Disappointed that he wouldn’t have the chance of working with her, he rubbed his chin. “Russian spy?”

“No,” she said on a laugh. “Guess again.”

“Woman bent on seduction?”

“Are you interested in being seduced?” she asked, her eyes heavy-lidded.

Hypnotized, he stood, his heart beating loudly in his ears. “Hell, yes.”

The sounds of an orchestra playing wove under doors and out of windows.

“Would you like to dance with me?”

“There’s nothing else I’d rather do,” he heard himself say. Apparently, she hadn’t hit him hard enough.

He took her in his arms, her full br**sts pressed flush against his chest.

“Do you like acting?” she asked, gazing up at him.

“Most of the time, but one day I hope I can do some good with my name. Make a difference in the world,” he said. Feeling ridiculous at the truth he’d revealed, he rolled his eyes. “Trite enough for you?”

“Only if you weren’t serious.” She looked disappointed and for some unknown reason, he couldn’t stand it.

Letting his guard down, he exhaled. “I really meant it. I’d like to be known for something other than my looks, money or acting chops. What about you?”

“Just finished graduate school. The world is my oyster.”

“Seems we’re both full of old fashioned idioms tonight.”

She laughed, the sound making his heart flip in his chest. “I prefer timeless.”

He wished he could arrest this moment: a gentle breeze, the moonlight shining down, and Amber in his arms.

“Are you here by yourself?”

Always, he wanted to say. He was always by himself, making his own way through life. “My agent’s my date.”

“I came alone. Sorta.”

“How about we forget about our dates and stay out here, yes?”

She laid her head against him. “Yes.”

The music changed tempo and sped up.

“Do you know how to Rumba?”


“Lucky for you, I do. Keep your eyes on me,” he said and she lifted her chin. “Follow my lead.”

“I’ll do my best,” she said as he shifted her in his arms.

They danced the length and width of the balcony as she laughed up at him and tried to follow his lead. He couldn’t help but grin and whirl her around faster and faster, until she fell against one of the French doors leading into the ballroom.

Amber giggled, her hand on her chest as it rose and fell. “I’ve never danced like that before.”

“Neither have I,” he said, moving closer, “In fact, I might have made up a few steps along the way.”

“An actor improvising? Shocking.” She made a little noise of mock disapproval.

“You’d be impressed with all the moves I have yet to execute on the dance floor.”

“Just on the dance floor?” Pushing away from the door, she closed the distance between them and stood so close that he couldn’t resist wrapping his arms around her. “Seems kind of limiting, don’t you think?”

“I’m quite sure I could rise to any occasion that called for improvising, especially if you were the occasion.” Nuzzling her hair, he breathed her in and leaned back. “Honeysuckle?” At her nod, he lifted a bright red curl and brought it to his nose for a moment before letting it slip through his fingers, immediately jealous of the strand as it caressed a bare shoulder. “Do you taste as sweet as you smell?”

Chapter Two

Zoe Ambrose’s heart pounded in her chest as his head bent, his lips parted as he neared. This was what she’d been longing to experience again: Ian Romanov’s kiss. Ian Romanov, golden-haired and blue-eyed. Hollywood’s latest British import and newest bad boy. She felt like screaming in excitement, but not because of those facts—although his accent didn’t hurt things.

Even if he thought he was kissing some woman named Amber. But it couldn’t be helped. Pretending to be Amber gave her courage to speak to him, to ask him to dance. To seduce him.

His lips met hers, slowly and so sweetly that she curled her fingers into the lapels of his jacket. Under the lightest of pressures her mouth opened, his tongue coasting over her bottom lip before dipping inside to explore. God. He tasted so good, so decadent and so perfect that she sucked his tongue to have more of him.

Growling low in his throat, his hands came around her shoulder, then coasted down her back and pressed her against him. He was hard, so hard for her.

Their tongues dueled, mouths sealed. He turned his head, making her whimper in protest as his lips traveled down to her throat. His teeth nipped at her collarbone, then her ear.

“I want to f**k you right now,” he said, making her shiver, “Against this wall.”

She felt his hands on her dress, yanking the material up. So caught up in his wicked words and kisses that she couldn’t form coherent words. Grabbing his hand, she tried to help him, but he froze.

“Shall I stop?” His voice was ragged sounding in her ear.

Exerting more force, she pulled his hands up, along with the dress. “No, I mean, don’t stop.”

“Thank God,” he said, moments before his mouth claimed hers again and the cool nighttime air hit her skin.

“Do you have a condom?” she asked as his fingers traced the top of one of her thigh highs. “I’m on the pill, but we don’t know each other that well.”

Smiling against her cheek, he said, “I have several and I plan on using every one of them tonight.”

Her knees went weak, like sugar dissolving in hot tea. “You do?”

“It will be a very long,”—he licked the top of one breast, then the other,—“night for us. Perhaps this night won’t end.” He dropped to his knees and ordered her to hold up the material of her dress. “Christ.” His fingers traced the hair free mound, then parted her. “All of this is for me.” His breath was hot on her tender flesh and her face flamed. “I’m going to eat you, lick you and savor every drop.”

Then he put his mouth on her, tongue sliding inside where she was already wet and wanting. His fingers joined in, two of them pushing inside of her with an insistence that made her weak. Her body tightened upon itself, all of her attention on his mouth and tongue as he tasted her. Unsure of where to put her hands, she slid them down her stomach to trace the edge of his mask, then touch his face. The rough stubble of his five o’clock shadow tickled her fingertips.

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