Frigid. That’s what Gemma Grayson’s ex-husband called her when she caught him in bed with another woman. She wasn’t frigid, just career-focused. She was well on her way to making partner by forty and that’s better than sex any day, isn’t it?
Yet the term haunts her and the need to prove her ex wrong drives her to the edge of ruin.
P.I. Jonas Anderson was sent to ruin her career. Only, he’s not onboard with the plan, and once he realizes she’s the woman he’s been fantasizing about for months, his only desire is to protect her – of course, that’s after he has her writhing under him.
When Gemma finds out why he’s truly there, can she recover from another betrayal?
Gemma could do this. She could play the wanton and prove she wasn’t as ice-cold as some people claimed her to be.
She stopped in to the hotel shop and started looking for a swimsuit, heading for the safe, mild one-pieces straight out of the box. Suddenly, the staid and safe suits she typically wore just weren’t right. If she was going to play the wanton, she needed to dress the part. Gemma looked over her shoulder and saw a rack of bikinis, tiny scraps of material that she’d never consider at home. She walked up and pushed through the little black sexy bits and found one in her size.
As Gemma was lifting it up for her perusal, a clerk headed over after finishing with another guest. “That would look wonderful on you,” she said brightly. “Would you like to try it on?”
“She would,” a male voice said behind her.
Gemma turned to see Jonas standing behind her, a fire burning in his eyes. Her heart shuddered in her chest, and the butterflies came back to twist in her stomach. He was shirtless, showing off a muscled chest and set of shoulders that belonged on a statue. His board shorts hung low on his hips, the etched hipbones pushing out above the fabric making her weak-kneed. Yes, if she was going to be a wanton hussy, this was most definitely the man to be wanton with. She fought the smile coming to her lips. “What are you doing here?”
“I was heading for the bar and saw you in here with that bikini in your hand and…felt compelled…to see you try it on.”
Breathing was becoming very difficult. Her nipples pebbled under the thin summer dress she’d thrown on to head down for her massage, and she knew the material was thin enough for him to see. When his stare dipped down and back up, a wolfish smile altered his handsome looks back into that predatory stare she’d seen in the elevator.
Six months ago, he’d had a hint of danger to him. Now, he was downright wicked.
“I can show you…and your friend…into the fitting rooms,” the clerk said carefully.
“Lead the way,” Jonas said to the young woman.
Gemma knew she shouldn’t, but the temptation was just too great. She craved the attention he was giving her, not realizing just how hungry she was for it. After being alone for so long, she felt awkward in the situation, yet it felt so right all at the same time. She wanted to show off to Jonas, even if her body was that of an almost forty year old.
Jonas walked closer and as soon as he was almost on top of her, Gemma turned to follow the clerk as well before he got too close and made her lose her damned mind.
The woman pulled the key from around her wrist and began opening a louvered door. “Sir, you can sit out here while she tries it on,” she said, pointing to a seat across from the door. The woman eyed Jonas closely once she turned around. Then she turned to Gemma. “If you need anything—a new size, a different color—just yell and I’ll be there to help.”
Another guest walked into the shop as Gemma glanced at the clerk and smiled. “Thank you,” she said, hoping the other guest would make the clerk a little less attentive. A thought had popped into Gemma’s head as she’d walked back there. She planned on giving Jonas a show once she got the bikini on, one she didn’t need an audience for.
Gemma looked over her shoulder and peeked at Jonas. He lounged languidly in the chair, his eyes half-lidded as he watched her enter. She closed the door with shaking fingers and took a deep breath before she began pulling her sundress off. Once she’d gotten rid of her dress, she slipped the bikini on over her panties, which she realized were too close to being granny panties. The bikini fit fine, so she shucked the underwear and knew she’d just paid—she checked the tag—two hundred dollars for two little bits of cloth. Closing her eyes, she laughed at the expense, knowing she was most definitely not thinking clearly.
The price might be worth it, if it got the reaction she was hoping for. She gazed at herself in the full-length mirror and had to admit that the early morning runs she’d been doing since college were about to finally pay dividends. Her body wasn’t perfect; her tummy was just a little rounded, and her thighs weren’t super trim. She wasn’t going to let that stop her. She was a curvy woman, who was real. Better than a stick-thin model wannabe.
Yet she was used to business suits and covering herself in a veritable armor as she walked into courtrooms and conference rooms. Walking out into the world with barely two slips of fabric on was so far out of her comfort zone, it was scary.
Courage. You can do this. He wants you.
She hoped Jonas didn’t see her womanly body and turn around and run away. This would definitely be a moment of truth. Her hand hovered over the knob, her heart beating fiercely in her ears. Gemma took a calming breath and turned the handle and eased through the door.
Jonas stared, his smile slowly slipping from his lips. Doubt filled her as his expression became a blank mask. He lifted his eyes to hers, heat firing in them. A rush of relief filled her as lust settled in his face.
“What do you think? Is this the one?” she asked, trying to get a better read on his response.
Jonas’ smile returned slowly, the rapacious gleam filling his eyes. “I think you look good enough to eat.”