Hard Man

By: Amarinda Jones

The last place Ashbea Somers wanted to be was stuck at a shoe convention with her crazy boss, selling trashy shoes to drunken women. When Ashbea runs into the surly, hard-bodied Harry, things start to get exciting. After a few terse words, she finds herself skin to skin with him up against a wall in a hot, body-shaking moment. Maybe the convention isn’t so bad.

Harry only ever has one-night stands. Hot, wild sex with Ashbea was supposed to be just that. In and out and over, with no regrets, just a passionate memory. But Harry can’t forget the woman who held him so tight and close. He wants one more taste of her luscious body before he walks away. That is, if he can. There’s something about her that’s unforgettable.

Ashbea isn’t sure what Harry’s problem is but she does know one thing. Sex with Harry Hardman is not something she’s about to give up without a fight.


Dedicated to every woman who has wanted more and refused to settle for less. You are worth more, and a real man will see that and be grateful for it.

To Kylie and Sue for being Kylie and Sue.

And to my long-suffering editor, Helen Woodall, who never gives up.

Trademarks Acknowledgement

The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of the following word marks mentioned in this work of fiction:

Barbie: Mattel Inc.

Vogue: Advance Magazine Publishers Inc.

Chapter One

“You broke your heel! Oh my goodness what happened? Miss Marx’s head is going to explode when she finds out.”

The possibility of her employer’s head exploding was the last thing Ashbea Somers cared about.

I just had sex with a man I have never seen before and I feel amazing. It was so wrong and naughty but damn it was good. Hmmm, how could anything like that be bad for me? Her ass burned and her legs were weak but despite that it had been the best fuck of her life. Not that she could tell Ida Stubbs, personal assistant to Mitzi Marx, that. Ida’s world revolved around kissing their mutual employer’s butt. Or maybe I should rock her little world and tell her. “Well, Ida, the heel shattered when I slammed my foot down in shock when the hottest guy I ever saw thrust the most divine cock into my ass. I was so full and overcome I nearly lost my balance.” Luckily the man had kept her and himself up. It had been the best fun she had found at the convention so far.

“Our heels never break.”

Ashbea wasn’t surprised that the only word her colleague had made out was “heel”. Ida was an officiously loyal employee. She called Mitzi “Miss Marx” and not “bimbo brain” like the rest of the employees did at the office of Princess Mitzi shoes. Being a non butt-kisser herself, Ashbea still couldn’t work out why two days ago Mitzi had pointed one acid yellow talon at her and demanded that Ashbea attend the Melbourne come-fuck-me shoe convention representing the Brisbane company of Princess Mitzi shoes. Oops, beg your pardon—the Shoe-Me convention. Shoe-Me, do me, fuck me—whatever. It was all the same as far as Ashbea was concerned. The shoes were trashy and designed for one reason only. For men. No woman in her right mind would wear gaudy, six-inch heels unless she was Barbie or a drag queen. And, as much as Ashbea admired the longevity of the ambitious doll and the flamboyant style of the queens, they were about as plastic as Princess Mitzi shoes and her boss’s boob implants.

Ashbea was a nobody in the Princess Mitzi kingdom. She worked as an admin assistant for Louise “the Barracuda” Radcliffe—so named for her ability to sell shoes to people at funerals and other devastating life events. The Barracuda had no conscience. “Shoes cheer women up,” the Barracuda would tell Ashbea as the order forms from places like Silent Moment Funeral Parlor landed on her desk. And sure, the Barracuda was recovering from that embarrassing accident when she fell into the open grave at the Holman service and hit her head on the shiny brass memorial dual bocce ball set that adorned the casket of Bernie Holman, but it was still weird Mitzi’s bloodshot eyes had singled the redheaded Ashbea out.

“Well, the heel broke, Ida, so get over it.”

“Oh my goodness.”

And there it was. The catchphrase of a woman who had probably only ever seen a cock of the two-legged variety roasted and stuffed and sitting on a platter with vegetables for dinner.

“Goodness had nothing to do with it.”

* * * * *

Thirty minutes ago

“Hey! Watch where you’re going!” Ashbea Somers felt like an elephant on stilts as she clutched at the wall in a vain effort to remain upright. That she worked for Princess Mitzi shoes was one thing. That she had to wear them was another. Her choice of shoe was flat and practical. Like her own feet. Princess Mitzi shoes were spiked and designed to maim. “You nearly knocked me over.” She regained her balanced and glared at the man who glared back at her. Tall, pissed off and brooding. Great, a Heathcliff type, complicated and arrogant.