New Year at the Boss's BiddingBy: Rachael Thomas
Moretti’s by midnight
Jilted bride Tilly Rogers hopes her luck is changing when she’s offered a prestigious catering contract for billionaire businessman Xavier Moretti’s New Year’s Eve party. But then she ends up snowbound alone with her boss...and at his bidding!
It’s the end of the year and the end of Tilly’s contract, which leaves Xavier free to seduce her at his will. Hardly shy of a challenge, this notorious playboy makes it his resolution to have virgin Tilly crumbling by his experienced touch.
Before the snow settles, Xavier is determined to have Tilly under a brand-new set of tantalizing terms!
They were snowed in. Xavier and Tilly were alone.
His body still hummed after the exchange between them that morning. A carnal need so strong had filled him as he’d looked into her vivid blue eyes. He’d had to resist the urge to crush her to his body, to feel her against him and to kiss those seductively plump lips. Never before had he felt so untamed, so in danger of losing his renowned self-control.
Now, because of the weather, he was going to be forced to spend at least the next twenty-four hours with a woman he desired more than any other, one who’d made it known she was unattainable, here to fulfil a contract, nothing more—a contract which expired at midnight.
He knew she wouldn’t be comfortable about being alone with him this evening. Not after that moment in the dining room. She was not his usual type of woman, more the forever sort, and that held him back. Forever was something he couldn’t do, which was another reason for not exploring what was between him and Tilly.
He took a deep breath, bringing all his wayward desires under control, determined to shake off his inconvenient lust and be the perfect gentleman—until midnight at least. He returned to the kitchen to break the news to the only woman in the past three years who had threatened to rouse the man he’d once been, the man he could never risk being again.
“It appears we will be here alone for New Year.”
TODAY NOTHING COULD dampen Tilly Rogers’s enthusiasm for the exciting contract she had landed. Tonight she would be catering for Xavier Moretti’s New Year’s Eve dinner party, a contract that was a much-needed boost to her new business.
The manor house he’d hired for the occasion, set on the edge of Exmoor, was proving difficult to find, but even that didn’t faze her. She was away from London and thankful that this New Year’s Eve would be very different from last year’s.
Tilly gripped the steering-wheel of her small white van a bit tighter as the light flurry of snow landing on the windscreen increased to a constant bombardment of small fluffy flakes. She must be almost at the manor by now. At the next turn in the road she was relieved to see a large set of wrought-iron gates loom ahead of her, but that relief soon faded.
The gates were firmly closed and she looked down the long drive. No sign of the manor house, but on one of the tall pillars ‘Wimble Manor’ was proudly announced. She was in the right place.
Judging by its grandeur, this must be the main entrance and from her brief conversation with the caretaker she knew that, as hired staff, she needed the back entrance. Slowly she pulled away, aware of the snow beginning to settle on the tarmac road ahead of her. Thank goodness she’d left London earlier than planned.
A little further along she saw a small gatehouse. A set of open gates nestled in the winter-bare hedgerows and she turned in, following a set of tyre tracks that were just still visible on the now white driveway. Someone else had just arrived, but it couldn’t be her staff, Katie and Jane. They weren’t due until later this afternoon, by which time she hoped it would have stopped snowing.
Cautiously she drove along the snow-covered lane, but couldn’t resist a glance around the grounds of the manor, which were turning, very quickly, into a winter wonderland. The narrow road led through a small wood, over an old stone bridge and on the other side, Tilly got the first sight of Wimble Manor.
‘Oh, my goodness,’ she said as she looked up at the imposing manor house. The snow, now blowing horizontally, gave it a mysterious air, filling her head with romantic notions of the house in its heyday. If only she had time to take a walk, but that was a luxury she couldn’t afford. Tonight’s contract was one she had to get right. As undisputed king of the motorcycle racetrack, who’d turned businessman and mentor for young riders, Xavier Moretti was her most high-profile client to date.