All Work and No Play…

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Mills & Boon Modern Extra
June 1, 2007 (Paperback)

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Published in North America as Mistress in Private, Harlequin Presents.

She wasn't the kind of girl that gorgeous men flirted with.

She was plain Jane Miller--great at her job, organised, efficient, sensible. Except that every time she met Jay's deep blue eyes, she knew he
wanted her. And she wanted him--the guy was seriously sexy! Perhaps for a change it was time to let go and have the night of her life!

After all, all work and no play makes Jane a very dull girl...

More About All Work and No Play…

All you really need to know about All Work and No Play... is that I was totally high on pregnancy hormones when I wrote it, and that it was inspired by three things. One was a children’s rhyme about Tarzan and underwear; one was Fountain of Wayne’s song “Stacey’s Mom”, and one was this photograph of Guy Pearce:

guy pearce

I’m not much of a plot-ty writer but this one has a bit of a mistaken identity plot. Jane and Jonny were childhood friends who lost touch, but now they have an online friendship. Jane doesn’t know that Jonny has started being a male model, though Jonny thinks that she does know. They meet through Jane’s work, and Jane, thinking Jonny is a gorgeous stranger, asks him out. Jonny is thrilled because he’s had a crush on Jane for years.

Anyway, this scene is from the beginning, when Jane gets worried about her date and goes online to ask Jonny for tips on how to seduce the guy, who, unbeknownst to her, is actually him. She’s just told him she’s going to be wearing good underwear.

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"Wow! Ms. Cohen is a delight to read. Her characters are realistic and funny and fantastic to get to know." -Fallen Angels Reviews, 5 stars, recommended read.



Excerpt

Okay, so how should I behave?

The ding of Jane’s message broke him out of his reverie, though it couldn’t distract him completely.

Just be yourself, Jane, he typed. No man could ask for more.

You’re very sweet, Jonny, but I need more information. Should I be flirtatious? Seductive? How do I do it?

The thoughts about Jane’s underwear didn’t go away, but he also remembered her at lunch today. He hadn’t been able to take his eyes off her. Jane had tried to act normally, talking with Thom, pretending to study the menu and appreciate her food–but he’d caught her attention wandering back to him, again and again. She’d looked in his eyes just a little too long when they spoke to each other; she’d cast quick, fluttering glances at his body.

Since he’d started modelling he’d become used to glances like that from women, but Jane was different. Every glance from her heated his skin with desire–and more than that, her eyes on him made him feel like laughing out loud with happiness.

The mutual attraction between them was the best thing that had happened to him for a very long time.

I mean it, he typed. Just be yourself. You’re seductive without any help.

And you’re not BEING any help, Jonny. I need to know how to be sexy. What would you think if a woman did something like leaning forward on the table to mistakenly/deliberately show you her cleavage? Or is that too tacky?

Jonny swallowed. Jane Miller, the girl of his dreams, deliberately leaning forward in her clingy dress, showing him her cleavage in her “fancy underwear”…

That would work, he typed.

What else? I’m bad at this, remember. Tell me what you like.

Oh, dear lord. Jonny took a deep breath, closed his eyes, and typed without looking at the laptop, because his inner vision behind his eyelids was showing Jane, doing every little thing she could do to turn him on.

Cross your legs, let your skirt ride up a little, laugh, lean back in your chair. Wear your hair loose and twist a strand of it around your finger. Reach out, with small touches, a stroke on my arm or hand. Throw back your head in that adventurous way that you have. Get close, let us breathe the same air. Let your eyes show how you feel.

He opened his eyes only to press “send”, and he watched his words appear in the dialogue box.

In black-and-white, the words looked different than they had in his head. Starker. More like orders, rather than fantasy.

His heart rate sped up, partly with anxiety, but mostly with excitement. His blood pounded through his body and heated his limbs.

His adventurous Jane, the fearless girl who climbed trees and jumped into pools of water without looking first. Was she playing with him, teasing him? Was she really as uncertain as she said?

She’d made the first move by asking him out, and now she was taking it further before they even met again, and either motivation appealed to him. He could play with her or he could reassure her. Or he could do both. He could tell her what he wanted from her, as he’d never done with any other woman before, because what he wanted most from her was that she be herself.

Unless, of course, she didn’t like what he’d written.

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