Good girls don’t do one-night stands…
If there’s one thing Lyssa Rivera knows, it’s that good girls don’t do one-night stands. But it only takes a few hours in the company of sexy businessman, James Everly, to change her mind. All she wants is a night of sin with the man who’s admittedly way out of her league. Then she can go back to being painfully, boringly good.
James Everly doesn’t do relationships, not after the horrible example set by his parents. When he meets a luscious, irresistible woman at his favorite bar, he’s more than ready to show her a night of ecstasy, but that’s all it could ever be. He certainly never plans on seeing her again. Yet when he shows up at his meeting the next morning to woo a venture capitalist, he’s shocked to find his competition is the very woman whose bed he just left.
James knows he should stay away. He’s no good at long term, and that’s what a woman like Lyssa deserves. But as the two vie for the investor’s attention, he finds himself struggling to choose between the family business and the woman whose touch makes him burn with desire.
James pressed the “R” button and when he turned back to face Lyssa, she was busy studying the posters advertising various local bands plastered on the walls. He took a few steps toward her, easily traversing most of the distance in the small elevator, and her spine went rigid.
Facing him, she gave him a tremulous smile. “So, what’s up there?”
The elevator came to a stop and dinged open.
“Come see.” He stepped out and waited on the other side for her.
When she hesitated, he feared for one anxious moment that she was going to chicken out. But she finally stepped across the threshold.
Her lips curved into a curious little smile and she looked here and there, as if memorizing her surroundings. Something about that was utterly adorable.
Unable to stop from touching her, James set his hand along the small of her back and led her through the sparsely decorated space to another set of doors.
He pushed through the doors, and Lyssa let out a gasp when they stepped out onto the roof.
“What is this place?”
“Rooftop bar. A little known extension of the Dubliner.”
Her eyes grew wide as she glanced around, and he tried to see it through her eyes. Teak wood flooring had been laid onto the rooftop, and a long, rectangular bar was set up in one corner. Lights were strung up everywhere, lending a soft glow to the night sky. Round patio tables and conversation sets lined the rest of the space.
The retractable canopy was rolled back tonight, giving a clear view of the skyscrapers surrounding them. It was quite lovely, actually. How jaded he’d become that he hadn’t even noticed until now.
The bar was all but empty tonight, something he’d counted on when he’d decided to bring her up here. Besides the bored-looking bartender, who gave James a respectful nod when he glanced his way, there was only one other couple engaged in deep conversation at one of the patio tables.
“Come on. I want to show you something.” He led the way to the railing and they leaned against it. Several stories below, people milled back and forth along the street. Even though it was nighttime, in typical Manhattan fashion the street was still pretty crowded. Up here it was a different world, however. Their own little oasis right in the heart of the city.
“Whoa.” Lyssa gave a nervous laugh and pulled backward, stumbling slightly.
James reached out to steady her. His arm enclosed her waist, bringing her flush with his body. It felt good.
“Are you okay?”
When she looked vaguely embarrassed, he put two and two together. “Scared of heights?”
“Just a little.” She lifted her thumb and forefinger and placed them close together for emphasis.
“Sorry. Didn’t consider that. You want to move away?”
He started to move, but she grabbed onto his arm with her free hand and shook her head. “No. It’s okay. I like it here.”
She took a breath and, still clutching onto his arm, looked down again. “Wow, everything looks sort of surreal from up here.”
“Doesn’t it?” They stood there in silence for a few minutes. “Whenever the madness of the city or the stress of the job starts to close in on me, I like to come someplace like this. Look down on it all. Sort of puts everything in perspective.”
“I get that. I do.” Lyssa turned to give him an appraising look. “Your work is very important to you, isn’t it?”
Her words startled him into taking a long sip of his whiskey. “It can be all-consuming at times.”
“So,” she looked at him through her lashes, “no wife at home? No girlfriend?”
“No.” He looked at her askance. “You really think I’d be up here with you if there were?”
She shrugged. “You never know.”
That much was true.
“What about you? No husband or boyfriend, I assume.” When she shook her head in confirmation, he asked, “Does your work take up most of your time, too?”
She heaved a sigh and turned to give him a steady gaze. “I don’t want to talk about work right now.”
Whether she meant them to or not, her words sounded like an invitation. So he stepped just a little closer to her. Close enough that only inches separated them now, the night air bringing the slightest hint of her scent. Not vanilla, as he’d expected, but some luscious, intoxicating scent, like wild cherry blossoms.
Her eyes darkened to black pools of liquid heat. Though she didn’t look one hundred percent certain of his proximity, she didn’t move away.
A sudden stiff breeze blew back the lapels of her jacket and she gave an almost imperceptible shiver.
“Too cold?” he asked.
She licked her lips, and the sight of her pink tongue almost made him groan. The lust that had struck him at the first sight of her returned with a vengeance. He wanted her.
Even though it was unlike him to be so forward with a woman he’d just met, suddenly he couldn’t think of anything but tasting her. “Can I kiss you?”
Her breath hitched, as if she hadn’t expected him to flat-out ask. She paused for a beat, then nodded. “Yes.”
About the Author
Rosalie Lario is the author of the contemporary romance series, THE EVERLY BROTHERS, as well as the paranormal romance series, DEMONS OF INFERNUM and THE FALLEN WARRIORS. Rosalie double majored in Anthropology and Classics as an undergraduate student, and briefly considered becoming an archaeologist before realizing they don’t actually live the life of Indiana Jones. So what was a classical geek armed with a lot of useless knowledge to do? Become a lawyer, of course!After attending law school in Florida, she practiced real estate law for several years before finally admitting to herself that negotiating contracts wasn’t nearly as fun as dreaming up stories. When not writing, you can find her on a boat somewhere along South Florida’s waterways, chasing down a rainbow or pretending to be a pirate.