An old-fashioned undertaker who asks for lessons in what turns a woman on…what more could any teacher ask for?

Mortified Matchmaker
© 2007 Alexis Fleming
Available Now from Samhain Publishing
Contemporary Romance

When circumstances force kindergarten teacher Melissa Morgan to take her twin sister’s place as proprietor of a dating agency, the last thing she expects is to meet a funeral director in desperate need of lessons in what a woman wants. Despite his quirky behavior and antiquated ideas, Matthew Campbell pushes every one of Melissa’s buttons and it’s not long before the lessons become more important than finding Matthew a mate.

But how will Melissa react when she finds out Matthew is an undercover federal agent in pursuit of a blackmailer and she’s the prime suspect?

Enjoy the following excerpt for Mortified Matchmaker:

“Make yourself comfortable, Matthew, and I’ll put the first of the tapes on.”

Wobbling slightly as the unfamiliar high heels caught in the thick pile of the carpet, she moved to the far end of the room, slid the video into the machine and turned on the television. Remote control in hand, she joined Matthew on the sofa and started the tape.

“This first lady’s name is Martha Frazer. She’s perhaps a little older than you specified on your application form, but she sounds very much a homebody. Anyway, I’ll let you view the tape and you can tell me what you think.”

As Matthew watched the screen, Melissa tried to find a comfortable position on the sofa. With it being so wide, she couldn’t lean back against the cushions. If she did, she’d have to sit with her legs extended out in front of her like a child. Not very professional.
Neither was the flash of garters high on her thighs as she tried to perch on the extreme edge of the sofa. She tugged at the hemline of her skirt, only to have it ride up again as soon as she released it. Hell, at this rate, she’d be forced to sit with both hands on the bottom of her skirt to keep it in place.

As the video ended, she turned to Matthew, an enquiring look on her face. “So what do you think?”

Matt tried not to grin as her skirt slid up to expose the top of her nylons and gave him a quick glimpse of naked thigh. He’d seen her efforts to tweak it down. If she didn’t want her legs on show, why wear such short skirts?

The character Joshua Cribbs had created for him foremost in his mind, Matt clasped his hands together and lowered his chin to tap at his pursed lips with pointed index fingers. “Hmm, she sounds a very nice lady,” he said.

“But?”

“I’m not certain she’s suitable. Very unfashionable and a lot older than I wanted. Probably set in her ways. Not malleable at all. I don’t think I’d be able to mold her into what I perceive as the perfect partner.”

He knew his words sounded chauvinistic, but it suited his undercover identity. With his Italian heritage, he was used to a culture where women were revered, feted and looked after. Although that in itself sounded chauvinistic, the women in his family were strong and independent, equal partners in any relationship.

Still, he had a part to play and somehow he had to get Mel Morgan to take him personally under her wing, not fob him off on one of her clients. If he took these women on a date and screwed it up, maybe they’d report back to Melissa. Then he could suggest she teach him how to romance a woman. He couldn’t think of any other way to get close enough to Miss Morgan to find out what he needed to know.

“You know, perhaps I’ve been going about this the wrong way. I think I need someone more glamorous. I’d like to lift the profile of my business, and as I’d want any prospective partner to work with me, at least until the children come, perhaps I should have someone a bit more…” His voice trailed off for a moment. “I guess sophisticated is the word I’m looking for.”

“Let’s try the next one then, shall we? This woman’s name is Janice Betonie. She certainly looks more the part.”

Melissa struggled to her feet, almost catching her heel again in the loop of the carpet. She could have sworn she felt the burn of Matthew’s gaze on her rear end as she walked over to change the tape.

It made the sway of her hips feel more exaggerated than normal. Made her aware of her body in a way she never had been before. Why this should be, she didn’t know. She certainly wasn’t comfortable with the man. Despite that, something about him made her pulse beat faster. Made the blood rush through her veins and generated a fire she hadn’t felt in a long time.

For crying out loud, the man was an undertaker of all things. How could she be turned on by someone who dealt in dead bodies?
Regardless of his job, he was as sexy as hell, even with all that grease in his hair. One thing, though, he’d have to change his chauvinistic attitudes. In this day and age no woman would put up with his comments. He was already at a disadvantage, what with his strange mannerisms and the disastrous hair oil. Although the way she felt, she’d even put up with that.

Damn, this wasn’t like her at all. She was acting completely out of character. You’re the responsible one, remember, Melissa? Yeah, goody-two-shoes as her sister would say. So what the hell was wrong with her?

Her brain had gone on vacation. Because right about now, she had one thought and one thought only in her mind. Throw Matthew Campbell down on his back and fuck the living daylights out of him.

Oh my gawd, she was in serious trouble here. She needed to get her mind off her body and onto the business of finding Matthew Campbell a partner.

Matt tried to keep his attention focused on the television screen, but he couldn’t help a sneaky sideway glance at the exposed length of Melissa’s legs. She’d either forgotten, or given up, trying to stretch her skirt down. One pale pink, lacy garter peeked out beneath the hemline. On the very end, in what appeared to be silky satin, was a darker pink embroidered rose.

He had a sudden urge to reach out and run his finger over it to check. It took all his self-discipline to ignore the unschooled impulse. He averted his gaze and stared at the screen.

“My name is Janice Betonie and I’m…”

The woman on the screen had a well-modulated, husky voice, but she couldn’t hold his interest. Matt tuned out the sound and allowed his attention and his gaze to slide back to the woman beside him. Her skirt had risen another inch. He caught a peek of pale skin above the rose-embossed garter.

X-rated images leapt into his brain, scrambling his thought processes. Heat slammed into him, sliding through his veins and igniting a hungry need inside him. He itched to run his fingers over that strip of skin and see if it felt as soft as it looked. He wanted to taste the creamy texture, slide his tongue across the silky softness and trace the garter up her thigh until he came to her pussy.

He imagined himself down on his knees, head buried between those creamy thighs. Tongue probing at the slick folds of her sex. Then he’d spread her lips and play with her clit until she screamed and begged him to delve deep to taste her honey.

His cock tightened, all the blood driven from his brain and collecting in that wayward piece of male equipment. A raging boner pushed at the front of his trousers. He dropped his hands over his lap to hide the telltale bulge. Thank God he’d worn a suit today and not his normal skin-tight jeans. Shit, he had to stop this, but first…

He leaned closer and dragged in a deep breath. Light, floral perfume teased at his senses. Funny, given the glossy photo back at the office, he would have staked a bet she’d use a heavy musky scent. But he liked this better. Somehow, it suited her. Made a fellow think of innocence and…

Hang on a minute, man, he remonstrated with himself. This woman is anything but innocent. She’s the subject of an undercover investigation and you’d better remember that. Get your mind out of your pants and onto your work.

As the videotape came to an end, he plastered what he hoped was an interested look on his face. He kept his gaze glued to the blank screen as if deep in thought when Melissa turned toward him.

“What do you think, Matthew? Are you interested?”

Fucked if I know. I didn’t take in anything but the first sentence the woman uttered. “Hmm, it’s so hard to make a decision based on a video image.”

“Perhaps you should meet Janice, go out with her and see how you feel. I’m sure you’ll have a great time with her and once you’ve had a successful date, you’ll have much more confidence in your dating skills. You’re a good-looking man. Any woman would be happy to be seen with you. Would you like me to ring her?”

Matt stood and stepped away from the sofa. Even from here, Melissa’s perfume reached out to him and made his cock twitch in reaction. “Yes, perhaps that would be best. Meet the woman in the flesh, so to speak. Dial away, my dear lady.”

Somehow he had to get Miss Morgan to take him under her wing personally, not fob him off on some other unsuspecting female. How else was he going to find out if she was a part of this blackmailing scam? Time to turn on the pathos.

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