Kincaid's Call

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Page Count: 176
Word Count: 48488
Rating: Spicy(PG13)

(MSRP: 4.7500)

Nathan Kincaid reckons any man’s testosterone would go into overdrive at the sight of a dynamite-looking woman with wild hair and topaz eyes, a gorgeous pair of legs and a peek of satin panties right there on his desktop. This is not the matronly PA he was expecting. Even worse is the nagging sense of familiarity. Carrying the burden of his brother’s death and the breakdown of his family, the last thing Nathan needs is a pocket dynamo from the past complicating the life he’s just begun to salvage.

Kate Summers has created the life she wants and knows exactly the kind of man she needs: someone compliant, steady and calm. She’s constructed a model of her perfect mate and is bent on finding him when Nathan Kincaid, with his disturbing reminders of her fractured past, strides back into her life and makes a mockery of her database.

(Pages 176) Spicy


Kate dumped another cardboard box on the floor and lowered herself into the oversized leather chair. “That’s it,” she said to herself. “The rest can wait till tomorrow.”

With a sigh of relief she kicked off her spike-heeled sandals, swept aside a pile of papers and swung her bare feet up onto her absent employer’s desk. The airless room was stuffy and her forehead felt hot and sticky. During the week the small college nestled in the hills above Lake Rotorua hummed with activity. Now the campus was deserted, the rooms eerily silent.

Kate pushed her lower lip out to blow away a corkscrew of hair—and stopped mid-breath. The faint squeak of the exterior door swinging shut was a familiar noise, but not at this hour when encroaching darkness had pressed long fingers into the bush-clad slopes.

A drift of night air brushed her cheek. The skin on the back of her neck crawled at the unmistakeable sound of footsteps stalking along the shadowy corridor.

She had a nanosecond to scrabble awkwardly for Professor Schräder’s hefty paperweight, but before she could tighten her grip, the office door swung inwards. And there, to her horror, fifteen years older and even more devastatingly handsome than she remembered, stood Nathan Kincaid.

“What the hell—!?”

Nathan drew to an abrupt halt. The angle of light at the end of the corridor had warned him to be cautious. He didn’t have a weapon, but he knew he could rely on his bare fists and street savvy. He was confident he could handle a petty thief on the prowl for some loose change—and there couldn’t be anything else worth stealing from Second Chance’s run-down rooms.

It took a moment or two for his eyes to adjust to the glaring fluorescents, and less than a moment for his body to react with a carnal reflex that had everything to do with primal instinct and nothing to do with conscious thought.

A pair of startled topaz eyes stared up at him from behind an ugly cube of furniture he hoped wouldn’t turn out to be his desk. Hair the colour of malt whiskey swirled around smooth bare shoulders. Her lips pouted as if she was about to blow him a kiss—and her gorgeous legs were startlingly displayed from golden thighs to peach-painted toenails on the cluttered desktop in front of him.

“Nath…M…Mr. Kincaid!”

Laced with an accent that was part California and all woman, her throaty voice ramped up the tension that pulled his muscles taut. A lick of heat stroked his groin. “You seem to have the advantage,” he growled. “Who the hell are you?”

Her slender fingers hovered over a paperweight he recognised from painful hours spent pouring his heart out to Armand during his long ago stint in juvie. He stepped closer, crowding her with his bulk. “Don’t even think about it.”

The intensity of his sexual response tugged at his gut. But the alarm in her eyes made him want to run his hand down her cheek in the same way he might soothe one of the Mustangs on his ranch back home. It didn’t take long to arrest the impulse.

He remembered how tender he’d felt towards his ex-wife when she’d told him she was pregnant—and how his delight at the idea of fatherhood had evaporated when she’d added the enlightening fact that the baby she was carrying belonged to someone else, someone who could trace his forebears right back to the damn Mayflower, according to Ginny. “You don’t even know who your father is, Nathan,” she’d said cuttingly.

Feeling tender towards women was something he’d shied away from ever since. He preferred dates who knew the score—fine wines, expensive gifts and sex that was fun but without commitment. That way nobody got hurt. He’d been a lot of places in his life and enjoyed most of them. But marriage wasn’t a trip he intended to take again.

He reached low, closing his fingers around the smooth glass weight with its insect trapped grotesquely inside. A drift of air warmed his knuckles as his sexy trespasser snatched her hand away.

The pupils in her marvellous eyes were as huge and glossy black as a night-prowling cat’s. “You…you’re not supposed to be here for another ten days—”

“If you’re Janet McKenzie—” Please, God, don’t let this be the PA he’d inherited from Armand. He wondered if she’d signed an employment contract and whether it was watertight. He flicked a glance around the cramped room littered with boxes and papers. “—I e-mailed you ten days ago detailing my change of plans. I let you know I’d arrive in New Zealand at the beginning of the month instead of mid-December.”

Her hand drifted defensively across the swell of breasts barely covered by a band of white knit fabric. A ribbon-width red skirt rode low on her hips, leaving her thighs naked. Gleaming from a neat navel dead centre of a midriff tanned to just the sun-kissed shade he liked, a gold stud winked in the light.

Although those tawny eyes stirred something hot and dangerous deep inside him, it seemed smarter to switch his focus in their direction, and away from the band of scarlet material that had no right to call itself a skirt. “—as I recall, you e-mailed me back, told me there’d been some admin problems, nothing you couldn’t handle, and you looked forward to meeting me.”

Reined-in testosterone roughened his voice. The brief, inexplicable charge of recognition didn’t help. She wasn’t a woman a man would forget in a hurry, but a quick flick through his mental filing cabinet didn’t bring anyone to light.

The last thing he needed was a pocket dynamo from his past complicating what he’d determined would be a quick, clean operation. Not exactly slash and burn, but if heads did have to roll, he accepted his responsibility as axe man.

It probably wasn’t PC, he told himself irritably, but he’d envisioned someone older and maybe chubbier. He and Janet McKenzie would have to do some serious work together to get Second Chance back on track. It would have been less taxing on his libido to work with the matronly 2IC he’d imagined, than the piece of eye candy playing secretary in the black executive chair way past its use-by date.

She might be an ornamental fixture around the office, but if the evidence all around him was anything to go by, her organisational skills were nonexistent. Maybe she thought a short skirt and a figure that curved in all the right places made up for inefficiency. Not in his book, they didn’t.

He sized her up with narrowed eyes. “And if you’re not Janet McKenzie, or the janitor…,” he let the disbelief ice up his voice, “or any other key holder at Second Chance, then you’re trespassing, sugar.”

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