Kate Yager never had a father, and she never minded - until her mom died. Now, acting on the name called out on her mother's deathbed, Kate has moved to San Francisco and gotten herself hired by the man she suspects to be her dad. As if a new job, new apartment, and new parent weren't enough, Kate finds herself head-over-heels in lust with a complete stranger she met at an art show. A stranger who, she later finds out, happens to work in her office.
As her relationships with her friends and father grow stronger, Kate has to confront the decisions of her past to find out whether she can love the man who gave her up, love the man who loves her truly, and even whether she can love herself. (Product Description)
“I met a guy at the Gavin Nichols showing last night and almost did something really stupid,” Kate whispered breathlessly, unable to believe the words even as she spoke them. “When he went to grab a bottle of wine, I came to my senses and left.”
“Did you…” Liz started.
“No,” Kate jumped in quickly. “But I’m not sure if I’m relieved about that or not.”
“I’ve only known you for two days and just can’t picture you doing that.” Jessica shook her head.
“I’ve known me for thirty-two years and can’t picture it either.” Kate mimicked Jessica’s headshake. “I can’t even begin to describe the pull this guy had on me.”
A throat cleared nervously just as Liz and Jessica’s eyes widened. Kate’s heart sank and she could only guess who’d just overheard that statement. She fixed a smile on her face and turned to greet the bemused face of Jack Cooper. It was the smiling eyes next to his that made her blood run cold and her face heat up at once.
“Ladies, I’d like to introduce you to Gavin Nichols. Turns out he had a show here yesterday so he’s here even sooner than we expected.” Jack couldn’t keep the pleasure out of his voice. Kate rose mechanically to join the others in shaking Gavin’s hand. Jack was motioning to each of them. “Gavin, this is Jessica Reid, Liz Bellinger and Kate Yager.”
“Oh, Katie and I go way back.” Gavin’s eyes sparkled with mischief and his lips twitched ever so slightly as he took her hand in his. She resisted the urge to yank it back at the electric current his touch created. “How have you been? It feels like ages since we last met.”
“Peachy.” Kate practically glowered at him. “And yourself?”
“Peachy.” At that, he did chuckle. “You left a little abruptly at our last meeting…I hope everything is okay.”
“Just fine, thanks.” She ground through her teeth.
“Looks like everyone else is ready for the meeting.” Liz came to her rescue.
“Just let me grab my notebook.” Kate motioned for the others to go on without her. Gavin looked ready to hang back, but Jack was ushering him towards the conference room.
Jessica’s wide eyes demanded an explanation to which Kate simply shrugged helplessly. “It’s him,” she mouthed. A giggle escaped Liz and her hand flew to her mouth. Confusion clouded Jack’s eyes but Gavin’s lips were twitching again. Kate made a mental note to ask him if he had a nervous tic or something.
Kate wasn’t sure if it was fate or Gavin’s maneuvering, but she found herself squeezed in next to him at the meeting.
“You could have told me who you are,” she whispered fiercely as she sat down.
“That seemed less fun somehow.” He shrugged with another smile.
“Weren’t you supposed to be here next week?”
“Because I had the show this week…but I woke up this morning with the sudden urge to report to work early.”
“Stop grinning like the village idiot,” she snapped, wishing she hadn’t been so quick to tell a stranger where she worked.
“Ouch, that was harsh.” He winced a little but his smile didn’t diminish.
“Sorry,” she apologized out of habit before turning her attention to Jack. He began the meeting the moment everyone was in their seat and quickly dove into the status of the upcoming launch. He praised Kate for booking a venue for the next two events, and she flushed with an odd pleasure at having made him happy with her.
The interchange wasn’t lost on Gavin. But then, Kate thought ruefully, nothing is lost on him today. It was hard for Kate to concentrate with him so close, too. He might have been infuriating, but he still smelled the same as he did last night. The same heat rolled off him, its long fingers licking at her skin. She struggled to make sense of the words people were saying, but they all came across as incoherent as Charlie Brown’s teacher. She just hoped no one turned their attention to her any time soon.
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