A geeky R&D director asks the reigning sales queen on a date and they’re both shocked when she accepts.

Nerdy Nick Harrington can’t believe his superpower over gorgeous sales queen Alexis Collins. He, dorky lab guy, starts distracting their focused revenue maker from important meetings and clients after their first date.

Things go swell for a few euphoric weeks. She meets his cat, he meets her friends, and they contemplate meeting the parents. Then their boss casually mentions that they should both apply for a new vice president job.

Nick and Alexis have to decide between their precious new relationship or their dream job.

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For more information: check out her website drgradybooks.com


“Alexis, do you have a minute?” Nick Harrington stopped their number one sales earner Tuesday morning.

Her long blonde hair and bright blue eyes probably helped her numbers. It was rumored she didn’t have much in the way of smarts but Nick never trusted the opinion of others.

“I do.” Alexis stopped and peered at him. Her blue eyes were so crystal clear and lovely he caught himself staring.

Then his brain thankfully reasserted itself and prompted him. “I wanted to show you the newest prototype for the PRO17. Do you have a minute to offer your opinion?”

The PRO17 was the newest self-defense device they had developed for women, especially. Not only was Alexis their top sales person, she was also a prime candidate within the product’s target demographic. He and his team neared the end of the development of the product, but so far they hadn’t done any research to determine if women were interested in the device.

“Of course. What do you need?”

He waved her into the lab and crossed to the testing area. “This is the prototype. It’s nearly finished. But we haven’t had a woman actually hold or use it. Seems before we finalize this device we should have women review it.”

“That makes good sense to me. You’d be surprised by the number of retailers who ask for that sort of information. They want the numbers. For instance, how many women have reviewed this product? How many have held it? How many have weighed in on the actual device? The more data we have, the more likely the retailer will order a decent number of devices.” Alexis’s voice caused several of his team to glance covertly at her.

Feminine tones in this department occurred so rarely it was cause for curiosity. But a beautiful woman like Alexis could be counted as a supreme anomaly.

She probably attracted attention wherever she went but here in this lab of geeks, well…

He removed the device from the protective container and handed it to her.

Alexis accepted the prototype and after hefting it, her eyes narrowed. “One of our biggest complaints was the weight of the previous models. This one feels premium but it’s not nearly as heavy.”

“I’ve been concerned about the weight. We’d heard rumbles that the others were too heavy. On the same token, a light plastic model would feel cheap.”

“Correct. This one feels like a near perfect blend of both.”

“A near perfect blend?”

She cocked her head to the side. Her hand gripped the device and she hefted it a couple more times. “The device is still a bit heavy. Is that the batteries?”

“Probably.” He pushed up his glasses. “Okay, so would having a chargeable battery be better than double A batteries?”

“Hmm.” She pursed her lips. “The convenience of readily available batteries is nice. We have so many devices we already have to remember to plug in. So would a couple double A or triple A batteries be better?” She flexed her arm as though the device was an exercise weight.

“We’re still testing the merits of several batteries. No decision has been made.”

“Most flashlights are a decent weight and they have disposable batteries.”

“That’s true.” It was his turn to purse his lips. He tugged his tablet computer close and scribbled a few notes.

“How many of these prototypes do you have?”

“This is the only one. We have a slightly older model, but this is the one we’re using now.” He waved toward the device still in her hand.

“One solution is to make up a few of the prototypes to distribute to the women who work here. Give them a week or so with the device then have them fill out a questionnaire for valuable feedback.”

“We don’t usually do extensive testing like that.” The pros and cons of extending the developmental process ran through his brain.

“Right. But that will cost you because you haven’t placed this in the hands of the demographic you’re targeting. If the very people who will be buying this can weigh in on what they did and didn’t like and perhaps offer suggestions, then you’ve got data we can offer retailers. The testing should also provide the strengths and weaknesses of the product. The testers can also weigh in on the device name.”

She didn’t raise her voice, didn’t push her opinion on him, and he appreciated her experienced input without the pressure.

“We could alter the product accordingly then. Before it goes into production.” He turned to one of the men trying hard to look as though he truly was absorbed in the data in front of him and not blatantly listening in on their conversation. Alexis stood close enough to Jon that he’d be able to smell her clean feminine scent.

No doubt the man’s circuits had been blown but Nick needed his brain to function. “Jon, can we make a few prototypes?” He didn’t pretend along with the man. Jon and every single male in the room had heard their entire conversation and Nick needed answers.

“We’ve got the 3D printer. So yes, I’m sure we can make as many as we need. But we’ll have to figure out which battery to use.” Jon spun his chair to face them. Hopefully he didn’t make Alexis uncomfortable. She must be used to staring men…

“So make a few with each of the battery types you’re considering.” Alexis held up the PRO17. She ran a fingertip along the shaft. “There’s an uncomfortable seam here. Can that be tweaked so the device doesn’t have it?”

He and Jon both leaned forward. “Really? A seam?” They both gazed where she pointed.

Her fingers were long and slender and her long fingernails sported a natural, glossy surface, not the daggers other women preferred. His reliable brain prompted him to stay focused so he took the device from her and he and Jon inspected it.

“You’re bothered by that seam?”

“It’s rough and uncomfortable in my hand.” She didn’t back down. But she did hold up a finger. “How many women have actually held this prototype?”

“You’re the first.” He pushed up his glasses again. That was a little uncomfortable to admit.

“Hold on a moment.” She left the room but soon returned with what looked like the entire sales department. Nick counted four women and three men. “Guys this is…” She raised an eyebrow at him.

Heat suffused his cheeks as he greeted her department. “I’m Nick Harrington. I know some of you. And I’m sorry Alexis, we met on your first day, when you heard so many names you’d never remember them all.”

Madison, one of Alexis’s colleagues, batted her heavily mascaraed lashes. “What Nick didn’t mention is that if he hears your name, he doesn’t forget it.” Dark haired, dark eyed, and dainty, Madison’s obvious attractiveness still somehow didn’t appeal.

More heat infused his cheeks after Madison’s flirting. He forced back the color because a blushing man probably was frowned upon by the alphas, and he guessed the male members of sales ranked among that number. He cleared his throat but Alexis stepped in.

“Thank you, Nick. Usually I remember names as well, but you’re right, my first day offered far too many names and information.”

A pretty shade of pink now colored her cheeks. He wanted to stare at it, but he was a professional, so he surged forward. “Alexis is the first female to hold our new prototype. We’re hoping to hear the opinions of all of you, if you don’t mind?” Can I be more of a geek?

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About the Author

From D.R. Grady comes vivid tales of contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and paranormal and fantasy romance, all with a generous dollop of humor. D.R. Grady books are clean stories for avid readers who love witty dialogue between heartwarming, brainy characters, as well as extraordinary supernatural beings or powerful, capable warriors. No matter your preference, fall in love with these clever, empowered characters who recognize love and companionship when they find it. Choose your own adventure!

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