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When unassuming mailroom worker Kate Little agrees to become an underwear tester for a marketing company, things get uncomfortable fast. Not only has she never worn "fancy" underpants before, she has to work closely with handsome marketing manager Bryan Eddleman, and that's enough to keep her in a constant state of confusion. Trouble is, Bryan's competing with another manager for a promotion that hinges on the results of the test group. Kate can't determine if his sudden interest is really in her or her surprisingly insightful weekly reports on foundation garments. Add a jealous coworker out to sabotage Kate's budding love life, an overly helpful gay friend with nothing better to do than shove her into Bryan's arms, and a rambunctious teacup dog to the chaos and you'll have a typical day in Kate's less than ordinary life. The last thing she needs is panty lines.
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As I crossed into the rabbit warren of dull gray cubes of the office itself, my unfortunate sense of direction kicked in, and I became lost after two turns. This is sad, because I deliver mail to this floor every day of my life.
Corporate America--1. Kate Little--0.
I swung around, partially because I'd hit a dead end in Cubeland, and partially because the man's deep, sexy voice sent another wave of chills down my spine. "What?" I watched him round the corner, his navy blue suit coat flapping around a buff chest that the lighter blue dress shirt and solid black tie did nothing to hide. "Did you suddenly remember another dig you wanted to get in before I left?"
"First, let me apologize for Abby's less than professional mouth. Her attitude always sucks, but I can't fire her because she's sleeping with the owner." He raked his fingers through a mop of wavy black hair, then lifted a glossy brow when someone peeked over the top of a cube. "You didn't hear that." As the head popped down like a prairie dog, he continued. "Not to mention she's my competition. She's got a test marketer as well, doing the same thing I'd like you to do. We're both in line to be promoted to Vice President of Research and Development."
I cared about his career path, why?
For once in my life, I held my tongue and merely blinked at him.
He didn't appear to notice my lack of enthusiasm. "Second, I'm Bryan Eddleman."
"Yeah, I recognize your name from the mail, and I've seen you around." I stared at him. "And you needed me for what?" My cheeks flamed anew when his eyes twinkled.
"For market research. You will be our new tester. Now, if you'll come with me, I'll give you the release forms and your, uh, test pieces." He cleared his throat. "You're perfect for the part. We need a real woman to test wear our garments in real-life situations."
Intrigued in spite of my initial misgivings, I followed Bryan through the cube maze. I admired the broad set of his shoulders and gave his trim rear end the same consideration. Dang! Too bad the suit covered up a bod that should have been destined for an art-school model--a nude art-school model.
Belatedly, I realized he was still talking. "...and we at H & B Marketing and Research take pride in sending out all of our products to people who can use them with real world know-how. That's why I think you'll be the perfect fit." He stopped at a doorway. "Have a seat and I'll go get those forms."
I glanced over my shoulder at him as he disappeared around yet another corner. The perfect fit, huh? Like a glass slipper, only the underwear version? I snorted and sank into one of two seats in front of a massive desk. The black leather was as soft as butter and just as comforting. Before I could get really snug in the ultra-swank chair, Bryan returned with a pretty pink department store-type bag dangling from one hand and a sheaf of papers in the other.
"Okay, now that you're onboard with the project--you will agree, right?" He cocked his head in anticipation of my answer.
With a sigh, I nodded. Why not?
"Great, then let me explain a few things." He handed me a clipboard with the papers attached, then drew a pen from the inner pocket of his suit and handed that to me as well.
"Uh, just so you know, I'm a granny-panty kinda girl. I'm not the experimenting type." I felt the need to mention this small fact to him in case he got the wrong impression. "It stems from my mother growing up as a Pentecostal and thinking anything besides white underwear comes from the Devil." I clammed up at his amused expression.
Too much information on my part.
"Oh, that's fine, because then we'll get an honest opinion." He slid the pink bag along his mostly empty desktop toward me. "I guessed on your size. I've been in this business awhile and am pretty good at estimating. If these don't work, just let me or someone on my staff know and we'll exchange them. Consider yourself an underwear virgin."
I scribbled my name onto the few forms as my cheeks burned. If I spent too much time in this man's company, I'd either roast to death or be mistaken for a sunburn victim. "So, what do I need to do?" The clipboard clattered to the desk as I exchanged it for the bag.
"We'll give you a week-long testing period for each style. Feel free to try on as many types as you wish with a variety of your day-to-day clothing. Just fill out a short survey after each style. One survey a week. You'll be paid for each survey you turn in to us."
"I'll be paid?" I stopped rifling through the bag of colorful unmentionables. "Are you serious?"
"Of course. Did you think we'd gather your input without some form of compensation?" He leaned back in his chair. The springs creaked under his weight. "Besides, if this works out, maybe you can test other products. We do marketing for bras, teddies, camisoles and all manner of lingerie. Not to mention other clothing lines and even shoes."
Oh, the horror.
"Let's just take one step at a time." My heart sank when I pulled out a skimpy number in red satin. "What the heck is this?" I held up the red triangle and tried to figure out what the lacy strings meant.
"Looks like a classic G-string. Gonna make that your first attempt?" He waggled his brows.
"Looks more like an eye patch for a pirate." I dangled the skimpy bit from a forefinger. "What's it supposed to cover? In case you hadn't noticed, I'll need more fabric to hide my skin than this." I buried the offensive scrap of fabric deep in the bag and stared at the man before me as questions swirled around my brain like leaves in a whirlwind. "Don't you find this disgusting?"
"Do I find your body disgusting or the panty? You'll have to be more specific."
I gawked at him. "Uh, the panty, I think." Why was he even talking about my body?
"Neither." Bryan sighed. "Like I said, we need an everyday woman. Since we're trying to market the product to a wide variety of women, you're the best candidate."
"Because I'm wide?" My head pounded from the implication.
He blinked as if that thought hadn't occurred to him. "No, because I think you're the best woman for the job." He stood and fished for something in his jacket pocket. "Here's my card. If at any time you feel uncomfortable, give me a call, and we'll work something out. After all, this is a very personal and private aspect of a woman's life. The decision shouldn't be taken lightly."
Sandra is a writer of romantic fiction. Her portfolio includes historical, contemporary, sci-fi and paranormal romances in full-length books as well as shorts and novellas. No matter if the heat level is spicy or sweet, she loves to blend genres and often times will add humor.
When not immersed in creating new worlds and interesting characters, Sandra likes to read, bake and travel. Her favorite place to spend vacation hours is Walt Disney World. It's where dreams come true and the soul can play. If she's not writing, she's keeping things interesting at her Believing is Seeing blog or spending time with her husband, who patiently answers questions she has about men and/or sci-fi-related subjects.
You can write to Sandra at email@example.com, visit her website at sandrasookoo.com or look her up on Facebook and Twitter. All links are provided on the front page of her website.
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Book Description The Wild Rose Press, 2010. Paperback. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX1601547862
Book Description The Wild Rose Press, 2010. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1601547862
Book Description The Wild Rose Press 2010-07-14, 2010. Paperback. Condition: New. 1601547862 New condition. Ships Immediately. Seller Inventory # Z1601547862ZN