The Player (Rouge Passion #1)
Author: J.D. Chase
Genre: Erotic romance
Release date: 30th June 2014
Bestselling erotic romance author, J.D. Chase, has a new two part series, Rouge Passion – and it’s hot! There’s a new dirty talking alpha in town …
Feisty redhead, Isla Hamilton, is the ambitious Assistant General Manager of a luxury Kensington hotel. When the hotel is sold, she is desperate to become the new General Manager. There’s just one problem standing in her way, and its standing over six feet tall – the king of arrogance and inappropriateness, Xander Rhodes. Her mind hates his obnoxious, godlike presence but, no matter how hard she fights it, her body reacts to his distinct style of directness, particularly his dirty mouth, and maintaining a professional distance soon becomes difficult.Events from the recent past haunt her, forcing her to swear that she’ll never give another man a chance to hurt her. But Xander isn’t interested in commitment, he’s too busy battling his own demons that are shrouded in secrecy so he can’t hurt her, right? When he warns her that spending the night with him would only make her crave him like an addiction, she is sceptical and determined to prove him wrong. If anything, she’d make him crave her.
But will she be ready to handle the fallout if she succeeds?
Warning: Adult Content – dirty talk and hot sex may offend the prudish!
She pushed open her door and almost dropped her coffee. Xander was seated in her chair, leaning forward, his elbows on her desk and his chin resting on the tip of his steepled fingers. Isla stood, frozen in the doorway. Neither moved. Stalemate.
Eventually, Xander’s eyes swept from her head to her toes, lingering on her most curvy assets and making her feel naked once again. She gritted her teeth, determined not to show an outward response which she assumed was what he was attempting to provoke. If he hadn’t been sitting forward in her chair, she might well have brazenly returned the gesture, but her view was restricted. Frustrated, she inwardly railed at the audacity of the man, looking at her like that, choosing to ignore the fact that a tiny part of her enjoyed seeing the way his eyes drank in her voluptuous figure. She didn’t know how to respond so she simply stood there as if he was having no effect on her whatsoever.
When his eyes began to travel back up her body, she prepared herself for them reaching hers so she could show no reaction. However, when their eyes did meet, she felt the full force of his hunger. That’s exactly what it was. He wants me! He wants to rip my clothes off and take me anyway he can. No! He’d want to take me his way, and I’d bet my life that it would be fast, hard and totally euphoric. Her pussy clenched involuntarily at the thought of him – deep inside her. She felt heat spread from between her thighs and her nipples swell. She saw recognition in his eyes. Oh yeah, he knows what he’s doing all right.
‘I know what you’re thinking, Red,’ he declared. ‘Oh, I know you’d die before you’d admit it but I know exactly what you’re thinking.’ His voice was rich and deep, cocky yet seductive, having lost its usual hard edge.
She tried to laugh it off but she felt her cheeks flush. ‘Oh really. Do tell. What is it that you think I’m thinking, exactly?’
He raised his eyebrows slightly and nodded slowly. ‘Oh you’re good. Very good. I give you full marks for effort but you don’t fool me. I can read you like a book.’
‘Prove it,’ she challenged, walking over to her desk and leaning across it so that she was inches from his face. She looked him straight in the eye. ‘Tell me what I’m thinking right now.’
She could have hugged herself when she saw surprise register on his smug face, but he quickly recovered.
‘Think that one through, Red,’ he murmured. ‘If I did, what would happen next?’
She smiled. ‘I’m so confident that you’re way off the mark with whatever it is you believe I’m thinking, that I think you’d storm back into your office as I laughed and mocked you. And then you’d sulk and probably try to make my life hell until you felt better.’
She saw the muscles in his jaw twitch before he leaned forward, almost closing the gap between them and cloaking them with his unique intensity. She wanted to swallow but her mouth was dry. She wanted to back off but she couldn’t let him win. She’d upped the ante first; he was only raising his game to meet hers.
‘So I’m useless at knowing what you’re thinking but you’re confident you can predict my next move? Interesting . . .’ His voice was barely a whisper yet he still sounded cocky.
‘That’s right,’ she murmured, focusing more on those ravenous eyes than his words. His pupils were almost fully dilated and they seemed to be drawing her in. Oh my God, they are drawing me in . . . or is he getting closer?
His lips pressed against hers and, almost before she could register what was happening, his hands wove into her hair and she felt her lips open at the insistence of his tongue. Shock and indignation raged through her and she tried to pull away, but his hands held her fast as his mouth tortured hers. She thrust her hands against his chest in order to push him away but at that moment, his kiss became soft, tender even, and he gave a low moan. Something in that sound called to her and she felt herself weakening . . . then responding to his slow, almost reverent kiss.
Her libido woke from its slumber like a phoenix rising from cold, undisturbed ashes and she suddenly wanted it. Badly. She took the initiative, her hand slipping around the back of his neck as she deepened the kiss, devouring his mouth with her tongue. Fuck! This man can kiss! It felt like he was making love to her mouth with his tongue and it was intoxicating. She didn’t know what would happen next, she just knew she didn’t want that kiss to end.
The shrill sound of the telephone rang out, making her start. She sprang back and they faced each other, both visibly shocked by what had just happened. She reached for the phone but it stopped as she placed her hand on it.
Xander stood and walked back to his office, pausing at the door to throw casually over his shoulder, ‘Well, Red, I doubt you predicted that.’
The sommelier glided up to the table and, after a consultation with Xander in fluid French that Isla couldn’t follow, poured them both a glass of white wine.‘Thank you for agreeing to have dinner with me. I think we’ll accomplish quite a lot as we dine which will hopefully bode well for the future,’ Xander said, smiling and looking as relaxed as she felt.‘It’s my pleasure. I just wish I’d had chance to dress appropriately. I feel very underdressed,’ she replied, taking a sip of her wine. It was deliciously crisp yet surprisingly smooth.With a wave of his hand, Xander dismissed her comments. ‘I can assure you, the pleasure is all mine and, if anything, you’re overdressed, although that dress suits you. It clings to your curves in all the right places as I’m sure every hot-blooded male has noticed today. You have a fantastic body, so much better than all those waifish types. And I’ll tell you this, curves with confidence is a heady combination that’ll give any man the erection of a lifetime.’
Isla swallowed. Is he coming on to me? As usual, he’d chosen his words carefully so that it could be a harmless compliment or a subtle come on. She couldn’t help but feel flattered.
She gave the only response that her tipsy brain thought would be suitable in either case. She looked him in the eye and said, ‘Thank you but I’m not interested in what men think.’
‘So you’re a lesbian?’
She was about to correct him but figured that if he was coming on to her, then he’d stop if he thought she was only interested in women so she said nothing.
‘Do you know that it’s every man’s fantasy to see two women together? To watch their soft fingers and tongues pleasuring one another, as he sits back and strokes his cock.’ He grinned wickedly, leaning closer. ‘Unless of course, he were invited to join in.’
The predatory expression left her in no doubt that he would love to see her with another woman and that he was getting turned on.
‘Can you imagine that, Red?’ His voice had dropped to a whisper and she could feel his breath on her ear.
Could she ever! Oh my God. That’s so fucking hot! Oh no, this is all going badly wrong.
She gulped down a mouthful of wine, attempting to keep her own arousal under control. She had to cool him down some.
‘But I’m not a lesbian,’ she said simply, feeling stupid for having allowed the insinuation that she was.
His lips were almost touching her ear now. ‘So that would just leave the two of us to pleasure each other, wouldn’t it? Can you imagine that?’
Intimate images formed in her mind. Oh yes, I fucking can! She shook her head.
‘I think you’re lying but if you can’t imagine it, perhaps I’ll just have to enlighten you. Are you ready to get down to business?’
Thankfully, they were interrupted by the arrival of the first course and Isla tucked in and began to babble away, raving about how delicious it was – anything to get off that dangerous topic of conversation.
He sat back and watched her with a lazy, self-satisfied grin on his face.
Thankfully, for the next three courses – Isla was beginning to wonder how many courses there would be – Xander behaved impeccably and they did indeed get down to business. They argued good naturedly about whether the hotel needed a total makeover or whether the old-fashioned luxury look would cut it in the current climate. The conversation was interspersed with much laughter and joviality and Isla relaxed once more. She realised that the sommelier was doing a fantastic job of keeping several delicious wines flowing with the courses. Something irked her about that but she couldn’t think what it was.
When the pre-dessert dessert arrived, Isla announced that she couldn’t possibly eat any more. Xander laughed and then told her that she must force herself because her curves needed maintaining as much as his hard-on needed release.
She burst out laughing.
‘You think I’m joking?’ he challenged.
She continued to laugh until he grasped her hand and placed it over his cock. She gasped, not sure whether it was because of his audacity – shoving her hand on his crotch in a public place – the fact that he did indeed have a raging hard-on, or because her clenching pussy told her how much it needed to feel his cock. Not just feel it, but claim it, pleasure it and milk it dry. She didn’t care whether that was with her hands, her mouth or her pussy. She just wanted that cock!
She raised her eyes to his and saw the need in him too. Neither moved. Neither spoke. Each seemed to be waiting for the other to say what needed to be said. His cock twitched under her hand, telling her what he wanted without him uttering a word; but he was her boss and she knew nothing about him. Nothing except his name and she didn’t even know his full name . . . but that rock-solid cock was calling to her. She could almost feel its silky skin. Her hand closed around it, making his breath hitch. It had been so long since she’d had sex. Six whole months, albeit by her own choice but she’d never been turned on in all that time, never put herself in a situation where she might weaken. Until now. So there she was, sitting with hormones raging, her hand wrapped around her boss’s long, thick, twitching cock.
‘Er, Red . . . having your hand grasping my cock is fantastic, don’t get me wrong, but if you keep rubbing it like that, I think I’ll explode.’
Rubbing it? Holy fuck, so I am!
‘And I think it’s only fair that since you got me in this state, you help me relieve my discomfort,’ he breathed, his eyes daring her to refuse.
She smirked. ‘You were already in that state before I touched you and it was you that put my hand on you.’
‘But you made it hard. I’ve been battling burgeoning erections since I first laid eyes on you last Monday. Every time I walk away from you I have to readjust my pants.’
She gave his cock a squeeze. ‘Not my problem, Xander. If you can’t control yourself, that’s not my fault.’
He leaned in closer still and caught the lobe of her ear between his teeth. She shivered, which seemed to embolden him further because he placed a hand on the skin of her thigh. ‘I can’t control myself when your hand is squeezing my cock, trapping my blood flow so that my hard-on has no chance of retreat. That’s unfair. Perhaps I should even the score . . .’
He deftly slid his hand up her thigh and over the front of her lace panties. She fought hard not to show a reaction, although every single nerve ending in her body screamed it was on fire. ‘Score? Is that what this is – a game? Or your way of telling me you’re a player?’ she said, wishing she could toss her hair haughtily without head-butting him.
‘I’m playing a game of tit for tat, if that’s what you mean . . . or rather pussy for cock.’ His fingers pressed firmly against her mound as he said the word pussy.
‘You’ll be playing a game of getting us kicked out of a fancy restaurant if the waiter reappears.’
He chuckled, his breath against her ear making her want to tilt her head to expose her neck, but she resisted. She could tell he was used to winning . . . but she hated to lose.
‘That’s the beauty of hotels like this. I assure you that if a waiter appeared, he’d show no surprise at what we’re doing. He’d go about his business then leave.’
‘Taking my dignity with him?’ she countered. ‘I don’t know about you but I’m not an exhibitionist.’
‘You don’t know what you’re missing,’ he quipped, and from the way he said it, she wasn’t at all sure that he was joking.
‘I prefer to keep my sex life private.’
‘Whoa, Red! Slow it down! Who said anything about having sex?…”