The #1 Bestsellers Collection 2011By: Trish Morey
Catherine Mann & Trish Morey & Maureen Child & Maxine Sullivan & Yvonne Lindsay
FORCED WIFE, ROYAL LOVE-CHILD
THE BOSS’S CHRISTMAS SEDUCTION
THE EXECUTIVE’S SURPRISE BABY
BARGAINING FOR KING’S BABY
About the Author
TRISH MOREY wrote her first book at age eleven for a children’s book-week competition. Entitled Island Dreamer, it told the story of an orphaned girl and her life on a small island at the mouth of South Australia’s Murray River. Island Dreamer also proved to be her first rejection—her entry was disqualified unread and, shattered and broken, she turned to a life where she could combine her love of fiction with her need for creativity—and became a chartered accountant. Life wasn’t all dull though, as she embarked on a skydiving course, completing three jumps before deciding that she’d given her fear of heights a run for its money.
Meanwhile, she fell in love and married a handsome guy who cut computer code and later penned her second book—the totally riveting A Guide to Departmental Budgeting—whilst working for the New Zealand Treasury.
Back home in Australia after the birth of their second daughter, Trish spied an article saying that Harlequin® was actively seeking new authors. It was one of those “Eureka!” moments—Trish was going to be one of those authors! Eleven years after reading that fateful article (actually on June 18, 2003, at 6:32 p.m!) the magical phone call came and Trish finally realised her dream.
According to Trish, writing and selling a book is a major life achievement that ranks up there with jumping out of an airplane and motherhood. All three take commitment, determination and sheer guts, but the effort is so very, very worthwhile.
Trish now lives with her husband and four young daughters in a special part of South Australia, surrounded by orchards and bushland and visited by the occasional koala and kangaroo.
You can visit Trish at her Web site at www.trishmorey.com or drop her a line at [email protected]
For Gavin, with much love.
Thanks for your endless support over the years, for all the good times and the laughs, and thanks, more than anything, for just being there.
Happy anniversary, honey.
THE sex was good.
With a growl Rafe gave himself up to the inevitable and hauled her naked body against his own, drinking deeply of the sleepy scent of her skin, enjoying the way the last remnants of her perfume mingled with the lingering muskiness of passion, and feeling a corresponding tightening in his loins. He’d barely dozed but again he was ready for her and he wasn’t about to waste a minute of their first night together. Not after it taking the best part of a week to get her into his bed.
He couldn’t remember the last time that had happened.
Through the filmy curtains of his apartment the lights of Paris still glowed, even as the night sky slowly peeled away and the soft light of dawn turned her skin lustrous. He pressed his lips to her neck and suckled at the tender flesh below her ear, and was instantly rewarded with a sound like a purr. His lips curled into a smile on her skin. There was a price for making him wait so long and he’d enjoyed every last minute of exacting his payment.
She stirred into life then, rolling towards him and reaching out, a low sigh vibrating through her as her Titian hair moved across her pillow like a curtain rising on the next act.
How appropriate, he thought, already anticipating it. He raised himself over her, settling between her legs. A week it had taken to get her here. A week they had wasted. He wasn’t wasting a moment more.
He lowered his head and captured one ripe nipple between his lips, drawing it in deep, circling the tightening bud with his tongue. She arched under him, made another of those little mewing sounds and clung on, her fingers tangling in his hair.
He loved her breasts, loved their shape and the feel of them in his hands, and he loved the contrast in textures, from their satin-soft skin to their pebbled circles to their bullet-like peaks when she was aroused. Loved making them so. She tasted of woman and salt and sex and he couldn’t get enough. And when she lifted her hips and teased her curls against the throbbing length of him, he couldn’t see the point of waiting any longer.
Rearing up, he grabbed a packet from the side table, jammed it between his teeth and reefed off the top.
‘Let me,’ she said, a raw huskiness edging her voice, and a hunger in her hazel eyes that reflected his own desperate need fed into it and ramped it up tenfold. He allowed himself a smile as she took it from him, lifting herself higher on the bed and applying it almost reverentially. He raised his eyes to the ceiling at that first, delicate touch. So much for the woman who just last night had seemed almost nervous about sex. The prospect of the next few weeks was looking better all the time.
And then anticipation turned to agony, his smile morphing into a grimace when she took her own sweet time rolling the damn thing on. He grabbed her hand, finished the job and pushed her down in one fell movement, her gasp of surprise changing to one of delight as he plunged deep into her exquisite depths.
The act of fusion shorted his thought processes, until there was room for just one spark of awareness, barely a thought, more an acknowledgement that seeped through his sex-fogged senses.
Not just good.
The sex was perfect.
That couldn’t be her face in the mirror. Sienna Wainwright stopped dead in her tracks and looked hard. The stranger stared back at her, wide-eyed despite the lack of sleep, her lips plump and pink from his attention, and her usually restrained hair coiled and wild with abandon. She looked wanton, thoroughly ravished and a million miles away from who Sienna Wainwright was supposed to be.
Until last night. Until the final unravelling of her defences.
Tentatively, almost experimentally, she put the fingers of one hand to her lips, felt their still tender flesh, traced the now blurred line where they melded into the rest of her face.
Rafe had touched her like this, the pads of his fingers tender on her skin, tracing every line and curve of her lips, almost as if worshipping them, before he’d dipped his mouth and kissed her. Kissed her so sweetly it had taken her breath away. Kissed her so passionately it had made her forget all about the insanity of letting him have his way with her.
And before she’d let him have his way with her all over again.
She squeezed her eyes shut and dragged in a breath, her breathing coming in short bursts with the fresh memories of his amazing lovemaking still sparking off thrills in her body like tiny aftershocks.
Rafe Lombardi, international financier and self-made billionaire, and no wonder, given his knack for pulling back businesses from the brink of failure and turning them into global success stories—only the most marriageable and least-attainable man on earth, if you believed what gossip rags worldwide suggested. Sienna had had no reason to disbelieve them or the reports of the long list of one-time partners left shipwrecked in his wake. It was half the reason she’d wanted to keep her distance, if not run a mile in the opposite direction.
She wasn’t in Rafe’s league and she knew it, economically, socially or sexually, her experience with men up until now limited and frankly disappointing in the bedroom department.
Whereas Rafe Lombardi moved in the highest circles, mixing with the crème de la crème of society, power brokers and tycoons and with the designer women who clung to them like accessories. What would a man like him see in her, a woman who had to work for her living and so far down the social scale as not to register, other than just another chance encounter, another notch in his belt?
So she’d tried to hold him off as long as she could, thinking he’d give up and move on to greener pastures. Expecting he would as soon as she’d told him no the first time.
But he hadn’t. Instead of abandoning the chase, he’d pursued her with a single-minded determination that had simultaneously terrified and secretly thrilled her.
Rafe Lombardi was clearly a man used to getting his own way.
She turned on the shower and adjusted the temperature, stepping in and turning her face into the spray, eyes closed as the liquid massage worked its magic on her newly sensitised skin, caressing places where just so recently Rafe had worked his own unique brand of magic and where he no doubt would again as soon as he kept his promise to join her in the shower.
Her body hummed in anticipation. Rafe, that body and water. That would make for one lethal combination.
A bubble of laughter welled up unexpectedly. She’d turned him down how many times these last few days? She must have been mad. For it was clear after just one night with him that any woman in her right senses would take Rafe Lombardi and whatever he offered and hang onto him as long as she possibly could, and to hell with the consequences.
Besides, she’d been working hard these few months, getting herself established back in Europe, with a new home and a new job. She deserved a bit of rest and recreation.
There would be consequences, nothing surer, but for now she hugged the knowledge that he’d asked to see her again like a secret treasure.
She spun around, letting the water pound the back of her neck as she soaped her hair, half a mind anticipating his arrival, the other half employed on working out what it was that made him so different to every other man she’d ever met. His tall, dark good looks, the designer stubble and thick wavy hair that coiled at his collar just a shade too long to be considered conservative were enough in themselves to set him apart from the crowd.