A Scandalous Dare

 

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Only Available on Kindle Worlds:

Sawyer can’t deny his desire to the stunning and seductive Harper Ridgeway. His future with her means confronting a scandal that puts his career as a football player with the Miami Thunder in danger.

Harper Ridgeway must represent him in a defamation case caused by a conniving woman claiming to be his ex-girlfriend.

Will Harper trust that the client she’s representing is telling the truth and give into her growing attraction? Or will this conartist ruin both his skyrocketing career and budding relationship?

Passion ignites in this contemporary workplace romance which is part of Carly Phillips Dare to Love Series on Kindle Worlds.

 

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Chapter One

Harper Ridgeway puffed a dark bang out of her eyes as she watched the clock. It was a quarter to five on a Friday, and she couldn’t wait to get out of the office. It’d been a grueling week filling in for her brother Jonathan, who was sailing off into the sunset with his new bride. Literally. Right now they were on his boat somewhere in the Caribbean, while she was handling cases he’d left behind at Ridgeway and Associates law firm. But she was happy for him, even though the idea of being in a committed relationship made her gag.

She was about to shut down the computer when her email dinged with an incoming message. Usually she’d let it wait until Monday, but this was from her brother. And he’d only use satellite Internet on his honeymoon if it was really important. So much for getting out of here. Harper dropped her purse next to the desk and opened her inbox with a sigh.

From: Jonathan Ridgeway

To: Harper Ridgeway

Subject: New Client (Important)

Alex Dare is referring a Miami Thunder player to us. I’m sketchy on the details, but from what I understand his reputation is on the line. We need to avoid a full-fledged scandal. They’re gearing up for the Pro Bowl and this needs to be squashed ASAP. Alex is sending the client over to the office Monday morning at 10 AM. If you handle this case while I’m away I’ll make you a partner.

-Jonathan

A huge grin spread across her face as she read the email. She’d been badgering him to make her a partner for the past three years. Hell, she’d earned it a hundred times over, but he kept dragging his feet. She was one of the most prominent defense attorneys in Miami, and a renowned fixer. Harper was damn good at portraying controversial cases in a favorable light and keeping them out of court. This would have probably landed on her desk even if her brother wasn’t on a boat in the middle of the ocean. She wasn’t bragging…she was just that good at what she did, and she never backed down from a challenge. Harper figured the player probably needed to be cleared of drug use allegations, or to smooth over a drunken bar brawl. Simple enough. She could do that in her sleep. She could practically taste victory.

From: Harper Ridgeway

To: Jonathan Ridgeway

Subject: RE: New Client (Important)

No worries. I’m on it. You’d better believe you’re going to make me full partner! I’m going to hold you to it. -H

She clicked send and shut down her computer. She’d been waiting for this moment ever since she started working at her brother’s law firm. She’d followed in his footsteps and graduated from the University of Florida, then moved back to Miami when her brother offered her the job. He’d left a local law firm to open his own practice, and hiring her as an associate was his first move. Harper was adamant about proving her worth, and Jonathan had expected nothing less. Although her summers had been spent in Georgia with family, they’d both grown up with Alex Dare. This was both a personal and professional favor to a long-time family friend.

She bubbled with excitement. Next week she would be extraordinarily busy. Taking on this client could help her accomplish a professional goal she’d been dreaming of since the day she started law school. Of course, she was also meeting with her mother and that always tied her into knots. Her mother had always confided in Harper, and they were more like friends than mother and daughter.

Her parents still lived in her childhood home, not that it really meant much. Her father, an investment banker, ruled their house with an iron fist. Her mom sat the board of several charities, giving off the image of a perfectly happy house wife. Unfortunately, it was a nothing but a charade they put on for everyone including her brother and sister. Their marriage had died a slow and painful death. Between her father’s stinginess with money and infidelity she didn’t understand why her mom stuck it out. His affairs and attitude royally turned her off on a permanent relationship with a man. She could never envision herself putting up with the bullshit her mom did. As a child she had envisioned having a family of her own, but finding out what her mom dealt with had turned her completely around. She valued being financially independent above having the stereotypical two kids, house, and dog to allow herself to ever become trapped in a living hell.

Harper pushed those thoughts aside as she grabbed her purse and headed for Mel’s. She was supposed to meet up with Madison for drinks. More than anything she wanted to blow off some steam this weekend. Harper pulled into the crowded parking lot. She didn’t see Madison’s car, but it was a popular spot for casual drinks after work and on the weekends. She walked into the dimly lit bistro and grabbed the last two empty chairs at the bar. Harper slid onto a mahogany barstool and placed her purse on the empty chair next to her, discreetly saving the seat for her friend. She flagged down the bartender.

“Gray Goose martini, two olives, dirty, right?”

Harper laughed. “You know how I love extra olives, Matt.”

The good-looking bartender turned with a grin and went to get her drink. A vibrating buzz told her someone was sending her a message. She checked her cell.

Madison: I can’t make it tonight. Sorry for the change of plans.

Harper: It’s okay. Don’t worry about it.

Madison: Ugh, I’ll tell you all about it later. I’m buying. Rain check? 🙂

Harper: Yeah, I’ll call you next week if work doesn’t bury me.

Madison: kk… lol

Matt placed a martini in front of her and headed toward the other end of the bar, where someone was flagging him down. This was her normal Friday night routine. She loved the casual atmosphere and funky bar at Mel’s. It was the perfect place to unwind from the tight focus of her career. And it was a great place to get hammered and take home a random stranger for a night of fuck-me-hard sex. She could handle that, even if the idea of connecting beyond a one-time hook-up scared her shitless. Harper took a sip of her martini, appreciating the way it eased her nerves. She looked around the bar for viable suspects to fulfill her quest for a quick and dirty romp. Her eyes skated across a handsome man with blond hair, but then his date returned to the seat next to him. Harper forked a vodka-soaked olive into her mouth just as someone bumped the chair next to her and her handbag crashed to the ground, its contents spilling out across the dark wooden floor.

“Hey, I’m really sorry. Let me get that for you.”

The man braced his hand on the back of her chair and bent to pick up her purse. At the same time Harper stooped to pick up her wallet, keys, and cosmetics case, which had fallen out. Her pulse hitched up a notch as she noted the devilish smile twisting his lips.

“It’s okay. I’ve got it,” she said, rising from the floor and tossing her belongings back into her bag, which he was still holding.

His hand brushed against hers as he handed the purse back. Awareness shot across her skin as his sheer masculinity hit her and heat spread throughout her body. It could have been the vodka, but she was sure the smoking-hot man, built like linebacker, looming over her was the reason for the warmth. She swallowed away the sandpaper dryness in her mouth.

“Thanks.”

“I’m Sawyer, and I’d like to buy you a drink. Mind if I join you?”

It wasn’t original or clever. It wasn’t even what he said, but the way it rolled out without sounding too smooth, that made her decide he would be the man she took home tonight. Just the right amount of coolness. And his air of confidence was such a turn-on. Sawyer still had one hand on the back of her chair as his deep blue eyes stared down at her. He was wearing a gray t-shirt that rippled across his defined pecs when he moved. His abs seemed just as hard, and she had to hold back the urge to roam her hands across the cotton and test whether his muscles were as ripped as they appeared. It was hard to concentrate when he stood that close and smelled so deliciously, panty-dropping good. He was wearing some sort of cologne that reminded her of a tropical rainstorm. His dark blue jeans hugged muscular thighs and accentuated a bulge in between them that sent her mind fast-forwarding to fucking him senseless. She’d probably have been a little embarrassed about openly admiring him if he wasn’t doing the same. Her nipples grew taut, brushing against her lace bra under the intensity of his gaze, which raked over every inch of her body as if he wanted to devour her.

She pulled out her sexy signature smile, moving her purse to a hook beneath the bar. “I’m Harper.”

Sawyer sat on the chair next to her, moving it a little closer to hers as he took a seat. “I hope I’m not intruding. You looked like you were waiting for someone.”

Although it didn’t really sound like he particularly cared whether he was ruining her plans or not, and ironically she found that sexy. Harper had always liked to control the situation, but for the moment she enjoyed letting someone else take the lead.

“Well, I was, but my plans changed.” She eyed him suggestively.

His hand on the back of her chair brushed her shoulder, sending a shiver down her spine. “His loss, my gain.”

“Her loss.”

Sawyer’s faltering expression was priceless and it dawned on her what he must have thought she meant.

Harper laughed. “Not like that. I was meeting a friend for drinks, but she canceled on me. Something came up at last minute.”

He leaned toward her, his breath brushing her ear as he whispered. “I’m glad something came up. You’re stunning.”

She was a reasonably well-balanced, self-assured person, but his mouth next to her ear was making it difficult to form a coherent thought, much less an appropriate response to his sexy compliment. Oh, man—he was fuck-me hot. Her breath hitched. She hoped they could get out of there soon.

“So are you,” she whispered back.

He laughed. She gulped down the rest of her martini. Sawyer laughed harder. Then he waved over the bartender, ordered a beer for himself and another martini for her. Harper could feel her strength, intellect, power, and control slowly slipping away. It was an entirely new experience, and she wasn’t sure what to make of it. He invaded her senses. He grazed his knuckles across her arm and heat shot straight to her thighs.

“You’re so tense. Rough day at work?”

Harper couldn’t help but groan. “Can we make a deal? Let’s not talk about work.”

“Fair enough, gorgeous. It’s been a tough week for me too.”

She watched his mouth curve with another playful smile, and licked her lips. Now that Harper had made him agree not to talk about the one thing that defined her, that she was good at talking about, she really wasn’t sure what to say without coming off as needy and demanding. All she wanted was a few dozen mind-numbing orgasms. She bit her lip to keep from blurting that out. Thankfully, Matt returned with their drinks, and she covered being tongue-tied by taking a calculated sip and deciding her next flirtatious move.

“So if we’re not going to talk about work, do you have a better suggestion?” Sawyer teased.

Actually, she had several, and all of them involved licking every inch of him.

Harper swiveled in her seat, leaning toward him, and ran her hand up his back. Her nails scraped along each vertebrae through the thin material of his t-shirt. “I might have a few.”

“I’m trying really hard to get to know you, gorgeous. But when you purr at me like a fucking kitten it makes it damn hard not to take you somewhere private so I can get to know every sexy curve of your body on a first-name basis.”

She sucked in a breath. “What are you waiting for?”

Sawyer arched an eyebrow and threw some money on the bar to pay for their drinks. “Let’s get out of here.”

5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read!!

Ok, this is definitely my favorite of the Dare Kindle World releases this month. I loved that Harper was such a strong heroine. She knows what she wants, and doesn’t fight herself over it, and doesn’t play games. Sawyer was an awesome hero, who is dealing with what a lot of famous people seem to have to deal with. The suspense in this book had me dying to know what was going to happen, and I was so excited to see some of my favorite Dare’s make an appearance in this book. If you are looking for a hot, steamy read with a bit of suspense, you are definitely going to want to read this!
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