Kiss and Makeup

He can give her what she needs but is the price too high?

Shandi Fossey is mixing cocktails at the bar in Hush, the hottest hotel in Manhattan. The place oozes fantasy of the hottest sort but for Shandi, it’s a temp gig until she lands her dream job… and it’s a lot better than pulling beers at the Thirsty Rattler back home.

Then music producer Quentin Marks walks in and offers to buy her a drink. He’s got the connections she needs and can open a lot of doors. So why is the only door she wants to open the one to his room upstairs? And why in the world is she putting a man ahead of her future?

“Kiss & Makeup is a fun read with a simple plot that manages to be complex in emotion and heart. And who can argue with hot sex in a hotel library?” Sybil C., All About Romance

For the last year she’d been pursuing a bachelor of science degree in cosmetics and fragrance marketing at the Fashion Institute of Technology. During that time she temped for a living — most recently at the law firm of Winslow, Reynolds and Forster — until hearing whispers around the office about the opening of Hush.

And for the same very long year she’d been satisfied with the status quo of her studies, her work schedule and her friends, needing nothing more. Or so she had thought.

Until tonight, when he had sat down at the bar.

She realigned her body to stretch her left side, her fingertips hovering over the hardwood floor at her right hip. Oh, but if he hadn’t been the most gorgeous thing she’d ever seen. Better even than the actor from that television show about Navy investigators, who had stayed at Hush during the hotel’s grand opening.

Only this guy was real, not an elusive Hollywood fantasy. One who’d wanted to talk to her. Thankfully Erotique had been busy beyond belief, giving her a legitimate excuse to walk away and catch her breath when their flirtation took on a sexually dangerous edge, as it had so quickly.

At least walking away had worked tonight.

But he was a guest at Hush, meaning the odds were that she would be seeing him again. And the bar wouldn’t always be as hopping as it had been this evening. He was going to lose interest if she couldn’t get her act together and keep her mind — and her ever-wavering sense of self-worth — out of Round-Up.

Keeping her mind out of the bedroom was an entirely separate matter. It was hard to talk to the man when she couldn’t stop herself from thinking about getting him out of his clothes, but that’s exactly how she’d spent a large chunk of the night’s long shift.

His hair was blond, or had been when he was younger. It had darkened, leaving him with lo-lights instead of high. And it was long, a bit wavy — a leonine mane. He wore it pulled back and wore a goatee and soul patch, as well.

His smile twinkled. His eyes twinkled. His personality, too. She’d had the best time exchanging bantering quips and innuendo. She’d appreciated his wit. Appreciated, too, calls from the other patrons allowing her to step away and gather her thoughts while mixing drinks and serving.

She’d asked him what had brought him to the city and to the hotel. He’d told her it was a business trip — the business of money, music and women. She’d teased back that she wasn’t much for helping him with the first two, but the third….

For a long moment then he’d held her gaze, and she’d imagined his fingers that were slowly stroking his glass stroking her instead. Her body had responded, her filmy bra beneath her sleeveless black tuxedo shirt doing little good to keep her private thoughts private. He’d noticed. He’d lifted his drink, his eyes on her as he’d swallowed, his throat working, his jaw taut, the vein at his temple pulsing.