I love Marian to pieces. She’s so sweet, and a really great author. Her stories strike a chord with readers and she has many devoted fans. It’s no wonder, this NYT and USA Today best selling author is as good as they get! Check out the first installment in her HEARTBREAKER SERIES, which is also part of the new Riding Desire boxed set.
With elections coming up and his father wanting a seat in Parliament, Leandro Christopoulos needed to reinvent his public image from playboy underground moto racer to boring upright role model.
The solution: Bobby Granger. Bobby, which was short for Roberta, supposedly the smartest girl in school and recently voted as Young Philanthropist of the Year.
Unfortunately, she was not his type – snarky, old-fashioned, bookish and most importantly of all – the kind who needed to be in love before going to bed with a guy.
High maintenance was his first thought. Find another girl were what his first instincts told him.
But then Leandro accidentally saw her naked, and he knew he was just going to have to lie about falling in love with her.
Roberta “Bobby” Granger was on her way back to her table when she realized belatedly that it wasn’t her table anymore. What the heck?
She hurried towards her table as quickly as she could without upsetting the contents on her tray. Her mood hadn’t already been good to begin with, considering the text message she received early morning and then this.
When she reached her table, she said politely, “Excuse me.” The guy on her table taking her seat was tall – enough for him to be almost the same height as she was even when seated. Maybe the fact would have been intimidating to others but not her.
When he still didn’t turn, she cleared her throat and said more loudly, “Excuse me!”
He turned slowly, his move screaming of reluctance, and it made Bobby grit her teeth. The glass of soya milk on her tray slid a little to the left. Drat. “That’s my seat, mister,” Bobby said as she adjusted her hold on the tray. “So if you could please—” Bobby looked up and forgot the rest of what she had to say.
Beautiful was her first thought.
Was it truly possible for anyone to be this beautiful? It didn’t seem fair. Midnight black hair and olive skin that spoke of a Mediterranean heritage as well as stormy blue eyes fringed with long dark lashes that she would personally kill for. He wore a simple white shirt and a rugged-looking pair of jeans, and he had what looked like a griffin tattoo-wrapped around his arm.
When she didn’t say anything, he turned his back on her.
Bobby’s temper snapped. “Excuse me,” she said again, this time between clenched teeth. Her arms were beginning to ache at the weight of the tray as well, making her even more annoyed.
What the hell was her problem? The sound of the pissed-out voice had Leandro Christopoulos closing his eyes. This girl seemed to be more insistent than most. Or maybe it was because he was in America and people weren’t yet familiar with his moods. Back at home, girls had known by his reputation that Leandro didn’t care to have his privacy interrupted unless he had given the signal for them to approach him. Otherwise, he was left alone – like he should be now.
The words and how the girl was practically hissing at him had Leandro incredulous. He turned around again and demanded curtly, “What do you want?” He just wanted this over with.
He looked at her more closely this time. Auburn hair that had him almost snorting. Typical. Flashing green eyes and an oval face that was flushed with anger. His gaze traveled down. Oversized buttoned-up blouse – boyfriend shirt was how his younger sister described it, if he remembered correctly – and paired with regular jeans and flats.
She told him frostily, “You’re in my seat.”
He made a show of looking around and even checking the back of his chair. “I don’t see anything here that has your name on it.”
Bobby gasped, unable to believe someone so beautiful could be such an ass! But she should have expected it, she thought, teeth gnashing. Beautiful people were always like this. She really should have known better.
Juggling her tray because her arms were killing her already, “I left my book on the table so that people know I’ve reserved it.”
Following her gaze, Leandro saw that she indeed had left a book on the table – something he had failed to notice because he had been too distracted with his thoughts. Leandro rarely found himself in the wrong, and the fact that he was now didn’t sit well with him at all.
He said brusquely, “You may sit down on the other chair then.” He waved towards the vacant chair opposite him like a king bestowing a favor on a slave.
May? She may sit down? Who the hell did he think he was? Fed up completely now, Bobby slammed the tray down on the table. “Are you dense? I was here first so I have the right to kick you out of the chair.”
Leandro answered by slowly looking at the girl up and down. She was – what? Two inches over five feet? He was more than a foot taller than she was and probably double her weight. He said dismissively, “You can try.”
Without hesitation, Bobby kicked him in the shin. Hard.
The sudden pain on his shin almost had Leandro cursing. His gaze snapped back to the girl, incredulity and rage lining his voice as he growled, “What was that for?”
“You have to ask?” she shot back. He suddenly shot to his feet, and Bobby almost took a step back. He really was tall. And lethal.
There as an air of danger about him that she was only beginning to realize and the words I take it back hovered on her lips.
If this guy went berserk and Hulk-smashed everything in his sight, she was pretty sure she would be his first victim.
So say sorry, her conscience urged. You know you were rude first.
Bobby stubbornly pushed the thought away. Rude or not, she just couldn’t make herself say sorry. She was too proud to do it.
When the girl didn’t even say sorry, simply glared up at him mutinously, Leandro found himself experiencing a strong urge to take her on his lap and put a stinging slap to her backside. Girls in his homeland were not like this. They knew their place, and it was to respect and serve the men in their life.
His gaze swiftly scanned their surroundings and saw that everyone inside the cafeteria were looking at them. He knew he had to leave the table. It galled him to admit that she had indeed “claimed” the table first but Leandro knew it was true.
However, he did not intend to let her have the last word.
He gestured to the table. “It’s all yours.”
“It really is—”
Leandro stepped forward, held her by the nape and closed his lips over hers.
She froze, shock making her immobile and when her lips instinctively parted in surprise, Leandro did not hesitate to deepen the kiss, his tongue moving in to brand her with his taste, making sure that she would never forget him and his kiss.
Leandro meant to seduce her, but what he didn’t count on was being seduced in return. Her mouth was a unique blend of sweet and spice, their sexual chemistry combustible in its explosive heat. This close, he was suddenly and explicitly aware of her softness, her womanly scent, and when his cock rose, balls aching with need, Leandro tore himself away abruptly.
Even as his body protested the sudden absence of contact, Leandro managed to look into the red-headed virago’s eyes with cold eyes. “I’m on to you, mégaira. All that noise was for me to notice you, wasn’t it?”
As the words sank in, she let out a loud gasp, and Leandro added silkily, “Next time, you only need to ask.”
Marian Tee is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of steamy romantic comedies. She is Filipino-Chinese, has lived all her life in the Philippines, and is a frustrated mangaka. She is addicted to horror flicks, misses hip hop dancing, and loves all things Japanese.
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