Press: Gallery Books (September 9, 2008)
Author Name:Andre, Bella
The daughter of a powerful sports agent, Melissa McKnight has harbored lust-filled fantasies for Dominic DiMarco ever since she was an awkward teenager, when the San Francisco Outlaws' gorgeous wide receiver became her father's superstar client.
Now Melissa's a beautiful, tenacious associate in her father's firm, and being around to-die-for hard-bodies is all in a day's work...until tangling with Dominic at a photo shoot blindsides her with passion.
Dominic has built a flawless career by being in control -- on and off the field.
And despite his intense desire for Melissa, he's not about to seduce his agent's daughter -- until Melissa stages a power play to break free from her domineering father and winds up at an edgy bar on the wrong side of town.
Dominic thinks he's rescuing the innocent Melissa he met years ago...but one night of sizzling passion reveals a woman with no limits -- including a penchant for hot sex in public places.
If anyone's breaking all the rules of seduction, it's sexy, irresistible Melissa.
But Dominic has a secret from years ago -- one that could ruin his sterling reputation and take Melissa along with him.
Will his bad-boy past bind them closer together? Or will they crash and burn?
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Chapter OneDominic DiMarco is seriously hot," the makeup artist said, fanning herself.Melissa McKnight kept her eyes trained on her BlackBerry, even though she was dying for another mouthwatering look at Dominic's hard, tanned chest.
As the representative for the McKnight Sports Agency, which her father owned, she wasn't there to ogle one of its clients.
Assisting pro-football players during photo shoots and charity events was her job.
Just because Dominic was totally drool-worthy didn't mean she could lose her head over him in public.Only in private.The middle-aged woman raised her voice.
"You're nuts for doing email while that man has his shirt off.
When are you going to get the chance to be this close to a chest that beautiful again?" Melissa stopped typing and looked up with a polite smile.
"Everyone at the McKnight Agency is very proud of what Dominic has achieved." She'd spent a decade concealing her lust for him.
That morning she'd woken up from a lovely dream in which Dominic had been doing wonderful things to her with his mouth, his amazingly strong hands, and the thick bulge between his legs, which she tried not to stare at every Sunday when he suited up for a game.
She was pretty sure she failed every time."I couldn't care less about football," the makeup artist said, her voice too loud for Melissa's comfort.
"But that man has got amazing abs.
And I'll bet you can bounce a quarter off his ass."The photographer called for some quick touch-ups to Dominic's hair, and the chatty makeup artist ran over to dust some powder on his torso.
Melissa -- and every other woman in the room -- knew Dominic didn't really need powder to cut the shine on his perfect skin: It was simply the woman's excuse to touch him.A photo of Dominic wearing nothing but well-worn jeans and a smile was enough to melt even the coldest woman's heart...and empty her pocketbook.
As one of the offensive stars of the San Francisco Outlaws, Dominic was a highlight-reel favorite every Sunday when Americans were glued to their flat-screen TVs.
His powerful sex appeal was the reason Melissa had been able to negotiate a $2 million endorsement fee with Levi-Strauss & Co.Growing up in the football business, Melissa had seen plenty of impressive physiques.
Great abs, tight butts, and broad shoulders were a given.
But on Dominic, the standard ten had been turned up to eleven.
His six-pack abs looked like they'd been painted on by a makeup artist; every time he moved, deep hollows crisscrossed his hard stomach.
His wide shoulders and muscular back were a work of art, and the way the sinews and tendons of his triceps and biceps played and gave as he moved made her breath come a little too fast.Watching him from across the room, the years fell away and she was seventeen all over again.Every Christmas, Melissa's father invited his top clients and their wives and girlfriends over to their house.
Melissa usually hid in her bedroom and read until everyone had gone home, but this year Dominic DiMarco was a new McKnight Agency client, and she couldn't resist spying on him in the living room through the pass-through counter in the kitchen.She'd nursed a wicked crush on Dominic ever since she'd been lucky enough to tag along with her father to a University of Miami game, where Dominic had been a record-breaking wide receiver.
Chills had run up and down her spine as he ran out onto the field, even though it had been a warm, sunny day.
Cheerleaders kicked as high as they could and the college girls cheered wildly in their skimpiest tank tops, desperate to capture his attention.
Dominic gave the crowd one devastatingly handsome grin, then focused wholly and completely on the game.Melissa fell irrevocably in love.Her adolescent hormones rose up, begging to be released.
She'd never reacted like this to anyone: not the cutest boy in school, not the latest pop star.
She'd never felt so much admiration for the way a football player handled the ball, with confidence but no unnecessary flash.
She'd never gotten tingly all over just because a guy's black hair curled at the base of his neck.The day Dominic signed on with her father's agency was her best -- and worst -- day rolled into one.
Seeing him on a regular basis at agency events helped her gather lots of erotic data for her ever-growing fantasies about him.
If only she didn't always make such a fool of herself around him! Her brain sputtered helplessly; her mouth said stupid things; she walked into tables and spilled drinks.That Christmas, Dominic DiMarco was laughing with her father in front of the fire, a big-breasted blonde on his arm.
The beautiful girl was tall and thin and perfectly dressed -- everything Melissa expected one of Dominic's girlfriends to be.Melissa cringed as she caught sight of her reflection in a serving tray on the kitchen counter.
She had a drawer full of expensive makeup she'd never had the guts to use...
Instead of pulling her unruly curls into a tight ponytail, she'd brushed her hair until it formed a halo around her head like a lion's mane.
She wasn't sure if her new hairstyle was better than the ponytail, but at least it was more grown-up.
As for clothes, since she attended a private school that required a uniform, she didn't have much to choose from.
She'd finally decided on a pair of snug black pants her mother had bought her last year and a tight red sweater she'd borrowed from her much skinnier best friend Alice.Watching the beautiful men and women chat, Melissa's hands grew damp and her stomach started to hurt.
There was no way she could go out there; she could never compete with the supermodels enjoying her family's hospitality.She turned to leave just as her father caught sight of her.
"Melissa, come out and say hello to everyone."Licking her suddenly dry lips nervously, praying she wouldn't make a fool of herself in front of Dominic, Melissa slowly pushed through the kitchen door and walked into the living room."What's that on your face?" her father exclaimed in a loud, slightly drunk voice.
"And what the hell are you wearing?" Twenty pairs of eyes turned her way, the Christmas CD playing in the background actually began to skip, and all conversation stopped.Dying of embarrassment, Melissa barely noticed her mother moving to her side in support.
Her father's blunt remarks had often hurt her feelings, but never this badly.
She wanted to run out of the room, but her feet felt as heavy as bags of cement.Desperately hoping no one else had heard her father's comments, she forced a smile.
"Hi, guys," she said with a dumb little wave.
She avoided Dominic's gaze.
"Merry Christmas."Two dozen gorgeous, talented men and women smiled back at her with varying degrees of pity in their eyes.
It was the most awful, embarrassing moment of her life.Her father turned to open a bottle of Cristal, and she was about to make a break for her bedroom when he peered at her again.
"And what on earth did you do to your hair? It looks like you have a big orange basketball on your head."Tears sprang to Melissa's eyes just as Dominic said, "Stop upsetting the kid." He turned to face her.
"You look great," he lied, then gestured to the table of appetizers.
"Are you hungry?"Dominic's girlfriend coughed behind her hand, but Melissa knew she was disguising a giggle.
Feeling like a freak show, Melissa shook her head.
"I should get back to my homework now." As soon as she turned away, her tears started falling.
Dominic DiMarco would never look at her as anything other than a stupid little girl.
Never.Melissa looked up from her vivid memory to find everyone looking at her and felt her cheeks flush.
Quickly, she shook off the sense that she was still seventeen, chunky, and painfully insecure.
Ten years had passed since then, long enough for Melissa to transform herself from a shy, overweight teenager into a curvy, confident woman.
She was currently single by choice, not because she couldn't get a date.
No longer in her early twenties, she just wasn't interested in wasting her time dating guys who couldn't possibly be "the one." She was holding out for someone special...
someone like Dominic.He stepped out from under the lights and walked to her, and her heart pounded hard and fast."Don't worry.
I'll be gentle.
I promise," he said in a low voice that only she could hear.She had no idea what he was talking about.
But her body reacted to his deep, sexy voice, her nipples beading against her silk bra."I think I missed something," she whispered.
"Why is everyone staring at me?"He grinned, his smile slow and full of heat.
Melissa felt faint.
Did he have any idea of its impact? He could have any woman as his sex slave with just the white flash of his teeth."Benjamin just asked if you'd mind standing in for the female model for a few minutes so he can set his light meter and try out various poses."Melissa scanned the room.
"She was here a minute ago.
What happened to her?"Dominic leaned in close, his breath on her ear sending goose bumps all over her arms.
"Her boyfriend just called and broke up with her.
It's going to take a while to fix her makeup." He pulled back and stared into her eyes.
"I completely understand if you don't want to do it.
Someone else could step in instead."The makeup artist was practically waving her hand in the air at the thought of getting to rub herself like a cat in heat against Dominic under the lights.
Melissa couldn't let that happen to him.
Besides, she'd have to be crazy not to jump at five minutes of blissful nearness.She manufactured a wide smile.
I'd be happy to help."He took her hand and squeezed it as he led her over to the lights.
She'd never thought the day would come when Dominic DiMarco would be holding her hand.
His palms were calloused from years of catching footballs, and she couldn't help imagining his hands sliding down her naked body, over her breasts.
Her breath caught at the potent image, then from the incredible real-life sensation of Dominic wrapping a possessive arm around her waist."How do you want us to stand, Benjamin?" Dominic...
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Romance,Sports,Literature & Fiction,Contemporary,Erotica
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