Librarian Kinley Foster wants to write erotic romance—the steamy, sexy, curl-your-toes kind of stuff. The problem? She desperately needs a little erotic inspiration. And at a romance convention in Vegas, she finds it...or rather him.
Literary agent Ian Thompson is a professional. Mentoring an aspiring author is one thing, giving her a thoroughly satisfying sexy education is quite another. Especially when she's as stunning and deliciously curvaceous as Kinley. Yet Ian can't help himself when Kinley makes him a wager he can't resist. A wager that will tempt Ian to cross every professional—and every sensual—boundary in the book…
Each book in the Off-the-Wall Proposal series is STANDALONE:
* The Seduction of Kinley Foster
* The Attraction of Adeline
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About the Author
Lisa Wells always knew there would come a time in her life when she'd pursue her dream career as a romance author. This is that time.
Before this moment, she's enjoyed a rollercoaster journey called - The Middle School Counselor - Dramas, Dreams, and Destinies.
After many years of working with teenage girls, she knows when one comes in baffled because another girl hates her, the first question to ask is - "Did you steal her boyfriend?" Nine times out of ten the answer is some form of yes but....
While Lisa enjoys working with adolescents, she writes for adults. Her books contain: Sex, Scowls&Sass.
Lisa Wells is a nonfiction writer and poet from Portland, Oregon. Her debut collection of poetry, The Fix, won the Iowa Poetry Prize. Her essays and poems have appeared in The New York Times, Harper’s Magazine, Granta, The Believer, n+1, and other publications. She lives in Seattle and is an editor at The Volta and at Letter Machine Editions.
Read an Excerpt
The Seduction of Kinley Foster
A What Happens in Vegas Story
By Lisa Wells, Vanessa Mitchell
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2016 Lisa Wells
All rights reserved.
Kinley Foster side-stepped down the airplane's crowded aisle juggling her carry-on, her Mac, and her neck pillow featuring head shots of Jimmy Fallon and Adam Kaufman. Her Trust No Bro T-shirt, stained a horrid hue of orange from her breakfast Slurpee, summed up the type of morning she'd endured. Ugh.
The chatter of excited women filled the small cabin of the chartered plane. Not her chartered plane. She was the green banana in their veggie bin. Dropped in when her plane was grounded due to a minor mechanical malfunction. Minor, my library card. If it grounds a plane, it's major.
She was heading to Vegas for five glorious days with 2,200 other romance writers, romance readers, romance models, romance ...
Those who made a living out of selling love.
And if her nerves didn't combust and kill her, she would pitch her manuscript to an agent. The mere thought gave her hives. More hives than The Rockettes have pasties. But what was a little scratching when it came to chasing your dreams?
"Did anyone else see the ass on our pilot before he disappeared into the cockpit?" said a young brunette with boobs that would make a Playmate proud.
"Are we going to have to talk about asses the whole trip?" one of the few men on the plane asked.
Since when do men not want to talk about asses?
Kinley passed row after row of boobs, bling, and babes in all shapes and sizes. Talking. Giggling. Texting. Drinking.
"I hear they are having a strip —"
An eruption of laughter from those sitting in row ten — seats a, b, and c — kept Kinley from picking-out the last part of the comment. Spotting her empty window seat in row twenty, she stopped. A handsome middle-aged black man, sitting in the aisle seat, stood and helped her stuff her suitcase in the overhead bin.
"Thanks." Chivalry wasn't dead.
"My pleasure." He stepped aside so she could do the awkward dance of crossing over the middle passenger: a full-figured woman who reminded Kinley of Vanessa Williams. Or what Vanessa would look like if she had a Jersey-Housewives' makeover.
A loudly spoken oye told her the dance lacked perfect choreography.
"Sorry." Kinley shuffle-stepped too quickly for her grace-level. Her feet twisted like crossed fingers. She lost her precarious balance ... and ended up with her ass in the face of "Vanessa."
Before her brain could tell her backside to move, a pair of hands planted on her butt. Static electricity ensued. The widespread palms clutching each ass cheek gave an unexpected shove. Already off balance, Kinley went face first into the window. Obviously, Vanessa wasn't a butt-in-the-face-between-strangers type of gal. "Ouch."
"Oh ... My Lord," the lady said in a southern drawl, the volume too loud to be considered lady-like. "I grabbed your tushy and caused sparks."
The gentleman sitting in the aisle seat chuckled. "Darling, you can't just grab a person's tushy without their permission." He sounded like he was joking.
But Kinley couldn't see his face, couldn't be sure.
"Hush yourself. You know I didn't touch her tushy on purpose."
Kinley twirled and faced the woman. She checked her head for a lump.
"I am so sorry," the ass-grabber said, fanning herself with her hand, which had bling rings on every finger.
"It's okay." What else could she say? That's the most action I've seen in a year.
"I'm Charlie." The lady pulled out a lavender silk hankie and delicately dabbed at her brow. "The Shemar Moore look-alike is my husband. Dan. His sense of humor is fractured." She moved the seat belt out of Kinley's way and patted the cushion for Kinley to sit.
"Thanks." Kinley sat and quickly jammed her purse and Mac under the seat in front of her. "I'm McKinley, but my family calls me Kinley." Her words came out rapidly and practically overlapped.
"What an unusual girl's name."
Kinley stiffened. "I'm named after my dad. He died before I popped out of my mom. In a freakish plane crash." She wiped her palms on her jeans. "I didn't pop out of my mom in a freak plane crash. My dad died in one."
Charlie's eyes rounded. "Bless your momma's heart. So lovely of her to name you after your daddy."
Kinley nodded. Remained silent. Some people didn't like to make small talk in a plane. And truly her desire to chatter was all nerves and not friendliness. "She says I'm just like him." Shut. Up.
Charlie smiled understandingly at Kinley, her eyes crinkling at the corners like the grooves in ruffled potato chips. "You must be one of the passengers from the grounded Spirit Airway's plane?"
Dan placed his hand on top of Charlie's as if to inconspicuously quiet a child. "Did you say your dad died in a plane crash?"
"Rushing home to see my brother play in his first little league baseball game." Her brother carried that guilt on his shoulders to this day. He was always trying to be both a brother and a father to Kinley. Overprotective to a fault. "This is my first time flying. You could say I have a phobia when it comes to the friendly skies."
"Well don't you worry one little bit," Charlie said, pulling her hand out from under Dan's grasp and patting Kinley's knee. "This plane is sturdy. I know the pilot, and it's not going to go down over the Grand Canyon like his last one did."
Kinley's spine straightened, and her heart banged out several hard-rock beats. "What?" What? How had she gone from —
Charlie giggled. "Gotcha. Dan says my sense of humor puts the fun in funny."
Kinley took a breath that struggled to get past her closed off throat. She pointed a shaking finger at Charlie. "We'll see how fun your funny is when I write you as an out-of-work, cross-dressing prostitute in my next book."
"You're a writer?" Charlie clapped her hands causing the gold charm bracelets on her wrist to clickety-clack and their tiny charms to chime against one another. She nudged Dan. "Aren't we the lucky ones she's sitting with us?"
"Damn straight," Dan said, not looking up from his issue of Sports Illustrated.
"Do you write the good stuff?" Charlie asked in a stage whisper. Staged as in someone standing on a stage in New York could be heard by those sitting in the balcony of a theater in California. "You know, hunks and sex?"
"Is there anything else?" Kinley tucked a loose strand of hair behind her ear. "I'm going to Vegas for the eighteenth annual Romance Lovers Convention. It's my first time attending."
"I've heard of that. I hear it's a huge party."
"Complete with romance cover models." The perfect place for Kinley to enjoy a scorching affair. Something she was greatly in need of after a one-year hiatus from the dating scene.
"Have you been writing long?"
"Since middle school. My dad was a writer." Stop rattling. She won't care that your New Year's resolution is to do whatever it takes to be successful or to get laid at least once every three months. How sad is it that I had to make a New Year's resolution to get laid? Like I have to work at that like I have to work at getting to the gym or eating more greens. You might be a loser if ... "I write semi-steamy. Not E.L. James ... but close."
"I don't know the names of a lot of authors, but I recognize E.L. James," Dan said, putting his magazine away.
"Of course you do, dear," Charlie said, kissing her husband on the cheek and then buckling her seat belt. She glanced at Kinley and placed a finger to her lips as if about to whisper a secret. "E.L. James has done a lot for Passion Parties, Inc."
The whisper wasn't a whisper.
"She brought orgasms out of the bedroom," someone said a few seats ahead.
"Are we talking orgasms?" asked someone else.
"I had a singularly pleasant one this morning with our latest product," chimed in another.
Kinley clicked her seat belt and tugged on the strap to make sure the connection worked. Was she really sitting on a plane listening to women openly talk about orgasms? What exactly was Passion Parties? What was their link with sexual satisfaction? "How has —" The plane lurched, taxied backward. Stopped. Kinley grasped the chair's handles.
Panic descended upon her like a tornado, twisting the breath out of her. She squeezed her eyes shut and started counting. One, I'm not going to die. Two, what are the odds I'll die today? Three, son-of-a-bitch I'm going to die.
"Bless your heart. You're nervous." Charlie laid a hand over Kinley's and squeezed. "Your hand is ice cold."
Kinley didn't respond. She continued to count. Four ... Guardian angels, where the hell are you? Five ... She turned her head into her neck pillow and envisioned the face there. Adam Kaufman with eyes the same color as —
"Love ... that pillow," Charlie said loudly, causing Kinley to nearly jump out of her seat. The seat belt kept her in place.
Kinley pried open one eye and glanced at Charlie. "Thanks." The word came out muffled and low. Probably because her lips were plastered to Adam's.
"What does it look like?" the lady in the seat in front of them asked.
"It's a travel pillow with Adam Kaufman's face on the left side of the pillow and," Charlie struggled to lean across Kinley to see the face on the other side, "Jimmy Fallon's on the right. When she turns her face into the pillow, it looks like she's making out with them."
"That little Jimmy Fallon can climb into my bed any night," said someone in the plane.
"You can have Jimmy. I'll take Adam. He's got foreplay eyes and an after-sex voice."
The plane jerked. Kinley searched the backseat pocket for a barf bag. "Tell me about Passion Parties. What do you se —"
The plane lurched again.
Kinley's heart wobbled, cutting her question short. She swallowed. Tried again. "Sell?"
"She wants to know what we sell at Passion Parties," Charlie shouted.
"Sex," everyone responded. Even Dan.CHAPTER 2
The flight from Kansas City, Missouri to Las Vegas, Nevada took less than three hours. By the time the wheels touched solid ground, Kinley knew enough about Passion Parties, Inc. to be a representative.
They sold sex toys. Mostly at house parties. But when the occasion presented itself, they sold them on chartered planes heading to Vegas. Drinking often involved.
"Good luck with your agent pitch," Charlie said, before stepping into the aisle in front of her husband to exit the plane. "And don't stress."
"I wish I could tell you I won't. But I will." Kinley stuffed her newly purchased sex toys into her purse. Along with the We-Vibe 4, a dandy little vibrator with a remote control, she also possessed a toy called the Lipstick Vibe. A vibrator disguised as a tube of lipstick. Plus, she'd won a couple of mystery gifts that she'd yet to open.
Gadgets for today's woman ... add a man to the mix — optional.
On the ground, an attendant told her how to find baggage claim.
She squeezed into the crowd and watched for her hot pink suitcase. With its hand-painted tropical flowers, spotting her case was the easiest part of her day. She leaned forward and grabbed for the handle.
"Here, let me," a man said from behind her.
Kinley took a step back and bumped into a solid form. For an airport luggage boy, he smelled really nice. Sort of like a spring thunderstorm. "Sorry," she mumbled, twisting and sliding out of the gazillions of bodies. How nice of someone to grab her bag for her. She fumbled in her pocket for a dollar and found a five.
"Thank you," she said, handing him the money, while reaching for her suitcase.
He didn't let go of the handle ... or take her money.
Wasn't five enough in Vegas? "I'm not giving you more money." She tugged on her suitcase.
He tugged back.
What the hell? She looked up and stared him in the eyes.
Incredible cornflower blue eyes stared back at her.
She blinked. Scowled. Refused to believe what she saw. She'd only ever known two guys with eyes that shade of blue and one of them was on the travel pillow hooked around her neck. The other — a jackass.
The moment she allowed the thought to take root, it must have shown on her face, because he gave her a slow, you-got-it-babe grin.
Her jaws clenched. Sonofabitch. It couldn't be. Him.
She stepped into his space. The toes of her purple Chucks touched the toes of his fancy-ass dress shoes. She reached up, way up, and fingered the lock of thick dark hair falling over his forehead.
He jutted his chin as if daring her to look.
She'd never been one to back down from a dare. She lifted the hair. "Damn." There it was. Still. The last piece of evidence to know her eyes weren't playing a trick on her. She stepped back. "I thought by now you'd be dead." Killed by a jealous husband or fiancé.
He looked the same but different. Ten years ago he had been crazy cute and sizzling sexy, but now, dressed in a tailored business suit cut to hug his broad shoulders and long legs, his face defined with new character lines, he was an advertisement for power. Rugged. A man's man.
A man who'd taught her not to trust.
"And in my mind, you're always buck-toothed and adorably chubby." His tone was serious. Not teasing. Freaking serious.
Kinley huffed. "I haven't been buck-toothed since I was twelve, and you know it." Chubby was in the eye of the beholder.
His eyes did a slow survey of her.
She stood rigid. Tried to imagine herself through his eyes. Crazy, curly brown hair pulled back in an I-don't-care messy bun. A sensible sweater for warmth. Jeans too tight from too many late night glasses of wine. Shoes made for comfort — not seduction.
Finally, his gaze travelled back up to meet hers.
Did he like what he saw? "Well?" The one word question sprung out of her mouth despite her brain telling it not to.
The last day they'd seen one another, she'd been a sassy sixteen, and he'd been an insufferable twenty-two. She'd wanted to give him her virginity. He'd wanted nothing to do with her. Then, before she could escape his apartment, her brother's fiancée walked naked out of his bedroom carrying an array of condoms and wearing an amused smile.
What in the hell was Ian Thompson doing in Vegas?
Ian touched her scar and grimaced. "The only thing that hasn't changed about you is your sass." He turned and walked toward the exit with her suitcase. "Come on." The comment was said in a casual tone. As if they were friends.
The movement and demand shattered her this-can't-be-real state of mind. "Hey, stop." She grabbed her carry-on and followed. Her brother may have accepted Ian's explanation for that scene in the apartment, but not her. No sir.
Ian's stride was long, and she had to hustle to catch him. "I said stop," she shouted, making people stare. What was it with trust-fund babies that made them think they could always do what they wanted?
He was hailing a cab when she caught up with him. At six foot four, he looked ridiculous standing on the sidewalk with her hot pink suitcase.
"Are you kidnapping my suitcase for a reason?" She dropped her carryon on his feet. "Or is the rumor true that you came out of the closet, and now your feminine side wants my girly luggage for yourself?"
She'd never believed the rumor about her old high school's star quarterback. Mostly because she started it.
But she wasn't above needling the jerk. He probably still believed he was every girl's lose-your-virginity-to dream man.
His lips twitched. "I told your brother I'd make sure you made it to the hotel, get you settled into your room, and keep an eye on you while you're at the conference."
She sucked in a breath of outrage. "What?" Her heartbeat shattered its old mad-to-furious acceleration record. A record set ten years ago in his apartment. Ass. "When?" A desire to knock Ian and her brother's heads together and then push them into a lane of fast-moving semi-truck traffic swept through her. "How?" Why her brother stayed in touch with Ian after he'd been the cause of his marriage never taking place was beyond her comprehension. The guy deserved to be elbowed into a snake pit, not forgiven.
Kinley pulled out her phone. If what Ian was saying was true, she was going to —
"Who are you calling?" Ian asked, giving her a lazy, seductive look.
The words he spoke barely registered. Probably because the way they sounded coming out of his mouth short-circuited her brain and super-charged her girly-parts.
Excerpted from The Seduction of Kinley Foster by Lisa Wells, Vanessa Mitchell. Copyright © 2016 Lisa Wells. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
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