Series: The Without Series #1
Genre: Contemporary Adult Romance
He’s neat, always on time, and a professed workaholic. I’m messy, always running late, and looking for more from life than just my job.
Yet our mutual attraction is undeniable.
The last thing I expected after our first date was to have Simon show up at my office. The charming and funny guy I'd met was now gone, replaced by the cold and calculating man in an impeccable suit. While my professional future is now in his hands, I can’t stop thinking about how his hands would feel on my body.
Whatever had started between us can't possibly happen now, but that’s easier said than done. Because the more I try not to think of his sexy smirk or delicious accent, the harder it is to stay away. And if our forbidden office kiss is any indication, his resolve is slipping too.
I've sworn I'd never fall for a man who puts his job first.
Too bad my heart isn't listening.
***Without Apology is for mature audiences due to steamy bedroom scenes that are in no way contained to just the bedroom.***
Peyton Waters, 29, heads an accounting department for a Texas based company. When she meets a sexy British guy who she hits it off with, she has no idea how complicated things are about to get. Simon Granger, 30, is known as the Iceman due to his emotionless approach to his job of acquiring companies for his boss. But upon meeting Peyton, he gets a crash course in feelings.
What I found most refreshing about this story is how Petyon and Simon are both ‘quite single.’ Even though that sounds like a no-brainer for a romance book, it’s surprisingly hard to find. There’s no past romantic relationship baggage, no jealous scheming exes, no OW/OM drama, and it made the romance so much more enjoyable. This is simply a story about two mature adults negotiating an ethically borderline work romance with a time stamp.
“It was amazing how much more quickly a twenty-five hour ride went when you spent most of it having sex….I was sure Simon had been inside me in every single state we’d driven through.”
In between what I found to be the cute scenes that make up their initial meeting in the beginning and Peyton’s “arrival” at the end are plenty of sultry encounters to keep the romance heated.
But mostly, I really liked Peyton and Simon. And Emma! It’s always a plus to see strong, intelligent women portrayed in romance. And then Simon rolled off with this:
“‘…it’s an archaic, misogynist view that women can’t hold positions once dominate by men. In fact, I’d argue their view makes the assumption that no man in the same position should put his family first. That because he’s a man, he wouldn’t want to have an active involvement and be an equal partner in the parenting of the children.’”
Yep, that’s the kind of man who should take the lead in a romance every day!
Now I won’t say there aren't some “antagonists” in this tale, although thankfully it stayed low-angst and didn't fall prey to predictable drama. In fact, I was just as invested in the business subplot as I was the romance, to the point I really wanted to see some heads roll.
Told via Peyton and Simon’s alternating first person POV, this is an opposites-attract office romance. Emma’s story is the next book in this standalone series.
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As I unloaded my full carry basket onto the belt, I couldn’t help noticing the man in front me who was wearing a charcoal gray suit. He was attractive, but what instantly perked up my ears was his British accent. That wasn’t something one often heard in this suburban town outside of Dallas, Texas.
He was talking to the elderly cashier, who I knew as Laverne, about lacking the identification necessary to buy the bottle of champagne she was holding in her hand.
“You have my word I’m over the legal drinking age, whatever that may be here in Texas.”
Laverne adjusted her thick glasses and shook her head. “Unless you have some sort of identification proving it, honey, I can’t sell it to you.”
He searched the inside pocket of his suit. “Unfortunately, my passport is back in my hotel room. Is there any chance you could give me the bottle now, and I could return tomorrow with my ID?”
Nice try, I thought, but then realized the words had inadvertently slipped out loud. When his ice-blue eyes focused on me, my body immediately responded. Because the eyes were only part of what made up his gorgeous face, now turned in my direction.
Damn, David Gandy had nothing on his younger version, for sure. The man’s mouth turned up in a slight smile towards me before he sighed at Laverne, seemingly recognizing that her cataracts and sour expression made any use of his charms a wasted effort.
Taking pity, I stepped up. “Hey, Laverne, how about I pay for the bottle? I have my ID if you need it.”
She hesitated and then glared when Brexy, my new mingled word for British and sexy, pulled out his wallet, probably to front me the money.
“You keep your wallet and your cash where it is, honey. What you two do in private ain’t none of my business, but don’t be doing it in front of me. Rules are rules.”
Brexy and I exchanged arched brows at Laverne’s suggestive way of putting it, but he stowed his wallet and said, “Understood. I promise to, uh, finish this transaction in private.”
Now he was smirking. The expression suited his handsome features very well. I had to bite my lip to keep from laughing out loud.
As Laverne scanned my items, she started chatting. “Making snickerdoodles with the girls tonight?” She directed the question towards me.
“Yes. Sure am.” I noticed the man’s gaze flick over to my left hand. Subtle he was not. Then again, neither was I. “My three nieces,” I offered, feeling like an idiot for needing to clarify that point.
“You don’t need her identification, I take it?” he inquired, making room for me to slide my credit card at the terminal in front of us.
Laverne tsked “I’ve known Peyton here for nearly the twenty-nine years she’s been on this earth, so I’m quite aware of her age without needing proper identification.” She handed me the receipt after bagging everything and added, “She’s also quite single.”
And with that, she was moving on to the next customer.
I shook my head over her use of the word ‘quite’ in front of single. Because ‘single’ wasn’t enough, she had to add the word ‘quite,’ making it sound as if I couldn’t possibly be more single.
Small towns. Gotta love ‘em.
Aubrey Bondurant is a working mom who loves to write, read and travel. She describes her writing style as: "Adult Contemporary Erotic Romantic Comedy," which is just another way of saying she likes her characters funny, her bedroom scenes hot, and her romances with a happy ending. When Aubrey isn't working her day job, or spending time with her family, she's on her laptop typing away on her next story. She only wishes there were more hours of the day! She's a former member of the US Marine Corps and passionate about veteran charities and giving back to the community. She loves a big drooly dog, a fantastic margarita, and football.