Executive Decision

Executive Decision (Falling for Him Book I)

by Mandy M Roth

 

 

                       

 

                 

 

SONY |Amazon Print| Createspace Print

 

 

 Contemporary Romance

 

 

 The bright lights of the big city called to Liz Rogers. Her best friend and almost roommate, Dale, helped her make the transition from small town girl to big time ad executive. They work together and nearly live together. For eight years he’s been her rock, her sounding board. As Liz starts breaking off one workplace relationship, another one—that has been brewing since the first day she arrived in New York, blossoms—leaving her confused and concerned. She’d been burned once by love and isn’t willing to risk her heart again, especially not to a man who was raised with a silver spoon in his mouth.

Dale Corbins has been in love with Liz from the moment he laid eyes on her. He knows time is running out, that one of these days she’s going to come home and tell him she’s fallen for someone else. When he finds out she’s been sleeping with their boss, he decides it’s time to take matters into his own hands. Unfortunately, winning Liz’s heart isn’t an easy game to play. It will take more than romantic gestures and sweet nothings to get the woman he loves. Thankfully, he’s a very persistent man. But is this a game even he can’t win?


Warning: This book contains a quick tempered heroine, a uber hot leading man, toe-curling sex and people who aren’t afraid to speak their mind, regardless the language used. Must be 18 years or older to read.


 

 EXCERPT

 

Must be 18 years and older to read. If not, please leave the site.

Executive Decision

By

Mandy M. Roth

 
Dedication:

 Grandma, you’ve always been a guiding force in my life. Thank you for always being there for me.

 Chapter One

 “Becker’s profits are falling at an alarming rate. Let’s just say that it’s bad enough they’ve decided to outsource the marketing to another firm—hopefully us. People, this is our chance. Opportunities like this don’t fall from trees. This could be the deal of a lifetime. What team wants to tackle this one? Simthe, your team’s loaded down enough with the Flickerton account. I can’t spare you. How about you, Rogers, Jacks, or Walters?”

Tapping my ball point pen on the edge of the cherry table, I barely noticed the buzz of the week’s staff meeting in my ear. The majority of it was always a recap anyway and the first time around with it bored me to tears. Subjecting myself to it twice was insane. Instead, thoughts of my weekend plans ran through my head. It had been close to five months since I’d been out on the town with the girls and my withdrawal was now full-blown. One of my best friends, Lauren, was convinced that my employer, Baum Marketing, was holding me hostage. She’d threatened twice to send in the marines if I didn’t get a day off soon. In my current state of mind, I’d let her.

Besides, a room full of uniformed, armed men who had been trained to use their bodies as weapons couldn’t be that bad, right?

I understood where Lauren was coming from. It wasn’t like I was purposely avoiding her. I needed a break too but accounts were up. Striking while the iron’s hot is a must in the world of marketing. And the iron had been hot for months now. Seeing any sort of out of the workplace activities would be a pleasant welcome to staring at the same four, pale grey, walls another minute. Just a week ago I’d found myself holding an interior decorators card in my hand wondering what my boss would say if I spruced my office up and brought my bed in.

He probably wouldn’t care much for that. Then again, the bed might be a welcome change from his hard desk. My luck, a fellow employee would walk in on us and I’d either end up in a workplace orgy or the butt of even more jokes.

Work had become all consuming and as much as I loved what I did, I enjoyed a social life too. Or at least I think it was called a social life. If memory served it was one of those things where you go out with your friends and enjoy yourself. The idea was fast becoming foreign to me.

“Elizabeth?”

Hearing my name, I looked up from my mindless task to find the entire boardroom full of people staring at me. It is always so wonderful to find myself on the receiving end of ten pairs of questioning eyes. The next worst thing would be having a piece of toilet paper stuck to the bottom of my black suede Alisonia pumps. As sexy as that sounded, it just isn’t what I think the designer had in mind to pair them with.

This fall’s latest craze—three sheets instead of two. Not.

“Elizabeth, are you okay?”

 I glanced towards the head of the firm, Charles Baum and forced a smile onto my face.

Smile pretty and pretend you were following along. It might work.

“I’m sorry, Mr. Baum, you were saying?”

Charles adjusted his diagonally striped silk tie while he avoided looking at me and cleared his throat. The navy in his suit brought out his light blue eyes, making him look younger than he really was. At forty-five he was prime pickings. He still had a full head of natural hair that he wore short in the back and on the sides but let spike about a half inch up on top. Granted, where it once had been varying shades of light brown, it was now laced with white as well. In my opinion it gave him more character as did the tiny lines around his eyes. But having always liked older men, I was biased.

Women flocked to Charles and he adored the attention. He also enjoyed the thrill of the pursuit. I figured that out from the moment I started working for him. My normal standoffishness suited me well when it came to him. For years I resisted his advances, the entire time secretly wanting to sample what he had to offer. Now, I almost regretted not giving in sooner.

“If everyone would please excuse us,” Charles said, his tone dry, warning.

I stood, collected my paperwork and went to leave. If he wanted to cut the meeting short it was fine by me. That just meant I’d be heading home an hour earlier—for once.

“Not you, Elizabeth.”

Oh, yippee. Apparently, smiling pretty and hoping for the best didn’t work. I should have tried unbuttoning a button or two. Perhaps my cleavage could have won me safe passage.

Charles was polite enough to wait until the oversized oak doors to the boardroom were closed before giving me his famous “you are in for it” look. “Elizabeth, what in the hell is going on with you lately?”

“Nothing. Why?”

“You’ve been walking around half-here and half-not. Your head certainly isn’t in the game. And the moment someone points it out to you, you snap. Did you know that two of your interns asked to be moved off your team? I have never had one request a transfer before, let alone two at the same time.”

My jaw dropped. There was no possible way I’d chased two interns off my team. When I found out which sniveling, whiny, little nineteen-year-old went to Charles, I’d wring their necks.

“Have you anything to offer, honey?”

I narrowed my gaze on him, letting it go hard. “Don’t call me honey when you’re implying I’m being the wicked bitch of the west branch.”

Working his tie off, he walked towards me. The instant he started on the baby-blue and navy cross-hatched shirt beneath it, I knew what he wanted. And it wasn’t to reprimand me for my behavior. Oh, there might be some light spankings involved, but they were ones I’d certainly enjoy. “Elizabeth, would I ever call you a bitch?”

“You called me one twice last night.”

The smile that ran over his face could melt almost anyone, even me. “Now, honey, I think we both know why I said that.” He walked over to me, placed his well manicured hands on my hips and pulled me to him. “You didn’t seem to mind me calling you that when you were bent on your hands and knees. Bedroom play aside, I respect your work too much to think ill of you. You’ve put out some amazing promotions and you’re our youngest team leader.”

“Is that supposed to make me feel better?” It did, but I wasn’t about to admit that to him. Knowing he’d squirm was much more fun.

“No. It’s supposed to keep me out of the doghouse.”

“Don’t you mean, keep you out of your own house?”

It was no secret. Charles had a live-in girlfriend that he’d never gotten around to breaking up with. No part of me believed he ever would. Belinda spent a great deal of her time away for photo shoots and fashion shows. The processed blonde woman was model material for sure but spent her time behind the scenes as a “hands on” agent. She prided herself on how tight of a hold she had on Charles. If she only knew.

At no point did I enter into a sexual arrangement with Charles under the pretense I could change his wicked ways. Charles wasn’t a man to make a commitment and that was fine. I wasn’t fond of the idea myself. No part of me wanted to settle down and spend my life in some cookie cutter suburb anyway. A set of pearls and an apron didn’t just turn me off—they scared the living hell out of me.

Visions of turning into my mother plagued me every time a man wanted more. Being married to someone who was as screwed up as me when it came to relationships would only lead to disaster. Finding a man who was the complete opposite of me wouldn’t be any better. Hell, he’d head for the hills before the honeymoon was over.

No thanks. I’ll pass.

“Mmm, I like this,” Charles murmured, pulling my white georgette blouse out of the top of my short grey and black patterned skirt. “Tell me you have the little lace bra on. You know, the one with the matching crotchless panties and I might forgive your behavior at work lately. I should warn you that if you are wearing those, you will be good and thoroughly fucked before you set foot out of this room. And don’t think I’m joking. I’ve had dreams about you spread out on this very table, with your hair fanned out around you, your skirt up over your waist ... mmm, I’m sure you get the picture.”

Apparently not as clearly as he did.

I held my grin back as best I could. Charles’ dream sounded more than fun to me. The urge to climb onto the table and spread myself wide for him was great. Somehow, I held back. That could be an after work hours game. Besides, we’d already decided to tone back our ‘little sessions’ and acting that fantasy out was far from restraining ourselves.

“Sorry. As much as I’d love to be off the hook with you, I opted for underwear with a crotch. Better luck next time.”

Not wasting any time, Charles reached around me, grabbed my butt and gave it a good squeeze. “Elizabeth, you scared me. For a minute there I thought you’d changed your thong wearing ways. Don’t do that to me. My heart isn’t what it used to be.”

“The way you carry on in the bedroom you’d still want me even if I wore a paper bag and there’s not a damn thing wrong with your heart. You’re ego is a bit on the over inflated side, but there’s really no cure for that.”

Charles laughed, and I couldn’t help but to move closer to him. “You’ve got me figured out.”

“I’d like to think so.”

“Do you know what I’m thinking as I stand here looking at those sexy legs of yours?”

A knowing looked passed over my face. “My guess is how nice they are wrapped around your waist.”

“Close.”

The look in his eyes told me just how close I really was. He’d always been a sucker for my height. At five-nine barefoot, Charles’ mouth was in kissing distance while standing. Almost being as tall as he was had other advantages. We could have sex standing up, a feat many missed out on.

He pulled a strand of my dark hair up and began twirling it around his finger. “I love this too, you.”

No surprise. Charles was a sucker for women with long hair. With hair that bordered on black, I was the opposite of what he had at home. Often, Charles would make tiny comments about how blue my eyes were compared to Belinda’s. The last thing I wanted or needed was to be an unwilling party in a “who is better than whom” contest so I tended not to comment.

“Elizabeth, you could get a man to give up anything to be with you with just one look.”

Charles was always one to say sweet things but never one to go this overboard. Maybe he was finally going to tie the knot with Belinda and thought I’d take the news hard. I’d feel bad for him, shackling himself to a manipulative bitch, but I’d be fine.

“Something you want to tell me?”

“Only that I can’t stop thinking about having those full lips wrapped around my—”

Putting a hand on his chest, I interrupted him. “Whoa Don Juan, laying it on a bit thick there aren’t you?”

“Am I?”

“Ask a question, get a question. Ah, Charlie, you know that’s my absolute favorite game to play.”

Something flashed in his blue eyes as he leaned into me. “Nice try, but you’re sexy when you’re annoyed too.”

“Then I should run for Ms. America. The swimsuit competition alone would put me in a lovely mood. I mean with all those judges rating on how well my ass looks in bloomer style bottoms just makes me all warm and fuzzy inside.”

Charles planted a tiny kiss on the tip of my nose and chuckled. “Are you still going out this evening?”

Seeing where this was headed, I decided to stop the jealous outburst in its tracks. “Are you still going home to Belinda tonight?”

He bit the corner of his bottom lip and released his hold on me. “I deserved that.”

“I know. And yes I am going out tonight.” I rolled my neck, hoping to work out the perma-kinks that had taken up residency there some two years prior. Surprise. It didn’t work. “I’m tired, Charles. I’ve pulled seventy hour work weeks for months handling Joanne and Doreen’s teams and I deserve some down time.”

“Listen, I understand that I’ve put a lot on your plate these last few months but I knew you could handle it. Besides, you’re taking two weeks off soon. I still think you should let me come along. I’d love to meet your family.”

“That would be one for the photo album. Mom, Dad, this is my boss who is just a smidge older than me. We’re fuck-buddies. Who wants cake?” Even I couldn’t stop the tiny giggle that followed.

“Charles, I hardly consider taking time off for my ten year reunion as extensive downtime. And you know, as well as I, that I’ve not taken a vacation in over two years.”

“There was that week we spent in Italy acting like bunnies every chance we got. Remember the veranda? I don’t know about you but I was chafed the next day.”

Tapping one long fingernail on my hip, I just stared at him, hoping he’d feel just how annoyed I truly was at the moment. It must have worked.

“I know, I know. We were there on business, Elizabeth, but you have to admit it was fun.”

“Yes it was fun.”

“See, I haven’t tossed anything at you that you can’t handle. You are truly an amazing woman.”

Wonderful, because he thought I was superwoman, I got screwed picking up the slack for Joanne who eloped with a guy she met on the subway less than a month ago. If that wasn’t bad enough, Doreen, the head of the layout department up and decided to have her baby a month early.

They give you a due date for a reason. Stick to it.

“With the Becker account on the table does that mean you won’t be coming to my reunion with me?”

“As much as I’d love to, honey, I can’t. There’s no way I can walk away from a deal like this.”

I was disappointed but I’d live.

“Since you’re in need of some downtime, do you want me to give the project to Walters? It’s yours if you want it, honey. Just say the word.”

The very mention of Vincent Walters’ name made my skin crawl. He was a one hundred percent, Grade-A asshole, who specialized in making my work week hell. His idea of funny was always at my expense.

My knee jerk reaction was to raise my nails and snarl at Charles. I held back only due to the fact I knew I’d snap if I stayed a second longer. There was no possible way I could handle an account the size of one he was offering while in Ohio. And I wasn’t about to not go. So far, I’d missed two of my closest high school friends’ weddings, and the birth of their first children. I would not miss anything else. The speed there was much different from New York. I’d got my parents a computer for Christmas and they had yet to take it out of the box. No. Controlling the Becker account wouldn’t work for me. “Fine, whatever. It’ll make his day. Could even compensate for that ‘little dick’ thing.”

Charles arched a dark blond eyebrow. “And how exactly do you know how big or little his dick is?”

“Is that jealousy I’m hearing?” Bringing the word jealously into the equation always seemed to snap Charles out of the moment. This time, it didn’t.

“What would you say if the answer was yes?”

The room suddenly felt hotter than it should. Was it supposed to feel as though it were closing in on me? My palms began to sweat as the grey boardroom walls seemed to press closer and closer to me. Heat rose to my face and the urge to expel my lunch was tempting.

Charles moved to me, touching my cheek lightly and giving me his ever calming smile. “Relax Elizabeth, I’m not asking for a commitment. I’d never do that. But I think I’ve earned the right to be a bit jealous when it comes to you. Do you agree?”

“Uhh-huh,” I murmured between deep breaths.

“I can honestly say I’ve never met anyone more afraid to settle down than me.” He kissed my forehead gently and held me to his chest, driving me mad with need. The woody smell of his Givenchy cologne drove me nuts. It always did and Charles knew it. Maybe it was his way of teasing me throughout the day. Whenever I was close to him and caught scent of it, I was left in a near drool state.

“We’ve been in here a long time. I should get back to my office.”

He didn’t let go of me. “Are you still catching flack from Walters and Seraphim about us?”

I nodded but said nothing. Of course I was still catching crap from the two stooges. They’d made it their personal mission to “out” my relationship with Charles. The only reason we didn’t announce it ourselves was that neither of us were serious about it. Our arrangement was purely sexual. Sure, we were friends, but that was it. Nothing long term.

Letting the entire company in on our sexual arrangement seemed a bit pointless. Apparently, Walters and Seraphim didn’t think so. Though, as pathetic as they were, my sex life most likely was the most interesting thing they had to discuss.

“Do you want me to call an informal meeting and clear the air? I could lay what we have out on the table. It would pull the rug out on their suspicions? If they know I’m supportive and behind this then it might scare them enough to rethink how they treat you. I own the place. Piss me or my significant other off and you won’t have a job come Monday morning.”

Horrified, I looked at Charles as though he’d sprouted a second head. “What? We have nothing more than sex between us. We are not significant others, Charles. I know that you’re just tossing that out as an example but still I’d rather not have everyone in on that. You swore this was just sex.”

“Elizabeth.”

“Don’t Elizabeth me.” I shook my head, unable to believe the weirdness Charles was giving off. “I think you should make a doctor’s appointment. Something’s gone screwy upstairs.”

I didn’t wait for his response. Instead, I headed towards the doors, ready and willing to face the wealth of speculation that would arise from my extended period alone with Charles. I was in the mood to make snappy comebacks. Hell I was always in the mood for that. Now, I’d get to direct them at my favorite targets, Walters and Seraphim.

Game time.

 

 

 REVIEWS

5 Hearts--Ms. Roth knows how to amaze readers with stunningly arousing and sensual love scenes. These two set the sheets, or I guess I should say the bathroom floor, on fire. The scenes are pretty explicit and in your face, but completely on fire. This story will have you laughing, upset, stressed-out, confused, and feeling loved right along with the characters. The emotions in Executive Decision are so realistic that it feels like you are one of the characters and are going through the story yourself. --The Romance Studio

 

"Through a lot of bad timing, miscommunication and comedic mishaps, I was laughing, fuming and smiling through this entire story. "~ Joyfully Reviewed


"I found it to be very realistic about two colleagues who go through an emotional rollercoaster journey in their path to true love. Ms. Roth pulls it off with aplomb, concentrating more on the romance than any peripheral issues that may distract from the story. " ~ JERR Reviews
 


 

Additional Book Information

Amazon ASIN:B003WEAJAC

Electronic ISBN:978-1-4524-2472-9

PRINT ISBN-10: 1460965140
PRINT ISBN-13: 978-1460965146

Release Date: July 2010

Word Count: 75,000

Heat Rating: 5/5

 

Series

Executive Decision

Mandatory Trust

 

 

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Mandy M Roth

Mandy M. Roth  grew up fascinated by creatures that go bump in the night. From the very beginning, she showed signs of creativity—writing, painting, telling scary stories that left her little brother afraid to come out from under his bed. Combining her creativity with her passion for the paranormal has left her banging on the keyboard into the wee hours of the night. Her books have won numerous awards, including an RT nomination for Best Paranormal Erotic. 

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small town, big city, new york, contemporary, gena showalter, lauren dane, robyn carr, romance, romantic, novel, partners, sexy, steamy, best seller, must read, great book