BAIT AND SWITCH
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Please see below for Chapter One of Bait and Swtich.
One workaholic. One gigolo. One week in Sin City. You do the math…
Frisky Business, Book 1
Anna Jackson’s ex-boyfriend may have stolen her promotion, but she’s not mad. Not anymore. She’s getting even—by beating him at his own game. So what if she has to give up all her free time and any semblance of a personal life? With a partnership in a law firm as prestigious as Beckam, Beckam and Leland on the line, she’s willing to pay the price.
Las Vegas escort Devon McGuire is charming, sexy, and damn good at pleasing women. He’d better be, it’s what he gets paid for. Always up for a challenge, he’s looking forward to his newest job. Who wouldn’t enjoy a week as the companion of a smart, sultry, high-powered attorney—no strings attached?
Devon’s used to pushing boundaries, but there’s something about Anna that makes him want to turn up the steam. And when she learns to let go and unexpectedly opens to him, he finds himself falling right in.
Whoa, hold it. Love was never part of the plan… Product Warnings
This book contains a sizzling, drop-dead gorgeous, sex-on-a-stick gigolo who wants to make women’s fantasies come true, and a woman who won’t cooperate and let him do his job.
If the plane lurched one more time Anna was going to run up to the cabin and be sick all over the pilot just to teach him a lesson. Granted, the pilot couldn’t control turbulence, but she needed to blame somebody. She clutched the paperwork in front of her as the plane took yet another sudden drop. Grimacing, Anna righted the documents in her lap.
Beside her, her legal assistant’s grin was mischievous. “We’re flying over the Vegas strip. Want to lean over and take a look at it as we fly in?”
Anna shook her head. “No, I’m fine. Thank you.”
“It’s a pretty awesome sight.” The woman leaned closer placing her chin her hand and gazed down. “I love Vegas. It’s true what they say, you know? What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.”
Half listening, Anna highlighted a sentence. “Uh huh.”
“Oh yeah, Anna…I banged the whole league of Thunder from Down Under dancers in one night, then went on to find other men to have my way with for the rest of the weekend. It was some of the best sex I’ve ever had.”
Dropping her highlighter, Anna stared in horror at Janie O’Donnell. The woman was grinning from ear to ear, her green eyes flashing with humor. “What did you say?”
Janie laughed. “I’m kidding. I just wanted to get your attention.”
“You shouldn’t say stuff like that. It’s not funny. Someone might hear and take you seriously.”
Anna peeked behind them, hoping their colleagues hadn’t heard, but the laughs and thumbs-ups said differently. Blowing an exasperated sigh at the small group of women, Anna went back to her paperwork as the plane continued to make its descent.
As the plane touched the ground, everyone was forcefully propelled forward. Anna caught herself before her face met the seat in front of her, then reached down and grabbed the briefcase by her feet to put her work away.
The pilot chuckled as he came on over the speaker, “Well, now everyone’s awake.” The passengers all laughed except Anna, who waited impatiently for the plane to reach the terminal.
Once there, Anna worked on exiting without elbowing anybody though she wanted to for the sheer pleasure of it. At the baggage claim area, she pounced on her luggage before departing the airport with her troop.
The limo driver, holding a Beckam, Beckam and Leland sign greeted them kindly and loaded their bags in the trunk.
Anna climbed into the back of the limo, caught up in the week to come. She immediately started going over the agenda for the week again with Janie. The younger woman laughed and patted her shoulder. “I’ve got everything taken care of. Don’t worry. The week will go off with flying colors.”
Anna wanted to make partner. It was her goal. Thomas Leland had swept it out from under her, and she refused to let anything like that happen again. He had used her, dumped her, and stolen her promotion.
The women around her laughed, coaxing her to join them as they entertained themselves with drinks from the limo’s mini bar, but Anna refused. She clutched the strap of her purse in her hands and stared out the window, not really seeing anything. She was on a mission. This week she would prove that she was the best and she would let nothing stand in her way.
* * *
Janie held up her glass. “To a week’s vacation on BBL, with only a little bit of work to ruin it.”
All the ladies lifted their glasses in salute, except for Anna; she only lifted her glass half-heartedly.
Janie sipped on her margarita and batted her green eyes at Anna, her bright red hair slipping from its chignon at the back of her head. Mindy Fletcher, another attorney reached across the table and laid her hand over Anna’s.
“Snap out of it. You’ve got to lighten up. I don’t remember you ever being like this before Leland pulled his nasty stunt. You’ve been wound so tight this last year, like a hurricane ready to unleash itself on the world.”
Though Anna didn’t appreciate being referred to as a natural disaster, she shrugged and pushed her drink aside, studying the other women at the table. They’d all been friends for the past few years, with the exception of Mindy whom she’d known since their first year at college. They hadn’t been parted since.
Anna cocked her head as Mindy continued to rant. It was what Mindy did best, though it never used to be that way. Somewhere during their junior year, Mindy had changed from a soft spoken, sweet young woman, who’d been willing to bend over backwards for anyone to an overbearing, bossy, control freak, but Anna loved her despite all that. Mindy still bent over backwards to help a friend, that fact had never changed. Anna supposed it was Mindy’s way of trying to make it in the world, not to be judged because she was of the female population. She was obsessed with being a career woman and refused to rely on any man to succeed.
Sighing, Anna cut in when Mindy finally took a breath. “You know why I’m so dedicated to my work. I need to make partner. It’s not just a goal now; it’s a mission.”
“I thought you wanted to help people. Remember? The reason you wanted to be a lawyer was to ‘Help those who’ve been wronged.’ Not to be partner.”
Anna grabbed her purse and laid money on the table to pay for her meal and drinks. “Plans change.”
Nichole Schafer, another attorney in their firm, chimed in. “Thomas is a dick. Everyone knows it. He’ll get his someday, Anna, but you don’t have to kill yourself in the meantime.”
Anna stared at her, a slight smile touching her lips, watching as Nichole’s pale green eyes darkened in indignation. “I’m hardly killing myself.”
“I need to get in on this,” Holly Monroe, Mindy and Nichole’s legal assistant, stated. “You don’t go out. You don’t do anything fun. You work all day into the late hours of the night. You’re acting like a crusty old woman.”
Anna balked. “I. Am. Not. Old.” She almost yelled it across the table. The others began laughing. Anna was fuming now. “I’m pushing thirty, yes, but that hardly qualifies me as old.”
Janie was trying unsuccessfully to hide her riotous laughter. “She didn’t say you were old, counselor, she simply said you’re acting like it.”
Anna stood up with such force, she almost knocked her chair backward, but Holly caught it.
“Whoa, slow down there, little buckaroo.”
Anna’s face flamed, knowing the slow drawl coming from Holly’s lips was an attempt to tease Anna for the Tennessee accent that always managed to creep up when she was upset.
She clutched her purse in her hands and glared at all of them. “You snots.” She shoved her chair against the table and stormed off, their laughter ringing in her ears.
“Okay, now that she’s gone—good idea by the way, Mindy, my love,” Janie said mischievously, giving the woman her props with a “pound,” knuckle to knuckle.
Mindy blew a breath on her nails then rubbed them against her shirt as if polishing them. “I knew that would set her off. Leave it to me to get her panties in a bunch.”
They all shared another laugh then their heads came together as they spoke in low voices.
“So what’s the plan?” Holly asked, her finger twirling a long, blonde lock of hair. She gazed back and forth among them.
“We need something good. Something that will knock her socks off and bring her back to the same happy woman we all knew once before,” Nichole commented.
“If we have time, maybe we can plan Thomas’s demise while we’re at it,” Janie teased.
“Done,” Mindy stated. “Holly, pencil Thomas’s demise between lunch and drinks on Thursday.”
Nichole brought them back to the important matter at hand. “Come on, ladies, think. What can we do for Anna?”
They all shot down Holly’s idea. “That’s good for you, but not for ‘practical Anna’,” Mindy said, mimicking Anna’s no-nonsense tone.
“A day at the spa,” Nichole threw out. They all shook their heads. “What about bungee jumping?”
“I don’t know,” Janie said. “Something about the thought of Anna possibly going splat doesn’t sound appealing. I’d be a nervous wreck for her.”
“How about we take her to a strip show,” Mindy blurted out. “I know I wouldn’t mind seeing a bunch of hot looking guys up on stage shaking their money makers.” She licked her lips for emphasis.
Janie’s eyes widened, a grin spreading ear to ear. She clapped her hands in delight and yelled for another round of drinks. “Oh, Mindy, bless you, I have it. It’s perfect. I don’t know why I didn’t think of it earlier.”
“Strippers?” Mindy arched a brow.
Janie shook her head. “No, but close.”
They all huddled closer, their heads almost bumping together.
“What?” Nichole exclaimed.
“Spill it,” Mindy demanded.
Janie brought her hands together in front of her, her expression smug as their drinks were wedged in front of them by the server. She lowered her voice, conspiracy in every syllable. “A pros-ti-tute.”
“Anna’s not gay.”
Janie smacked Holly on the hand. “Stop playing dumb. You know what I mean. A male prostitute. A gigolo. A man so gorgeous, so well put together, so charming and determined that he will sweep her off her feet for a full seven days of fun whether she likes it or not.”
They were all silent, looking at one another. Then they started cheering at once and lifted their drinks, uncaring of the other patrons.
Mindy made the toast. “Let’s do this, ladies. We’ll find Anna a gorgeous love machine, and she will thank us later.”
Their glasses all clinked together, their laughter filling the bar. Mindy slapped her hand on the table and held up her credit card with the other. “I hope he takes platinum.”
* * *
Mindy, Nichole, Holly, and Janie sat at the back of one of the Caesars Palace bars. They waited and watched for their guest to arrive.
“How did you find this guy?” Janie asked.
Mindy sighed. “I called Angelica Montero.”
“What? Your client who runs the escort service?”
“So? Are you kidding me? You asked a client who is up on charges for her business to help you find a gigolo?”
Mindy looked bored. “Janie, she’s innocent until proven guilty. Besides, she knows everything about and everyone in this business. And she’s a good friend. She helped me out at a time in my life when I really needed someone. I’d defend her even if it cost me my license to practice. What are you complaining about anyway? This was your idea.”
Janie shook her head while Holly and Nichole chuckled, though all three women eyed Mindy curiously. None of them asked about Mindy’s relationship with New York’s most notorious madam, they knew it would get them nowhere fast.
Nichole chimed in. “Don’t start acting like Anna, Janie. It’s fine.”
Janie sighed. She rubbed her hands over her face. “I hope I don’t lose my job over this.”
Holly wrapped her arm around Janie’s shoulders. “Anna loves you too much. She’d never fire you.”
Smiling, Janie took a sip of her drink. Her gaze moved to the entrance, and choked on her drink. Holly started hitting her back, but Janie waved her off. “Whoa. Ladies, I believe this is our man.”
They all turned and stared. “Oh, he’s hot,” Nichole announced to no one in particular.
Mindy waved her hand, and the man made his way toward them. “Okay, ladies, be cool. I’ll handle this.”
Nichole blew and exasperated sigh. “Don’t be so dramatic, Mindy.”
“Ladies.” The man’s deep voice surrounded them, drew them in. “Devon McGuire.” He shook their hands as they introduced themselves, each trying not to gape. After being invited to have a seat, he sat opposite them in the large corner booth, his long frame filling the space. Delicious, naughty thoughts filled their minds. “What can I do for you?”
“Well,” Mindy began, “I’ve been told that you’re one of the best in this town, professional and a gentleman. We have a friend who’s in need of some serious help.”
He rubbed his jaw thoughtfully. “I’m sorry, but as I told you over the phone I’m not taking on any new clients at this time.”
“Then why did you bother coming here at all?” Mindy demanded.
Devon shrugged. “Your friend, Ms. Montero, threatened to rake me over the coals if I didn’t at least come down and hear you ladies out.”
“You have to take her,” Holly blurted out. “She’s sweet, but she’s just kind of…lost right now.”
Nichole nodded, setting her drink aside. “And it’s just for one week. She wouldn’t be a regular.”
“She really is great, but she’s just been burned and really needs someone to show her—”
Mindy snapped her fingers to draw everyone’s attention to her, and then focused on Devon. “Look, like Nichole said, it’s just for one week. Anna needs a fling. Otherwise, I’m afraid she might implode, she’s wound so tight.”
Devon smiled at that comment, but glanced at Janie. “I was hoping to have a week free before my regulars pick up again. I could recommend another gentleman instead.”
Janie cleared her throat. “Look, you don’t know us from the next showgirl, and we don’t know you, but you come highly recommended. I know you don’t care—why should you, you don’t know her—but if you could just give her a chance. She really needs something, you know?” She paused as if waiting for his reply, but when he only continued to watch her, Janie went on. “She really needs this, needs you, as ridiculous as it probably sounds. Her heart’s been broken, and her dreams are uprooted for the time being. We only want to help her get back to the fun, and loving woman we all adore. She won’t be your clingy, whiny type, we promise.”
He didn’t say anything for a moment, but his eyes were thoughtful. Finally he pulled out his calendar. “I might be able to fit you in. When do you need me?”
“Right now,” Mindy stated firmly.
He flipped through the pages till he came to July. He slid the pencil out and looked back at them. “How long?”
“Tomorrow through Saturday.”
“What’s her name again?”
He entered her name and made an arrow through the rest of the week. “Can you tell me what she looks like so when I meet her I’ll know her?”
Holly held up her hand and grabbed her purse from under the table. “I have a picture.”
“What are you doing with a picture of Anna?”
Holly dropped her purse on the table and glanced at Nichole. “I have a group picture of all of us that I keep. I’m sentimental, so cut me some slack.”
Holly handed the picture to the man. “That’s her, except she has short hair now.”
His eyes flicked over the picture before he handed the photo back to Holly. “Thank you.” He glanced at Mindy. “What exactly am I to provide for Anna?”
Mindy crossed her arms and stared at him, before finally responding. “Anything she wants.”
“Fine, my fee for the week is seven thousand dollars, and that does not include other expenses such as meals, shows, clubbing.”
Mindy nodded. “Fine. I was told you’d be about that much, but you need to keep receipts for all your expenses and I’ll reimburse you.”
Devon smiled as if he found her amusing. “No, you’ll pay up front and I’ll keep receipts and return any cash left over.”
Mindy glared at him, but nodded her head in agreement, then grabbed her own purse and pulled out a fat envelope filled with travelers’ checks that she’d advanced on her card.
He took the envelope, counted the checks, making sure each was signed before stuffing it inside the pocket of his blazer. Grinning, he leaned back and appeared to be making himself comfortable. “Now, where do I meet your friend?”
- Ann Lory
- Welcome to Blog Bites! I love writing and reading romance of all genres which is why I've created "In the Author Spotlight". That way you and I can find out who's out there and what more they have for use to dig our claws into. Are you an author interested in being in the "Author Spotlight"? Shoot me an email at AnnLory@gmail.com for a spot. Currently, I'm published in contemporary and paranormal. If you'd like to read excerpts and find out what's out, or what's in store for you please visit my website at www.annlory.com.
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BAIT AND SWITCH