Authors: Alexandra Brenton
Manroot Romance, Limited
This book is a work of fiction. The characters, incidents, and dialogue are drawn from the author’s imagination and are not to be construed as real, except for the scene depicting the drinking game “butt luge,” which really happened. Any resemblance to actual events or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental. TIDE’S EBB. Copyright © 2012 by Manroot Romance. All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. By payment of the required fees, you have been granted the non-exclusive, non-transferable right to access and read the text of this e-book on-screen. No part of this text may be reproduced, transmitted, down-loaded, decompiled, reverse engineered, or stored in or introduced into any information storage and retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereinafter invented, without the express written permission of Manroot Romance, Limited.
ePub Edition October 2012 ASIN: B009RRNNB0
Brenton, Alexandra. Tide’s Ebb. Manroot Romance, Limited. Kindle Edition.
Table of Contents
Marianna Holt was tired.
She had worked on the brief all night. Her hands twitched with caffeine overload and exhaustion. One of the other associates at her law firm had mucked up everything yesterday.
She remembered their conversation clearly: “Jason, this brief must be filed by noon
with the Southern District of New York. Make sure Harvard commas are used consistently. Can you handle this?”
Jason had made a noise that sounded like “yes.” But when Marianna got the brief from Jason, it was a mess. Not a
There was no time to spare. The lack of commas could decide the case. And if they lost, even Marianna’s Harvard education wouldn’t save her from the chopping block.
Marianna always called serial commas “Harvard commas.”
But Jason went to U Penn,
And that’s not even a real Ivy League school. Why did I think he’d be capable of understanding?
Under her breath, she muttered curses involving Jason’s wobbly bits and flesh-eating viruses.
From the minute she discovered Jason’s error, Marianna began slogging through the brief. She had stayed up
adding Harvard commas. This dedication was why, just two years out of law school, she was already the most promising young associate at Baker, McPrice, Rhodes and Phleger. But even after her all-nighter, still more missing commas beckoned.
“Miss Marianna, here’s your mail!”
Tye, the mail boy, was doing his rounds. He lingered a little longer than was necessary to drop off the mail—like he always did.
After two minutes, it became annoying.
“Tye, you’ve already dropped off the mail. You may leave now!”
“Oh, I’m sorry Miss Holt. I get distracted sometimes,” he said, as he shuffled away.
It was like that with most men. Marianna Holt was a singular beauty. She knew it. She was damn proud of it. Her raven hair shone like a Pantene commercial. Her petite figure provided the canvas for luscious curves that threatened almost to tip her over, although she had never once fallen over merely because of the weight of her pert, but ample, breasts.
She had known since her junior year of high school that men loved her. But Marianna would not be dominated by a man—her beauty was matched only by her intelligent, feisty streak. Once men learned how smart she was, they were intimidated. Intimidated, like Connor, her college sweetheart. Sure, he had taken her to expensive dinners in Cambridge, but he was only a Sociology major. Marianna knew that
knew that he would never be enough for a woman like her.
At her desk, Marianna recalled the day that Connor broke up with her.
Oh, what was I thinking?
Of course it was because he was intimidated!
She was sure of it!
For indeed, what man could resist the fiercely intelligent, feisty, raven-haired, feistally curvy cocktail that she represented? Like a wild mare, many had tried to tame her. Some had ridden, but eventually she bucked each of them off.
Every suitor had walked off into the sunset with his wounded pride dragging behind a trail of tears.
But Bradley W. Simpson Jr. was not the type of man to be intimidated.
Marianna couldn’t help but smile when she pictured him. It wasn’t his immense wealth or his job as a banker (she thought at first that he was a bank
!) No—Marianna was not shallow! Instead, it was his chiseled abdominal muscles, his tousled blonde hair, and his thick, powerful legs. Bradley was captain of one of the City’s premier rugby clubs. Despite his desk job, he was as rugged as an oil worker or some other profession where people wear blue jeans to work. She loved when he came home from a match, dirty with mud and grass, smelling of sweat.
Marianna slipped into a reverie when she imagined his strong hands pressing with unrestrained passion on her round hips, possessing them as if they were one of his precious rugby balls. Bradley had massive hands—he could palm the ball in one hand. And, Marianna blushed, he could do amazing things to a woman. His hands could keep her safe, like the ball, before making a swift lateral pass to one of his teammates. And someday soon, he would propose, and then she could register at Bergdorf. Almost reflexively, one of her hands slipped under the desk.
But no! There was no time for her to touch the soft folds of her femininity or that pulsing nub of flesh that now ached with yearning! No, the commas in the brief still needed to be checked! Marianna re-centered herself. The tender contents of her own silk briefs would have to wait.
She worked furiously. The deadline loomed. U Penn Jason had forgotten an ungodly number of commas. But Marianna Holt, her youthful breasts straining against her blouse, was not the type of woman who would be defeated by punctuation. Only minutes remained as Marianna neared the end of the brief.
She hadn’t checked the footnotes, and U Penn Jason hadn’t put a single serial comma in
of the footnotes either. It was superhuman what she did next—her slender, well-formed fingers typing furiously, probing each footnote for missing commas.
Only seconds left.