Cover of the new book "Dirty Girls Book Club"

Dirty Girls Book Club


Warning: This excerpt contains adult content. 18 and over only, please.

Excerpt from “The Dirty Girls Book Club”

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“Oh, my!”

Across the room, bottles of champagne had arrived and were being opened. The Comte, usurping the role of host, handed glasses to the colorful young ladies. “He is making free with your husband’s hospitality,” Emma commented.

“Actually, he brought the champagne with him. Cases of it.”

Margaret tsked as bright laughter rang out. “I see it will be my task to ensure that none of our innocent maids—or,” she added as two young married women headed over to join the fun, “married ladies—fall for the Comte’s charms and jeopardize their reputations.”

“Surely no one would be so foolish.” Charm was such a superficial thing.

Besides, there wasn’t the slightest chance the Comte would wield that charm on her, a drab widow.

Marielle stopped reading. “You know they’ll end up in bed. Won’t it be fun seeing how they get there, and what happens when they do?”

“I vote for this book,” Kim said promptly.

“I vote against,” Lily said. A doctor, she could put on a brisk “I have spoken” tone.

It didn’t daunt Marielle. “We went along with your last choice. I say it’s time to get dirty, girls.”

“Oh, for heaven’s sake,” Lily said. “George, back me up.”

“Let’s read it.” The words just popped out.

“Hurray! Three votes win,” Marielle said. “Thanks, George.”

“Now,” Lily said sternly, “can we please get back to discussing this month’s book, before we run out of time?”

As the blonde rattled off what sounded like a review from a literary journal, Georgia wondered at her own quick agreement with Marielle’s choice. Historical erotica? She’d never felt the slightest desire to read erotica. Yet the short passage had intrigued her. It might be fun to read something that was such a complete departure from her personal experience.

Chapter 2

Off balance—literally, since the one-inch heel of her sensible pumps had snapped off in a sewer grate five blocks away—Georgia opened the door to one of Dynamic Marketing’s conference rooms early Tuesday afternoon. She stepped inside to see a good six and a half feet of naked male back.

Back, and backside. Naked backside. Naked, extraordinarily well-muscled back. And a tight, taut, amazing butt.

Well, all right, not entirely naked. She noted a thin “T” of black fabric. What self-respecting heterosexual man wears a thong?

No, wait. Shouldn’t the question be, Why am I gaping at a near-naked man when I’ve obviously entered the wrong room? She should be retreating quietly and sliding the door shut before anyone noticed her.

She was about to do exactly that when the naked giant said, “No straight dude’s gonna wear a fucking thong. I didn’t fucking sign on for this.”

“Woody,” a much calmer male voice started, in a placating tone, “now, just—”

“Woody?” Georgia exclaimed. This was Woodrow—Woody—Hanrahan?

“George?” That was her boss, Billy Daniels’s, voice. She hadn’t even noticed he was in the room.

“George?” the naked man said.

She was dimly aware of the calm-voiced man, someone she didn’t know, joking, “Is there an echo in here?” But only dimly aware, because the giant had swung to face her.

Her eyes widened. He was leaner than she’d thought a hockey player would be, but oh, my, did he have muscles. Shoulders, arms, torso, legs. Abs.

Her gaze traveled south and fixed on the front pouch of that skimpy black thong. She had never, not in ads or movies much less real life, seen a man who filled out his underwear so impressively.

The giant crossed powerful-looking arms across his broad chest. “Who’s George?”

“I’m George.” Her voice came out breathy because, let’s face it, the sight of him had stolen her breath. She forced air into her lungs and went on. “It’s a nickname. I’m Georgia Malone.”

Holding her hand out to offer a firm handshake, she stepped forward, forgetting that her right heel was no longer there. Her ankle wobbled, her knee buckled, her briefcase slipped, and she tumbled ignominiously toward the floor—only to be caught by one large, firm hand grasping her elbow.

“You’re a woman,” he said disbelievingly.

Woody Hanrahan no doubt intended to steady her. Instead, her heart jerked and her pulse raced like she’d been zapped by an electrified fence. Or a Taser.

Except, the heat that rushed through her, the tingles that darted across her skin, the pulse that throbbed at every pulse point, felt incredibly good, in a way she’d never experienced before, yet somehow recognized. Why did she— Oh, there’d been a similar description in the passage Marielle had read yesterday.

“George, are you all right?” Her boss’s voice was sharp.

“Yes, of course.” She answered automatically, belatedly realizing she was mere inches from that six and a half feet of muscled nakedness. From that black pouch, its skimpy fabric doing its best to contain all the masculinity inside.

His package. That was one of the less crude terms people used for male genitals. A package, wrapped in black—was that silk?—and just begging to be unwrapped.

No, wait—what was she thinking? Georgia Malone, the girl who had, without a moment’s hesitation, sworn chastity vows as a teen, did not think about unwrapping men’s private parts. Not unless there was a wedding night involved, which wasn’t likely to happen anytime soon—and less likely with this guy than with any other she’d ever met.

“Should get that shoe fixed,” Woody said.

“Right.” Striving to find her balance—in all meanings of that word—she stepped away from him. “And I apologize for being late. I left my last meeting a few blocks away, and that’s when my heel snapped off.” She hated to look unprofessional. This marketing campaign, her first as account manager, was a critical step on the path to her ultimate career goal: to have enough clout to choose the campaigns she worked on, or to set up her own agency. While she loved putting all her expertise and energy behind products she believed in, a few campaigns had made her feel like a snake oil saleswoman.

She set down her briefcase. “Let’s try this again. My name is Georgia Malone, and as Mr. Hanrahan so astutely observed, I’m a woman.” She limp-walked, trying for as steady a gait as possible, toward the third man in the room. “You’d be Marco Sanducci of VitalSport?”

“Indeed. A pleasure to meet you, Ms. Malone.”

They shook hands. While her boss, Billy, was mid-thirties and metrosexual, this man was perhaps a decade older and more casual in appearance. He looked fit, vigorous, and attractive with silver-streaked black hair, tanned skin, and the right kind of wrinkles around his eyes and mouth. He wore nicely tailored pants, a sports jacket, and a blue shirt open at the neck, no doubt VitalSport designs. As a visual symbol for his company, he made a great impression. Pity he wasn’t the person the campaign would center around.

She forced herself to turn back to Woody, and finally studied his face. Yes, she saw a resemblance to the video clip Billy’d given her of an interview between the periods of a hockey game. Except, in it, Woody’s hair was stringy with sweat, his face flushed and angry, and his eyes slitted as he spat out obscenities that challenged the censor’s bleeper. As the crowning touch, a slash high on one cheek dripped blood down his face.

Now his mahogany hair was clean and glossy, his face sculpted, and his eyes the deep blue of a lake in summer. The slightly crooked nose and a scar cutting one cheekbone—from that same slash?—saved him from being a pretty boy. His hair needed styling and the overgrown beard had to go, but he could be made to look good in an ad. That was a relief.

Billy’s market research indicated that Woody was not only Canada’s favorite hockey star, but one of the country’s most recognizable athletes. Recognizable even though, unlike many players, he’d stayed out of the media limelight and he hadn’t done product endorsements. Snagging him for the VitalSport campaign was a coup.

Briefly, she wondered why Woody had signed. Hockey players made an obscene amount of money. Did he really want more? Had staying out of the limelight been a ploy to win him even bigger bucks when he finally agreed to an endorsement? She shook her head. Motivation didn’t matter. He’d signed and he was locked in.

And she was the account manager and this was supposed to be her meeting. A meeting, so what was the hockey star doing in his Skivvies?

“Gentlemen,” she said crisply, “I understood this was to be an initial discussion of the marketing campaign for VitalSport’s Canadian launch.” She raised her brows in Woody’s direction. “I assume there’s an explanation for your state of undress.”

“Not a fucking good one,” he grumbled.

Trying not to look below his neck again—the view was too distracting, and the fact that it was distracting annoyed her—she said, “Perhaps you’d like to get dressed; then we can discuss the explanation, or lack thereof.”

“First good idea I’ve heard.” He hooked his hands in the sides of the thong as if . . .

Oh my God, he was going to take it off! “Stop!” She raised both hands, almost losing her balance again.

He grinned. It was a thoroughly wicked, extremely sexy grin. “Got a problem with nudity? You wouldn’t survive in the locker room.”

She frowned. “No, I do not have a problem with nudity, in appropriate circumstances.” Like between two people who were in love. “And why on earth would I want to be in the locker room?”

He snorted. “Right. A lesbian. George. Figures.”

It wasn’t the first time her nickname and tailored style had led to that assumption. Her sexual orientation, like her gender, was irrelevant in the workplace, so she didn’t bother to correct him.

Also ignoring Woody’s comment, Marco Sanducci explained, “Journalists visit the locker room. Sports reporters. Women as well as men.”

“Oh.” Women mingled with a whole team full of men like Woody, in various states of undress? The thought struck her that her mother’d be in seventh heaven. But Georgia was nothing like Bernadette. In fact, they had a standing joke—one neither of them found very funny—that she must have been swapped at birth.

“I’ll turn around while you get dressed, Mr. Hanrahan. Let me know when you’re decent.”

She was about to turn when laughter, in three different male tones, stopped her. Fine, that hadn’t been the smartest thing to say. Her brief research had told her that “decent” wasn’t a word typically used to describe Woody. On the ice, he was a forward, captain of his team, and known not only for high scoring and being a good team player, but for collecting penalties and never backing off from a fight. Off the ice, he had the reputation of being “forward” too—in other words, he was a player in a whole other sense of the word.

Woody picked up a ratty hockey jersey with the logo of his Vancouver team, but, rather than pull it over his head, he stood there, holding it. Like he was thinking about something—and thinking was a painful process.

It dawned on her that she’d seen a lot of those chocolate-and-caramel jerseys on the streets of Vancouver recently, but she’d never paid particular attention. Now she studied the stylized logo: a little brown creature up on its back legs, with a big tail, bright eyes, and two huge front teeth.

For her first solo campaign, she had to transform a man named Woody, who was captain of a team called the Beavers.

Life just wasn’t cutting her a break.