“We could get married.”
If Violet had nailed him with a cattle prod, JT couldn’t have been more stunned.”Married?”
“In name only, of course.” She offered him a cheeky grin.”There’s nothing in my uncle’s will that prevents me from marrying the shares away.”
“Since he knew we’d never get married, it probably never crossed his mind.”
She cocked her head and regarded him solemnly.”And how did he know something like that?”
“I told him I had no intention of starting anything up with you. It was an easy promise to make. You really aren’t my type.”
She stared at him for several seconds. But then her hand stole across his leg, midthigh, and lingered.
“You aren’t my type either.” But her husky tone and the come-get-me-big-boy look in her eyes said the exact opposite.”So that should make an in-name-only marriage between us a snap.”
* * *
A Merger by Marriage is part of the Las Vegas Nights trilogy: Where love is the biggest gamble of all!
CAT SCHIELD has been reading and writing romance since high school. Although she graduated from college with a BA in business, her idea of a perfect career was writing books for Mills & Boon. And now, after winning the Romance Writers of America 2010 Golden Heart Award for series contemporary romance, that dream has come true. Cat lives in Minnesota with her daughter, Emily, and their Burmese cat. When she’s not writing sexy, romantic stories for Mills & Boon® Desire™, she can be found sailing with friends on the St Croix River, or in more exotic locales like the Caribbean and Europe. She loves to hear from readers. Find her at www.catschield.com. Follow her on Twitter, @catschield.
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For Kevan Lyon, my fabulous agent.
With his arm stretched across the back of the black leather couch, JT Stone sipped one of Rick’s signature cocktails and brooded over a woman.
Tonight Violet Fontaine wore a black, skin-tight mini with long sleeves and a neckline that concealed her delicate collarbones. Despite the snug fit, the dress looked modest when viewed from the front. But the back of the dress. Oh, the back. A wide V bared an expanse of golden skin, crisscrossed by spaghetti thin straps from her nape to the indent of her waist. As he suspected the design intended, his gaze was drawn to the curve of her tight, round backside.
His fingers twitched as he imagined holding those luscious curves in his hands. Before he’d met Violet six years ago he’d been a diehard breast and thigh man. These days he was on a mission to find a butt better than hers. To date he hadn’t found one. Good thing she had no idea what she did to him or he might lose something more irreplaceable than his favorite bartender.
The resident mixologist of Fontaine Chic’s lobby bar Baccarat, Rick was a genius when it came to creating unique cocktails. Tonight JT was having Rick’s version of a dirty martini in the lounge. His excuse for showing up six nights a week was that he was wooing Rick back to Titanium where he belonged.
JT finished the last of his drink. Who was he kidding? In the year since Rick had switched employers, JT was here most nights because Violet swung through on her rounds at exactly eleven-fifteen and lingered to chat with the clientele. As the proprietor of the Fontaine Chic, she was very hands-on.
“Another drink, JT?” The waitress cocked her head and smiled warmly at him.
“Sure.” Why not? He nodded toward Violet. “And whatever she’s drinking.”
Charlene followed his gaze. “You know she doesn’t drink when she’s working.”
“Maybe tonight she’ll make an exception for me.”
“Maybe.” But Charlene’s tone said something completely different.
“Would you send her over?”
The nightly ritual made the waitress’s lips curve in wry humor. “Sure.”
Violet herself brought his drink over, setting it before him with practiced ease. “Rick said this is what you’re drinking tonight.”
“Will you join me?”
When she shook her head, the diamond drops dangling from her earlobes swayed seductively. “I’m working.”
“And I’m your best customer.”
“You’re a fan of Rick’s, not Fontaine Chic.”
“I’m a fan of you,” he murmured and her eyes widened briefly as if startled by his admission. Was it possible she was oblivious to his interest? Not one of the waitresses thought he came here every night just to drink.
It did no good to remind himself that he liked his women curvy, blonde and agreeable. That with her long lean frame inherited from her showgirl mother and her