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Authors: Janelle Denison

Wilde for Him

BOOK: Wilde for Him
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Wild for Him

By

Janelle Denison

 

Ex-marine and security agent Ben Cabrera isn't about to complain about his latest assignment protecting the daughter of a gubernatorial candidate. After all, spending 24/7 with Christy Delacroix isn't exactly a chore. But it turns out that Christy's seduction tactics are top-notch - and soon it's impossible to keep things strictly professional.

 

Praise for Janelle Denison's "hot [and] sexy"* Wilde novels

 

"Perfect ten—Wilde Thing is filled to bursting with scorching sensuality, red-hot and graphic sex scenes, and sexual tension that is off the charts… A perfect blending of sensuality, romance, and mystery."

—Romance Review Today

 

"Ms. Denison has the unbeatable ability to write a love story that is so erotic, so captivating, you just can't put down the book until you've read it in one sitting. Kudos to Ms. Denison for her fantastic, hot, steamy, love stories and the heroes that leave you wishing you had one just like him!"

—A Romance Review

 

"Wilde Thing is nothing less than divine. Fast-paced action, realistic dialogue, and unbelievably sexy situations all blend together for a definite keeper."

—Escape to Romance

 

"Janelle Denison has done it again! The Wilde Side is a hot, sexy read that will keep you thinking about the characters long after the last page is read. Ms. Denison weaves a tale so intense that you can't help but get caught up in the character's world. This reviewer is anxiously awaiting the other stories of the Wilde family."

—Fallen Angel Review

 

"The Wilde Side is everything you've come to expect from Ms. Denison. Scott is sinfully sexy, and readers will find him as irresistible as Ashley does. Fans of Janelle Denison will not only love The Wilde Side, but they will be anxious to read the next installment of the sexy Wilde family."

—The Best Review

 

"Hotter than hot."

—All About Romance

 

"This is a Wilde and delicious book! It will make you Wilde with desire… Get ready for a hot and bumpy ride into exquisite passion and desire."

—Reader to Reader

 

"Ms. Denison knows how to make a story more than a romance. She makes it sensual, electric, and with a plot that keeps readers turning the pages. With a talent such as this, readers will agree that she'll be around for a long time to come!"

—The Road to Romance

 

"Denison gives us another sensuous tale about the Wilde brothers that borders on erotic. Her men are sexy, charming, and gorgeous, and her heroines are strong yet vulnerable women who can hold their own with a Wilde man. Wilde Thing teases, entices, and seduces readers!"

—The Word on Romance

 

"Janelle Denison is a master at creating the perfect bad boy… Passion sizzles with each and every erotic encounter, and there are plenty of erotic scenes guaranteed to heat the room."

—The Romance Readers Connection

 

Titles by Janelle Denison

 

TOO WILDE TO TAME

BORN TO BE WILDE

WILD FOR HIM

 

Anthologies

MEN AT WORK

(with Nina Bangs and Mary Janice Davidson)

 

SURF'S UP

(with Nina Bangs and MaryJanice Davidson)

 

THE BERKLEY PUBLISHING GROUP

Published by the Penguin Group

Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

375 Hudson Street, New York. New York 10014. USA

Penguin Group (Canada). 90 Eglinton Avenue East. Suite 700. Toronto. Ontario M4P 2Y3. Canada

(a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.)

Penguin Books Ltd.. 80 Strand. London WC2R 0RL, England

Penguin Group Ireland. 25 St. Stephen's Green. Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd.)

Penguin Group (Australia). 250 Camberwell Road. Camberwell. Victoria 3124, Australia

(a division of Pearson Australia Group Ply. Ltd.)

Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd.. 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park. New Delhi—110017, India

Penguin Group (NZ). 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale. North Shore 0632. New Zealand

(a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd..)

Penguin Books (South Africa) (Ply.) Ltd.. 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank. Johannesburg 2196,

South Africa

 

Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices: 80 Strand. London WC2R 0RL. England

 

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.

 

WILD FOR HIM

 

A Berkley Sensation Book / published by arrangement with the author

 

PRINTING HISTORY

Berkley Sensation mass-market edition / June 2008

 

Copyright © 2008 by Janelle Denison.

Excerpt from Sea Witch copyright © 2008 by Virginia Kantra.

Cover design by George Long.

Interior text design by Stacy Irwin.

 

ISBN: 978-0-425-22197-6

BERKLEY® SENSATION

Berkley Sensation Books are published by The Berkley Publishing Group.

a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc..

375 Hudson Street. New York. New York 10014.

BERKLEY SENSATION and the "B" design are trademarks of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

 

PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATUS OF AMERICA

 

Chapter One

 

WITH a slight frown, Ben Cabrera glanced down at the formal place setting arranged in front of him, silently contemplating the array of forks, spoons, and knives laid out for him to use. Even for a casual lunch meeting for three, the large, long dining table had been lavishly decorated with painstaking perfection, with a white lace-edged tablecloth, three extravagant bouquets of fresh flowers, and unlit tapered candles in two matching silver candelabras flanking each end of the table. Then there was the expensive, gold-rimmed china he was supposed to eat off of, the cloth napkins that had been folded into a fancy, intricate design, and the delicate crystal glasses with stems that looked so fragile he was certain he'd snap them in two with his fingers if he wasn't careful.

The thought nearly made him wince. As an ex-Marine who'd fought in the Iraq War, he was more used to rowdy mess halls and MRE field rations. After his last tour of duty had ended and he'd returned to the States, he'd settled into a bachelor existence, preferring take-out or prepackaged food and paper plates that didn't require a whole lot of thought or cleanup. As a security agent, he'd honestly never been in a situation where his dining etiquette was called into question.

Until today.

Feeling way out of his element, Ben hoped like hell that he made it through the meal without making too much of a fool of himself in front of gubernatorial hopeful Nathan Delacroix and his daughter, Christine, when she arrived for the impromptu lunch. Maybe he could just watch to see what piece of silverware Christine used before picking up his own so he didn't make any high-society faux pas that pegged him for the simple, small-town guy he really was, and always would be.

"Don't let the elaborate place setting make you nervous," Nathan said, a bit of easygoing humor lacing his voice. "My wife insists that the table be formally set at all times, no matter the time of day or occasion."

Ben glanced at the other man, who was sitting beside him at the head of the grand table. For someone in his late fifties, Nathan was still an extremely good-looking man, the kind that voters were drawn to, with his sandy blond hair, dark, intelligent green eyes, and a distinguished appearance one would associate with a politician. Even on a Sunday afternoon, he was impeccably dressed in a collared polo shirt and pleated trousers.

"Was I that obvious, sir?"

With a grin tugging at the corners of his mouth, Nathan shrugged in answer. "I'm used to my wife's idiosyncrasies, but I know others find all the formality and decorum a bit… overwhelming."

To say the least. There was just enough wryness in the other man's tone to let Ben know that he was also referring to the ostentatious elegance encompassing the entire house. The stately home located just out of the city limits of Chicago had been decorated in a way that was dramatically elegant and smacked of affluence and wealth, with expensive pieces of furniture; rare, collectible art and antiques; marble flooring; and imported rugs throughout the downstairs area.

Truly, there was nothing warm, welcoming, or inviting about the inside decor of the house, but having been in the same room with Audrey Delacroix more than a few times over the past year, Ben had to admit that everything about the furnishings was just like the woman herself—refined and polished, but also very cool and aloof. Quite the opposite of her husband, Nathan, who was warm, friendly, and an all-around nice guy.

Good thing she wasn't the one running for office, Ben thought dryly.

Then there was their only child and daughter, Christine, who'd luckily inherited her father's amicable disposition. Despite her rich and privileged upbringing, she was far from being spoiled or snobbish, and was nothing at all like her mother in terms of Audrey's standoffish personality and the aura of entitlement the other woman exuded.

"Christine should be here any minute." Nathan cast a quick look at his Rolex. "I sent a car to pick her up so she wouldn't be on the road alone, and my driver is pretty good about being on time."

"That's fine." Ben certainly wasn't going anywhere anytime soon. At least not until this current assignment of his was set up and put into action, all of which required Christine's presence and cooperation.

At Nathan's unexpected and insistent phone call earlier that morning requesting Ben's security services, he'd hurried out and arrived at the Delacroix home nearly an hour ago, more than a little curious as to what the other man needed him for so urgently. Ben was a partner of ESS, Elite Security Specialists, and Nathan Delacroix had become one of Ben's high-profile clients over the past year. The other man called on Ben whenever he needed extra security for campaign events, public speeches, or other political situations. And with the race for governor only three weeks away and things heating up for a big finale, Ben could only assume that Nathan was in need of extra security and backup for the duration of the campaign.

But instead of the simple, routine security detail he'd expected, Nathan had thrown him an unexpected curve by informing him that as of that morning, he was being hired to provide his daughter with around-the-clock protection. Nathan had gone on to tell him that he'd received an anonymous threat against himself that also put Christine's safety in jeopardy. The note that had arrived in an unmarked envelope instructed Nathan to drop out of the election, or risk losing what was most precious to him. And there was nothing, and no one, that Nathan adored more than his daughter. Ben had seen that for himself over the past year.

And now, Nathan was trusting Ben to keep Christine safe and out of any potential danger.

Earlier, Nathan had handed Ben a dossier on his daughter, which gave him important information on Christine—her newly formed business and job as an event planner, where she lived, and details about her recent past and breakup with her ex-fiancé, Jason Forrester, seven months ago. Including the fact that Christine had to have a restraining order issued against the man due to continual harassments and threats.

The elder Delacroix had no idea if her ex was behind the current blackmail attempt, but considering Jason had worked directly for Nathan as a political consultant before being fired and blacklisted in the political arena for his blatant indiscretions, along with the discovery that Jason had been embezzling money from the campaign contributions, Christine's ex had every reason to want to sabotage Nathan's campaign for governor. Delacroix had assured Ben that Jason would have no qualms about using Christine for leverage to ruin him, since Nathan had been the one who'd been responsible for sending Jason, and his shot at a political career, on a downward spiral.

At least that's how Jason had seen things. According to Nathan, the other man should have been far more considerate and faithful to Christine, as well as keeping his hands out of the campaign funds.

Thinking back on the security details they'd discussed back in Nathan's study earlier, there was something Ben had meant to ask the other man, but had been sidetracked by other more imperative issues. "Sir, is your daughter aware of the fact that you've hired me as her bodyguard, twenty-four/seven, until the election is over?"

"No, not yet. Which is why I've invited her to join us for lunch today, so I can break it to her gently." The older man laughed. Clearly he understood there would be nothing easy or gentle about informing his daughter she'd have a shadow for the foreseeable future.

BOOK: Wilde for Him
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