EXCERPT: Need to Know by HelenKay DimonTuesday, October 22, 2013 12:00
I enjoy reading an author who writes outside the box for her readers as well as herself, and HelenKay Dimon does that in spades. If I lived in a big, powerful city like Jordan does, I think I’d try to be the first to bring her Need to Know web site to fruition in the real world.
So take a few minutes to read this teaser. I think you’ll hop on over to Amazon as soon as you’ve read the last word!
Welcome to Need to Know—Because a Woman Can’t Be Too Informed
Dating in D.C. is like navigating an apocalyptic wasteland populated by men in expensive suits with zero mating potential. Need to Know provides all the information a savvy single woman like you needs to avoid dating disasters.
By night, Jordan McAdam is the proprietor of a popular website that rates D.C.’s hottest bachelors—everything from how quick they email you back to their skills in the sack. She’s been burned once too often to accept any man at face value. By day, her job as an office temp puts her in the perfect position to do a little fact-checking on her rich and powerful subjects. When her latest assignment brings her face-to-face with the sexy but mysterious Forest Redder, Jordan decides to do a little “hands on” research of her own. To Jordan, he seems like the perfect man—but she knows there is no such thing. Moreover, there’s a big problem: Forest knows Jordan’s the woman behind the scandalous site—and Jordan knows he knows. Will he expose her secret—or find his own posted on Need to Know?
The low rumble of voices in the small reception area outside the conference room and near her desk grabbed her attention. She moved closer to the doorway and glanced out. There, by the love seat and looming over the bad-bachelor glass coffee table and the stack of six-month-old magazines, were two men in matching dark suits. The black-haired, broad-shouldered one with his back to her suddenly turned around and met her stare for stare.
She didn’t need a member’s report from the Need to Know website or a business degree to identify him. Forest Redder, millionaire businessman and commercial real-estate powerhouse…whatever that was…and an integral part of every business and political power circle in town. Objectively good looking, all six-foot-whatever of him but—thanks to the rich-boy affect—not her thing.
The blond with him, Wendell Strong—Wen to everyone who knew him—had a could-sell-yachts-to-the-poor smile. That was even less her thing.
After seeing the names on Ryan’s schedule that morning she’d done some investigating on both men. Their friendship stretched back through private schools and country clubs and wherever else rich people congregated. Neither man’s name hadmade it onto her website yet, but being two of the city’s most eligible bachelors in their thirties, reports and requests for information from the Need to Know community were inevitable.
Her goal for one year in business was a thousand active members paying monthly dues and, in return, getting the dating information they needed. She had eight months to go and with or without those two on the website, she was almost halfway to her membership goal.
She stepped into the reception area and closed the conference-room door behind her. “Gentlemen, may I help you?”
“We’re here for a meeting with Ryan Peterson.” Forest didn’t break into a smile or even move. “Do you know where I can find him?”
Something about the commanding tone and presence made her feel as put together as an unmade bed. She tugged down on her pencil skirt, then stopped, because letting this guy throw her off stride was just not going to happen.
“Mr. Peterson needs a few more minutes.” She had no idea if that was true, but she doubted this Forest guy had to wait for much, so she thought experiencing a little delay would be good for him.
“Are you his assistant?” His gaze dipped down and traveled over her for the briefest flash.
The last time she fell for a look like that, she ended up dating a guy who was about to get married. Not to her—not that she knew that going in. Funny how he’d forgotten to mention the fiancée and expensive wedding, complete with pre-nup and newspaper notice. Thank goodness her friend and web assistant, Elle Parker, saw that little gem or Jordan might still be the unwitting other woman to an idiot who deserved a nasty case of bedbugs.
“I’m just the temp.” She stepped farther into the receptionarea. Next came the awkward gesture in the general direction of the floor lamp. “Have a seat.”
Of course they would. Heaven forbid this Forest guy do anything to stop the circus show dancing around in her stomach.“You’re early.”
Forest glanced at his watch. His eyebrow lifted a second later.
Yeah, that wasn’t annoying or anything. “Right. Well, if you’ll excuse me a second…”
Before he said anything else, she bolted back into the conference room. Ryan sat in his big black leather chair, spinning the seat back and forth like a spoiled child. No wonder the business his family had built for decades had been flushed into a downturn only two years after Ryan took over the reins.
“Your appointment is here.”
He waved a hand at her. “Send them in.”
She turned around when he started the tie straightening and hair combing with his fingers. Pulling the door open again, she peeked into the reception area and saw Wen and Forest. They hadn’t moved at all. No talking. No shifting. They just stood there staring at her. Wen also smiled, but Forest skipped over that part.
“Mr. Peterson can see you now.” She stepped back and gestured for them to step inside the conference room.
Wen gave her a nod as he passed. He really did have the six-foot all-American-boy thing down. She could imagine him in khakis on a polo field as his two perfect blond-haired children ran by.
Then Forest slipped past her. His shoulder brushed against hers and the fresh scent of soap fell over her senses. He had the cleaned-up-businessman look, but underneath she sensed something rougher. Something not so proper.
Now that was her thing and the surprise kick of interest did not make her happy at all.