This is the second book in the Playboys of Boston series. You do not have to read book one in order to enjoythis story.
Note: This book has a contemporary male-female pairing with mild kink.
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“A fast-paced plot, appealing lovers awakening to their true feelings, unnerving antagonists, and entertaining sex scenes make this an absorbing, satisfying romance.” – Publishers Weekly
A sensual tale about the risks and rewards of falling in too deep-and loving it.
PASSION COMES WITH A PRICE.
Tired of living a lie, Arianna Perconti leaves her fiancé at the altar and runs into the arms of her family’s fiercest rival, Jason Stone. Hoping to cash in on their ‘friends-with-benefits’ arrangement while hiding out from bitter relatives, Ari instead finds herself falling deeply, desperately in love with the sexy hotelier. Jason is everything she never knew she wanted-yet she will do absolutely everything to show him she means business. In bed…
CAN THEY AFFORD TO LIVE WITHOUT IT?
Jason lives in the fast lane and has the race cars to prove it. A born adrenaline junkie, he must admit that Ari is the perfect partner for his heart-pumping bedroom games. The problem? The relationship is starting to deepen, but is Jason really cut out to be a one-woman kind of man? The question haunts his days, only fueling the passion he and Ari share during those hot, hot nights. But when an estranged sibling enters the picture, threatening to take away everything he holds dear, Jason is forced to make a decision: Say goodbye to his wild ways or risk losing Ari forever?
“An intelligent Perconti woman giving back to the community on her own terms,” he murmured as he slid his gaze down her body. “You must be a thorn in your brother’s side.”
Ari’s heart melted a little at the word intelligent. No one had ever called her that before. She knew that the media painted her as a dopey party girl, someone who couldn’t do anything without her brothers’ help. For years she had tried to change people’s minds, but the reputation clung to her like tanning spray.
“Leo’s just overprotective, that’s all. I like to do things my own way.” As she placed her hand on his chest to stop him from pulling her closer, she marveled at the ripple of muscle underneath his leather jacket. The more she talked to him, the harder it was to remember why he was off-limits. “I think I frustrate him sometimes.”
Jason chuckled. “Then it appears we have something in common, Ms. Perconti.”
“Do we?” She dragged her gaze away from her hand and looked at his face.
He nodded as amusement twinkled in his eyes. “I frustrate your brother, too.”
Her breath caught as he flashed her his dimpled smile. “I guess we’re quite the pair, huh?”
“Yes, Arianna. Quite the pair indeed.” Heat rippled through her as the amusement in his features faded, replaced by something more intense and hungry.
Time seemed to stand still as the crowd around them faded away. Ari’s heartbeat quickened, and her legs felt weak. God, if he could affect her like this with just a look, imagine what he could do with a touch, a kiss . . .
Off-limits, she had to yell in her mind. After a long moment, she cleared her throat and glanced at the McLaren beside her. “Your car is beautiful,” she said in an effort to change the subject.
“It has nothing on you.”
“Flirt.” Ari felt the heat rise to her cheeks as she pulled her hand from his. “My brother warned me about you.”
“Oh really?” He seemed amused. “What did he say?”
“He said that you were a manipulative asshole.”
He snorted. “He’d be right—but only in the boardroom.” He reclined his arm on the car and inched his fingers toward her. “Outside the boardroom, I can be . . .”
“Kind?” She dragged her gaze back to his.
“Fun,” he corrected.
“Forgiving?” She leaned forward, closing the distance between them.
“Laid back.” He eased his fingers closer and twirled a long strand of her hair around his fingers.
“I like laid back.” She focused on his right dimple and wondered what it would feel like to run her tongue over it.
“You do?” He shifted his gaze from his fingers to her face.
She nodded. “I like fun even more.”
“Well then.” He shifted his hand and hooked his finger under her chin. “It seems as if we have something else in common, Ms. Perconti.”
She nodded. “I think we do. And call me Ari.”
“Ari.” His voice was filled with awe and caused something to flutter in her lower abdomen.
“Here we are.” Stefan hurried over with the cameraman and a large cardboard check. “Sorry about the wait.”
“No trouble.” Ari cleared her throat and stepped away from Jason. The distance allowed her to get her bearings. What was she doing, flirting with the enemy?
“Now, if you’d stand here, Ms. Perconti,” the cameraman said.
Ari moved into position and made a show of taking the oversized check from Stefan and Jason. Then they repositioned themselves as Ari and Stefan handed an equally obnoxiously large check to Jason.
“I told you that I didn’t want the money,” Jason said to Stefan.
“You have to take it,” Ari said. “It’s part of the deal. The winner gets ten percent.”
“But I don’t need it.”
“It’s not about needing it. It’s about sportsmanship and fun.”
“Interesting,” he murmured as he dragged his gaze over her curvy frame. “What if there was another way to achieve your goal, one where you got to keep your money?”
“Another way?” Ari wrinkled her brow in confusion.
Intrigued, Ari lowered her check. “I’m listening.”
“Instead of taking the money, I take you.” When she frowned, he hurried to continue. “Just out to dinner. One boring dinner, that’s all I ask.”
She narrowed her gaze. “So let me get this straight. I get to keep the money if I go out to some fancy restaurant with you?”
“Not a fancy restaurant. Somewhere more . . . amusing.” He grinned, showing off his dimple once more. “Consider it an extra donation from a benefactor.” He inched closer. “Someone who admires your passion for helping kids.”
Ari glanced at Stefan, unsure. “It’s a lot of money you’re giving up.” And she knew that Leo would frown upon her taking it from Jason. This was a dangerous game they were playing, one where she could end up in a lot of trouble with her family. “Leo would kill me for being indebted to you.”
“Just some beer and wings, and your brother will never know.” Jason closed the distance between them and flashed her that gorgeous, conspiratorial smile. “It will be our little secret.”
“Beer and wings, huh?” The prospect of going to a restaurant with Jason was exciting. She never got to just hang out informally. Everything was orchestrated to show off her family’s cultured lifestyle and elegance. Beer and wings sounded . . . divine.
Ari nibbled her lower lip. Jason may be manipulative, but she was a Perconti. If Leo could hold his own with Jason, it stood to reason that she could, too. Besides, it was only dinner. How much trouble could she possibly get into in a couple of hours?
“Okay,” she said. “I’ll do it.”
“Perfect. It’s a date.”
“Can we take the picture now?” Stefan asked.
“Of course.” As Jason moved beside Ari and slid his arm around her waist, warm tingles raced over her skin. She did her best to listen to the instructions and smile for the camera, but it was difficult. Jason’s body heat surrounded her, making her feel safe and protected. It took most of her willpower to resist curling up next to him and burying her face in that strong, protective chest, especially when his fingers were inching down from her waist, skimming against her hip and upper thigh.
When the session was done, Stefan helped the cameraman pack up his things. Ari started to move away from Jason, but he gripped her hip tighter, holding her in place. Before she could protest, he leaned close, so close that his lips were inches away from her ear.
“I’ll pick you up tomorrow at eight. Be sure to wear something comfortable.” He dragged his hungry gaze down her body. “If you’re good, I might even give you a ride in the McLaren.”
The McLaren. Ari took a step back and watched Jason get into his car, wondering just what she had gotten herself into.