by Kate Meader
On Sale January 22nd | Ballantine/Loveswept
Rule #1: Never fall for your client.
Rule #2: Never fall for your client’s fiercely protective, smoking hot sister-in-law.
I’m the kind of guy who believes that everyone deserves the best legal representation money can buy—which just so happens to be me, Lucas Wright. Give me your henpecked, your cuckolded, your irreconcilable differences yearning to break free! And if you’re the bad guy in your marriage, that’s cool too. Your green is as good as anyone’s.
Tell that to Trinity Jones. It’s my job to destroy her sister—the soon-to-be ex-wife of my a-hole of a client—and Trinity’s “big sis” instincts are dialed up to the max. I admire that. I admire her. But she won’t stop me from representing my client to the best of my ability.
Not even if my chemistry with Trinity is undeniable. Not even if we can’t keep our hands off each other. Not even if she injects life into a heart assumed to be long dead.
Because when faced with a choice between love and duty, the job will always win—or at least that’s what I thought before I met Trinity . . . and suddenly conflict of interest never felt so right.
I’m on the periphery of both these conversations, wanting to contribute but having too little expertise, when I’m nudged by an elbow.
“Bad luck there, Ms. Jones,” Lucas says. Whispers, really, which makes it all seem so much naughtier.
“I wouldn’t say that. You won fair and square with your oddly encyclopedic knowledge about a children’s book. Not weird. Not weird at all.”
Something flashes across his face, a shadow that disappears as quickly as it came. “Can I help it if I’m a master of all trades?”
“Hmm, not the phrase.”
“It is when we’re talking about me. I’m very good. At most everything.”
He tilts his head. “You have problems with self-confidence?”
“Don’t you consider yourself an expert in whiskey? Don’t you advertise yourself as such? What’s the point in pretending you’re only somewhat knowledgeable at something when you’re the best there is?”
I seek to unpack that. “People are put off by overconfidence,” I say carefully.
“Should I substitute men for people in that sentence?”
A foreign heat warms my chest while Lucas’s blue-on-blue eyes cut through me. My friends don’t condescend about my ambitions, but my family—my sister—has never really understood why I chose my profession (So manly! Unless it’s a strategy to find a man? Is it?).
I respond with, “A whiskey sommelier isn’t a traditional job for a woman.”
“Harry Potter’s not the traditional reading material for a divorce lawyer,” he shoots back.
“So why do you love it?”
“Why do you love whiskey?”
I think of my granddad and the time when I felt safe and secure. “Nostalgia. Longing. Soothes the senses and feeds the soul. It also feels good to . . . understand an entire world of taste. Of sensation. It’s a world I can dive into and control.” I shake my head. “I’m not making much sense.”
But I am to Lucas. I can tell what I’ve said has struck a chord somewhere deep inside him. A private place I’d like to visit. I curl my hand into a fist to stop from touching him.
“You, too?” I whisper, the intimacy of the moment shocking me. “With Harry Potter?”
Now his smile is tinged with sadness. “Me, too.”
My heart contracts. Behind the clown in the ridiculous plaid pants is a man in pain. Worse, I want to know him.
Lusting after him was safer. Despising him after discovering his mission was logical. But this? Peeling back a layer in Lucas’s good-time-lad façade gives me chills.
“I should go,” I say, which conveniently coincides with Gid and Pete offering me a ride home.
Lucas nods, pulls away. Something shudders between us, and I tell myself it’s for the best. “Yes, you should. See you around, Trinity.”
Not if I can help it. I’m starting to realize that Lucas Wright is a hundred times more dangerous than I previously thought.
About the Author:
Originally from Ireland, USA Today bestselling author Kate Meader cut her romance reader teeth on Maeve Binchy and Jilly Cooper novels, with some Harlequins thrown in for variety. Give her tales about brooding mill owners, oversexed equestrians, and men who can rock an apron or a fire hose, and she’s there. Now based in Chicago, she writes sexy contemporary romance with alpha heroes and strong heroines who can match their men quip for quip.