Title: Play A Game With Me
Author: Cadence Vonn
Genre: Erotic Romance
Maximilian Westfield has resurrected his family’s company under the controlling eye of the major shareholder–his mother. To keep the company, he must marry the woman she chooses, no matter how inane or spineless. He is resigned to go through with the arranged marriage until he meets a feisty costume designer who will never meet his mother's standards. A stolen kiss spurs his lustful cravings. Once he tastes the spirited beauty’s charms, he knows he has to find a way to keep her and his company. No other woman will do.
The daughter of a powerful British businessman, Teresa Medici Staffordshire leads her life as Tess Medici to avoid men out to please her father. Then she meets Maximilian, a sexy uptight CEO. From the moment he unleashes his expert fingers on her skin, she’s hooked. His erotic games make her body hum with pleasure. Determined to lure Max out to play, every encounter becomes a game of enticement. But his commitment to his family business and his mother’s determination to marry him off makes it impossible to take the relationship public, and Tess refuses to be his guilty little secret.
Choices become consequences, their future is on the line, and Max and Tess are running out of time.
“Hello.” Maximilian entered the quiet space.
Tess jumped, and her hand jerked from the book to cover her heart.
“I didn’t mean to startle you. I just came in to get away from the constant chatter in the other rooms.”
Her smile widened. “I hope you don’t mind me sitting here. Your library is amazing, and I’m not one for crowds.”
“What are you reading?”
“My favorite poet. Rainer Maria Rilke.”
“Ah, Duino Elegies. That book is one of his best.
Read me your favorite passage.” He sat on the other side of the window seat and relaxed back like a prince waiting to be entertained. The champagne in his glass glistened as the sunlight danced off the bubbles.
Tess swallowed hard. His gaze unnerved her. His broad shoulders overwhelmed the tiny space, and she wanted nothing more than to lean against his chest and listen to his heart beating. Did its pace match hers?
She flipped through the pages and started reading from the Second Elegy.
The lilting words were about lovers and satisfaction. The beauty of sensations from the merest touch. Her voice rose and fell with the poetic thoughts about passion. The author questioned his connection with the woman he loved. Hands touching, breaths mingling, a promise of eternity. What more could a couple want? She couldn’t keep a note of wonder from her voice when she read the last words. She finished, set the book down on her lap, and waited for Maximilian to comment. Could the man have a romantic bone in his body if he lined up women to pick out a wife?
“Your voice is hypnotic. Interesting choice in passages. Read me another one.”
She fought the urge to flip the page and read more about love and eternity. Maximilian’s presence took her breath away as he leaned closer, expectation written on his face. She bit her lower lip, tempted to oblige, but changed her mind. Damn, she could use a glass of champagne.
“I think we’d better return to your guests. Your mother is probably looking for you, and if she found the two of us here in the library, she wouldn’t be pleased.”
He laughed. “You’re right.” He stood and held out his hand. “Let me show you a special place before we return to the rabid pack of husband hunters.”
“Apparently you put up with that type of thing. I don’t see you leaving.” Tess slipped on her shoes and put the book away then turned and waited. The next move was his.
“This way.” He pointed in the direction of a corner bookshelf, its frame a little different from the rest of the shelves. Tess took his hand, and he led her into the darkness that appeared with the shift of a book on the middle shelf.
“Secret passages, how delicious.” Her hand still grasped in his, she climbed two narrow flights of stairs. “We must be close to the top of the house.”
“You’re right. The staircase leads to the nursery.” They emerged into a room with child-sized furniture, all covered with drop cloths.
“You wanted to show me the nursery?” Tess smirked.
“No. Come on, we’re almost there.” Maximilian left the room and continued down a hall. He stopped at an old varnished ladder bolted to the wall at a gentle angle. It had brass rails for the climber. “Follow me.” He hesitated at the top to push aside the hatch in the ceiling, and light flooded the hallway. He climbed through and reached down, grabbed under her arms, and lifted her the rest of the way into the space. For a moment his touch made her pulse beat faster until she got a glimpse out the windows.
She stepped across the small, glass-enclosed widow’s walk, mesmerized by all the different shades that flooded the space from the water and sky. “This is phenomenal. The view of the ocean goes on forever.”
“For some reason, I knew you’d like it. Being this close to the sky, your eyes have turned a deeper blue. Amazing color,” he murmured.
“Maximilian.” She hesitated and then said, “Does anyone ever call you Max?”
Her shoulders sagged. He lifted her chin and gave her a devilish grin.
“But if you let me kiss you, you can call me Max.”
She tilted her head at him. “Even though you know I came with Chris, you still want to kiss me?”
“We both know you and Christopher are not sexually compatible. So yes, in answer to your question.”
“For a kiss, I can call you Max?”
“Only when we’re alone.”
“Since that will be for the next five minutes at most, I don’t think it’s a fair bargain, Maximilian.” She swished her tongue over her top lip, and his gaze narrowed. Yes, teasing him satisfied her naughty streak.
“What if I include dinner in the city some night?”
“Now it’s a little more enticing. Dinner and a kiss...be still my heart.” She rested her hand on her chest, and his hooded gaze followed the gesture that drew his attention to her ample breasts. She made no move to bring his gaze back to hers. Let him salivate over what he wanted.
“What do I need to do for a kiss?”
With a tilt of her head and an exaggerated sigh, she said, “Would your kiss even be worth it? Are you a good lover?”
Max pulled her up against his chest and growled. “Let me show you.”
His mouth found hers in a hard kiss. Shocked, she widened her eyes. As he deepened the kiss, her eyelids fluttered closed. He tasted like champagne and a hint of mint. The heat from his body made the small space warmer. He sank his hands into her hair to hold her in place and tilted her head at the perfect angle to drive his tongue in deeper. She moaned.
Publisher and buy links to other retailers: https://www.thewildrosepress.com/books/play-a-game-with-me-games-people-play-book-1
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I love the flowers blooming.
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