Title - Rules of Harte
Author - Brook Harris
Author - Brook Harris
Evangeline Andrews doesn’t want him, but she needs him. Julian Harte doesn’t need anyone, but he wants her.
Eva has been passed over her whole life. A happy home, men, fashion sense…it all eludes her. She’s run away from New Jersey to find sanctuary in Dublin. But the office bitch, a nymphomaniac best friend and the nice-guy-she’s-just-not-sure-about all threaten to complicate things.
The company social event of the year is looming. Everyone who’s anyone in the office will be at the masquerade ball. Eva has been invited, well, instructed to attend by her mysterious boss - or else. But she can’t go alone.
Enter Julian Harte, a sexy escort with a fascination for games. Eva is about to learn the rules are complicated and Julian doesn’t do losing.
Will Eva’s thick skin be enough to protect her when all the masks come down? Or will she discover she’s not the only one wearing more than one mask?
Let the games begin.
AMAZON - http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HTNGNAW
AMAZON UK - https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00HTNGNAW
Kobo and Nook coming soon
Eva waited until everyone left the office before clicking on the link she had bravely searched for earlier. Casanova Agency appeared in a large, bold, grey font on a soft cream background. There was nothing else. No info, no contact details, nothing. Eva tried swishing her mouse back and forth hoping for an image to appear. Nothing. She pressed almost every key on her keyboard. Nothing. A little bile rushed into Eva’s mouth, and she forced it down with an awkward gulp. What if it was a dodgy site? The whole office system could go down and the IT guys would trace it back to her. Her desk, her PC and a bloody escort site.
She was about to shut the window when she spotted the four tiny letters in the bottom left corner of the screen. She clicked on shh and waited. Loading appeared in a small, spinning, circle centre-screen and a soft, violin solo began. She jumped before quickly hitting the mute button.
A phone number appeared on the screen. Nothing more. No picture, or bio or even a name. Eva tutted angrily. She hated clogged up, messy websites as much as the next person but this minimalist crap was ridiculous. She wasn’t about to phone some random stranger. The site was a waste of her time, and just made her feel more pathetic. She was about to shut the browser when an instant message popped up.
Eva’s struggled to breathe. She was getting dizzy from her eyes darting around the office frantically, and the inside of her lip couldn’t handle much more chewing.
Julian: A little shy, are we?’-
Her fingers hovered over her keyboard. She wanted to reply; she just didn’t know what to say, or who she was saying it to.
Julian: Would you like my help?’-
Eva135: Do you always ask so many questions?’-
Julian: Do you?’-
Eva135: I’ve only asked one.’-
Julian: Is there more you would like to ask?’-
Eva pushed her chair back from her desk and tapped her pen on her knee. Well of course, she had questions. She had loads. Did this guy just wait around all day for women to click on his website? Who was he? How the hell does someone become an escort? Why the hell does someone become an escort?
Eva135: Ok. What’s your name?’-
Julian: Julian, I thought that was obvious.’-
Evangeline’s cheeks flushed. Even cyber conversation made her look stupid.
Eva135: How old are you?’-
Julian: Don’t be greedy, Evangeline. You’ve had your question. It’s my turn. Why do you want an escort?’-
Eva135: How do you know my name?’-
Julian: Again, Evangeline, if you would like an answer to your question you must answer mine first.’-
Eva stood up. Did he seriously expect an answer? She paced the floor dramatically and was only drawn back to her screen by the subtle tone of a new message.
Julian: Are you still there?’-
Julian: Good. I thought you had run away. Are you going to answer my question?’-
Eva135: I just answered one of your questions. It’s my turn again. Aren’t those the rules?’-
Julian: Feisty. I like that. And you understand rules. I like that even more. Okay, Evangeline let’s play by some rules.’-
Eva135: How do you know my name?’-
Julian: Your user name, it’s not hard to work out. Really, Evangeline. I find it hard to believe you don’t have a better question than that. I like you so I’m going to let you take another turn.’-
Eva135: Isn’t that against the rules?’-
Julian: My game, my rules. You’ve just used another question. It’s my turn.-‘
Evangeline poked herself in the knee with her pen. Damn he was good at this, but she had studied psychology for three years, there was no way she was going to let him beat her. She was ready to up her game.
Eva135: Okay, Julian. Your question.’-
Julian: Why do you want an escort?’-
Eva135: I don’t know if I do…’-
Julian is offline.
Eva took Julian’s, still full, glass out of his hand and rested it on the table. She threw her leg over his, straddling him - wobbly.
‘So you think you’re the boss,’ she said.
‘I’m not? Julian replied casually.
‘Let’s just see about that.’
Eva unbuttoned his shirt, two and three buttons at a time, stopping to rub sweet kisses against his chest. Julian took a deep breath and eased his back further against the soft cushions behind. The last buttons were stubborn but Eva won and tugged his shirt aggressively off and tossed it to the floor. The force left faint red marks on his wrists, and Eva dotted her lips along the pinched lines and slowly kissed them better.
He liked it, Eva knew. She could feel him grow beneath her. She pushed her weight harder onto him and ground her ass slowly against his throbbing cock.
‘Don’t tease, Evangeline,’ Julian warned.
‘Who’s teasing?’ She smiled, grinding just a little more.
‘I can’t,’ Julian whispered softly. ‘You’re not ready.’
‘I am. I really am.’
Julian caught Eva’s wrist and flipped her on to the sheepskin rug on the floor. She landed roughly and looked up at him, uncertain. She worried he was angry, maybe she was too assertive. Some men don’t like that, a friend had warned her about it once when she was in high school.
Eva lay still, her mind racing in anticipation of Julian’s next move. A mild, summer wind had picked up outside and it distracted her for a moment and she felt a chill as it whispered against the window. Goosebumps lined her body as the cold of the timber floor penetrated the rug beneath her. She shivered a little but she never took her eyes off Julian.
Julian kneeled between her legs. He was steady and moving slowly. Lustfully slow, and it took Eva a moment to realise her mouth was open. She shut it again but the anticipation didn’t disappear. Fuck he was hot. She’d never seen anyone with such a perfect face before. She’d always been so sure of her type. The sweet and baby faced, be your best friend type. But Julian didn’t fit the bill. In fact, he was so far the opposite, it was scary. He was a man’s man, and, even though it shocked the hell out of her, she liked it, she liked him - a lot.
She couldn’t take her eyes off his strong and toned body hiding behind his impeccable, tailored suit. A small scar above his left eyebrow and a five o’clock shadow along his firm jawline offered him an alluring ruggedness that was hard to resist. His dark skin contrasted against her peaches and cream complexion like the perfect compliment. She ran the tip of her finger over the simple, black horseshoe tattooed on his left peek.
‘What’s this?’ she asked softly, aware that she was prying.
‘A tattoo.’ Julian smirked.
‘Ha ha, very funny. I know that. I mean, what is it?’
‘It’s a horseshoe, Evangeline.’
Eva shook her head and smiled. ‘I mean, what does it symbolise? Or is it just that you like horses, or something?’
Julian exhaled slowly and his dark chocolate eyes glistened as he stared into Eva’s. He cupped her hand in the palm of his and pressed his moist lips softly against her wrist leaving a single kiss.
‘You’re the first person to ever ask me that,’ Julian said, still holding her hand. ‘I do like horses but that’s not what it’s about.’
Eva chewed her bottom lip and held her breath. He was actually about to tell her something about himself, she hoped she didn’t look too shocked.
‘You can start up here.’ Julian placed his finger against her wrist and began to trace a shape on her skin. ‘And in the blink of an eye, without warning, you can drop to the bottom.’ His finger slowly ran down her skin. ‘But that doesn’t define who you are, Evangeline. It’s the climb back to the top, that defines who you are. And how high you climb is up to you.’ His finger completed the pattern of an invisible horseshoe as he softly spoke out his action. ‘Down, around and back up…understand?’
Eva pushed her lips tight together and forced an uncomfortable bubble of air down her throat. She’d been climbing for a long time but, she was no closer to the top. She sniffled and looked up to meet his stare. She didn’t want him to notice her getting upset, but she wasn’t hiding it as well as she’d like to.
He pulled her closer to him and Eskimo kissed her playfully. ‘The past doesn’t define you.’
The lump of air in Eva’s throat hurt. Was he telling her something about himself or something about her? Damn, he was as smart as he was gorgeous. And my God was he gorgeous, Eva thought, beginning to undress him with her eyes, but Julian noticed the naughty gleam in her eye.
‘Something I can help you with, Evangeline?’ he asked.
Author bio and links:
Brooke has too many of a lot of things; shoes, books, and kids. Luckily she loves them all to pieces. She never has too much wine, if you believe that.
Rules of Harte is her debut into the steamy stuff and she's currently working on the second book in the series.