The Nerd Series
Book 6

Nerds ahoy!

A cruise for single nerds hits a little too close to home for P.I. Lex Manchester, but he can’t say no when curvaceous makeup artist Gillian McCormick becomes the sole witness to a murder and is on the run from the killer. The plan? Hop onto a cruise ship bound for Mexico with Gillian disguised as a Marilyn Monroe look-alike and Lex as her nerdy, undercover bodyguard.

But their safe haven becomes a prison as mysterious accidents convince Lex that someone else is in disguise and onboard – the man who wants Gillian dead. Lex is determined to protect her, but he didn’t count on his heart becoming part of the equation, placing him in a no-win scenario. Whether he succeeds or fails, the ship will eventually dock...and he’ll lose her forever.

Excerpt

Even without her glasses Gillian could see that Lex's blue eyes were glazed from the powerhouse kiss. She was supposed to say something, but she couldn’t think what would be appropriate under the circumstances. He’d kissed her better than she’d ever been kissed, and yet that shouldn’t be the primary focus of the conversation.
Or should it? Nothing else seemed important to her, but she thought Lex might want her to acknowledge that his impromptu kiss had apparently helped them get rid of the bad guy in the black sedan. “Nice work,” she said at last, hoping that covered everything.
“Thanks.” The glazed look began to fade. He cleared his throat and replaced the glasses, a la Clark Kent. “Sorry about the manhandling.”
“Womanhandling.”
“Uh, yeah.” He rubbed the back of his neck and looked at her with poorly disguised longing. “I didn’t know what else to do.”
“I thought it was brilliant.”
“I’m surprised about your lipstick.”
She blinked. “What about it?”
“Didn’t smear or anything. When I first saw how it looked, all shiny and wet...” His eyes glazed over again.
She could see them moving right back into the kiss. She was ready. “You were surprised it looked shiny and wet?”
“No.” He hovered closer. “That it stayed that way.”
“It’s supposed to look wet, no matter what.” She slid her hands up his chest. The plaid shirt was nerdy, but the pecs underneath were prime stuff.
“But I kissed you a lot.” He cradled her hips in both hands.
“That lipstick stands up to heavy kissing and still looks wet.” She wanted to prove it to him. “I’m a professional.”
“Kisser?”
She smiled. “Makeup artist. I’m only an average kisser.”
“Couldn’t prove it by me.” His warm breath tickled her mouth.
Sliding her arms around his neck, she waited, heart pounding, for the Tilt-a-Whirl to start spinning again. Nothing happened. The tickle of his warm breath disappeared, too. Slowly she opened her eyes.
Behind the lenses of his glasses, his eyes were dark with concern. “This is not good,” he said.
“You don’t like kissing me?”
“I like it way too much.”
Her ego recovered its balance. “That’s not so bad. We have to pretend to be involved. What if you hated kissing me? You wouldn’t be convincing.”
“That won’t be a problem.”
“I believe people should be happy in their work.”
Lex sighed and backed away from her. “I think you’re missing the point. In order to protect you, I have to maintain an aggressive stance.”
“That kiss was pretty aggressive. I can still feel the imprint of the doorframe on my back. Your tongue was on the aggressive side, too, which I enjoyed, by the way. There’s nothing worse than a man who’s tentative with his tongue.”
Lex groaned. “Still not the point. That was just my sex drive kicking in.”
Yeah, baby. “So? What’s wrong with that?”
“Ultimately, sex fosters cooperation, not aggression. If you want to make war, you can’t make love.”
“Oh.” What a disappointing thought. “And I suppose this is war, huh?”
“It is.”
“But how are we supposed to pretend to be involved and keep our natural sex drive under control?”
He gazed at her silently for a long time. “I honestly don’t know,” he said at last.
“When you figure it out, will you tell me?”
His smile was tight. “Oh, you’ll be the first to know.”

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Copyright 2001-2017 Vicki Lewis Thompson