Title: STEEL and LACE: The Complete Series (Lace #1 – 4)
Author: Adriane Leigh
Release Date: March 25, 2013
From the moment their eyes locked across a crowded room, he recognized something in her that he needed. Something that was impossible to resist...
Enigmatic and sexy, Carter Morgan is a wealthy CEO and playboy who keeps a model on his arm and the walls around his heart high. His dangerous good looks and seductive charm gets him whatever he wants— whenever he wants it. That is until he meets Eva.
When smart and spirited fashion editor Evangeline Austin encounters Carter Morgan, sparks fly and worlds collide. Her every instinct tells her to run, yet she can't deny the overwhelming effect he has on her. They embark on a passionate affair that threatens to consume them.
They try to defy the odds by making their own rules and surrendering completely to the exquisite power of their passion but when unforeseen forces threaten to tear them apart, Carter and Eva must decide if the moments of exquisite perfection are worth the intense pain.
The bestselling erotic romance series from Adriane Leigh is now available in one volume.
Carter POV - Chapter One - Steel and Lace #1
Nikki had been hounding me about this opening for weeks. I knew I couldn’t keep it from her, we'd been fucking for months and as much as I tried to keep her out of my business life, she always managed to weasel her way in. It didn't matter, showing up with someone was good in a social situation; and Nikki wasn't a bad date to have. The press made more of an effort to turn up at these events if they thought the beautiful and bitchy supermodel Nikki Vilanova would be on my arm. She was always good for a little drama in the tabloids; not that I liked the drama but I could appreciate the role the press played in my line of work. They'd been following our relationship for a while, if you could even call it that. When she was in town we spent time together, we were never anything more or less. I walked the line with keeping her at a comfortable distance and keeping her happy because she was a great fuck. That had been established the first night we were together.; she was wild and uninhibited and never wore out her welcome. She didn't require any post-coital cuddling-- just the way I preferred it. I had a bedroom attached to my office for late nights that had the added benefit of serving as a fuck pad. She'd asked once or twice for me to take her home, but I'd been able to put her off easily. The truth was, I wasn’t comfortable bringing anyone home. I was wary of who I could trust and wasn't comfortable inviting them into my house and my life any more than I had to.
Nikki and I had shown up just a few minutes before to the opening of a new boutique on Newbury and it wasn't long before I was bored out of my skull. Nikki giggled and kept a predatory hand on my forearm as we sipped champagne. My eyes scanned the room for faces I knew and wanted to avoid, and for those that I would need to mingle with tonight. Madeleine would have been my first choice for a date, she was great with these things; she had the ability to direct conversation and knew intuitively when I wasn't interested in talking to someone. Nikki on the other hand was interested in talking to everyone; she liked to keep as many connections in her back pocket as possible, never knowing when they would come in handy later. I guess at the end of the day I was just another connection for her, albeit one that she fucked when it was convenient.
I tightened my jaw when Nikki’s fingertips trailed up my forearm suggestively. I ignored her intimate gesture and brought the champagne flute to my lips before my gaze settled on a pair of dark green eyes that were focused on mine. Striking, soft, gentle green eyes. My heart rate accelerated and the conversation around me seemed to fall away. The world halted as my eyes focused on the dark-haired beauty staring back at me.
My gaze dropped to the chestnut tendrils framing her beautiful, heart-shaped face. Her full lips were curved in a soft frown as she looked at me. What could she be thinking that would have her frowning at me? Perhaps my reputation had preceded me, it wouldn't be the first time.
But this girl-- I knew I had to meet her, to talk to her, to hear her voice; those lush lips curving around sensual words. I envisioned soft lips locked on my ear lobe, whispering breathless moans along the skin of my neck, hearing her call my name as I sank into her.
Fuck me, this girl is affecting me.
But I knew I was affecting her too. I could see it. She couldn't break our intense stare down any easier than I could.
Finally the world started to spin again and I arched my eyebrow at her, a silent acknowledgment of the moment that had flared between us. I watched her take a quick breath, her full breasts perfectly outlined in her fitted white dress. Fuck, I wanted to feel them in my hands, suck on them, tease them until her nipples hardened. What color would they be when I coaxed her body into arousal? The same shade as her dark, rosy lips?
Her eyes widened for a moment and then she turned back to her friend and tried to pretend that I hadn't just swept the air from her lungs.
I had to meet her.
I waited until the party cleared out later that night and Nikki was tied up with someone else. I didn’t know with who and I didn't care, I was just glad to have her off my back so I could seek out the brunette beauty that I'd been consumed with all night. She'd never been far from my sight. I'd followed her with my eyes, insuring she didn't leave and watching her mingle. In my perusal, I'd noticed every single server pass her flirty glances as they gave her champagne. Jealously poured through my body when she smiled sweetly back at them. I'd have to call the company that provided the waitstaff and make it known in no uncertain terms that if the servers couldn't refrain from flirting with the guests, they would no longer be getting my business.
I watched as she spoke to her friend, a smile spreading across her face, her eyes crinkling in the most captivating way. My heart skipped a beat every time she laughed because her entire face lit up and her green eyes danced. I swear that smile had every guy in the room falling at her feet, but I knew intuitively they weren't her type; they couldn't make a girl like that happy. And even if I wasn't her type, I'd make it my mission in life to be.
Fuck if I can't keep my eyes off her, I'm ruined.
"Great view." I breathed in her ear as she stood at the windows looking out over Boston Harbor. I wouldn’t know if the view was great or not, all I could think about was running my hands through her hair. Twisting my fingers in it, feeling the silky strands caress my skin. Fuck, my dick's getting hard just thinking about her hair.
What the fuck is wrong with me?
She spun around and a spray of champagne landed on my herringbone suit. Her burning green eyes traveled up my body. I held my breath as she took me in.
"Oh my God, I am so sorry," she finally spoke before setting her glass down on a nearby table and digging through the tiny purse she was carrying. My eyes flicked from her flushed face to the liquid dampening the arm of my suit. I frowned for a moment and wondered how I could work with this situation. The thought crossed my mind that I could coerce her into a date in return for spilling on my suit. A smirk played across my lips at the thought.
"It's alright." I placed a hand on her arm and fire sparked in my system. Her soft skin beneath mine had the blood pumping through my veins at a punishing pace. She took my fucking breath away and I hadn’t even gotten her dress off yet.
"I'm sorry, I'll pay to have it cleaned. If you send the bill to me. Here…" She said before she was off digging in her bag again. Fuck that bag. Look at me.
"I've got it. Really," I said as I squeezed her arm reassuringly. My eyes couldn't help but trail down her curvy body; past her defined waist, her lush hips that I couldn't stop thinking about digging my fingers into. I imagined those shapely legs wrapped around my hips as I plowed into her soft body. Fuck, my dick grew impossibly harder as my brain shut down.
"Carter Morgan." I held my hand out to her.
"Evangeline Austin," she replied as she placed her small hand in mine. I was lost in the swirling green depths of her eyes as we gazed at each other. The world fell away and all that existed in that moment was her hand in mine.
"Hey Eva, are you ready? Everyone who's anyone has come and gone." I heard a voice burst our perfect, hypnotic bubble. I didn't care. I was choosing to block everyone else out. Nothing mattered more in that moment than the beautiful, green-eyed angel whose hand was locked in mine. "Uh… hi, I'm Cate Evans." The voice at my shoulder intruded on the moment I thought I was having with this girl-- Evangeline, Eva. I glanced to see the friend she'd been with all night. Short, blonde, bubbly Cate Evans; my mind registered the name and filed it away for later.
I only nodded at her and then my eyes searched out Evangeline's again. I couldn't stay away from her for long. I knew nothing about her and yet I was sure of that. I was consumed with the beautiful, flustered, carefree Evangeline Austin.
"Well Evangeline, despite the fact that you may have ruined my favorite suit, I hope to see you again." Fuck if that didn't come out wrong. Here I'd met a beautiful, dark-haired angel and I may have fucked it all up before it'd even begun. I flashed her the confident smirk that generally gets me out of trouble in any given situation and hoped I could rectify the bad impression I'm sure I made on her.
"Ms. Evans." I addressed her friend before giving Evangeline one last lingering glance. Then I dropped her hand and turned to walk out. I scanned the room for Nikki and saw her drinking with a large group by the bar. Nikki was a party girl in the truest form and tonight wouldn’t be the first time I'd ducked out before midnight while she stayed out 'til dawn.
I pulled my phone out of my pocket as soon as I hit the pavement and found Parker waiting along the curb.
"Mr. Morgan." Parker nodded as I slid into the backseat.
"Evening, Parker." I mumbled as I scrolled through the list of contacts on my phone before I found the number I was looking for and hit send.
"Johnson? Find me everything you can on Evangeline Austin and Cate Evans in Boston. May be connected to the fashion industry. It's time sensitive. Thanks." I hung up as Parker pulled into the traffic of the Boston night.
Evangeline. She was an angel after all.
About the Author
USA Today Bestselling Author Adriane Leigh was born and raised in a snowbank in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and now lives amongst the sand dunes of the Lake Michigan lakeshore. She graduated with a Literature degree but never particularly enjoyed reading Shakespeare or Chaucer. Adriane is married to a tall, dark and handsome guy, plays mama to two sweet baby girls, and is a voracious reader and knitter.