Somebody get some ice... it's steamy in here!
Spending a month as personal chef for an overindulged--and mouthwatering--man? Sophie Gallagher is so up for the challenge. She's immune to charm...or so she thinks. Because when big-screen star Lucas Grant turns up the temptation, she discovers--up close and personal--he's earned the name hottest man alive.
Sophie is fun, vivacious and couldn't be further from Lucas's bimbo bombshell type. Much to his surprise, she's captivated him. But as sizzling as they are between the sheets, once his hiatus is over, the credits will roll on this fling. Saying goodbye, however, isn't as easy as he'd thought. Will this production be The End of the Affair...or Love Actually?
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January 31, 2008
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Excerpt from Burning Up by Sarah Mayberry
"Come on in, Lucas, the water's fine."
Lucas Grant took another slug of whiskey and squinted at the blonde bobbing in the hot tub at the end of his balcony. Until she'd spoken up, he hadn't realized anyone had stayed behind when the last guests had stumbled out the door of his Sydney harborside mansion a few minutes earlier.
He'd forgotten this one's name. Candy? Cindy? Something with a C, he was pretty sure. She was lying back in the water, arms spread wide on the rim behind her, her hair tousled, her eyes heavy-lidded.
A slow grin tugged at the corners of his mouth as he registered the trail of clothing she'd left on the way to the tub--a slinky little dress and the few scraps of Lycra and lace she'd obviously been wearing underneath.
Lucas moved toward her, tumbler held loosely in one hand.
"This is a surprise," he said, even though it wasn't.
Ever since he'd scored a role in a break-out movie back in his early twenties, his life had been full of moments like these. Blondes in hot tubs, brunettes waiting in his hotel room, redheads lingering outside the sound stage. Fame was the most powerful aphrodisiac known to mankind.
Or should that be womankind?
Whatever. The important thing was that despite the impressive quantity of alcohol he'd managed to guzzle this evening, his body was more than willing to take advantage of what was being so freely and generously offered.
As he stepped up onto the wood deck surrounding the tub, Candy-Cindy rose up out of the water, revealing her toned, tanned, cosmetically enhanced body to him in all its glory. He squelched the minor disappointment he felt at the realization that her generous twin endowments were man-made--did it really matter, at the end of the day?--and admired the way the water slicked down her slim, long-legged body.
"I hope you don't mind...?" she asked, eyes wide. Tough to pull off the whole innocent Bambi routine when she was standing there naked and perky, but she gave it a shot anyway and he awarded her full points for trying.
His grin widened. "Baby, you are just what the doctor ordered," he said.
Setting his glass on the tub surround, he pulled her close, one hand sliding down to cup a perfectly sculpted ass cheek, the other honing in on one of her twin assets. She closed her eyes as he moved in for a kiss, her lips opening beneath his with practiced ease. She tasted of wine, and her body was hot and firm against his. Moaning a little in the back of her throat, she slid a hand between their bodies and grabbed his hard-on through the denim of his jeans. "You are not going to freakin' believe this," a male voice said behind them.
Candy-Cindy gave a little gasp of surprise and broke away from Lucas, covering herself with her hands. Lucas closed his eyes in frustration and swore loudly. Not for the first time, he regretted the necessity for his agent-cum-manager, Derek Lambert, to have a key to his house.
"Derek, mate, I'm a little busy, in case you hadn't noticed," he said brusquely, turning to frown at Derek.
True to character, Derek was completely unfazed. It didn't matter to him that it was late on a Saturday night. Deal making was a twenty-four-hour job where he was concerned.
"Check it out. Completely unauthorized. We're lucky we've had any forewarning at all before it hit the shelves."
For the first time Lucas registered the paperback book his manager was brandishing--and, more importantly, his own image staring at him from the front cover. Big red letters scrawled across the bottom of the photograph--The Man Behind the Golden Eyes: An Unauthorized Biography of Lucas Grant.
Lucas swore again and reached for the book. "What the hell...? How did we not know about this?" he asked.
"Small publishing house and a sneaky little rat of a muckraking journalist. The only reason we know about it now is because someone owed me a favor."
Derek's gaze shifted to Candy-Cindy, who had sunk back into the water, her ears almost visibly flapping as she took in their conversation.
"Hey. I'm Derek. Pleased to meet you," Derek said, smoothing a hand down the front of his custom-made navy pinstriped suit as he sat on the tub surround. "I'm Lucas's manager."
"I'm Camilla. Pleased to meet you." Lucas didn't need to look at her to know she was pouting and throwing her shoulders back. Derek might be short, tubby and barely hanging on to the last of his dark hair, but he oozed power and connections. No doubt Camilla wanted to be an actress or a model or maybe just plain old famous, and Derek was never averse to playing the you-scratch-my-back-I'll-scratch-yours game.
Returning his attention to the book, Lucas noted the crappy paper, the close-set print, the shoddy binding.
"This is a piece of shit," he said dismissively, ready to toss it to one side. "No one's going to read it."