He wanted her the first time he saw her. It didn't matter that he was on stage in front of a room full of reporters, or that his publicist was telling him to move on, or that she was asking him a question about racing. One look at her "just been bedded" hair — completely at odds with her deliciously prim appearance — and Ty Riggs is hooked.
Corrine Bellows is one of the woefully few women in a male profession: sports reporting. In a field where "Hey, sweetheart, can you fetch me a cup of copy" is part of her job description, she's determined to keep things professional. And while interviewing Ty Riggs, the hottest new driver on and off the track, is a major scoop, Corrine knows that she is in major trouble when it becomes clear that Ty wants so much more and is determined to get it. As things heat up between them, Corrine finds herself on shakier ground. Her big secret just may destroy everything.
Oh. God. This was actually happening. And she wasn’t feeling any more calm than a moment ago. Apparently all that convincing she’d just done on herself—that her attraction to Ty was a temporary, unimportant thing and she wasn’t going to let it get in the way of her mission—hadn’t stuck, because the number of deep, cleansing breaths she suddenly needed in order to feel relaxed about this would probably result in her passing out on the corridor’s patterned carpet.
Better just get it over with.
She headed up one floor to the Riggs Racing suite, where she was greeted at the door by the same man who had been on stage with Ty at the post-race conference. He looked to be in his mid-forties, in good shape, with a shaved head but a bushy mustache.
It worked for him.
“Miss Crawford, right?”
All she could do was nod.
He gave her a welcoming smile and handed her a packet of information on each team member, then pointed at an open door on the far end of the suite. “You’re with Ty first. You can head on in.”
Ty? First? Oh my God oh my God oh my God.
Somehow, she managed to put one foot in front of the other until she was standing just over the threshold of a room where two chairs were set up in a small empty space just in front of a big bed made up in fluffy white linens. Ty rose from one of those chairs as she walked in, coming to a stop at the sight of him.
Yesterday, he had walked into the press room at the track looking sweaty and grimy, and she couldn’t take her eyes off that square chin, his short-cropped dark hair, the way his broad shoulders filled out his racing suit…she’d been bowled over by his hotness, and when he’d given her his attention, it had resulted in her thinking sex thoughts about him for half the night.
While today…someone please help me. Today she would probably spontaneously combust if she got any closer.
Building a closer relationship with him was going to be more difficult than she thought. Not because she didn’t like him…but because she liked him too much. Wanted him too much.
He was wearing street clothes—gray dress pants and an expensive-looking lightweight sweater that matched the gold-brown of his eyes. Dressed like this, she could see just how lean and fit he was. Which was to say: very.
He wasn’t as tall as she’d thought he was. Maybe five-nine? Five-ten? But he felt big. He felt like he took up all the space in the room. With her heels on, she would only have to tilt her head back slightly to kiss him, to barely rise on her tiptoes so that the throbbing point between her legs could rub against his—
She squeaked in surprise, blushing immediately at how foolish she looked for having been caught daydreaming, and about something completely inappropriate, to boot. At least he couldn’t read her thoughts.
And he’d remembered her name. She struggled for composure. “Mr. Riggs.”
He was staring at her, and she belatedly realized he was holding out a hand for her to shake.
She slid her palm into his.
The sensation…oh, wow. Her eyes nearly rolled back in her head and the seductive pleasure of it. Just from shaking this man’s hand. But it felt like so much more than that. It was like sliding her naked skin against his body. As though he was touching all of her instead of just her fingers.
And she was drowning in his gaze. Those eyes…he had beautiful eyes, big and thickly-lashed, and they were looking at her with so much intensity that she was suddenly all too conscious of the bed behind him. She flicked her gaze to it, trying to be discreet, but his eyes had followed hers, and when they looked back at one another, the heat in his expression…
She was in trouble.
“Call me Ty.”
His voice had changed. Low and rough, it hit her in all the most sensitive places. Her breasts felt heavy and achy, and her nipples tightened almost painfully. And merely from the sound of three little words!
How was she going to get through an entire ten-minute interview?
Keep this under control. There was no way she could write a tell-all about him if she got too personally involved. It would feel too much like selling herself for a story.
Isn’t that what you’ve already done?
He squeezed her hand just before he released it. “Please sit down, Miss Bellowes.”
She struggled to regain control of her thoughts as she sank into the seat, staring up at him with wide eyes. He followed suit, settling in the chair next to her.
“Cori, please. Call me Cori.”
That was okay, right? He’d offered the same thing, after all. All the other reporters yesterday had called him Ty and he’d called them by their first names. Why shouldn’t she?
Because it feels too personal. That’s why.
And this was only the tip of the iceberg. She had to pull herself together and focus on her goal. But sitting here, next to this man who made her want with a power she’d never experienced before, she was having a hard time deciding whether or not her choice had been a mistake.
She immediately scoffed at herself. What did it matter? Entertaining fantasies like the ones she was currently having about stripping that sweater off of Ty and tumbling him back onto the bed…well, they were ridiculous. A guy like him probably got this kind of attention from hundreds of women. Focusing on sex wouldn’t get her the information she needed.
About the Author
Audra North is a contemporary romance author of more than twenty romances, including the Stanton Family series from Entangled Publishing, the Hard Driving series from St. Martin’s Press, and the Pushing the Boundaries series from Samhain Publishing. She is the owner and publisher of Pink Kayak Press, which focuses on the publication of diverse romance works. Winter Rain, a Pink Kayak Press anthology, won a gold medal in the 2015 Independent Publisher Awards.
Audra enjoys speaking to writing groups and at industry conferences. She is also an avid jogger and loves running marathons. She has three children and lives with her family outside of Boston.