Authors: Patti Shenberger
Tags: #Contemporary, Erotic Romance
Table of Contents
Super model Vivi Bloom has everything in life she could ever want, except someone to share it with. Confirmed bachelor Rafe Santori, owner and publisher of Out of Bounds magazine, has followed Vivi’s career since the beginning. Rafe wants Vivi for the 100th Issue Special Edition as much as he wants her in his bed. And what Rafe Santori wants, he gets.
Vivi has plans of her own for the multi-millionaire and isn’t going to settle for a quick fling aboard ship. She plans to do everything in her power to drive him crazy with wanting her. Before she slides between his sheets, she plans on making sure his offer is a lifetime commitment.
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This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Copyright © 2012 Patti Shenberger
Cover art by Angela Waters
All rights reserved. Except for use in any review, the reproduction or utilization of this work in whole or in part in any form by any electronic, mechanical or other means, now known or hereafter invented, is forbidden without the written permission of the publisher.
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The Zodiac Club, Book 5
To everyone who loves to read romance. Here’s to all of you!
March 21 – April 20
The sign of the Ram is high-spirited, assertive, and loves to win. Second place is never good enough – this gal wants to come in first every time. She has a love for adventure and excitement. Patience isn’t in her vocabulary, nor a strong suit for her. She has a surefire formula for success and will never leave things to destiny or chance.
The Aries girl is quick to anger, quick to forgive, and quick to forget. Be warned, she’s definitely a take charge kind of person. A self-starter, she can be relied on for fast action, and willing to take risks.
When things are too quiet, she’ll get antsy and look for ways to stir up the pot. Be careful what you say to the Aries girl as she is very direct and upfront.
When it comes to affairs of the heart, the Aries girl will pull out all the stops to get what she wants, so you better get out of her way.
Above all, the Aries girl is generous, has a caring nature and refuses to compromise.
March 29, 2012
“Holy shit.” This was the only thing she could think of to say at the moment.
“Is that holy shit in a good way or a bad way?” her best friend Kate asked.
All eyes were focused on Vivi as she drew in a deep breath and prepared to tell her friends the news.
“Sorry for taking the call at the table, but that was my agent on the phone. I’ve been asked to do the 5th Anniversary Edition centerfold and photo spread for
“What? That’s fabulous news.” Her friend Callie hugged her hard.
“Oh my god, what amazing timing.”
“Hell of a birthday present, Vivi,” Tara said.
“That’s an understatement,” Vivi murmured, still trying to wrap her head around the idea.
“Come on, give us more details so we can live vicariously though you,” Kate chided. “Then again lately I seem to be living vicariously through every one of you here the way my life has been going lately.”
Vivi took a deep breath before speaking, “Well, from what my agent said, the shoot is scheduled for this coming Tuesday through Sunday and it’s on Rafe Santori’s private yacht which is presently anchored somewhere in the Caribbean.”
A chorus of groans followed her words.
“Some gals have all the luck.” Kate lifted her glass. “Ladies, shall we drink a toast to the birthday girl. May she develop sunburn in places she never dreamed of, and may she get lucky on the high seas,” Kate finished before taking a sip of the champagne.
Vivi lifted the glass to her lips and took a sip. Her career had gotten her where she wanted. A prime cover spot with a centerfold and spread in one of the premier magazines of the decade. Would wonders never cease?
“And lest we forget the real reason why we are all gathered here tonight, to celebrate Vivi’s twenty-sixth birthday. Vivian Bloom, may I present you with your birthday present. Not that she needs another one. Can’t imagine how we could top what she just received from her agent. But we’ll give it to her anyway,” Kate teased, handing over a silver box tied with a red ribbon.
Vivi quickly untied the box and lifted the lid, already knowing what was contained within. Not that it mattered, she was beyond thrilled with the present. A delicate gold chain and at the bottom hung a charm with her Zodiac sign. Aries, the Ram.
“You guys are the best in the world.” Vivi quickly fastened the necklace around her neck and pulled out her compact to take a peek.
Touching the charm, she let out a sigh. “You guys mean the world to me, you do know that, right?”
“Does that mean you’ll take us along on the yacht?” Kate joked.
“Um no,” Vivi shook her head and laughed. “This one’s all mine.”
“And I’m sure Rafe Santori will be there to oversee each second of the shoot?” Tara asked.
Vivi shrugged. Probably, since the man owned both the yacht and the magazine. In fact, she hoped he was there. She had a score to settle with Rafe.
Each of her friends gathered at the table knew about Vivi’s crush on Rafe since high school and had teased her mercilessly over the years. The man graduated four years ahead of them, and at the time Vivi was a freshman and he was a senior, she dogged his heels like an adoring bloodhound. Not that he ever seemed to notice. A fact she was none too proud of, but she’d come to terms with the fact they’d never run in the same circles. And yet now, it somehow seemed everything had come full circle.
“Why don’t we forget all about Rafe Santori and get down to some serious celebrating. It is my twenty-sixth birthday after all.” Vivi lifted her glass up in the air. “To birthdays.”
“To birthdays,” her friends seconded the toast.
“To private celebrations on yachts,” Kate murmured seated next to her.
Vivi elbowed her in the ribs and then smiled. “You never know.”
“Honey, you’ve never let anything stand in the way of what you’ve wanted in life. And I seriously doubt you’re going to start now.”
“What, little old me backing down from a challenge? Perish the thought,” Vivi answered with a laugh, her mind already running through the possibilities.
Vivi shut the front door of the condo behind her and dropped her car keys on the table, along with her bag of birthday presents.
Hitting the play button on the answering machine, she listened to four messages containing birthday wishes before her agent’s voice spoke up.
“Hey, Vivi, it’s Elizabeth. I wanted to share a few more details with you but didn’t want to bug you at your party. They’ll be using Jeff Baker and John Hogan for the shoot, which I knew you’d be thrilled to hear. Those guys are the best in the business next to you. Also, all your travel documents will arrive via FedEx within the next twenty-four hours. Holler if you don’t get them and I’ll follow up with Santori Enterprises. Hope you had a great birthday. You deserve it for how hard you’ve been working lately. Call me with any questions. Take care and don’t do anything I wouldn’t do. Though I guess that does leave a lot of options open for you to explore, doesn’t it?” Her agent ended the call with a laugh.
Vivi let out a deep breath she hadn’t realized she was holding. It still seemed so surreal to her. She clenched her hands into fists to keep them from trembling. All this time, all the hard work she’d put in and now it was all coming true. Working with
Out of Bounds
magazine was the crème de la crème when it came to publishing giants.
Dropping her coat on the arm of the sofa, Vivi headed into the bedroom. She tugged her sweater over her head, tossed it on the bed, then kicked off her shoes and stripped off her jeans. Wearing nothing but her pink lace bra and panties, Vivi stepped into the bathroom.
With a critical eye, Vivi surveyed her body in the vanity mirror. Her long brown hair hung loose to the middle of her back. She didn’t color or perm it, so it was in great shape. Her entire body was firm and tight, no sagging boobs or paunchy stomach for this girl. And because she exercised regularly, she was toned and fit. In her opinion, she looked damned good for twenty-six years old. Good enough to get asked to do the spread. A shiver went through her body at the thought.
Had it really only been five and a half years since she practically begged Rafe Santori to hire her as a model? The past came rushing forward as Vivi closed her eyes, and thought back to the night in question. While it hadn’t been one of her finer moments, it definitely counted as one of her best and worst forty minutes in her life.
She’d accepted an invitation to one of the top industry designers cocktail party, knowing Rafe Santori would be in attendance. When she entered the penthouse suite, her gaze surveyed the room, seeking him out. Vivi was mesmerized by the man, considering the fact she’d followed his every career move and meteoric rise to fame and fortune since high school. But not like she was a crazed stalker or anything. This was different.
Vivi waited till he was finished with his current conversation and then moved into position, making sure he saw her cross the room toward him. She looked damn good and she knew it.
“Hello, Rafe, it’s been a long time.”
“Vivian Bloom? Wow, I guess it has. You look fabulous.” He leaned over and pressed a soft kiss to her
cheek as his gaze raked her body. “Great job on the Mandrel Diamond Jewelers ad in Cosmo. I heard a lot of good buzz about it.”
“Thanks. Nothing like being covered in diamonds to perk up a girl’s spirit.” Vivi smiled.
After a few more minutes of small talk that she could barely remember, Vivi took a sip of the liquid courage in her glass. It was now or never.
“You know I’d love the opportunity to work with you, Rafe.” Vivi hated that she sounded like she was begging the man for a job. But she was, damn it all.
He gave her the once over and Vivi tried not to blush. “How old are you, Vivian?”
She straightened her back. “Twenty-one.”
Rafe smiled and shook his head. “Try again.”
Vivian sighed. “Twenty.” Damn the man for remembering that fact about her.
“You know I make it a practice never to hire any models under the age of twenty-five. Never have and I never will. Come back and see me when you’re twenty-five and we’ll talk then.”
Pissed didn’t begin to cover how Vivi felt. Throw in a good dose of embarrassed as well.
“When I’m twenty-five, Rafe, you’ll be old news. There’ll be someone new out there waiting to take your place. And willing to step in and scoop me up as well.” She leaned in close and grabbed his tie, tugging him close to her lips. “Just remember, you could have had me but you blew it. Your loss, I’m afraid.”
Then Vivi did something she’d never done in her life. She planted a big, wet kiss on the man, even slipped him a little tongue right there at the party.
Problem was she’d forgotten her own attraction for Rafe and was surprised at the tingle of electricity that started at their connected lips and raced all the way to her toes.
When she stepped back, Vivi noticed he looked as shell-shocked as she felt.
Turning on her heel, Vivi set the glass on a passing waiter’s tray and got the hell out of Dodge. Quickly before her body and emotions betrayed her again.
That was the last time she’d seen Rafe Santori, but she’d never forgotten the man. Nor had Vivi forgotten the way she felt when she kissed him. It was like grabbing hold of a live wire and hanging on for dear life.
Popping the front clasp on her bra, she slipped the straps off her shoulders, then slid her panties down her legs and kicked them to one side.
She looked amazing if she did say so. Lifting her breasts in her hands, Vivi ran her fingers over her nipples and watched the rosy buds tighten beneath her fingers.