A Very Merry Temptation
(Mistletoe in Memphis)
Essence Sinclair needs to land the holiday catering contract for Lincoln Davenport’s company…almost as much as she wants the sexy exec himself. When Lincoln glimpses the sensual chef, he’s sure all his Christmas dreams have come true at once. Will this be a holiday fling—or magic that’s made to last?
Lincoln Davenport glanced up from the file he was reading at his desk, and when his gaze landed on Essence Sinclair he felt all the blood drain from his head. Have mercy…Desire walloped him, knocked him flat back on his leather, executive chair. His tongue lay limp in his mouth, and for several moments he couldn’t speak. Not that he wanted to. There were no words in the English language—or any language—to describe her staggering beauty, and Lincoln knew if he spoke he’d make a complete and utter fool of himself. He feared his legs would buckle from the weight of his desire, but he stood and strode confidently toward her.
Lincoln didn’t have the power to look away, couldn’t if someone paid him. Essence was all that, and her brilliant, dazzling smile turned his brain to mincemeat. During her stint on So You Think You Can Cook, she always looked good, well put together, but this morning she was done up from head to toe. Big hair, crimson-red lips, makeup and nails done to perfection. The reality star had a classic Jackie O vibe about her, but with a sexy, seductive twist. Diamond hoop earrings dangled from her ears, a glitzy, oversized purse hung from her wrist, and her black, turtleneck dress kissed every sensuous curve on her shapely body. Her leopard-print pumps elongated her toned, brown legs, and every time she moved her ankle bracelet tinkled. For as long as Lincoln could remember, he’d always had a weakness for sisters with an hourglass figure, and not only was Essence Sinclair stacked in all the right places, she was oozing with sexual confidence. At thirty-five, Lincoln had met his fair share of attractive women, but the titillating reality TV star was in a league of her own. She’s a modern-day femme fatale, he thought, giving his eyes license to roam over her sinuous curves. And if was looking for a woman to share my bed with this holiday season, she’d be on the top of my Christmas wish list.
“I’m so sorry I’m late. Traffic was horrible, and I got lost twice,” Essence said, resting her purse at her feet. “At one point, I got so frustrated I tossed my GPS out the window!”
Lincoln chuckled. Essence spoke to him in a friendly manner, as if they’d known each other for years. He liked that. It wasn’t every day he met a bubbly, outgoing sister with a killer pair of legs, and Lincoln suspected he was going to enjoy this meeting immensely. According to Naomi, her best friend was loved and admired by everyone, and now that Lincoln had met the drop-dead gorgeous caterer for himself he could see why. Essence was a force, a woman of incredible presence, and as Lincoln listened to her, he decided she was the most beautiful woman he’d ever laid eyes on.
“I feel terrible about showing up late.” Wearing an apologetic face, she tilted her head to the side, and touched a hand to her chest. “Please forgive me. I promise it won’t happen again.”
“Don’t sweat it. You’re here now, and that’s all that matters,” Lincoln said, ignoring the wide-eyed expression on his secretary’s face. A stickler for time, he was surprised to hear the words come out of his mouth too, but nodded and said, “Welcome to Global Technologies International, Ms. Sinclair. I’m Lincoln Davenport.”
“Of, course, yes…thanks for this, I mean, thanks for seeing me—” Essence broke off speaking when she realized she sounded crazier than a fool in a bath robe wandering around the Laundromat. Her tongue suddenly felt too big for her mouth, and her stomach was overrun with hundreds of butterflies. Get it together, she chided herself, raking a hand through her wavy hair. Cakes and Confections by Essence is hanging on by a thread. You can’t afford to screw this up.
It took supreme effort, but Essence dragged her gaze away from Lincoln’s mouth and stared deep into his eyes. Wrong move. Now her heart was pounding in her chest. She’d walked into the office expecting to see an older man in tweed and polyester, but instead found a tall, dark hottie with an athletic physique sitting behind the circular, glass desk. His eyes were dreamy, his build was lean and muscular, and his skin was the deepest, warmest shade of brown there was. The computer software engineer was so damn good-looking, Essence felt light on her feet, as if she was going to pass out. But she wouldn’t of course. Not in front of this fine-ass man who reeked of money, class, and power.