Even for a top-gun banker, temptation this hot is quite a gamble, in a sexy Wall Street romp from New York Times bestselling author Lauren Layne.
An alpha among the wolves of Wall Street, Kennedy Dawson rose to the top of the pack by striking the right contracts at the right times. But there’s one deal that’s been giving him a run for his money—a pact to never again let his assistant, Kate, get under his skin. She may be smart, gorgeous, and sharp as a whip, but she’s definitely off-limits.
Kate Henley isn’t a banker, but she knows a thing or two about risk management—specifically, about managing her attraction to her smolderingly sexy boss. She already fell once, and Kennedy showed no sign of paying a return on her investment. So when Kennedy’s brother starts pursuing her, Kate figures she has the best of both worlds. Jack is charming, rich, very attentive, and the spitting image of his older brother.
It’s also making Kennedy think twice. But to win Kate’s heart, he’ll have to broker the deal of a lifetime…and prove he’s worth the risk.
- A brooding Wall Street bachelor can't stop thinking about his off-limits assistant, and must decide: follow the rules? Or his heart?
“Layne can always be counted on to create an engaging, steamy, and thoroughly rewarding reading experience.” —RT Book Reviews
“Huge Deal has humor, heart, heat, banter, friendship, family, conflict, angst, and plenty of tension…An entertaining and sexy series.” —Harlequin Junkie
“Lauren Layne delivered a damn near perfect romance…She never fails to write the kind of romances that I need right now and that I read in one sitting.” —BookBinge
“All right. We can handle this,” Ian said. “We’ll do it randomly. Coin toss.”
“That works,” Matt said. “You got a coin?”
“No. Get one out of your desk.”
“You think I keep coins in my desk?” Matt asked incredulously. “Do I also go to the saloon and get weirdly possessive of my horse?”
“I literally can’t remember the last time I touched a coin.”
Kennedy’s gaze found Kate’s within seconds of his lips leaving Claudia’s, and though she’d withstood the force of that glare nearly every day for six years, the effect never failed to jolt her, just a little.
Kennedy Dawson was almost brutally attractive, in the upper-class, authoritative way of the Kennedys he’d been named after. His hair was somewhere between dark and medium brown, with a shiny thickness that rivaled the duchess of Cambridge. His eyes were golden brown and fringed with long lashes she’d once dared to comment on and gotten a growl in return. Everything about him was serious. His thick brows frequently tilted down into a frown; he had an unsmiling mouth, a sharp jawline that was tense more often than not.
Sort of like now.
Kennedy slid his chair two inches to the left, a habitual motion that allowed him to see through his open office door to Kate’s desk.
As expected, the familiar sight of the back of Kate’s head greeted him. She’d worn her dark-brown hair in the same straight, basic style as long as he’d known her. He liked that about Kate. She was predictable. Steady. Reliable. At least as it pertained to her job duties.
On a personal level, she was a pain in his ass.
And yet, there was a comfort even in that. Kennedy and Kate may have gotten on each other’s nerves more often than not, but he also knew they were the same. They both liked calm. Order.
And somehow over the past few years, she’d become his calm. She was his order.
Even when she annoyed him. Which was . . . always.
“You’re short. Don’t you always have to crane your neck?”
She let out a little laugh and dropped her head forward as she muttered, “You look nice, Kate. Thanks for being here, Kate.”
She turned slightly to face him. “Nothing. Do you need something?”
He scowled. “Why is that your assumption?”
“Because I’m your assistant.”
“You’re my friend.”
“Am I?” she said, more to herself than him, as she turned back to view below the balcony.
He touched her elbow briefly, and she felt a corresponding tingle in her palm. “You don’t think we’re friends?”
“I don’t know what we are, Kennedy.”
He stopped her words, not with a retort or even the usual scowl but by reaching out and setting his fingers against her mouth.
They both froze, and her eyes flew to his. It wasn’t a caress, but neither was it a playful shut-up kind of gesture. It was somewhere in between, his three middle fingers resting lightly over her mouth, his pinkie finger brushing against her jaw, softly, as if by accident.
He met her eyes for only a second before his gaze dropped to his fingers. He frowned slightly, as though puzzled to find himself touching her. But he couldn’t be half as puzzled as she was.
Or as electrified.
Slowly, Kennedy let his hand drop, his fist clenching hard and fast, so quickly she thought she’d imagined it.
Kennedy scowled. “You can’t leave in the middle of a chess game.”
“Oh, did I forget to mention?” she asked casually, pulling her hair out from the neck of the jacket and letting it fall, dark and heavy against his lapel, then pointing down at the board. “Checkmate.”
Kennedy looked at the pieces, his disbelief shifting quickly to shock as he realized that his king was out of moves. He gave a thoughtful look at the woman he’d known—or thought he’d known—for years.
And wondered just what else he’d underestimated about her.
Her heart crumpled. “I’ve got to go,” she said, brushing past him.
She ignored him. Thank goodness it was a small space, because she was across the room in seconds, feeling the heavy weight of her hair finally pulling free of its tidy knot. But she didn’t pause to fix it, didn’t pause at all as she fumbled with the stupid ship doorknob, wrenching it open—
It slammed shut again before she could leave the room.
“Would you just give me a goddamn minute?” he growled behind her. “This is new to me. I’m trying to think—”
She whipped around to face him. “That’s your problem, Kennedy,” she snapped, trying to shove his big hand away from the door so she could get out. “You’re all thought, no action—”
She gasped as Kennedy reached out, his fingers tangling roughly in her hair, tugging back so her face tilted up to his.
Then his mouth took .
She expected Kennedy to move away, to change the subject, but instead he stepped forward, looking breathtakingly desirable with his hair a mess, his tie askew.
“That you’re mine,” he said quietly, reaching out and gently touching a knuckle to the corner of her mouth. “They know that you’re mine now.”
His chest tightened with hurt for her, frustration for himself. But she came first, always.
He reached across the table for her hand, the ache in his chest easing slightly at the way her fingers folded instinctively around his.
“Do you trust me?” he asked quietly.