Seductive Intent

Angela Claire

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It's not unusual for playboy Brendan Beckett to wake up with a girl in his bed. One holding a gun to his head, however, does give him pause. In the dark, he can't see the female burglar grilling him about some safe, but he has to ...
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It's not unusual for playboy Brendan Beckett to wake up with a girl in his bed. One holding a gun to his head, however, does give him pause. In the dark, he can't see the female burglar grilling him about some safe, but he has to admit he likes the feel of her sitting on top of him to keep him still.

Sophia may not know her last name or her real age, but she knows the life of the game--usually as bait for the rich men she cons. But now she’s looking for a mysterious puzzle-box that her mentor urgently needs. When she can’t get any information out of Brendan in her midnight foray into his apartment, she crashes his sister’s wedding to meet him and spark his interest. The stacked beauty sparks something all right--his suspicion.

Brendan decides to investigate Sophia at his house in the Cayman Islands to get the truth out of her. Or else seduce her. Actually, he's kind of good either way.

  • Note: This book was previously released by another publisher.
Excerpt
Aaron Winston, Virginia Beckett’s fiancé—soon to be husband—hadn’t wanted a bachelor’s party, so Brendan had very little to do as best man but make sure he didn’t lose the ring, which he managed not to do. He patted the pocket of his tux. As the only brother of the bride, he also got to walk her down the aisle since their parents had passed away years before. With five sisters, however, he wasn’t especially anxious to show up at Bransport—the Becketts’ Connecticut estate and the site of the wedding—too much in advance of the festivities, his aching head aside. He knew the house would be in a tizzy, as they say. Actually, his head was feeling better—it just felt as if he was getting a relapse when he sauntered into the bride’s bedroom ten minutes before the wedding was scheduled to start and registered the sound of five Beckett women, and a niece or two as well, all talking at the same time.

“Brendan! You rat, showing up at the last minute like this.”

Brendan kissed his oldest sister, Allie, the most motherly of the Beckett sisters. “I didn’t want to interrupt your pre-wedding heart-to-heart with Virginia. Did you fill her in on what happens on her wedding night?”

Their nineteen-year-old twin sisters, Mindy and Missy, guffawed. “Everybody knows all Aaron and Virginia do is have sex!” one of them said, while the other chimed in, “And with a hunk like Aaron, who can blame Virginia?”

“That’s enough, girls,” Allie said reprovingly. “Nora, could you go see that everybody gets seated? Since Brendan’s here now, we can start right on time.”

“Good thing, too,” Nora responded on her way out, “since Aaron promised to tear our sweet little brother here limb from limb if he had to wait one extra second for his bride.”

Brendan grinned at the threat, approaching the bride, who was straightening her veil. “Gorgeous,” he said, kissing her on the cheek. It was an unusual show of affection for the two of them, seeing as how they worked side by side at Beckett Family Delicacies and shows of affection between a CEO and her executive vice president were usually eschewed. “Mom and Dad would’ve been so proud.”

“Please!” Virginia laughed. “They probably would’ve just been amazed I’m taking time out for a honeymoon.”

Virginia was a workaholic, a problem Brendan most definitely did not suffer from.

“A secret honeymoon!” Missy approved with a clap of her hands. “It’s so exciting. You really don’t know where Aaron plans to take you?”

“Not a clue. But as long as he’s with me, I don’t care where it is.”

“Ah, true love,” Allie sighed, as she straightened the sash at the back of Virginia’s dress. “Ain’t it grand?”

“You should talk!” Allie and her husband were very happily married. Their other sister, Nora, not so much. Actually, not at all since the divorce. Brendan wondered how today was going to go for her.

“Well, I’ll take the girls down.” Allie took her daughters, one blonde and one redheaded, by each hand.

“Good luck, Auntie Gin!” they sang as they went out.

“You two come too,” Allie ordered her twin sisters. “You should be waiting to walk down the aisle. When you hear the music from the open window, guys,” she instructed Virginia and Brendan, “that’s your cue. And keep this door shut in case Aaron gets away from me before I hustle him outside and tries to see Virginia in her wedding dress again before the ceremony.”

It was an outdoor wedding, rows and rows of open-air seating and a tent nearby for the reception. The day had cooperated—sunny and warm for May—which was a good thing, since Virginia and Aaron had not always had it so smooth. At each other’s throats for the first part of their “relationship,” they were then stalked and threatened with death after that.

It had been a relatively smooth year since then, though, and the couple was so crazy about each other that it was no surprise to anybody about this wedding. The only surprise was that Virginia had managed to hold Aaron off as long as she did, until after annual reports and proxy statements were filed and her calendar cleared. Aaron was CEO of his own company, much bigger than BFD, but he had a looser definition of taking time off than his wife-to-be.

“Did Aaron see you in your dress, Virginia? That’s bad luck, you know.”

“Have a little more faith in your sisters than that, Brendan. They tag-teamed him, holding him off. Bad luck, we don’t need.”

“Yeah, I know what you mean.” He rubbed the bump on the back of his head without thinking and Virginia saw it.

“You okay?”

Dropping his hand quickly, he registered that the music was starting below. Virginia didn’t need to hear about any burglary on her wedding day. She’d had enough drama of her own. It would only worry her, big sister that she was when all was said and done.

“I’m fine. I just have a little hangover.” He held his arm out to her and she took it.

“What’s your excuse for that? Aaron didn’t even have a bachelor party. I happen to know that for a fact since he was with me last night.”

“How untraditional of both of you. I had to carry the tradition of the party on in his honor,” he lied. Looking to the back of her dress, he asked, “There’s no train or anything to carry?”

“No, it’s fastened up. Allie will unfasten it at the last minute before we walk down the aisle.”

“Sounds like a plan. Shall we?” He opened her bedroom door.

* * * *

Sophia watched Brendan Beckett out of the corner of her eye—like she’d been watching him for weeks. Trained from an early age to read a person’s clothes as an indication of their potential as a mark, Sophia had been confused from the get go about this man. His clothes said wealthy. No doubt about that. Whether in jeans or a bathing suit or a tuxedo, as he was now, Brendan Beckett dressed as only a rich man could dress. A really rich man. But his clothes couldn’t tell her much otherwise. They weren’t as flamboyant as a playboy’s or as staid as the scion’s of an old family, both of which roles he undeniably otherwise fit quite nicely. She couldn’t follow the pattern of his dress to seek out his strengths and weaknesses like she could for most people. Like she’d been taught to do.

And that was only the beginning of how Brendan Beckett confused her. He was absolutely drop-dead gorgeous, of course—in his late twenties, six feet four, muscled but lean, with sun-kissed blond hair, blue eyes, and dark black lashes of all things. She’d initially pegged him as no more than a pretty boy, a lightweight intellectually. He’d graduated Ivy League, just like his older sister Virginia, but without the cum laude, let alone summa, she’d managed, and he worked at the family company with only the most casual of interest.

But then her surveillance of him uncovered that he read incessantly—in private or surreptitiously on his iPad—anything and everything from the classics to poetry to existential philosophy, all without even bragging about it to anyone. On the contrary, he seemed to be hiding it. And he wrote beautifully. Then when his sister had to give up the reins of the company last year when someone had been trying to kill her, Brendan stepped in and ran things just fine in her absence. It was almost as if he was playing the part of wastrel.

Not that he didn’t revel in some of the aspects of that characterization. He did actually sleep around quite a lot. At first, contradictory as it might seem, Sophia suspected his apparent promiscuity might mask doubts about his own masculinity. She wondered if he might even be gay, but abandoned that theory early on, after the parade of models and actresses and socialites gave identical testament as to his prowess in bed and she witnessed it once, quite by accident, herself.

* * * *

Shoot. She’d meant to get out of Brendan Beckett’s hotel room before he got back. If their mark found her, Arthur would just kill her. A quick scan of the history on his iPad Internet browser had turned up nothing incriminating or useful, although the sites he’d perused had surprised her. No porn, but rather an unsettling amount of poetry sites and an assortment of novels that would make a local library proud. She’d found a journal as well, not online as she would’ve expected, but an old-fashioned leather bound one. But paging through that was just as unhelpful. It wasn’t a diary that might have chronicled his daily movements and perhaps led them to what they were looking for, but instead a notebook of some kind with verses and random thoughts. As if that could possibly help.

When she heard the card key being inserted in the door, she thought at first it must be the maid come to make up the room, deviating apparently from her usual route since that would’ve given Sophia another half hour or so. So she’d slipped into the closet, watching through the slatted door. It wasn’t the maid. It was him. And he wasn’t alone.

“Come here, you infuriating boy.”

Sophia tore her eyes away from the vision of Brendan Beckett shrugging out of a tee shirt and bearing his muscular chest. The woman who purred her instructions to the “boy” didn’t look much older than he did. But something about the carefully coiffed blonde hair, French manicure, and toned and tanned body barely covered by a bikini suggested that the illusion of youth may have been bought and paid for.

“Jesus, Kim, you’re greedy. First you couldn’t wait to at least let me get a swim in and now you’re too impatient to even let me undress. Take a pill or something.”

His hands went to the waistband of his bathing trunks and Sophia held her breath.

“I did take a pill, darling. As soon as I got up. And it made me horny.”

“Where’s your regular boy toy?”

“Still asleep and not anywhere near as talented with his cock as you are.”

“Gee, I’m flattered.” He pushed his trunks off just as the woman untied the top of her string bikini. The tan covered her whole body, it turned out. And her breasts didn’t sag in the slightest bit, thanks to either surgery or silicone or some combination of the two. Since Sophia didn’t have those advantages and still had a double-D cup, she found herself a little jealous of that at least. Not to mention this woman was about to go to bed with one hot guy. She was a little jealous of that too.

Brendan had his back turned to the closet, so Sophia could only see his rear for now. The view, however, was quite nice. Those broad shoulders tapering down to narrow hips and the tightest little bottom.

Kim hummed appreciatively, slipping her string bikini bottoms off as well, standing naked before him. Since Kim’s pubis was waxed clean, it was impossible to tell if she was a natural blonde, but Sophia would bet money she wasn’t. She held her arms out to Brendan and he went to her.

“See how good I make you feel, lover?” the woman crooned, dropping to her knees and pushing him back against the closed door to the hallway so that Sophia saw him front-wise for the first time.

Oh my.

Copyright © Angela Claire

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