Bad Boys to Go: Bringing Up Baby/The Wilde One/Going After Adam

( 29 )

Overview

Hot. Tempting. Irresistibly decadent. These are some of the most mouth-watering dishes ever to satisfy a woman's sweet tooth. . .and make her want to go back for seconds. . .

Bringing Up Baby Lori Foster

Gil Watson has always been the soul of responsibility. . .apart from that wild night that resulted in a daughter he didn't know he had. Now that the little girl's mother is gone, Gil wants to do the right thing, even if it means a marriage of ...

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Overview

Hot. Tempting. Irresistibly decadent. These are some of the most mouth-watering dishes ever to satisfy a woman's sweet tooth. . .and make her want to go back for seconds. . .

Bringing Up Baby Lori Foster

Gil Watson has always been the soul of responsibility. . .apart from that wild night that resulted in a daughter he didn't know he had. Now that the little girl's mother is gone, Gil wants to do the right thing, even if it means a marriage of convenience with the woman who's been raising her. Anabel Truman is sarcastic, free-spirited, and totally wrong for him. But the sensations she rouses feel very, very right. . .

The Wilde One Janelle Denison

Untamable, sexy, and a complete rogue, Adrian Wilde has agreed to pose for Chayse Douglas's charity beefcake calendar--if Chayse is willing to get those pictures at his cozy mountain cabin. It promises to be one provocative weekend. . .and as the nights turn steamy, Adrian finds that sweet, sensual Chayse is the only woman who can tame his wild heart. . .

Going After Adam Nancy Warren

Private investigator Gretchen Wiest has met her share of tough guys, but she's never had one kidnap her--or leave her weak with attraction. Adam Stone is a whistle blower on the run from two hit men in Vegas. Now, Gretchen and Adam are posing as a couple on their way to the chapel. But in the city of sin, it's hard to resist temptation. . .and even harder not to fall for their own masquerade. . .

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Dare to make a bet with a bad boy? In this steamy collection, three bad boys dreamed up by Lori Foster, Janelle Denison, and Nancy Warren each consider some pretty outrageous propositions, with life-altering consequences. It all makes for fun, fast-paced, sexy reading. Take staid, successful Gil Watson: His life seems pretty predictable, until he discovers he has a two-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Nicole. And what's more, the mother's wild best friend, Annabel (tattoos, belly-button ring), who has been caring for the toddler, tells Gil he can keep Nicole only if he marries her. Then there's Adrian Wilde, one of the last Wilde brothers to fall to domestic bliss. This big outdoors guy seems afraid of nothing, but he's running away from Chayse, a sexy photographer who wants him to pose for a charity calendar. This time he makes the bet: He’ll pose if she agrees to spend a long weekend with him. Finally, there's Adam Stone. He arrives at San Francisco's airport only to be targeted by Gretchen Wiest, a private investigator who thinks she's spying on yet another adulterous spouse. Except that Adam's not married...which means someone has put Gretchen up to something far more dangerous, and unraveling it even entails an Elvis wedding. Ginger Curwen
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781437664768
  • Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation
  • Publication date: 11/28/2003
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Lori Foster is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of many contemporary romances.
Janelle Denison is the USA Today bestselling author of many novels, including Wilde Thing, The Wilde Side, and Too Wilde to Tame.

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Read an Excerpt



Bad Boys to Go




By Lori Foster Janelle Denison Nancy Warren


KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP.



Copyright © 2003

Kensington Publishing Corp.
All right reserved.



ISBN: 0-7582-0551-1





Chapter One


Gil Watson was both nervous and excited-an odd combination
he hadn't experienced since his first years of college.
These days he was confidence personified, commanding even,
an in-charge guy perfect for the corporate world. He prided
himself on his professional demeanor, his calm outlook on life.
He had a business to run for his family; they relied on him and
he enjoyed that.

He'd grown up-kand in the process permanently buried all
wild inclinations.

But today, the figures blurred on the computer screen in
front of him. He wasn't getting much work done, which
seemed to be the norm of late, rather than the exception. It had
taken only one phone call to throw him off track, but then, it
wasn't every day a man learned he had a daughter, a daughter
he hadn't known of until two weeks ago.

He hadn't been the same since.

Would she look like him? At two and a half years, was a
child developed enough to look like anyone? What he knew
about babies wouldn't fill a thimble. At thirty-two, he concentrated
on knowing business, family responsibility, and finances.
And not to brag, he also knew women.

But he knew zilch about being a father.

It still boggled his mind that Shelly had never said a word.
He saw her two or three times a year, whenever business took
him to Atlanta. He'd been to her office, to her home, met her
coworkers and friends. Right after his father's death three years
ago, he'd been so sick at heart that he'd done things he wasn't
proud of.

Like using Shelly.

Not that she hadn't been willing. She'd sent him one of her
looks and he'd reciprocated, and within the hour they'd gone
from business associates to lovers. He still remembered the
wild, frenzied way she'd taken him. For two days, he kept her
in his motel room burning up the sheets. She'd catered to his
sexual needs, his fantasies, and even his less than orthodox demands-the
demands he'd thought well under control
. She'd
been everything he'd physically wanted and needed at the
time.

In truth, she'd wrung him out and left his body and mind
thankfully blank for an entire weekend, relieving his sense of
loss for his father, obliterating his concern about taking over
the family business and the overwhelming responsibilities he'd
accepted as his own.

It was when he'd awakened and saw her looming over him,
smiling with too much emotion for a mere sexual coupling,
that Gil had realized his mistake. Shelly wanted a husband and
apparently saw him as a prime candidate. But he didn't want
the burden of a wife added to the new load he already carried.

His oldest brother was a cop, his youngest brother still in
school, and his mother had never involved herself with the
company. Taking over the successful family novelty business
and keeping them all financially solvent had naturally fallen to
Gil. Outwardly, he was the most staid, the only one who'd
shown an interest, his father's protégé.

No, the last thing he'd wanted was a wife to further muddy
the waters, so he'd done what he considered wise and responsible.
He'd gently explained his lack of interest and had never
again touched Shelly sexually. Yet she'd had his baby and continued
to associate with him as a close friend. Without once
ever telling him.

Gil's stomach clenched over such a deception. He hadn't
known, damn it, but that was no excuse. Shelly had taken care
of their baby alone and now she was gone. He couldn't make
things right by her-but he could raise their daughter. And he
would.

Giving up, he closed out the computer program and leaned
back in his chair, his mind churning with regrets and curiosity
and that persistent nervousness. A baby, his baby. Jesus.

A small commotion in the outer office drew him forward
again in his chair. He grew alert, his brows drawn in confusion
when the door opened and his assistant stuck her head in. Her
frown rivaled his own. "Gil, you have ... company."

At fifty, Alice wasn't prone to melodrama. Her expression
had Gil rising from his desk in a rush. "Who is it?"

"Well, the young lady introduced herself as Anabel Truman.
And the youngest lady is Nicole Lane Tyree, as I understand it,
although all she's done is suck her thumb."

Every muscle in Gil's body went rigid. His brain cramped.
His daughter was here-with Anabel-two weeks early. He
rounded his desk with a long stride.

Damn Anabel, he'd offered to come to her, to buy her airline
tickets, to pay for their transportation. As contrary and
outrageous as ever, she'd refused, telling him it'd be at least ten
days before she could leave. Ten long days before he'd get to
meet his baby.

Yet she was here, at his office, where he didn't want her to
be, rather than at his home where he might keep his private
business private for a little while longer. At least until he could
figure out what to do, how to proceed ...

Arms crossed and eyebrows lifted, Alice moved out of his
way as Gil charged forward. If this was a deliberate ploy on
Anabel's part to discredit him, he'd-well, he didn't know
what he'd do yet, but he'd think of something. Because Anabel
had been Shelly's roommate, he'd known her as long as he'd
known Shelly. She was always there when he visited, always
twitting him, picking at him. Her presence was always unnerving;
she made him think things he shouldn't think, things he
had tried not to think now that he had new responsibilities to
consider.

As Shelly's best friend, she'd been off-limits then. But no
more.

He threw the door wide and then froze, his heart shooting
into his throat, his stomach dropping, his knees almost giving
out. Damn it, why did Anabel have that effect on him?

She looked the same as always: seductive. He'd never really
liked her. She was too outspoken and pushy. Too overtly sexual
and in your face. Too ... hot. She was one of those women
you just knew would be incredible in the sack and it made him
nuts.

It wasn't just her jewelry, her overdone makeup and risqué
clothing that had made her far too difficult to ignore. There'd
been something about the way she watched him, too, her close
attention, the carnality in her gaze that made him wonder if
their basic natures might mesh.

That thought had kept him on edge whenever he was around
her.

Now he realized that she might have Watched him for the
simple reason that he was Nicole's father and didn't know it.
He might have totally misread her.

When she'd called, her tone had been devoid of accusation,
empty of any real emotion when usually she teemed with emotion.
She'd told him of Shelly's death, of his baby girl, all with
a detachment that had left him bewildered and floundering-a
situation he didn't like one bit. He was used to being in charge,
of knowing what he did and why and having no doubts whatsoever.

Did it matter to Anabel that he hadn't known of the baby?

She stood there now in low-slung, faded jeans, a clinging
stretch top of bright pink and ... oh God, she had a belly button
ring. He fixated on that for what seemed like an inordinate
amount of time before he heard her low, throaty laugh. He
jerked his gaze up to her face.

The woman was beyond outrageous, and in the months
since he'd last seen her she'd only grown more so. "Anabel."
Thankfully, his tone was even, polite. "This is a surprise."

"I know." She grinned, and that grin was so teasing that Gil
felt it like a tactile touch. Then he saw the exhaustion she tried
to mask, the utter weariness in every line of her body.

Sudden worry overwhelmed every other emotion. "What's
happened?"

At the sound of his voice, a pale face surrounded by dark
curls peeked out from behind Anabel's knees. Until that moment,
Gil hadn't noticed the tiny hands hugging around her
legs, the little bare feet behind hers.

The baby, his baby, was hiding.

At his very first glimpse of her, Gil's heart turned over. He
couldn't get enough oxygen into his starved lungs. She was so
tiny, he hadn't expected ...

Without really thinking about it, he went to one knee,
putting himself more on her diminutive level. "Nicole?"

The little girl blinked enormous chocolate brown eyes
framed by long lashes. Her rosebud mouth crumbled and she
tried to climb up the back of Anabel's legs, saying, "Mommy!"

Mommy? Taken aback, Gil lifted a brow and looked to
Anabel for some explanation.

Anabel pulled Nicole around to her front and playfully
scooped her up, holding her to her breasts and laughing. "Hey,
little rat, remember what I told you? I promise you don't need
to be afraid."

Little rat? But the child had a stranglehold on Anabel that
she couldn't pry loose, so it didn't appear she'd taken offense
at the less than complimentary endearment.

Anabel glanced at Gil and shrugged in apology. "It's been a
long trip and she's tired."

Disappointment shook him, but Gil hid it. At least he
hoped he did. He rose slowly to his feet again. "Come into my
office." Stepping back, he held the door open until Anabel had
swept past him. He could feel her energy, detect her light flowery
scent. Behind on his office floor she'd left a large colorful
bag overflowing with a tattered stuffed bear, a faded print blanket,
a squeeze bottle of juice, and other baby paraphernalia.

Blank-brained, at an utter loss, Gil looked at Alice.

In her typical no-nonsense manner, Alice lifted the bag and
pressed it into his hands. "The child might need this."

"Of course." The damn thing weighed a ton. "Hold all my
calls and cancel any appointments."

"You were meeting your mother and brother for lunch."

His brain scrambled in panic mode before settling on a
course. "Call Sam. Tell him Anabel is here. He'll understand."

"You're the boss." Alice hesitated. "Gil, if you need anything
else ..."

She'd been his father's secretary, and now his. She was protective
and loyal, and Gil sent her a smile of gratitude. "Thanks.
I'll let you know." Then, on second thought he added, "How
about some coffee, Alice?"

"I'll bring it right away."

"Thank you." Gil stepped into his office, shut the door, and
tried to figure out what to do next. He silently tallied the facts
at hand: Anabel was here, a woman he shouldn't have wanted,
but did. His daughter was here, a child he'd only just found
out about but already cherished. His life was about to undergo
some drastic changes. He had to do something-but all he
managed was to stand there, watching the two of them.

Anabel had sprawled in his black leather desk chair, the
child on her lap, and she was whispering in Nicole's ear, kissing
her downy cheek, and rubbing her narrow back.

Gil wanted to hold her. He wanted to cuddle his child and
know her and let her know him. The feeling was so alien, yet
so powerful, Gil naturally shied away from it.

"We're starving." Anabel glanced up at him. "You got anything
to eat?"

Finally having a purpose, Gil strolled to his desk to perch
on the edge and pushed the intercom button. "Can we order
up some lunch, too, Alice?"

"Sandwiches, pizza, soup."

He turned to Anabel, leaving the choice up to her, and she
said, "Pepperoni pizza. Maybe some salad for me, too. And a
Mountain Dew if it's available-I could use the caffeine kick. I
have juice for Toots, here."

Alice said, "Give me fifteen minutes."

With that accomplished, Gil settled back, linking his fingers
and resting his hands on his thighs. The pose was relaxed
when he felt anything but. He made note of so many things at
once. The dark circles under Anabel's green eyes, the windblown
disarray of her short, fawn-colored hair. The row of
hoop earrings in her left ear, each increasing in size. Five total,
he counted, the largest about as big as a quarter.

A tattoo circled her upper arm. It appeared to be a horizontal
flower vine, but it was too delicate for him to be sure without
leaning forward for a closer look. And he wasn't about to
get that close to her.

Nicole twisted slightly to see him, but she kept her nose
stuck in Anabel's neck, her arms locked around her. Her round
eyes were huge and wary.

Gil tried for his gentlest smile. "Hello there."

"'Lo."

He badly wanted to touch her, and he didn't deny himself.
Slowly reaching out with only one finger, he stroked the silky
soft hair over her temple. His heart threatened to punch
through his chest.

She shied away, going back into hiding and gripping
Anabel with new fervor.

"Give her time, Gil. She's been through a lot."

The idea of what she'd been though smote him clean
through to his soul. He was her father; he should have been
there for her, protecting her, making her feel safe and secure no
matter what else happened. He cleared his throat. "And you,
as well. I know you and Shelly were close."

She looked away. In a whisper she said, "Toward the end, I
barely knew her at all."

Toward the end? The end of what? Shelly had died suddenly
of a car wreck, Anabel had told him. What did she
mean, then? But his questions would have to wait until Nicole
wasn't listening. He didn't know how much a child her age
might comprehend, and he wouldn't risk adding to her trauma.

Alice knocked before stepping in with a tray of coffee and
cups. "This will get you started before the lunch arrives. The
little girl has something to drink?"

Anabel shoved to her feet with Nicole still clinging like a
determined monkey. "Juice-never leave home without it."

"Juice," Nicole mimicked. She stuck out one skinny arm in
demand, grasping at the air with her tiny fingers.

Gil wanted to melt on the spot. She was by far the most
precious thing he'd ever seen. "I'll get it for her."

"Thanks." Anabel hoisted her small burden a little higher
in her arms. "Methinks naptime is closing in." She winked at
Gil, then moved to the leather couch and pried Nicole loose to
sit her on the cushion next to her. "You're giving him a complex,
rat. Say hi again, like you mean it this time."

Nicole sat there, her pudgy bare feet sticking off the couch
cushion, sizing him up with an unblinking stare. To Gil's surprise,
she suddenly treated him to a beatific smile, wrinkling
her little pug nose and scrunching her whole face up. "Hi."

"Good girl." Anabel accepted the coffee that Alice handed
to her and took a long sip, groaning in pleasure. "Wonderful.
You're an angel, thank you."

"My pleasure." Alice retreated from the room.

Cautiously, not wanting to startle her, Gil handed his
daughter her juice. "Is it cold enough for you?"

"She doesn't like it cold, do you, Nicki?" Nicole didn't answer.
She had the squeeze bottle tipped up, guzzling away until
juice ran down her chin. Anabel quickly put her coffee aside to
relieve her of the drink. Eyelids drooping, Nicole turned to her
side, put her head in Anabel's lap, and just that easily, dozed
off.

"She's run out of gas."
Continues...




Excerpted from Bad Boys to Go
by Lori Foster Janelle Denison Nancy Warren
Copyright © 2003 by Kensington Publishing Corp..
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

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