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Toying with Temptation
by Madison Martin
Published by Chances Press, LLC
Published on November 1, 2011
Heat Level: Steamy
Length: 188 pages
Driven, business savvy Hailey Burton, Vice President of Tryton Financial Institute, has been put in charge of running what could be her first ever failure: the company’s Christmas Eve toy drive. Toys and Christmas are beyond Hailey’s expertise, but when she’s offered the chance for the promotion she’s been waiting for if she succeeds, her competitive spirit kicks into high gear.
When every company in Los Angeles turns her down, desperation leads her to Quinn Matheson. Ten years ago, Hailey chose a prosperous career over Quinn, but as she falls for him all over again, she can’t deny that they make a good team in business…and more. This second time around, is she finally ready to make the leap and become his partner in love?
“Trust me. I never thought we’d be in this…er, position.” Hailey Burton smoothed her hands over the skirt of her brand new Armani suit to keep her hands from shaking. Quinn Matheson could never see how nervous she was. She wouldn’t let him. It would add further humiliation to her unfortunate circumstance, and she felt humiliated enough.
Quinn, the King of Matheson Toys and the picture of confidence, silently appraised her from behind the huge oak desk in his office.
“I mean, we’ve been in every other posi—” She coughed before she finished a sentence that could get her in big trouble. Whatever “positions” she and Quinn may have found themselves in ten years ago, it was too long ago to matter now. Wasn’t it?
She stiffened her spine and felt herself growing hotter by the second. A trickle of sweat began to run down the small of her back. Why fight it? Her brand new, one-of-a kind suit, bought for a special occasion, was headed straight for the cleaners.
Why did she think this would be easy? Why did she think she’d have the upper hand? And why was Quinn sitting there staring at her, refusing to say anything?
He watched her with calculating dark brown eyes, noticing every time she fidgeted or said something stupid. It was beginning to drive her crazy.
“Are you going to say something?”
He shrugged. “It’s your meeting.”
In her eight years of experience, she’d met with and given presentations to presidents and corporate execs from companies all over the world. She always acted with cool confidence in situations that made tough men sweat, and not one minute of it ever fazed her.
What did faze her was sitting here in front of her ex, begging for tens of thousands of toys for her company’s first Christmas toy drive in five years.
Christmas was beyond the limits of her expertise. In her entire life she’d celebrated maybe one or two. Last year, she’d spent the holiday on a conference call closing a deal with a company in Hong Kong. The year before that, she’d been in New York collecting leads for a new account. Her boss knew Christmas was out of her league, but he also knew she never gave her projects less than a hundred and twenty percent, and he’d saddled her with the toy drive despite her protests.
If the promise of moving up the Tryton Financial Institute corporate ladder weren’t waiting for her at the other end of this, she’d have told her boss to forget it. But as usual, the desire for success was stronger than…well, the desire for anything else.
Stronger, even, than the will to never see the man she’d run out on ten years ago. As much as she never thought she’d have the guts to look him in the face again, that promotion was staring her down…waiting. Begging for her to come and get it.
Why is it that the last two books that I have read, the heroine and I have either had the same type of job? Or, the same problems with our family? In my past life, I was the head of our toy drive at the bank for 4 years and I loved it. Of course, it was for an excellent cause and it really put me in the Christmas spirit. I could totally believe that Hailey didn’t have good memories of Christmas so her reluctance to heading up the toy drive made sense. Plus, throw in her ex-finance to the mix and I didn’t know whether to laugh or hug her and tell he that everything would be okay. Just breathe…
Quinn was such a great hero. He was patient and sexy. His problem was convincing Hailey that they could work together in business and as a true couple. I felt that their relationship was relatable and sexy. The true leap of faith for me was Hailey. She needed to figure out if the past could be forgiven and a new future could truly be hers with Quinn. Their back story also was realistic. Sometimes, the first time around doesn’t always work out. It takes time apart to truly see what you can have and to push away the fears that you have starting the relationship again.
The pacing was excellent and there were times that I felt like a fly on the wall with Hailey and Quinn. I would definitely be friends with both of them. The dialogue was crisp, flirty and sexy.
I would highly recommend Toying with Temptation for anyone that wants a relatable story about two characters that come together again and must figure out if it could really work out between them without fear.
About the Author:
Madison Martin is also the author of Briefly Yours: An Erotic Romance Novel, Nights on Catalina, The Deep End: Erotic Stories For Women, and The Deep End 2: Wedding Night. To find out more about Madison, visit http://www.madisonmartinbooks.com/.