Europe? Why Peru?"
"You have a point—it is a bit off the beaten track."
"That's what I thought. Especially since it's obvious he's gone to great pains to keep this trip secret."
"How did you find out about it?"
Nelson treated her to a razor-sharp smile. "I'm not at liberty to say. Suffice it to know that my source is impeccable."
"And how do you know that Lancôme and Estée Lauder and all our other competitors aren't sending spies to Peru, as well?"
Copyright © 2006 by Jacquie D'Alessandro.