Baby Bonanza [NOOK Book]

Overview

Twins? The startling revelation that his affair with Jenna Baker had produced two little boys was almost impossible to grasp. Tycoon Nick Falco had never considered himself the settling-down type, yet now that fatherhood had been thrust upon him, he was determined to give his sons his name. But their mother wasn't about to let him back into her life...at least not without those three little words Nick had never, ever said.

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Baby Bonanza

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Overview

Twins? The startling revelation that his affair with Jenna Baker had produced two little boys was almost impossible to grasp. Tycoon Nick Falco had never considered himself the settling-down type, yet now that fatherhood had been thrust upon him, he was determined to give his sons his name. But their mother wasn't about to let him back into her life...at least not without those three little words Nick had never, ever said.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781459256101
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 1/15/2014
  • Series: Billionaires and Babies , #1893
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 71,841
  • File size: 338 KB

Meet the Author

Maureen Child is the author of more than 130 romance novels and novellas that routinely appear on bestseller lists and have won numerous awards, including the National Reader's Choice Award. A seven-time nominee for the prestigous RITA award from Romance Writers of America, one of her books was made into a CBS-TV movie called THE SOUL COLLECTER. Maureen recently moved from California to the mountains of Utah and is trying to get used to snow.

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Read an Excerpt

"Ow!" Jenna Baker hopped on her right foot and clutched at the bruised toes on her left one. Shooting a furious glare at the bolted-down table in her so-tinythat-claustrophobics-would-die cabin, she called down silent curses on the head of the man who was the reason for this cruise from hell.

Nick Falco.

His image rose up in her mind, and just for a second Jenna enjoyed the nearly instant wash of heat that whipped through her. But the heat was gone a moment later, to be replaced by a cold fury.

Better all around if she concentrated on that particular emotion. After all, unlike every other passenger aboard Falcon's Pride, she hadn't come aboard the floating orgy to party. She was here for a reason. A damn good one.

While her aching toes throbbed in concert with her heartbeat, Jenna cautiously stood on both feet and took the step and a half that brought her to a minuscule closet. She'd already hung up her clothes, and the few outfits she'd brought with her looked crowded in the narrow wardrobe. Snatching a pale yellow blouse off the attached-to-the-rod hanger, she carried it to the bathroom, just another step away.

It was the size of an airplane bathroom, only it also contained a shower stall designed to fit pygmies. In fact, the opening of the sliding door was so slender, Jenna had slapped one arm across her breasts when leaving the shower, half-afraid she'd scrape her nipples off.

"Really nice, Nick," she muttered, "when you upgraded this old boat and turned it into your flagship, you might have put a little extra thought into those people who aren't living in the owner's penthouse on the top deck."

But she told herself that was typical enough. She'd known what Nick was like even before she'd met him on that sultry summer night more than a year ago. He was a man devoted to seeing his cruise line become the premier one in the world. He did what he had to do when he had to do it. And he didn't make apologies for it.

She'd been working for him when she met him. An assistant cruise director on one of the other cruise ships in the Falcon line. She'd loved the job, loved the idea of travel and stupidly, had fallen in love with the boss. All because of a romantic moonlight encounter and Nick's undeniable charm.

Jenna had known darn well that the boss would never get involved with an employee. So when the sexy, gorgeous Nick Falco had stumbled across her on the Pavilion Deck and assumed she was a guest, she hadn't corrected him. She should have and she knew it, but what woman wouldn't have been swept away by a chiseled jaw, ice-blue eyes and thick black hair that just tempted a woman to tangle her fingers in it?

She sighed a little, set her hands on the sides of the soapdish-size sink and remembered how it had been from the first moment he'd touched her. Magic. Pure and simple. Her skin had sizzled, her blood had sung and her heart had beaten so frantically, it had been hard to breathe. He'd swept her into a dance, there in the starlight, with the Hawaiian breeze caressing them and the music from the deck below floating on the air like a sigh.

One dance became two, and the feel of his arms around her had seduced Jenna into a lie that had come back to haunt her not a week later. She fell into an affair. A blistering, over-the-top sexual affair that had rocked her soul even as it battered her heart.

And when, one week into that affair, Nick had discovered from someone else that she actually worked for him, he'd broken it off, refused to hear her out, and once they were back in port, he'd fired her.

The sting of that…dismissal felt as fresh as the day it had happened.

"Oh, God. What am I doing here?" She blew out a breath as her stomach began to twist and ripple with the nerves that had been shivering through her for months. If there were any other way to do this, she would have. After all, it wasn't as if she were looking forward to seeing Nick again.

Gritting her teeth, she lifted her chin, turned sharply and cracked her elbow into the doorjamb. Wincing, she stared into her reflection in the slim rectangular mirror and said, "You're here because it's the right thing. The only thing. Besides, it's not like he left you any choice."

She had to talk to the man and it wasn't exactly easy to get access to him. Since he lived aboard the flagship of his cruise line, she couldn't confront him on dry land. And the few times he was in port in San Pedro, California, he locked himself up in a penthouse apartment with tighter security than the White House. When she couldn't talk to him in person, she'd tried phone calls. And when they failed, she'd taken to e-mailing him. At least twice a week for the last six months, she'd sent him e-mails that he apparently deleted without opening. The man was being so impossible, Jenna'd finally been forced to make a reservation on Falcon's Pride and take a cruise she didn't want and couldn't afford.

She hadn't been on board a ship in more than a year and so even the slight rolling sensation of the big cruise liner made her knees a little rubbery. There was a time when she'd loved being on ship. When she'd enjoyed the adventure of a job that was never the same two days in a row. When she'd awakened every morning to a new view out her porthole.

"Of course," she admitted wryly, "that was when I had a porthole." Now she was so far belowdecks, in the cheapest cabin she'd been able to find, she had no window at all and it felt as though she'd been sealed up in the bowels of the ship. She was forced to keep a light on at all times, because otherwise, the dark was so complete, it was like being inside a vacuum. No sensory input at all.

Weird and strangely unsettling.

Maybe if she'd been able to get some sleep, she'd feel different. But she'd been jolted out of bed late the night before by the horrific clank and groan of the anchor chain being lifted. It had sounded as if the ship itself was being torn apart by giant hands, and once that image had planted itself in her brain, she hadn't been able to sleep again.

"All because of Nick," she told the woman in the glass and was gratified to see her nod in agreement. "Mr. Gazillionaire, too busy, too important to answer his e-mail." Did he even remember her? Did he look at her name on the e-mail address and wonder who the heck she was? She frowned into the mirror, then shook her head. "No. He didn't forget. He knows who I am. He's not reading the e-mails on purpose, just to make me crazy. He couldn't have forgotten that week."

Despite the way it had ended, that one week with Nick Falco had turned Jenna's life around and upside down. It was simply impossible that she was the only one affected that strongly.

"So instead, he's being Mr. Smooth and Charming," she said. "Probably romancing some other silly woman, who, like me, won't notice until it's too late that he's nobody's fantasy."

Oh, God.

That was a lie.

The truth was, she thought with an inner groan, he actually was any woman's fantasy. Tall, gorgeous, with thick, black hair, pale blue eyes and a smile that was both charming and wicked, Nick Falco was enough to make a woman's toes curl even before she knew what kind of lover he was.

Jenna let her forehead thunk against the mirror. "Maybe this wasn't such a great idea," she whispered as her insides fisted and other parts of her heated up just on the strength of memories alone.

She closed her eyes as vivid mental images churned through her mind—nights with Nick, dancing on the Pavilion Deck beneath an awning of stars. A late-night picnic, alone on the bow of the ship, with the night crowded close. Dining on his balcony, sipping champagne, spilling a few drops and Nick licking them from the valley between her breasts. Lying in his bed, wrapped in his arms, his whispers promising tantalizing delights.

What did it say about her that simply the memories of that man could still elicit a shiver of want in her, more than a year later? Jenna didn't think she really wanted an answer to that question. She hadn't boarded this ship for the sake of lust or for what had once been. Sex wasn't part of the equation this time and she was just going to have to find a way to deal with her past while fighting for her future. So, deliberately, she dismissed the tantalizing images from her mind in favor of her reality. Opening her eyes, she stared into the mirror and steeled herself for what was to come.

The past had brought her here, but she had no intention of stirring up old passions.

Her life was different now. She wasn't at loose ends, looking for adventure. She was a woman with a purpose, and Nick was going to listen to her whether he wanted to or not.

"Too busy to answer his e-mail, is he?" she muttered. "Thinks if he ignores me long enough I'll simply disappear? Well, then, he's got quite the surprise coming, doesn't he?"

She brushed her teeth, slapped some makeup on and ran a brush through her long, straight, light brown hair before braiding it into a single thick rope that lay against her back. Inching sideways out the bathroom door, she carefully made her way to the built-in dresser underneath a television bolted high on the wall. She grabbed a pair of white shorts, tugged them on and then tucked the ends of her yellow shirt into the waistband. She stepped into a pair of sandals, grabbed her purse and checked to make sure the sealed, small blue envelope was still inside. Then she took the two steps to her cabin door.

She opened her door, stepped into the stingy hallway and bumped into a room service waiter. "Sorry, sorry!"

"My fault," he insisted, hoisting the tray he carried high enough that Jenna could duck under it and slip past him. "These older hallways just weren't made for a lot of foot traffic." He glanced up and down the short hall, then back to Jenna. "Even with the ship's refit, there are sections that—" He stopped, as if remembering he was an employee of the Falcon Line and really shouldn't be dissing the ship.

"Guess not." Jenna smiled back at the guy. He looked about twenty and had the shine of excitement in his eyes. She was willing to bet this was his first cruise. "So, do you like working for Falcon Cruises?"

He lowered the tray to chest level, shrugged and said, "It's my first day, but so far, yeah. I really do. But…" He stopped, turned a look over his shoulder at the dimly lit hall as if making sure no one could overhear him.

Jenna could have reassured him. There were only five cabins down here in the belly of the ship and only hers and the one across the hall from her were occupied. "But?" she prompted.

"It's a little creepy down here, don't you think? I mean, you can hear the water battering against the hull and it's so…dark."

She'd been thinking the same thing only moments before and still she said, "Well, it's got to be better than crew quarters, right? I mean, I used to work on ships and we were always on the lowest deck."

"Not us," he said, "crew quarters are one deck up from here."

"Fabulous," Jenna muttered, thinking that even the people who worked for Nick Falco were getting more sleep on this cruise than she was.

The door opened and a fortyish woman in a robe poked her head out and smiled. "Oh, thank God," the older blonde said. "I heard voices out here and I was half-afraid the ship was haunted."

"No, ma'am." The waiter stiffened to attention as if just remembering what he'd come below for. He shot Jenna a hopeful look, clearly asking that she not rat him out for standing around having a conversation. "I've got breakfast for two here, as you requested."

"Great," the blonde said, opening the door wider. "Just…" She stopped. "I have no idea where you can put it. Find a place, okay?"

While the waiter disappeared into the cabin, the blonde stuck out one hand to Jenna. "Hi, I'm Mary Curran. My husband, Joe, and I are on vacation."

"Jenna Baker," she said, shaking the other woman's hand. "Maybe I'll see you abovedecks?"

"Won't see much of me down here, I can tell you," Mary admitted with a shudder as she tightened the sash on her blue terry-cloth robe. "Way too creepy, but—" she shrugged "—the important thing is, we're on a cruise. We only have to sleep here, after all, and I intend to get our money's worth out of this trip."

"Funny," Jenna said with a smile. "I was just telling myself the same thing."

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 1940 )
Rating Distribution

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(516)

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(178)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 1950 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 11, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    An Entertaining Read

    I downloaded this book for free and I am glad I did. I enjoy reading slightly cheesy romances like this one. It was a bit predictable and a bit cheesy, but that's what you would expect from a book like this. It's definitely worth downloading if it is still free. The characters are likable and the story is interesting. I thought it was a very cute read. It is especially good for rainy days or if you just want to relax with an easy book. Any book with babies and cute guys in it is always good! Download "Baby Bonanza" now!

    30 out of 31 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 20, 2010

    Fun, fast, romantic read

    As one of the Harlequin novels, this book is expected to be a fast, non-serious read. This book lives up to that stereotype. Some of the emotions that are portrayed between the main romantic couple seems to be a bit far-fetched but I can see that the author is just trying to show a deep soul mate type connection between them.

    I would not have chosen this ebook if it wasn't free but since it was, it wasnt a waste of time. I recommended this ebook with reservations because if you're looking for a serious ebook, this is not for you. But it is a fun quick read perhaps for sitting outside by a pool.

    14 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 8, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Baby Bonanza

    I liked this book because it was different than most Silhouette books. It was more focused on the main characters attraction than on the love/hate that most of these books are based on. A very nice rainy day read!

    13 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2011

    Easy to follow novel!

    I really liked this novel. It was easy to read. I didn't have to re-read a page because I couldn't follow the dialogue or narrative. For those that states that the story was predictable...how many novels do you think's been written in the last 50 years? I agree with Maureen Child, I like happy endings, "real" life isn't always happy. That's why we sometimes need an escape into a novel such as "Baby Bananza". I'm a screenwriter that's checking out novel writers because I want to covert my scripts to novels and Maureen Child is one I would like to follow!! I plan to purchase other novels from her.

    12 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2011

    Cute

    Very cute book, I read it in 2 days. No hot sex, no vulgar language, that's a real plus!

    11 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 15, 2011

    Loved it!

    A short and easy read. I loved the characters and their plot. Yes, it's a common story with a happy ending, but you can't help but smile at the end. Really enjoyed it.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 9, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A fun story

    Simple read, good characters and humor in the story. I liked the male lead character and the ending. If you are looking for an afternoon get away this would be a good choice. Enjoy!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2013

    Wrong book

    Book does not match the description

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2013

    Cover

    This cover and title does not go with the book synopsis.... I have read both the books and just wanted to draw that to everyone attention

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2013

    good but wrong description

    Good book. But would also like to read the book described :)

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2012

    Pam

    I generally don't read books published by Harlequin but it was a freebie and I though I'd give it a try. The premise isn't bad, although I didn't understand why Jenna didn't contact her lawyer instead of chasing after Nick herself when he'd been ignoring her for months. But then again, the book wouldn't have worked otherwise. The kids were cute and I liked that they continued to be primary characters throughout the story. Nick's personality wasn't exactly warm and fuzzy and I never did understand what Jenna say in him. He was still acting like an ass almost up until the end when his attitude abruptly changed and suddenly everything worked out.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 19, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Fun and cute

    I thought this was a cute read, wish it would have had a longer ending and would have told more about them together. but i still think you should read this, very fun and light reading.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 10, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    easy read

    easy to read but wish theirwas more haracter depth. but i ejoyed who can resist a rich man who actually wants to have a family

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2010

    Cute

    Cute romance novel to read on a rainy day.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2013

    Cute

    Cute romance. The overview says its about a woman standing in for a wedding who is pregnant, but that is wrong. It is about a woman who goes aboard a cruise ship to find the rich owner to tell him she had his twin sons and needs child support. They had a week together more than a year ago, but he discovered she lied about being one of his employees so he broke it off and fired her.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2013

    Anomous

    This is one of the best books i have ever read slow at points but really good defint read

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2012

    Its cute

    This story is actully touching :D

    If anyone knows of another book like this can u please comment back on this thank u

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 17, 2012

    highly recommended

    couldn't hardly put the book down had to find out the ending read all night

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2012

    Baby Bananza

    Loved it..i wish it was longer

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2012

    Pleasantly surprised

    I was surprised that I enjoyed this book as much as I did. Of course the ending is predictable - its a romance! I only wish there was more detail about the feelings between the main characters as opposed to just a strong physical attraction. Overall, a fairly short (180 pages) enjoyable read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 1950 Customer Reviews

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