I part my lips to speak, to tell her I’m not a VC. But I flash back to the racquetball game, to the face-lift suggestion from my sister. If this angel thinks I’m a VC, that means my face-lift is working. My costume is doing what I want it to do—it’s making it possible for me to be me. To have a conversation as Flynn Parker the guy, not as Flynn Parker the multimillionaire.
She doesn’t know who I am. And I don’t correct her. “It can be.”
She nods thoughtfully then roams her gaze over my black attire. She taps her bottom lip. “Hmm. Let’s see what we have here tonight because I don’t think you’re a ninja.”
I punch the air. “Keep going.”
She studies me more closely. “You’re something mysterious. You’re trying to fly under the radar. Am I getting warmer?”
More like hot. “Yes.”
Her brow knits. “You want to go unnoticed, at least for the moment.”
I tense, hoping she’s not putting two and two together as to my identity. Absently, I raise my hand to my glasses, wondering if they give me away. But then I remember. I’m wearing my contacts tonight, something I rarely do.
She snaps her fingers. “I know! You’re a stealth start-up,” she says, using the term for a new company that’s keeping quiet.
I raise my arms in victory, a thrill racing through me. “Everyone else has guessed code ninja or SEO ninja, but you’re the first person all night to get it right. I am, indeed, a stealth start-up.”
Admittedly, donning black pants, a black shirt, and a black eye-mask might have made it challenging to guess. But then again, the angel figured it out, and all without the missing start-up button.
“Your lips gave you away.”
She recognized me from my lips? I furrow my brow behind my mask. “What do you mean?”
“Your mouth,” she says, raising her fingers dangerously near to my lips. “I could tell you weren’t a ninja because your lips aren’t covered. Ninjas cover you’re their mouths.” I relax again since she was referring to my clothes. “Only their eyes show. But you’ve covered most of your eyes, and you’re showing only your mouth and your chin. That’s how I knew you had to be something other than a ninja.”
“I could kiss you for that,” I blurt out. I take a step back and hold up a hand. “I’m sorry. That was probably terribly inappropriate.”
A smile slowly spreads across her lips. “No, it wasn’t inappropriate. It wasn’t inappropriate at all,” she says. Something in the way she takes her time with each word tells me she wouldn’t mind being kissed. That gives me one mission and one mission only: keep talking to this angel.
Requesting the presence of your pleasure…
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From #1 NYT bestselling author Lauren Blakely comes a sexy new standalone romance!
I couldn’t have scripted a more perfect night.
For one fantastic evening, at a masquerade party in the heart of Manhattan, I’m not the millionaire everyone wants a piece of. Fine—multimillionaire. But who’s counting all those commas? Not me, and not the most intriguing woman I’ve ever met, who happens to like dancing, witty banter, and hot, passionate up-against-the-wall sex as much as I do.
There’s no need for names or business cards. And that’s why I’m eager to get to know her more, since my mystery woman seems to like me for me, rather than for my huge…bank account.
Everything’s coming up aces. Until the next day when things get a little complicated. (Newsflash — a lot complicated.)
He’s charming, brilliant, an incredible lover, and right now I want to stab fate in the eyeballs.
I’ve had one goal I’ve been working toward, and lo and behold, my mystery man is the very person who stands between me and my dream job. A job I desperately need since my hard-knock life has nothing in common with his star-kissed one.
But it’s time to put that fairytale night behind me, and focus on learning what makes him tick. Too bad it turns out his quirks are my quirks, and his love affair with New York matches mine.
And as we spend our days together, I discover something else that feels like a cruel twist of fate — I’m falling for this naughty prince charming, and that’s not an ending I can write to our story.
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About Lauren Blakely:
A #1 New York Times Bestselling author, and #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling author, Lauren Blakely is known for her contemporary romance style that’s hot, sweet and sexy. She lives in California with her family and has plotted entire novels while walking her dogs. With fourteen New York Times bestsellers, her titles have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Lists more than 90 times, and she’s sold more than 2.5 million books. In April she’ll release COME AS YOU ARE, a sexy new standalone romance. To receive an email when Lauren releases a new book, sign up for her newsletter! laurenblakely.com/newsletter
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