CEO's Expectant Secretary (Silhouette Desire #2018) [NOOK Book]

Overview



Maddox Communications was his life—until he allowed a woman to come between him and his business. CEO Brock Maddox had been betrayed by his lover…his own secretary. And when he finally confronted Elle Linton, he discovered she'd been keeping an even bigger secret. Elle was carrying his baby.

Vowing to let nothing else out of his control, Brock declared Elle would marry him. Their union solidified his claim on their child…and allowed him to ...
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CEO's Expectant Secretary (Silhouette Desire #2018)

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Overview



Maddox Communications was his life—until he allowed a woman to come between him and his business. CEO Brock Maddox had been betrayed by his lover…his own secretary. And when he finally confronted Elle Linton, he discovered she'd been keeping an even bigger secret. Elle was carrying his baby.

Vowing to let nothing else out of his control, Brock declared Elle would marry him. Their union solidified his claim on their child…and allowed him to keep a close eye on his ex-assistant. Yet Brock knew he might succumb to the lure of his lovely wife…if he dared let his heart rule his head.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781426856396
  • Publisher: Silhouette
  • Publication date: 6/1/2010
  • Series: Kings of the Boardroom, #2018
  • Sold by: HARLEQUIN
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 75,600
  • File size: 536 KB

Meet the Author

Leanne Banks is a New York Times bestselling author with over sixty books to her credit. A book lover and romance fan from even before she learned to read, Leanne has always treasured the way that books allow us to go to new places and experience the lives of wonderful characters. Always ready for a trip to the beach, Leanne lives in Virginia with her family and her Pomeranian muse.

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Read an Excerpt

Brock strode down the hallway of the cushy San Francisco North Bay condominium and cynically wondered how Elle could afford such luxury. He paid her well, but not this well. No, he knew exactly how she could afford it, he thought, tightening his jaw. Elle, his assistant—his lover—had sold him out. The time had come for confrontation. Brock wasn't CEO of the top advertising agency in San Francisco for nothing.

With controlled anger, he narrowed his eyes as he knocked on her door on a sunny Saturday morning. He counted as he waited. One. Two. Three. Four. Still in shock that the sweet woman who'd become his mistress had turned out to be a cold-hearted liar, he balled his fist as he waited. Five. Six. Seven.

The door swung open and the woman who had made love to him with no holds barred stared up at him with a pale face and plum lips. Her dark brown hair was sexy-sleep disheveled and her blue eyes rounded in surprise at him.

"Brock," she said, lifting her shoulders in the ivory silk robe she wore. "I thought you wanted to keep our relationship private," she whispered. "Is there a business emergency?"

"You could say that," he said. "I've found out who is selling our secrets."

Alarm shot through her gaze and she shook her head, an expression of dread washing over her face. Her skin paled even more and she covered her mouth. "I'm sorry," she said. "I can't—" She broke off and ran away from him, leaving the door wide open.

Disconcerted, he stared after her. What the hell? Stepping inside the small but elegant foyer, he closed the door behind him and walked a few steps down the hallway. He heard the unmistakable sound of Elle losing her breakfast as he glanced at his watch. Despite his overriding fury, he felt a twinge of pity. She hadn't appeared sick when he'd last seen her on Friday.

Minutes later, she came out of the bathroom, still pale. She spotted him as she lifted her hand to her forehead and sighed, looking away. Brock followed her as she walked down the hallway and turned into a moderate-sized kitchen decorated in shades of rust and cream. The contrast of the cream ceramic tile against her cherry-colored toenails emphasized her femininity. He remembered the sight of her naked from head to toe, whispering his name over and over as he made her his, driving both of them into pure pleasure.

He pushed aside the memory. "How long have you been sick?" he asked as she reached in the refrigerator for a can of ginger ale and poured it into a glass with ice.

"I'm not sick." Her hand shook as she lifted the glass and took a sip. "It's just the mornings—" She broke off and took another sip. "It's nothing really."

Something in her voice tugged at him. Something wasn't right. Sick. Mornings. Realization shot through him like a round from a forty-five. He sucked in a quick breath. It wasn't possible, he told himself, yet his gut told him otherwise. His gut told him what he didn't want to know. Brock had learned long ago not to ignore what that churning sensation inside him had to say. It had saved him personally and professionally too many times to count. "You're pregnant," he said.

She closed her eyes and turned away from him.

"Elle," he said, his heart hammering against his rib cage. "Don't lie to me—not this time," he added, unable to keep a touch of cynicism from his voice. "Is it mine?"

Agonizing seconds of silence passed. "Elle," he said.

"Yes," she whispered desperately. "Yes. I'm pregnant with your child."

Brock felt his heart stop in his chest. He swallowed a thousand oaths. The woman who had betrayed him carried his child. He raked his hand through his hair. He'd walked into her building ready to throw the book at her. He still wanted to. No one got the best of Brock Maddox. No one.

He ground his teeth together. He'd protected his family business—he could do no less for his child. His child deserved his name, his history, his everything. There was only one thing to do. "You must marry me."

Elle jerked her head to gape at him. "Absolutely not. You didn't want our relationship to be public. Why would you want things to be different now?"

"Because you're carrying my child. Everything is different now."

Elle took a quick little sip of ginger ale as if to calm herself, then shook her head. "This is crazy. You made it perfectly clear that our relationship was a secret fling." She met his gaze briefly and he glimpsed a stab of pain in her blue eyes before she looked away again.

"If we want to do the right thing for the baby, then we have no choice. We must get married and raise this child together," he said, his jaw clenching with tension. Five minutes ago, he'd been ready to show Elle everything he had against her. He had trusted her. She had betrayed him and his company and he'd wanted to make her pay. His fingers clutched at the envelope full of evidence.

She gnawed at her lip, still avoiding his gaze. "I can't—" She broke off and lifted her chin. "I won't marry you. The pregnancy was unexpected."

He felt a sinking in his gut. "You're not planning to have an abortion."

She met his gaze in shock. "Of course not," she said. "I'll raise this baby on my own." She slid her hand protectively over her abdomen.

"You'll just want unlimited financial support, right?" he asked, unable to check his cynicism.

She narrowed her eyes. "I can take care of this baby on my own. I don't want anything from you. Do you hear?" she demanded. "Not a thing."

"That's ridiculous," he said. "I can provide—"

"Get out," she said in a low, firm voice.

He blinked at the resolute expression on her face. "Excuse me?"

"Get out," she repeated. "You're not welcome here."

Stunned at the strength of her response, he shook his head. He hesitated only because she looked so fragile and he didn't want to upset her more. "I'll leave," he said. "But I'll be back." He strode out of the condo, already formulating a plan. He was, after all, known as the man with a plan. Always.

Elle held her breath as she watched Brock Maddox leave. As soon as she heard the front door close, she finally exhaled. The room seemed to turn sideways and she felt the alarming sense of her knees weakening. She quickly grasped onto the counter, her hands shaking as she set down her glass.

She just needed to get to a chair, she coached herself. If she could just sit down for a moment.… On wobbly legs, she made her way to a barstool and slid onto it. She took a breath, praying for her head to stop spinning.

How had he found out? She'd been so careful when she'd become Brock's assistant and been forced to spy on him. She'd been so careful—except for that minor matter of going to bed with her boss and having a scorching affair with him. Her intentions had been honorable. She'd needed the money for her mother's cancer treatments.

Her grandfather had offered her a way to do that while accomplishing his own, less honorable goal.

When she'd first started working for Brock, she'd told herself to treat the job the same way a man would. Compartmentalize. She would do an excellent job for Maddox Communications as she ferreted secrets for her grandfather, Athos Koteas. Elle felt a bitter taste form in the back of her throat. In one way or another, she had spent her entire life at the mercy of a powerful man. Elle might not like the cards that had been dealt, but she would damn well play them to the best of her ability. She wouldn't let her mother die as a result of her pride or a misplaced sense of ethics in a business completely without ethics.

The only thing she hadn't counted on was Brock. Meeting him had made her feel as if she were in an earthquake that was rocking her to her core. She'd never intended to be attracted to him, let alone go to bed with him. And she'd never dreamed she would fall for him.

Elle heard the sound of soft footsteps in the hallway and glanced up to see her mother walk into the kitchen. Though a bit weak and frail, Suzanne seemed to be improving with the help of the experimental cancer treatments. Elle immediately plastered a smile on her face to hide how upset she was over Brock's visit. "Good morning, Mom. Can I fix you some blueberry pancakes for breakfast?" Elle was always looking for a way to keep up her mother's strength and weight.

Her mother shook her head. "Never try to kid a kidder, kiddo. I overheard the whole conversation with Brock. It's obvious that you're in love with the man. I don't want you giving up your chance for happiness because of my illness."

Elle quickly pulled her mother into a hug. "Don't be ridiculous. You and I have always taken care of each other. Besides, I always knew things wouldn't work out long-term with Brock. I just let myself get carried away," she whispered.

"But the baby," her mother said, pulling back, her eyes searching Elle's face. "What are you going to do about the baby?"

"I'm strong," Elle said. "I can take care of myself and my little one." She lifted her hand to her mother's cheek. "You should know. You helped make me strong."

Her mother sighed, her gaze filled with worry. "But, Elle, the man asked you to marry him. Do you know what I would have given for your father to ask me to marry him?"

Elle's stomach clenched. "Brock didn't ask. He issued an order, the same way he would in the office." She shook her head, knowing that everything between her and Brock had changed before he'd walked through her front door. He clearly knew she'd been giving away the company's secrets. He would never forgive her, never trust her. She refused to bring her baby into a marriage of distrust and anger.

Taking a deep breath, she patted her mom's hand. "Come on, now. You and I have more important things to focus on. Like your health, the baby and—" she forced her lips into a determined smile "—blueberry pancakes."

Brock gunned his black Porsche down the freeway. At the speed he was driving, he should have gotten a ticket.

His heart wouldn't stop hammering in his chest. He'd been so ready to slice her to shreds. If he hadn't been intimate with Elle, he would have pursued her legally. She had betrayed him.

He sucked in a sharp, shallow breath. He still couldn't believe he'd trusted her. He still couldn't believe he'd given in to his urge to take her and claim her. She'd been so passionate in his bed. Making love with her had been addictive, had taken him to a totally different level than he'd ever experienced before. He wouldn't admit that to anyone but himself. He needed to go somewhere quiet, somewhere where he could figure out his next step. He was going to be a father.

On impulse, Brock took an exit and drove toward Muir Woods. The huge, mysterious-looking Redwoods called to him. The trees were almost as old as time. What advice would they offer? Not many knew he had a spiritual side, but deep down he did. Too often he'd pushed that element of his being aside because he was the one who'd been left in charge of Maddox Communications. Regardless of the odds, regardless of his adversaries, he was the one who had to keep it alive.

Brock pulled off the road and got out of his car. The shade of the trees surrounded him with a quiet he longed to feel inside. He took a deep breath, trying to inhale the peace, but his mind was racing at a breakneck speed. Every morning since his father had died, Brock had woken up in warrior mode. Except for a few stolen mornings with Elle. Being with her had provided a secret relief from his everyday pressures. She'd known what he was going through with the company and hadn't

questioned the need to keep their affair secret. She'd welcomed him with warmth and passion, and she'd been the only person in his life who hadn't made demands on him. Now he knew why, he thought, bitterness burning through him like acid.

Until now, Brock's priority had been the company's success. Now his world had shifted. Soon enough, he would need to protect a child. In the meantime, he would protect his child's mother, Elle—the woman who had betrayed him and his company.

Brock knew, however, who was behind this. Athos Koteas. His lip curled in distaste. The man would stop at nothing to bring down Maddox Communications. And he had gone too far this time. Athos, the owner of Golden Gate Productions, Maddox Communications' biggest rival, was known as pure poison and would play dirty to get his way.

The peaceful solitude around Brock did nothing to calm his anger, which was only escalating. The time had come for him to confront Athos in person.

Returning to his Porsche, he started the engine and drove to the Koteas house, determined to bring the battle between Golden Gate and Maddox into the open. Ironically, Athos lived in Nob Hill, not far from Brock's own family home. Brock pulled in front of the large Edwardian mansion with lush cascades of bougainvillea, but the beauty was lost on him.

Climbing the steps to the front door, he stabbed the door chime. A moment later, a woman dressed in a black suit answered the door. "Hello. May I help you?"

"I'm here to see Mr. Koteas," Brock said.

"Is he expecting you?"

"He'll see me," Brock said. "My name is Brock Maddox."

The woman looked him over, then guided him to a formal sitting area. But Brock wasn't at all inclined to sit. His anger still burning inside him, he paced the carpet. He heard footsteps and glanced around to see Athos walking toward him. The short, stocky man still had a full head of silver-and-white hair, and a sharp glint in his gaze.

"Good morning, Brock," Athos said, lifting a dark eyebrow. "An unexpected pleasure."

Brock clenched one of his hands into a fist and released it. "Perhaps not. I know you've been trying to destroy Maddox Communications. I recognize that you have very little honor, but I never dreamed you would use your own granddaughter to do your dirty work."

Athos acted confused yet his face tightened. "Granddaughter? What granddaughter?"

"You can forget the pretense," Brock said. "Elle Linton is your granddaughter. But you wouldn't want to make that public, would you? She's illegitimate because your son abandoned her mother."

"It's not unusual for children to disappoint their parents," he said, shrugging. "Elle shows promise. She's intelligent."

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2014

    Great story

    Highly recommmend

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2013

    Ronnie hates it

    Full of kissing,love,and rommance F***** grooooooosssssssss!!!!!!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2012

    Good

    I loved this book it was such a nice read

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