Mistress for a Weekend (Harlequin Presents #2569) [NOOK Book]


Nora Lang needs the most dangerous man she can find!

Enter tycoon Blake MacLeod. He normally prefers sophisticated blondes that don't require too much of his brainpower. But Nora's a challenge…the perfect opportunity for a little light relief. Until she acquires some important information that he can't risk being leaked.

Now Blake has to make sure Nora doesn't leave his sight—he'll make love to her for a whole...

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Mistress for a Weekend (Harlequin Presents #2569)

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Nora Lang needs the most dangerous man she can find!

Enter tycoon Blake MacLeod. He normally prefers sophisticated blondes that don't require too much of his brainpower. But Nora's a challenge…the perfect opportunity for a little light relief. Until she acquires some important information that he can't risk being leaked.

Now Blake has to make sure Nora doesn't leave his sight—he'll make love to her for a whole weekend!

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781552545942
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 9/1/2006
  • Series: Harlequin Presents Series
  • Sold by: HARLEQUIN
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 444,081
  • File size: 170 KB

Meet the Author

Susan Napier is a former journalist and scriptwriter who turned to writing after her two sons were born. Born on St Valentine's Day, Susan feels that it was her destiny to write romances and, having written over thirty, she still loves the challenges of working within the genre. She likes writing traditional tales with a twist, and believes that to keep romance alive you have to keep the faith and believe in love of all kinds. Susan lives in New Zealand with her journalist husband.

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Read an Excerpt

BLAKE MACLEOD had been watching the young woman for some time before she became aware of his presence.
At first it had merely been out of idle curiosity. He'd happened to be glancing her way when she had tottered out of the lift and his attention had been caught by the paleness of her freckled face in the wash of the overhead light, and the abruptness with which she had halted, regarding the revolving floor of the restaurant with ill-concealed dismay. Her teeth had dug deep into her lower lip as her gaze resolutely avoided the circular sweep of floor-to-ceiling windows revealing the lights of the rain-washed city twinkling far below, fastening instead on the metal joints in the carpet where the fixed central column of Auckland's Sky Tower became the slowly rotating platform which formed the main body of the restaurant.
In any other circumstances Blake probably wouldn't have given the unprepossessing lone female a second glance, but he had been feeling dangerously bored and ripe for any form of distraction. He had only attended the party under pressure, as a courtesy to his host, a valued business client, and he was already calculating the earliest he could leave without giving offence. Once he would have relished the opportunity to rub shoulders with a room full of movers-and-shakers, but at thirty-three he was well past the stage where he felt the need to impress.
From his vantage point by one of the seamless windows, he had studied the latecomer over the heads of the party-goers as she hovered uncertainly in the elevated reception area, a folded umbrella clutched to her chest in a white-knuckled grip, her figure shrouded by the damp folds of a vo-luminous brownraincoat. She stood out from the colorful crowd like an ordinary house sparrow amidst a pride of peacocks. Her hair was a nimbus of brown curls frothing out around the blanched oval of her face and Blake guessed that, her style of coiffure notwithstanding, she had found the ride in the glass-fronted lift a hair-raising experience.
Tuning out the sycophantic conversation of his companions, Blake speculated on the reason for the sparrow's shell-shocked state. He could eliminate the theory that she was a gatecrasher afraid of being caught--she never would have got past the tight security at the base of the Sky Tower if she hadn't had an invitation. The most obvious answer to her angst was that she had a fear of heights, but if that was the case why on earth would she have accepted an invitation to a party atop the tallest tower in the southern hemisphere?
One of the restaurant hostesses on cloakroom duty approached her, and the twin brackets around Blake's hard mouth deepened in amusement as he watched the sparrow erupt into a flurry of awkward movements, getting both the umbrella and a large black-beaded evening bag entangled in the sleeves of the raincoat in her haste to shed her outer plumage. By the time she had freed herself from the bunched fabric, and picked up the umbrella and bag she had dropped in the process, her pale face was flushed with embarrassment. She thrust the trailing coat and umbrella apologetically at the bemused hostess and walked jerkily towards the short flight of steps that led down to the fan of tables, tucking the beaded clutch bag into the crook of her elbow as she surveyed the glittering throng with a glazed expression that contained a curious combination of desperation and determination.
Blake nearly choked on his drink when he saw the dress she had been hiding under the brown shroud. It was a plain black strapless number, blatantly sexy and sophisticated--and it didn't suit her at all. Rather than enhancing her femininity, it merely emphasized her flaws--making her bare freckled shoulders appear too wide and the rest of her body look too boyishly straight. Instead of smouldering sensuality, she projected all angles and elbows, her face looking oddly naked in spite of--or perhaps because of--her heavily made-up eyes. She was quite tall and therefore correspondingly leggy, but the hem of her dress finished too far below her knees to showcase what Blake suspected were her best assets. As she teetered down the staircase in shiny spiked heels, still nibbling at her pale pink lower lip, he thought she looked more like a fresh-scrubbed, freckle-faced kid playing dress-up, and from the way she kept discreetly hitching at the outer edges of the strapless bodice she felt no more comfortable than she looked.
Not his type at all, he thought wryly, as he watched her reach the bottom of the stairs and grab a wineglass from the nearest tray, sending the adjacent glasses skittering with her straying forearm and almost upending the entire silver platter down the waiter's impeccable white jacket. Her flustered apologies were accepted with a pained smile and her exposed skin was again bright pink as she attempted to melt inconspicuously into the crowd.
Blake got the impression that she spent a great deal of her time apologizing.
Most definitely not his type. Blake's taste in female companions ran to genuine sophisticates: beautiful, self-confident, worldly women who craved attention rather than interest, who never involved themselves in embarrassing situations--physical or emotional. Women who might tax his ingenuity in bed but who rarely challenged his independence, and who could be relied upon to accept an amicable parting of the ways when the affair had run its course.
Inexplicably, the downy-haired sparrow continued to bob in and out of his wandering attention over the next half-hour. At just over six foot, Blake had a reasonably unobstructed view over the heads of most of the crowd and, since her high heels made her almost his equal in height, it was easy to find her at a glance. He noticed that, unlike everyone else, she stayed well away from the windows, barely moving from the spot where she had come in, quaffing the free-flowing wine as she studied the passing parade of guests.
Even from a distance he could see the tension in the set of her shoulders, the aura of suppressed energy that gave her brooding watchfulness a sense of purpose. She seemed poised to take wing at any moment--but for flight or fight? What was it she was searching for amongst the crowd? Someone to rescue her from her fear? Blake mocked his own whimsy as he turned back to field the conversational ball that was tossed his way. The answer was probably far more prosaic, and she was simply looking for someone she'd arranged to meet at the party.
The next time he glanced her way she was scooting forward to intercept another roving waiter, swapping her empty glass for a brimming champagne flute. Blake unconsciously held his breath until she safely negotiated the exchange, then watched in fatalistic fascination as she stepped back on to a portly matron's foot and spun around in dismay, elbowing her victim's unfortunate escort sharply in the solar plexus and dripping wine on his shoes. Recognizing the head of a powerful quasi-Government think-tank on foreign trade, Blake winced...although, come to think of it, there'd been a time or two during the industry consulting process when he'd been tempted to take a slug at the pompous little windbag himself.
Perhaps the sparrow was the embodiment of his cosmic revenge! he thought, a slight smile curving his hard mouth as he looked down into the melting remains of his Scotch on the rocks. Unfortunately, the ambitious young businesswoman at his side who had been uttering flirtatious remarks took it as a sign of encouragement, and he was forced to adopt a brutal uninterest to convince her that she was mistaken.
When he looked up again it was to discover with a mild jolt of disappointment that his idle entertainment for the evening had disappeared. He turned his head and suddenly found himself staring straight into the brooding eyes of his former quarry. She had edged out of her comfort zone and was with a cluster of people helping themselves to canapés from one of the second-tier tables, close enough for him to see that he might have been wrong about her legs being her best asset. Her wide-set kohl-lined eyes were the sensuous color of old gold, glowing with burnished brightness under their heavy-smudged green lids, dominating her otherwise unremarkable face. And they were currently trained on Blake with an arrested intensity. Big, luminous, disturbingly warm eyes, fringed with thickly coated black lashes; siren's eyes, that seemed to look straight through his polished shield of cynical sophistication into the hidden secrets of his soul.
To his astonishment Blake felt his body suffuse with heat, as if all his secrets had suddenly become X-rated. He gritted his teeth in disbelief as he felt the blood rising to his face, fighting to keep his expression impassive under that steadfast golden stare.
A clumsy freckle-faced kid was making him blush, for God's sake!
He shifted abruptly, using a comment addressed to him as an excuse to turn his back, but his mind was distracted by the disquieting realization that he had, in effect, blinked first. He, who had never backed away from a challenge, who had outfaced kings of industry and princes of wealth, had flinched from a confrontation with a mere girl. Or was it himself he was unwilling to confront...and the underlying reason for his growing boredom with occasions like these?
Without turning around, he knew that he was still under surveillance, still being assessed by those golden eyes...but assessed for what?
The short hairs on the back of his neck began to prickle. A sure sign of impending trouble. Fortunately, he and trouble were intimate acquaintances. Handling strife was his chief talent and major occupation.
And the most important thing he had learned over the years was that it was far safer to meet the arrival of trouble head-on than to ignore it and hope it would leave you alone.
ELEANOR LANG'S fingers tightened around her wineglass as she made another visual sweep of the restaurant to check that she hadn't overlooked anyone.
Her eyes skipped impatiently over a face which could have belonged to a male model. She wasn't looking for the most handsome man in the room, nor even the most charming. She had discounted men who were obviously with their wives or significant others, which cut the field down considerably, and ignored the fun-loving party animals. She wasn't after character or personality, kindness or courtesy.
No, what Nora was looking for was much rarer. What she wanted was the most dangerous man in the room.
Her eyes returned to the broad shoulders which she had been studying a few moments before...the long, straight back encased in the faultless perfection of a tailormade suit. The man with the fierce grey eyes.
Blake MacLeod.
She hadn't known who he was when she had first caught a glimpse of his trademark scowl, but what she saw had made her spine tingle. She had immediately shifted closer to get a better look, squeezing her way over to the table of food which was directly across from the loose cluster of people around him.
Whoever he was, he certainly didn't look safe. In fact, he looked as surly as the devil and bored to within an inch of his life. One hand was thrust into his trouser pocket, ruffling the unbuttoned jacket of his light grey suit, the other lifting a squat glass of whisky to his mouth as he stared stonily over the rim at the attractive woman beside him, blatant disdain for whatever she was saying plastered across his harsh features. His collar-length hair was as black as sin, sleeked back to reveal a prominent forehead and thick black brows that gave the impression of a permanent frown riding astride his hawkish nose. He couldn't be classed as handsome but he was fully mature and formidably masculine. His face was long and narrow, his cheeks hollowed beneath jutting cheekbones, and there was already a dark shadow blooming along the unforgiving line of his smooth-shaven jaw.
All in all, he looked lean, mean and hungry. The kind of man who would sell his own grandmother if it would turn him a profit, and give no quarter in a fight.
Not that Nora had any intention of fighting him! On the contrary...
Then their eyes had unexpectedly met, and she'd felt the same scary sensation that she had experienced coming up in the lift. Adrenaline pumped through her veins and sucked the blood from her head to fuel her racing heart.
Her first impulse was to pretend that she just happened to be casually glancing around, but she was forced to brazen it out when she found that she couldn't look away, fascinated by the molten flare of acknowledgement in his silvery eyes before they rapidly chilled to the color of tempered grey steel. Curiosity unfurled inside her, spiked with a delicious thrill of fear at her own daring.
They must have stared at each other for only a second or two, but to Nora it seemed like aeons. When he finally turned away she went limp, and realized that during those few moments of suspended animation every major muscle in her body had contracted to a state of red alert.
She stiffened her wobbly knees, congratulating herself on her boldness. Danger Man knew she existed. For a split second she had forced him to notice her. That was a start, wasn't it?
Face it, Nora, you're not the sort of woman that men notice. Her stomach clenched as she pushed away the intruding voice, reminding her that she hadn't had anything to eat since breakfast, her lunch break having been spent shopping for the elegant but annoyingly uncomfortable dress she was wearing. She tugged uneasily at the top of the low-cut bodice to make sure that it hadn't drifted down again. She didn't think she had enough cleavage to do justice to the style but Ryan had insisted that she wear something black and strapless, which he thought was the ultimate in feminine sophistication, to tonight's party.
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2012

    Worst book ever

    ## WORST. BOOK. EVER. This book was awful. Throughout the book the heroine is described as dowdy with an unremarkable face, plain like a sparrow, a body like a small boy, etc etc..... She was clumsy, constantly stuttering and pathetic in general. This does not make a heroine. I can't believe a woman wrote this. The hero was an arrogant ass, taking her against her will to his beach house and she just gives in, even though she knows he's only keeping her there because he doesn't trust her. Yet she lets him have his way with her anyway. He causes her to lose her job and all of a sudden he proposes???? No declaration of love from him of course, only her. PATHETIC.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted December 1, 2012

    Witty humor

    Very fun book. I love to laugh when i read and this was super cute and fun. Loved the characters and plot. Read and laugh.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted March 4, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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