Conflicted (Secrets and Lies, #1) by MM Koenig (@M_M_Koenig)
Genre: New Adult Romantic Suspense
Release Date: December 19th, 2014
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions (http://bookenthusiastpromotions.com @BookEnthuPromo)
Mia Ryan was on the path to make all her dreams come true. Her life was everything she wanted it to be; until one fateful night changed everything – leaving her broken and without direction. Nearly a year later, she still has little faith in anyone or anything. Desperate to reclaim her life’s ambition, she takes an unexpected offer that promises to solve all her problems. But as Mia moves forward, she’s faced with obstacles she couldn’t have foreseen. The biggest of them lies within the mystery of Ethan Fitzgerald; a man who affects her like no other, but who she should avoid pursuing, at all costs.
On a mission himself, Ethan Fitzgerald didn’t care who he pissed off on his road to fulfill his mother’s dying wish. He relied on himself, and was closed off to the world around him – until Mia Ryan walked through his door. Normally one to avoid messy emotions, Ethan’s world is turned upside down by Mia, and he can’t seem to get enough of her.
There are lines you can cross that will
“Mr. Fitzgerald?” I asked tentatively.
The man nodded and pointed to the seat in front of him. He didn't seem like he wanted to be giving this interview and did not hide it. I scurried from the door to sit down.
“Ms. Ryan, I presume,” he said, keeping his head down.
He was definitely on the agitated side. His deep voice was terse.
“Yes, Mia Ryan. Thank you for your time today.”
When he looked up, it stunned me. His eyes ran along my body causing his expression to change somewhat. His scowl gradually transformed to a timid smile. His eyes didn't leave mine as his brows wrinkled as if he was trying to piece something together. I didn't have much brain space to think about what was going through his mind. I was too busy attempting to contain my own impure thoughts. My body reacted in ways that I'd never experienced on the first encounter with someone. It flamed to attention as I soaked him in. Heat rushed to my cheeks while my heart started hammering loudly in my chest. I had never felt anything this strong. It was potent.
Sweet Baby Jesus! He is beyond gorgeous!
He gave God-like and beautiful a whole new definition. His appearance rendered me speechless. His detailed body alone would be enough to reduce artists and photographers to sobs as they prayed to the heavens for such an attractive creature to be amongst them. His prior irritation seemed to be gone as he sat up in his chair. Every inch of his body was within my eyesight to devour. He raked his eyes over me every so often before bringing them into my direct eye line to linger with an inquisitive stare. Tingling sensations trekked in waves throughout me. It made the draw to him more intense.
The things his appearance is doing to me right now should be illegal.
“We interview the best, and your resume is flawless, so it should be me thanking you for your time today,” he replied.
His voice was commanding. My stomach tied into one large knot. I imagined what he sounded like in bed. A fiery burn coursed between my legs. I hastily crossed them.
Get it together Mia!
His black hair was amazing. It was short but not too short. It was a messy style almost like he ran his hands through it a few times without putting too much effort into it.
The longer hair spiked up in all the right ways. I couldn't stop staring at his face. His cheekbones were prominent with his ears and nose annoyingly perfect upon his sculpted face. He had to be at least six-foot-two, if not taller. His shoulders were broad but muscular. I was willing to bet if I unbuttoned his finely pressed dress shirt that a defined six-pack would be staring back at me with the delectable ‘V’ running deeper. It was like an unspoken message to run for the door now because this could only end in trouble. He had my body revved up. I had no doubt that he was the kind of guy that could teach a girl a thing or two in the bedroom.
Jesus, focus Mia!
I readjusted my eyes from the area that led to his pant line to his dark brown eyes. They begged you to keep staring at them so he could tell you all of life's secrets. He had one of those faces that made you want to promise every possession you own just to have a chance at kissing his luscious lips. They were full and led into dimples on each side when he smiled. So far, I'd gotten him to do that a few times.
This interview has to go fast without any challenging questions because I'm not sure I can even spell my own name right now.
Knowing I had to get my thoughts out of the gutter they currently wanted to hang out in, I straightened up and set my palms on his desk. It hit me that he paid me a compliment. Perhaps, I should say something in response instead of frothing at the mouth. “I'm honored for the consideration. It's a great opportunity,” I murmured.
He tapped his fingers together. “Your resume indicated you were studying journalism. I can't help but wonder why you would apply for a position with a finance company. It doesn't seem like an industry you'd have interest in if you were serious with your studies.”
I gulped. “I took my studies in journalism very seriously. However, I've come to realize that to succeed it is important to have a wide range of knowledge and expertise.
Since I had such a narrow focus, I wanted to expand into other areas.”
“Why do you think that this position is the best fit for you?” he questioned.
His eyes burned into me, completely unreadable. My stomach fluttered at the intensity exuding from him. I prayed my heartbeat would slow down a little. It was beating so loud that it sounded like someone was hammering a board right next to us.
“I believe it's an opportunity to learn about this industry. It offers possibilities to learn skills that will benefit me in any business,” I responded.
He cocked his head to the side. His long fingers went to his chiseled chin where they lingered above his mouth. My body temperature went up several more degrees as I watched his fingers trace his lips. It took everything in my power not to let my body stray to his and replace his fingers with my tongue.
God — focus Mia!
A course of heat ran through my entire body. I shook my head – Ethan was lurking around here somewhere. I peered over my shoulder and sure enough, there he was, staring at me unashamedly. My rational thoughts started to fall by the wayside as I soaked in every ounce of him. I took in his casual stance as his back rested against the wall with a leg kicked up.
He was breathtaking, and on display like a supermodel. His fitted jeans were hugging his body in all the right places. My eyes trailed up his sculpted chest. His white button-up shirt had a black pattern that weaved its way up the right side. I wondered what was underneath that intricate design. I had seen glimpses of tattoos that started at his wrists and stretched up to his elbows. My thoughts drifted past what his tattoos were and on to seeing his naked body. When Ethan sauntered closer to my desk, my pulse sped up as my stomach clenched tightly together.
Shit. I'm slipping. Why does he have to be so damn hot?
His eyes smoldered as he surveyed my body. I raised an eyebrow and the grin that curled at the edge of his lips transformed into a cocky smile. Unable to stop the rising heat, I flushed embarrassingly. I turned around, securing my purse to leave.
“I'm going to call it a day if that is OK,” I muttered, with my eyes to the floor.
If I stared at him any longer, I'd have some serious problems. I'd fallen back on track with my purpose here. It was less difficult for me to separate it. I kept the guilt at bay and remained focused on getting more information for Harrison. Nothing new presented itself, but I was at least in the mindset that made it easier for me to be here.
I'd be back to square one if I had a conversation with Ethan. There was no way in hell I was letting that happen. It was bad enough that I had no ability to prevent the blushing when it occurred, so keeping my eyes to the ground was the best idea for me.
My cheeks would not be the only body part of me on fire if I stole another peek at him.
“Yes, of course. I hope you have a great weekend.” Ethan paused for a second before asking, “Anything fun planned for the evening?”
Ethan pulled his hands out of his pockets and placed his thumbs through his belt loops. His long fingers trailed down his thighs. My mouth went dry. I blinked to stop myself from mentally undressing him. I chastised myself for making the mistake of looking at him again – It was game over for me. My body ignited everywhere as I fell deeper into his eyes. I wished they'd tell me more about him, but they kept me in a trance more than anything else did.
“Sweet Baby Jesus! God's gift to women just walked in,” Bri said hoarsely.
I groaned. “I've known Trey my entire life. Do you really have to refer to him like
Bri turned me to face the front door. I tossed my rag on the bar and looked around. “I wasn't talking about Trey. I was talking about that fine specimen of a man,” she whispered.
My breath caught as my eyes absorbed Ethan. He was in torn jeans and a white button-up shirt with the sleeves rolled up to show off his tattoos. My pulse quickened when he gave me a crooked smile. He motioned to an area of tables to the right of the bar; silently asking if anywhere was OK to sit. I nodded and indicated I'd be over in five to take his order.
His eyes lingered on me before he settled at a table. The fire that typically burned inside of me whenever he was around was on the move. I swallowed hard with the realization that this really was about to happen. This afternoon was about to wreak even
more havoc for me than our times together at the office. I had gotten lost in his looks, and my inability to fight it today meant that I failed to remember Bri was watching us. She arched a brow. When I remained silent, she forced me to face her.
“That's Ethan,” I said, feigning indifference.
Bri glanced at him and then back at me with cartoon-character-like speed. “That's
Ethan? As in the Ethan you work for now, Ethan?” she asked.
I nodded while lightly chuckling. I could tell Bri wasn't as amused by the hardness in her eyes.
“What you said before was the same thing I thought when I saw him for the first time.”
She giggled. “Who wouldn't react that way around someone as gorgeous as him? I've never seen anyone that beautiful. It's making me reconsider polygamy and open relationships.”
“I can't believe you said that out loud.”
Her lips curled into a twisted grin. “I can't help it. He's fine with a capital ‘F’. It wouldn't matter if I made a pass at him. He seems to have eyes for only one person in here.”
I looked around to see who else was here. When I had looked before, there was no one under the age of fifty. There had to be someone new in here for her to make that comment. A small pit formed in my stomach, wondering who might have caught his eye.
Bri rolled her eyes as she playfully knocked at my head. “I'm talking about you, you idiot. He hasn't stopped staring at you since he figured out that it was you behind the bar.”
“Whatever,” I retorted, throwing my dishrag at her.
“The looks you two were exchanging are enough to make me want to put the fire department on standby. You better go over and take his order before the bar spontaneously combusts,” she remarked.
M. M. Koenig was born and raised in Minnesota. She now lives in the Twin Cities area with her loving dog Marley. She is a graduate of the University of Minnesota with a Bachelors of Science in Sociology.
M. M. Koenig enjoys being active and has a variety of interests that coincide with her passion for life. Always one to try new things, she has acquired a variety of skills. Her sarcastic nature and multitude of experiences tend to find their way into her novels.
When she has free time and isn't writing, she spends as much time as she can with friends and family. To fuel her soul, she is constantly looking for new music, movies, and books to keep the writer's block at bay.
Twitter Handle: http://twitter.com/M_M_Koenig
Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/100014336234201611928