What happens when Little Red Riding Hood meets the Big Bad Wolf?
Maya meets the man of her dreams at her friend’s Halloween masquerade party. But when the masks come off she realizes her dream guy is actually her nightmare boss! How can the guy who terrorizes her at work be the same person who makes her forget everything around her with just the touch of his lips?
Anthony wants to pursue her, but Maya refuses to jeopardize her career with an office romance. She has worked too hard to get where she is. But when the two enemies are thrown together on a business trip, their resolve to keep things professional is sorely tested.
Will love be their holiday treat? Or is it all a trick?
“Love Unmasked” is the first book in the Good with Numbers Workplace Romance series. Each book is a steamy standalone featuring strong women and alpha males finding love in midlife, meddling matchmaker friends, a little bit of humor, and a sweet happily-ever-after. Download the entire series today.
Targeted Age Group:: general adult
Heat/Violence Level: Heat Level 3 – PG-13
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I was thinking of all the terrible bosses I've had over the years around Halloween, and then I thought, "Wouldn't it be funny if you fell in love with someone and realized they were your boss?" I wrote Maya and Anthony's story for everyone who likes a more mature couple and a little bit of enemies-to-lovers.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I based Anthony on every jerky boss I've had, and Maya on the cool, confident career woman that I always admire. Like all of my books, I prefer characters who are older and wiser and have enough experience to know what they really want in a relationship.
I had never felt like this before. Never in my life had I made out with a total stranger, not even in college. And I had never been so engrossed in kissing someone that I forgot where I was. Sure, I had felt passion before, but none of the guys I had ever kissed had made me feel this way. I felt unmoored and confused at my strong reaction to him.
The Wolf leaned against my back, his arms coming to rest on the outside of my hands on the concrete ledge of the balcony. He rubbed his thumbs against the back of my hands, and I leaned into his embrace automatically.
We stood in silence for a few moments, calming down. I finally turned in his embrace, staring at the ground. I was embarrassed, unsure about what to say now that the haze of passion was wearing off.
“Maya,” he said gently, touching my cheek. “Look at me.”
I raised my eyes and looked at the Wolf. With the brighter light on the balcony, I was able to get a clear view of him for the first time. My brow wrinkled as I studied that strong chin, that beard, those soft lips. It all looked…really familiar.
I frowned in confusion and dawning apprehension, then I reached up and slid the mask up to the top of his head. As I revealed his face I gasped in shock and horror.
It was Anthony. My boss. The guy who hated me. The bane of my existence.
“What the – Anthony?” I shrieked.
He looked down at me in confusion, his forehead crinkling in that adorable way it did when he was thinking. “Maya, what is it?” he asked solicitously. “What’s the matter?”
I moved my hands to his chest and shoved him hard away from me. He stepped back and I slid out around him before turning around to confront him.
“Oh my god!” I said in a whisper shout. “I didn’t know it was – YOU! I can’t believe I was kissing you!” I wrapped my arms around myself protectively. “Oh my god!”
Anthony’s face hardened into that familiar look of annoyance. “What are you talking about Maya?” he asked. “Are you trying to tell me you didn’t recognize me? You didn’t know who you were kissing?”
I nodded vigorously as I paced back and forth across the balcony in agitation.
“Of course, I didn’t recognize you!” I said hotly. “I’ve had a couple of drinks, and it’s so loud in there, and so dark I could hardly make anything out. And you were wearing a damn mask!”
“But I recognized you right away,” he said stubbornly. “I thought you knew it was me.”
“I would have never kissed you if I knew it was you!” My voice was still high and angry, and I had a fleeting sense that only dogs could hear me right now. I tried to ignore the quick flash of hurt on his face.
“You were sure rubbing yourself against me like you knew it was me,” he lashed out sarcastically.
“That’s a low blow Anthony,” I retorted angrily. “You know it’s totally inappropriate for us to be kissing. We work together!”
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