Welcome to VIP, a personalized matchmaking agency catering to professional executives. Satisfaction, and so much more, guaranteed.
Ivy is damaged goods and never intends for anyone to make her weak by falling in love. When her next assignment just happens to be the person who protected her as a young girl, she is stunned at how much she is attracted to him. He arouses her, in every way. It might be time for her to make an exception to her rule…
Jax has never been in a loving relationship. Meeting up with Ivy after all these years, he still feels protective of her even though she isn’t that fragile girl anymore. Her beautiful face and sensual curves are breathtaking to him now. The first time in his life, he wants something that money can’t buy- Ivy. Jax will stop at nothing until he has her moaning in his bed.
He protected her once before and now he wants to own her heart. Will Ivy let Jax be at her mercy?
* * *
Before Rhyme began writing she wore many career hats: childcare teacher, personal assistant to children with autism, running her home-based transcribing business, and from time to time a stay-at-home mom. When she’s not writing or daydreaming about plots and characters; you can find Rhyme being a housekeeper, tutor, chef, chauffeur, and referee at home. There are times (more than often) that there’s no rhyme or reason for the things that go on in her life.
Rhyme thanks Judy Blume for writing awesome books that started her reading addiction in her tweenyears. She also still adores her favorite childhood character, Bambi. Thank you for reading her biography, but just so you know Rhyme’s books are much more interesting.
Rhyme can be found:
At Your Mercy can be purchased:
I’m happy working for VIP. The pay is impressive, especially for someone without a degree. I get to see tropical places, mingle with different cultures, and be with some tremendously powerful, attractive men. Don’t get me wrong. I fantasize about the things I would love to do with these insanely hot men. Some of my past clients had me manually stimulating myself as soon as I got home after attending one of their social events.
Which reminds me. I need to buy more batteries.
I check the time on my wristwatch—twelve ten p.m. I reach to press the privacy window control. “Joe, how much longer you think we will be stuck in traffic?”
“Actually, we’re almost there, Ivy. Sorry for not taking another route.”
“Sure. No problem. Thanks, Joe.” Every Friday, no matter the time of day, there’s a ton of traffic on the freeway. I pray my new client isn’t a stickler for being on time. Being fifteen minutes late isn’t terrible. Checking my face in my cosmetic mirror, I run my fingers through my curly red hair. All I need to do is refresh my nude-colored lipstick.
The privacy window comes down. “Ivy, we’ve arrived.”
“Finally. Thanks, Joe. Pull up to the entrance, please.” Joe opens the door and offers his hand. “I’ll be ready to leave by two o’clock, but you may want to hang out for a moment in case this Jax Sterling has a tantrum over me being tardy.” I laugh.
Smiling, he nods his head. “No problem. Text me if I can leave.”
As I step into the crisp spring air on the West Coast, I wish that I had brought my shoulder wrap along. The sun is bright today. Not one cloud in the sky. Looking around, I see the parking lot is full of expensive cars—Lexus, Mercedes, Jaguars, and Range Rovers. This place is the hangout for business lunches. Violet only chooses the best. Yep, this is how the others live, and I get to play the part for a limited time.
Walking at a fast pace to the five-story restaurant, my beige stiletto gets stuck in a crack of the stone walkway. Suddenly, strong hands grab my elbow as I start to fall forward towards the ground. My eyes slowly drift upward from his black dress shoes, briefly taking in his tall, athletic build that his gray dress pants can’t conceal. Then my eyes wander over his broad chest that looks hot as hell in a form-fitting black shirt.
“Miss, are you okay?”
I am now.
I’m stunned to be looking into some gorgeous man’s blue eyes that are the lightest color I’ve ever seen. Except … something’s familiar.
“Um … what?” I say as I remember to breathe.
“Are you okay?” He raises his right eyebrow as he questions me.
“Yes, yes, I am. Thanks for helping me avoid an embarrassing accident.”
“We wouldn’t want you to hurt that beautiful body of yours.” Smiling, he begins to walk away, but stops and comes back. “I know this is going to sound like a pick-up line, but do I know you? Are you from around here?”
“For the most part. I lived in Florida a long time ago.”
“Really, what part?”
“Tampa.” A part of my life that I truly try to forget.
“Well, if I did know you, I definitely would remember those big, green eyes,” he says while scanning my body from head to toe. And then he walks in the entrance of the restaurant.
Something in my mind is nagging at me. He seems very familiar. Looking into my Coach tote, I search for the envelope holding the picture that I haven’t seen yet. I find the envelope as I reach the elevators. Finding the elevator empty, I push the third-floor button, which is the Italian restaurant. Violet loves this place for meeting new clients. Each of the five floors caters a different cuisine. I hear the soulful tunes of that famous female British singer, Adele. I just love her. There’s so much heartache in her lyrics. As always my sweet mother’s voice resonated in my head.
Ivy, listen. People will make you mad and treat you bad. Don’t let those things cause hate in your heart.
My mom always sought solace in her quotes. Looking at my reflection in the glass elevator walls, I smooth out various areas of my camel-colored linen pants suit and check that the lace part of my silk tank top covers my bra. My nerves are always a wreck when first meeting a client. Closing my eyes, I take a deep breath. Ready, set, action …
* * *
Once the doors open, I step onto the marble flooring and walk straight ahead toward a tall, thin woman with long, platinum-blonde hair standing at the podium.
Showing her perfect white teeth as she smiles, she says, “Good afternoon. How may I help you?”
“Hi, my name is Ivy Montgomery. I’m meeting someone here. His name is Jax Sterling.” For the first time, I finally look at the picture as I show the hostess. I immediately recognize the sexy, dark-haired man as the one who prevented me from busting my ass on the ground outside.
The hostess’s lips make an O. “Ah, yes.” She escorts me toward the back of the restaurant.
Looking around, I take in the ambience of this place—soft music, the lighting dimmed just right, and high-back, luxurious leather booth seats.
Privacy is unquestionably obtainable if that’s what you desire. As we reach the last intimate booth in a corner, my eyes drift to a handsome face whose name I now know. Oh, crap. It’s him.
The hostess’s eyes are focused only on Jax Sterling. “Miss Montgomery, Mr. Sterling, is there anything I can get for—”
Cutting the hostess off, I smile and shake my head. “No, thank you.” I laugh to myself while watching the hostess bat her eyes at him. He is yummy. She smiles as she walks away. As I pull out my cell phone and text Joe that he can leave, I slide into the seat across from Jax. “So we meet again. Are you Jax Sterling, who requested a VIP companion?” My stomach is a little uneasy, and my heart pounds wildly. What is happening here?
With a crooked smile, he rests his muscular arms on the table and leans toward me, whispering, “Yes, Ivory.”
I can feel my heartbeat in my ears. My hands are trembling. How do you know that name? All my childhood memories rush back to me at once. Trying to control the tears that are threatening to escape, I say, “It can’t be …”
He quickly stands and walks around the mahogany table to join me, grabbing my face with both hands. “I can’t believe it.” He presses his forehead on mine and closes his eyes. “Ivory, it’s me, Jaxson.”