This Perfect Kiss by Christie Ridgway - Romance>Contemporary
Curious people want to know: is dashing millionaire Rory Kincaid about to resign his position as the "sexiest man in town"? If Rory decides to step down as the most eligible bachelor in America, millions of women will be left crying on his way to the altar...
Rory Kincaid has everyone talking...and the women swooning. After a lifetime of living down his family's scandalous past, the handsome public figure decides to take up the mantle of respectability. But first he must survive the scandal caused by a curvy siren named Jilly Skye.
With her snug, vintage clothes and free-spirited ways, Jilly can't quite discover why Rory makes her feel so....tingly. Though he's far from an antique, no one that tempting should appear so stodgy. When the two are caught on film in a distinctly compromising position, Jilly agrees to pose as his fiancee -- at least until his reputation gets back in order.
But neither of them counted on love...
When a woman stands five feet two inches, a hundred and ahem pounds (the ahem mainly located below the neck and above the waist), it's a bad idea to attend an afternoon business meeting in a low-cut, flesh-colored evening gown.
Throw in spaghetti straps and a few gold sequins, and the fact that it was the most crucial business meeting of said woman's career--make that her life--and the bad idea turned downright calamitous.
Jilly Skye realized this. But she also realized she didn't have a choice. Not if she wasn't going to be unforgivably late.
Still, she hesitated before pressing the intercom button this side of a pair of black, we-mean-business, ironwork gates. They were the last in a long line of hurdles she'd scrambled over since early this morning, when Rory Kincaid had agreed to meet with her. Thanks to a buddy's tip, she knew Rory wanted to dispense with a house crammed full of old clothing and costumes. Jilly was a vintage-clothing dealer who wanted into that house. Badly.
Despite tight-fitting chiffon, Jilly's stomach executed several rabbit-worthy hops. Madness was the word, all right. Because even though the emcee of this morning's charity fashion show had rambled the event into an hour overrun; even though Jilly's assistant had left with all the clothing that her shop, Things Past, had brought to the show, including the business suit Jilly had intended to change into, even though her frantic phone calls to Rory Kincaid to explain her holdup had resulted only in a disinterested busy signal, nothing was going to keep Jilly from this meeting with Rory. Too much was at stake.
Determination renewed, she reached through her car window to press the intercom button. But her whole hand was quaking so, she snatched it back. "Cahn down, calm down," she muttered to herself. "This is no way to get a job. Take a deep breath." But her obedient inhale turned into a gasp when her ahems threatened to pop over the dress's deep decolletage. Oh, my. Pinching the top of the bodice to pull it up, she wiggled all the strategic body parts back down. Her cheeks went hot. What had seemed fun and fanciful to model at a for-women-only fashion event now seemed almost...scary.
Darn Rory Kincaid! Her predicament could be partially blamed on him, too. If she'd been able to cut through those irritating busy signals and reach him this afternoon, she could have made time for a crucial wardrobe stop.
What the heck was he doing on the phone so long? The only thing that kept a number tied up that continuously was a long-distance romance or some heavy Internet surfing.
It was bound to be the Internet. This Rory Kincaid was supposed to be some kind of software mogul. Like Bill Gates, he was young, successful and rich.
Hey. Bill Gates! Jilly's heartbeat slowed a smidgen. Bill Gates. She mouthed the name to herself again and her nervousness was reduced by a few more degrees.
When she pictured Rory Kincaid as someone like Bill Gates--someone bespectacled, shaggyhaired, and more interested in floppy disks than fashion statements--she could feel nearly confident. If cliches could be believed, techie-nerds lost track of time--well, practically all the time. And certainly he wouldn't care what she wore. If she didn't say anything about the evening gown, he probably wouldn't even notice it.
The Bill Gates idea worked better than Alka-Seltzer. Stomach settling down and heart feeling light, Jilly stuck her arm out the car window and confidently jabbed the intercom with her forefinger. This job was hers. She lifted her chin and threw back her shoulders. As the gates slowly opened, she pressed down on the gas pedal, all the while mentally chanting her brand-new...