Hiya peeps, we have Christine d’Abo stopping by today with her new release Working It, we have a brilliant guest post, a great excerpt and a brilliant giveaway, so check out the post and leave a comment to enter the giveaway! ❤ ~Pixie~
Nolan Carmichael is getting a fresh start—new career, new company, new life. The only problem is, he liked his old life just fine . . . until an accident robbed him of his health, his job, his self-confidence, and his ability to go out in public without having anxiety attacks.
Zack Anderson has scared away his last four executive assistants. So when he hires Nolan on a whim, he’s not too worried, since Nolan will be gone within the week anyway. Two weeks later, Nolan has made himself indispensable, completely reforming Zack’s schedule, life . . . and libido.
But in a company already torn by internal politics, one wrong step could ruin both their careers. And not only are they working to reopen Ringside Gym, Zack’s retreat when he was a troubled teen, but they also can’t help themselves falling for each other. If only the rest of their lives could go as smoothly as things do when they’re alone together.
Thank you for having me here today. I’m so happy to be able to talk to you about my new book, WORKING IT, which is book one in my new Ringside Romance series. Don’t let the series title fool you, this is low on the boxing and high on sexual tension.
As an avid reader of all things romance, I personally love it when authors take chances and play around with what we consider typical romance tropes. Those situations that for whatever reason, really work for us as lovers of romance. One of my personal favorite tropes is the whole boss-assistant dynamic. There’s something wonderful about the tension that can be created when two people are working together, under pressure and in close quarters, that appeals to me.
I wanted to take this trope and do something a little fun with it. What would happen if both the characters were gay? What if they were so vastly different that under any other circumstance they probably never meet, let alone fall in love? What if they worked day in and day out in an office together?
In WORKING IT, Nolan Carmichael is working through the trauma of a serious car accident. He gets a job as Zack Anderson’s executive assistant, a position that no one at the company wants. Somehow the two of them work through their differences and fall in love.
I hope you’ll come along for the ride.
You can visit Christine at her website www.christinedabo.com, and chat with her on Facebook and Twitter. Want to keep up with Christine’s new releases? Sign up for her newsletter and receive a free book!
Nolan startled as the door pushed open and a man strode past him. It was easy to let his eyes follow the newcomer, partially because he was all energy and motion, walking with a sense of purpose, but mostly because Nolan didn’t want to look any longer at the flawed restoration project he’d become. The lingering scent of the man’s cologne wrapped around Nolan, making him wonder if the guy’s face was as attractive as the back of his head.
Wait a minute. What the hell am I doing?
Nolan’s body froze, and he was helpless to do anything but watch the man in the mirror as he made his way from the urinals to the sink. Shit, shit, shit, look away. Close your eyes. Stop. Looking! Somehow he managed to tear his gaze away before the man finished and made his way to the opposite mirror to fix his tie. As long as Nolan didn’t bring any undue attention on himself, everything would be fine. The man moved, and Nolan was staring at him once more. God, he was far too good-looking.
Nolan had been lucky enough to come out to his friends and family early in life. While some of his brothers had teased him, they’d always accepted him for who he was. But Nolan wasn’t naïve enough to think that everyone was as accommodating of his sexuality, especially strangers going about their business in the men’s room. And if he went around ogling hot guys in the men’s room, people were likely to draw the obvious conclusion.
“Something I can help you with?”
It took Nolan’s brain a second to realize that the deep rumbling voice had come from the man beside him. “Pardon?”
“You were staring.” The man’s brown eyes locked onto his in the mirror as he finished washing his hands.
Damn. “Sorry.” Wonderful, nothing like being a lecherous ass at a job interview. “I’m here for an interview and apparently I’m a bit nervous.”
The man frowned, causing lines to crease his forehead and cheeks. “The secretary pool?”
“Executive assistant.” He hated the position being called secretary as much as he imagined the women did. “And yes.”
“That’s unusual. For a man.”
“Not really. Though I have to admit the competition from the ladies is steep, especially at a company of this caliber.”
The other man softly grunted. “You enjoy your job?”
To his surprise, Nolan found himself relaxing. “I don’t know. It will be my first time in the position if I manage to get hired.”
“We don’t normally hire inexperienced people.”
Nolan shrugged. “I’m not inexperienced. I’ve had a recent . . . career change and Compass seems to offer a compatible opportunity for my skill set.”
The stranger looked at him, and Nolan felt a blush begin to creep up his cheeks. The man wore his clearly expensive suit to perfection. His expertly cut brown hair was nearly the same shade of brown as his eyes. He was only a bit taller than Nolan’s six feet, but his broad shoulders and chest were far more expansive than Nolan’s.
For a fleeting moment, Nolan imagined what it would be like to be wrapped up in those arms and to kiss along that chiseled jaw. Swallowing hard, he tore his gaze away once more. “I better get back. I don’t want to be late.”
If the man acknowledged that, Nolan didn’t wait around to see. The air in the hallway felt a hundred degrees cooler the moment he stepped out. Shit, what the hell had just happened in there? He never let himself get that overwhelmed by another person. At least the throat-squeezing anxiety had lessened.
The receptionist caught his attention as he came close. “They’re ready for you, Mr. Carmichael.”
Oh thank God. At least he could get through this now and get home. He needed a bath, a beer, and a good book. “Thank you.”
The conference room was down a short corridor, and inside were three women. The tallest of the trio stood and held out her hand. “Hi there. I’m Nancy Holmes from HR. This is Janice Weinstein, the manager of our support team, and Nikki Jones, the team lead. Please have a seat.”
Nolan unbuttoned his jacket and sat opposite the group. “Thank you.”
Janice picked up his résumé from the top of the stack of papers. “Your work history is very impressive, Mr. Carmichael.”
“Please, call me Nolan. And thank you.”
“Though you don’t have any assistant experience.” The smile Janice gave him didn’t reach her eyes. Oh no, that wasn’t good. “First thing I want to do is let you know about our process. We’ll give you a moment to tell us about your work history, then we’ll ask you a series of behavior-based questions. There’s no right or wrong answer with those. We simply want to get a feel for who you are as a person and if you’ll be a good fit for our team.”
He hated behavioral questions. It always came down to whether his answers were less obnoxious than everyone else’s, and he knew he could be a smart-ass at times. “Excellent. I’m looking forward to it.”
Janice glanced at her colleagues and nodded. “Please tell us a bit about your work history and why you’re making the change from corporate trainer to administrative support.”
He opened his mouth to speak, when a loud knock on the door cut him off. Nancy cringed as she stood. “Sorry. One second.”
Nolan wasn’t certain who was more surprised, him or the trio of women, when the handsome man from the bathroom walked into the room.
“Mr. Anderson.” Nancy took a step back. “We were just conducting an interview. Is there something I can help you with?”
Mr. Anderson walked passed Nancy and over to the table where they were sitting. Without looking at anyone, he took Nolan’s résumé from Janice’s grasp and read through it. While the women were silently shouting thoughts at one another about what the hell was happening—and really, they needed to work on their body language—Nolan flicked his gaze between Mr. Anderson and the door. Because there was no logical reason for this guy to burst into the interview unless he was about to call security and have Nolan removed for creepy bathroom behavior.
That might have been farfetched, but Nolan’s anxiety discarded any more innocuous explanation. His mind settled on the worst-case scenario and told him he’d been discounted before he’d even had the chance to make a bid for the position.
After an eternity, Mr. Anderson set the résumé down and turned his laser stare on Nolan.
“Are you single?”
“Mr. Anderson, you can’t ask that—”
“Yes, I am.” Assuming the interview was over and Mr. Anderson was just asking random questions to stall for time to let security arrive, Nolan got to his feet and buttoned his jacket, ready to go along peaceably. To his surprise, Anderson’s queries turned more direct.
“Do you have any issues working long hours? Coming in on a moment’s notice? Redoing reports more than once if they don’t meet my requirements? Dealing with people I can’t be bothered to talk to?”
Nancy coughed. “Sir, are you looking for a secretary?”
“Executive assistant,” Mr. Anderson answered without looking away from Nolan.
He felt his face heat, but he refused to break eye contact. “No, I don’t have issues with any of that. Though if you need me to do a report more than twice, I would want your expectations clarified so I could make sure it wouldn’t happen again. I might not have a lot of experience as an assistant, but I was always good with paperwork in my previous job and I’m a fast learner. If I don’t know how to do something, I figure it out and master it.”
Mr. Anderson hit the side of his thigh with his open palm. “Your evaluation period is three months. I can fire you for any reason in that time.”
What? “I understand.” Liar! You don’t have a clue what’s going on here. It finally dawned on Nolan that he was not, in fact, about to be thrown out on his ear.
“Monday morning, 7 a.m. I expect you at my office.” Mr. Anderson tossed a glare at Nancy. “See that the paperwork is done.” As quickly as he arrived, Mr. Anderson was gone.
Nolan looked at the women, who were staring at him, shocked. He cleared his throat. “I know I was here, because my feet haven’t moved, but would one of you mind telling me what just happened?”
“That was Mr. Zachary Anderson.” Nancy spoke with a mix of awe and something that could have been mistaken for lust.
“I got that. But who is he?”
Janice rolled her eyes. “You’ve applied for a job at Compass and you don’t know who the senior management team is?”
“Well the CEO is Samantha Rollins, but I wasn’t familiar with the others. I wasn’t expecting to be railroaded in an interview.”
Nancy made a clicking noise. “Yeah, he does that. Mr. Anderson is the CTO. He’s in charge of all technology decisions at Compass. He’s basically the third most powerful man in the company, and the most difficult of all our executives to work with. We’d given up trying to find him an assistant after the last four either quit or he fired them.”
Nolan’s knees got a bit weak. “Oh.”
“And he’s your new boss.” She held out her hand. “Welcome to Compass, Nolan. God help you.”
Read more at: http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/working-it (Just click the excerpt tab)
A romance novelist and short story writer, Christine has over thirty publications to her name. She loves to exercise and stops writing just long enough to keep her body in motion too. When she’s not pretending to be a ninja in her basement, she’s most likely spending time with her family and two dogs.
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