Desire and Deception

By: Miranda Lee

Book 2 - Hearts of Fire





Dark secrets, forbidden desires, scandalous discoveries...

Welcome to a glittering new six-part saga set in Australia. This, and every novel to come, features a gripping romance that stands by itself, as the passions, scandals and hopes that exist between two fabulously rich families are revealed. But you'll also find yourself hooked throughout the series, as Gemma Smith searches for the secret of her true identity and fights for ruthless seducer Nathan Whitmore's love....

Jade had a special name for Kyle Armstrong Mr. Cool. Her father had hired him as the new marketing manager of Whitmore Opals--the job she wanted! But, the more she tried to hate Kyle, the more she found him attractive; this was real desire! Jade felt uneasy about Gemma, though, because real love was what the poor, innocent girl felt for Nathan, and Jade had no illusions about the type of man her adoptive brother was--could Kyle Armstrong be made the same way as Nathan...with ice in his veins, instead of hot blood?





PRINCIPAL CHARACTERS IN THIS BOOK

GEMMA SMITH: On her father's death. Gemma discovered a magnificent black opal worth a small fortune and an old photograph which casts doubt on her real identity. In quest of the truth and a new life, she goes to Sydney, after fate introduces her to Nathan Whitmore. . .

NATHAN WHITMORE: Adopted son of Byron Whitmore, Nathan is acting head of Whitmore Opals and a talented playwright. After a troubled childhood and a divorce, he is ruthless and utterly emotionally controlled. Will he ever drop that mask and give Gemma the love she needs. . .?

JADE WHITMORE: The spoilt, wilful only daughter of Byron and the late Irene Whitmore (nee Campbell). Secretly she wants to rise to the top in Whitmore Opals, but her wild-child ways give a different impression to everyone. . .except, perhaps, Kyle Armstrong?

KYLE ARMSTRONG: The new Marketing Manager at Whitmore Opals. Handsome and enigmatic, he is unforthcoming about his background. Does he plan to use the Whitmore family for his own ends?

BYRON WHITMORE: Recently widowed, he is the patriarch of the Whitmore family, and a stranger to love.

LENORE LANGTRY: Talented stage actress, ex-wife of Nathan Whitmore and mother of Kirsty, Lenore has finally found love with top solicitor Zachary Marsden.

MELANIE LLOYD: Housekeeper to the Whitmores, Melanie is emotionally dead since the tragic deaths of her husband and only child.

AVA WHITMORE: Byron's much younger sister, she struggles with her weight, her spinsterhood and her fear of failure.

KIRSTY WHITMORE: The wayward fourteen-year-old daughter of Nathan and Lenore.





Miranda Lee is Australian, living near Sydney. Born and raised in the bush, she was boarding-school educated and briefly pursued a classical music career before moving to Sydney and embracing the world of computers. Happily married, with three daughters, she began writing when family commitments kept her at home. She likes to create stories that are believable, modern, fast-paced and sexy. Her interests include reading meaty sagas, doing word puzzles, gambling and going to the movies.

A Note to the Reader:

This novel is one of a series of six novels set in the glamorous, cut-throat world of Australian opal dealing. Each novel is independent and can be read on its own. It is the author's suggestion, however, that they be read in the order written.





THE BEGINNING. . .

After her father's death. Gemma Smith made two astonishing discoveries: among his possessions she found a flawless black opal —which she sensed could be worth a fortune — and an old photograph wh ich made her realise that she could be nearly twenty — almost two years older than her father had led her to believe. Intent on leaving the opal fields of the outback for Sydney to find out more about her mother, who had died when Gemma was born, and also to start a new life, she took some smaller opals to the nearest town to sell them for cash.

There fate introduced her to Nathan Whitmore, who was a successful playwright and the acting head of Whitmore Opals. Highly attracted to Gemma and struck by her vulnerability, Nathan offered her a reward for the black opal, which he had an inkling was stolen from Byron Whitmore, his adoptive father, over twenty years ago. When Gemma arrived in Sydney, Nathan offered her a home and a job, first as 'minder' to his wayward teenage daughter, Kirsty, and then —when Gemma had mastered Japanese —on the sales force of Whitmore Opals. Gemma found herself falling for her new protector, though various members of the Whitmore household warned her that Nathan was a heartless seducer. Then, to her delight, Nathan proposed marriage, though Gemma still had doubts — she might have been about to become the newest Mrs Whitmore, but did she really know her husband-to- be — and what about the intriguing secr ets of her real origins, and that priceless black opal. . .?

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