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by Aubrianna Hunter
Category: Erotica/Erotic Romance
Description: She is an architect, successful, professional. So when she meets Jake Morgenstern she refuses to let the stubborn, sexist, obnoxious pig of a man disrupt her calm demeanor. No matter how strong, gorgeous, and ridiculously appealing he is. He is expecting a man. So when Jess Wythe turns out to be Jessica, he is thrown off. When he finds that the somewhat frumpy architect is hiding a beautiful woman behind those boxy suits, he is even more stunned. Imagine his surprise when he finds that not only is she gorgeous, but he is drawn to her on an almost visceral level. The attraction between these two explodes in more ways than one. You're never quite sure if they are going to make love or war. Will they find a way to make the fireworks work for them?
eBook Publisher: Sugar and Spice Press, 2012
eBookwise Release Date: September 2012
2 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [297 KB]
Reading time: 201-282 min.
Jake looked up from his computer and saw Marsha standing next to a very petite, somewhat frumpy woman in a drab, horrid gray suit. Her hair was in a severe roll of some sort, although it appeared to be an attractive color, not quite black. She was fair skinned, with very attractive features. Sharp chin, high cheekbones and huge brown eyes. She was not overtly pretty, and yet he found himself somewhat drawn to her. He looked behind her, expecting to see her boss standing there.
With a muffled chuckle, Marsha introduced the woman. "Jake, this is Ms. Jess Wythe." With that, Marsha backed out of the room.
Jake stared at the woman, taking in the entire package and trying to reconcile it now that he knew she was the architect. When he finally got back to her eyes, he noticed that she was busy taking his measure as well.
After a rather uncomfortable pause, she finally spoke. "Hi, Mr. Morgenstern, I'm Jessica Wythe. I'm under the impression, that you were not expecting ... well, me. Rather, you were expecting a gentleman. I'm terribly sorry about the confusion. Mr. Brundel has always called me Jess. Apparently it's his granddaughter's name." With this she was standing in front of his desk holding her hand out to shake.
Her voice was like warm brandy. It seemed terribly out of place coming from the dowdy woman standing before him. It was the voice of a siren. And, like a siren, he suddenly found himself impossibly drawn to her. This wasn't going to work. He needed another architect.
She stood there, obviously waiting for him to shake her hand. When he finally reached out, gripping her hand in his, he found her grip to be firm, her skin soft. Just as he felt the jolt of electricity, she pulled her hand back as if she'd been burned. "Ms. Wythe, I'm sorry about the confusion, but I don't think this is going to work out."
"I'm sorry, what's not going to work out?"
"You, as my architect. I'll call Mr. Brundel and explain the situation. Explain, that this is in no way your fault, but I need him to send me another architect." Jake had no idea why, but for some reason he felt that having her here was dangerous. It was probably just because he didn't handle surprises well.
"Excuse me. Am I to understand that you are ... firing me? Because I'm a woman?"
Her words dripped with sarcasm. He almost smiled at the first sign of fire from the bland Ms. Wythe. This little spark seemed more in keeping with the voice than the clothes. "No, not really. Well, yeah, actually. This ranch has almost exclusively men living here. The only woman who will reside in the main house is Marsha, and I've already given her free rein with the kitchen. However, the rest of the house will be essentially mine. And I would like someone to design it that understands me."
"You have no idea what I understand or don't understand." Her voice rose as she continued, "You have yet to even speak to me, let alone get to know me or see any of my designs. And as for what I understand, let me tell you. I understand that you have not redecorated this house in well over ten years, probably longer. The original decoration reflects, I would guess, your mother's taste and has since become some random collection of whatever was lying around. I also understand that the only room in the house, or at least the bottom floor, that in any way reflects your personal choices, is this room. I would bet that this is not only your office, but your haven. And I also understand that you are a chauvinist pig. And, if you call Mr. Brundel and request a new architect, I will personally pay him his commission percentage of this job's estimate to refuse your request and refuse to send anyone else out here!"
She was standing opposite him, leaning in with her hands on the desk. Since he had assumed the same position on the other side, they were almost nose to nose. And she was yelling at him. In his office, in his home. She was yelling at him and calling him names. He was irate! And she was gorgeous. Somehow, warm brown eyes were shooting fire while she was yelling. And the anger seemed to break that icy, boring package. He was not at all sure whether he wanted to kill her or kiss her. He opted for yelling right back.
"Ms. Wythe, I don't know how you treat your clients, but I can assure you that screaming at me will in no way help you keep this job! I do not tolerate people yelling at me! Do you understand?"
He watched as shock and horror registered on her face. She took a breath, schooling her face back into the calm, boring mask. If he looked closely, he could still see the anger simmering underneath, but it was barely perceptible.
"Mr. Morgenstern," now her voice dripped icicles as she spoke, "I am going to need a ride back to the airport. There is not a snowball's chance in hell that I would take this job. Which is your loss, by the way. You asked for the best, and I'm the best. Oh, and good luck finding any other architect who can pull off the house you want in under five months. I'll show myself out, thanks." She turned on her heel and walked toward the door.
Jake dropped his head, made a fist and punched his desk. Damn! She was right. He did not have time to look for and find another architect. And he'd done some research on J. Wythe. She was really good. Really, really good. But nothing ever mentioned that she was a she. As her hand reached the knob, he yelled out, "Wait."
She stopped at the door. He saw another deep breath before she turned to face him, hands folded in front of her. Very prim and proper. "Yes?"
"You're right." He forced it out. He did not apologize often or well. "I was surprised, and I don't like surprises. I'm still uncomfortable with a woman designing my house. However, I have done my research, and I'm pleased with the work I've seen from you. Therefore, would you please stay?"
He knew he still sounded angry, but he was trying, damn it. After a long pause, she cocked her head to one side, placed her hand on her hip and answered, "Fine. I'll take the job. And you will be thrilled with the result."