The Virgin and the Playboy

By: Kate Richards

Chapter One

Julia drew a deep breath and looked around the lobby. This was not only her

first trip to Las Vegas, it was going to be her first time—well, her first time. She had managed to make it all the way through college without losing her virginity, and she was sick to death of waiting around for that perfect guy, that prince charming, to give her innocence to as though it were a wrapped present. Finally time to join the rest of the world and take advantage of the sexual revolution. Her heart threatening to hammer its way out of her chest, she clutched the strap of her overnight bag with a sweaty palm and headed toward the registration desk.

Finding 1NightStand online had been like a dream come true. She could fly to Las Vegas, spend one night with a complete stranger, lose that troublesome

membrane and come back caught up with everyone else. Ready to have ordinary

dates and hop from bed to bed at will, as all her girlfriends seemed to do.

Decision made, she contacted Madame Evangeline and provided the required

information and her American Express card number. All the arrangements were

made. Julia Hooper, virgin at large, was about to give up what had become most inconvenient and embarrassing—her hymen.


In the room only fifteen minutes, Mark had already paced back and forth so

many times he could see a pattern of his steps in the freshly vacuumed carpet. He couldn’t even believe he was here, about to spend the night with a woman he’d never met. What if she was a dog? Okay, that sounded bad, but still…

His buddies had been merciless in their insistence he try out 1NightStand. It was his own fault—his bragging about dating a different woman every week was probably over the top. When he didn’t want to sign up, the guys dared him. He hadn’t ever been able to refuse a challenge, and they all knew it, damn them. But he figured once the beer wore off, they would see how ridiculous the whole idea 1

Kate Richards

was and let him off the hook.


If anything, they were more persistent the next day, excited and planning the whole thing. He could barely stop them from coming to Las Vegas with him.

Finally, his oath to cancel the whole thing had made them back off and promise to wait back in Los Angeles for his return.

After some more persuading from the guys, he’d decided to go ahead and meet

the girl. If she looked like Frankenstein, he would just have to make the best of it and try not to gag. He faced a lot of pressure being the playboy in the group, the single dude who dated all the hot women. Those guys hung on his stories, and he liked seeing the envy in their eyes. It wasn’t his fault they'd all let themselves get tied down. Although he was fond of their wives—lovely, sweet women who fed

him home-cooked meals and tried to set him up with their friends—he couldn’t imagine picking only one woman from the hundreds crowding the clubs. At least not for longer than a week or two.

So, with his usual strut, he’d boarded the plane and wound up in a luxury hotel room on the penthouse floor of a Las Vegas casino. Pacing back and forth, he stared at the door. Any minute now, she would be here. Dear God, what had he been thinking?


Julia approached the desk and waited while the desk clerk finished checking in an older couple wearing matching Hawaiian shirts.

“May I help you?”

She scanned the young man’s face—was he aware of the nature of her visit?

“Yes, I need Sam Adams’s room number please.” Julia’s voice cracked, her

nerves raw.

“Oh, you must be Miss Ross? Betsy Ross?” He looked down at his monitor, and

back up at her, his expression pleasant, non-judgmental, she decided. “Mr.

Adams is expecting you in Penthouse 4.”

Why had the first flag maker’s name seemed like a good pseudonym to give for 2

The Virgin and the Playboy

the check-in? Her cheeks flooded with heat. That’s what she got for watching Notting Hill the night she made the reservation. Using a famous historical figure’s name for anonymity, as Julia Roberts had in the film, had sounded

dramatic and fun…and apparently her date had felt the same. What had Madame

Eve said his name really was? Oh, right. Mark.

“Thank you.” She accepted the card key the clerk handed her and turned to

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