Excerpt - THE RAKE


Our heroine, Cassie, is a matchmaker. Not just any matchmaker, THE BEST. The last thing she wants to do is take on Devon Wakefield as a client, but eventually he wins her over...but he turns out to be an even more difficult client than she anticipated.

In this scene, she's trying to get him to talk about his preferences, so she can find just the right woman. She has a photo book of glamor shots for people who have trouble articulating what they want, because picking their favorites usually helps her get a good idea of what they like - but Devon manages to derail the conversation....


I reach into a desk drawer and pull out the binder labelled “Women.” Yeah, yeah. Like I said, I do feel kind of gross about it. But it’s a living.

I make a serious effort to soften my tone as I push the binder across the desk to him.

“Why don’t you go ahead and pick out some of your favorites from these shots? That’ll help me get a better sense of who I should be looking for.”

He glances at me, a little suspiciously. He thinks this is some kind of test. I don’t know why he’s so determined to work with me, but I should probably try to tone down the judgment, in the interest of professionalism. Even if he does have almost exactly the personality type I was expecting.

As he flips through the pictures, a little too quickly, shaking his head a bit, I wonder if this is going to work at all. If he can’t give me some concrete idea of what he’s after, besides this centerfold bio bullshit - I mean, I’m shocked he didn’t put “likes long walks on the beach” on there - I really can’t help him. I can’t even try. He’s too guarded. And maybe that’s a little bit my fault, but really. What matchmaker wouldn’t balk at this task?

“You know, I always used to wonder if gynecologists get desensitized,” he muses, out loud. His finger’s marking the halfway point in the binder, but he’s not really looking at the pictures. “I always thought, what a terrible sacrifice that would be to make. Who would choose that profession? I mean, if you didn’t like vaginas to begin with, that’d be one thing…”

“Here’s a hot tip,” I cut in. “Don’t open with this conversation on a date.”

He chuckles. “We’re not dating, Cassandra,” he says, glancing up at me with sparkling eyes. It’s all I can do not to acknowledge the little flutter in my chest.

God damn it. Why does he have to be the sexiest client I’ve ever had?

“I know that,” I snap. My patience has already worn thin; he has that effect on me. “Do you have a point, or did you just want to see how many times you could get away with saying vagina in a business meeting?”

“This is hardly a traditional business meeting,” he points out, catching his lower lip between his teeth for a brief moment and then releasing it. “Vaginas are kind of central to the whole thing.”

“That’s two.” I raise the appropriate number of fingers. “I think you broke the world record. Can we move on?”


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