This was ~80 pages of pure fun and sexy m/f hotness. Loved it…..This story reminded me of some of my favorite contemporary romance authors (Toni Blake, Erin McCarthy, Jill Shalvis…) Cheeky humor, hot sex, quirky but very likable characters…etc. I haven’t read anything by Manda Collins before, but now I want to check out her other books. —KarLynP, Top Reviewer at Goodreads
Manda Collins is a new to me author, and I can honestly say that if the rest of the books in her Lawyers in Love series (this one is the first of many I hope) are as good as this I will definitely add her to my TBR pile in the future. If you are looking for a great story with hot sex and wonderful characters than this is the book for you.
—Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews
What’s a woman to do when the man of her dreams finds her “before-thirty” list on the office copier? Ask him to help her cross him off her list, of course!
When Julie Streeter dropped out of law school to care for her little sister, one of the things she missed most was her crush-worthy classmate, Matt Ellis. Now, he’s visiting the firm where she works as a paralegal and is just as sexy now as he was then.
Matt Ellis never expected to run into Julie again–certainly not at the law firm where he’s been sent to investigate leaks to the opposing team. When he finds the list of things she’d like to try before her thirtieth birthday, very sexy things, on the office copier he offers to be her list buddy while he’s in town. And to his surprise, Julie agrees.
Will their mind-blowing chemistry lead to more than just a fling, or could what started out as a crush turn into something neither one of them expected?
Read an Excerpt
Matthew Ellis stifled a yawn as he jogged down the hall toward the printer.
He’d rolled up his sleeves and gotten rid of his tie two hours ago, when he’d assured the other lawyers on the team that they could go home. It wasn’t that he couldn’t have used their help going through the documents for the Furman case, but he’d been sent by RFG’s corporate legal department to find out who had been leaking details about their case to the plaintiff’s lawyer, and he needed as much time alone in the office as he could muster in order to figure it out.
He’d worked for RFG since graduating law school six years earlier, and though most men in his shoes would have chosen to join a large firm, he’d been happy enough to take a position as part of the multi-national corporation’s legal department. Most big firms, especially the ones in the south, encouraged their associates to marry before they were considered for partnerships. And since his parent’s divorce when he was in high school, Matt had decided that marriage was an institution he’d rather not join.
Seeing the partners in this firm with their wives had not changed his opinion. Clay Parchman, in particular, had made his stomach turn. By day in the office he hit on every woman he came into contact with. He was even carrying on a not so secret affair with a secretary in another firm in the building. But when his wife was around he was the picture of the perfect husband. Being a good actor was something that came with the territory of being a lawyer. So did being persuasive. But it was the guys like Parchman who gave lawyers a bad name. Not only because he was a liar and a cheater, but also because he was really good at it. If Matt hadn’t seen the guy with his hand on the secretary’s ass hours earlier, even he would have had a hard time disbelieving his heartfelt excuse to his wife about not being able to make it home for dinner.
It hadn’t helped matters that Parchman had been such an asshole to Julie Streeter the other day.
He’d been surprised, but glad to see her here. When she’d dropped out of school to take care of her younger sister, their whole class had been bummed for her. To lose your parents so suddenly was bad. But to be put in charge of a kid when you were little more than a child yourself, was even worse. She had a helluva legal mind, and he’d missed their verbal sparring. But she’d also been at the top of a very short list of women in their class he would have liked to get into bed. Of course he’d had a girlfriend at the time, so he hadn’t done anything about it, but he’d looked.
God, had he looked.
But it would seem that the flirty, sexy Aspiring Lawyer Julie had been replaced by no-nonsense, sensible Paralegal Julie. He couldn’t say he blamed her. The hierarchy within a law firm depended on a delicate balance between the lawyers and their various support staff. Though Julie had at one time been near the top of their class, since she hadn’t graduated law school, she may as well not have gone to law school at all. Without the degree on the wall, she was less than—at least in the profession’s eyes. But what really sucked was that she didn’t quite fit in with the other paralegals either. So she was in a weird no man’s land in between castes.
That didn’t stop the attorneys from using all the knowledge she’d gained in law school.
Even in her new guise, with her trousers and turtlenecks, she made his mouth water. With her dark hair pulled up into a messy twist today, and her dark rimmed glasses, she’d been rocking the sexy librarian look and it had been all he could to not to corner her against the conference room wall and steam up those glasses.
Nearing the printer, he shook his head at his own foolishness. Alone in an empty office with a boner. Great job, Ellis. Let’s hope the janitor doesn’t think you’re printing out porn.
When he picked up the papers from the tray, however, he saw that someone else was printing too.
Before Thirty List:
1. Outdoor Sex (the park? hm, check on legality)
2. Learn how to give a really good blow job (class? internet?)
3. Try something new in bed (position? Toys?)
Holy hell. He’d picked up someone’s personal document. Matt shook his head at the stupidity of someone printing such a private document on a community printer.
Even as he heard her footsteps coming down the hall, his eye caught on the signature line that automatically printed on office documents. There at the bottom were the initials: JMS.
And just like that, he was hard.
Julie had slung her bag over her shoulder again, and whistled as she approached the cubicle where the printer for her side of the building was networked. It had been cathartic to make her to-do list. Of course to do some of them she’d have to find a partner. But that shouldn’t be a problem. Just because she hadn’t been on a date in years didn’t mean she hadn’t been asked. One night at the Young Lawyer’s monthly mixer, where local attorneys and their office staff mingled side-by-side, would put her in the path of dozens of local attorneys looking to get laid. And most of them were ambitious enough to want their sex with no strings attached.
She was saddened by the thought that at her age she hadn’t found someone to share her life with, but some people just weren’t cut out for relationships, and she was afraid that she was one of them. Not only was she annoyingly self-sufficient, she was not willing to let her guard down for just any guy. She’d done that in the past and it had only led to pain on her part and frustration on his. It was much better this way. She was alone, but content.
If she sometimes wished she had someone to snuggle up to at night, well, that’s what her cat, Max, was for.
When she rounded the corner to the printer cubicle, she was startled to see Matt standing there, his broad shouldered back to her as he picked p a sheet off the tray.
As if in slow motion, she watched in horror as he scanned the page.
Stepping forward, she tried to snatch the page from him, but it was too late.
“Ah, Julie,” he said with a grin. “I believe this is yours?”
The bastard held the paper high above his head where she couldn’t reach.
“Just give it to me, Matt,” she hissed. “It’s personal.”
“Oh, very personal,” he said, with a stifled laugh. “Never outdoors? That surprises me for some reason. The Jules of our law school days would have done it outdoors in a heartbeat.”
Her face was so warm she thought it might catch fire.
“Please,” she asked, pressing against him as she tried and failed to get a grasp on the page. This close, she could smell the heady mix of his aftershave and an intoxicating twang of male sweat. Pheromone city. She couldn’t help but feel the firm muscles of his chest where she pressed against him. When instead of retreating, he stepped forward, she was surprised to feel the brush of his very impressive erection against her stomach.
She leapt back.
“Not so fast, Miss Julie,” he said. “I think we should discuss this list of yours.”
Before she could step away, he had her in his arms. To her surprise, though his touch was strong, it was also gentle. Her list fell forgotten to the floor as his mouth descended to hers.
It was no use pretending that she wasn’t attracted to him. Her old crush had returned full force. And as she felt the first press of his mouth against hers, a rush of pure pleasure surged through her. This kind of euphoria needed some serious government regulation.
Matt didn’t just taste her mouth. He devoured it. He grazed her tender lips with his teeth, stroking into her with his tongue. But it wasn’t only her mouth that burned. Everywhere their bodies touched she felt the sizzle of heat between them.
When he came up for air they were both breathing hard, with barely a whisper separating them.
“You seeing anybody?” his voice was deep. Husky.
“No.” She stopped. Oh my god. What if he was dating someone? Trying to keep her voice casual—or as casual as one could be trapped between a hard-on and a cubicle wall. “You?”
He grinned. He probably knew exactly what she was thinking. Bastard.
“Nope,” he leaned forward and gave her a playful nip on the nose. “But I’ve got this hot prospect. She’s got a killer body and a brilliant legal mind. Too bad we work together or I’d be all over her.”
Her stomach dropped.
“Of course, we’re not technically working for the same firm, so I think an argument could be made that a consensual relationship wouldn’t break any laws. At least not any corporate ones.”
He leaned into her, licking her ear lobe. “I can’t promise anything about Alabama laws, though. There are definitely some things the state frowns on that I wouldn’t mind doing with you, sugar. To you, even.”