A charming playboy learns that his rival for his dream job is none other than the spunky tomboy he hasn’t been able to take his eyes off, and begins to wonder if it’s the job that’s worth winning, or something far more important…
Meet the men of Oxford magazine! In the first captivating spin-off of Lauren Layne’s Sex, Love & Stiletto series, a not-so-friendly battle of the sexes turns into a scorching office romance.
Hotshot sports editor Cole Sharpe has been freelancing for Oxford for years, so when he hears about a staff position opening up, he figures he’s got the inside track. Then his boss drops a bombshell: Cole has competition. Female competition, in the form of a fresh-faced tomboy who can hang with the dudes—and write circles around them, too. Cole usually likes his women flirty and curvy, but he takes a special interest in his skinny, sassy rival, if only to keep an eye on her. And soon, he can’t take his eyes off her.
Penelope Pope knows all too well that she comes off as just one of the guys. Since she’s learned that wanting more usually leads to disappointment, Penelope’s resigned to sitting on the sidelines when it comes to love. So why does Cole make her want to get back in the game? The man is as arrogant as he is handsome. He probably sees her as nothing more than a barrier to his dream job. But when an unexpected kiss turns into a night of irresistible passion, Penelope has to figure out whether they’re just fooling around—or starting something real.
“Thanks for a nice evening, Cole.” Her fingers squeezed lightly as she took a step back, and the gesture was friendly to the point of being sisterly.
Which didn’t explain why Cole found himself, just slightly, stunned by the contact.
She lifted her hand with another of those happy grins and started to turn away, and something in Cole snapped, and he wanted to prove . . . something.
To her? To himself?
Hell, he didn’t know. Didn’t bother to think. “Hey, Penelope.”
She turned back around. “Yeah?”
His eyes locked on hers. “You never answered Lincoln’s question.”
She looked at him in confusion. “What question?”
“About the type of kiss you preferred.”
Her lips parted slightly, and damned if he wasn’t getting to know this woman, because he spotted the flicker of wariness on her face even as she pushed it away with a smile. “Oh, well . . . we really only tried the one, you know?”
“Did you like it?”
What the hell, Sharpe? What are you doing?
The snow had eased up lightly, just a few flakes floating around them now. “Um, I guess so?”
Her voice was straight-up nervous now, and if he had any decency, he’d let it drop. Instead he moved toward her again.
“You don’t sound convinced. Head-holding kisses aren’t your thing then?”
Her laugh was breathy. Nervous. “Well it wasn’t the most romantic of situations. It was hard to really, um, gauge.”
“Huh,” he said, crowding stopping when there were just a few inches separating him. She didn’t back away from him, but her eyes were cautious, her body language telling him to back off.
“When was the last time you’ve been decently kissed, Penelope?”
She licked her lips. The gesture was more nervous than it was seductive, but damn if Cole wasn’t seduced all the time.
This was madness.