With: Ainslie Paton
Not all superheroes wear capes. Some are a little bad to do a lot of good.
That’s what One Night Wife is about.
A hero who belongs to a family of con artists who steals money from arrogant rich people to give to social justice and environmental programs.
It’s Good Behavior meets Imposters with a side of Billions.
If you like your heroes suave and your heroine’s game for anything, One Night Wife might be for you.
Finley Cartwright is the queen of lost causes. That’s why she’s standing on a barstool trying to convince Friday night drinkers to donate money to her failing charity. Hitting on the guy on the next stool wasn’t part of her plan. Still, hot but grumpy venture capitalist Caleb Sherwood might just be her ticket to success.
Professional grifter and modern-day Robin Hood, Cal Sherwood is looking for a partner for a long con. Sexy Fin, doing her best Marilyn Monroe act for her cause, has the necessary qualifications. By the time he cuts her free, her charity would be thriving, and she’d have helped him charm billions out of arrogant, gullible marks to fund his social justice causes.
But just when he thinks he’s about to pull off the best con ever, his feisty new partner gets the upper hand.
Excerpt: The First Kiss
Cal had been kissed a lot of times in his life. Occasionally without much warning, but never like this. He bit his own tongue when Finley Cartwright pressed her mouth against his. She’d been an amusing diversion, had stopped him brooding, and now she was attached to his lips and he didn’t hate it.
Roll with it she’d said. Something he never did, because spontaneity was risky, but Finley surprised him and that rarely happened, and until she brought her face close, he’d had no idea what the it was. Turns out it was soft, warm, and thrilling.
He kissed Finley back and wrapped his arms around her, one hand going to her ass so he could align their bodies better. That one unexpected kiss rolled into something a whole lot hotter and wilder, especially as she made a little squeak he took to mean she wasn’t hating this either and opened her lips so he got a taste of her. She was alcohol and bravery with a hint of a giggle that she subverted to angle her head while she pushed her fingers into his hair.
Jesus, he hadn’t been kissed like this ever. He was thirty-five years old, and he couldn’t remember a time he hadn’t been aware a woman wanted to kiss him or slap him like Rory had done earlier, which was why he was in The Blarney with a stinging cheek, trying to drown his bad mood in the first place.
He’d thought Finley wanted to poke his eyes out with his own business card and he’d have deserved that, like he deserved Rory’s anger. Instead, Fin was in his arms making sexy little grunts and going after his tongue and he was letting her, both of them dedicated to working each other over, making out in public like teenagers.
“What’s this about?” he said, when they broke for air. He felt things he struggled to name. Attraction certainly, but he’d felt that the moment she’d climbed on that barstool, shaking and trying not to show it. There was an electric current running up his spine, but that was lust. It was the fluttering that was new. Across his chest and down his arms, an itch that wasn’t, a jittery feeling, along with a color explosion in his head. He’d been kissed more expertly, he’d been loved with more skill, what he felt now was shock.
And he’d thought that capacity had been trained out of him.
“For a power jerk, you know how to kiss.”
What did she call him? He didn’t care as long as he could have her mouth, and she gave it. The quick thud of his heart blocked out the voices in the bar, and the flashes behind his closed eyes lighting up all his senses were addictively good.
He had a handful of her hair, satin and chocolate. “Want to take this somewhere?”
She kissed a yes into his mouth and they were hand in hand, threading their way out of the pub, and then they were on the pavement still connected but the rest of the world was back in place, cars, people, the night thick with movement. Whatever this magic was it wouldn’t survive the intrusion of reality. Cal wasn’t sure he wanted it to. It felt dangerous. It was reckless. Potentially injurious to his health.
Regardless, he followed when she tugged on his hand, let her pull him into an alleyway between buildings, push him back against the bricks between two dumpsters. He laughed, grabbing for her, enjoying her mouth and getting his hands all over her.
His suit wasn’t meant for rough walls. He didn’t as a rule do things like this with women he didn’t know. It was slightly unhinged and manically hot. He didn’t care about the dumpsters or the stickiness underfoot or that rancid cabbage smell. He cared about getting more of her mouth and her skin and her hands and the way she hooked her fingers into the waist of his pants to lever herself closer; the way she groaned when he dragged her body up against his dick and fought him for control of their kisses.
Who are you Finley Cartwright? He didn’t get to have dangerous in his life, not the way normal people would define it. He was a cautious man who took extraordinary risks professionally, and she was altering his perception of what being alive felt like. And that could get him maimed. “Stop.”
She dropped her forehead to his chest. “Please don’t make me.”
“Finley. We need to take this somewhere else.”
“Oh.” She lifted her chin. “Yes, please, I want this.”
“It’s not—” He ran out of sentence because she looked at him as if she might die if he didn’t kiss her again, so he kissed her again, damsel in distress and all, and she moaned her satisfaction. He wanted this, too, but not here. “Let’s go.”
He took her hand again, searched her eyes for anything that would tell him where this madness was coming from and how to survive it.
Ainslie Paton writes hyper-real contemporary romance, mostly for love.
More at: www.ainsliepaton.com.au and on Twitter @AinsliePaton.