Change the Game

Corporate Information Systems #1

Lucy Monroe LLC
ISBN-10: 1981891862
ISBN-13: 978-1981891863
Originally published: 05/03/05

In a high-stakes game of love, attraction, and desire, two people playing for all the wrong reasons are about to discover how delicious it can be when plans go deliciously awry and love is all that matters.

Like father, like daughter.

That’s what businessman Alex Trahern thinks about Isabel Harrison. If the prestigious headhunter thinks she can steal his top employee, just like her father stole his dad’s ideas, she’s dead wrong. Alex is always a man with a plan, and his plan is to get revenge on John Harrison through his daughter. But there’s no contingency plan for the impact Isabel’s sparkling green eyes and honey brown hair have on the decidedly non-business side of his brain…

If at first you don’t succeed, change the game.

After some relationship flameouts, Isabel’s decided to leave love out of it and approach her search for a husband like finding a suitable job candidate. And according to her list of requirements, Alex Trahern certainly has potential. He’s sexy. (Check.) Forceful and fascinating. (Check, check.) Also arrogant, obnoxious, and way too hot for her own good. (Erase. Start over.) Now, if only she could find out what he’s really after…



Originally published as Come Up and See Me Some Time


“Everything that you love about a Lucy Monroe book but bigger. Alex and Isabel both have to come to terms with their pasts so that they can have a future together and to do that means that they have to learn to trust each other. I also loved the secondary characters like Alex’s second-in-command, Marcus, and his secretary. I cannot wait to see what happens to them in the sequel in December.” – The Best Reviews

“Lucy Monroe has created a wonderful novel full of passion and romance. 4.5 Stars” – The Romance Studio

“…full of delightful sexual tension.” 4 Stars – Romantic Times

“Pick up a copy of Come Up And See Me Sometime, settle back in your favorite chair and enjoy this story of love.” – Writers Unlimited

“Ms. Monroe never fails to deliver a story that is overflowing with emotion and sizzle.” – 4 Stars, FAR

“If you’re looking for a great story with superb characters and plenty of sizzle, be sure to grab Come Up and See Me Sometime. Very highly recommended!” – Blue Ribbon Reviews

“Filled with sexual tension and an intricate plot of revenge, COME UP AND SEE ME SOMETIME is one book I highly recommend.” – Romance Reviews Today

“Come Up and See Me Sometime is destined for a place on your keeper shelf, showing once again how Ms. Monroe’s colorful characters, intriguing stories, and passionate and romantic plots are quickly becoming reader favorites.” 4 Stars – A Romance Review

I found Alex to be a hero to die for and he is the main reason why Come Up And See Me Sometime has become my favorite of Ms Monroe’s books. – Reader to Reader Reviews

what other AUTHORS and BOOKSELLERS are saying…

“A fun read for the summer.” – Munchkinbooks

“I finished Come Up and See Me Sometime. I loved it. Had to order more for the store and still waiting on my copy of3 Brides for 3 Bad Boys. It should be in next week.” ~ The Bookstore, Radcliffe, KY

“I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your book Come Up and See Me Sometime. I write historicals for Kensington, but I didn’t buy your book because we have the same publisher. I loved your Harlequin Presents so that’s why I scooped your Kensington book up when I saw it. I adore those Greek tycoons! I keep wondering why I never meet any, all that money and a great body with macho attitude. Keep up the good work!” ~ Patricia Grasso, author ofSeducing the Prince

what READERS are saying…

NB – There IS a follow on book with Marcus and Veronica’s story in it – Goodness Had Nothing to Do With It (Dec ’05).

“I just love ‘Come Up & See Me Sometime’… actually I love all your books. Anyway is there a story for Marcus and Veronica?” ~ Shahida

“Ms. Monroe, I just wanted to let you know how much I thoroughly enjoyed reading COME UP AND SEE ME SOMETIME. It was a wonderful and lovely “complete” story. Sometimes books leave me wanting more, but Come Up and See Me Sometime didn’t leave me with that “I want more feeling” – the story was complete, period. I liked both Alex and Isabel very much. But I also liked Bettina and Marcus. Maybe Marcus will get his own story someday – maybe? I look forward to reading your next book. Enjoy the remainder of your summer and keep ’em comin’!” ~ Jeanette

“Lucy-I just got a chance to read Come up and see me sometime and I loved it. Call me a woman, but there’s nothing I like better than a man so in love with someone that it’s almost palpable. Again, I laughed and had a blast being pulled into their world. I end with a personal plea: don’t stop writing, you’ve offered me some modicum of relief while I’m studying. Thanks.” – Marsha

“Last week on the flight home from Vegas, I read “Come Up and See Me Sometime.” I loved both Isobel & Alex. Their story was wonderful. You really developed Alex’s character. He came to terms with his “revenge” and realized that he couldn’t do anything that would hurt Isobel. I have to admit that Veronica & Marcus intrigued me.” – Lidia

“Just love the books the Real Deal, Come Up & See Me Sometime and can’t wait to read Ready over the 4th. I like your books because your characters are real and treat each other with respect. Keep up the good work.” ~ Susan

“I just read Come Up and See Me Sometime, and really enjoyed it. Will there be a story for Veronica and Marcus? I thoroughly enjoy settling in with one of your books. Thanks so much for all the hours of entertainment.” ~ Jolene

“Lucy, I picked up your book COME UP AND SEE ME SOMETIME yesterday and I’m loving it! I’m not sure if you have any other single titles but this is the only one I’ve seen (I’ve read your stories in anthologies).” ~ Arlene

“I love all your books! Just finished Come Up And See Me Sometime and I LOVED it! I own all the HP’s and love your alpha males!! Thank you so much Lucy for all your great stories. Have a wonderful day!” ~ Polly

“Lucy, I am thoroughly enjoying this book. It is wonderfully clever, humorous, and sensual at the same time. I am 1/3 the way through, reading it in my hot tub with champagne and chocolate, and am thrilled I chose it for my “read! You are so very, very talented!” ~ Katy

“Dear Lucy…I just wanted to let you know that I just finished reading Come Up and See Me Sometime and I loved it! I devoured the book in just two days. I loved the character of Alex. The intensity between him and Isabel. I also read 3 Brides for 3 Bad Boys. I have to say Carter’s story is the one I liked best. I can’t wait to read Ready.” ~ Esmeralda

“Just finished it and enjoyed it immensely. Glad to hear Marcus and Ronnie are going to get together. Frankly, I love a rakish guy and Marcus fits the bill. Thanks again for a great read and a nice change of pace from the paranormals I read and write! <g>” ~ Deena

“Hello, I just got done reading Come Up and See Me Sometime, and I thought it was a great book. I went back to the store to find another book written by you and didn’t see one. I was wondering if you have any other romance books out??” ~ Kristi

“Just finished ‘Come Up and See Me Sometime’ – AWESOME BOOK – LOVED IT. I was so glad to see on your web site that you are going to do a book about Marcus. He seemed like he was one sexy dude.” ~ Betsy

“Just wanted to let you know I read Come Up and See Me Sometime and really enjoyed it. Can’t wait for Ready.” ~ Sheila

“It’s wonderful, full of love and life’s lessons! Almost finished and will be sad for it to end.” ~ Marilyn

“Lucy, I loved it — Your books are always so sensual and you can feel their attraction and desire coming off the page. Come Up and See Me Sometimes was excellent.” ~ Lynda

“Enjoyed your website and I am thrilled about your upcoming books. I just finished Come Up and See Me Sometime.  Can’t wait for a story about Marcus and Veronica. I also bought Star Quality today. I have read all your books and I love them. Please keep up the good work.” ~ A devoted fan, Barbara

“I loved Alex, the whole book was awesome. Come Up and See Me Sometime was really great. I loved how Alex didn’t think he could fall in love but could show it. He was such a strong character but willing to bend when it mattered. Isabel was a gem, her not so subtle methods to change Alex’s plans was sweet and funny. It was really special to see these two fall in love. Kudos. Now is Marcus getting his own book young lady??? [NB from Lucy – Marcus’s story will be out in December – Goodness Had Nothing to Do With It.]” ~ Hugs and thanks again, Judy F

“Just want to make comments that I just read Come and See Me Sometime. It was my first book that I read by you. And I thought it was great! Thank for enjoyable read :)” ~ Julia-Yen

“I’m reading Come Up And See Me Sometime now! Whoohoo, Alex is one fine man! LOL” ~ Sara

“I just had to let you know that I read your book today. I found it while I was out shopping today with Mary. My hubby was on a field trip to the National Zoo in Washington with my daughter Paula so I was out on a shopping spree. Anyway, I got home about 2:00 and the book was read by 5:00. It was awesome! It had everything I’ve come to expect from one of your books and yet it in no way was a mimic of any other. Sometimes with some authors after a while it feels like you are reading the same book over with just name and location changes. Not yours!” ~ Hugs, Tara

“I absolutely loved Come Up and See Me Sometime…” ~ Shari


“Alex didn’t even shift in his chair. “Do you get a lot?”

“A lot of what?” she asked with exasperation.

“Employers warning you off of their employees?”

She went to run her fingers through her hair and remembered belatedly that she’d twisted it into a French knot that morning. She felt strands of hair slip loose of the knot and fall against her face. Things were just not going her way. She immediately removed her hands, but the damage had been done. Another lock of hair slid from the neat coil and she knew that within seconds it was going to look like a rat’s nest. Darn it.

She yanked the clip from her hair, intending to pull it back into the twist. “Yes, as a matter of fact I do. It’s one of the hazards of the job. You wouldn’t believe what I’ve had to put up with.”

He paralyzed her with a lazy smile. “Try me.”

She stood there like a simpleton with her hands stilled in their attempt to repair the damage she’d done to her hairstyle. He had a dimple and Heaven only knew why, but that fact had an astounding affect on her insides.

Giving up on trying to fix her hair without a mirror and with hands that shook for no apparent reason, she finger-combed the strands and let it fall in its customary blunt cut to her shoulders. Obviously, he wasn’t going to leave immediately, so she sat back down.

“I’ve had employers threaten me, call me names and throw temper tantrums right here in my office. The worst as far as I’m concerned, though, are the ones that come by and offer me money to not have contact with their employees.”

Alex brought his hands together in a loose grip in front of him. “Why does that bother you? It seems like good business sense. You still get what amounts to a commission and the employer keeps his employee. It’s a win-win situation.”

He didn’t get it. “Win-win for whom? The employee is stuck with a boss who would rather pay what amounts to protection money than improve their quality of life at work. Believe it or not, I’m not interested in earning my commissions that way. I’m a career guidance specialist, not the mafia, for Heaven’s sake.”

Surprise and something else flickered in his dark brown eyes. If she didn’t know better, she would have thought it was desire. She must be mistaken. For goodness sake, she had just met the man. Besides, he couldn’t be attracted to her. He didn’t like her.

“So you only called Marcus this morning because you wanted to provide him with a better job opportunity than working for me? Your client’s needs had nothing to do with it.” The sarcastic disbelief in his voice grated against her nerves.

She didn’t know why she’d given in to the urge to try to convince this man to see her differently. It was obviously a wasted effort.
“I called Mr. Danvers because my client specifically asked me to. I had other potential candidates for the job on my books with qualifications I thought were a better match, but I always try to please my clients, whether employer or employee. I had no personal desire to lure your assistant away from a job he enjoys. Once I discovered that he wasn’t interested, I congratulated him on finding a good position, told him to call if he ever felt the need for a change and hung up.”

“That still doesn’t tell me who hired you to go gunning for my assistant.”

Really. The way this guy thought. “I didn’t go gunning for anyone and as I mentioned, confidentiality prevents me from telling you who my client is.”

Alex nodded and stood. He extended his hand in a unexpected show of courtesy. “Thank you for your time, Isabel. I apologize if my comments or attitude have offended you. I can see that you take your responsibility to your clients, both the employer and the employee, very seriously.”

She shook his hand, nonplussed at the abrupt change in his demeanor. She was pretty sure he had meant to offend her. So, why the apology?

“I can understand your concerns.” So many employers truly had something to worry about in this situation. However, Alex didn’t. “In your case, I believe they are unfounded. Mr. Danvers is obviously content to stay where he is.”

Alex let his hand linger on hers for just a second longer than a formal business handshake required and then let her go.

As he left her office she couldn’t help wondering how he would do against the requirements on her list.


Alex walked through the anteroom to his office and tossed instructions at his secretary as he passed her. “I don’t want to be disturbed for thirty minutes, Ms. Richards.”

Veronica Richards looked up from her meticulously organized desk, and smiled a cool, professional smile. “Very well, Mr. Trahern. I’ve updated your task manager with this morning’s messages. When you get a moment you might wish to review them.”

He nodded and headed into his office. How did she manage to make a politely worded request sound like an order? No doubt about it, he might be the boss, but Veronica ran the office. Not that he would call her Veronica to her face. His young, but very proper, secretary would never countenance such familiarity, though she’d worked for him practically since he’d opened CIS.

Sitting down at his desk a few seconds later, Alex emptied his mind of all thoughts related to his zealously efficient secretary and concentrated instead on the information matrix he was building around Isabel Harrison.

The image of her running her fingers through honey brown hair kept superimposing itself over the data he was trying to compile. He finally gave up and allowed himself to focus on the woman, not the facts surrounding her. Isabel in person had not met any of his preconceived notions of what John Harrison’s daughter would be like. In fact, she had been the living, breathing embodiment of everything a two year old, black and white photo had implied – innocent, trusting and somewhat naïve.

He had expected a calculating businesswoman, not a self-proclaimed career guidance specialist.

And he had not expected to be physically attracted to her, but why the hell he hadn’t realized his reaction to her in person would outshine his reaction to a photo he didn’t know. He was usually a lot less self-delusional than that.

From the moment he’d walked into her office, he’d found it difficult to keep his concentration on the task at hand. Isabel kept getting in the way. Her hand had felt delicate in his own and her guileless green eyes had spoken of warmth and gentleness rather than calculation and greed.

Then, it had been little wisps of hair falling from her sleek twist behind her head and flirting around her face. He’d wanted to touch them, a completely uncharacteristic response for him when he was in an information-gathering mode. Hormones had no place in business.

When she had pulled her hair down completely, he’d felt his heartbeat accelerate while his hands actually itched to reach out and touch her. From the matter of fact way she had finger combed the silky strands, it was obvious she had no clue how sexy the gesture was.

It had only compounded the reaction he’d had when she stood up from her desk. Her tailored jacket and trousers had emphasized all too tempting feminine curves.

He wanted her and the knowledge rattled him.

He could not afford to let things get complicated at this juncture. He needed a clear head. He needed to know who had hired Isabel to approach Marcus.

She said it was someone who would have done better with one of her other employee clients. That implied either Isabel was ignorant of her father’s plans or it hadn’t been John Harrison who got her to contact Marcus.

Or Isabel had been lying.

She could be a consummate actress. The little routine with her hair could have been planned. The air of innocence and naiveté put on for his benefit.

Adept at reading people, Alex didn’t like the fact that after their brief meeting he had more questions than answers.

The only solution was to see her again.”

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