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High-Stakes Lover

Written by Cindy Dees

Accountant Mia Sada has the power to destroy Zeke Tripp's company. She's all business until she lays eyes on the most gorgeous man she's ever seen. All of a sudden, what was a standard business operation has suddenly become far too complicated. She must focus on what's at stake and put aside any feelings she might have.

Zeke Tripp's Serendipity Studios is more than just his career—it's his brainchild. But for reasons he can't explain, it's losing money. Badly. He needs this accountant to help him turn the tides back into his favor, but when she walks in, numbers are the last thing on his mind…until she delivers the worst news possible. Can they learn to trust each other to save his company in time?

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Chapter One

Mia Sada gave her long hair a flip back over her shoulder, its inky sable color catching the brilliant light as she stepped into a stunning, sun-washed office. The entire far wall of the room was glass and overlooked the Pacific Ocean from a cliff top perch. It felt more like an open-air porch than an actual office.

But as magnificent as the room might be, it was the man seated at the glass and steel desk that riveted her attention. So much younger than she'd expected. Mid-thirties, maybe. Named Z.K. Tripp, he was the owner of a well-known movie studio. His build was athletic, his hair medium brown with sun-bleached strands of gold running through it. His features were even. Handsome.

His eyes completely captivated her. They were such a bright, electric blue they almost hurt to look at. The energy and power radiating from his entire being, starting with those incredible eyes, hit her like a physical blow. She actually stumbled a little as she took another step into the room.

He rose from his desk and she gasped. Taller than she'd expected, too. She was tall for an Asian woman at nearly five-foot-seven, but he towered over her.

He spoke, his words quick. Impatient. As if his intelligence disliked waiting for his tongue to catch up. "You're late for the appointment. I didn't envision you for the part. But your exotic beauty compliments the smarts required for this role. Yes. You could work. Let's read."

She frowned. What did her beauty have to do with performing a financial analysis of his company for her employer? Technodax, Inc. was thinking about buying his company and needed her to determine a fair price for Serendipity Studios, which had been struggling of late. Tripp thought they were merely considering investing in his firm. He had no idea a buyout was on the table.

"Here." Tripp thrust a sheaf of papers at her.

She glanced down, expecting to see columns of numbers, or at least a financial prospectus of his company. But instead, she saw lines of dialogue. A script?

"Let's read. I'll be Admiral Tabor. You're the envoy of his enemy, sent to talk him out of war. But the two of you have fallen in completely forbidden love. Go."

Tripp's command voice was such that she didn't even think about disobeying him. She commenced reading the lines. The story sucked her in immediately—the longing and thrill of secret love tugging against the certain knowledge that it could never work out for them. Creeping tragedy pervaded every line as the scene progressed.

She stood and moved around the desk toward her star-crossed lover and he strode toward her as the scene climaxed. Because the script called for it, his arms swept around her and, oh my, he actually kissed her.

His mouth was warm. Resilient. Restless. His arms drew her against his body, which was hot and alive and vibrating with life force so magnetic she didn't stand a chance against it. He was a force of Nature. And she'd been waiting for a man to kiss her like this for her entire life. Pretend or not, it was captivating.

Without stopping to analyze her actions for once, she kissed him back.

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About the author

I’m the only child of hippies from the 1960′s – only...

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Cindy Dees

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