He's an arrogant,
worldly entrepreneur who
always gets what he wants.
And what he wants is for Genevieve
to spend the next ninety days
submitting to his every desire...
The dark sensual tale of love and obsession
that has become a classic the world over.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
Lucinda Carrington was brought up in Sussex, and now lives in Essex with her black rescue cat Machiavelli.
She admits to having a magpie mind when it comes to interests and includes art, philosophy, ancient Egyptian spirituality, deep ecology and the Tarot among the many paths she has explored. She plays the trumpet (enthusiastically but not very well!) and has a black belt in Shotokan karate. She is a strong supporter of animal rights.
Genevieve Loften turned and opened the Venetian blinds again, flooding the room with light. James Sinclair leaned back in his chair, watching her. His steady gaze made her feel uncomfortable. She had heard he could be difficult and this session proved once again that the rumors were true.
She thought again how unlike a conventional businessman he looked. A dark tan, dark hair, and a body like a sleek athlete under that immaculate tailored suit. She actually found him attractive, but she had no intention of letting him know it. She was not going to stroke his ego. He looked far too self-assured as it was.
It was their third meeting. And this time they were alone. She had worked hard to impress him, to convince him that Barringtons had innovative ideas and could provide the advertising he needed to expand his markets abroad. He had just watched a recording of one of their most successful television campaigns. She had already shown him an impressive portfolio of past assignments, with sales figures to match, but nothing she had suggested or offered seemed to interest him. All she had received for her efforts had been that darkly ambiguous look, a slight lifting of one eyebrow and no feedback whatsoever. With an inner sigh of regret she pushed the portfolio to one side. She did not like failures.
"If there's anything else I can show you, Mr. Sinclair?" she offered. She was surprised to see him smile slowly.
"Maybe there is." He paused, holding her eye as he stretched out his long legs. He relaxed visibly, but he still had the self-possessed air of a man in control. "Come out from behind your nice protective businesswoman's desk," he said, "and stand in front of me."
The sound of London's traffic, muted by the double glazing, filtered up from the street below. Genevieve stared at Sinclair, wondering for a moment if she had heard him correctly. Until that moment he had never shown the slightest interest in her. If anything she had felt his attitude was hostile. Now there was something in his eyes that disturbed her. Amusement? Triumph? She was not sure. And there was something arrogantly confident about the way he had shifted his position from formal to relaxed. It changed the relationship between them. They were no longer two businesspeople looking for a point of contact. They were a man and a woman, aware that something was about to spark between them.
Although she felt unsure of herself, she decided to play along. She smiled and walked round the desk, stopping in front of him. "Well," she said, with forced brightness, "Here I am. Now perhaps you'll tell me the purpose of this little charade?"
"Turn round," he said. "Slowly."
"Really, Mr. Sinclair," she began. "I don't see the point of..."
"Just do it," he said.
Genevieve shrugged, and turned. She was suddenly glad that her elegant suit was loosely rather than suggestively tailored, and that her skirt ended discreetly just below the knee. You can look as much as you like, Mr. Sinclair, she thought, you won't see much.
But when she turned to face him again her opinion changed. His dark gaze traveled lazily over her body, touching her breasts, moving down her thighs, outlined by the neat seams of the pencil-slim skirt. He admired her legs, glossy in pale gray stockings, and her narrow ankles, neat above her black, medium-heeled shoes. Far from protecting her, she felt that her expensive clothes were being seductively stripped away, and that she was being explored by an invisible hand. It was like being assessed in a slave market. By the time he shifted his eyes back to her face, her cheeks were flushed pink.
He stared at her for a moment, then grinned slowly. "I have a proposition for you," he said. "But it might not be quite the kind of business deal you were expecting."
"I'm sure Barringtons will be able to meet any of your requirements," she said.
"Barringtons might," he agreed. "But will you?"
"It amounts to the same thing, doesn't it?" she parried.
"Don't play innocent, Miss Loften," he drawled. "You're an adult woman, not a teenage virgin. I think you know what I'm suggesting."
Genevieve had been propositioned before, although never as unexpectedly and blatantly as this. For a moment she was angry. Did he think she was some kind of commodity up for sale? Then the little voice of ambition reminded her of exactly what this arrogant man could be offering: Sinclair Associates was high-profile and expanding. The agency selected to handle their advertising would become an international name.
Barringtons needs this account, she told herself, and they'll be very grateful to whoever gets it for them. If James Sinclair wants sex in exchange for his signature, then I'll give it to him. It's not as if he's old and fat, after all. "Of course I know what you're suggesting," she said briskly. "I give you sex, and you give Barringtons your account."
He laughed. "You make it sound too simple, Miss Loften. I'm not about to exchange an important signature for a few quick thrills." His voice altered; there was a harder edge to it now. "I can get that cheaper elsewhere. I want more. Much more. You and I will have to meet and discuss the details."
She shivered suddenly. This was not quite what she expected. What kind of details were there to discuss? She'd perform in bed for him and try to make it good. She would probably enjoy it. Maybe he would want something a little unusual? Well, if she had to, she would oblige. Anything to close that deal.
She did wonder briefly: why? Sinclair Associates did not really need Barringtons. It was really the other way around. Another thought nagged her: why me? She knew James Sinclair was rich, well-connected and powerful. He had the kind of dangerous good looks that most women would have found highly desirable. He could have had any of the money or publicity-hungry beauties who frequented the smarter London clubs. Women more obviously glamorous than she was. Women who would have been delighted to be seen with him, and to go home and perform for him, probably far more expertly than she could.
She was not a virgin, but she did not consider herself particularly sexually experienced. Her first affair had been a fumbling, youthful disaster, followed by a couple of brief flings and one longer relationship that had ended because she was always canceling dates due to pressure of work.
Sinclair stood up. He was a head taller than she was, and she was taller than average. With his glossy black hair, beautifully cut but worn slightly longer than convention dictated, and his natural tan, he had an exotic look. She could imagine him as a pirate, and a ruthless one at that. She remembered the stories she had heard about his business tactics. Perhaps pirate really was an accurate description. She had a brief vision of him dressed in tight trousers, knee-high boots and a white shirt slashed to the waist, but immediately banished the picture from her mind, determined not to romanticize him. She was quite sure he had no romantic intentions towards her.
He was used to power, used to getting his own way, used to being in control. Well, she thought, so am I. You want to play games, Mr. Sinclair? I'll play them with you. I might even enjoy them. But it's going to be strictly business. You can have your night of fun. Or several nights, if you insist. And I'll have your signature on a contract. And that will be that.
"Look," she said, in her best no-nonsense voice, "I've said I agree. There's nothing to discuss."
He was still staring at her like a slave master at an auction. She backed towards her desk. Suddenly, knowing it was a pointless gesture, she touched the buttons of her jacket. The way he was looking at her made her feel as if they were undone. She saw his mouth twist into a smile and realized that he knew the effect he was having on her.
"I've said I accept your offer," she said, hoping to distract him. "There's nothing to discuss except when you want to meet me. And as this is rather...unorthodox, I hope I can rely on your discretion."
"Don't worry," he said. "I don't boast about my conquests."
"This will be a business deal," she said, icily. "Not a conquest."
He looked at her for a long moment, then grinned lazily. "Of course," he agreed. "Strictly business." He paused. His tone changed. "Undo your jacket."
Once again she was not sure that she had heard him correctly. "My jacket?" she repeated. "What for?"
"Before I arrange our private discussion I'd like a quick look at what I might be getting." His voice was soft but there was steel behind it. "I want the jacket unbuttoned. Now."
She was tempted to refuse. But a glance at his face told her that this might not be wise. Hurriedly, hoping this would satisfy him, she obeyed him. Under the short jacket she was wearing a plain, white silk blouse with a mandarin collar. She knew that he could not see much through the opaque cloth. Maybe a hint of her bra—a rather nice white lace one, she remembered.
"And your blouse," he said.
This time her fingers froze. "My blouse?" Her voice was unsteady. "Certainly not!"
Sinclair's smile turned into a crooked grin. "Don't play the affronted virgin with me, Miss Loften. Unbutton the blouse, or I'll do it for you."
Her fingers touched the silk-covered buttons. "Someone might come in," she protested.
"They might," he agreed, unperturbed. "So hurry up."
She pulled at the tiny round buttons. They had never been easy to undo and now her hands were shaking. The blouse fell open. She was tempted to hold the edges together but before she could do so Sinclair moved forward and caught her wrists, forcing her arms apart. His eyes moved from her face, down her neck to her breasts. "Not bad," he said.
He moved quickly and confidently, taking her completely by surprise, pushing her back until she felt the edge of her desk dig into her thighs. His hands were inside her blouse and under her arms before she could protest. He found the catch of her bra and unhooked it. In another second the bra was up round her neck and she was pushed back against the desk with her breasts exposed.
Her mind froze with the horror of being found like this. Although she knew any of her colleagues would knock before entering her office, they would not necessarily wait before entering. The knock was a token politeness. Would she even hear their footsteps on the carpeted floor?
His knees pressed against hers but he seemed to be deliberately avoiding any other contact. She did not know if he was aroused or not. She was leaning backwards, both arms braced behind her, taking her weight, knowing that in this position she could not prevent his mouth or his hands from traveling anywhere they liked.
He bent over her and touched her left nipple with his lips, brushing it gently then licking it with his tongue. Within seconds it had tensed and hardened. Taking it in his mouth he began to suck insistently, each tugging movement making her tremble with a shock of pleasure. He seemed to know just how fast and hard she wanted the action. Then his hand closed over her other nipple and he teased it lightly, nipping and pinching, massaging her breast with a circular movement of his palm.
She felt a moan of encouragement rising in her throat and stifled it. She could not believe that she was actually enjoying this. The knowledge that they might be discovered at any moment simply made it more exciting. "Please," she managed to gasp, unsure of how far she would let him go. Or how far he would take her. "Someone might come in."
He looked up. "Afraid they'll see you behaving like a whore?" He cupped his hands under her breasts, pushing them upwards, his thumbs rubbing faster. "They might enjoy the view," he drawled. "I bet quite a few of your colleagues wouldn't mind giving your nipples a servicing. Perhaps we ought to call them in. Five minutes each." His fingers still played with her, lazily. "I have a feeling you just might like that."
Normally the idea would have repelled her but something about the tone of his voice made it sound strangely exciting. Not with her business associates, though. But with strangers? Young men that she did not know and who did not know her, and with Sinclair watching, enjoying it? What would she feel like then? She shivered slightly and her tongue moistened her lips. He was still leaning over her but not touching her now.
"The thought of that turns you on, doesn't it?" he murmured. "You really aren't as straitlaced as you look. I didn't think you would be, but I wanted to be sure. Maybe you really would be interested in doing a deal with me."
"I've already said I would." She tried to keep her voice steady, determined to try and regain control. "A business deal."
"But of course," he agreed sardonically. His hand caressed her briefly. "We barter. You give me what I want, and I give you a signature. The oldest kind of deal in the world."
"You won't regret it," she said.
Once again his eyes gave her a quick, sexually charged assessment. "I'm sure I won't," he agreed.
They both heard the footsteps in the corridor. Unhurriedly, Sinclair backed away. Genevieve managed to pull her blouse together and hastily button her jacket. George Fuller-ton, middle-aged but still elegant and always with a flower in his buttonhole, looked round the door and smiled. "I'm going for lunch. Perhaps you'd like to join me?"
Acutely aware of her blouse and bra bunched up under the now smooth lines of her jacket, Genevieve managed to smile coolly at Sinclair. "We have a very good executive canteen, Mr. Sinclair."
"Thank you," Sinclair said. "But I have another appointment."
George Fullerton glanced very briefly round the office, but Genevieve knew he had already noted the television and the portfolios. "Has Genevieve shown you anything that excited you?"
She saw a smile touch James Sinclair's tanned face. His hand brushed an imaginary speck from his immaculate jacket and she felt a sudden sexual tremor as she remembered what that hand had been doing to her only moments before.
"As a matter of fact," he said, "she has. But I'll need to see more before I make a decision."
"I'm sure Genevieve will oblige you." Fullerton smiled.
"I'm sure she will," Sinclair murmured.
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
Book Description MIRA, 2013. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P11077831698X
Book Description MIRA, 2013. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M077831698X