Thursday, January 31, 2013

Chapter 1 From More Than a Playboy #RomCom #NovelLines #KindleUK #Kindle

As promised, here is the first chapter of More Than a Playboy.


Some rules are meant to be broken!

Serious-minded Alexandra (Sandy) Donovan has one unbreakable rule—never fall for a rich playboy. She’s seen the pain it caused her mother, how it ruined her childhood, and she’s determined never to let the same thing happen to her. 

Unfortunately, the only man to make her hormones sit up and take notice is a rich playboy who doesn’t know the first thing about taking life seriously. 

A lonely miserable childhood has taught Cameron Berkeley-Scott to hide his feelings in humour, but his comic nature seems to be pushing away the one woman he wants to draw near. She thinks he’s a playboy—a title he has no desire to have—and she ignores his outrageous flirting.

Now it’s time for Cameron to show Sandy he isn’t all about seeking life’s pleasures without commitment or responsibilities, but will it push her further away when she finds out who he really is?

Excerpt: Chapter 1
Copyright Monique DeVere 2010, 2013
Published through Amazon by Crystal Swan Publications
All Rights Reserved

“Hey, Sandy, you gorgeous lady.” Cameron Berkeley-Scott’s deep voice sent delicious shivers through Sandy Donovan as he sidled up to TDA’s Reception desk, and draped himself over the top. He smelled good; some type of expensive cologne with a hint of spice that said the wearer was a man of the wild outdoors.
Sandy drew her attention from her computer and flicked him a glance. He was bad-boy dazzling, with neat dark hair and a stunning, never-fade tan that made her wonder whether he had a splash of Mediterranean somewhere in his bloodline. His eyes were the kind of blue that reminded her of the Mediterranean, too.
And that mouth...those lips, a natural red...designed for kissing. She often longed to sample a taste—for strictly scientific purposes—to find out if his lips were as soft as they looked.
However, Sandy did what she’d always done when Cameron sauntered into the agency—pretended he had no effect on her whatsoever. When, in fact, the mere glimpse of him sent her hormones into overdrive.
“When are you going to let me sweep you away from all of this?”
She schooled her features into a bored expression, but couldn’t hold it for long. The tiny smile that always appeared when Cam drew her into their usual banter tugged at her lips.
“When you grow up, trust-fund baby.” She had yet to find out why someone with Cameron’s family money would want to work as a hired father.
He grabbed his chest and faked falling. “Ouch. You got me in the heart again, babe. I don’t know if I’ll pull through this time without the kiss of life.” He flung his upper body onto the desk, his lips inches from hers. “Quick, Sandy, I’m fading fast.”
Thankfully, TDA’s waiting area was empty, but Sandy knew from experience that a room full of people wouldn’t stop Cameron’s dramatics. His comical nature made him one of The Daddy Agency’s most popular Daddies.
“Is there a reason you popped in, Cameron? Your next booking isn’t for another two weeks.”
Fifteen seconds seemed like an hour as his blue gaze locked on hers; while his lips remained an unnerving inch from her mouth. He sobered and straightened when she remained impassive. “One day you’re going to have to face the awful truth.”
“What’s that?”
“I’m perfect for you.”
“You’re incorrigible.”
“And you’re breaking my heart.”
“I’m sure you’ll survive.”
Cameron chuckled and pushed away from the desk. “Is the boss in?” He jerked a thumb over his shoulder toward a door at the end of the long corridor behind him, already backing in that direction.
“Yeah, Jamie’s in.”As he turned to head down the corridor, Sandy remembered their boss wasn’t alone. “Hey, Cam?”
He spun back to her with a too sexy grin. “You know I love it when you say my name like that.”
She rolled her eyes. Cameron was playing with her. In fact, she couldn’t think of a time when he didn’t tease her to distraction. “You might want to knock and wait. Her husband’s in there with her.”
He nodded, his grin turning to one of pure wickedness. “In that case, I think I’ll wait until Daniel leaves. Don’t want to interrupt anything.”
Two years ago, Daniel had walked back into Jamie’s life after a decade of not knowing to where she’d disappeared. They’d been University sweethearts until Jamie had fallen pregnant and had sacrificed her relationship with Daniel—along with her psychology degree.
A product of squabbling parents, Jamie’s fear had been that she’d end up repeating her parents’ love-hate relationship. She believed that if she’d stayed with Daniel, he would have felt obligated to marry her and would’ve ended up resenting her.
From Sandy’s peripheral view, she noted Cameron sauntering back. He leaned against the desk, his gaze on her as she feigned concentration on the database she was updating. She increased her typing speed in an effort to hide her trembling fingers. Every one of her senses focused on Cameron. Thank goodness for touch-typing, or heavens knew she’d be inputting gobbledygook.
“Perhaps there’s nothing to interrupt,” she said in an effort to break the unsettling silence.
“There’s always something to interrupt when a couple in love is alone in a room.”
“Not everyone is as single-minded as you are, you know?”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Let’s just say your extracurricular ‘Daddy’ duties filter back to the agency.”
“Again, what’s that supposed to mean?”
Sandy glanced up. His puzzled expression told her he didn’t know what she was talking about. But the number of women who hired him to show up with their children at events then bragged about how attentive and extra accommodating he was—always said with a little wink that declared their meaning more clearly than if they’d come right out and said ‘we slept with him’—told her he was faking ignorance.
“Forget it. What you do on your time is your business.”
“Come on, Sandy, don’t hold back. No need for ambiguity with me, tell me what you’re talking about. It’s clear you have feelings on the subject.”
“I have no feelings, other than professional, about anything to do with you, Cameron.”
When he moved to the front of the desk and leaned close, a fluttery sensation passed through her tummy.
“Do you know you get this little line right here...” he traced a forefinger in a tiny bracket next to the left corner of her mouth, “...when you lie? It makes me think you’ve got plenty of feelings about me, and not all of them professional.”
Sandy pulled back. Not because she didn’t want him to touch her, but because she feared he’d notice her reaction to him in her quick, shallow breathing. Afraid he’d become aware of her longing in the glide of her tongue against her lips and the way she caught the corner of her bottom lip between her teeth.
“I hate to chafe your ego, Cameron. But you’re just another Daddy to me. Not unlike all the other guys who work for TDA.”
The Daddy Agency, also known as TDA, was a dads-for-hire agency Jamie-Leigh Stephenson had started five years ago. Jamie had once told Sandy she’d gotten the idea when another single mother had said in jest, ‘if only there was someplace where mothers could go to hire fathers to turn up to special events’. Jamie had admitted she’d always wished she could hire parents for special occasions so she wouldn’t have to suffer through her own parents’ constant, and very public, arguments. It was on the back of that conversation that TDA was born.
Cameron snatched back his hand. “Ouch again. And there I was thinking I was at least a little special.”
She gave him a wide smile and lied outright. “Not to me.”
“That’s cold. What does a guy have to do to win you over?”
Her stomach dipped as she remembered the women who had gushed about the ‘extra help’ he’d given them. “A sense of decency would be a good start.”
“Hey, I’m a decent guy.” He shoved his hands into his jean’s front pockets. “Ask anyone. I’m polite, honest, well-mannered, and on the odd occasion, I’m even respectable.”
She dragged her gaze from the front of his jeans. She couldn’t remember ever seeing him wear any other trousers but well-worn jeans that hugged all the right places and Oxford shirts with the sleeves rolled up and tails hanging out. A tiny gurgle of nervous laughter slipped past her lips as she glanced at Cameron’s injured expression. Then she ducked her head and concentrated on finding the Caps Lock. “Only the odd occasion, huh?”
Very odd occasion.”
“You see, right there is why we can never be. The man who sweeps me away from all this...” she indicated the reception waiting area with a throwaway gesture. “Must be above all else, respectable at all times.”
Cameron burst out with a deep belly laugh that infected Sandy and had her joining in with a reluctant chuckle.
“Honey, for you, I might just consider a walk on the tame side.” He leaned close again, captured a lock of her blonde hair, and smoothed it between his fingers for a second before releasing it. His fingers branded her as he tipped her chin until she met his gaze. “Or.” He lowered his voice to add intimacy to his words. “You could hunt down your adventurous side, and we could have some fun.”
The breath stalled in Sandy’s throat while her pulse picked up speed, and her skin heated. She wet her dry lips. What would it be like to give into Cameron Berkeley-Scott’s charm—only for a moment? Just long enough to determine what all the fuss was about.
“Oh good, Cameron, you’re here.” Jamie’s voice broke into her crazy yearning.
Sandy leapt back as if she’d been caught up to no good, shocked to think she’d almost closed the short gap between her lips and Cameron’s. She couldn’t afford to allow him, of all men, to affect her. Not when he represented everything she most detested in a man.
His gaze revealed a heated intensity before disappointment sobered his features, replacing the wicked smile with a seriousness she seldom saw on his face. He uncurled himself from the desk, and turned his attention to the couple walking up behind them with their arms around each other as if they couldn’t bear not to touch.
“Hi, Jamie. You wanted to see me?” He turned and clasped Daniel’s hand. “Daniel, you owe me a drink.”
Jamie’s husband chuckled, slapped Cameron on the back. “How about I rectify that at the charity ball next weekend?”
“Now that’s cheating. There’s free champagne, so in theory, I’ll be paying.”
Sandy gazed up at her pretty boss, and the two men she could easily picture on the cover of a sophisticated men’s magazine. Quiet laughter surrounded her as the three people in front of her desk exchanged light-hearted banter.
Cameron was hosting the charity ball at a friend’s house, and the proceeds were to go to a new cause developed to help fatherless children. She’d heard Jamie and Cameron wax lyrical about the fatherless generation for months. As a result, TDA had become involved with efforts to rectify the damage done to a society of children who had no fathers and very little guidance.
She had also become involved, helping to organise outings and little trips for the children. Sandy could have been a poster girl for the fatherless.
She resumed typing, allowing the conversation to go over her head as she forced herself to ignore Cameron’s distracting presence.
“—Take Sandy with you.”
At the sound of her name, Sandy stopped typing and looked up to find three pairs of eyes trained on her. “Take Sandy where?”
Why was Cam smirking?
“Cam has organised a zoo excursion for the CWF children. We’ve got more kids attending than we expected. Cam needs an extra helper to the ratio of kids. I volunteered you to help,” Jamie said.
“Me? But I’m busy.” Spend time with Cameron out of the office? No way. She’d found it easy to hide her attraction for him up to now. She suspected the reason was that they’d never spent any length of time in each other’s company during the three years Cameron had worked for TDA. “Can’t one of the other Daddies help?”
Jamie gave her an indulgent smile. “You know they’re all fully booked right now.”
Sandy envisioned spending time with Cam. She was never going to be able to disguise her feelings. The couple of minutes they spent every now and then exchanging banter was as much as she could handle. How would she get through more than an hour in his company? She had to find a way out of Jamie’s unacceptable suggestion. “What about all the extra arrangements I have to organise for the charity ball?”
Jamie flicked her hand in a don’t-worry-about-it gesture. “Already sorted. I’ve asked Linzi to step in and give you a hand.”
A slow mist of defeat wafted over Sandy. Evidently, she was going to have to suck it up and help Cameron with the Children Without Fathers trip.
She flicked Cam a glance. He stood with his arms folded across his impressive chest, his legs apart, and that stupid half-smile that robbed her lungs of oxygen.
She straightened her back and lifted her chin. Fine. If Jamie was forcing her to help Cameron, there was only one way to distance herself from him—keep her guard up, and insult him at every opportunity.

(C) Monique DeVere 2010, 2013
All Rights Reserved

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