Sweetest Seduction

A steamy contemporary romance

This contemporary romance was on the edge of steamy vs erotic when it was first published a dozen years ago. It’s really a sweet romance at heart, but with explicit language. And some toys. So…enjoy.


Sweetest Seduction Cover - contemporary romance

Sweetest Seduction
Contemporary Steamy Romance
20k words (Novella)
Release Date – February 10, 2012; 2nd Edition – January 3, 2017



  • This novella is not available in print at this time


Val’s been Keith’s accountant for nearly a year. She dreams about his body pressed into hers, but there’s no need to let him in on that fact. The hunky photographer spends his days with beautiful models, there’s absolutely no way she’s going to compete with that. Even if he has been throwing hints her way. She’s satisfied with her vibrator and her daydreams of her favorite client. Mostly.

Keith is fed up with trying to sweet-talk his accountant into going out with him. It’s Valentine’s Day, and knowing Val, she doesn’t have any plans beyond putting in a full day’s work. No more asking nicely, he’s just going to plan the day his way and pull her along until she gets with the program. He’s sure once she sees he can give her a proper date she’ll see that he might just be the man for her. And a proper date includes lots of touching. And exploring. And toys of a battery-operated nature.



“Happy V-Day, sweetheart!”

“Hi, Mom.” Valerie rolled over in bed, eyes closed, holding the phone to her ear. Every year her mother called her on her birthday at the crack of dawn, otherwise known as seven-thirty, to remind her that she’d been born.

“I went to church this morning and lit a candle for you.”

“Great, Mom, thanks.” Sally Patrelli had been lighting candles for her daughter for many years and for many reasons. Val was pretty sure that today’s candle would involve her having reached such an advanced age without securing a husband.

“What are you doing special today?” her mother asked.


This prompted a sigh. Sally was a master at mother’s sighs. “Yes, dear, but what are you doing after? It is Valentine’s Day, you know, and a Friday too. What could be better?”

As if she could ever forget. As if her mother had ever let her forget once, in twenty- eight years.

“No plans, Mom. Maybe something will come up later in the day.”

“Val, you’ve got to work to get what you want. You can’t just sit back and expect it to come to you.”

An image of what Val wanted popped into her head. Long, muscular legs clad in faded blue jeans that hugged a tight ass. Bare, muscled chest with a small peppering of hair, framed by well-defined arms that led to wide shoulders. And on those shoulders. Oh man, oh man. Light-brown hair, hazel-green eyes with flecks of gold and the most kissable lips…

“Val? Honey, did you fall back asleep? Shouldn’t you be up by now?” Her mother’s voice broke into her daydreams. Well, they weren’t really daydreams if he was real, were they? Sweet memories of the last time she’d seen Keith Robinson had her licking her lips until the interruption snapped her back to reality.

“Yeah, Mom, I need to be getting up. I’ll see you Sunday, for dinner.”

“All right, sweetheart. You know I just want you to be happy. You deserve to be with someone who knows how special you are. I love you, happy birthday.”

“I know, Mom. Thanks, I love you too.”

Hanging up, she considered whether it was too late to get back to sleep. She wasn’t a morning person, never had been. Finding a job that allowed her to work from home with flexible hours had been an ambition, not an accident. She never minded putting the hours in as long as she got to choose when and where. Being an accountant contracted with four small, local companies worked perfectly for her.

Damn, she was too awake now to go back to sleep. The romance she was reading sat next to the phone but she wasn’t interested in a paperback hero right now. Thoughts of Keith always left her hot and bothered so she tried not to think about her sexiest client too often. Thinking led to dreams of what-if, which was a road she didn’t need to travel. The man was a fashion photographer. He spent hours each day studying the most beautiful women in the world, so when she met with him she had to remind herself constantly that his friendly flirtations were meaningless.

He was a good guy, she knew he didn’t mean to hurt her, but the nicer he was to her the worse she felt. It hadn’t been so bad when he’d first hired her to keep his accounts. Polite and professional, he’d given her no reason not to take him on as a client. But she never felt as inadequate and lonely as she did when she left his presence. He was so attentive, so vibrant, that when she was with him she felt beautiful and funny. Once she left though, she came crashing down with the reminder that he was just a nice guy who didn’t understand that interacting with him was the closest she got to a relationship.

God, she was so pathetic! Instead of picking up the book, she dragged herself out of bed and headed for a shower. It was the one thing she demanded of herself in order to work from home, besides putting in the forty hours a week. She had to take a shower before she was allowed her first cup of coffee. And since she couldn’t function without that first cup of coffee, it was her way of ensuring she didn’t spend all day, every day in her pajamas.

She pulled off her shower cap and scrunched in some product, then wrapped her still-damp body in her comfiest robe before going to the automatic coffee machine in the kitchen and pouring that first blissful cup. A healthy dose of creamer later, she took a deep inhale that had her closing her eyes to enjoy the fabulous aroma before she took a sip. Welcome to twenty-eight, she thought ruefully. Then she ordered herself back into the bedroom to get dressed and face the day.

* * *

Keith took a deep breath and picked up the phone. His patience was at an end and he wasn’t waiting any longer. It was time to take action. His beautiful accountant had been ignoring his flirtations for long enough. If she’d told him she had a boyfriend or even just didn’t like him that way, he would have moved on, been satisfied being friends with her. Maybe. Well, okay, maybe not, but it didn’t matter, because she didn’t have a boyfriend and no matter how much she pretended they were just friends, he knew she was interested in him.

They had an easy rapport most of the time. Especially when she forgot herself and relaxed. It was so frustrating. She would be coasting along, enjoying his company, and suddenly snap to some realization that put her on edge and nervous again. And she would run from him. Again. Drove him crazy.

He’d tried getting to know her better as friends, but she seemed determined to keep everything work related. He’d asked her out but she’d practically run from him. No more. If he had to watch her one more day without being able to touch that gorgeous skin he was going to lose his mind. He’d spent too many hours trying to decide exactly what color her skin was. He figured her Italian last name explained the olive tint to the soft brown, but he’d never asked. Because he didn’t care. He just wanted to touch. And taste.

He dialed the number he knew by heart, shaking his head in disgust at himself. How many times had he dragged her here unnecessarily so that he could see her? Well, he was going to do it one more time and if she escaped him again, he was giving up.

The phone rang and she answered with a voice still a little rough from sleep. He suppressed a groan at the picture of her getting out of bed. A well-tossed bed from all the activity he wanted to indulge in with her, her long black curls framing her pixie face. Full lips that never failed to inspire him to… Concentrate, damn it, he needed to concentrate.

“Val, it’s Keith. I hate to bother you but is there any way you can come over here this morning?” He intentionally left out any mention of her helping him in a work- related capacity. If she wanted to assume that based on similar calls he’d made, well…that’s why assumptions could get you into trouble.

She cleared her throat. “Today? Well, yeah, I guess I could do that.”

“About eleven, if it’s convenient. Please?” He wasn’t opposed to a little bit of begging to get what he wanted.

“Sure, all right. I’ll be there.”

“Thanks, Val, you’re the best.” He hung up before his eagerness betrayed him. He had a few preparations to make.

* * *

Val prided herself on promptness, especially when meeting clients, but since Keith’s appointment was so last minute, she’d let herself dawdle a bit. It wasn’t that she didn’t want to see him, she always liked seeing him. Liked looking at him and talking to him, until she remembered that flirting was just his nature and he didn’t see her as anything special.

Still, it was barely more than five minutes past the hour when she arrived on his doorstep. She’d worn jeans, as she usually did, and if she wore the new top that she thought fit her especially well, it was only because it was her birthday and she deserved to feel cute, not because she wanted to look good for a certain client. Right? Right.

Keith opened the door holding a long-stemmed red rose, which seemed odd. He’d worked on a Valentine’s Day shoot a few months ago for the February issue of a popular magazine, so she couldn’t imagine what he might be working on today that required roses. His tight black jeans hugged him perfectly and his button-down shirt was hanging open, giving her a peek at the chest she’d frequently imagined kissing all over, using her tongue to trace the contours of muscle…

Damn, she was doing it again. It wasn’t as if he was the only attractive man she knew, just the only one she couldn’t seem to be around without her brain shorting out. He held the rose out and she stared at it.

“Happy Valentine’s Day, Valerie.”

She blinked at him and he took a step closer to nudge the flower under her nose. Her hand came up automatically to wrap around the de-thorned stem.

“Th-thank you.”

“You’re welcome.” He gave her a big smile and stepped back, inviting her inside. She started the mantra she’d repeated to herself a hundred times in his presence. He’s just a nice guy who really likes women. All women. That does not mean he loves all women, just that he likes to make them feel special.

Her thoughts were interrupted when she realized he was putting on shoes. Since he rarely wore them in his house, he had to be on his way out the door. What could he need help with that quickly that she couldn’t have accomplished over the phone? She ignored a pang of sadness and glanced over at his desk to see what he was working on.

“You look beautiful. I like the top.” His warm-honey voice made it hard to remember that he was just a client.

“Thanks.” She clutched the rose, feeling like an idiot.

She managed not to sigh as he stood and began to button his shirt, covering himself. He was watching her, studying her with an intensity that made her nervous. He seemed…oddly different today, but she couldn’t put her finger on why. Once his shirt was buttoned most of the way, he ran his hands through his hair, messing it up more than combing it, but she didn’t tell him that. It was sexy this way, tousled as though he’d just gotten out of bed. After rolling around in it. For hours. Her thighs clenched.

His lips twitched and she narrowed her eyes at him. What was he up to?

“Come on,” he said, grabbing his keys and heading toward the door while she stood in place, holding the rose.

“I thought you needed my help,” she said.

“Nope, just your company.” He came over and put his hand on the small of her back, not pushing but urging her forward just the same.

“Uh.” Getting her brain to work when he was touching her was always difficult and this time was no exception. What is he talking about? What does he want? She needed the security of their business relationship to keep from making a total fool of herself. Which was why she’d turned him down the couple of times he’d asked her to join him socially. For him, it would be fun to go see a movie with a friend. For her, it would be torture.

“Keith…” she began but he already had her out the door and was turning around to lock up. “I have work to do.”

“I can almost guarantee you have nothing that absolutely has to be done today. You don’t work that way. Right?” He turned, his face determined and a little bit anxious. What the hell is going on?

“Well, no, but—”

“No buts,” he interrupted, reaching down to grab her hand and pull her to his car.

The warm contact shorted her brain again. She couldn’t think of what she should be telling him, could only debate between yanking her hand away in desperation or reveling in the connection her body wanted so badly.

They reached the car before she could make a decision either way. He opened the passenger door and turned to her, and this time she could see the expectant hope in his face. “Come on, Val, take some time off, come with me. It will be fun, I promise. Please?”

How in the world was she supposed to say no to that? She got into the car, letting him close the door behind her. She would go with him, try to enjoy herself and not get too caught up in wishing that there could be more between them. She’d take this opportunity to see if they could be real friends rather than just business associates. If she could give herself that much of him or if she would find out, once and for all, that she needed to put distance between them in order to save her heart.