Author: Alexis Anne

Publisher: Spinning Compass

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One heartbeat.
That’s all that separates us from the life we’ve known and everything that could change it.

One kiss.
Was all it took to change mine.

Theo was rich and handsome, brilliant and powerful, but he wasn’t a hero or a prince charming. And let’s be honest, I wasn’t exactly a damsel in distress. I wanted Theo, so I took him. Hard and passionately without any regard for the consequences.

At first it was just sex. Wild sex. Fantastic sex. But once wasn’t enough and I got greedy. In all fairness, so did he. One thing led to another and before either of us knew what was happening our lives were tangled up and messy. Inextricably linked. I’d fallen in love with a stranger.

And that was the problem.

Theo Sutherland was a man with a dark past and a price on his head. My life was at stake just for being with him.

One kiss was all it took to make me believe in love.

One heartbeat was all it took to turn him into the hero he never thought he’d be.


“May I have this dance?” Theo stood beside me. His suit jacket was gone, his tie was loosened, and his shirtsleeves were rolled to his elbows. My eyes got stuck on the muscles of his forearms and I couldn’t seem to look away.

They were really good looking forearms.

One dance. 

“I’m ready.”

“You don’t have to sound like you’ve resigned yourself to battle.” He smiled softly as I took his hand. Oh, how his accent made that simple sentence sound like a symphony. He gently guided me toward the dance floor. “I’m not terrible company to keep, you know.”

I shrugged a split second before he spun me into his arms and circled our hips to the change of song—Big Bad Voodoo Daddies—taking the lead. Theo was not only drop-dead gorgeous, he was a really good dancer.

Damn it.

I wanted to keep up this illusion that he was just another boring brat. But the scars on his face and the way he was moving were proving that there was nothing predictable about Theo.

“Now let’s see if I can keep up with you.” He grunted and moved us through a complicated series of steps that quickly cleared the dance floor. Theo was easily six-foot-two and when a guy that big got to swinging his legs, people tended to make room fast. 

“I think you’ve got that backwards. I’m just trying to keep up with you.” I laughed but I always thought my dancing needed more work. I was never going to be as good as I wanted to be.

“Don’t you dare laugh. You’ve very good.” 

My heart stopped and my knees went a little weak. Why did I care what he thought about my dancing skills? I shook my head. “Thank you. May I call you Theo?”

The next thing I knew I was flipping through the air. I kind of hated how easily the bigger guys could do that. It was like they didn’t even need my permission to fling my body over their arms. I was only five-foot-four and usually hung out around one hundred and twenty pounds, so they legitimately could swing me around like a doll. Guys loved dancing with me for that reason. 
That, and I could keep up.

I landed on my feet and glared up at him. “Don’t do that again.”

His eyes glinted with something like approval. “Yes, ma’am.” Theo was definitely missing a cigar. There should be one clamped between his teeth, even while dancing. It just seemed like him.

“And what should I call you? I really don’t want to call you doll.”

The way he said that… Oh wow. There was a gentle purr to his voice. He spoke directly to me—not at me, not through me. I got the impression he wasn’t the kind of guy who wasted his breath on conversations he didn’t need to have. If he was speaking, it was because he had something specific to say, and he always said it clearly and directly.

“Allison,” I said. “Allison Riley.” The man had gorgeous hair. Thick, dark, finger-clutching hair. I resisted the urge to touch it and let him spin me instead. “My friends say you don’t get out much.”

His eyes met mine and held. Just for a moment. “Your friends are correct.” He looked me over as we separated for a series of steps, but it wasn’t to appreciate my body—I confused him.

“What?” I asked as he grabbed my hand and, with the flick of his wrist, spun me into his arms. His chest heaved, his tie moving up and down with each breath. It made it nearly impossible to look at anything other than his broad shoulders and strong neck. Or the way his Adam’s apple bobbed in his throat. Or how completely sculpted all of those lines looked running together.

Fuck, he was a good looking man. 
“You really don’t know who I am, do you?” he said.

I tore my eyes away from his shoulders. “Only what I’ve learned in the last five minutes.”

He blinked and suddenly I was spinning again. The floor felt like liquid under my heels. I loved dancing with someone unpredictable. It made it so much more exciting.

“And that didn’t scare you away?” he asked with a cocky little grin. I got the impression he kind of liked his mysterious reputation.

“Oh, it did.” I grinned up at him. “But I figured one dance couldn’t hurt.” The song changed movements and Theo pulled me against his chest, ducking his head to my shoulder. Our hands were clasped between us, tight against our chests and his other arm was wrapped around me. It was intimate.

It was also overwhelming.

Everything that hit me when I first fell into him washed over me again. The musk, the muscles, the vibrations—everything about him. I was attracted to him. But that smile and those dark eyes along with his voice… He was hypnotic.

And then things went to a whole new level.

He ran the tip of his nose up the side of my throat, to my ear, and stopped. The sensation of his skin running along mine hit me like a wave. A very pleasurable wave. As if that motion were mimicked inside me and instead of my throat, Theo was touching me exactly where his cock should be.

I couldn’t breathe.

I couldn’t see straight.

And holy crap, I was so wet.

And then he whispered in my ear, “You should have said no.” 

I had to squeeze my thighs together to give my body something to pulse against. His breath against my ear… Whoa.
I turned to look straight into those dark eyes. I wanted to get lost inside them. He was right at eye-level and our noses just barely touched. “I’m not that kind of girl.”

This time it was Theo who lost his breath. “What kind of girl are you?”

Oh, how I wanted to kiss him. Just pull him those last few inches and press my lips against his. Meld my body into him and let all this attraction detonate. 
Because that’s what was happening. My lust was mixing with curiosity. Who was this man? He wasn’t anything like Luis and Ava described. Quiet, yes. But not cold or pretentious. 
If anything, Theo was warm and inviting. All these things I was feeling were growing more powerful by the moment and I could feel the same energy coming off of him, but with a void in the space between us.

All it would take is a spark.


One kiss and I’m pretty sure I’d never be the same. 
But I couldn’t do it. Not with that look on his face. Theo wanted me—there was no mistaking that—but he was confused. By me, by this energy coursing between us, hell, maybe he was even confused by himself.

Either way, I knew kissing him right now would be a mistake.

“I don’t scare easily,” I whispered instead.

He shook his head and blinked. I think, for a split second, he wanted to run, and then in the next second he wanted to kiss me. I could tell by the way his eyes widened and his arms tightened.

“Fear is an excellent preservation instinct.” Then he spun me down into a deep dip that had my hair brushing the floor. I had no choice but to stare into his eyes. They were so dark. So deep. I willed him to drink me in and take me home with him. I wanted to get hot and sweaty, tangled in soft white sheets, with this man. I didn’t know him and I didn’t care.

And let’s be real. Any man with dance moves like Theo’s had to be good in bed.

His gaze sharpened and then dropped to my lips like he was seriously contemplating kissing me. My skin heated as a flush spread across my chest at the idea of Theo wanting me the way I wanted him.

Yes. Kiss me.

“It was very nice to meet you, Allison Riley,” he said. Then he righted me, very much like he’d done when he caught me, and took a step back, separating us for the first time in nearly four minutes. “And yes, you may call me Theo.” He dipped low over my hand and planted a soft kiss over my knuckles that sent an electric current across my skin, taking my breath away. 
He disappeared back into the crowd before I could say anything else. 
It felt like a piece of me went with him. There was something about him… It wasn’t just how he looked or the sound of his voice—even though both of those were quite amazing—it was something else entirely. It was the way he spoke with his eyes, the capable way he handled me while dancing. It was all the things he was holding back. I could feel it. Like there was an entire lake dammed up behind a massive wall. I got glimpses of it in his reactions, even though he wasn’t saying a word.

He was so guarded and careful—clearly making a conscious decision to restrain himself. He hesitated before each sentence as if holding himself back from saying everything in his head. 
So instead, he didn’t say much at all. 
And yet none of that restraint could disguise the way his hands held me just a little bit tighter each time I moved away. Or the way his eyes locked and held with mine in the silence that stretched between us. 
Part of me wondered if I’d dreamt Theo up. He came and went so quietly. Disappearing like a ghost before my very eyes. Maybe he was as reclusive as Luis said he was.

But somehow I doubted that.

Tagged As:


  • Fiction
  • Romance (Fiction)
  • Contemporary (Romance (Fiction))
  • Erotica (Romance (Fiction))


  • Fling (Romance (Fiction))
  • Millionaire Playboy (Romance (Fiction))
  • Office Romance (Romance (Fiction))


  • Bad Boys (Romance (Fiction))
  • Billionaires (Romance (Fiction))
  • Businessmen (Romance (Fiction))


  • Billionaire Lifestyle (Romance (Fiction))

Advance Praise

“Very erotic.” 

“This has truly been an awesome book and an amazing series.” 
-Books of Past, Present, and Future

"Tempt blazes off the page! The moment Allison and Theo meet, you know they're meant to be together." -Vivienne Thorne

"Steamy, sultry, and sexy... Alexis Anne offers up her most mysterious and tempting hero yet!"-Anne L. Parks

Marketing Plan

Hi everyone! I'm really looking to get more reviews on Amazon. I've lost quite a few recently *shakes fist at the 'Zon* and I've been blessed with some great reviews on Kobo and iBooks, but of course they could use some more review love as well. Thanks so much for taking a peed at TEMPT!