LOOK what's LIVE on Amazon. AHHHH! I absolutely ADORE this author. Each book in the Landry Family Series is a stand-alone novel. Today, I have the FIRST chapter of SWITCH - Graham Landry's book! I cannot wait to dive into this novel. If you have not met Barrett (Sway) and Lincoln (Swing) you can do that NOW. ALL three books are LIVE on Amazon and FREE if you read with Kindle Unlimited.
Series: Landry Family Series Stand-alone
Author: Adriana Locke
Release Date: 2/19/2017
Chapter OneSYNOPSIS:Mallory Sims is late for her first day of work.After spilling her tea, she discovers she has no gas in her car. Add that her arm keeps sticking to her dress from syrup left on the console of her car, flustered feels like an understatement.Then she sees her new boss.Graham Landry is the epitome of NSFW in his custom-fit suit, black-rimmed glasses, and a look so stern her libido doesn’t stand a chance. Being flustered is just the start of her problems.Her punctuality is only the start of his. With a pink slip in hand, he’s been waiting on his new secretary to show up only to let her go. Then she rushes in with her doe eyes and rambling excuses, smelling like bacon and lavender. The termination paper falls to the side as she falls in his arms.This is a disaster in the making. Not because of his pinpoint exactness or her free spirit, but because when they’re together, the sparks that fly threaten to burn the whole place down.PURCHASE HERE:
I’m not used to this. Hell, I’m really not even okay with this.
The stillness before the sun comes up is my time. I get more accomplished in that precious window than I do all day long. Why? No one else is up and around to bother me.
That is until my brother Ford came back to town.
Glancing across my desk, he’s leaned against the wall with a paper cup in his hand. His sandy, military-cut hair has started to grow over the last couple of weeks since he was released from the Marines with more medals than an Olympian. He knows his morning visits annoy me, but like our other siblings, a part of him finds frustrating me amusing. Assholes. Still, as he meanders his way towards my desk, I can’t really be mad. At my oldest brother Barrett? Possible. At my youngest brother Lincoln? Often. But Ford? It’s hard to do.
“Do you show up here just to throw off my day?” I try, and fail, to hide my grin.
“What can I say?” he laughs. “The military doesn’t approve of staying in bed. After all those years in the service, old habits are hard to break.” He takes a sip from his cup and sits in the black leather chair across from me. “I need to find a new routine. I’ve had one imposed on me for so many years, it’s a little odd not having someone threatening to have my ass before dawn.”
“I can assure you I’ll be tossing you out on your ass if you keep showing up here before the day starts. It throws me off schedule.” Glancing at my watch, I scowl. “And so does being late.”
Ford raises his brows. “Your new secretary starts today, doesn’t she?”
“She’s supposed to. Mallory Sims. Remember her?”
“Sort of. Did I go to high school with her?” He scratches his head. “Damn, that feels like a long time ago.”
“Because it was,” I laugh. “She’s a friend of Sienna’s.”
At the mention of one of our twin sisters, the youngest of us all, Ford looks worried. I get it. It also worries the fuck out of me to know I’ve stooped this low. And low it is. But I didn’t have a choice.
My former Executive Assistant, Linda, up and quit on me a few weeks ago. She was everything you could want—efficient, orderly, experienced. She worked for my father before I took over for him and knew this business inside and out. When she left, I realized she was irreplaceable.
I’ve gone through so many temps in her vacancy, hired people from ads placed in newspapers, and even tried promoting one woman from another department and none of them worked. Not one of them meshed with my style or filled the role as I needed them to.
One weekend night, after missing a family lunch because you couldn’t see the top of my desk for papers, contracts, and files, Sienna called. She’d run into a girl we used to know. In the midst of conversation, my sister realized she had experience as an administrative assistant, needed a job, and grabbed her resume for me.
It looked good. Her references checked out. She had experience as not just a secretary, but as an Executive Assistant. I also remembered her from before and was fairly certain she wasn’t a psychopath. So I forwent the standard interview and just hired her. What did I really stand to lose?
“Can I just ask what on Earth made you think that was a good idea?” Ford asks. “I mean, I love Sienna and Camilla, but their friends aren’t exactly … employable.”
“Desperation is the name of the game.”
My brother stands. Although he’s a couple of years younger than me, he’s a few inches taller. “It must be.”
“Tell me about it,” I groan. “But there is a method to the madness.”
“Let’s hope. If not, I’m calling Dad and letting him know you’ve lost your mind and we need to vote you off the board.”
“I vaguely remember Mallory. She must’ve been a freshman or sophomore my senior year. I had Latin Club with her,” I say, picking up a pen.
“You and Latin Club. I just … I can’t.”
“Fuck you,” I say, throwing the pen at his head. Because Ford has reflexes similar to Lincoln’s, it misses and clinks against the wall. “You better be glad one of us takes things seriously. Can you imagine our family being reliant on Barrett? Or, worse, Lincoln? We’d be investing in baseball and Skittles.”
Ford picks up the projectile. “Speaking of Lincoln, how weird is it to see him so pussy-whipped?”
“It’s one of the oddest things I’ve ever seen happen with my own eyes. He went from total man whore to monogamy at the flip of a switch.”
“Danielle must have some good pussy,” Ford chuckles.
“That or a magic wand.”
“Yeah, but I get it. I think he made the right decision. Seeing some of the shit I’ve seen overseas really puts things in perspective for you. Often the things we think are important aren’t.” Ford’s gaze hits the floor. “But,” he recovers, pasting on a smile, “Lincoln doesn’t have to worry about money. We have you.”
“If only I had an assistant.”
“What time was she supposed to be here?”
Glancing at the clock, my irritation grows. “Six minutes ago. She’s supposed to start at eight.”
“That’s what you get for choosing employees out of Sienna’s circle.”
My hand flies through my hair as every worst-case scenario plays out before my eyes.
Looking at Ford, I know his main concern: Landry Security. I can’t blame him. This is his dream, much like managing Landry Holdings is mine, and he can’t get to work until I do mine. I get it, that’s why it drives me insane that Mallory isn’t here and I’m not working at full capacity.
Sighing, I shrug. “Her resume was infallible. The references she listed all checked out—sang her praises to be exact. They all said she has unlimited potential and would be an asset, even knowing it’s Landry Holdings we’re talking about. I can’t believe she’s late. Who does that? On their first day, no less?”
My brother tosses the pen on my desk. “If you need help with Landry Security, let me know.” I can tell he’s antsy and is trying to play it cool and that frustrates me. He shouldn’t be worrying about this. He should have faith in me, and my lack of a fucking assistant is shaking that.
“I’ll be fine,” I reassure him. “I have a plan. Even though things here have been a little more unsettled than I’d like with Linda’s departure, I have been moving forward. Landry Security is happening.”
Ford’s hand rests on the doorknob and he looks at me. His brow is furrowed, reminiscent of our mother’s when she’s trying to decide how to broach a subject with us.
There’s no way he knows how much this has affected me. Losing sleep. Popping antacids like a motherfucker. All because I. Don’t. Fail.
“I’ll help you however,” he reiterates carefully.
“I know. And I do appreciate that—”
“But you’re too fucking anal retentive to let anyone else get involved at this stage,” he grins.
“I prefer the term ‘professional.’”
“I bet you do,” he laughs. “I know you have control issues and all, but consider trusting someone else to help out. You don’t have to do it all yourself.”
“This is my legacy. You have your hero medals. Barrett has his public service. Lincoln has batting titles and Golden Gloves. I have this.”
“No one wants to usurp you,” he insists. “We just want to help.” When I just look at him with no response, he sighs. “Fine. But cut the new girl some slack. If you look at her like that when she walks in, she’ll probably march right back out.”
“What? I don’t give off the empathetic boss look?”
“Uh, no. You give off the asshole dictator look.”
“Good. At least she’ll know what she’s in for,” I wink. “Now get out of here so I can figure out what to do when I fire Mallory Sims on her first day at the office.”
He chuckles. “I’ll call this afternoon and see if anyone has sent you to the psychiatric ward.”
“Make sure the walls have extra padding. If it’s an added expense, charge it to Barrett.”
“Will do.” With a shake of his head, he disappears out the door.
The silence I love so much descends around me, the only sound coming from the coffee maker in the corner. The city below the third-story windows encompassing two walls of my office is just beginning to awaken. I love to watch everything sort of turn on for the day. Being awake and working before that happens makes me feel like I’m a step ahead of the game. That no one got anything over on me while I was sleeping.
Sleeping, like my new employee probably is when she should be here.
I fire off an email to Human Resources, letting them know I plan on not hiring Ms. Sims after all, and print out their response to hand to the almost-employee if she ever shows up.
Slipping off my suit jacket, I hang it on the hook behind the door. Rolling my sleeves up to my forearms, I’m mentally going over the list of applicants to replace Mallory when a loud clamor booms from the entryway into the suite.
As I round the corner and peer into the reception area, I spy a woman bent down. The floor is spattered with miscellaneous items. Bobby pins, sheets of paper, a water bottle, and a paperback are being scooped up and shoved into a large bag.
Irritated at another disruption to my day, I lean against the doorframe. A million thoughts roll through my mind, most of them along the lines that as CEO of Landry Holdings, I should not be dealing with this hassle. As my temples begin to throb, I fold my arms over my chest.
She stuffs the last sheet of paper into the bag and stands. Her eyes flick to mine and she stills. I think I do too.
Her skin is pale and creamy, a soft framework for the deep chestnut hair hanging to her waist. A dress the color of moss in the summer showcases toned arms and a long, lean line from her shoulders to her calves. A thin rope belt cinches her trim waist, one that I can imagine digging my fingers into.
I clear my throat. “Can I help you?”
With something besides getting out of that dress?
“I think you probably can,” she says, then blushes a pretty shade of pink. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it like that. What I mean is …”
She’s flustered. It’s adorable and sexy at the same time. I should say something, interject, help her out, but I don’t. I like this entirely too much.
“I’ll stop talking now.” She flashes me a pretty smile, one that catches my attention in ways it shouldn’t at eight sixteen a.m. Taking a step towards me, the toe of her shoe catches on the water bottle she didn’t pick up and she comes barreling my way.
Before I know what’s happening, I reach out and catch her under a spray of loose leaf paper.
“Oomph!” she heaves as she lands in my arms and I’m surrounded by a sweet, floral scent.
I should let her go. I should back away, direct her to the front desk to get directions to wherever she’s going, and retreat to my office. Regardless of how sexy her breasts feel pressed against me or the way her ass pops as my fingers lace together at the dip at the bottom of her spine, I have things to do today. Important things. Lots of them. Even if I can’t pinpoint one at the moment.
Large, nearly golden eyes peer up at me. They’re crystal clear, almost like I can see all the way to the depths of her soul. They’re incredible tones of the purest gold and I can’t look away.
The feel of her body against mine sparks something inside me—a carnal, visceral reaction that’s led by feeling rather than intellect. “Are you okay?” I ask, trying desperately to use the brainpower I’m known for in most circles and not the cock I’m known for in others.
“I think so.” She pulls her gaze away from mine. A connection is actually snapped between us and I’m almost certain she feels it too because her features fall. “I’m just running late …”
Hell. Fucking. No.
I’m afraid to ask the next question. If the answer is what I think it is, I’m going to kill my little sister.
Have you met the Landry Brothers? Welp, you can NOW!
BK #1 SWAY (Barrett Landry)
Bk #2 SWING (Lincoln Landry)
BK #3 SWITCH (Graham Landry)
USA Today Bestselling author Adriana Locke lives and breathes books. After years of slightly obsessive relationships with the flawed bad boys created by other authors, Adriana has created her own.
She resides in the Midwest with her husband, sons, and two dogs. She spends a large amount of time playing with her kids, drinking coffee, and cooking. You can find her outside if the weather's nice and there's always a piece of candy in her pocket.
For sneak peeks, giveaways, and more, please join Adriana's Facebook Group, Books by Adriana Locke, or her Goodreads group, All Locked Up.