Fiancé by Fate
by Jennifer Shirk
Their fake relationship is a twist of fate.
Sabrina Cassidy believes in fate. So when her fiancé breaks off their engagement, she’s convinced they’ll get back together eventually. But fate was not on her side when it brought Jack Brenner into her life—and work. Frustrating, gorgeous, and cocky, Jack has an offer that Sabrina can't refuse. Not if it means getting the life she’s always imagined.
Despite being one of the town’s most eligible bachelors, Jack has a reputation that’s working against him. He has to convince his father—and his company’s board—that he’s ready to settle down if he wants a promotion. But convincing Sabrina to be his fake girlfriend turns out to be the easiest part. What he didn’t count on was their intense attraction and how easily their lie would escalate.
Sabrina’s still hung up on her ex, and Jack will never settle down.
But fate has other ideas…
“Will you relax,” he told her. “You’re making me anxious, and I’m never anxious.” Although he was anxious to get their plan started, but he was also hungry. He opened his desk drawer to his new stash of beef jerky he had on hand for such an emergency and pulled some out.
Sabrina threw her hands up in the air. “Oh, great. This is so completely fitting with you. While I’m stepping into a web of lies, you’re stepping into a Slim Jim.”
He looked at the beef thoughtfully, then held it out to her. “I’m sensing you need this more than I do.”
“I’m a vegetarian.”
“Now that explains a lot.”
She bristled. “That’s it. Forget it. This is so stupid. We’re never going to convince anyone that we like each other, let alone that we’re dating.” Shaking her head, she was on her feet before he could blink and looked about ready to hightail it out of his office.
“Wait,” he said quickly. Where was his normal finesse when it came to women? She had a way about her that brought out his worst. But she was right. If he didn’t watch himself, he’d ruin everything.
“I’m sorry, Sabrina. This will work. How about we both try to keep the smart comments to a minimum?”
She sat back down but her shoulders were still stiff. “All right then. Let’s just figure this plan out so I can get back to work.”
Damn, there was a lot of pent-up energy going on in that tight little body of hers. It was kind of amusing to watch, especially the way she tried to quiet her hyperventilating breaths so he wouldn’t notice. Call him a jerk, but he noticed. Her chest was going in and out like a runaway steam engine and it was all he could do not to stare. And he liked what he saw.
“What do you want me to do?” she asked, breaking into those thoughts. She nibbled one corner of her lip, her hair hanging loosely as she cocked her head to the side.
“Well, I…” Their gazes met and held.
Have her eyes always been that blue? Hell. He knew she was pretty, but he never realized she was that pretty.
He cleared his throat and reached for more beef jerky.
“You do have some sort of agenda, right?” she asked.
“A list of dos and don’ts.”
He rolled his eyes. Sabrina was definitely not a play-it-by-ear kind of woman. He should have known she’d want an itemized list of how he expected her to act.
She licked her lips. “Nothing over the top, I hope. Oh, and I guess I should have mentioned this before, but I don’t want to have to, uh…”
“Don’t want to have to what?” he asked, popping another piece of jerky in his mouth.
“Kiss you,” she finished.
Jack froze midchew, then swallowed. “What?”
She shifted in her chair. “I don’t want to have to kiss you.”
“Absolutely not. That’s nonnegotiable. You have to kiss me. What kind of fake girlfriend are you, anyway?”
She lifted her chin. “One that doesn’t believe in public displays of affection.”
“No, it’s not. Look, you’re the one who wants to change your reputation. Kissing and any other type of manhandling—fake or not—in front of people is not a way to show them you’re in a serious relationship. I won’t be treated like all your other bimbos. We’ll just have to be convincing in other ways.”
Jack sat back and grunted. Little Miss Perfect had a point, as per usual. Kissing was not something they could be caught doing at work, and even if they were out on a fake date, at their age, they wouldn’t be lip-locked at some restaurant. But the idea still didn’t sit well with him. Who knew that he’d actually be disturbed he wouldn’t be able to kiss her?
And the more he thought about how it disturbed him, the more disturbed he became.
Jennifer Shirk has a bachelor degree in pharmacy-which has in NO WAY at all helped her with her writing career. But she likes to point it out, since it shows romantic-at-hearts come in all shapes, sizes, and mind-numbing educations.
She writes sweet (and sometimes even funny) romances for Samhain Publishing, Montlake Romance and now Entangled Publishing. She won third place in the RWA 2006 NYC's Kathryn Hayes Love and Laughter Contest with her first book, THE ROLE OF A LIFETIME. Recently, her novel SUNNY DAYS FOR SAM won the 2013 Golden Quill Published Authors Contest for Best Traditional Romance.
Lately she's been on a serious exercise kick. But don't hold that against her.
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