One Final Step by Stephanie Doyle - Romance>Contemporary
A new image...step by step
Who said moving forward is easy? Car thief turned race car driver, Michael Langdon has worked hard to build his image. Now to take it to the next level and become a successful manufacturer, he needs to kick that image up a notch. Enter Madeleine Kane, a genius at adjusting public perception. With her in charge, he's guaranteed to look better while keeping his darkest secrets where they belong--in the past.
Doesn't take long, however, for his ambition to change and the campaign to become personal. Because he wants Madeleine--as beautiful as she is talented and smart. First, Michael must overcome her reservations about crossing professional boundaries and persuade her he's worth the risk...without revealing those buried parts of himself. Good thing he's very
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Sensuality Rating: Not rated
Michael Langdon looked at the woman on the opposite side of his wide desk and felt as if he'd been struck on the head with a bat. Having previously experienced such a sensation, he felt it was an accurate description. But looking at her was far less painful.
She was the most beautiful woman he'd ever seen. He knew in that moment--she was going to change his life.
Then he shook off the ridiculous thoughts. Just as he'd shaken off the effects of actually being hit by the bat. Only, there was still a buzzing in his head and as he took notice of his body, he found himself shifting in his chair and wondering.
"I'm surprised you accepted my invitation," he said.
He watched as her right eyebrow arched, slightly framing a perfectly shaped cobalt-blue eye. The color was everything he'd heard about and read about. And it was more amazing than anything he'd seen on television. Cobalt-blue eyes combined with dark, long hair that had reddish highlights he suspected were real. Her skin looked as if it would feel silky to the touch and her lips were full enough to make a man think of the things men usually liked to think about when it came to a woman's mouth. Her chin was slightly pointed, a small flaw that prevented her from being a goddess yet at the same time made her that much more intriguing because it meant she was real and not mythical.
"Ben Tyler is a personal friend, as well as my employer. When he asked as my employer, I refused. When he asked as a friend, I had no choice."
Her voice was cool and clipped. Sophisticated and well balanced. Everything an Ivy League education should produce.
"How is Ben doing?"
She turned her head. "Not well."
Michael nodded. He'd known about the cancer, of course, but Ben was one of the toughest fighters he'd ever met. If anyone had a chance of beating it, it was Ben. He would be that one man in a million.
"I called him because I needed the best. Because what I'm about to do is very important. Not for me or my company but for the country. Maybe even the world."
She didn't smirk or look away. A woman like Madeleine Kane understood events that impacted the world.
Michael knew by her silence that he was being invited to make his pitch. It was like being granted permission to speak by the queen. He shifted in his chair again, then placed both elbows on the desk and clasped his hands together.
"I've created something. A car that I believe will revolutionize the industry. I need to convince people it's real and credible and not another Langdon prototype or an interesting anomaly."
"Why do you care what people think? You have an idea...you should build it and sell it."
"I can't do it alone." He sighed. "I wish I could. I don't have the resources the bigger companies do. I don't want this to be a highend car that only a few can afford. I want to make it available to the masses. For that I need a partner. To get one of those, I need to rebuild my image. It's time to lose the old race-car persona and focus on who I am as an inventor and industry leader."
Madeleine crossed her legs slowly. He couldn't help but let his gaze follow the length of her panty-hose-clad leg to the simple black three-inch pump.
Her ankle was a work of art.
"did you hear me?"
Michael lifted his gaze.
"I said what you're asking for won't be easy. Your reputation has been very firmly established in the American media as a playboy. Someone who builds fast cars and dates."
"I was going to say well-known actresses. I...