Blush - Nicola Marsh


Reid Harper had shaken enough hands, kissed enough babies and faked enough smiles to last him a lifetime.

His political dream? Fast turning into a nightmare. And he couldn’t tell one damn person about it.

Certainly not his sister Jess, who looked radiant tonight at the wedding of Dorian Gibbs, a friend and campaign investor. He had his best friend, Jack McVeigh to thank for Jess’s glow. Inevitable, those two getting together. He was happy for them. The only glimmer of happiness in his fucked up life lately.

And now his sis wanted to introduce him to some sexy redhead who’d probably distract him for a few hours. Not a bad plan. If he didn’t know that once this wedding ended he’d be on Dorian’s private jet flying back to LA and a ton of problems.

He wasn’t in the mood for more schmoozing. Or flirting, for that matter. Which went a long way to explaining his lousy mindset.

How long since he’d got laid? Three months? Six? Contrary to popular belief, politicians weren’t copping blowjobs from interns behind the photocopier. At least, this one wasn’t.

He’d been too busy cleaning up other people’s messes and ensuring he maintained a squeaky clean reputation to bother with sex.

As they drew closer to the redhead, he wished he could stay on the island a little longer to remedy that fact.

Jess touched his arm. “Reid, I’d like you to meet Adele Radcliff. She’s an accountant at Burlesque Bombshell.”

Out of habit, he held out his hand. “Pleased to meet you.”

A trite greeting he’d trotted out countless times before. But never had he experienced a jolt as Adele placed her hand in his.

“Likewise,” she said, a blush staining her cheeks a beguiling pink, accentuating the startling blue of her eyes.

She had pale porcelain skin that would be prone to blushing, not that many mature women did that these days. At least, not the worldly women he associated with. Ball breakers, most of them.

But what captured his attention most was her russet hair piled in a loose up-do leaving tendrils trailing her neck, a rich, natural red no colorist could ever hope to emulate.

Quickly followed by a purely horn-dog thought; was she a natural red all over?

When Jess laughed, he realized he still had Adele’s hand clasped in his and was gawking at her like an adolescent.

“I’ll leave you two to get better acquainted.” Jess slung her arms around their shoulders for a brief hug. “Have fun.”

Feeling more pumped than he had in ages, Reid intended to. He waited until Jess headed for the beach in search of Jack before turning his full attention to the lovely Adele.

“So you’re an accountant?”

Nice opening gambit, Harper. Real smooth. Not.

The bridge of her nose crinkled. Whether at his stinker of an opening line or dislike for her job, he had no idea.

“Yeah, but don’t hold that against me.”

He held up his hands in mock surrender. “I’m a politician serving in the House as a Representative. Can’t get any worse than that.”

“Why do you do it then?”

Her bluntness surprised him. Not many women were so forthright, especially with a guy like him. Amazing, the number of social-climbing, power-hungry females who would fawn and defer to him in the hope of getting a boost up the society ladder by latching on.

None of them intrigued him as much as this refreshingly honest woman.

“Because I was an idealistic fool who had big plans, big dreams and big hopes when I started out.”

“And now?” Her blue eyes twinkled with mischief and his interest in sex surged to life in a big way.

“I’m a weary, jaded soul in search of…”

What? New horizons? New challenges? New thrills?


She leaned forward a fraction, waiting for his response, and he caught a glimpse of cleavage.

Yep, must slot time into his busy schedule for sex.

“I want something more,” he said, his fingertips inadvertently brushing the soft skin on the inside of her wrist, sending a jolt of lust straight to his dick. “What about you?”

She stepped into him, her sultry vanilla fragrance enveloping him in a sensual cocoon, as she murmured in his ear, “I’m all for more too.”

Reid didn’t take risks. Every moment of his entire life had been well calculated. Decisions weighed and measured.

But there was something about this woman, this moment, that befuddled his brain and made him think to hell with conservative choices.

For once, he wanted more.

For himself. Not for his mom or sis, for whom he’d been the man of the family for too long now. Not for his political party,