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What does a man do when a work project puts him in a conference room with Sabrina Moore, the sexy woman of his dreams? If the man is Peter Merrill, he’s got three choices: (1) Fantasize about her; (2) Notice how sweet she is; or (3) Find out what she’s wearing under her suit jacket . . .
The three-week rush project reveals that presence makes the attraction grow stronger. As Peter and Sabrina put their marketing skills to work, Sabrina’s thoughts run to a call to action that has nothing to do with ad campaigns and everything to do with attraction.
Call to Attraction
When they realize their desire is mutual, suit jackets aren’t the only thing to come off. But Sabrina’s keeping a secret that may interfere with their relationship . . .
Sabrina Moore stared at the man sitting on the other side of the conference table and reached one inescapable conclusion—whoever said “work is its own reward” had never worked at Malten Medical.
She was no stranger to the obligations of working in the company’s marketing department. Developing solid ideas and fleshing them out was her specialty, but she’d pitch in on anyone else’s marketing project anytime she was needed. If Malten wanted expedited crowd sourcing, she’d jump into the crowd. If last-minute changes required late hours on an ad campaign? She’d work until it was done.
But all of those minor challenges paled in comparison to being stuck in a conference room with Peter Merrill.
Peter was tall, dark, and not-quite-handsome, with thick brown hair and dark green eyes. Watching him taking off his suit jacket had become the highlight of her day. He looked like the best meal she could imagine.
And she was on a diet. She wasn’t going carb-free, or even man-free. But she was nixing any attraction to men who could consider her a shortcut to success. Which included men she worked with. Which included Peter. Unfortunately.
So stuck wasn’t the right word. After all, she’d laugh if one of her friends said, “I’m stuck in a room with a man who is great to work with and makes me drool with a look. Help me!”
“I need a break.” She tilted back in her chair, which squeaked at the sudden movement.
Those green eyes met hers. “I’ve got one.”
That was unusual. She’d been the one to initiate the let’s-share-information-about-ourselves game on day three of this enforced solitude. It was a fun way to take breaks from their work. They’d covered siblings (she was an only child; he had two sisters), favorite vacation spots (he liked road trips while she preferred lounging on a beach), and leisure activities (she liked ballroom dancing or hanging out with gal pals and he enjoyed basketball), among other facts. This was the first time Peter had offered a topic.
“You ready to be done with this project?”
She swallowed, her mouth as dry as week-old bread. How would he respond if she said, No, because then I won’t be working with you? She never guessed she would feel this way when she was asked to work with Peter Merrill seventeen days, three hours, and seven minutes ago. Not that she was counting. Sure, she’d seen him around—they both worked in Malten’s marketing department, after all. But until now, that work had been on separate projects, not with each other.
Then the big boss at Malten had outsourced the new company branding and direction to a marketing firm. What had come back was a hot mess. That’s when the-powers-that-be put their two best marketing minds in a room to create the new direction. For three weeks. Two and a half of which were already over.
Peter stared at her, gaze expectant, as he waited for an answer. He’d shed his jacket an hour ago—but she still wasn’t counting. The rolled-up sleeves of his white shirt revealed muscular forearms that made her want to whimper in frustration. She fantasized about running her hands up and down those arms, his muscles flexing under her fingers—
Okay. This wasn’t going to help her make it through the rest of the workday. Even if it ended in half an hour. She needed to remember that he was off the menu. Not a possibility. A safe answer was best, even if she wanted to say, Were you talking? I was too busy admiring your arms…and other attributes. “My other work is piling up, so I’m sure our co-workers are ready for us to get back to it.” And really, she’d handled presentations at Fortune 500 companies with more ease than she had this simple question. “How about you?”
“Yeah, the guys are hassling me about having this cushy assignment.”
“Cushy?” Her laugh erupted as a one-syllable note of disbelief. “Do they know what we’re doing in here?” She waited but he didn’t laugh with her. Instead, the words lingered, as if to suggest what is going on here?
At last he smiled like a lazy, sleepy cat and offered a slow shrug. “Hey, I’m just repeating what they say.”
Cushy. She couldn’t believe it. “Maybe we should let them take over the project and see how cushy they think it is.”
“No.” His relaxed air disappeared. “We got here because they gave the assignment to someone else. We are the ones I trust to fix it.”
The words enclosed her more fully than any embrace could.
“Ready to narrow down our calls to action?” Peter bounced out of his chair and strode to the whiteboard.
Work. Right. She stifled a sigh. Obviously concentration was a problem. Unless it meant concentrating on Peter. Who knew she could have trouble focusing on the work she loved? She sure hadn’t. But as Peter made a list of the options, she wasn’t able to take her eyes off of him. Watching him from a distance was one thing. In close quarters, Peter’s charisma washed over her like an endless waterfall.
“Nice one,” he said, pointing at one of her contributions listed on the board. “This is awesome.”
There was the problem. Peter wasn’t only attractive. He noticed and praised people’s strengths and listened when someone shared an opinion. The truth was, he made her feel valued, at least as a co-worker. When they started working together, she had admired his appearance. Now she liked everything about him, except the fact that he didn’t seem to notice her on a personal level. Not the way she noticed him. Maybe he had a girlfriend. Or two. How could he not?
She didn’t want to think about how things would change next Monday when the project was finished and they stopped spending hours in the conference room. Maybe she should say something to test the waters, see if he was interested. Or she could just jump him. He was a guy, right? Surely he wouldn’t mind. No matter what Cosmo said about the merits of letting a man chase you, today’s woman went after what she wanted. Thinking about how he might react if she showed up for work tomorrow in decidedly unbusiness-like attire made her smile.
When had the temperature gone up in the room?
Only twenty minutes left before the end of the day. Please, let her make it through them without saying something stupid.
Behind the Scenes
Call to Attraction grew out of an earlier, previously published story called Office Relations. When I decided to indie publish the novella, I remembered how many readers wanted to spend more time with Peter and Sabrina. I knew there was a bigger story here, so I expanded it considerably. When I first wrote this story, I knew I wanted to write about two co-workers, so I started with a situation that forced two people to work together. Once I had the situation, the hero, Peter, came to life almost immediately. I occasionally joke that he is a character who wanted his story told, and that’s true. The result is Call to Attraction.
Here’s what readers are saying about Call to Attraction! Click on the links for the complete reviews.
Lia Sebastian has captured the essence of modern romance in the workplace – complete with backroom politics. If you’re in the mood for a sexy read, Office Relations will not disappoint. I’m looking forward to Ms. Sebastian’s next offering.
I loved the humor, characters and small tight plot. The writing was excellent. . . . I especially enjoyed the heat and interaction between the two main characters. Lia Sebastian wrote an excellent story that I wholeheartedly recommend. I wanted more.
Lia Sebastian’s debut is an enjoyable one that I’ll definitely be rereading again. The characters are both vivid and real, with conflicts and reactions that pull you deeply into the story.
–Evolution Writers Book Reviews
This was a fantastically simple tale of romance in the office with an honest portrayal of potential problems, especially in a work environment. I was additionally impressed with the amount of good, basic emotional conflict. . . . Add to that the heat encountered amongst these co-workers, and regardless of the season, this story has the potential to make you break out in a sweat. Love in the workplace has hardly looked so appealing than in Office Relations.
–Fallen Angel Reviews
Office Relations is a fast read, the first from Lia Sebastian, with a likeable premise and some truly hot moments. If only all offices worked this way!
Office Relations is a very fast moving book. The sex and emotions are so real that you will not put the book down until you finish it. Lia Sebastian has written a keeper in this book. I was so moved by what Sabrina was going through that I was wishing it was me instead. This is a short book but it is filled with lots of emotions and powerful sex that will make you wish you were there.