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Advance Search

Smoldering Passion

Published by: eXtasy Books

Author : Adriana Kraft

ISBN :978-1-4874-3815-9

Page :238

Word Count :69957

Publication Date :2023-04-07

Series : Passion#1

Heat Level :

Available Formats : Smoldering Passion (epub) , Smoldering Passion (mobi) , Smoldering Passion (pdf) , Smoldering Passion (prc)

Category : Contemporary Romance

  • Product Code: 978-1-4874-3815-9

Her passion smolders. Will it ignite?

When art student Melissa Hopkins finally unpacks the two boxes her Aunt Phoebe left for her and sees Phoebe’s black and white photos, it’s like opening Pandora’s Box. A simple quest to find a new job morphs into an about face—not just in her art, but in her career and personal life. Short on funds now that her graduate stipend is ending, she applies to work where Aunt Phoebe once worked: a center for sexuality and sex studies.

Sworn off women after a disastrous relationship, Center Director Harry Gage ignores the danger signals and hires the striking young woman who reminds him of his former lover. Her air of innocence will captivate center viewers, so he’s sure she’ll be a hit on camera. What he’s not prepared for is how she pierces his heart.

When the sparks flare up, is it love or just sex—and what must each of them risk to find out?

This book was previously published.

New York, New York 2004

“You’re not a virgin, right?” The dark-haired man asked the question with a straight face. His square jaw gave no suggestion of discomfort, though he did raise an eyebrow slightly. 

Melissa Hopkins flipped her hair over her shoulder and tried to hide her annoyance. She wanted this job. She needed this job. And she understood why Harry Gage had asked the question. 

Who would want to hire a virgin to work developing instructional sex videos and DVDs? She frowned slightly. She probably wouldn’t have found the courage to be sitting in his office if not for her aunt, who had worked for the Center for Sexuality and Sex Practices for decades before her death. 

And Melissa wasn’t the only aspiring artist in New York City willing to take extreme measures to support her dream. 

She nodded at the unsmiling Gage. A sociologist, he’d said he’d been with the Center his entire career. He appeared to be in his late thirties, or at most, early forties. That meant he must’ve known her aunt, but she wasn’t ready to acknowledge that relationship. If she did get this job, she wanted to land it on her own. “That’s correct. I’m not a virgin,” she said, shrugging as if she were accustomed to conversing with strange men about her sexual status. “Haven’t been for years.” 

The man smiled smugly. “Figured you weren’t. We don’t get many virgins applying for our jobs, but it’s not uncommon for women and men to come here expecting to work through their own sexual hang-ups.” 

“I can assure you I’m not one of them.” 

He eyed her thoughtfully. His appraisal, while guarded, took in her whole being. She could see his mind rehashing her personal and professional data. He was trying to determine whether she was stable enough to be a part-time research associate at the Center. The bulk of her work would probably focus on interviewing individuals about their sexuality and sex lives. She’d be expected to help with editing brochures and catalogs, as well as organizing the Center’s extensive archival collection. And she’d be part of a production team making instructional videos. She sat primly waiting for his next question, then thought better of it and slouched a little. 

He probably didn’t want his research associate to look too prim and proper. 

“So tell me, Ms. Hopkins.” He paused to scan the questionnaire she’d filled out about herself. “There is no current boyfriend or girlfriend?” 

She shook her head. “No.” 

“Good. We often like to hire couples. They’re more reliable.” 

Melissa sat straighter. 

“But the Center is definitely attracting more single viewers, and they don’t want to always be watching married couples. So we’re mixing things up as much as we can.” 

“I see.” Well, she didn’t exactly see, but neither was she eager to risk asking—but then Mr. Gage didn’t seem bothered by her reticence. 

Again, he looked over her questionnaire. “So let’s see, you seem familiar with most of the basic sex positions.” His dark brown eyes focused on hers. 

She made sure she wasn’t blushing under his close scrutiny. 

“It says here you haven’t had sex with a woman.” 

Melissa nodded. 

“But you’re willing to give it a try—to advance science and help besotted lovers out there looking for help?”  

“You sound rather skeptical, Mr. Gage.” 

“Sorry,” he said, not looking at all sorry. “It’s my nature.” He stared at her. “You didn’t answer my question.” He cocked his head to the side. “Having sex with a woman?” 

She shrugged. “Shouldn’t be too difficult.” 

He laughed, but his eyes held a surprising sparkle. “I didn’t ask how onerous the task might be. I asked if you were willing.” 

Blinking, Melissa tried not to glance away from his steady gaze. “Yes, I’m willing.” 

“Good. I’d rather have you experienced, but I can’t expect everything I want to find in one woman. Now, what is this little question mark doing by anal sex?” 

She gasped. “I thought I erased that.” 

He squinted at the sheet. “You tried.” He looked back up at her. “Have you, or haven’t you?” 

She squared her shoulders and forged ahead. “If you must know, I’m not exactly sure what that entails.” 

“Entails…entails…oh, that is a good one.” He laughed, then sobered. “But you’re willing to give it a try?” 

“If I must.” 

“You must, if you want this job.” 

“Then I will.” 

“Good. You do have spunk, Ms. Hopkins.” 

Melissa relaxed a little. 

“Your naïveté in that area may actually appeal to viewers for whom this is a new if not slightly taboo area. So…why don’t you stand and take off your clothes so I can see what you’ve got?” 

“What?” Melissa’s hand flew to her throat before she could stop it. She was used to posing in studios for other artists, but in a job interview? “Here? Right now?” 

“Melissa…” he began. 

She wanted to throttle his condescending tone.  

“How do you expect to have sex in front of cameras if you can’t disrobe in front of me? Our actors and actresses seldom wear clothes.” 

“Oh,” she sputtered. 

Again, he tilted his head to the side. “I’m not going to hire you without seeing what I’m hiring.” 

“Oh, very well.” Melissa rose to her feet, slipped out of her blouse, then unsnapped her black skirt and stepped out of it. She hoped he realized she wasn’t doing anything to try to titillate him. She wasn’t a stripper. Without any fanfare, she removed her bra and panties and stood before him with her shoulders slightly back and her hands relaxed at her sides.

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Tags: Romance, Contemporary