After Office Hours, Book 1
© 2016 Jennifer Skully
Get set for a brand new sexy Office Romance series by New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author, Jennifer Skully.
Anything can happen After Office Hours.
What does a red-blooded, All-American male do when his wife asks for a divorce—by email, no less—claiming he’s too vanilla in the bedroom?
He gets a sexy tutor for after-office-hours sessions, of course.
Enter Jordana Davis, a work colleague who offers to share the mysterious secrets of what women really want—Desire, Actually. Grady Masterson is more than willing to listen to every seductive suggestion.
He aces sexting and phone sex as the sparks start to fly between them. Then Jordana imagines that Grady could be the one she hadn’t been looking for. If only he wasn’t taking lessons from her to win back his wife.
How far would you go to win the one you love?
“Desire Actually”, Book 1 of the After Office Hours series, is a sexy, contemporary romance of approximately 65,000 words.
Look for Book 2 coming to you, “Love Affair to Remember”
Jordana licked the gloss on her lips. Grady could almost taste the fruitiness of it. His blood roared in his ears, rushing straight down.
He’d never cheated on his wife, never wanted to, never even thought about it. God help him, though, he was thinking about it now. What had seemed inconceivable in the aftermath of Darlene’s divorce email consumed him now. He couldn’t even bring his wife’s face to mind. Maybe it was the anger flushing away the image, but all he saw was Jordana’s lush mouth, and he fell headlong into the deep blue of her eyes, suddenly under the influence of her fast-acting citrusy scent. It seeped in through his pores and took him over. Their proximity revealed the slight rise and fall of her chest with each shallow breath she took. His gaze focused on a lock of her brunette hair against the rapid flutter at her throat. He had the insane urge to bend down and lick her right on that pulse point.
Back up, back up, back up.
The danger signal rang in his head. Taking that first step away was the hardest move he’d ever made.
“I understand.” He sounded disgustingly wheezy.
“Do you?” Her voice was still husky, hypnotic.
Hell, yes, he understood intensity, and he was desperate right now. His fingers curled with the need to touch her. His mouth salivated as if she were a savory-sweet piece of meat. His head ached with the fear that he’d lost his mind. Because she wasn’t his wife and he shouldn’t be feeling any of this.
“Teach me.” His voice actually cracked in the middle.
“Teach you what?”
The distance between them shrank. His back was against the wall—physically as well as metaphorically—and he didn’t even know how he’d gotten there. “How to make a woman feel desired.” He gritted his teeth. “How to make my wife feel desired.” He stressed the word. It needed stressing. His wife. Not Jordana.
The spell around them shifted, space stretched like elastic, and she was no longer within breathing distance. He wasn’t sure she ever had been. It might have been his imagination.
“Are you asking me to give you lessons?”
“Pointers. Examples,” he said quickly. “Like what you just told me.”
They still spoke in hushed voices. Her gaze slid down to his mouth, and a lick of heat passed through him. He told himself that he wanted the theoretical side of desire, but he couldn’t help wanting to know more about what turned her on.
“Kissing.” The word sizzled on her lips.
“Kissing,” he repeated. “I can do kissing.”
“Not just any old kiss.” Her mouth curved in the slightest yet sexiest of smiles. “Wrap your hand gently around my throat. Or cup my face in your palms. Hold me still, devour me with just your lips, nothing else touching, not our bodies, not even our arms. Nothing but the heat between us.”
She created an image so tangible that he could taste her on his tongue. His breath came faster, and his pulse beat against the surface of his skin. He needed a demonstration. He wanted…
“You need to watch some chick flicks.”
He wasn’t sure he’d heard correctly. “Chick flicks?”
Her smile flashed, her hands moved, animation exciting all her facial muscles. “Bridget Jones’s Diary.”
Good God. Bridget Jones’s Diary? A man had to have some limits.
She recognized his shock. “When Colin Firth kisses her at the end, it’s to die for.”
“Then I can just fast forward to the end.”
“No-ooo,” she exclaimed in two syllables and a wave of her hands. “If you don’t see the entire thing, you won’t get why the kiss is so hot.”
He didn’t think he’d get it if he watched the movie five times, but then the sparkle in her pretty blue eyes clued him in. “You’re making fun of me.”
She would have been completely serious except for the slight twitch of her lips. “Of course not. And there’s a reason they’re called chick flicks. Because we—” She put a hand to her chest, at which point he thought he might have a heart attack. “—love them. And why? Because they depict what we desire.”
“So I can learn everything I need to know from watching chick flicks?” God forbid.
She laughed. He’d heard her laugh before. After all, he’d seen her five days a week in the nine months since she’d been hired. The lovely sound, however, had never resonated inside him to the point that he missed the next thing she said. “What?” he had to ask.
“Not what, but who. James.” As if just the first name said it all, she sighed, affecting a dreamy gaze. “He’s an actor. Becoming Jane. Boy, can that man kiss. Oh, oh.” She fluttered her hands at him. “Penelope. He’s in that movie, too, and he kisses her the same way. Like he’s been thinking about it for months, years even, and suddenly he can’t stop himself.”
He didn’t know who this James person was. “Becoming Jane. Boy, Can That Man Kiss. And Penelope. I haven’t heard of any of those movies.” Becoming Jane sounded familiar for some obscure reason he couldn’t recall, but the other two were a mystery. Darlene had never been the chick-flick type.
Jordana gave him that tinkling laugh again, covering her mouth with her hand. “It’s not a movie. I meant that James can really kiss. Penelope is sort of a fairy tale. And Becoming Jane is about Jane Austen.”
“So watching these movies is supposed to teach me how to kiss?”
She shrugged, a sexy little shimmy that seemed to twist through her whole body. She’d laughed, shrugged, and done all those things in front of him before, he was sure, but her gestures had never elicited a response like this. He’d never even actively noticed. It had all been subliminal. But somehow, from the moment she’d told him exactly how to make her melt with desire, he couldn’t stop noticing.
“It’s a start,” she said. “But it isn’t just the kiss. It’s all the stuff leading up to the kiss. The dance. The furtive looks. The subtext. The innuendo.” She rolled her eyes like a teenage girl, and he was suddenly aware of their twelve-year age difference. “You’re married,” she added. “You must have done the dance at some point.”
“I’ve been married for fifteen years, and we dated for five years before that.” They’d both thought it was reasonable to get their careers going strong before getting married. “It’s been a long time.”
“That’s your problem then. You’ve forgotten. You need reminding.”
Jordana had certainly reminded his body of something.
She gasped. And that did more strange things to him. “You’ve got to watch Castle. I think it takes them something like five seasons of that show to finally get there.” In her excitement, she bounced a couple of times on the toes of her high-heeled shoes. “And Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Not the Angel thing, but Spike.”
He didn’t have a clue what she was talking about. Except that Buffy the Vampire Slayer was some sort of teenage angst show about vampires… and teenage girls.
Sighing exaggeratedly, she caressed him with another dreamy smile. “The whole secret love-hate relationship is so sexy. It’s totally what women want. We want the fantasy. That we’re the only one and you’ll do anything to have us.”
That dreamy smile was getting to him, making his heart kick and his palms sweat. Not to mention other things. But a man truly did need to have his limits. “No self-respecting man of forty-two watches chick flicks and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”
She put her hands behind her back and took one step too close to him. He couldn’t think when she was this close. Or rather, he thought too much about things he shouldn’t even allow into his married brain. “Are you saying,” she said, deadly soft, “that you’re not willing to do anything, absolutely anything, to get your wife back?”
The challenge jerked him out of the sexual daze he’d fallen into. Darlene had left him and not five minutes later, he was entertaining inappropriate thoughts about another woman. A much younger woman with gorgeous blue eyes and sexy, messy, silky dark chestnut hair and… other attributes he had no right speculating about. And she’d just voiced the only question that really mattered: Was he willing to do absolutely anything to get Darlene back?
“You’re angry right now.”
Her remark brought her face into focus again. She’d heard his side of the phone argument, and he was pretty damn sure he’d revealed everything in the heat of the moment. “You could say that.” He could feel his teeth start to grind again.
“But do you really want to throw away fifteen years of marriage?”
In his anger, yes. If Darlene was cheating on him, definitely. But if he was completely honest, did she bear the entire blame? Or had he simply dug a hole so deep in the sand that it covered not only his head, but sucked in his whole body, too? He’d been comfortable with their life, but he’d never asked if she was. He’d taken everything for granted. He was complacent, just as Darlene had claimed. It didn’t justify cheating or excuse divorce by email, but did he want their marriage to be over without even a fight? “I don’t know.”
He was answering Jordana. He was answering himself.
“So show her what she thinks she’s been missing. It certainly couldn’t hurt.”
He tried to lighten the moment. “It could if anyone found out I turned into a chick-flick addict.”
Her mouth in a half smile, she drew her fingers across her lips. “Totally sealed.”
He sighed, trying to sound dramatic. “All right, you win. But I don’t have Netflix, and I’m not even sure where there’s a video store.” In the age of mail-order DVDs and streaming, most of the video stores had gone out of business.
She beamed in high wattage. “You’re in luck. I have them all on DVD and I’ll let you borrow them.”
“Wonderful,” he said dryly.
“And for every movie you watch, I’ll give you a gold star.”
“Great.” He almost groaned. “I’ll be the teacher’s pet.”
She clapped her hands. “Doris Day and Clark Gable in Teacher’s Pet. I forgot to mention all the classics you should watch, too. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Pillow Talk. An Affair to Remember. They’re fabulous.” She cocked her head. “Although the kisses aren’t quite the same as you see in movies today.” Then she added with huge affectation, “Oh my gosh, we can’t forget Love Actually. Yeah, Love Actually is totally perfect.” She gave him a cheeky smile. “So many chick flicks, so little time.”
What the hell had he gotten himself into?
ARC provided by the author for review
This was fun and lighthearted and witty and sexy and everything I expect to get from a Jennifer/Jasmine story. It’s no secret that she is one of my all time favorite authors in every trope she’s written. Her stories always ring so true and have just the right blend of fiction and realism to make it easy to get lost in the pages.
The story of Grady and Jordana is an easy breezy Sunday afternoon read. It’s not muddled with angst and turmoil and baggage. Altho one might think it would be, it’s written in a way where the joy of present day and the fun of discovery takes precedence over the looming backdrop that actually propelled this story forward.
Here’s the gist …. Grady and his wife have been together for close to 20 years. He thinks they’re doing just fine, but clearly she does not since she sends him an email asking for a divorce. And apparently, it’s because he’s too vanilla. OK, now here’s the thing. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that 1) Wifey is going thru some sort of mid-life crisis/identity thing and 2) She’s got herself something on the side already.
So Grady has a dilemma, he doesn’t want his marriage to end, but yet he doesn’t even know what the problem really is. Why? Because his wife is not exactly being forthcoming on resolution ideas. This woman wants out. Period. And she makes it quite clear. But Grady isn’t giving up. OH NO, he’s gonna turn to his sexy co-worker, Jordana, and together they’re going to make Grady less vanilla … Cue, humorous, sexy, sensual shenanigans!
I LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF GRADY’S LESSONS
What I really really loved, were not just the actual shenanigans, but the undertow of feelings that were growing within Grady and Jordana for each other and neither was the wiser until WHAM, they were. And it was fantastic.
God Almighty these two were soooo sexy together. Especially Grady. He was just so unsuspecting most of the time, until he wasn’t. He really made me all nice and tingly on the inside. I loved them both from page one.
The only one thing I would have liked to have happened differently was Grady’s and Jordana’s physical connection to have happened a little bit sooner than it did. Intellectually, I know why the author chose to stretch it out as much as possible, but I just really really wanted those fireworks to happen and I came very very close to the bored with this line before they did.
However, still an outstanding story with excellent secondary characters that I cannot wait to dig into. 🙂
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FOLLOW THE AUTHOR’S BLOG TO FIND OUT MORE: http://jasminehaynes.blogspot.com/