Much more than he bargained for…
“You want me to find you a wife?”
“No. I want you to be my wife.”
Garrett Song is this close to taking the reins of his family’s LA fashion empire…until the Song matriarch insists he marry her handpicked bride first. To block her matchmaking, he recruits Natalie Sobol to pose as his wife. She needs a fake spouse as badly as he does. But when passion burns down their chaste agreement, the flames could destroy them all…
Click on title below for direct Amazon buy link: Temporary Wife Temptation (The Heirs of Hansol Book 1)
About the Author:
Jayci Lee writes poignant, funny, and sexy romance. She lives in sunny California with her tall-dark-and-handsome husband, two amazing boys with boundless energy, and a fluffy rescue whose cuteness is a major distraction. She is semi-retired from her 15-year career as a defense litigator, and writes full-time now. She loves food, wine, and travelling, just like her characters. Books have always helped her grow, dream, and heal. She hopes her books will do the same for you.
Read an Excerpt:
Garrett resisted the urge to glance over his shoulder to check on her. Natalie was a grown woman and he didn’t need to protect her from being swarmed by admirers. Besides, she was the one who had proposed they refrain from other relationships, so she wouldn’t do anything to hurt his reputation or hers.
Earlier, at her apartment, he’d caught fire at the sight of her in her little black dress. It was demure compared to the one she’d worn at Le Rêve, but it hugged her hourglass figure and highlighted the curves underneath just enough to tease his imagination.
He walked to the bar for his Scotch and grabbed a flute of champagne from a server on his way back. As he’d anticipated, Natalie was now surrounded by a group of men and he lengthened his strides to reach her.
“Sorry to keep you waiting, sweetheart.” He pressed a light kiss on her lips and handed her the champagne.
“Thank you.” She leaned her head against his shoulder when he pulled her to his side, playing her part like a pro.
“Natalie was just taking us to task about USC’s new head coach. It seems neither he nor I truly understand college football,” said one of Mike’s college friends.
“Is that so?” Garrett raised an eyebrow at her and she shrugged.
“Taking you to task is a bit harsh.” She hid her grin against the rim of her champagne flute as she took a long sip. “It’s just that I have a better understanding than you guys.”
The audience winced and guffawed at her cheekiness. As Natalie continued with her lecture, all the men listened intently, as did Garrett. She was funny and down-to-earth, and her mind was quicker than lightning. Lost in her words, Garrett belatedly noticed the crowd had grown. Her champagne glass was depleted and her smile was becoming strained.
He leaned down close to her ear. “Tired?”
“All right, gentlemen. I’m whisking away my date now. I’m tired of sharing her.”
When the crowd finally dispersed, Natalie slumped against him with a groan. “I need food, champagne and somewhere to sit.”
A server walked over with a tray of bacon-wrapped shrimp and Natalie snatched a couple of them. She popped one in her mouth and mumbled around her food, “Not necessarily in that order.”
Garrett laughed and guided her toward the French doors leading out to the garden. Natalie ate every single hors d’oeuvre she met along the way and finished another glass of champagne.
“Holy cow. Is everything really, really delicious, or am I just famished? I would totally go back for that crab cake if my feet weren’t screaming at me to get my butt on a chair.”
He glanced down at her zebra-print high heels. They did amazing things for her legs but didn’t look remotely comfortable. “There’s a bench around the corner.”
“Oh, thank God.” She kicked off her shoes as soon as she plopped onto the seat.
Garrett shrugged out of his jacket and draped it around her shoulders before sitting next to her.
“Thank you,” she murmured, gazing at the garden. “It’s so beautiful out here.”
“Is it?” He and Mike had grown up tearing apart that very garden, but Garrett had never sat still and taken it all in, like they were doing now. “I guess you’re right.”
He studied her profile, her high, regal cheekbone and the graceful curve of her neck. Half of her hair had escaped the loose knot behind her head and fell down her back and shoulders. He wanted to sweep aside her hair and feel the softness of her skin, which he absolutely should not do.
“So how do you know so much about college football?” He tore his gaze away from her and stared at an old maple tree ahead of him, hard enough to make his eyes water.
“We’ve got time.” He made a show of checking his watch. “I’ll give you ten minutes.”
Her laughter filled the garden, then ended on a wistful sigh. “My dad and I, we weren’t very close. The only time he didn’t mind my company was when we watched college football together. He was a huge fan. I don’t think he even noticed I was sitting there half the time.”
Garrett understood what that felt like. As soon as he finished graduate school, he’d thrown himself into his work. It was satisfying in its predictability and it created a common ground for him and his father. His dad had stepped down from the CEO position when his mom died, but returned to Hansol a few years later as an executive VP.
“I thought if I learned enough about the sport, he’d like me a little better.” Her shrug told him it hadn’t worked, but Natalie told her story without an ounce of self-pity—like she owned her past, hurt and all. His respect for her deepened. “But soon I noticed I wasn’t faking my enthusiasm anymore. I’d grown to love the sport. Who knew it’d come in handy at an intimate birthday party for a hundred people?”
“You certainly won over quite a few of them.”
“I did?” Her eyebrows shot up in genuine surprise.
He huffed out a laugh. “Why did you think that crowd was hanging on to your every word?”
“Watch yourself, Garrett Song.” Natalie narrowed her eyes and pointed a finger at him. “I know where you live.”
He snatched her hand and tugged her to her feet. “Yes, and you’ll be living there with me starting Sunday.”
“Ugh.” She hooked an index finger in each of her shoes, not bothering to put them back on. “Do you ever stop thinking about work?”
“Yes.” He cocked his head and pretended to consider her question. “But only when I’m thoroughly distracted.”
Her lashes fluttered and color saturated her cheeks, and his gut clenched with heat. She could definitely become his most dangerous distraction.
Natalie Sobol has worked very hard to rise to her position of HR director at Hansol, Inc. The recent death of her sister has put her in the position of battling for guardianship of her niece, Sophie, with the child’s paternal grandparents. The odds aren’t in her favor because she’s single, but if she can win the promotion she’s longed for, it would mean a salary increase and relocation to New York, where the grandparents reside. Natalie believes they would be more receptive to her having custody if she lived close enough for them to be part of Sophie’s life. When an emergency crops up at the same time as Natalie’s interview for the new position, she is removed from consideration for the job, no matter what the circumstances. A determined Natalie decides to confront the VP directly, and ask for his assistance in gaining the interview and her shot at the job.
Garrett Song is the VP of Hansol, Inc., his family business, which is in fashion retailing. He’s in line to become CEO as soon as he closes the current deal he’s working on. To his shock, his grandmother announces that she plans to announce his engagement at the same time he becomes CEO – to a woman he’s never met. Grandmother believes she has the right to arrange a marriage for Garrett, while he is furious. In order to thwart her plans, Garrett announces that he’s already engaged, and will not break up with his fiancée just to please his grandmother and her outdated ideas. Now he just has to find someone to marry, and quickly.
When Natalie approaches Garrett to request he intervene on her behalf, he immediately comes up with a counter proposal. He’ll assure that she gets the promotion she deserves if she’ll agree to enter a temporary marriage of convenience with him. Garrett argues that she’ll be in a much better position in her custody battle if she’s married. Natalie agrees, but with the stipulation that they have no intimate contact during their brief marriage. Garrett, not wanting any complications, is only too happy to agree. And so, they marry.
Natalie and Garrett felt a strong attraction from their very first meeting, and they both realize that a “hands off” policy for the duration of their marriage is going to be difficult, to say the least. Natalie tries her best to focus on her young niece, while Garrett tries to focus on his job. He also still carries the scars from a bitter failed relationship years ago, and has never quite gotten to the point where he’s ready to trust a woman again. Garrett’s high profile position requires that they attend many social functions together, and they have to put on a good front to make the world believe their marriage is genuine.
I liked both these characters. Natalie is hard working and dedicated to her niece, even willing to move across the country if need be. Garrett is generous and kind, and very loving to young Sophie. It actually hurt him to challenge his grandmother, as he didn’t want to disrespect her. Of course, they are bound to feel their mutual attraction deepen as they spend more time together in close proximity. TEMPORARY WIFE TEMPTATION is a passionate story of a modern day marriage of convenience with a couple of surprises. The story moves along at a fast pace, with a tearful moment or two, as this couple struggles to overcome the odds and build a genuine future together. ~Rose