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Seduced by Temptation
Mitchell Winery #2

Should one indulge in the temptation before them?

He was an irritating tyrant who wouldn’t bend.

She was an annoying thorn who stood in his way.

Addison Mitchell fought against the power that drew her to the one man who could destroy the walls she’d built around her heart.

Deny the comfort she felt in his arms. Deny the passion of his kisses. Deny the attraction between them.

Did Addison have the strength to deny his demands?

When Sterling Harrison wanted something, he got it. Even when the object of his obsession proved unattainable.

Tempt her with a teasing touch. Tempt her with kisses that left her breathless for more. Tempt her with a demand she cannot deny.

Could Sterling walk away from Addison once their agreement ended?

A brief affair to burn the attraction engulfing them in flames, soon turned into a love affair neither of them imagined.

A woman seeking revenge threatened their fragile relationship.

Losing Addison’s love wasn’t an option.

Forgiving Sterling’s betrayal took trust.

Would Addison and Sterling’s love diminish because of vengeance? Or would the temptation of everlasting love protect them?

Seduced by Temptation is the second book in Laura A. Barnes’s Mitchell Winery Series. If you love a steamy, enemies to lovers office romances, then you’ll love this contemporary romance.






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Chapter One


Sterling Harrison leaned back in the chair, watching the festivities before him. He nursed his second scotch of the night, refraining from celebrating. While the other guests partied with the bride and groom, he watched them with an air of detachment. He had no close ties with the couple other than a recent business venture. Grayson Mitchell and his bride had invited him to their wedding and reception out of necessity. They needed to project to the masses a close relationship, especially after the blackmail scheme they’d avoided.

He still didn’t trust the Mitchells, even though the brunt of the blackmail had been an act by his ex-employee. They’d been honest when they could’ve covered the mess up. So, he’d offer them respect in that regard. Otherwise, he questioned his involvement with them, especially after working alongside Addison Mitchell for the past few months.

If there were ever a thorn in one’s side, it was that woman. Her demands for the marketing campaign aggravated him. Her latest stunt of approving the mock-ups without his approval pushed him too far. He’d waited all evening for the perfect opportunity to express his opinion. However, Addison had made it her mission to avoid him.

She was the only reason he remained at this godforsaken wedding reception. He hated weddings and everything they entailed. He never planned to walk down the ivory aisle and pledge his undying devotion to only one woman for the rest of his life, not when he enjoyed the simplicity of choosing a woman to meet his needs until he tired of her, then moved on to the next woman who struck his interest.

The only irritating factor bothering him was one irresistible woman. For some reason, he found himself unable to resist her. Even now, as she danced with her friends on the dance floor, he couldn’t stop staring at her. The way her jet-black hair caressed her back with each sway of her hips to her pouty lips as she sang along with the songs.

Lips he had dominated with a kiss that left him shaken. So shaken he’d stormed out of her office and tried to deny how it affected his emotions. Which was a total lie, but he refused to admit it. No matter how much his thoughts strayed to how she moaned softly when she returned his kiss or when she blushed every time during their office meetings. He cursed every damn dream of claiming her and making her his.

Damn her.

The fast beat of the music slowed to a soft melody, and Addison and her friends broke apart. The groom swept the bride into his arms and twirled her around the dance floor. Other couples soon joined them. One of Grayson Mitchell’s groomsmen approached Addison. She smiled at him and accepted his offer to dance.

 With each step, the man pulled Addison in closer, and his hands dipped lower along her back. Sterling gritted his teeth at the action, aware of the man’s intention. His hands tightened into fists when Addison laughed at everything the bastard said. Before he even realized his intention, he stood next to them and tapped the man’s shoulder.

“Excuse me, I insist on interrupting,” Sterling growled.

Addison barely glanced at him. “No.”

“The word isn’t in my vocabulary,” Sterling argued.

“Humph. You’ve never had a problem disagreeing in the past.”

Sterling blocked them from moving. “Because you failed to respond to direction.”

“Get lost,” Addison hissed.

“Do you mind?” Sterling asked Addison’s partner.

“Sorry, man. It doesn’t sound like she wants to dance with you.”

“That’s because she doesn’t know who she wants to dance with. So pull your hand away from her ass and step aside,” Sterling demanded.

The groomsman stepped back, holding up his hands. “Sorry, Add.”

“Traitor,” Addison mumbled.

“I’ll make it up to you.” Addison’s dance partner strolled away.

“Like hell he will,” Sterling declared.

He didn’t give Addison a chance to leave him stranded among the other dancers. Sterling played on her having to project a friendly attitude with a business partner and knew she wouldn’t cause a scene.

He brought her flush against him. His body rejoiced at the closeness. Sterling had his moment to berate her over her bold move with the mock-ups. Instead, he stayed silent and shuffled his feet to the slow melody. He inhaled her fragrance, letting it soothe his irritation. Her womanly curves molded against his hard frame, which only had him craving the soft touch of her lips under his again.

Addison tried to stay tense in Sterling’s arms, but her body betrayed her by softening against the strength of his hold as he enfolded her in his arms. His arrogance had stirred her anger when he interrupted her dance. However, she had to appear friendly with him in front of others.

 She raged at his arrogance and his need for control. Control she’d recently bested him with. It was the reason for his rude behavior. She smiled secretly at her win. But with every triumph, one had to deal with the consequences if they achieved the win with underhanded tactics.

She’d gone above his authority because she was tired of their meetings that left her frustrated with emotions she didn’t understand. She wanted to rage at him, yet she also wanted Sterling to rip her clothes off and kiss every inch of her body. Why did she have fantasies about her mortal enemy? Sterling Harrison ignited a fuse in Addison whenever they saw each other.

“You won’t let that man make it up to you.”

Addison pulled back. “You have no say in what I let any man do to me.”

Sterling snarled. “I disagree.”

“On what grounds?”

“It wouldn’t be fair to the guy when your interest lies elsewhere,” Sterling continued.

“On what grounds?” Addison repeated.

Sterling noticed the interest the other dancers paid to them. Grayson Mitchell frowned at the tone of their voices, while his bride, Eve, smiled in amusement. He forced a smile for their benefit to assure them he was enjoying a friendly dance with Addison. “Smile and pretend you like dancing with me.”

“My brother and Eve understand me well enough to know when I'm irritated and on the verge of displaying my temper.” Addison deliberately missed a step and dug her heel into the top of Sterling’s foot.

Sterling grimaced but kept on dancing after her brutal attempt to sabotage him. “Yes. But do you want the other guests to notice how you feel about me?”

Addison paused. “Now, why would I want others to think I like you?”

Sterling pulled her in closer and whispered in her ear. “Because you wouldn’t want them to know how you secretly want me to lower my head and take your lips under mine.”

A rush of warmth washed over Addison at his taunt. Not only was Sterling an unwanted distraction, but he was also attuned to her needs. He broke down her defenses with each brush of his hand caressing her back while they danced. Not to mention how she wanted to sigh in pleasure at how his body pressed against hers, drawing her closer with each step. Addison feared she would beg him to kiss her if her family and friends didn’t surround them. That only took her irritation with Sterling Harrison up another notch.

She had to remind her body how he affected her state of mind. It didn’t matter how he heightened her senses to the degree of surrender. It only mattered how she expressed her dislike of him and how he didn’t intimidate her in the boardroom or on the dance floor.

Addison stood on her tiptoes to whisper in his ear. “I understand how you hunger for another taste of my kisses. Just because you want to kiss me, doesn’t mean I want the same.” She lowered herself and smoothed her hands along the lapels of his suit coat. “However, I would find pleasure in you embarrassing yourself.”

Before Sterling could prove Addison wrong, Grayson danced his bride alongside them. “Care to switch dance partners? I need a word with my sister.”

Sterling stepped back, dropping his hold on Addison. He raked her with his gaze, peering into her eyes with an unspoken declaration. “A pleasure, as always, Ms. Mitchell.”

He swept Eve away from the Mitchell siblings. His new dance partner had never ignited a spark of attraction the way Addison did. When he first met Eve Collins, he’d attempted to pursue her because she’d struck his interest. However, she’d never given him any sign she felt the same. She only offered her friendship while he navigated the dynamics of the Mitchell family. Now she was Eve Mitchell, a member of the family he wasn’t sure if he should trust.

Eve’s soft chuckle drew Sterling’s attention. “You won’t win her over by glaring at her.”

Sterling arched an eyebrow. “I don’t want to win Ms. Mitchell over. She needs to understand and follow the rules of how a project has to proceed through the proper channels for its approval.”

Eve nodded with a smirk. “Of course.”

Sterling always prided himself on how he kept his personal life separate from his business. However, the vexing woman shooting a glare in his direction was a distraction he found difficult to draw a line between. Her taunt before Grayson interrupted them only urged him to prove her wrong.

 They were far from finished this evening. He would bide his time and confront her about the marketing project. And before the evening concluded, he would prove to Addison she lied not only to him but to herself about how his kisses affected her.

“Why is she so vexing?”

His question only brought out another chuckle from Eve. “I can now see what Addison meant,” Eve murmured.

Sterling frowned. “What did Addison mean?”

“She mentioned once how she thought you were old-fashioned.”

Sterling didn’t comment on Eve’s answer. He only filed the information away for later. Obviously, it was a trait of his that bothered Addison. He didn’t understand why, but he would figure it out.

“An admirable quality to hold. As for the vexing part, it’s part of her charm, one she only displays to those she cares for,” Eve added.

Sterling laughed, drawing the other dancers’ attention to them. “Oh, I don’t believe for a second Addison Mitchell cares for me in the slightest.”

Eve shrugged. “Maybe she does. Maybe she doesn’t.”

“I’ll take my wife back now,” Grayson demanded.

Sterling handed Eve back to her husband. “Congratulations. Enjoy your honeymoon and we’ll talk on your return.”

After he shook Grayson’s hand, he walked out of the ballroom to collect his thoughts. He had no intention of leaving. He’d find somewhere to wait for the perfect opportunity to get Addison alone.

After all, he prided himself on his patience.

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