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The New Guy

Seven for Seduction

eXtasy Books

Heat Rating: STEAMY
Word Count: 27,743
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What’s a token male to do? Bryce Davison finds himself stuffed with homemade goodies, herbal cures, and attempts to sign him up to play a sport he despises. The only sane person in the all-female office is his aloof yet sexy cube neighbor, Jaynie Baker, and he can't seem to fight his attraction to her.

Jaynie has had enough of men. Left at the altar, there’s no way she’ll take her coworkers up on their wild bet to see who can seduce the mysterious Bryce first. Let the others go for it—she’ll take no part of that bet. Strangely enough, it's Jaynie’s leaving Bryce alone that turns him on the most and increases their mutual attraction.

Can Jaynie win the heart of the new guy? If she does, can she find out what's really behind his distant demeanor to ensure a happily ever after? Will a second chance at love be a winning hand for them both?

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“He loves my muffins!”

Jaynie Baker traipsed blissfully unaware into the breakroom at the same time her animated coworker shrieked the good news. “Excuse me?”

“I said, He loves my muffins,” Raheesha Tate enunciated slowly as if Jaynie were deaf. “He said he really likes my homemade muffins.”

“We all do. You’re a great muffin maker, Raheesha.”

Grinning, Jaynie reached into the breakroom refrigerator, retrieved a Diet Coke, and popped the tab. “So, who is this person who’s in awe of your culinary prowess?”

“Bryce, of course.” Raheesha breathed out a proud sigh, her head held high, her well-fleshed chest practically filling the closet-like room. “You know who I’m talking about, right? The newest member of Hit-On-Us Incorporated?”

“Sh!” Jaynie lowered her voice. “Don’t let Mr. Johansson hear you say that. Remember how bent out of shape he was when the bakery abbreviated our company’s name on that sheet cake we got for having a profitable quarter? I thought he’d have a stroke.”

“I thought he’d have a stroke when he realized our Frankie was a bit different than your average male.” Raheesha chuckled, then turned to place her empty plate into the small sink. “Never have I seen a white guy turn so pale before. I didn’t think it was possible.”

“Neither have I, but let’s not hold Mr. J’s lack of judgment against him. He hired us, didn’t he?”

“That he did, and he hired Mr. Bryce Davison, too. So Mr. J’s judgment can’t be all the whacked. You see all the diplomas and certifications Bryce has on his wall?”

Jaynie shrugged and took a swig of her Coke. “No, I haven’t made the obligatory cubicle visit yet. I take it you have?”

“Yes, I have—and so have all your fellow coworkers. Emma is already working on the man to sign him up for her regular Friday morning half-court basketball game at the Y.”

Jaynie quirked an eyebrow. “The guy is a jock?”

“No, I don’t think so, but she’s hoping to change his mind.”

“Well, if Emma could get Frankie out of his spiked heels and skirt for an hour to run up and down the court with her, she stands a chance with our new inmate. He actually wears pants.”

Raheesha slapped her ample thigh and hooted. “Ooh, girlfriend! You kill me with that wicked sense of humor of yours. Speaking of the afterlife here on Earth, Lotus muttered some mumbo-jumbo and gave his cubicle a pagan blessing of some sort. To ward off bad files or bad karma or something, so she said.”

Rolling her eyes, Jaynie took another sip of her drink. “Lolo is a sweetheart, but I withhold judgment on how crazy that sounds. Who else has visited our gulag’s newest prisoner?”

“Keryn got his computer set up and made a big deal out of passing him one of her flashy business cards—the one with the hologram on it. Madi shuffled in and said hello and shuffled out without raising her head once, as usual. And last, but certainly not least, Ms. Gabriela The Femme Fatale Roget waltzed in and practically propositioned the man while he was organizing his pencil drawer.”

Jaynie cringed. “Ugh. I swear Gabby reminds me of my parents’ cocker spaniel in heat. You think getting her fix would help?”

“All right, Ms. High-and-Mighty.” Raheesha placed her hands on her broad hips and laughed. You better get your lily-white ass in there quick and say hello, so he don’t go on thinking you’re a snobby bitch. Heck, we all know you are, but we love ya just the same.”

“Ha, ha. I love you, too, Mama Bear.” Jaynie gave Raheesha a quick hug. “You’re the only woman I know under the age of thirty-five who still believes the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.”

“But it is,” Raheesha insisted as they exited the break room and strolled down the narrow hall leading to the cube farm. “Sex is dessert, but food truly nourishes the soul. I should know, being well-nourished myself.”

“You finished off all the muffins already?” Lotus Blossom poked her head around the opening of her cubicle—the first on the block. “I only ate a couple.”

Raheesha pursed her lips. “I didn’t finish them off, Flower Child. Our newest coworker did.”

Lotus’s thin face crumpled like a used paper cup. “Oh, but honey-bran is my favorite.”

“I’ll make some more tonight just for you. Promise.” Raheesha crossed her heart with a plump finger. “Besides, Jay-Jay here couldn’t be pried from her computer during lunch to have even one, remember?”

Lotus scooted her desk chair to the doorway and clasped her hands together in front of her chartreuse paisley-printed, butterfly-sleeved top. “You starting a diet, Jay-Jay?”

“No, I just didn’t feel hungry today,” Jaynie admitted. “I stayed in my cubbyhole and emailed my college roommate instead.”

“I see.” A Zen-like look of understanding washed over their resident hippy’s petite features, her expression made even plainer by a complete lack of cosmetics. “You enjoy electronic correspondence more than interacting with your fellow humans personally.”

Good grief! The office psychiatrist was really hitting her stride now…

“Sometimes. It’s also been a while since I’d heard from Shayna, and I wanted to know how her latest animal behavior experiments were coming along.”

Lotus lifted a thin, blond eyebrow. “Behavior experiments?”

Got her! Jaynie felt a surge of pride in being able to use her coworker’s interests to her best advantage.

“Yes, I’ll have to tell you all about Shayna’s experiments sometime. Right now, I have to go introduce myself to Brad or whatever his name is.”

“His name is Bryce,” Raheesha corrected her. She breezed past Jaynie and squeezed into her playpen next door. “Be nice or else, ya hear?”

Jaynie laughed. “Yes, Mama Bear.”