His Secret Temptation

His Secret Temptation

3.5 4
by Cat Schield

Who's the sexy blonde stranger sleeping in Simon Holcroft's bed? The workaholic returns from a business trip to find someone stretched out on his sheets. Between the laundry basket at her side and the smell of orange cleaner, he deduces that the young woman is his maid—and resists the urge to kiss her awake.

But when his brother's fiancé—his

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Who's the sexy blonde stranger sleeping in Simon Holcroft's bed? The workaholic returns from a business trip to find someone stretched out on his sheets. Between the laundry basket at her side and the smell of orange cleaner, he deduces that the young woman is his maid—and resists the urge to kiss her awake.

But when his brother's fiancé—his own ex—bursts in and strips down to her panties, Simon has to get her dressed and back where she belongs. So he introduces the maid as his fiancée. But his little white lie gets bigger, because now he has to bring his supposed bride-to-be to meet the whole family. One offer-she-can't-refuse later, Simon has bought himself a temporary fiancée.

In debt up to her eyeballs and all alone for the holidays, how could struggling grad student Caroline Sampson not accept her gorgeous client's fantasy proposal? But acting like she's in love comes more easily than she ever expected.

60,000 words

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Carina Press
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"What the hell?"

Simon Holcroft dropped his suitcase. It landed with a thud on the Brazilian maple flooring. The sound reverberated around his master bedroom, echoing the sonic boom in his chest. Absolute silence followed. Setting his hands on his hips, he contemplated his unmade bed and the woman asleep in it.

Nine days touring Australian wineries. A twenty-six hour flight back to Atlanta, seated beside a man who snored like a chainsaw, followed by a two-hour delay in customs. Start to finish the trip had been a test of patience and endurance. No rest. No relaxation. No fun. Only frustration.

By the time the elevator swept him toward his tenth floor condo, he was ready to trade his newly purchased K2 Hellbent skis for a hot shower and clean, lavender-scented sheets.

Instead, he got Goldilocks.

From the coved ceiling above his king-size bed, diffused light spilled over the stranger. She slept on her side, her hands clasped beneath her chin. Her pose appeared serene, but he sensed an inner turmoil shadowed her dreams. She'd twisted in her sleep. Her restless movements had pulled her yellow T-shirt tight against her small, round breasts.

How long had her troubles pursued her into oblivion? His own difficulties with suppliers and distribution channels had eaten into his shut-eye for the last three months. Expanding the business would double his income, but what he wouldn't give for eight hours of uninterrupted sleep.

The woman's straight blond hair cascaded over his gold-toned sheets and across her face like a scarf. Worn khaki shorts showcased slender calves and long thigh muscles. Her bare foot dangled over the edge. She fit into his cream-and-gold decor like a decorative throw pillow, the perfect feminine accent for his sensual, luxurious, wholly masculine room.

Appreciation tickled his nerve endings, sharpening his curiosity. Who was she?

He stepped closer. His toe nudged an empty laundry basket. At the same time, a blend of citrus and ginger struck his nose. He reached out to shake her awake, but stopped, his hand hovering over her shoulder as he recognized the orange smell as the cleaning product used in his bathroom. The ginger scent rose off her warm skin.

So, this was his maid. Interesting.

Although she'd been cleaning his house for the last six months, they'd never met. They had, however, traded notes on a weekly basis. Witty, humorous exchanges that he'd enjoyed to no end.

Okay, so this explained the who. The why would have to wait until she slipped free of Morpheus's grasp.

Simon swept one finger along her cheek and tucked the curtain of her hair behind her ear. She stirred and frowned, but didn't awaken. He studied her face. Delicate, curving eyebrows, high cheekbones, and full lips combined to produce an arresting face that hovered between pretty and beautiful.

She wasn't at all as he'd pictured her. In his mind, she was one of those brainy girls in high school, long on smarts, short on looks. He'd imagined her with hunched shoulders from carrying a backpack loaded with books, short brown hair that required nothing more than finger combing and tortoiseshell glasses because all those hours spent studying in the library's dim lighting would have ruined her eyesight. Bookish, unattractive, and since he knew she was in college, twenty-one at the most.

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Meet the Author

Cat Schield lives in Minnesota with her daughter, their opiniated Burmese cats and a silly Doberman puppy. Winner of the Romance Writers of America 2010 Golden Heart® for series contemporary romance, when she's not writing sexy, romantic stories for Harlequin Desire, she can be found sailing with friends on the St. Croix River or in more exotic locales like the Caribbean and Europe. You can find out more about her books at www.catschield.net. 

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His Secret Temptation 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
rhonda1111RL More than 1 year ago
His Secret Temptation was fun to read. Thier were a few love scenes that I skipped over. Simon Holcroft comes home from a business trip and fines a strange beautiful women asleep is his bed. He was feeling refreshed just looking at her. He realized it was his house cleaner that they have been exchanging funny notes with for the past 6 months. Caroline Sampsen did not mean to fall asleep but she had been up studing for her law class. She is one semester away from finishing but she owes money and till she pays can't finsh the final semester. Simon realizes that when while they were flirting he picked up her law book and the letter with amount due fell out. Thier is a knock on the door and his brothers fiance Francine and his old girl friend comes in and tells Simon that she is his christmas gift and starts taking off her clothes. Simon tries to tell her to leave and when she barges into the bedroom and finds Caroline she is upset. Simon introduces Caroline as his fiance that has not told his parents yet of. After Francine leaves Simon offers to pay what she owes on her law school and pay the last semester tution if she will come to his parents home in Savannah with him. The last time they fought over Francine the brothers did not speak for 3 years and his mom just finshed cancer treatments. Simon has his own company and doing really well. His parents have a big old mansion and money to go with it. So Simon buys her all new clothes and hair makeover buys her jewelery for the part. Caroline lost her mom to cancer right after she finshed high school and was the only family that she had. So Caroline agrees to go and have a family christmas. Turns out that all the family is hiding secrets till after Christmas. Caroline gets told all of them. She falls for Simon and his family even for his home town. I really liked Caroline & Simon. Seeing them grow closer and having a very merry Christmas. I look forward for reading more books from Cat in the future. I was given this ebook to read in exchange of honest review from Netgalley. 4/16/2012 PUB Carina Press
JK1515 More than 1 year ago
This book had a predictable premise but started out with a unique twist. The whole opening scene sets the theme for the entire book. I really wasn't sure what to expect other than a solid storyline. The characters were vivid as they developed. They should vulnerability and moral struggles throughout the story. There were a few too many characters for a contemporary romance in my opinion. The relationship between Simon and Caroline developed slow and steady. They sank into their romance and you weren't even sure when the change sneaks up on you. Once it starts, you can't help but root for them. Overall, this was a great romance story. The characters were flawed and the situations felt realistic. The only thing lacking in this awesome story is originality of the stories' concept. My rating: Four stars
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
...but I have to settle with just liking it. I adored Simon's family (save for Dane) and I feel they really made this story. Simon and Carolyn, however, were sometimes acting in unbelievabe and ridiculous ways. I will say one thing for the writing however: I felt they got to know one another "on stage", as it were and I was just as surprised as Carolyn that they'd only met a few days ago. Interestingly enough, I hope Dane gets his own story next.