TOUCHED BY LOVE
Love in Bloom: The Remintons
New York Times & USA Today bestseller Melissa Foster
New York Times & USA Today bestseller Melissa Foster
BLAINE’S MOUTH BLAZED a path up her inner thigh. His hot breath teased over her wet flesh. Kenya fisted her hands in the sheets, dug her heels into the mattress, and rocked her hips, aching for his talented tongue in the place she needed him most. Blaine lifted smoldering dark eyes, a hint of wickedness shining through, as his tongue slicked over his lips. He was a master at seduction, but Kenya didn’t give a shit about seduction. She wanted to be fucked hard. Now. She needed his—
A large hand landed on Janie Jansen’s desk beside her braille device. She nearly jumped out of her skin and nervously yanked out her earbuds. Holy shit. She was supposed to be finishing a technical editing assignment, not listening to the latest hot romance audiobook.
“Nice article in the newsletter this week, Jansen. ‘The Oxford Comma Revolution.’ Catchy.” Her boss, Clay Bishop, was slightly less arid than a desert, but Janie didn’t mind. He’d hired her to work at Tech Ed Co., or TEC, on a trial basis, and four years later her respect for him had only grown. He was a fair and equitable boss and was currently considering her for a promotion.
It was difficult to spice up a weekly column geared toward grammar and editing, but Janie tried. It was just one more step toward the promotion of technical writer she’d been vying for, a nice step up from editor.
“You’re here late. Trouble with the ARKENS handbook?”
“I’m just catching up on a few things. The handbook is almost done.” Well, technically not almost done, but she’d meet the deadline. She had yet to miss one. She loved editing, but she hadn’t set out to be an editor after college. She’d wanted to be a journalist, but that door had closed and she’d tabled her dream and settled for editing. Usually the intensity of her job didn’t get to her, but after weeks of grueling revisions on this particular medical equipment handbook, she’d needed a short mental break. But Clay would never think to take a break. He was all business all the time, even hours after their workday officially ended.
“Perfect. Don’t forget, Monday afternoon we have the peer review of your writing sample. If that goes well, your promotion will be in the hands of the management team. I’m not worried—you’re always on top of your game.”
“Yeah, she is.” Boyd Hudson’s amused voice brought a smile to Janie’s lips.
Boyd consulted at TEC only a few days a month, and though Janie didn’t know him well, he was quippy and flirtatious, bringing a spark of amusement into her otherwise quiet days.
“Hudson,” Clay said dryly. “Okay, well, it’s late, so…”
“See you Monday, Clay.” Janie listened to his retreating footsteps and let out a relieved sigh.
“He almost caught you again, didn’t he?”
She heard the smirk in Boyd’s voice. “He didn’t catch me last time. I was on my lunch break last week. And besides, I was just studying the nuances of the romance genre.”
“If by ‘study’ you mean ‘getting swept away in the sexy fantasy life of some fictional, ridiculously unattainable hero,’ then yeah, I’d buy that.”
“Why do you trash the genre when you know it’s my favorite escape?” She began gathering her things to leave for the day.
“Because it’s fun. You’re too smart to be a cliché, Janie. You know that, right? Girl who’s blind whiles away hours of her youth reading romances because her parents are too controlling. Grows up wanting a fictional life that can never exist. Break free from it.” His voice rose with excitement. “Let it go. Romance isn’t real. It’s crap writing about fake people.”
She never should have revealed that tidbit about her parents in the break room last month. They’d been talking about their childhoods, and while others had fun stories of hanging out at the mall, or going on spur-of-the-moment outings with groups of friends, Janie had very few spur-of-the-moment anything to share. Her parents worried about every step she made, questioning her safety and whether this or that location would be difficult for her to navigate without them to hold her hand. They’d been a noose around her neck, and it had often been easier to escape into fictional worlds than to battle for the chance to go out.
“And your sci-fi adventures are more real than romance? Ha!” She hefted her bag over her shoulder. “I bet you’ve never even read a romance.”
“Don’t need to. It’s crap.”
“It’s not crap. I bet I could write a romance that you’d not only read, but love.” Janie turned off her computer and braille device.
“Not unless it’s got a heroine who likes sci-fi, is smarter than me, and is into kinky sex.”
“God, you’re a pig. Fine, sci-fi and kinky sex. It shouldn’t be hard to make her smarter than you.” She lifted her brows with the tease. “But if I write it, you not only have to read every single page of it, but you also have to go to the Romance Writers Festival with me in October and stay all day. Plus,” she added, getting excited about the bet, “you have to buy me every romance book I want for a month.”
He placed Janie’s cane in her hand. “A little greedy, aren’t you?”
“Hey, if I’m writing a whole novel, it’s got to be worth it.”
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