Penthouse Player by Tara Leigh – Spotlight


Long and Short Reviews welcomes Tara Leigh as she is celebrating the release of her newest book Penthouse Player.

Abandoned by her mother and spurned by her father, Reina St. James is tired of being treated like a dirty little secret. It wasn’t easy making her way into the high-risk, high-reward Wall Street world ruled by financial kings and trust fund tyrants. But now that she’s got a stiletto-clad toe into one of the swankiest firms in Manhattan, Reina is determined to prove she’s more than just a pretty face hiding an ugly past.

For Tristan Xavier Bettencourt IV, escaping the shadow cast by generations of family fortune has been difficult, and success hasn’t come without sacrifice. Tristan has always put business before pleasure… Until Reina’s curved lips prove an invitation he can’t resist.

Walking away from their explosive night together won’t be easy, even if the heat between them might consume both of their careers. Will Reina and Tristan risk everything by betting on each other?

Enjoy an Excerpt

Reina

“Do you speed walk in the office for exercise, or is this your normal clip?”

Tristan ushered me inside and closed the door, spinning me around and backing me up against it. “I was feeling impatient,” he growled.

My breath left my lungs in a whoosh, and I felt weightless. “Did you see the tweet last night?” I squeaked. “We can’t afford to do this.”

“Yeah, I saw it, and it was deliberately vague. But this, what’s between us, is damned impossible to ignore.”

His breath fanned my ear, sending a shiver through my entire body. I looked up at his face, his blue eyes as deep and rich as the midnight sky. Mistake. Big mistake. Tristan’s eyes should come with a warning sign. Hazardous. Will cause extreme heat. My lungs felt scorched, but I breathed deep anyway. “Tristan, I—”

“I know. We shouldn’t be doing this.” His expression said the exact opposite.

Barely two inches separated us, and if I was being honest with myself, that was the only thing that felt wrong about the situation. I wanted to feel the length of his body against mine, go skin to skin with the solid bulk of his muscles. I wanted him to crush my face to his own, kiss me until I couldn’t breathe. A slow burn ignited deep in my stomach and I felt an irresistible urge to have him inside of me. Now. My eyes pleaded with his, but what I was begging for . . . I didn’t even know anymore.

He gave a slow nod. “You’re right,” and stepped back. I nearly cried out from his absence, sagging slightly, although somehow I remained upright. “This isn’t how I want to have you.”

I blinked. Have me? “It’s not?” I should have been relieved. Tristan could have me all he wanted, but in a professional way. I could compile research, populate spreadsheets, organize presentations. I was willing—no, eager—to work hard and make personal sacrifices for the sake of my career. A career that would never get off the ground if anyone knew I was standing in the supply room closet with my boss, the door closed, oozing with disappointment that he wasn’t trying to get inside my skirt. I was a lot of things, but relieved wasn’t one of them.

Clearing my throat, I wrapped my fingers tightly around the doorknob. What now? “I’m glad we agree.” It was a bluff, a pathetic attempt to save face. And if it worked, I was going to need the nearest ledge..

Tristan

Fuck. Agree? What exactly was Reina agreeing to? That I would leave her alone? That I would let her walk out the door without tasting her lips once more? I’d grown up in the world of banking and big business, had already made a lot of deals, but allowing Reina to walk away from me wasn’t even on the table.

I took a step toward her, covered her hand with my own. Reina’s eyes were wide open and staring at me, the faintest hint of purple smudges beneath them. Obviously neither one of us had slept well last night. I let my gaze travel the full length of her body, from the blond hair captured in a bun at the base of her scalp, begging me to release it, to the nude heels with the red soles that should have been pointed at the ceiling as I thrust between her thighs.

When I returned to her face, Reina’s lips were parted slightly, her cheeks flushed. “You want me every bit as much as I want you,” I said, taking pleasure in stating the obvious.

Reina took her time answering, and when she did it was in a whisper. “I know.”

“If you didn’t, if this was just a one-sided thing, I’d let you walk out the door right now.”

“I know that too.”

“Are you sure? The details of our lives are pretty complicated right now.” I paused, not sure how honest I should be. Fuck it. Reina was a breath of fresh air, and I wanted her in my life. Hiding my feelings, obscuring my intentions—what was the point? “But what I feel for you isn’t complicated. It’s pretty damn simple, actually. I need you.”

Reina’s lips tilted upward at the edges, and I leaned down, pausing an inch away. I could taste her breath, spearmint with just the faintest hint of morning coffee. One second went by. Then two. And then I felt her hand curl around the back of my neck and draw me closer. Much better.

About the Author: Tara Leigh attended Washington University in St. Louis and Columbia Business School in New York, and worked on Wall Street and Main Street before “retiring” to become a wife and mother. When the people in her head became just as real as the people in her life, she decided to put their stories on paper. Tara currently lives in Fairfield County, Connecticut with her husband, children and fur-baby, Pixie. She is the author of Penthouse Player and Deal Breaker.

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