RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW
IT’S NOT YOU, IT’S ME…
For Gabby Pearson, being dumped in public before the dessert course has to be the lowest of the low—especially when it’s the old, “It’s not you, it’s me” speech. Honestly, how about something original: “I have five minutes to live” (very possible); “It’s not you, it’s the voices in my head” (thanks for the warning); or “I am such a powerful sexual being I could put you into a coma with one kiss” (wishful thinking). Not that Gabby would ever know since Reed Larkin never bothered to take her to bed. Why does a girl bother (to shave)? The only thing left to do is offer the guy a goodbye-forever drink…on his head.
IT’S ME WANTING YOU COMPLETELY…
Damn. Reed did his job—he walked away from Gabby rather than drag her into his unstable life and danger. Now he’s wearing her full glass of wine instead of throwing her onto his sheets. It doesn’t help that the woman is smart as hell and could stop a man’s breath with that wide smile and those shapely curves. Gabby has it all, and Reed wants every inch of her. And now the joke’s on him, because new intel says Gabby has just become his assignment: He has one day to win her back, get information from her she may not know she has, and somehow protect her at the same time.
RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW. PROBLEM?
The stakes are high. The odds are impossible. And the mutual attraction is as hot and strong as Gabby’s anger. And Reed can only hope his next speech—“It’s you, baby, it’s definitely you…”—will be the start of something wild, something crazy, something dangerous, something wonderful…
*2009 Book Buyers Best Contest finalist (single title)
“Sharp writing and plenty of sexy romantic sizzle give ‘Right Here, Right Now’ its own irresistible flavor.” -John Charles, Chicago Tribune
"Fast-paced, fun, and even zany in parts with all the lies and secret identities, it was a definite sit-through-and–finish-it novel." -Romance Reader At Heart Top Pick!
"HelenKay Dimon continues to show readers why she’s one of Brava’s shining stars. Her writing is crisp and funny and will keep you turning each page eagerly anticipating what will happen next." -Patti Fischer, Romance Reviews Today
"A fun and fiery hot tale of dealing with deception to reach an honest relationship… fresh, fast and alive all the way through." -Fresh Fiction
"RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW is a first rate entertaining book the reader is sure to enjoy.” -Marilyn Rondeau, Reviewers International Organization (RIO)
"Romance readers who enjoy sassy, capable heroines and dominant, good-hearted heroes will find Right Here, Right Now is more than a must-buy, it is a book guaranteed a permanent place on the bookshelf." -Jennifer, CK2S Kwips and Kritiques
"Right Here, Right Now is a marvelous battle of the sexes with enough twists and turns to keep the reader guessing." -Lettetia, CataNetwork Reviews
"A cross between ‘Mr. and Mrs. Smith’ and ‘True Lies,’ RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW is the perfect blend of suspense and comedy." -Romance Junkies, 5 Ribbon Review
"Dimon combines fresh, solid character voices reminiscent of chick lit with love scenes that sizzle with the passion and intensity of any hot erotica. The result is one comical page-turner." – Romantic Times
"This isn’t working."
There they were. To Gabrielle Pearson the phrase stood second only to "it’s not you, it’s me" as the most lame male excuse on the planet for cutting out of a date before the dessert menus hit the table.
Gabby glanced around the upscale restaurant looking for reinforcements. If anyone heard Reed Larkin’s big kiss off over the rumble of conversation and clanking of silverware, they were not letting on. No one held up a roll ready to lob it at Reed’s fat head. A shame, really, since his over-inflated ego made it the perfect target.
"Gabby? Did you hear me?" Reed asked with his suddenly not-so-kissable mouth turned down in concern.
"I’m not deaf. I was thinking." Thinking that a woman never had a vial of strychnine when she needed one.
He frowned. "I was-"
"It’s interesting, don’t you agree?"
He switched to squinting. "You lost me.
She lowered her fork to the white tablecloth, but not before toying with the idea of stabbing Reed smack in the center of his perfectly angled chin. One hit of the sharp prongs and no woman would ever be lured in by his inviting sexy smile again.
"I’m talking about your timing, Reed. You waited until you were done with your meal to make this announcement. You skipped the appetizer course and choked back your undercooked steak without taking a breath." Now she knew why.
Reed was a man on the run.
The big weasel.
Here she thought tonight, formal date number nine, might be the date. The one to capture all the heat pulsing between them with a bedroom ending. Hell, she’d be lucky to get cab fare out of him now.
Reed took a long swallow of water.
When he didn’t choke, Gabby cursed life’s unfairness. "I’m assuming I’m the part of the relationship that’s not working."
"Look, it’s not you. It’s-"
Oh, no, no, no. "Don’t finish that sentence."
If he continued down that road the half of the salmon filet she did manage to swallow would make a repeat performance all over his expensive navy suit. Tempting but not going to happen.
"What’s wrong with you?" he asked as if he actually did not know.
"Just don’t." She pointed a finger in the general direction of Reed’s heart to back up her threat.
Those ice blue eyes that were so attractive up until five minutes ago blinked several times. "Gabby, we should-"
"Stop talking before someone loses a body part." Her gaze dropped to her fork. "Preferably you."
The sexy sparkle behind his eyes faded as the grin on his full mouth fell flat. For the first time since they sat down to eat, Reed’s usual assurance slipped. Nice of him to show some reaction.
She learned long ago to control her emotions. To keep her reactions neutral and her anger at bay. No matter how fast that ball of anxiety started to spin around in her gut she held it all in. Forced her outside to defy her insides.
She had been through far worse than a broken relationship, weathered much and never broke. But something about the silliness of the scene, of Reed cutting her off at the same time she mentally planned his seduction, broke open the dam inside her and sent anger spewing in every direction.
Her chest clenched as her cheeks grew hot. Her jaw pulled tight enough to make her back teeth ache.
Pissed. She was down-to-her-bones pissed. A new sensation and one she chalked up to a build-up of stress without any release. One that refused to go away quietly.
If Reed intended to hand her a relationship pink slip, then she planned to give him an ending to remember. "Tell me something."
He smiled at the older couple sitting at the table next to them. "Sure."
"Where did it go wrong for you?"
Their relationship didn’t take any wrong turns for her. They cruised along just fine with her getting more interested and attracted every single day. Then the waiter put the entrees on the table and everything went to hell.
"The ‘it’ is…?" he asked.
"For a smart guy, you seem to be experiencing some trouble with small words."
He stopped glancing around the restaurant and focused on her instead. "Talk slow and I’ll try to keep up."
"Fine." Actually, the scene was anything but fine, but she clearly did not get a vote. "Us. You and me. The relationship. Since we never even had sex, I mean."
He clamped his lips together. "Is this really
Definitely. "Maybe there’s something you forgot to tell
me? You know, about your preferences and such."
Color rushed back into his cheeks. "Wait a damn second."
"We’ve gone out. Had a good time. It’s called dating, in case you didn’t know." This anger thing felt good. Freeing. Rather than fight it, Gabby let it flood through her veins.
"The next step between normal, healthy adults would have been sex." The step she’d been imagining ever since he walked into her favorite morning coffee shop about a month before, forgot his wallet and borrowed money and a seat at her table.
As if she needed another reason to give up caffeine.
"So?" She balanced both elbows on the table, blocking out the low rumble of conversation from the other diners. Dropping her voice down to a conspiratorial whisper, she asked, "What was it?"
Reed tugged on his ear in the nervous gesture she might have found endearing on another night, in another situation. Not on this one.
She leaned in until only her fury separated them. "Not the kissing, because that was good."
Okay, the lip action had been great. Score one for the tech nerd with the linebacker shoulders, pouty mouth and irresistible crooked smile.
She kept all the positives to herself. Now was not the time for an ego stroke. In fact, she did not plan on stroking any part of Reed Larkin ever again.