Convenient Cinderella Bride. Joss Wood

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Название Convenient Cinderella Bride
Автор произведения Joss Wood
Жанр Современные любовные романы
Издательство Современные любовные романы
Год выпуска 0
isbn 9781474061384

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or not, his was the world she wanted to be in. The one she’d been destined for. The one that still beckoned to her. But, at twenty-eight years old, she was still working here and the closest she’d come to the world of finance was to show billionaire businessmen like Jonas Halstead to his table.

      God. How sad.


      Kat’s head snapped up and she silently cursed when she realized Jonas was standing in front of her, impeccably dressed in a black designer suit worn over a rain-gray, open-necked shirt. Her eyes traveled up, across a broad chest and wide shoulders, along a tanned neck, to a strong jaw covered with two-day-old stubble and a mouth that was slow to smile but still sexy. He had a long, straight nose and deep green eyes under strong brows. Rich, successful and hot.

      He had the reputation for being a bit of a bastard, in business and in bed. That fact only dropped his sexy factor by a quarter of a percent.

      “Mr. Halstead, welcome back to El Acantilado,” Kat murmured, ignoring her jumping heart and squirrelly stomach. Yeah, he was built and so damn handsome, but geez, she wasn’t a twenty-two-year-old waitress anymore.

      “Call me Jonas.”

      It wasn’t the first time he’d made the offer, but Kat had no intention of accepting. It wasn’t professional to call him by his first name, and not doing so kept a very healthy distance between her and the Jonas Halsteads of the world. Like her ex-husband and like her father, rich guys in fancy suits were not to be trusted.

      Then again, what man could be?

      But it really annoyed Kat that Jonas did funny things to her stomach and made her heart jump.

      Fast, furious sexual attraction had led to her falling in love with and marrying Wes, and since he’d ended up using her heart as a Ping-Pong ball, she didn’t trust her pheromones’ ability to pick men wisely.

      But every time she saw Jonas, her libido loudly reminded her that she hadn’t had sex in a very long time. Jonas Halstead would be damn good at sex. He’d had, it was said, a lot of practice.

      But tonight he was here alone. “Is your guest not joining you tonight?”

      Jonas placed his hands in the pockets of his suit pants. “Rowan will be joining me shortly.”

      Kat widened her eyes in surprise. He was dating Rowan Greenly? The actress had just separated from her very volatile husband after a domestic abuse charge, and the hot-tempered rock star had threatened to kill anyone who made a move on his wife.

      “You’re brave. I suggest you wear a bulletproof vest,” Kat couldn’t help murmuring, even though she knew she was being indiscreet. “Rock likes his guns.”

      Jonas frowned, confused. Then his austere face softened as he released a low chuckle.

      A thousand sparks danced on her skin as his smile turned his face from remote-but-still-hot to oh-my-God-I-want-to-rip-his-clothes-off. Kat placed her fist under her sternum and resisted the urge to scrunch her eyes shut.

      No. God, no. She couldn’t have the screaming hots for Jonas Halstead. She’d married, and divorced, a ruthless and merciless man. A competitive and cutthroat billionaire should be the last person to interest her. She was avoiding the male species in general, and the hot and sexy ones in particular.

      Jonas was not her type.

      The front door to the restaurant pulled open and all six feet and five inches of the best basketball talent in the country stepped into the restaurant. Rowan Brady. God, of course it was.

      Kat glanced at Jonas, who lifted one dark eyebrow. “My date.”

      Rowan joined them, clasping Jonas’s shoulder as he did. “Joe, we’ve known each other since we were kids and I keep telling you you’re not my type.”

      Kat heard the teasing note in Rowan’s deep voice and blushed as his dark eyes settled on her face. “And I’m curious as to why you’d want this gorgeous creature to think that I am.”

      Jonas slid Rowan a droll look. “Katrina thought I was meeting Rowan Greenly.”

      Rowan shuddered. “You have more sense than that. She’s hot but her husband is psycho.”

      Jonas pulled his hands from his pockets and placed his forearms on her counter, the fabric of his suit bunching around impressive biceps. Kat lifted an eyebrow of her own, annoyed that she could easily imagine pushing that jacket off his shoulders and down his arms, ripping that shirt apart to find out whether his skin was as hot as she imagined.

      She swallowed a moan. It was time to do her job. “Let me take you to your table, Mr. Halstead.”

      “Since you felt comfortable enough to make assumptions about my love life, you should be comfortable enough to call me Jonas. Or Joe.”

      Kat walked around the podium and gestured to the already full dining room. She deliberately ignored his provoking statement and his friend’s amused expression. “I’ve placed you by the window. It has the most wonderful view of the beach below. This way, gentlemen.” Kat started the familiar walk into the restaurant, forcing her expression into one of calm serenity.

      Please don’t look at my ass, Kat thought as Jonas fell into step behind her. Or, if you do, please like it.

      For God’s sake, Katrina! What is wrong with you?

      “You have a—”

      Thankful they were at his table, Kat turned and waited for his cocky comment.

      But Jonas said nothing. He just moved to stand behind her, his height and width dwarfing her. He lifted his hand to her neck and Kat felt the tips of his fingers graze her skin. He barely made contact but suddenly her feet were glued to the floor and every cell in her body was set to vibrate. If he kissed her she’d spontaneously combust. She was sure of it.

      Jonas twisted his hand and quickly snapped off the tag to her dress and held it up. “You obviously forgot to take it off. Here you go.”

      Kat’s eyes bounced between the tag in his hand and his eyes, horror smothering the burning attraction she felt for the man.

      Oh, crap, oh, crap, oh, crap. He’d ripped the tag when he pulled it off and she wouldn’t be able to reattach it.

      Oh, God, Tess had made it very clear that the bar code had to remain intact, that it could not be reproduced. Kat wouldn’t be able to return the dress.

      Her stomach climbed up her throat and lodged behind her tonsils. She was quite certain the air in the room was fast disappearing.

      “Are you okay?” Jonas asked from a place far away. “Katrina?”

      His voice pulled her back from the abyss, just a foot or so, enough for her to get some air into her lungs and oxygen to her brain.

      You can’t faint. You can’t yell at him. You can’t even react.

      You need this damn job.

      But she couldn’t speak. She was unable to command her tongue to form even the smallest response. Intellectually she knew he thought he’d been doing her a favor, but his assumption had just piled another suitcase of stress onto the load she was already struggling to carry. Was this the straw that would break her back?

      Kat suspected it might be. She snatched the tag from Jonas’s hand and spun on her heel, praying she made it to the staff restroom without throwing up.

      She now owed more than a thousand dollars on a dress she couldn’t afford and it was Jonas Halstead’s fault.

      God, sexy man or not, if he had been eating with Rowan Greenly, Kat would have called Rowan’s psycho husband and told him where to find Jonas.

      And she would have suggested he bring his biggest gun.