It may sound like common sense, but never hump an art thief. Turns out, Samantha Lytton’s Common-Sense-O-Meter is super duper broken.
Failed actress Samantha Lytton is getting along just fine in her lonely little life when a charming criminal called Sam or Nate or maybe even Richmond kisses her, square dances most provocatively, opens his not-so-wicked heart, and gets her in trouble with not one, but two international art theft rings as well as the LAPD.
She’s either gonna end up in jail or famous. Maybe both.
Along the way, she fights for her life and falls for this funny, sexy disaster of a man… and learns that finding happily-ever-after with yourself is the first step to real contentment. A cute dimple is just the second.
THE DIMPLE OF DOOM
by Lucy Woodhull
Release from Total-E-Bound July 5; All outlets Aug. 2.
Setup: This is mid-chapter one. Our heroine, Samantha, has skipped out of the Steak on a Stick office Christmas party for a little secret nookie with her crush, Sam, from accounting. But there may be more to him than meets the eye.
I unlocked the door and tiptoed into the CEO’s well-appointed office. It smelled of leather furniture and large, ridiculous bonuses. I had been Oliver Taylor’s second assistant for over a year at Steak on a Stick, whose slogan read, ‘What doesn’t taste better on a stick!’ It wasn’t the best rhetorical question ever. I’d gone to school to learn how to act. Now every day I acted as if being a secretary at Steak on a Stick didn’t murder my soul one beefy bite at a time.
Sam hadn’t arrived yet. I planted myself on Oliver’s desk and turned off the negative voices in my head. After all, I wasn’t here to rehash my disastrous acting career—I was here to begin a disastrous affair.
I didn’t wait long. A couple of minutes later, he sauntered into the room, cool, collected, debonair. Ellen’s cock-blocking face filled my brain. I tried to conjure chaste thoughts—nuns, priests, naughty monks…hot priests listening to dirty confessions…
I wasn’t very good at chaste thoughts. Whoever it was who said that only men thought about sex all the time was dead wrong, or simply rubbish at picking up ladies.
Sam paused a moment in the dim light, then came towards me, slowly, almost prowling like a jungle cat. That was what romance novels always said the hero did and boy, did Sam panther with the best of them. Appropriate, for while my bodice hadn’t exactly been ripped, it had been stained thoroughly.
“Hello,” he said.
I jumped. The room had been so quiet. He threw me a cheeky smile that said he wasn’t sorry for making me jittery.
“I’ve never been in here before.” He ran his hand across the back of a sofa that probably cost more than my car.
The twinkling lights of downtown Los Angeles filtered in through the enormous executive windows, illuminating him in warm, sultry yellows—Hollywood’s modern version of candlelight. I slid off the desk and jutted out a curvy, come-hither hip. “Well, here is where it all goes down.”
“Where all what goes down?”
I shrugged. “I don’t know. I don’t care. I avoid thinking about my job any more than I have to as a tremendously dedicated professional.”
He laughed and said, “But he never sees people up here, right? That’s the scuttlebutt.” Sam’s eyes caressed every inch of the room instead of caressing every inch of me.
“Yes, that’s true, I guess. It’s a secret office,” I joked. He didn’t say anything. I glanced in the ornate wall mirror and floofed up my hair.
Sam made a slow circuit of the room while I almost jumped out of my skin. I ought to be the jumpee, not the jumper—why was he ignoring my obvious signals? My seduction techniques were rusty. Perhaps in true Tinseltown fashion I should have sent him a sex tape as a warm-up act.
“I heard there was a secret, secret room.” he said.
My heart tripped just enough to make me flustered. “How do you—?” Shit. A good assistant would have denied the secret, secret room. Truth be told, I was a competent, bored assistant at best. “I mean, what room?”
* * *