Successful archaeologist Charlotte Greenstone has no time for men, so invents a convenient one--who bears a highly inconvenient resemblance to sexy stranger Greyson Tyler! To protect her mortifying white lie, Charlotte begs Grey to act as her temporary fianc�....
One glimpse of Charlotte's killer curves, and Grey can't resist making his own outrageous proposition--he'll pretend to be her fianc�... if they can enjoy all the benefits of being a couple! Smoking-hot Grey is definitely fling material, but Charlotte knows that's all it can ever be.... Isn't it?
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June 01, 2011
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Excerpt from With This Fling... by Kelly Hunter
"Charlotte, what are you doing here?' Professor Harold Mead's panicked expression didn't quite fit his soothing fatherly tone. Then again, a lot of things about her boss didn't quite fit. Like his version of Ancient Egyptian history as opposed to everyone else's, for example. Or his idea of a regular working week, which was somewhere in the vicinity of seventy hours as opposed to, say, the fifty everyone else put in.
Granted, it was seven-thirty on a Monday morning and she didn't usually start work quite this early, but still...she did have every right to be here. 'Charlotte?' he repeated.
'Working?' she offered helpfully. 'At least, that's the plan. Is there something wrong with the plan?'
'No, but we were hardly expecting you in today. We thought you might take a few days to come to terms with your loss, what with your godmother's funeral yesterday.' Which he'd attended. Which had been nice of him, seeing as he hadn't known Aurora well at all.
'It was a good funeral,' she said softly. 'A celebration of a life well lived. That's what I think. That's what I know. And thank you for attending.'
'You're welcome,' said the Mead. 'And if you do need to take a few days' leave.'
'No,' said Charlotte hastily. 'Please. No leave. I'm fine.' She tried on a smile, and saw from the deepening concern in the Mead's eyes that he'd seen it for the falsehood it was. 'Really. I'm ready to work. I think I have a lead on what the pottery fragments coming out of the Loess site might be.'
'It can wait,' said the Mead. 'Or you could pass that work on to someone else. Dr Carlysle, perhaps? Seeing as he's on site? Dr Steadfellow values him quite highly.'
'I'm sure he does.' Steadfellow's reports had been full of the man. 'But I'd rather not.' The Loess site had been one of her finds. Hers and Aurora's. She'd given Steadfellow that site--co-ordinates, preliminary work, everything--on condition that she took part in the analysis. Alas, the good Dr Steadfellow seemed to be in danger of forgetting their arrangement now that the highly valued Dr Carlysle had joined the team. 'Harold, I know Dr Steadfellow and Dr Carlysle feel they can take it from here. I know they're eminently qualified to do so but that's not the point. I feel like I'm being sidelined and that wasn't the arrangement.'
'Charlotte, be reasonable,' said the Mead soothingly. 'Everyone knows you pulled together the funding for the Loess dig. No one doubts your claim to significant project input, but is this really a good time to be challenging your colleagues? Might they not simply be trying to help you through a difficult personal patch?'
Charlotte heard the words. She wanted to believe in them. Wanted to trust that Steadfellow would honour his word and acknowledge her contribution to the discovery, but in all honesty she just didn't know if he would. Her judgement was shot, these days. Too many sleepless nights. Too much weaving in and out of imaginary realities because it had hurt too much to stay in this one. 'I'll talk to Steadfellow. And Carlysle,' she said quietly. 'We'll sort something out.'
'Excellent.' The Mead beamed. 'I knew you'd be generous about this. You already have more publications than most archaeologists three times your age. A tenured position is just around the corner for you.'
'Even if I'm seen as a pushover?' she asked quietly and Harold had the grace to flush.
'Charlotte,' he said. 'I know your godmother was of great assistance to you when it came to contacts in the archaeology world. I know your family name engenders a great deal of goodwill. God knows, I've never seen an archaeologist pull funding from the private sector the way you do. But your...