Hot shot CEO Marcus Bolton’s decided who to hire for the top job, and it’s not Angel Moore, no matter how tempting she might be. But Angel will do whatever it takes to land the job of her dreams—even seduce the boss.
He won’t give in, and she won’t take no for an answer. When their battle of wits moves into the bedroom, who’ll come out on top?
How To Seduce a CEO is the introductory novella in a contemporary romance series that features an HEA and steamy sex with no cliffhangers. If you like red hot sex scenes, electric chemistry, airtight writing, and laugh-out-loud humor, then you’ll love this fresh new air in the romance genre.
Angel had never considered her ample curves a curse until she’d started work as a property manager for Cross Corporation. Correction. Until she started working for ‘Boob Man Bruce’, the man standing in her office cubicle giving her a shudder-inducing grin. As usual, his gaze was focused several inches below her chin.
Angel leaned back in her chair, resisting the urge to cross her arms. “Was there something I could help you with, Bruce?”
He nodded towards the whiteboard, which held a list of vacancy rates for each of the property managers. “Wanted to check when that tenant of yours was moving out so I could update the board.”
Displaying the list had been Angel’s idea, to inspire each of the managers to try to retain their tenants as the commercial property market tanked. The old General Manager had been enthusiastic about it. Bruce not so much. In fact, he’d already erased her percentage. Figured. He hated that she had the lowest vacancy rate in the office, even though she worked harder than anyone else to keep it that way.
Angel shook her head. “Actually, I’ve convinced that tenant to renew for another term, so my percentage hasn’t changed.” She’d spent all day with them, solving the problems that had caused them to give notice. It had taken a few creative solutions, but in the end they’d both come away happy.
“Oh.” Bruce’s grin slipped.
No doubt he’d been keen to take her down a notch while the company’s new CEO was in Sydney. Marcus Bolton had flown in early this morning and it was now after four, but because of the issue with her tenant she hadn’t got to meet him yet. Nervously she checked her watch. Marcus was interviewing her at four thirty, so she’d find out what he was like soon enough.
“Hey, Bruce. We still on for drinks tonight?” Steve, one of the other property managers, strode into Angel’s cubicle without a glance in her direction.
Bruce put both hands on his protruding stomach as though making sure he had room for all the beer he planned to drink. “Happy hour starts at five.” Standing with his legs spread, Bruce had already been taking up most of the room in her cubicle. Now Steve was taking up the rest, and Angel moved impatiently, uncomfortable to have them both looming over her.
Steve seemed to notice her for the first time. “Oh, hey Angel. You coming out too?”
“To The Playhouse, celebrating Bruce’s promotion.” Steve slapped Bruce on the back. “And he’s shouting, aren’t ya mate?”
Angel felt the blood drain from her face. “His promotion?” she repeated. She hadn’t even interviewed for the General Manager’s job yet. Had Marcus Bolton already announced that Bruce was appointed?
Bruce elbowed Steve in the ribs. “Angel applied for the job too, remember.”
“Oh yeah.” Steve looked confused. “But Bruce said you’re just interviewing for the experience. You’re not serious?”
“I’m very serious.” It was an understatement. She needed the General Manager’s job. The longer she’d worked for Bruce, the worse he’d got, and if he was officially appointed to run the entire office…. She shuddered. No, she’d have to quit. But with the property market so bad, nobody was hiring.
“Yeah, well. If you want to come for a drink anyway, feel free.” By running his gaze back over her chest, Bruce managed to make the offer sound both reluctant and sleazy. A real achievement.
“You invited Marcus too, didn’t you?” asked Steve.
That brought back Bruce’s grin. “Yeah, and he’s keen.”
Marcus Bolton was going to The Playhouse with them? The place was a rowdy, testosterone-filled dive. Bruce’s favorite because the barmaids wore low-cut uniforms. Angel felt a little sick. Did that mean Marcus was already part of their men’s club? If so, convincing him she was the right person for the job would be even harder than she’d thought.
“If you don’t mind, I still have a few things to do before my interview.” Angel indicated the spreadsheets on her computer screen, but as soon as Bruce and Steve were gone, she grabbed her cellphone and fled into the rest room. With her office mostly staffed by men, the women’s bathroom was the one place she could usually have some privacy.
Angel checked the stalls were empty, then leaned against one of the sinks to call Geena. Hopefully her friend wouldn’t be too busy serving customers in her store to be able to talk. While the phone rang, she unbuttoned her jacket and slipped it off. It was sweltering outside and their office air-conditioning didn’t seem to be coping.
“Hello?” Geena answered, and Angel breathed out with relief to hear her friend’s voice.
“Hope it’s not a bad time? I need a sanity check.”
“Bruce again?” Geena sounded sympathetic.
“I’ve got to stop letting him get to me.” She checked her watch. “My interview’s in twenty minutes and I’m starting to freak out.”
“What’s the big cheese like?”
“I haven’t met him yet. But he’s going to that awful Playhouse bar with Bruce after my interview.”
Geena groaned. “Not another sexist pig? What is it with that place?”
“The guys in the office found out I applied for the job and they all think it’s a huge joke.” Angel paced up and down in front of the row of sinks. “Bruce has been in line for this job for ages. Tell me honestly, am I crazy to try for it?”
“Completely crazy, but in a good way. Angel, you’re smart and determined. You’ll be CEO one day, remember? Then you’ll make the rules.”
Angel took a deep breath. “I’m going be CEO,” she repeated. It was a mantra that kept her working late every night, and got her in early each morning. Her dream since forever, and in about fifteen minutes it would either be a big step closer, or further away than ever.
She stopped pacing and leaned against one of the sinks. “Thanks, Geena, I needed that. Bruce must have rattled me more than I realized.” With her free hand, she fumbled at the top buttons of her blouse. “It’s hot in here, and I’m so nervous, I’m sweating. Hang on while I cool off a minute.” She put the phone down so she could pop the buttons of her high-necked blouse. Don’t know why I bother wearing my blouse buttoned to the top when Bruce still leers at me like I’m naked. She’d overheard him call her Angel Tits more times than she could count. Well, to hell with him. Why should I have to hide away behind so many layers?
She slipped her blouse right off and sighed as the cool air soothed her hot, prickly skin. Standing in front of the mirror in just her favorite black bra, she picked the phone back up.
“I’m wearing the bra I got from you, Geena. For luck.”
“You go, girl. Hey, I ordered some more if you want to come in for another look?”
“Thanks.” Usually bras in her size came with extra-wide shoulder straps and full cup coverage, but Geena stocked a range that was both pretty and sturdy. Who’d have thought she’d find her perfect bra in the sexy lingerie section of an adult toy store? “You know, I feel good in this bra.” She examined herself in the mirror and gave a little smile. “Perhaps I should just wear that to the interview and nothing else.”
“That’s one way to get the job.” Geena chuckled. “At the very least, you’d get his attention.”
Before working for Bruce, Angel hadn’t thought twice about wearing any top she wanted. He’d turned her breast size into a liability, but perhaps she could find a way to use the way she looked to her advantage?
“Maybe it’s not such a silly idea,” she said slowly.
Angel sucked in a breath. “I don’t know. Maybe.”
Geena’s voice went muffled as she spoke to someone else. “Sure. I’ll be with you in a moment.” Then she came back on the line. “Hey, sorry, but I’ve got a customer.”
“Thanks for helping me get my head cleared.”
“Good luck, Angel. I know you’re going to knock him dead.”
Angel hung up and grabbed a paper hand towel to wipe the sheen of perspiration from her cleavage. Bruce used her sex against her all the time, so why not try using it against him instead? If Marcus Bolton was going to the Playhouse with Bruce, he was almost certainly a sleaze. Probably a crusty old man who kidded himself that the young waitresses he drooled over weren’t smiling at him for the tips. Maybe some sex appeal would make him sit up and take notice.
Leaving her blouse on the edge of the sink, she pulled her suit jacket on over her bra and buttoned it so the lacy black bra was covered, but her cleavage drew the eye. Hmm, not bad. But if Bruce saw her, his offensive remarks would get unbearable.
What am I doing? This is insane. She fingered her discarded blouse, tempted to put it back on. Then her gaze went to her face, shiny with perspiration, and her hair, limp from the heat. Sex appeal? Seriously, who was she kidding?
Swallowing down a hot lump of despair, she gave her hair a quick burst of air under the hand dryer, messing it a little. Then pulled a lipstick out of her purse. Instead of her usual muted office shade, she slicked on a deep red. Better.
Pressing her lips together to blot them, her heart was thumping.
Do I really want to do this? If he comes onto me, how far am I willing to take it?
Angel shook her head. She wouldn’t let herself think that far ahead or she was going to lose her nerve. Forcing herself away from the mirror, she pushed open the bathroom door. Her heart beat louder than the clatter of her high heels as she strode determinedly towards the interview room.
Watch out Marcus Bolton. I need this job, and I’m not taking no for an answer.