Slade Martin is under attack. An electronic thief absconded with all his liquid personal wealth and someone on his board of directors is plotting a hostile takeover. The obvious culprit isn’t the guilty party, and Slade gets help to find the real perpetrator from a surprise source – the lovely and capable Iris D’Vance.
Iris D’Vance is determined to not repeat her mistakes with men – until she meets Slade Martin, and decides all bets are off. Accepting the invitation to sit on the board of Slade’s charitable foundation lands her in the middle corporate intrigue. Slade needs her help and makes her an offer she can’t turn down.
Slade stalked off the elevator, his prey dead center in the crosshairs. Primed and loaded, one word from Ms. Iris D’Vance, and he’d let the hammer fall. Damn her. He sucked in a deep breath to replace the air that whooshed out of his lungs as her appearance burned onto his corneas.
Damn her for standing in front of the windows with the sunlight coming in behind her. Every luscious curve was visible through the backlit fabric of her dress. He’d not seen anything that amazing in…well, he’d never seen anything that amazing. His temper bled away, replaced by a surge of lust. Maybe he needed to rethink his approach, and fast, before she got away with old man Farnsmore.
Iris turned slightly and spotted him. Her eyes widened, she stiffened, then her composure slid back into place. It didn’t matter. Slade had seen the sudden interest in her eyes. He held out his hand to her for a friendly handshake.
“Ms. D’Vance, I apologize for getting off on the wrong foot upstairs. I get a little nervous before board meetings.”
Iris accepted his hand. Her lips parted. He closed his fingers around hers, noting how cold hers were as he lifted them to his lips.
“I’m sorry. That was forward of me. I hope you’ll forgive me.”
Her chin lifted, and her lovely hazel eyes took on a new, hard glint.
“I’m sure that well-rehearsed and very tired line still works on some women, but I assure you, I’m not one of them, Mr. Martin.”
Slade very grudgingly gave her high marks for honesty. He’d asked for that, and she’d given it to him.
“No, it doesn’t work, obviously. I’ll have to practice it.”
“Not on me, Mr. Martin. Now if you’ll excuse me, there’s my ride.”
Dismissed, for God’s sake. Torpedoed.
Slade grabbed her wrist. She shot him a cold look that would have sent a weaker man to his knees.
Well, she could glare at him all she wanted to. What he had to say was important.
“Whatever it is you and Farnsmore have schemed up, I warn you now, he’ll turn on you the minute you’ve outlived your usefulness.”
Her look turned wary. “What are you talking about, Mr. Martin?”
“Don’t play stupid. I know old Reggie worked his glib tongue with the other members to get you a seat on my board. Now you’d best remember it is my board. Drop Farnsmore before you get in over your head.”
“I don’t understand.”
“Have it your way, but don’t say I didn’t warn you about Reggie and his cronies.” Slade left her standing there, turning abruptly and calling for his car.
Curse the day Reginald Farnsmore managed to wrangle a seat on the CRM board! The man was nothing but trouble. Slade slid into the driver’s seat of his vintage Cadillac. Crap. He needed to pay the permit for the gasoline engine because in his current financial straits, he couldn’t afford the steep fine for a lapse.
How did Iris fit into Reggie’s grandiose scheme to take over the board? Maybe Farnsmore thought she’d be a proper distraction. If that were the case, Slade had to admit the man had picked a woman who could get his mind on other things. Too bad she didn’t have the balls, well, ovaries, to own up to it.
The look in her eyes swam in his memory, the look of shocked confusion that she’d not been able to hide as he’d delivered his warning.
Fucking hell. His chest tightened, constricting painfully around his heart. She’d not been faking. No one could act that well. Maybe she really didn’t know.
Great, now he’d have to save both D’Vance and CRM from Farnsmore.