A political golden boy and the woman of his dreams take the risk of their lives in a sexy romantic comedy of strange bedfellows and second chances by New York Times bestselling author Lauren Layne.
Fresh off being named Citizen magazine’s Man of the Year, New York City’s youngest mayor, Robert Davenport, decides it’s time to strategize. Next move: a bid for the governor’s seat. In his way: an incumbent with a flawless reputation. He also has an Achilles’ heel: an estranged wild-child daughter with a past so scandalous it could be Robert’s ticket to victory. And a charm so irresistible it could be Robert’s downfall.
Rebellion is a thing of the past for Adeline Blake. As New York’s premier event planner, she’s all about reform and respectability. Then she’s approached by Robert to organize the party of the season. Curious, considering he’s her father’s most formidable opponent. And alarming, too. Because Addie can’t help but fall for the righteously popular candidate with the movie-star smile.
Now it’s Robert’s choice. Does he pursue a future that holds his legacy? Or the woman who holds his heart?
Fresh off being named Citizen Magazine's Man of the Year, the youngest mayor in NYC history turns his gaze towards the governor's mansion, only to learn that the governor's daughter with a secret past is the key to his victory ... and his heart.
- Well paced, laced with humor and witty dialogue it's a perfect novel to distract you from real-life drama.
Instinct told her that what you saw was what you got with Mayor Davenport, but there was plenty he’d never let you see.
His fingers were dry and firm as they closed over hers, shaking her hand with confidence befitting a man who’d probably shaken thousands of hands over the course of his career. Then his gaze locked on hers, his eyes seeming to glow wolf’s gold, in a way that felt anything but routine.
Her stomach flipped. Irritated with herself, she tugged her hand away.
Adeline rolled her eyes at him as the server filled both their glasses and left them alone once more. “Do you flirt with everyone?”
“In politics we call it schmoozing.”
“Well, schmooze someone else. I’m here to do a job.”
Robert knew he’d caught Adeline off guard. Her eyes flared in surprise, her lips parting slightly.
He’d never felt the sting of being friend zoned before, but he felt it now, and it was decidedly unpleasant. He was the mayor of the most populous city in the country, for God’s sake. He was fucking Man of the Year. Generally, single women at least looked twice. They certainly didn’t pass him off to their friend.
He craved something different. Damn it, he just wanted a friend. Granted, his body still wanted a lot more from Adeline Blake. But he’d settle for someone to talk to.
His jaw tensed. “Of course not. For some reason, I didn’t realize you were on the dating market.”
A telling statement that gave her a little thrill, as did the slightly competitive light in his eyes
Adeline felt a little breathless. She’d never realized until now that a greasy breakfast sandwich could be . . . romantic.
“Any chance of you calling me Robert?” he asked with a smile.
She shrugged and took a sip of the champagne. She tilted her head when she realized what he was wearing. “You’re already dressed? Do you come out of the box in a tux or something?”
“Oh, I have a bow, too!” she said, impulsively turning around to show him her favorite part of the dress. “See?”
The mayor’s response was just a beat too slow in coming, and sounded a little rough. “Yes, Adeline. I see.”
She froze at the sound of her first name, realizing it was the first time that he’d used it. But when she turned around, keeping the motion slow and casual, to search his face and see if he realized it, it was unreadable.
Friends didn’t look at friends the way the mayor was looking at her. The way she suspected she was looking back at him.
He leaned in—or was it her imagination?—and Adeline realized that she wanted him. She wanted to taste the champagne on his lips, wanted to muss his bow tie, wanted to—
He touched her wrist, much in the same way she’d touched his earlier when looking at his watch. Except it wasn’t the same.
She’d touched him almost accidentally. His touch was warm. Deliberate. Lingering.
“It’s perfect,” he said quietly, meeting her eyes, his hand dropping lower, fingertips brushing teasingly over her palm before he stepped away. “Absolutely perfect.”
The butterflies were back.
But they had nothing to do with the party.
“You want to know why I’m mad?” he asked in a low voice. “It’s because up until you gave me her phone number, I could believe that you felt what I was feeling. That you thought of me as often as I thought of you. That you enjoyed my company as much as I enjoyed yours.”
He lifted his hand to her face and lightly dragged the tip of his finger from the base of her ear along her jawline until it rested under her chin. “You see, when a woman sets a man up with her friend, he has no choice but to think her indifferent to him. To assume that it doesn’t bother her in the least to think of him dating her friend, kissing her friend, making love to her friend.” He stepped closer until there were mere inches separating them. “Rosalie is all the things you said. There’s just one problem.”
“What’s that?” she whispered.
“She’s not you.”
He shook his head. “It wouldn’t be right. Not when I can’t stop thinking about all the things I want to do with her friend. But what I need to know . . .” He took a deep breath, watching her face for her reaction. “I need to know if you want me back. Say no, and I’ll back off. You won’t see me again.”
Adeline lifted a palm and set it to the center of his chest, her gaze locked for a long moment on her own fingers as she gathered her courage. Then she lifted her eyes to his. “And if I say yes?”
Robert’s eyes turned immediately gold, and she saw a flash of cocky grin. Then he slid a hand around the back of her head and closed the distance between them as his mouth took hers.
All of the lies she’d been telling herself for weeks crashed down around her feet with each gentle, persuasive pull of his lips against hers.
“Yes,” he said against her throat as her hands grew bolder, sliding beneath his sweater to the hot male skin beneath.
Her fingers explored the planes of his abs, sliding over the muscles of his back that proved he made time for the gym somewhere in his busy schedule. “This is crazy,” Adeline moaned against his mouth.
. “That’s just the thing, Adeline. I don’t think we’re all that different. I’m not a machine, and I’m not a puppet. I’m a man. I breathe, I think, and damn it, I feel.”
Her heart seemed to stop beating in her chest, her thoughts, emotions, and memories all jumbled up into one unsolvable ball of confusion.
“I’m a man,” he repeated, his thumb dragging over her lip, before he took a step back and released her. “Figure out what you want to do about that.”
Robert idly rubbed a hand over his chest.
He felt raw. Empty. Alone.
A man who was standing here wanting her—the good and the bad parts of her. A man who’d known her flaws the entire damn time and had never once walked away.
There had never been a web, she realized. He’d never been trying to catch her, to trap her.
He’d merely been waiting for her to trust him, thinking she was worth the wait.
“I don’t want your damn vote, Addie. I want . . . you.”