Opposites attract, it is a well-known fact. At times this leads to insurmountable conflict, when at other times, sit back and watch the fireworks. Steve Tanakis considers himself cool and calmly confident, whereas Georgie McNamara, assistant designer in his fashion house, is the exact opposite; flamboyant, vivacious, and gregarious.
Georgie wiggled her toes and stretched. Sunlight streamed through the window and she squinted towards it.
“Looks like it’s a beautiful morning, Lucy,” she muttered sleepily, throwing back the covers. As she put her feet to the floor she jolted awake. Why was she in this bed fully clothed, and not in her own in the bed-sitter she shared with Lucy?
Then last night’s activities came rushing back. Yawning, she rubbed a hand over her eyes. Strange, but why couldn’t she remember getting into bed. The last thing she recalled was sitting in Steve’s study. The penny dropped, and she groaned loudly.
Someone had brought her up here, and put her in bed. Slapping a hand over her mouth, she looked about, then down. Where were her boots?
Mrs. Fisher was the only woman who could have done it, and she was no doubt reclining with her leg in a plaster case. Jimmy had been asleep and wouldn’t have attempted it anyway. That left one alternative, one that didn’t bear thinking about.
Heat engulfed her, surging like a warm tide over her flesh. Her scalp bristled.
He wouldn’t have!
Whipping open a door she found a small en-suite. The cabinet above the sink contained a toothbrush still in its packet, a tube of toothpaste, a bottle of expensive perfume, matching talcum powder, and a brush and comb. Steve Tanakis sure looked after his guests.
After showering, she wrinkled her nose at her undies. Unfortunately his hospitality didn’t stretch to an underwear change. Grimacing, she pulled them on, then opened the bottle of perfume, which she knew cost a fortune. The simple action of dabbing it between her breasts and on both wrists stirred her senses.
Thank goodness her clothes weren’t too crinkled she mused, as she slipped into them. And thank goodness for crease free fabric. At the thought of him carrying her up the stairs and depositing her beneath the covers, she blushed. How was she ever going to face him?
She used the brush to tame her curly mane. Presumably her handbag was still downstairs. Her make-up never consisted of much more than a touch of lipstick and eye shadow, but some cover for her rosy cheeks wouldn’t go amiss.
Bracing her shoulders she marched downstairs, heading for the dining room. Her boots still lay beneath the hall table. With a sigh she pulled them on.
“This is the city of love, what else did you expect?” Steve grinned wickedly as he tipped the violinist.
Georgie sighed blissfully. “It’s certainly romantic. I really don’t know how to thank you for all this.” She gazed about.
“Yes you do,” he said blandly.
“I’ll pretend I didn’t hear that. Or take it that you mean I can produce more designs to please your clients so you make lots of money, and soar to the top of the tree.”
“Yes, I’d like to soar to the top, but the money’s not an issue.”
“I’m interested to know, why are you so set on becoming number one in the industry.”
“Perhaps I should tell you a little about my father to help you understand.” He tasted the wine and gave the waiter permission to fill their glasses. “I’ve always been goaded to exceed limits set by him. From an early age I had it impressed on me how hard he had to struggle to make it. He started out with nothing you see; my mother had all the money. Unfortunately Sofia has never let him forget that. Dimitri probably would have succeeded on his own, but it would have taken longer. He’s tenacious, I’ll give him that.” His mouth curled cynically.
Georgie reached to cover his hand.
“Don’t waste your pity on me, Georgie.” He said that with a small shrug, and she withdrew abruptly. “My mother’s a snob—but dad insisted I went to an ordinary school. It taught me how to be street wise.”
Georgie could envisage him growing up in a loveless house with parents who didn’t know how to offer a simple cuddle, and a father who treated him no better than an employer would treat his workers.
“I worked in the factory during the school holidays when I was as young as Jimmy is now. While other boys of my age were getting up to mischief I was working out cloth lengths and costings.”
“Your father must have been proud of you when you showed him how talented you were,” Georgie interjected.
“If he was he’s never once expressed it.” He shrugged dismissively. “He only handed over the reins to me when I was twenty-five because the doctors insisted he step down or face another stroke. He’s not gracious in defeat.”
Her hand went to cover his again, and he pulled her palm up to his mouth. “You’re too much for a man to take in, do you know that. Compassionate, caring, cuddly—and ambitious too.” A hint of devilry entered his eyes again.
Georgie could find no comeback for that. They finished their meal discussing the range and buyers. When Georgie refused coffee, he said, “Let’s go then. We’ve got a plane to catch early in the morning.”
He left her at her door, his lips briefly touching hers as he bade her goodnight. The fleeting touch burned and Georgie tossed restlessly in her bed, her dreams erotic.
The Challenge the Heart series: Contemporary Romances set in Australia
Kate’s Dilemma (Challenge the Heart Book 3)
A Heart in Conflict (Challenge the Heart Book 2)
When Fate Decides (Challenge the Heart Book1)
Award winning author Tricia McGill was born in London, England, and moved to Australia many years ago, settling near Melbourne. The youngest in a large, loving family she was never lonely or alone. Surrounded by avid readers, who encouraged her to read from an early age, is it any wonder she became a writer? The local library was a treasure trove and magical world of discovery through her childhood and growing years. Although her published works cross sub-genres, romance is always at their heart.
Tricia’s love of animals has always shown up in her books. Tricia devotes as much time and money as she can spare to supporting worldwide conservation groups and is passionate about supporting those who do all they can to preserve our wildlife for future generations, especially elephants and orangutans who seem to be getting the raw end of the deal even in this enlightened age. She also volunteers for a local community group that helps disabled adults and children to connect to the internet with provided computer equipment. When people ask what she does in her spare time she is heard to ask, “Spare time, what is that?”