The Playboy Boss's Chosen Bride [Secure eReader]
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eBook by Emma Darcy
eBook Category: Romance
eBook Description: Jake Devila is hugely successful and women love him--with the exception of his assistant, Merlina. Jake adores getting under Merlina's oh-so-professional skin and stirring the passion that simmers beneath. Merlina wants Jake, but she knows he prefers skinny blondes to curvy brunettes like her. Enough is enough! Suddenly Merlina sees her chance to teach her boss a lesson and show him what he's been missing....
eBook Publisher: Harlequin/Presents
Fictionwise Release Date: October 2006
72 Reader Ratings:
JAKE DEVILA finished shaving and slapped some Platinum around his jaw, a cologne that had most women sniffing with interest. But not his prim and proper personal assistant, the indomitable Merlina Rossi. She invariably wrinkled her nose at it as though it was offensive.
He grinned to himself in the vanity mirror.
The idea that had come to him last night was sure to blast her usually impenetrable composure.
He really enjoyed getting to her, sitting back and watching the fireworks explode in her amber eyes. The eyes of a tiger, he'd often thought, and wondered if she'd ever unsheathe her claws and cut him to ribbons. Could be exciting—all that repressed passion bursting out, attacking him.
Unfortunately such a loss of control would probably lead to the end of the game and he didn't want that. Mel—she hated being called Mel and her endurance of it was another source of amusement to him—was his salt, a piquant contrast to the sugar of all the other women who sweetened his life. He'd miss her if she walked out on him. Still, he couldn't give up the exciting sense of brinkmanship with her. It was irresistible.
Must be close to eighteen months since she'd come to work for him—the perfect Girl Friday, following his instructions to the letter, keeping his business and social diary on track at all times, fronting for him when he was committed elsewhere. He remembered now that it was this last requirement which had started the entertaining clash of wills.
The memory kept the grin on his face as he left the bathroom and walked into his dressing-room to select the clothes he'd wear today. Out of the many résumés he'd ploughed through to find the gem he was looking for, he'd picked Merlina Rossi's because she'd been P.A. to the editor of a teen magazine, which suggested she would be tuned into the teen market, by far the most profitable one for Jake's business, Signature Sounds.
She'd turned up to the interview in a loose-fitting black business suit, her long brown hair pulled back and held away from her face by severely placed tortoiseshell combs. She had a sensual look about her—a full-lipped mouth, large thickly lashed eyes, a golden tan to her skin, very curvy figure—probably her Italian genes coming to the fore, and she seemed intent on minimising their impact.
Not my type, Jake had thought. His preference ran to tall, slim, leggy blondes who specialised in maximising their impact, sophisticated women who aimed to win in the desirability stakes. He was perfectly happy to accommodate their female egos on that score, though he knew they always had their eye out for someone who would accommodate them even better. He'd lived in that world all his life, and observation and personal experience had taught him not to get emotionally attached to any of the women who walked through it.
'Enjoy them, my boy,' his grandfather had advised. 'The trick is not to take them too seriously or they'll take you.'
At the time his grandfather had been in the throes of his fourth divorce settlement and Jake remembered asking, 'Why do you keep marrying them?'
'Because I love weddings,' had come the blithe reply.
His grandfather could afford them, regardless of the end cost.
Jake didn't care to part with his own wealth so cavalierly. He'd worked for it and wasn't about to give any woman an easy ride with it just because she was sexually attractive. Work was something he did take seriously. He enjoyed being successful with his business and was very careful about selecting good people to help him maintain and build its success.
Merlina Rossi was in that category.
Definitely a prize find on many levels.
The initial interview with her had revealed she had a quick intelligence and would probably be very competent at doing whatever he required. However, the one thing that had niggled him was her strait-laced appearance. It was old-fashioned, out of step with his thinking, and if she wasn't flexible enough to change it…
'If you want the job, you'll have to dress for it,' he'd said. 'Your image is all wrong.'
It had been fascinating to see a flush rise up her long neck and flood into her cheeks, even more fascinating that she'd managed to keep her cool. 'It would be helpful if you'd explain what image you require,' she'd stated primly.
'Not that of a forty-year-old woman,' he'd tossed at her, his interest totally captivated by her determination to rise above any discomfort. Did Merlina Rossi have true grit? Was she a survivor against all odds? 'Your résumé says you're twenty-nine. Is that correct?'
He'd strolled around his desk, propping himself against the front of it, his gaze deliberately sweeping her from head to foot as he explained, 'You should be dressing young, not old. We sell Signature Sounds to the owners of cell-phones and that market is predominantly young. If you're to represent me and my business you have to have street credibility.'
She'd calmly appraised him from head to foot. 'Does that mean jeans and T-shirt?'
It would have done, but the devil in him had been stirred by her slow, flat-eyed taking in of his appearance. 'No. That's fine for the guys who work for the company.' Including himself which she'd already noted. 'I would want you reflecting up-to-the-minute trends in young fashion. Jeans don't really make that statement for a woman since they're a constant. Let your hair down and show some flair, Ms Rossi.'
'My hair is down,' she'd said in a tight, challenging tone.
Which had instantly compelled Jake to take the point one challenging step further. 'Ah, yes, your hair. Might I suggest a more modern style? Something razor cut would be more in keeping with the image we want to present.'
Copyright © 2006 by Emma Darcy.