A Good Dose Of Pleasure by Zuri Day
One sexy Morgan man may have finally met his match in a talented and beautiful young widow. But will their ambitions come between them?
When artist Anise Cartier leaves Nebraska for L.A., she’s finally ready to put the past and its losses behind her. And she soon finds a welcoming committee in the form of one very handsome doctor, Gregory Morgan. Their attraction is instant. So is their animosity.
Gregory is in a fierce competition for a multimillion-dollar medical research grant. The grant will make a new research center possible. . .once the beloved artist community where Anise plans to set up shop is demolished. Soon, it’s a battle between art and science—one that neither Anise nor Gregory intend to lose. Can their red hot love survive this heated war of wills?
On the other side of the country, 1,542 miles from Omaha to be exact, Dr. Gregory Morgan looked at his caller ID and thought WTH? Last week it had been Venita blowing up his phone after getting the number on the pretense of using him as a reference. Venita was a beautiful brunette and a capable nursing student who hoped to one day work alongside him. That would truly be fine with Gregory. Alongside him was one thing. Beneath him, which he’d discovered was her real MO, was quite another.
The month before that it had been Pamela, a woman he’d known since college. They’d run into each other on the streets of Beverly Hills. He’d been genuinely glad to see her and had readily accepted her request to have drinks and catch up. He agreed on sipping and reminiscing, but her thought was to get him caught up in the affairs of her life, and after hearing her hour-long diatribe about an abusive husband, a cheating ex, and a son just put on Ritalin, he knew that dating her was the last thing he wanted to do. He even turned down her request to give her son a professional diagnosis. “I’m an emergency doctor, not a psychiatrist,” he’d told her, before offering the name of a colleague in the mental health field. She declined the information. He’d had only three words for her when she invited him to continue their reunion in the comfort of her home. No. Thank. You.
And now it was his friend-with-benefits calling. Again. He and Lori Whitfield had known each other since childhood, after meeting as neighbors in the town of Long Beach. They’d dated in high school, kept in touch through college, and would scratch each other’s itch in between relationships. He liked Lori because they were both on the same page: driven professionals who believed love and marriage took a backseat to goals and aspirations. She was determined to succeed in Hollywood, so when he heard she was dating an up-and-coming director, he’d thought it was a career-enhancing hookup and wished her well.
But then she’d called a week ago, with doubts on whether or not her latest liaison was really a good idea. Already her producer partner was showing signs of insecurity and possessiveness. The last thing needed, she’d explained to the doctor, was an industry player blackballing her career. Gregory had agreed, and had gone over to make her feel better. After a hot and hearty “tune-up,” he’d brought his behind home like he always did, totally prepared to hear about the next guy not long from now. Instead, she’d invited him to breakfast the next morning.
Strange, he’d thought, considering that the bedroom was the only place they usually assuaged their appetites. But he went anyway. They were friends, after all, and a man had to eat. Ten minutes into the meal and he knew why his intuition had thrown up a warning sign. For the first time since he’d known her, Lori started talking about marriage and motherhood, about not getting any younger and about not wanting to grow old and die all alone. He’d listened and tried to offer consoling advice. She was a dear friend, one whom he couldn’t imagine trying to throw hints of interest in his direction. If anybody knew where he stood on family, it was Lori. He’d come from a good one and one day envisioned being a husband and dad. But that would come later, after he’d fulfilled his goal of becoming known as a pioneering physician and ensuring his late father’s legacy.
Women chasing Gregory was not a new thing. Since childhood he, his older brother, Michael, and his younger brother, Troy, had always had their share of attention from the females. The Morgan Magic, Michael used to call it. Michael had always taken full advantage of the attention, but Gregory had been too focused on school and work to have more than one woman at a time. Lately, even one woman had proved too much, which was why he felt the arrangement with Lori was so advantageous. Looking at the caller ID again, he thought maybe not. Maybe his FWB good thing was about to come to an end.
He reached for the phone and prepared to push the speaker button, realizing the irony of his life starting to look a little like the one his brother used to live, the life he’d teased Michael about before he got married. Michael used to juggle more women than could fit through the revolving doors during lunch hour at Macy’s. Gregory didn’t understand how Michael had done it. Because here he’d only been juggling a few women for a few weeks via telephone calls, and having a night of good sex every now and again, and he was emotionally exhausted.
“Hey, Lori, what’s up?” He made his tone sound busy even though at the moment he was only half watching ESPN.
“Shortly, I’m hoping it’s a certain part of your anatomy,” she purred. “I’ve got a light afternoon and thought I’d stop by.”
“You’re a tempting morsel, but unfortunately I have to pass.”
“I thought you were off on Tuesdays.”
“I don’t have to go to the hospital, but I’m still working, doing some research from home.”
“You know what they say about all work and no play?”
“And you know what they say about keeping one’s eye on the prize.”
“Please, you cannot be serious. You know that you’re already the hospital staff’s darling.”
“I’m talking about another prize—the research grant. They’ll be making a decision soon and I’m being proactive. If I get named as the recipient, hitting the ground running will be an understatement. I want to be able to start making a difference from day one.”
“Spoken like a true Morgan man.”
Gregory smiled. “You know it.”
“Speaking of, how are your brothers?”
“Busy conquering the world; you know how we do it.”
“Um-hmm. Do I ever know how you do it.”
“Listen to you, being a bad girl.”
“That’s the best kind.” A pause and then, “Oh, I need to take this call.”
“Is that your man?”
“I don’t have one of those.”
“Does he know that?”
“Ha! Bye, lover.”
Gregory hung up the phone, turned off the television, and stretched out on the couch. He thought about the research grant, and how getting it would be the impetus to all of his dreams coming true. Helping people in a way he felt he couldn’t help his father had been a driving motivation since his father’s death years ago. Now, he was closer than he’d ever been to this dream becoming a reality. No one would distract him from this goal. No one would detour him from this date with destiny.
( Continues… )
Copyright © 2013 by Zuri Day. All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the publisher’s written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. Share a link to this page or the author’s website if you really like this promotional excerpt.
About the Author
Zuri Day is the bestselling author of more than a dozen novels. An EMMA and African-American Literary Awards winner, two of her novels were also finalists in the Romantic Times Best Multicultural Romance category. Along with titillating the sensual senses, Zuri loves to stimulate provocative thought on timely, relevant topics that will benefit her community of readers. She believes in true love, half-full glasses and dreams coming true. Along with writing, hearing from readers is one of her favorite things to have happen, so she’d love to hear from you! Connect via her website, ZuriDay.com or on Facebook @ haveazuriday.
A Good Dose of Pleasure by Zuri Day
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