Overworked CEO Ellison Thorne has no time for sex, let alone romance. The only answer, at least where his retiring business partner Beverly is concerned, is a no-strings sex clause in her replacement’s contract, designed to make Ellis’ busy life easier – and hotter. But she’s joking, right?
When Dee Henning takes over Beverly’s job, sparks fly between her and Ellis, but work takes priority in driven Dee’s life too. Can one night of passion in a Paris hotel room prove Beverly’s Sex Clause is their secret to success in the boardroom and the bedroom, and what will happen if that private clause becomes public knowledge?
An Executive Decision is a brilliant first novel from Grace Marshall. As someone familiar with KD Grace's work, there's a marked difference between the heat levels, but the writing style is still recognisable, and still excellent. This book has a pretty hefty plot, even without the Executive Sex Clause, and therefore the sex is dotted throughout the storyline, but doesn't make up a massive part of it. The storyline has a great blend between the romance and the other plot elements, and each of the elements combines to make this a real page-turner. Despite its whopping word count, I whizzed through this in a couple of days, and am looking forward to the next book. - BlogCritics.Org
'This is all about forbidden sex. Erotic fiction teaches that it’s fine to have fantasies, it doesn’t matter if your fantasy’s not ‘nice’ and about sex on a beach with your husband. It can be as erotic and naughty as you like.' - Daily Mail
He offered her his hand. ‘It’s just Ellis, please.’
Her handshake was firm and warm, and her eyes were even bluer than they appeared in the photo. ‘Ellis. Lynn told me you’d be gone.’ Her speech was not the antiseptic elocution he had grown used to hearing from women in the business world. There was something interesting about her barely perceptible accent. He wondered if she owed that to her French father.
Rhinestone droplets of water clung to her lashes and tendrils of damp hair curled around her ears. For a second, he stood motionless, unable to take his eyes off the woman glistening in front of him. She held his gaze with a half-smile, her cheeks tinged with the slightest hint of discomfort, which made her all the more intriguing. It took another second before he realized she was waiting for him to respond. He caught his breath and spoke in a mad rush, finally remembering to release her hand. ‘I felt it was time we met in person. Can I get you a towel? I have an extra jacket if you’re chilled.’ He motioned her into his office.
‘Thanks, but I won’t melt, and I’m not cold. And if you don’t mind me dripping on your floor, I have several more prospects for you to look at.’
‘After all you’ve done for Pneuma Inc. in the past few years I think you’ve earned dripping privileges.’ He felt stupid the minute he’d said it, but it was out, and it got him the smile he’d hoped for.
She sat down, crossing long legs in sheer stockings, and opened her briefcase onto her lap.
He took the files she offered him and sifted through them, trying to ignore the droplet of rain on her earlobe begging to be licked. God, what was the matter with him? He was offering the woman a job, not asking her to marry him. The room seemed suddenly hot. He wondered if the air conditioner had stopped working.
‘I’m afraid none of the candidates is really ideal, but these are the ones I felt were at least hopeful. Ellis?’
He struggled to force his attention back to what she was saying, away from her earlobe and the fading image of mounded lace.
She nodded to the files.
He gave them a cursory glance then, with a sigh, shoved them back across the desk. ‘I can’t put off the decision any longer, you know? I’ve already waited too long.’ He straightened his shoulders and forced a smile. ‘No doubt that’s my fault. Nevertheless, I need someone to fill that position.’
‘I understand.’ Her body language was nearly unreadable, but he had made his living catching the nuances in a person’s behavior. He was sure he saw a ripple of tension across the tops of her shoulders. She nodded to her briefcase. ‘I’ll double my efforts and have some more possibilities on your desk tomorrow.’
‘I’m not sure there’s any need, really.’
‘Ellis?’ This time the tension was clear.
He leaned forward over his desk, feeling like it was his first date. ‘Dee, no one could have worked harder than you to help me find a replacement for …’ He closed his eyes and rubbed the bridge of his nose beneath his glasses then began again. ‘What I’m trying to say is as hard as you’ve worked, as much as you’ve done for this company, I’m afraid I may have wasted your time.’
‘I’ve given it a lot of thought and I’ve come to the conclusion there’s only one person right for Beverly’s job. Apparently Beverly knew it for quite some time, but she was a little slow letting me in on her plan.’
He could almost sense the heat of concentration in her gaze. Her cheeks were flushed – perhaps from what she perceived as her failure to deliver. Just below her ear, at the tender side of her throat, he could see the shudder of her pulse. ‘Why didn’t you tell me? I’d have contacted them.’
‘Oh, you don’t need to contact them. I’ve already made the decision.’
‘I see.’ The flush on her cheeks spread to her temples and all expression disappeared from her face.
He scooted forward on the edge of the chair and leaned over the desk, feeling the accumulation of stress in the muscles of his neck and stomach as he thought about his promise. ‘The only person who can take Beverly’s job and run with it, Dee, is you.’