Sexy single-dad billionaire meets temporary nanny… 

When Tate Harper's sister disappears, the globe-trotting TV host is suddenly the caregiver for her infant niece. She has to find her sister ASAP! Enter single father and sexy CEO Linc Ballantyne, her sister's ex. He's a family man to the core, and he'll help Tate—if she agrees to be his temporary live-in nanny.

Soon she's juggling a baby, a toddler and a growing attraction to the billionaire Ballantyne. But when it's time to go back to her real life, will she pack her bags or stay and find out what being a family really means?

Tate, one hand on Ellie’s stroller and the other holding Shaw’s hand, heard her phone ringing in her pocket and knew that the call would be from Linc. Again.
It would be his fourth call in ninety minutes, and Tate debated answering. But, genetically unable to ignore a ringing phone, she sighed with resignation and pulled her phone out of her pocket.
She rolled her eyes at the name on display. Yep, Mr. Paranoid was checking up on her. Over the last week or so, they’d found some sort of routine. Linc took Shaw to school, and then he went to the office, leaving mid-afternoon to collect Shaw from pre-K. At The Den, they shared a cup of coffee, and then Linc went into his home office to work while Tate took charge of the kids.
They both spent a lot of time thinking about what making love would feel like. Well, Tate knew she did. Far more than was healthy.
But today was different as Linc had called around lunchtime to ask whether she could collect Shaw from school, stating that he couldn’t get away from his desk. He then called her forty-five minutes later to remind her to collect Shaw, and then Amy, his assistant, called her to check that she was on her way. The man had serious trust issues, Tate thought. Then again, he had lived with Kari, so she couldn’t blame him.
Tate looked at her still-ringing phone. There was no doubt that Linc wanted to know that she had Shaw.
Knowing that the call was about to drop, Tate finally answered. Linc’s voice, deep and sexy, but holding a trace of anxiety, flowed into her ear. “I didn’t think you were going to answer.”
Tate rolled her eyes. “Hi, Linc.”
“I’m just checking to see if the school released Shaw to you without any problems. They are sticky about who picks up the kids and when.”
Tate decided to have some fun with him. “Oh, God…is that the time? Was I supposed to collect him? Is it really half past three?”
There was a long beat of silence. Linc was probably deciding whether she was messing with him or not, or he was making plans to put a hit out on her so Tate handed her phone to Shaw. “Say hi to your dad.”
“Hi, Dad!” Shaw said into the phone, always happy to talk to Linc.
Linc spoke, and Tate’s eyes hit the back of her skull when she heard Shaw’s answer. “Yes, Tate was waiting for me when I came out. No, I didn’t have to wait for her. Oh, and Dad? I need a lot of cupcakes for tomorrow. Like, hundreds.”
Tate heard Linc’s loud groan and bent her fingers at Shaw, gesturing him to hand the phone over. Lifting the phone to her ear, she pushed the stroller with one hand and headed for home. “You sound like you are about to have a coronary, Ballantyne. I have your kid and we’re heading home.”
“Did you hear what he said about cupcakes?” Linc demanded, and Tate could imagine him running his hands through his hair.
Okay, this wasn’t a big deal. “There are about a million bakeries in Manhattan. Send one of your minions to buy however many you need. Easy-peasy.”
“Nothing about ChildTime is that easy.” Linc growled. “Hold on a sec. I’ll see if they sent an email about this.”
Tate pushed the stroller and idly listened to Shaw talking animatedly to Ellie as she waited for Linc to come back on the line. When he did, there was tension in his voice. “Yep, I found it. It was something I thought Jo would handle, so I ignored it. And, as per usual, they’ve complicated the process. They would prefer the twenty four cupcakes to be homemade, preferably with the child being involved in the process.”
“So buying the cupcakes is out.”
“Yep, the school actively promotes families spending time together. Crap, I need this like I need a hole in the head. I have this damned photo shoot tonight, and the family is coming over for supper, and I now have to make cupcakes! Shoot me already.”
“Twenty-four?” Tate demanded. “How many kids are they feeding?”
“They are asking for extra so that they can donate them to shelters for abused women and kids.”
That’s a nice gesture, Tate thought, slightly mollified. “What photo shoot?” she asked, recalling his previous comment.
“Our PR expert has the four of us in a series of print advertisements, all of us dressed the same and holding a piece of jewelry or a gemstone we have an emotional connection to,” Linc explained. “The idea is to get people to the website to read up on our stones and the story behind them, hoping that they will see something they like on the site and part with their cash to have it.”
Tate remembered seeing the ads featuring Jaeger. She’d done exactly what he’d mentioned—she’d read up on how he’d proposed to Piper with the Kashmir sapphire featured in his ad. “It’s such a great idea. Is the campaign working?”
“Yeah, we’ve had good responses to Jaeger’s and Beck’s ads,” Linc replied.
Shaw tugged on her sleeve, and she looked down to see his worried expression. He was four, and he wanted to take cupcakes to school. Tate sent him a reassuring smile.
“Hold on a sec, Linc, while I talk to Shaw. What if I make the cupcakes and you and Dad decorate them?” she asked the little boy. “Would that work?”
Shaw nodded enthusiastically. “Can we make animal cupcakes? Or space monsters?”
Oh, dear Lord. What had she gotten herself into? Animals? Space monsters…? Well, with the aid of the internet, hopefully she’d figure something out.
“Is that okay with you, Linc?” Tate spoke into the phone again.
“I know you can cook, but can you bake?” Linc asked in her ear, his tone doubtful.
Tate pulled a face. She was a travel and food journalist and a fairly good chef, so whipping up a batch of cupcakes wouldn’t strain her culinary repertoire.
“Can you? And more importantly, do you want to try and fit making twenty-plus cupcakes into your very busy afternoon and evening?” Tate pertly replied.
Linc’s sigh was heavy. “No, I can’t, and, no, I don’t.”
Tate smiled. “Then your part-time, fill-in nanny will make them.”
“My part-time, fill-in nanny is about to get a huge raise.”
“I’m sure we can work out a repayment plan that would be a lot of fun,” Tate replied, lowering her voice seductively. God, what was she doing? She heard Linc’s swift intake of breath and knew that she was playing with fire. Tate slapped her hand against her forehead and groaned. She had to resist him, and she should not be making flirty comments!
“What, exactly, did you have in mind?” Linc said, his voice low and husky and vibrating over her skin.
Tate closed her eyes, mortified. “Ignore me, I should not have said that.”
“Why is your face red?” Shaw demanded. “Are you sick?”
Tate heard Linc’s wicked laugh in her ear. “Are you blushing, Tate? What, exactly, are you thinking about?”
“I am not about to tell you that!”Tate admitted, lifting her hand to her burning cheeks.
“Spoil sport. But it’s okay because my imagination is vivid enough for both of us. I’m just glad I’m alone and sitting behind a desk.” Linc admitted.
Tate blushed again at the visual that popped into her head and wished that she were with him, touching him, running her hands over the hard-ridged muscles of his stomach and into the back of his pants to push them her finger tips into the hard muscle of his butt.
“We can’t do this, Linc. We really can’t complicate our lives by having—” Tate glanced at Shaw “—doing that!”
“I know that. I’ve tried everything to talk myself out of taking you to bed, but I want you, Tate. I’m wrong for you, and you’re wrong for me, but hell…I keep thinking of the patterns I want to draw on your skin, how I want to go about discovering every perfect inch of you. Then I want to make love to you until you forget your own name.”
Oh, God, her panties just caught fire. Tate felt the throb of desire start in her womb and spread through her body, causing sparks to ignite under her skin.
“You’re diabolical,” she wailed. “This isn’t a good idea, Linc. You know it’s not!”
“Screw good ideas,” Linc muttered.

Will a baby on the way reunite ex-lovers?

Three years after Tyce Latimore let Sage Ballantyne walk away, they end up back where they started—in bed. Now she’s carrying his child…and there’s no way he’s losing her again.

Tyce is tempting. Dangerous. Addictive. Sage left him for all the right reasons. But one passionate mistake could reunite her with the world-famous artist for all the wrong ones. A baby on the way ups the ante. So does an explosive secret that threatens their two families and could shatter Sage and Tyce’s precarious reunion…

“Are you going to slap me again?”
“The night is still young, who knows?”
Tyce slid onto the barstool next to Sage, ordered a whiskey from the bartender and looked at his former lover. She’d pulled her long, normally curly hair into a sleek tail, allowing her eyes to dominate her face. Tonight her irises were periwinkle blue surrounded with a navy ring; they could be, depending on her mood, navy, denim or that unusual shade of Moroccan blue.
Her eyes always, every single time, had the ability to drop him to his knees. God had not been playing fair when he’d combined an amazing set of blues with a face that was near perfect——heart shaped, high cheekbones, sexy mouth, stubborn chin——and then, just for kicks, placed that head on top of a body that was naturally lean, intensely feminine, all sexy.
He loved her face, he loved her body and God knew that he loved making love to her, with her…he wanted to kiss that mouth, suck on her skin, allow his hands to stroke that endlessly creamy, warm, fragrant skin.
It had been so damn long and, after three years of sheer hell, one night with her had been like offering a dehydrated man a drop of water. He wanted her legs wrapped around his hips, to hear her soft moans in his ear, his tongue in that hot, sweet mouth.
Sage had no idea that his pants were tighter and that his lungs were battling to take in air. She just took a sip of her drink and wrinkled her nose in a way he’d always found adorable. “I suppose I should apologize for slapping you but the incident made all the social columns creating more publicity for your already successful exhibition and sending your already overinflated prices sky high.”
Overinflated? Tyce winced and then shrugged. It wasn’t like he hadn’t had the same thought a time or two. The prices his art commanded were ridiculous; it wasn’t like he was a modern-day Picasso or Rembrandt. He was just a guy who slapped steel and wood together, tossed paint onto a canvas in a way people seemed to like. Art critics, his agent and the gallery owners would be shocked if they ever found out how little effort went into the art they all revered.
No one knew or suspected that most of his time was spent painting intensely-detailed portraits that were accurate to the last brushstroke. His portraits, intimate, honest, time and blood sucking, were where he found, and lost himself. Many of those never-seen portraits were of Sage, and Tyce neither knew, or cared to speculate, what that meant.
Silence fell between them and Tyce looked around the room. He’d been surprised to receive a text from Sage inviting him to attend the Ballantyne cocktail party and jewelry exhibition and there had never been any doubt that he’d go. Firstly, if one was personally invited to look at one of the best collections of fantastically rare and ridiculously expensive jewelry one took the opportunity. He also wanted to look at the new line Sage designed and it was, as he expected, fabulous. Whimsical but modern, feminine but strong…so Sage. And, because he was a guy he was hoping that Sage’s request to meet would lead to some head-bangin’, bed-breaking sex.
There was only one way to find out. “So, is this a booty call?”
Sage blinked. “What?”
“Did you ask to meet so that we can hook up again?”
“You arrogant jerk!” Her eyes sparked with irritation and color seeped into her face “Are you insane?”
Probably. And, if he was, then her incredible eyes and rocking body and the memories of how good they were together were to blame.
“So, you didn’t call me to try and talk me into a night of hot sex?” Tyce didn’t have to pretend to sound disappointed; the memories of touching, tasting, loving Sage kept him up most nights. He wished he could ring fence his thoughts so that he only remembered her scent, her soft, creamy skin and the taste on his tongue.  But, unfortunately, his mind always wandered off into dangerous territory—how it would feel to wake up to her face in the morning, to hear her soft good night before he slept. He only allowed himself the briefest of fantasies about what a life spent with Sage would look like before he vaporized those thoughts. 
Sage was part of a dynamic, successful family and he wasn’t referring to the immense Ballantyne wealth. Sage and her brothers knew what family meant, how to be part of one.
He didn’t have a cookin’ clue. The Ballantyne family, from what he understood, worked as a well-oiled machine, each part of that machine different but essential to the process.
Tyce had been the engine that powered his family along—an engine constantly on the point of breaking down. He’d done his best to provide what Lachlyn needed but had been so damn busy trying to survive that he emotionally neglected his sister. Sage’s life partner would be an emotionally intelligent dude, would be able to slide into the Ballantyne family and know how to be, act, respond…the man who she married would know how to deal with and contribute to the clan.
Tyce wasn’t that man. He’d never be that man and it was stupid to spend more than a minute thinking that he could be.
So, when he’d seen her text message asking him to meet tonight, he’d jumped to the only conclusion that made sense, that she wanted another hookup. During his shower he’d fantasized about how he would take her…fast or slow? Her on top or him? Either way, the only thing that was nonnegotiable was that he’d be looking in her eyes when she shattered, wanting to see if she needed him as much as he needed her.
Instead of looking soft and dreamy, her eyes blazed with pure blue anger. Right, real life…
“No, Tyce, I didn’t call you because I wanted hot sex.” Sage answered him in a dry, sarcastic voice.
Tyce took a sip of his whiskey, the urge to tease fleeing. Did she suddenly look nervous? He lifted his eyebrows until Sage spoke. “But I did—do—have something to tell you.”
Tyce looked around the room while he rubbed his jaw, his gut screaming that whatever she had to say was going to rock his world. He didn't want his world rocked, he just wanted to either have sex with Sage or to go home and paint. Since sex wasn't happening, he itched to slap oil onto canvas, eager  to work his frustration out with slashes of indigo and Indian red, manganese violet and magenta.  “Just spit it out and get it done.” Tyce snapped out the words, his tone harsh.
Sage blew air out over her lips and briefly closed her eyes. When they opened again, he saw her resolve. And when she finally formed the words, they shifted his world.
“I don’t expect anything from you, not money or time or involvement. But you should know that I am pregnant and the baby is yours.”
Tyce was still trying to make sense of her words, trying to decipher them when Sage placed a swift, final kiss to the left of his mouth. “Goodbye, Tyce. It was…fun. Except when it wasn’t.”

DUE OUT: January 2, 2018


Joss Wood loves books and travelling— especially to the wild places of Southern Africa. She has domestic skills of a pot plant and drinks far too much coffee.

Joss has written for the Kiss/ Modern Tempted, Presents and most recently, the Desire line for Harlequin/Mills and Boon. She also writes for Tule Publishing and writes single title romance for Penguin/Random House for their Intermix imprint.

In 2013 Joss won the RT Reviewers Choice Award for best Harlequin Kiss. After a career in pro-business lobbying and local economic development, she now writes full time. Joss lives with her husband and their two teenage children in northern KZN. Joss is a member of the RWA (Romance Writers of America) and ROSA (Romance Writers of South Africa.)

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