The Millionaire's Wish (Silhouette Special Edition #2106) [NOOK Book]

Overview


It was the easiest deal in the world. All Allison Landry had to do was date software CEO Rick Hunter for a few months. In return, he'd help fund her financially strapped charity. How could a woman refuse? Especially when he came wrapped up in the most gorgeous masculine package Allison had ever seen.

Footloose bachelor Rick had a reputation to uphold—but continuing his playboy ways meant losing the only home he'd ever known. Which made Allison so perfect—after all, neither of ...

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The Millionaire's Wish (Silhouette Special Edition #2106)

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Overview


It was the easiest deal in the world. All Allison Landry had to do was date software CEO Rick Hunter for a few months. In return, he'd help fund her financially strapped charity. How could a woman refuse? Especially when he came wrapped up in the most gorgeous masculine package Allison had ever seen.

Footloose bachelor Rick had a reputation to uphold—but continuing his playboy ways meant losing the only home he'd ever known. Which made Allison so perfect—after all, neither of them was looking for a permanent relationship. Yet the beguiling good girl was soon making him dream about forever after—and Rick knew he'd do whatever it took to seal this deal with a kiss….

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781426888090
  • Publisher: Silhouette
  • Publication date: 3/1/2011
  • Series: Silhouette Special Edition Series , #2106
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 73,183
  • File size: 582 KB

Meet the Author


Abigail Strom started writing stories at the age of seven and has never been able to stop. She lives in New England with her family, who are incredibly supportive of the hours she spends hunched over her computer. She loves to hear from readers.
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Read an Excerpt


"How hard would it be to rob a bank?"

Allison Landry frowned at the financial statements covering her desk. One of her volunteers, who also was one of her best friends, had just come into the office with a letter in her hand.

"That bad, huh?" Rachel asked sympathetically.

"Or maybe we could pull off a jewel heist."

"We could wear black leather catsuits," Rachel suggested. "And hire a professional thief to help us. You know, like the guys in Ocean's Eleven. Preferably a George Clooney look-alike. I'd also be willing to consider Brad Pitt."

Allison's mouth tipped up in a smile. "I'd go with Cary Grant in To Catch a Thief, but then I'm old-fashioned."

Rachel laughed. "I'm liking this idea more and more." She paused. "Okay, fill me in for real. What's going on?"

Allison sighed, closing her eyes briefly as she ran both hands through her short brown hair. "It's been a bad day. Kevin Buckley is in the hospital again—I heard from his parents this morning. And our financial outlook for the coming year is pretty grim. Donations have been down ever since the recession started, so we're going to have to cut back on some of our existing services. And we'll have to put the plans for Megan's House on hold again—indefinitely, this time. It'll be a struggle to keep some of our programs going at all, and it's not the time to start something new."

She felt the disappointment all over again as she spoke the reality out loud. For years she'd cherished the dream of building a retreat center for families dealing with childhood cancer. She'd hoped the dream was close to being realized, but the bleak financial picture in front of her said otherwise.

"It'll happen someday," she said now, half to Rachel and half to herself. She couldn't let her determination be quenched. After all, this wasn't the first time she'd had to face harsh realities. When you lost a sister to cancer—Megan had been just fourteen when she died—you also lost any illusion that life was fair.

"I'm sorry," Rachel said, and Allison knew she really meant it. Still, her expression was more unhappy than the occasion warranted.

"Does the look on your face have something to do with that letter in your hand?"

Rachel nodded. "I hate to give you more bad news. It's about Julie's wish."

Allison frowned. "But that's the easiest one we've had in ages. She just wants to meet that software CEO—the man who designed that video game she likes so much. Rick Hunter, right? He lives right here in Des Moines. What's the problem?"

Rachel shrugged her shoulders helplessly. "He turned us down."

Allison just stared at her. "That's ridiculous. He doesn't even have to get on a plane. His company owns that big office building on Grand. He could walk to the hospital, for goodness' sake."

"He could, but he won't. He sent us a donation instead."

A donation. Of course.

Not that the money wasn't welcome. As her financial statements clearly showed, they needed every donation they could get.

But she was willing to bet this wasn't the first time Rick Hunter, president and CEO of Hunter Systems, had pulled out his checkbook instead of volunteering his time.

And now he was trying to buy his way out of visiting a cancer patient.

"Let me see that," Allison said, and Rachel handed it to her.

"Must regretfully decline your request…busy professional…demands on my time…"

She crumpled the letter into a ball and threw it toward the wastebasket. She missed by two feet. "Busy professional, he says. Can you believe that? We got the quarterback of the Green Bay Packers to visit one of our kids last year, and that was during football season!"

It had been a lousy day, and even though only part of her current frustration was really directed at Rick Hunter, he was her most convenient target at the moment.

Extremely convenient, in fact. As in a five minute drive from her office.

She shoved her chair back and rose to her feet.

"You look really pissed off," Rachel said warily. "You're not going to do anything crazy, are you?"

"That depends on your definition of crazy. I'm just going to have a little chat with—"

Rachel's eyes widened. "You're going to yell at him. You're going to yell at Rick Hunter. Allison, you can't do that!"

"I can't, huh? Give me one good reason," Allison said, turning off her computer and grabbing her purse.

Rachel was at her own desk now, rifling through file folders and stacks of papers. "He's rich, for one thing. Like potential platinum donor rich. He designed the most popular video game in the world. He's important."

"Julie's important, too."

"Of course she is. I just think—got it!" she announced suddenly, holding up an issue of People magazine.

"What's so exciting about that?"

Rachel opened the magazine to a two-page profile—picture on the left and a short biography on the right.

"America's Most Eligible Bachelors," she said, as if that explained everything.

"I take it Rick Hunter made the list."

"I'll say. Allison, just look at him. You'll have to agree there are better things to do with this man than yell at him."

Allison rolled her eyes, but when Rachel brought the picture over she glanced at it to satisfy her.

Rick Hunter was on an unmade bed, leaning back on his elbows with a slight smile on his face, as if he found the person holding the camera mildly amusing. He was wearing a tuxedo, jacket off and tie loosened. That, along with the stubble on his jaw and the artfully tousled black hair, gave him an air of casual decadence, as if he'd recently enjoyed a very good time in that bed.

His eyes weren't as casual as the rest of him. They were green, and the expression in them was reserved, even remote, but with a kind of intensity in their depths that probably had most women ready to fall at his feet.

In spite of herself, she found herself looking into those eyes a shade longer than she meant to. When she realized it, she took the magazine from Rachel's outstretched hand and tossed it back onto her desk.

"I admit he's decorative," she said. "So what? I hope you're not saying I should be nice to Rick Hunter because you think he's cute."

"Puppies are cute. Kittens are cute. This man is gorgeous. I'm talking drop-dead, stop-the-presses, melt-your-knees gorgeous."

"You forgot to mention spoiled, selfish, arrogant—"

"I don't think he's like that," Rachel objected. "Did you look at the article? He—"

"I'm not interested," Allison said firmly. "He turned down a kid with cancer. There's no possible excuse for that, and I'm going to tell him so."

Rachel grabbed her hand as she headed for the door. "You have to go home and change first."

Allison glanced down at herself. She was wearing a typical outfit for a day when she had no meetings with hospital directors or wealthy philanthropists—jeans and a blue flannel shirt. Her feet were clad in an old pair of tennis shoes.

"I'm not going all the way back to my apartment to change clothes. Why, do you think his office has a dress code?"

"Very funny." Rachel grabbed her purse and started looking through it. "At least let me put some makeup on you. Lipstick, mascara, something. Your face is all naked!"

"Sorry," Allison said firmly. "This is going to be a come-as-you-are meeting."

Rachel put her purse back on her desk. "There isn't a woman alive who wouldn't primp before going to see Rick Hunter. You're not normal, Allison."

"I've heard that before."

"And yet, I still love you." Rachel sighed. "Have fun storming the castle."

Rick Hunter held the phone away from his ear as he typed one-handed, listening to his grandmother with half his attention while he focused on a complicated spreadsheet.

"—and it's not that I'm prudish—I was a bit of a rebel in my time, I'll have you know. Your grandfather could tell you stories. Well, he could if he were alive. But I do not appreciate half the people I know calling me to discuss this appalling magazine article, which refers to you as 'The Playboy of the Midwest,' I might add."

Rick winced. He'd only done that damn photo shoot because of his company's upcoming annual charity event, a ball at the Grand Hotel to be followed by a bachelor auction. He wasn't participating—he never did, despite his undeniable bachelor status—but the magazine, along with his marketing director, had convinced him it would be great publicity for the event if the company president was in the article.

"I didn't write the copy, Gran. And I told you before—"

She spoke right over him. "I wouldn't be so upset if it didn't confirm what I always suspected. You have no intention of ever settling down, have you?"

He was correcting a complicated cell formula and missed the question. "What?"

"I said, you have no intention of ever settling down. The women you involve yourself with! The fluffy, brainless ones are bad enough, but the ruthless corporate types are even worse. I actually look forward to the straightforward gold diggers you toss into the mix occasionally. Not one of the girls you've dated in the last five years has been someone I'd be proud to call my granddaughter. Not that I've had cause to worry, since you've never shown the slightest interest in committing to any of them."

Rick sighed. "Okay, Gran, so you don't like the women I date. But neither of us has to put up with them on a long-term basis, so what's your problem?"

"My problem is that my only grandson is still a bachelor! You don't think I dream of the day you'll settle down here with your wife and children?"

Here meant the Hunter estate, of course. The beautiful old mansion his great-great-grandfather had built in 1890. Not the house Rick had grown up in, but the only place he'd ever thought of as home. The only place he'd ever truly been happy.

"The fact is," she went on, "I've been thinking things over. And I'm considering giving Hunter Hall to your second cousin."

Rick's hand froze over the keyboard. "What?"

"You heard me. Jeremiah and his wife are planning to have children, and they'd like to raise their family here. They've said so."

Rick's jaw tightened. "If Jeremiah's shown any interest, it's because of what the house might be worth on the open market. He and his wife don't give a damn about the place. They'll sell it, Gran."

She sniffed. "That's not what they've told me. And even if they thought that at one time, things change once you decide to have a family."

She paused, and Rick thought about what it would mean to lose Hunter Hall. Maybe he'd never told Gran, but he loved it more than any place on earth.

"This house cries out for children. If I thought there was a chance you might change your ways…"

His grandmother had been hoping to marry him off for years. He, on the other hand, had never been interested in marriage. His own parents hadn't exactly been a shining example of the institution, and he had no intention of repeating their mistakes. Better to stay clear of all that and focus on things you could actually control. Like work.

Even if work hadn't been very satisfying lately.

Rick leaned back in his chair, staring at his computer screen. If work was getting stale it was his own fault, and was therefore something he could fix. He owned the damn company, after all.

A marriage, on the other hand, wasn't something one person could control. Two hearts, two minds, two egos—and way too much risk. Date for fun, that was his motto—and when the fun started to fade, end things quick and clean, before either party had too much invested. And yes, that meant that he tended to date women he wasn't likely to fall for.

"I just want to see you happy, Richard."

"I am happy." Or content, anyway. He'd never expected happiness. His life was going according to plan, and he had no desire to make any changes. The only thing he wanted that he didn't already have was Hunter Hall.

"Won't you at least think about what I've said? It wouldn't kill you to date a woman of character for once."

Rick smiled at the old-fashioned phrase. "And what would a 'woman of character' want with me?" He'd meant it as a joke, but his voice sounded a little bitter in his own ears.

His grandmother sighed. "If you don't know the answer already, it won't do any good to tell you. I'm sorry about Hunter Hall, dear, but I need to believe that this house will echo with the voices of children someday."

Rick looked at the opposite wall, where the original advertisement for "Magician's Labyrinth" hung in a mahogany frame. He'd modeled the magician's house after Hunter Hall, and the image had been part of the game's cover art ever since.

"It's your house, Gran. You can do whatever you want with it."

"I just wish you'd consider—"

"Yeah. I have to get back to work, okay? I'll talk to you soon."

But he didn't get back to work. He leaned back in his chair, frowning at his spreadsheet without really seeing it.

Maybe this was for the best. Wanting something you couldn't achieve through your own efforts was a weakness, and Rick had never tolerated weakness.

His paperweight was a replica of the magician's house carved out of stone, a gift from his gaming programmers a few years ago. He picked it up now, feeling the smooth, compact weight of it in his palm.

The thought of losing Hunter Hall made something clench inside him, as if his internal organs were being put through a wringer. His grip tightened. The peaks of the roof cut into his skin, and he knew this one childhood dream still had a hold on him.

His private line lit up. He set the paperweight back down on his desk and put his assistant on speaker. "What is it, Carol?"

"I'm sending a woman in to see you." She sounded irritated, but then she always did. After six years, he still wasn't sure if the irritation was for the world in general or him in particular.

He frowned. "You know I'm preparing for the product review tomorrow. Who is it you want to send in?"

"Someone from that foundation. The one that runs the Wish Upon a Star program."

He felt a twinge of guilt. That girl—Jenny or Julie or something. She was undergoing cancer treatment, and she wanted to meet him. Her request had come in a letter from a nonprofit agency, explaining who they were and what they did, and asking if they could arrange a hospital visit on the girl's behalf.

"I told you to decline their request and send them a check."

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 38 )
Rating Distribution

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(21)

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(13)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 38 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2012

    Wow

    ## WOW. This book was fabulous! I absolutely loved it. The two leading characters were incredible. The heroine was strong, intelligent and witty and the hero was, well, wow! The story was really well written and all the characters were well developed. What an amazingly sexy read!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2012

    Highly Recommend!

    Highly Recommend! My second book by this author and both were excellent reads. I normally read historical romance novels but do enjoy a few contempory novels too. I definitely enjoyed this one from beginning to end.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2012

    Great read!

    Great story line and with very loveable characters.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2012

    Love it!

    This author is fantastic and the characters are perfect. I couldn't put it down.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2011

    Must Read - Talented Writer

    Amazing book, talented writer. What a page turner. I didn't want to put it down. This is the second book that I have read by the author and I have loved them both. I can't wait to see what she gives us next.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2013

    Wonderfu

    Wonderful, wonderful book! Loved the characters and how they came together. So very worth your time to read!!!!! FL

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2013

    Great Read! Great Read!

    I'm enjoying the series. The author has a way of setting the plot to the story and providing realistic characters. Very difficult to put the "book"down.
    LA-TXN

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2013

    Highly Recommend

    This series was fun to read. It had a great plotline and was a quick read, it was great for a quick escape during bubble baths!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2013

    Best one!

    Best book out of the series. While not perfect this book is sure to be a relaxing and enjoyable read. Very cute.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2012

    Cute

    A sweet love story! Enjoy!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2013

    Star Swirl and the Spell Chapter 2

    It was a spell that was written in Equestrian language. Star Swirl read it aloud. <br>
    "Magic so true, <br>
    No use to you. <br>
    Learn how to harness it <br>
    Through a gift now given now." <br>
    Star Swirl scratched her ear, puzzled. Magic? Gift? This didn't make any sense! She closed the book and trotted back to the main section of the library. Electric Sky glanced up and gasped in surprise. She scrambled deeper into the shelves of books. Star Swirl scanned the room. It must have been her that shocked Electric. But how? She trotted to the door, wishing tha it would open on its own. Suddenly, green magic "grasped" the door handle and swung it back. <br>
    "Thatnks," she exclaimed in surprise, glancing back at the librarian. However, the librarian wasn't using any magic. Star Swirl glanced around, suspicious. She trotted down the lane, pasding Comet Tail on the way. His jaw dropped in surprise and he raced to catch up with her. <br>
    "Star Swirl!" He exclaimed. "Where did you get that horn?" <br>
    "WHAT HORN?" Star Swirl shrieked, her hooves racing up to her head. Sure enough, there was something hard poking out of her skull. <br>
    "Sweet Celestia! Comet Tail, I'm a unicorn!" Star Swirl cried in shock. <br>
    "Awesome, Star Swirl!" Comet Tail cried, swishing his tail. "I'll take you to Donut Joe's for a celebration- my treat!" <br>
    Star Swirl shook her head. <br>
    "But, I liked being an Earth pony!" She protested. Comet cocked his head to the side.<br>
    "I don't understand. Don't you want to be a unicorn and study magic?" The yellow stallion asked. Star Swirl openedher mouth to reply, and he hastily added, "Let's talk about this over a donut and some cocoa. My treat!" <br>
    "Okay," Star Swirl agreed reluctantly. <br>
    <p>
    "You know," Comet Tail began as they sipped the cocoa Golden Delicious had poured them. "I used to know a filly named Twilight Sparkle from magic kindergarten. She was a brilliant user of magic-" he blushed a little bit before rushing on, "-and I kinda liked her. I wouldn't have had it any other way. And you know, recently, she became an alicorn princess? She seemed so at ease with those wings, and I was thinking tha you'll be the same way." <br>
    "But I was born an Earth pony," Star Swirl pointed out. "I don't feel right now. If I was meant to be a unicorn, wouldn't I be born a unicorn?" <br>
    "I guess," Comet Tail replied as unexpected rain bean to drizzle onto the warm, cozy shack. "So you want to remove your horn?" <br>
    "Sure," Star Swirl replied, taking a bite of her donut the usual way- holding it, not levitating it. <br>
    "Then we ave to figure out how." <br>
    <p>
    I am not a fan of Twilicorn or TwiTail, but I won't mind TwiTail. Written by Berryshine.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2013

    Very good

    Great romance. Well written. Expensive for a nook book though.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2013

    Wonderful story

    Ms Strom certainly has a gift for story telling in this second second book about another Landry daughter. It definitly can stand in it's own but is just that little bit richer for having read it after Allison's story. I liked how Ms Strom was able to bring the characters together through the strength of first Michael's determination to reach his daughter then through their diffrences.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 38 Customer Reviews

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