The Forbidden Marriage (What Women Want!) [NOOK Book]

Overview

When Michelle Howard finds herself agreeing to nurse Zak Sadler for the next month, she's not sure what she's let herself in for! Michelle is reluctant to get so close to this sexy new Zak, whom she hasn't seen for two years. Any relationship with Zak is strictly off-limits!

But when Zak proposes, Michelle is left wondering if she can risk all to say yes...?

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The Forbidden Marriage (What Women Want!)

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Overview

When Michelle Howard finds herself agreeing to nurse Zak Sadler for the next month, she's not sure what she's let herself in for! Michelle is reluctant to get so close to this sexy new Zak, whom she hasn't seen for two years. Any relationship with Zak is strictly off-limits!

But when Zak proposes, Michelle is left wondering if she can risk all to say yes...?

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781426878213
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 9/1/2010
  • Series: What Women Want! Series , #3768
  • Sold by: HARLEQUIN
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 760,133
  • File size: 485 KB

Meet the Author

Rebecca Winters lives in Salt Lake City, Utah. With canyons and high alpine meadows full of wildflowers, she never runs out of places to explore. They, plus her favourite vacation spots in Europe, often end up as backgrounds for her romance novels because writing is her passion, along with her family and church. Rebecca loves to hear from readers. If you wish to e-mail her, please visit her website at: www.cleanromances.com

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Read an Excerpt

The Forbidden Marriage


By Rebecca Winters

Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.

Copyright © 2003 Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-373-03768-6


Chapter One

Michelle Howard had just reached the second floor of her brother's Spanish-styled home in Riverside, California, when she saw her niece Lynette come out of the guest bedroom at the other end of the hall.

As soon as their eyes met, the eighteen year old brunette jumped. "Aunt Michelle - what are you doing here?"

Michelle had probably frightened her niece who'd thought no one else was in the house besides Zak. Maybe that was the reason she'd sounded faintly accusatory just now.

"I was about to ask you the same question. Your mom said you had classes at college this morning."

"Only one on Thursdays. It starts at eleven."

Michelle glanced at her watch. "Considering the heavy traffic, you'd better hurry if you want to get there on time."

Lynette's pretty features hardened. "I think I can manage my own life, thank you."

Both Graham and Sherilyn had been complaining about their only daughter's change of attitude. It had come on over the summer. According to them she'd turned into someone defensive and difficult.

After this experience Michelle was beginning to understand what they meant. Lynette was behaving like a different girl. Michelle had never known her to be outright rude before.

"Forgive me, honey. I didn't mean anything by it. I'm sorry." With two ice bags and her blood pressure case tucked in one arm, she gave her niece a hug with the other, but Lynette barely reciprocated.

Puzzled, Michelle stepped back. Looping a strand of neck length ash blond hair behind her ear she said, "Your mother asked me to come over and check up on your uncle Zak while she did some grocery shopping."

Her niece's expression remained mutinous. "I am capable of waiting on him."

"I know. It's just that she's an anxious sister who wanted my medical assessment of her brother's condition this morning."

"He wouldn't be out of the hospital if he weren't getting better," Lynette said on a sarcastic note. "I'm almost nineteen, but everyone around here still thinks of me as an adolescent. You can be damn sure my parents never treated Zak like this!" Her brown eyes flashed in anger.

Michelle winced because she'd never heard Lynette so upset she'd swear in front of her. "I think it has more to do with the fact that your uncle Zak was already nine years old when my brother married your mom."

Even at nine, Zak had been a law unto himself. Michelle remembered back to those early days when her brother Graham had worked so hard to win Sherilyn's aloof younger brother around without coming across like a heavy handed stepfather type.

It had paid off. They had a great relationship as brothers-in-law now.

"Why do you insist on calling him my uncle? There's no blood tie between us."

Lynette, Lynette.

Her niece's bizarre behavior was finally beginning to make sense. The stretch from teen to adult could be a very confusing, painful time.

"Come on, Aunt Michelle. You know it's true. First his birth parents abandoned him and he lived in foster homes. Then Mom's parents adopted him and then they got killed. By the time I started kindergarten, Zak was already in high school. I hardly ever saw him."

"Nevertheless he's your uncle, and that makes him a member of your family," Michelle reminded her.

"After Graham married your mom, they raised him and me with all the love two people possibly could. Zak and I were so lucky to have an older brother and sister who provided a stable home for us with both of our parents dead."

Naturally Sherilyn had wanted to bring her brother home to convalesce after his accident at the construction site. Michelle supposed that like anyone just out of the hospital, Zak was probably craving a little TLC about now.

Knowing how fiercely independent he was, this was a good way to avoid the ministrations of a number of women who, according to Sherilyn, hoped to be the one. However Zak hadn't shown signs of wanting to settle down yet.

No doubt he didn't want any of them to see him in his weakened condition. Michelle had nursed enough men young and old in her career to understand that part of the male psyche. They wore their pride like a shield. There could be no show of vulnerability.

When Michelle's husband Rob had fallen fatally ill, he'd been so adept at hiding his fears and emotions, he'd created a wall between them she could never breach.

"How come you aren't working?"

Lynette's truculent tone made the situation transparent to Michelle. Now that Zak was home for a while, her niece wanted to spend as much time with him as possible.

Since college he'd made several trips a month from Carlsbad to Riverside to visit the family, but he hadn't come nearly as often as Sherilyn and Graham would have liked.

Michelle hadn't seen him in two years because she'd been out of town on one nursing job or another during those times.

Caring for various patients in their own households had been her panacea to get on with her life Zafter losing her husband to Lou Gehrig's disease. The last contact she'd had with Zak had been at Rob's funeral.

"I just finished a job in Murrieta."

She didn't add that her patient, Mike Francis, the prominent Californian pro golfer on the PGA circuit, now recovered from his severely broken leg because of a car accident, had asked her to fly to Australia with him for an invitational tournament next month.

Beneath the conventionally handsome golfer's arrogance lived a man with a great deal of charm who could make her laugh. On top of that, she'd never been to Australia. The thought of exploring a little of Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef sounded intriguing.

Although she'd applied for a passport in anticipation, Michelle was still trying to make up her mind whether she should go. She suspected he would always love his ex-wife, yet she knew he was trying to make a new beginning with Michelle.

In the course of being his nurse, she'd learned enough about him to know he wasn't a man who made a commitment lightly. If she didn't want a new beginning with him just as badly, then she had no business going away with him.

Neither of them needed more pain in their lives.

"As long as we're on the subject, how grouchy is our patient this morning?" she teased in the hope of putting Lynette in a better mood.

"He's still asleep and won't want to be disturbed."

Her niece was definitely warning her off. At some point this summer Lynette had left her girlhood behind.

"I'm up now," came a deep masculine voice sounding an octave lower than she'd ever heard it before. Surprised, Michelle wheeled around.

Her breath caught.

"Zak -"

(Continues...)



Excerpted from The Forbidden Marriage by Rebecca Winters Copyright ©2003 by Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.. 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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