The Marrying Kind (Harlequin American Romance #1161) [NOOK Book]


From the moment Jonathan Davis rang Diane Black's doorbell, mistaking her for his blind date, she knew the sexy developer couldn't be more different from her. He squired around gorgeous, flirty, dim-witted Dallas socialites, not modest investment bankers like her. Still, the man made her heart flutter under her pin-striped suit as it hadn't in years.

John was many things—a millionaire, a player, a catch. But he'd never be a husband. For him, "marriage" equaled "mistake." Diane ...

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The Marrying Kind (Harlequin American Romance #1161)

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From the moment Jonathan Davis rang Diane Black's doorbell, mistaking her for his blind date, she knew the sexy developer couldn't be more different from her. He squired around gorgeous, flirty, dim-witted Dallas socialites, not modest investment bankers like her. Still, the man made her heart flutter under her pin-striped suit as it hadn't in years.

John was many things—a millionaire, a player, a catch. But he'd never be a husband. For him, "marriage" equaled "mistake." Diane might be the quintessential forever kind of woman, but he was confident he could avoid that trap. That is, until he kissed her.

And then, of course, there was the matter of the baby….

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781426858840
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 3/1/2010
  • Series: Dallas Duets, #2
  • Sold by: HARLEQUIN
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 564,817
  • File size: 465 KB

Meet the Author

Judy Christenberry, hasn't always been a writer, but she's always been a dreamer. As a child, for entertainment while doing chores, she told herself stories-she was always the heroine. However, Judy didn't start writing until she turned thirty-eight, just one year after her father's unexpected death.

After this, she realized life promised no guarantees about how much time you have. Why wait to pursue your dreams?

She had begun reading Harlequin Romance novels about ten years earlier, so romance writing came naturally.

Over time, Judy realized two central themes dominating her writing: family and small town/country life. Many of her books have cowboy heroes, partly because she read all Zane Grey's romantic versions of the Old West as a teenager, and partly because her parents grew up on farms.

As a child, Judy was surrounded by animals. Her father raised a few head of cattle to keep meat on the table. At one time or another, there were sheep, Thanksgiving turkeys, ducks and dogs, and there were always chickens.

Raised in a family of four children with a stay-at-home mom who was a terrific cook and an excellent teacher, where family tradition was concerned, Judy learned the importance of family at an early age. But, family comes in all shapes and flavors. What's important isn't the two parents and the 2.5 children, it's love and support.

The last element that frequently appears in Judy's stories is a dash of humor, just enough to bring a smile to your face. She believes laughter is good medicine and it definitely makes a six-foot hunk even more attractive!

Therefore, it may surprise readers when they discover Judy was born and raised in Dallas, Texas: a major city. In addition, her marriage ended fifteen years ago. Yet, with support from her mother and siblings, Judy and her two daughters discovered their own definition of family. She taught during the day, wrote at night, pursued her dream and raised her children.

Now, with her daughters pursuing their own dreams, Judy writes full-time and is wrapped up in her storytelling. She lives each new adventure with the vigor of a young girl, still dreaming up tales while washing dishes. She hopes to entertain her readers as much as she entertains herself!
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Read an Excerpt

"Dad, I don't need another woman pawing over me. I've got enough women already trying to figure out how to get me to marry them."
"Son, this one is different. Her mother promised me—"
"Come on, Dad, you know women. They'll promise you their souls if it'll get them your charge cards."
"John, I'm only asking for one evening. She's a goodlooking blonde. Surely you can spare one night. For me."
John stared at his father. He loved him, even if he didn't agree with his choices, especially about women.
But what the hell. He could endure one evening with another money-hungry female. He'd done it often enough. He'd sit through one gourmet dinner while she ordered the most expensive meal and prattled inanely for two hours. Then he'd take her home and he'd be finished.
"Okay, Dad, I'll take her out once. If I don't like her, that's it, okay?" "Thank you, John." His father handed him a piece of paper. "Here's the address. She lives in a fourplex on Yellow Rose Lane."
DIANE BLACK MOVED ABOUT the downstairs apartment
in the fourplex on Yellow Rose Lane, watering the various plants.
"Oh, you poor dear. You've suffered a lot, haven't you? I'm so sorry I didn't get to you yesterday."
There'd been too much work to do. She'd left the bank about nine, even later than usual, working up a proposal for a potential client she'd been pursuing for weeks. A few hours on her laptop catching up on investments were followed by some light reading in bed—a trade magazine of financial projections. She'd fallen asleep with the magazine on her chest, never thinking of the plants she'd been asked to tend.
She poured water into the dry soil of one dieffenbachia."Here's a little extra for you," she crooned. She pinched off a dead leaf or two before moving on to the next plant, talking to it as much as she had the last one.
She was usually quiet, but she blossomed when she talked to the plants. She had a large collection in her own apartment and had promised her friend and neighbor, Jennifer, to take care of her plants, too, while she was on her honeymoon.
When a knock sounded on the front door, Diane wondered who could be calling on the absent newlyweds and their children.
Should she answer it?
Another knock, this one more forceful, decided her. She hurried to the door. Swinging it open, she stared at the six-foot-two, dark-haired hunk in front of her. "Hello?"
"I'm glad you finally answered. I was beginning to think you weren't home."
"No, don't say it. Look, I promised my dad, as you promised your mother. So let's just get this evening over with so we can face them and tell them we've done as they asked. That's what we need to do."
"We do?" Diane blinked several times. She knew she was tired, but what he was saying didn't make sense.
The man reached forward and took her arm. "Come on. I've got a reservation at a nearby restaurant. It won't take that long. If we don't like each other, we can cut it short and still have done what we promised."
She pulled away from his hold. What was wrong with this guy, acting like an arrogant oaf? "You can't just—"
"Sure I can. I'm paying. Get your purse and let's go." Of all the pompous, demanding egos! Just who did this guy think he was?
Then it hit her.
Could it be…?
Before she married Nick, Jennifer had told Diane that her mother was trying to set her up with a man of her so-called class. Meaning a rich guy. Could this be the man? In his designer suit, which fit him like a glove, he shouted money. He seemed just like someone Jennifer's mom would approve of. "Excuse me," Diane said, "but there's obviously been a—"
"No time for that now," he said, reaching behind her to the hall stand and grabbing her purse. "We've got a table waiting."
He put up a hand to halt her objection, and Diane saw red. No man was going to get away with treating her like this. She'd teach him a lesson.
She'd go along with him—and then zap him with the truth.
Smiling sweetly, she said, "I'll drive my own car and follow you."
"I don't see the need—" Then, as if the light dawned, he continued, "Oh, you're being cautious. In that case, fine. I'll go slow so you can follow."
He strode out the door, cradling her elbow the whole way. Did he think she couldn't walk on her own, or was he afraid she'd balk again?
As she drove behind him to the restaurant, Diane couldn't help but laugh when she envisioned oneupping the pompous rich guy. She knew it was rather evil, and totally out of character for her, but she couldn't resist the temptation to take this man down a peg. All her life she'd despised how a certain class of men treated women. And she should know; she was in the male-dominated banking industry.
As soon as she parked beside his Mercedes, he was at her door to open it, leaning down with his hand extended.
This had gone far enough, she thought. "We need to talk before we go in."
He led her out of the car. "Not here. It's too hot. We'll talk at our table." And he swept her into the four-star Dallas restaurant.
The maître d' obviously recognized him on sight. He was one up on her, Diane joked to herself. He led them to a private candlelit table and held out her chair.
With a sigh, she sat down. This little game had gone far enough, she decided. Her "date"—whoever he was—was going to be irate when she told him who she was.
"Now can we talk?" she asked, when the maître d' turned away.
But then the sommelier stepped up to the table, rattling off their specialty wines, aged to perfection.
"I don't drink," she told him when he'd finished his prepared speech.
Her dinner companion seemed surprised, then regrouped. "In that case, we'll both have iced tea." The sommelier went away, dejected.
"I need to tell you something," she blurted, before anyone else interrupted them.
Her companion waved her off. "Nonsense. What we need to do is decide what we'll eat for dinner. There's plenty of time to talk after we order."
But her selection wasn't met with approval. When the waiter came, her companion smoothly overrode her decision and instead doubled his own three-course dinner.
"Very well, sir." The waiter nodded and quietly slipped away.
Her "date" clasped his well-manicured hands in front of him and speared her with a direct gaze. "Now, what was it that you couldn't wait to tell me, Jennifer?"
"I'm not Jennifer."
His eyes—blue like the deepest ocean—widened. Then he cleared his throat. "Then who are you?"
She lowered her own eyes, suddenly feeling a bit guilty. "I'm Diane Black, Jennifer's neighbor."
He unclasped his hands and lay them flat on the table. She looked up and saw the muscles bunch along his jaw as he clenched his teeth. "Don't you think you should have told me that before?"
Was he not there before, when she'd tried five or six times? "If you'll recall, you weren't exactly interested in letting me speak."
He didn't reply. "Next time, maybe you'll let a woman get a word in every now and then." She grabbed her purse and stood up, ready to make a discreet exit.
But his voice halted her in place. "I don't like to eat alone."
She turned back to him. "You want me to stay?" He nodded, but his eyes didn't soften. She compared the thought of a mouthwatering steak to the can of soup that awaited her at home, and resumed her seat.
"Where is Jennifer?"
Diane couldn't repress a slight, lopsided grin as she revealed the irony. "She and her husband and their three daughters are on their honeymoon."
The man shrugged. "Not exactly the scenario I'd choose for my honeymoon."
"It's what Jennifer chose. She'd just adopted three little girls when she met her husband. They went to Walt Disney World for a week, then they're going on a cruise."
"I guess I was a little late following through with my dad's suggestion."
"I don't think it would've mattered. Jennifer wasn't interested in what her mother wanted for her. Even if you were Prince Charming, she wouldn't have gone out with you."
"But you didn't mind? Was it the money that convinced you?"
Diane bent over, picked up her purse and stood. She didn't have anything to say to this man. She got two feet from the table when he grabbed her arm.
"All right, I apologize. I'm sorry. I just don't like to be tricked."
"You also don't like to let people talk. I tried to explain many times."
"And I wouldn't let you."
"No, you wouldn't." She looked around for their waiter. "Why don't we ask to be put at two different tables? I needed to eat out this evening, anyway."
"Why did you need to eat out?"
"A rough day at the office," she said mildly.
"Want to tell me about it?"
"No, thank you. I remember Jen telling me about you, but I can't remember your name." "I'm Jonathon Davis. You can call me John. Nice to meet you, Diane."
She offered a small smile. "Shall I wave to the waiter so he can find me another table?"
"No, definitely not. I told you I don't like to eat alone. Why shouldn't we get to know each other and enjoy our meal?"
She hesitated, then said, "Okay, but I'll pay for my dinner."
"I thought you knew I was wealthy?"
"What difference does that make? I'm not exactly on welfare!"
He leaned toward her. "I invited you, so I pay." "But I accepted under false pretenses." "I think that was my fault. Please?"
She lowered her gaze. His eyes were magnetic. "I—I suppose. Okay."
"I haven't had to work this hard to share dinner with a lady in a long time."
She just shook her head. She didn't know what to say to that comment.
"So tell me what kind of job you have."
"I'm a banker."
"You work in a bank? Are you a secretary or a teller?"
"I'm vice president in charge of investments."
"Oh, sorry. I didn't know they gave those kind of jobs to women."
"They don't. I earned it!" Diane had faced enough discrimination in the workplace, she didn't need it from a dinner companion. This time when she stood, she didn't give him a chance to stop her. She scooped up her purse and stormed from the restaurant.
It hadn't been his intention to send her running. He'd simply said what had come to mind.
Diane Black was unlike his other dinner dates, who dabbled in careers or made one out of fund-raising for charities and planning socialite balls. She was a working woman, and he didn't know how to act around that ilk.
Besides, she had only given him what he deserved. He had been a bear, dragging her along to dinner, too intent on getting it over with to really listen to what she'd been trying to say.
He sighed, staring at her empty seat. He truly hated eating alone.
An idea formed. He asked the waiter to wrap up their meals, and left him a sizable tip.
Fifteen minutes later, he arrived back at the fourplex. As he pulled into the parking lot, he was pleased to see Diane's car. Now all he had to figure out was which apartment was hers.
He reached the door with his stack of take-out boxes just as the door was shoved opened and four very attractive young women came out. One of them stopped to stare at John.
"Hello. Are you lost?"
"No. I'm here to see Diane." "Oh. Well, she's home. She came in a few minutes ago."
"Which one is she in?"
"Upstairs on the right."
"Thanks." He hurried up the steps.
Knocking on the appropriate door, he waited until it opened, then grinned, holding up the redolent boxes.
"Hi. I brought dinner."
Diane didn't return the smile. "No, thank you. I'm fixing dinner already."
"Come on, Diane. There's no point in letting this go to waste."
She glanced down and drew in a deep breath, the delicious aroma breaking her resolve. "Fine. Which ones belong to me?"
"Oh, no, you don't. Either I come in with the boxes or they don't come in."
"Fine," she said again. But instead of opening the door wider, she closed it and he heard the lock click into place.
"Diane! Diane, you're not being fair. Come on, open the door."
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