I am so EXCITED about this new release by Rhyannon Byrd!!! Check out MAKING HIS MOVE…meet Sophie Ward and Chris Riley.
available soon at other ebook retailers
Sophie WARD is a scientist with the looks of a geek and the fantasies of a hot-blooded siren. She’s wanted security expert Chris Riley from the moment he first came to work at the Blackwood Research Institute that houses her lab. And the more she’s gotten to know the gorgeous bad boy, the more she’s fallen into lust with him. But despite the encouragement of her best friend, Sophie has never had the guts to ask him out. Until the day a fateful fortune cookie sets the ball rolling….
Chris RILEY is a man who knows what he wants…and it’s Sophie Ward. But circumstances have kept them apart for too long, and now his need for the adorable scientist is at the breaking point. She’s so shy, there’s no telling how she might react to the things he wants from her. Hell, she could even turn him in for sexual harassment. But none of that is enough to keep Chris from hungering for Sophie, and his patience is running thin….
When a mishap finally brings their mutual attraction out into the open, the scorching intensity of their desire is enough to burn them to ash. But will they be able to make something of the wreckage when Chris’s past rears its ugly head? Or will they lose the best thing they’ve ever found?
Fortune cookies could be such a bitch.
Then again, so could best friends. Especially ones who were determined to make you go for your dreams, no matter how much of a loser you felt like for even having them.
As a heartfelt sigh slipped past her lips, Sophie Ward slumped back against the padded booth in her favorite Chinese restaurant in downtown San Diego, the remnants of her crumbled cookie forgotten as she looked across the table at her best friend, Natalie Richards. Nat’s red hair shone bright beneath the paper lantern light suspended above their booth, her dark eyes narrowed with determination. “I mean it, Soph. I am done with your waffling bullshit. You need to make your move before one of those leeches in your lab manages to sink their claws into him.”
“Leeches are suckers, not clawers,” she murmured with a smirk.
Nat didn’t even crack a smile. “You know what I mean, smart ass. You need to stop dreaming, and start doing.”
With a frustrated groan, she lowered her gaze back to the wrinkled fortune she’d dropped on the table. Today is the day to take what you want.
Sophie would have loved to have the courage to do just that, and she probably would have, if she looked like Nat. Like a freaking forties starlet. Instead, she was tiny to the point of petite, with boring brown hair and brown eyes and stupid freckles on her pale, impish nose. She looked like…like, well, like the nerdy scientist that she was. A pixie-sized tomboy with a brain. Whereas the object of her intense, frustrating, angst-ridden office crush was the most rugged, masculine, insanely sexy-assed man she’d ever seen or met or even read about. Chris Riley did it for her in so many ways it wasn’t even funny—and yet, despite the lust that probably glazed her eyes whenever she looked at him, they were that dreaded B word: buddies. The kind who sat in the twenty-fifth floor employee café together at the world-renowned Blackwood Research Institute—where she worked in one of the specialized labs and he held the prestigious position of Chief of Security—talking sports and movies while they shared their morning and afternoon coffee breaks.
Considering the number of times they’d sat at one of the café tables near its wall of windows and just chatted in the four months since he’d taken the position at the institute, the guy had had more than enough opportunities to take his shot with Sophie if he was interested. Which meant that he wasn’t. Not even a little. Not even on a subatomic level. Hell, he’d never even tried to meet up with her outside of work. The only reason he had her phone number was because he sometimes texted her if he was going to be late or miss his coffee break.
Reaching for her diet cola, she took a long swallow, wishing like crazy it were an oversized margarita instead. But she had to be back in her lab in the next twenty minutes, which meant there would be no “liquid courage” for her today.
Setting her glass back down, she glared at Natalie. “Why are you so determined I make a fool of myself, anyway? I mean, aren’t you the same woman who sat here for the last half-hour complaining about all the cheating guys you watch traipsing in and out of Manolo’s every week?”
Going to San Diego State during the day for her business degree, Natalie worked nights at the popular Del Mar Beach restaurant as a bartender to pay the bills. She was kickass at her job, but her faith in healthy, committed relationships was rapidly dwindling thanks to the things she witnessed there on a regular basis. So for the moment, Nat had sworn off men and was glad to be single. But for some hare-brained reason, the instant Sophie had read her fortune out loud, Nat had decided it was a “sign” that Sophie’s own personal life needed a swift kick in the backside. And her best friend knew precisely who had been playing front and center in Sophie’s fantasies.
Crossing her arms on the table, Nat leaned forward and answered the question. “I’ll tell you why I’m so determined, Soph. Because I don’t think that’s what would happen if you asked Chris Riley out on a date. I think that sexy stud would jump at the chance to go out with you.”
Sophie snorted. “And you think this bizarre piece of nonsense why?”
Nat slammed her palms down on the table so loudly that it made Sophie and just about everyone else in the restaurant jump. “Because it’s not nonsense! Chris Riley isn’t like that asshole group of jocks you went to school with. Yeah, they acted like jerks and made shitty comments about you, but that’s because they were intimidated as hell by you, Soph. The issues were theirs, not yours. Chris is a grown man and he’s your friend. And just because you can’t see what a cute piece of ass you are doesn’t mean that he can’t!”
Oh, man. It was crazy, how badly she wanted to believe that. But it wasn’t true. Despite what Nat had said about the jerks she’d had trouble with at school, it was just one of those fundamental rules in the battle between the sexes. Guys like Chris Riley were never attracted to girls like her. The hunky ex-jock never fell for the geeky smart chick unless it was in some blockbuster rom-com that gave women unrealistic expectations and dreams.
And yet, she knew there was more to Chris than just a gorgeous face, killer body and successful career. More than anything in the world, she wished he could see that there was more to her, as well. That beneath her quirky exterior was a hot-blooded woman who needed him so badly it was slowly driving her insane.
She drummed her short nails on the table and lifted an eyebrow. “If that were true, guys would be beating my door down, Nat. I wouldn’t be two years without a single date.”
Natalie cocked her head to the side, the look in her eyes as soft as it was apologetic. “As much as I hate to say it, Soph, that’s not really their fault these days. It’s yours. Guys, even the gorgeous ones, don’t like to be shot down. And you don’t exactly put the message out there that you’re available.”
She flinched, both hating and loving that her best friend understood her so well. “I’m not a bitch.”
“I know that, honey.” Nat gave her a wry grin. “But you are gun shy when it comes to hot, alpha males.”
Lifting her chin, she said, “I have lots of hot guy friends at work.” Including Chris—which sucked—since she wanted so much more from him.
“That’s different. You’re as sweet as pie when thinking some drool-worthy hunk wants nothing more than to pal around with you. But the second he shows even a glimmer of interest, you freak.”
Knowing damn well that Nat was right, Sophie lowered her head and started to bang it softly against the table. “I’m an idiot,” she groaned, wincing as a bit of the damn fortune cookie jammed into her forehead.
“You’re not an idiot,” Natalie protested, looking as if she were trying hard not to laugh as Sophie lifted her head and started brushing cookie bits off her face. “You’re adorable, Soph. And you’re going to get your cute little ass back to the lab and ask this guy out once and for all.” Waving her hand at the white slip of paper nestled among the crumbled pieces of cookie, she added, “That fortune is fate, Sophie Ward. Your scientist’s mind might not like it, but you can’t argue with it. Just give in and let it do its work.”
God, she hated fortune cookies. But…if she were completely honest with herself, she hated the idea of never taking a chance on Chris Riley even more. Even though the idea of asking him out scared the hell out of her. Rejection was going to be so freaking humiliating. But, who knew? If it came to that, maybe she’d simply perish from embarrassment. Weirder things had been known to happen.
“Okay,” she croaked, a breathless scrape of laughter bubbling up from her chest as she wondered if everyone in the restaurant could hear the furious pounding of her heart.
“Ohmygod!” Natalie shouted, her excited squeal making Sophie want to cover her ears. Her best friend clapped her hands together like a giddy toddler. “You’ll do it? You swear?”
“Yes.” She was so nervous she could barely breathe, but she forced a crooked smile on to her lips, determined not to be a lily-livered wuss and to see this through. “I’m probably going to wring your neck later for talking me into this insanity,” she grumbled, closing her eyes as she dropped her head back down on the table and rolled it from side to side. “But I’ll do it.”
Rhyannon Byrd is an avid, longtime fan of romance and the national bestselling author of more than twenty paranormal and erotic titles. She has been nominated for three Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Awards, including best Shape-shifter Romance, and her books have been translated into nine languages. After having spent years enjoying the glorious sunshine of the American South and Southwest, Rhyannon now lives in the beautiful, but often chilly county of Warwickshire in England with her husband and family.
Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Rhyannon-Byrd/e/B001ILHILE/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1411760487&sr=8-1