Harlequin has reissued 5 of my Silhouette Desire titles in ebook format, written under my pseudonym of Shawna Delacorte, from my backlist of 21 Harlequin and Silhouette titles. Visit my Shawna Delacorte blog for more information on these ebook reissues.Â http://shawnadelacorte.blogspot.com
Excerpts and reviews of my 5 ebook reissues can be found on the Books page of my Samantha Gentry website.Â All 21 of my Shawna Delacorte titles from Harlequin and Silhouette are listed on the Shawna Delacorte Page of my Samantha Gentry website along with blurbs and covers.Â www.samanthagentry.com
FALLING FOR THE ENEMY is the fourth of my Harlequin reissues in ebook.Â Paige Bradford and Bryce Lexington as my guests today.
Hello, Paige and Bryce. Â Thank you for making room in your schedule to chat with us today.
Bryce:Â It’s our pleasure.
My first question is for you, Paige.Â You moved from St. Louis, Missouri, to Los Angeles, California, then you went to work for Bryce’s companyâ€¦is that correct?
Paige:Â I’m from Los Angeles originally.Â After my divorce, I returned to be near my father.Â He was my only family.
About your fatherâ€¦I understand that you’re the one who found his body after heâ€¦
Bryce:Â Would you mind skipping that topic?Â It’s an emotionalâ€”
Paige:Â It’s all right, Bryce.Â Yes, I’m the one who found my father’s body after heâ€¦he shot himself.Â In addition to a suicide note, I also found scraps of paper in the fireplace that he had apparently tried to burn.Â Bits and pieces of things that didn’t make sense, lots of numbers.Â (glances at Bryce as if seeking reassurance)Â And Bryce’s name mentioned several times.
Bryce:Â (grasps her hand and holds it)Â And that’s when she started prying into my life, a situation that quickly came to my attention only I didn’t have a clue why she was doing it.
Paige:Â Well, what I found led me to believe he was responsible for my father committing suicide.Â I was determined to prove itâ€¦to bring him down and expose him for what he was.Â Or, more accurately, what I believed him to be.Â I also wanted to find some way of keeping him from closing down my father’s company and putting 100 employees with families out of work.
Really?Â Bryce, you actually owned her father’s company?
Bryce:Â Well, sort of.Â By default, actually.Â I didn’t really want it.
What happened next?
Bryce:Â What elseâ€¦I hired her as my personal assistant so I could keep my eye on her in order to find out what she was up to.Â And the rest, as they say, is history.
No, I meant what happened next with her father’s company.
Bryce:Â You’ll need to buy the book to find out about that.
Okay, I’ll accept that.Â Now let me change the subject.Â There’s a question I’ve been dying to ask you.
Bryce:Â (laughs softly then flashes a teasing grin)Â Uh Oh.Â That sounds ominous.Â Do I need to consult my attorney?
LOLâ€¦I think you’ll be okay.
Paige:Â Don’t worry.Â (offers a mischievous grin)Â I’ll protect you if she gets too rough.
Bryce:Â Looks like I’m covered.Â Fire away.
From the beginning, I notice you called her Bradford rather than Paige, Ms. Bradford, or Mrs. Bradford, and continued it for quite a while in the same way as guys refer to each other by their last names.Â Why did you do that?
Bryce:Â That’s an easy one.Â From the first time we met I knew I had to keep an emotional distance and make sure nothing between us became personal.
Do I detect an immediate attraction?
Bryce:Â Definitely.Â Calling her Bradford helped me maintain that emotional distance.Â At least for a while.
Paige:Â I was feeling it, too.Â As much as I wanted to believe he was the ruthless shark I had made him out to be, the more I was around himâ€¦the more I found out about himâ€¦my firm convictions began to rapidly crumble.Â There was the Italian family who owned the small neighborhood restaurant in London, the business negotiations for new contracts, his work ethic.Â Everything going on around me shot down all my preconceived notions until I didn’t know what to think anymore.
Tell me about the avalanche.
Paige:Â Plain and simpleâ€¦Bryce literally saved my life.
Paige:Â It’s all in the book.
Oh, I see.Â LOLÂ Another suggestion to buy the book if you want to know the answers.Â Sounds like a good idea.Â Thank you for being with us today.
FALLING FOR THE ENEMY, a Silhouette Desire by Shawna Delacorte reissued in ebook format. Available at http://ebooks.eharlequin.com (do a search for author or title). Barnes and Nobel for NookBooks at www.bn.com and Amazon for Kindle at www.amazon.com
A Dangerously Desirable Boss:
Paige Bradford intended to expose Bryce Lexington for the ruthless shark he was. But when they started working together, the sparks they gave off jettisoned her best intentionsâ€¦. Paige knew this corporate hunk wasn’t what he seemedâ€”but was she losing her heartâ€¦to the enemy?
Hiring oh-so-sexy Paige might have been the biggest mistake Bryce had ever made, but he had to learn what she was after. Especially since she had Bryceâ€”the man with everythingâ€”wanting something far more precious: Paige’s love.
G-rated excerpt (inside front cover):
The look on Bryce Lexington’s handsome face said it all.Â He liked what he saw, liked it very much. Paige felt an inexplicable tingle of excitement as he continued to stare at her. She quickly pulled the beach jacket on, covering her body from shoulders to mid thigh.
“Tomorrow, Bradfordâ€¦” Bryce paused to take a calming breath. “Tomorrow bring your own swimsuit.” He quickly turned and left the pool house without even pausing to look back.
Paige closed her eyes. The look of smoldering intensity that Bryce had greeted her with popped back into her mind. A tremor of sensual desire made its way through her body, then settled low inside her.
Paige was not sure what she wanted anymore or why she was still there. She probably should have resigned as she had originally planned, but now it was too late.
G-rated Excerpt #1 (Paige and Bryceâ€”objectives)
â€˜â€˜Paige Bradford? Iâ€™m Bryce Lexington.â€™â€™ Bryce rose from his chair and held out his hand as she entered his office.
Even though he had seen her photograph in her personnel file, this incredibly beautiful woman was not what he had anticipated. Her firm handshake showed confidence. She appeared composed and at ease. Everything about her was a surprise and he instantly liked everything he saw. An unexpected tightness constricted his chest when their hands touched. He took a deep breath in an attempt to break the sensation. This unmistakable physical attraction toward her was both ill-timed and unacceptable considering the circumstances.
According to Joe Thompkins, his corporate head of security, Paige had been surreptitiously prying into Bryceâ€™s personal life for the past six months and two weeks ago had procured a job at his corporate headquarters in Santa Monica, California. Now she stood in his office on the other side of his desk looking as desirable as any woman he had ever met. What was her game? What was she after? Again, a quick rush of excitement darted through his body. He shoved it away and focused on the business at hand. He indicated a chair for her, then sat down behind his desk.
Paige settled into the chair he had indicated. â€˜â€˜Itâ€™s a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Lexington.â€™â€™
She had seen hundreds of pictures of him and read every word she could find that had been written about himâ€”magazines, newspapers and even the Internet. None of it had prepared her for a face-to-face meeting with this dynamic man. Paige had accepted his handshake, then quickly withdrawn her hand from his grasp. An intimate warmth had traveled up her arm and spread through her body, leaving her momentarily unsure about her chosen course of action.
She clenched her jaw and rallied her determination. She would not allow his good looks and some errant twinge of unwanted desire to divert her from the all-important task she had set for herself. She would see to it that Bryce Lexington was held accountable for his actions. That the world would know he was nothing more than an unprincipled shark who was responsible for her fatherâ€™s suicide.
â€˜â€˜Your personnel file shows that you possess the educational background, skill level and computer experience necessary for the position as my administrative assistant. Our corporate policy is to promote from within whenever possible. Since you agreed to come in for the interview, Iâ€™ll take that to mean youâ€™re interested in the position.â€™â€™
â€˜â€˜Yes, Mr. Lexington. I feel thatâ€”â€™â€™
â€˜â€˜Call me Bryce.â€™â€™
â€˜â€˜All right…Bryce. Iâ€™m extremely interested in the position and would consider it an honor to work as your administrative assistant. I have long admired your dedication to charity and your hard work in that regard.â€™â€™ She smiled, doing her best to project as much sincerity as she could muster and thankful that she hadnâ€™t choked on the audacious lies.
â€˜â€˜Do you have a current passport?â€™â€™
Without warning, he rose from his chair and moved to the office door. â€˜â€˜Thatâ€™s it, Bradford.â€™â€™
His abrupt action startled her. â€˜â€˜Thatâ€™s what?â€™â€™
â€˜â€˜End of the interview. The job is yours effective immediately.â€™â€™ He glanced at his watch. â€˜â€˜You have three hours to pack. Weâ€™re going to London and weâ€™ll be gone for five days. Meet me at the company hangar at the airport. Get the directions from Eileen.â€™â€™ He opened the door and stepped aside, indicating that she was dismissed.
â€˜â€˜I…uh, I appreciate this opportunityâ€”â€™â€™
â€˜â€˜I have another meeting, Bradford. Eileen will provide you with what you need.â€™â€™
â€˜â€˜Yes…thank you.â€™â€™ She hurried out of the office, a little uncertain about exactly what had just happened. The office door closed behind her. She was momentarily irritated with his brusque manner, which had almost bordered on rude.
Bryce watched from his office window as Paige walked down the sidewalk. As soon as she was out of sight he picked up the phone and called Joe Thompkins. A minute later his security chief arrived in his office. Bryce settled into his chair, leaned back and propped his feet up on his desk. He listened intently as the forty-two-year-old ruggedly handsome man opened a file folder and gave him a quick rundown.
â€˜â€˜Paige Bradford, maiden name Franklin. Thirty-two years old. Daughter of Stanley Franklin, founder of Franklin Industries. Mother deceased. Following a divorce one year ago from Jerry Bradford, Paige moved from St. Louis back to her fatherâ€™s house in Los Angeles. Sheâ€™s the one who discovered his body after he shot himself. That was six months ago. It was shortly after that when she began tracking down information about you.â€™â€™
Bryce took the folder from Joe and looked over the contents as he slowly shook his head. â€˜â€˜If she hadnâ€™t tried to pass herself off as a writer doing an in-depth biography of me, then called one of my business associates, Herb Fenwick, to set up an interview with him we probably wouldnâ€™t have known about her activities. Fortunately, Herb called me after sheâ€™d contacted him.â€™â€™
Bryce scanned the folder again. â€˜â€˜Iâ€™m not sure what type of person I was expecting, but she certainly wasnâ€™t it. I wonder what she wants with me. It canâ€™t have anything to do with my purchase of Franklin Industries. Surely she knows about her father, what he did and why the deal went down that way.â€™â€™
â€˜â€˜The real kicker was her procuring a job right here in corporate headquarters with access to your entire computer network. You have a copy of her personnel record, donâ€™t you?â€™â€™
â€˜â€˜Yes.â€™â€™ Bryce reached in a desk drawer and withdrew another file folder. He looked through the pages, his gaze lingering for a moment longer than necessary on the photograph that did not do her justice. It did not show her beautiful smile or her sparkling hazel eyes. He let out a sigh of exasperation. â€˜â€˜I suppose the sensible thing to do would have been to just ask her what she was up to. There could be a perfectly logical reason for her running around prying into my life and business.â€™â€™
‘â€˜Oh, really?â€™â€™ Joeâ€™s expression and tone of voice said he found Bryceâ€™s suggestion totally ludicrous. â€˜â€˜And just what do you suppose that perfectly logical reason might be?â€™â€™
Bryce shot him an exasperated look. â€˜â€˜All right, letâ€™s say she does have some sort of ulterior motive for her actions. We donâ€™t want to make any accusations without some type of proof.â€™â€™ Bryce suddenly sat up straighter, his tone of voice taking on a sense of urgency. â€˜â€˜She hasnâ€™t done anything detrimental to the company, like compromising sensitive corporate information, has she?â€™â€™
â€˜â€˜Not that Iâ€™m aware of. Her investigations seem to have been limited to publicly available information…so far.â€™â€™
Bryce studied her file a moment longer, then closed it with a finality that said the discussion was finished. â€˜â€˜Iâ€™ve transferred her to my personal staff as my administrative assistant effective today. According to her file sheâ€™s fully qualified for the job. That way I can keep my eye on her until we figure out what sheâ€™s up toâ€”if sheâ€™s up to anything at allâ€”and she wonâ€™t know weâ€™re suspicious of her. I donâ€™t want to tip our hand and frighten her off before we find out what this is about.â€™â€™
â€˜â€˜I donâ€™t like it, Bryce. She seems to have some sort of personal agenda sheâ€™s pursuing and you can bet itâ€™s not to your benefit.â€™â€™
Bryce opened the file and stared at her photograph again. â€˜â€˜You knowâ€”â€™â€™ he flashed a grin â€˜â€˜â€”itâ€™s worth a little bit of inconvenience to have someone around who looks like this. Eileen Draper is a dear and I couldnâ€™t get along without her management skills, but she is old enough to be my mother.â€™â€™ He stole a guilty look toward the office door, then turned a sheepish expression to Joe. â€˜â€˜And donâ€™t you dare tell Eileen I said that.â€™â€™
Bryce closed the folder and tossed it onto the corner of his desk, his manner once again turning to serious business. â€˜â€˜Iâ€™ll play it by ear, take it one day at a time. Weâ€™ll see where things progress from here.â€™â€™
â€˜â€˜You want her working directly with you where she would be free to pursue whatever she has on her agenda up to and including doing you physical harm?â€™â€™
â€˜â€˜In all fairness, Joe, we donâ€™t know that she has anything in mind thatâ€™s damaging to me or to the corporation.â€™â€™
â€˜â€˜Thatâ€™s your final decision in the matter?â€™â€™
â€˜â€˜Yep. Thatâ€™s the way I intend to play it.â€™â€™
â€˜â€˜I want to go on record as being dead set against this, Bryce.â€™â€™
â€˜â€˜Your objection is duly noted.â€™â€™
I’d like to thank Paige and Bryce for joining us today.Â I hope you enjoyed meeting them and want to read more of their story.
Â Text Copyright Â© 2002 by SKDennison, Inc.Â Cover Art Copyright Â© 2002 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited. Permission to reproduce text granted by Harlequin Books S.A. Cover art used by arrangement with Harlequin Enterprises Limited. All rights reserved. Â® and â„¢ are trademarks owned by Harlequin Enterprises Limited or its affiliated companies, used under license.
- About the Author
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I write erotic romance, erotic romantic suspense, romantic suspense and straight mystery under the name of Samantha Gentry. My other pseudonym of Shawna Delacorte has 21 published novels with Harlequin and Silhouette. I worked for 20 years in television production in Los Angeles before becoming a full time writer. See my website for a more comprehensive biography.