Seduced by the Rich Man [Secure]
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by Maureen Child
Description: There was little left that could surprise Janine Shaker--except for billionaire Max Striver's suddenly proposing a fake marriage. Max's need for a temporary wife and his desire for Janine seemed to coincide perfectly. He knew that Janine wasn't in a position to refuse his offer--or his bed. But then their make-believe marriage became more passionate than either anticipated. Would it cause them to forget this was all just a game of pretend?
eBook Publisher: Harlequin/Silhouette Desire,
eBookwise Release Date: September 2007
16 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats [Secure - What's this?]: OEBFF Format (IMP) [256 KB]
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Max Striver picked up his drink and let his gaze sweep the room. The club at Fantasies resort was packed with people drinking, laughing, dancing. The music was loud, and colored lights speared from the ceiling onto the writhing mass on the dance floor. A wall of windows overlooked the ocean and a bright moon spilled out of a black sky.
He leaned one elbow on the bar and took a sip of his single-malt scotch, letting the smooth liquor slide down his throat in a wash of heat. It had been so long since his last vacation, he felt out of place in the room full of partying people. And that wasn't a feeling he was comfortable with. Maybe it had been a mistake to come at all. Maybe he should have stayed in London.
He smiled to himself. But the chance to steal away his old friend and competitor's executive assistant had just been too appealing to ignore.
Still, he'd had no actual hope of hiring Caitlyn Monroe away from Lyon Industries. The woman was too loyal. But it had been fun to torment her boss, Jefferson Lyon. Max took another drink and laughed at the mental image of finding Jefferson sleeping on a chaise beside the pool that morning. Seeing the great Lyon brought so low was entertainment enough to keep Max chuckling for a long time.
"What's so funny?"
Max shot a look at the brunette sitting two seats down from him at the bar. Her dark brown hair was short and spiky and her big brown eyes shone. Her skin was the color of warm honey and her body looked curvy under a pale green tank top and white shorts.
His own body tightened as he felt a stir of pure sensual interest. "Just thinking about a friend," he said.
"And this friend's funny?"
"Not purposely," Max admitted, then asked, "Are you alone tonight?"
She shifted on the high red cushioned bar stool and swiveled it around until she was facing him. Tipping her head to one side, she smiled. "I was."
Intriguing, he thought. He liked a woman who was up-front and not afraid to let her interest in a man show. He liked even more that his own interest was spiking. He'd been spending too much time with work lately. Hell, it'd been months since he'd had a damn date. But that looked as if it was all about to change.
"Can I get you another drink?"
She glanced at her nearly empty glass, then back at him. "I think that would be a good start."
He signaled the bartender, then speared his gaze into hers. "Would you like to dance while we wait?"
She smiled at him and he loved the way her mouth moved.
"Another good idea," she said and slid off the stool.
As if prearranged, the music shifted from pulsing rock to slow and smooth. Max guided her through the mass of people to a shadowy corner of the dance floor and pulled her into his arms. She fit against him just right, the top of her head hitting at his chin level. And when she swayed into him, Max felt his blood start to pump.
It had been far too long since he'd been with a woman. Far too long since he'd allowed himself a chance to relax.
The music poured over them in a silky wave and she tipped her head back to look at him. "I like your accent. British?"
His arm tightened around her waist. "Yes. You?"
That explained the lovely tan, he thought and stared down into her deep, dark eyes. "And what brings you to Fantasies?"
"My friends." Janine Shaker felt a ripple of something hot and swirly move through her. That accent of his was really doing a number on her hormones. Or maybe it was just him. Tall, with broad shoulders, a squared-off jaw and black hair that was long enough to brush across the top of his collar, he also had eyes the color of chocolate and a mouth that just begged to be kissed.
"So, not alone then."
"My girlfriends," Janine clarified.
She'd come to Fantasies with her two best friends, Caitlyn and Debbie. It had been her idea, though heaven knew, she couldn't really afford this trip. But she and her friends had all been dumped by their fiancés over the last few months and this trip was supposed to be a life-affirming-screw-men kind of thing.
So Janine had taken the money she'd put aside for the wedding that had never happened and splurged it on a three-week trip to Fantasies. She'd go home broke, but she'd worry about that later.
At the moment, a man who was the perfect distraction had his arms around her and that was all she wanted to think about.
"Girlfriends, eh?" He smiled down at her and tightened his grip around her waist. "I'm relieved to hear it."
Seriously, that accent seemed to ripple up and down her spine with delightful results. She was probably making a mistake. Heck, she was sure of it. But she'd lived most of her life being a good girl. Doing the right thing at the right time. Never taking a risk.
And still her world had imploded around her.
Maybe it was time to stop being careful.
At least while she was at Fantasies. After all, the very name of the resort conjured up all kinds of wonderful images.
"Are you flirting with me?"
Copyright © 2007 by Maureen Child.