I must admit, I can’t help myself. Evernight Publishing’s Naughty Fairy Tale line is my favorite thing to write. I had the honor of having the first one with The Wolves of Argonne and I haven’t looked back. Unlike the first two, however, Witches & Lycans and Rumpled Between the Sheets are contemporaries with a little bit of an urban fantasy twist though the latter isn’t quite as prevalent. The female lead Mary dreams of something more than what a small mountain town full of secrets has to offer. Unfortunately for her, you can take the girl out of the backwoods but not the backwoods out of the girl. What inspired me for her is we all have these dreams of what we want to be in our lives. We work so hard to achieve that goal only to find that we’ve been chasing the wrong path. Fate has a way of twisting us in the right direction and for Mary, she finds what was missing.
Benjamin leaned against the elevator. His grimace pleased her. He obviously hated her choice of clothing.
“All the clothes I have for you and this is what you go with?” He flailed his fingers up and down her body.
“You’ll excuse me if I don’t believe fuck-me pumps like Ginger there is sporting are practical for being on your feet most of the day.”
He got closer to her. “You could always be on your back instead.”
“Uh, personal space?” She jabbed a finger into his stomach. Rock hard abs greeted her unpolished nail.
He backed off. “Of course.” The elevator opened. “After you.”
She rolled her eyes, a vain attempt not to fall for his arrogant charms. Mary hated men who were so forward. She’d been visually undressed by every man she came across in New York, and now here she was again with the same thing happening. Did it matter that he didn’t follow through on his innuendos? Or that he turned her legs to jelly when she locked onto his intense gray eyes?
They rode down in silence. She secretly snuck candid looks at him. His hand was in his pocket, making the jacket he wore ride up enough to reveal his taut buttocks. She feigned pushing her hair behind her ears when he glanced back. Ginger was her buffer. Without the woman riding along…
“Damn it,” she muttered. Benjamin should infuriate her yet the hum between her thighs craved his attention.
“A problem, Miss Becken?” Benjamin turned to her outburst.
She cleared her throat. “Nothing. I just remembered my favorite scissors are probably back at the shop.”
“I’m sure Miss Govern grabbed everything, per my direction.” He moved to the front of the elevator. “Welcome to your new workroom.”
The shiny metal doors parted and Mary had to contain her enthusiasm. While she loved her small workroom, Benjamin’s was ten times bigger than her whole shop. In the corner, looking drab against the white walls and tables, stood her favorite dress form. Her unfinished blue dress still adorned it.
“Miss Govern, large coffee and an egg salad sandwich on rye.” He snapped his fingers and shooed her with a flick of his wrist.
“And Miss Becken?”
“I’m not hungry, but some herbal tea would be great.” She picked through her fabrics, trying to ignore Benjamin.
“On your way, Miss Govern.”
Ginger paused, pursing her lips, before she hurried out of the room back to the elevator.
Mary snorted, not surprised by his crass behavior toward his employee. Maybe Ginger did mean to give him some competition. She walked past his highness and sat down in the corner area where the bulk of her materials were placed. On the table lay a hefty stack of papers. Her contract.
Leafing through the pages, she stifled a laugh. “You can’t be serious. Fifty pages?” She pushed it away.
“Well, we could come to some other agreement.” He sat on the edge of the table, clasping his hands together.
“Yeah. You could design your own collection and I could do mine and may the best person win.” She crossed her arms.
“If your fashion sense is anything like how you’ve dressed today, you haven’t a prayer without my guidance.”
“Well, they’re your designs, so obviously you don’t know how to make a cohesive collection.” She plucked at the top. “Tacky.”
“Have it your way.” He dug in his jacket and pulled out a check, placing in front of her. “For the materials you handmade for my use and enough for a ticket home.”
“I didn’t make this for you.” She ripped up the check, throwing the confetti in his face. “I made it for me.”
“Did I mention a sizeable sum has already gone into your bank account back in Bumfuck Hollow?” He shoved the contract her way. “I suggest you sit that pretty little ass of yours down and get reading. You do know how to read, right?”
“Fuck you, you arrogant bastard.”
He rounded on her and grabbed her by the waist. Her bottom hit the table and he positioned himself between her legs. “Is that what you want?”
“Wh-what?” She gasped as he bent her back, his body pressed against her. His hardness nestled between her legs and his hot breath teased her earlobe.
“I am willing to change the contract, Miss Becken, if you wish to be paid in another way.” He pushed her closer to his hard on. “You keep saying those words and that has me wondering something. What if I was to clip the buttons of this blouse off with my teeth one by one? Would you stop me or beg for me to continue?”
Beg. Definitely beg. “I—I—”
When Mary Becken’s mother passes away, she takes over her exclusive tailoring business. Not satisfied with the fabrics available, she unearths her mother’s loom and creates a new textile by weaving thin strands of gold. Soon her small mountain town of Beowulf Hollow is swarming with new customers and invitations come pouring in for New York Press Week.
Benjamin Elstiltzkin is downright ruthless when it comes to his fashion business, and no small town upstart is going to dethrone him as king of the fashion world. When he hatches a plan to force Miss Becken to work for him exclusively, the one thing he doesn’t expect is the temptation she poses to his never-ending bachelorhood.
With a deadline looming to gather his collection, Benjamin might have met his match in more ways than one.
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