Once-A-Mistress Wife [NOOK Book]

Overview

HIGH-SOCIETY SCANDAL

Mary Duvall came back to Eastwick to claim her inheritance--not to rekindle a romantic relationship with millionaire Kane Brentwood! Years ago, she'd been content as the English lord's mistress. But when he took another woman as his wife, she swore she'd never surrender to him again. And now she has no choice but to resist his attempts at seduction: to gain her millions, she must avoid any hint of scandal. Kane may be used to getting what he wants, but Mary ...

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Once-A-Mistress Wife

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Overview

HIGH-SOCIETY SCANDAL

Mary Duvall came back to Eastwick to claim her inheritance--not to rekindle a romantic relationship with millionaire Kane Brentwood! Years ago, she'd been content as the English lord's mistress. But when he took another woman as his wife, she swore she'd never surrender to him again. And now she has no choice but to resist his attempts at seduction: to gain her millions, she must avoid any hint of scandal. Kane may be used to getting what he wants, but Mary has no intention of giving in and facing the truth about her past--or the lies she once told....

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781552545973
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 11/1/2007
  • Series: Secret Lives of Soceity Wives Series , #1749
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 191,836
  • File size: 117 KB

Meet the Author

Katherine enjoys the writing process too much to give it up and can't think of anything she'd rather do, except maybe take Jim Lipton's job on Inside the Actor's Studio. Each book is a chance to explore another facet of human behavior, and she's always most excited about the newest project she's working on. Writing for Silhouette Desire has been a dream come true for her in many ways!

She is married to the man she met in Fantasyland, and they live in central Florida with their two children.

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Read an Excerpt

Mary Duvall stood over the open casket of her grandfather, David Duvall. Tears burned the back of her eyes, but she kept them in check, very conscious that Grandfather David had always wanted her to be composed in public. That's why she'd closed the doors to the viewing room and entered it alone.
The old Mary would have wept loudly and cried her grief with sobs and moans, doing everything in her power to get those emotions out. But now she buttoned them down. Ignored everything but the need to touch his face one last time.
She touched his cold, makeup-covered skin and shivered inside. She felt so alone. She was all alone now. Her parents had died years ago in a car accident--not that they'd ever been close. And her younger brother, their perfect child, had been in the car with them--also gone.
She liked the new life she was carving for herself in Eastwick, Connecticut, at her grandfather's behest. She'd returned from Paris when she'd learned his health was failing. He'd offered to make her his heir if she proved she was no longer the rebellious wild child he remembered.
"I'm going to make you proud, Grandfather. No more embarrassment over my behavior."
She leaned down, brushing her lips over his dry forehead and wishing for just one second that he could embrace her. Her childhood had been difficult to say the least and Grandfather David had been as disapproving as everyone else in the Duvall clan, but he'd always hugged her as she left.
He was the only one to ever do anything like that. She would miss him more than she'd realized.
A knock on the door interrupted her farewell. She glanced at her watch. Damn, it was almost time for the publicviewing. No doubt her cousins would be outside demanding some private time with a man they cared about only for his money.
Mary wanted to use the Duvall estate to benefit others. She intended to establish a trust that would be used to create neonatal units at hospitals in lower-income areas. She also hoped to sponsor an art-focused summer camp for underprivileged children. She had never been encouraged to paint as a child, even though her earliest memories were of having a paintbrush in her hand. She loved to create new worlds on canvas.
Her work was garnering attention in Europe and she enjoyed the money she'd made selling the serial rights to several of her pieces for a print series.
But for now, she had the viewing to get through. Before opening the door, she tucked the short note she'd written last night into the breast pocket of his suit, under his handkerchief, right over his heart.
Then she wiped the moisture from beneath her eyes and confronted her second cousins. Channing and Lorette Moorehead were the children of her grandfather's sister.
"How touching. I almost believe you cared for the old man," Channing said, escorting his sister Lorette to the casket.
"I did care for him," Mary said.
"Then why did you spend so many years breaking his heart?" Lorette asked.
Mary swallowed hard, biting back a retort that wouldn't be ladylike. Wouldn't fit the image that Grandfather wanted her to portray.
"We made our peace, Grandfather and I."
"You may have fooled Uncle David, but we aren't convinced you've changed. I will be keeping an eye on you," Channing said.
He was almost ten years older than she was, and from her earliest memories he'd always been a pompous ass. She had no fondness for Channing, but Lorette, who was only two years older than Mary, had been a close friend when they were younger. They'd roamed all over Grandfather's mansion playing games and getting into trouble. It had all ended when Lorette had turned ten and declared herself too old for childish pursuits.
"I'll leave you two to your private grieving." The anteroom was almost empty except for a few of her friends. Their long history and regular luncheons had garnered them the name the Debs Club.
Everyone in their group seemed to be getting engaged or married; something Mary had no desire to do herself. She'd been deeply in love with a man once, and when he'd left her to marry the "right" kind of woman, she'd promised herself she'd never live with that kind of pain again.
Yet another example of how her wild lifestyle--which wasn't really that wild--had resulted in her being alone. The problem was that for most of her life Mary had never wanted to follow the rules. Almost in contradiction to the plain name--and possibly plain aspirations--her parents had given her at birth, Mary had come out of the womb a rebel.
But not any longer. She'd paid a high price for her rebelliousness, and her deathbed promise to Grandfather David meant she'd toe the line from now on.
Mary started toward her friends. They all wore black for mourning, and Mary appreciated having them here. Maybe she wasn't completely alone. She did have her friends, and they'd proven to be a solid support to her in a way that she'd never experienced before.
The outer door opened before she reached her friends, and she turned to greet the newcomer. The blood rushed to her head and she heard the pounding of her own heartbeat in her ears as she recognized the one man she'd never thought to see again.
Kane Brentwood--English lord and her ex-lover. "Kane?"
"Mary," he said. Just her name in that deep voice of his never failed to send shivers coursing through her body.
She couldn't face him now. Not today, when she was struggling to keep her composure carefully in place. Not when she was so close to losing it.
At the sight of him, she was overwhelmed with the weight of the secrets between them. Secrets that, if revealed, would cost her everything--Grandfather's inheritance, Kane's respect and her own hard-won peace.
She tried to regain her composure, but she saw stars dancing in front of her eyes as he approached her. And then everything went black.
Kane Brentwood caught Mary just before she hit the floor. He was aware of the murmuring of voices behind him, but he didn't pay attention to anyone save the woman in his arms. His woman. She hadn't been taking very good care of herself. She'd lost weight and her skin was pale. He wondered if she'd mended bridges with her grandfather and what that had cost her.
He cupped her face. "Mary."
Her eyes blinked open, and he stared into that familiar Caribbean-blue color, reminding him of the month they'd spent at his vacation home in the British Virgin Islands. "Mary-Belle, are you okay?"
"Kane?"
"Yes, darling."
As she looked up at him, confusion knitted her brow. "I'm not your darling anymore."
A spear of anger went through him and he had to tamp down on his instinctive response, which was to take her in his arms and prove that she was still his. To prove that Mary would react to him the way she had from the first moment they met. But she was a married woman now, and he knew the way she felt about married people and affairs.
"We can discuss that later," he said.
A spark lit her eyes, the kind that in the past had always led to a spirited argument and then eventually to the bedroom. "Will your wife take part in the discussion?"
"I'm divorced. And your husband?"
She flushed and shook her head. "No husband."
No husband. She was free. He felt a surge of possessive determination. Now that he had her back in his arms, he wasn't going to let her go again. He'd done his bit for family and lineage, and that had cost him--more than he ever wanted this woman to know. They were both available again, and he was suddenly determined not to screw up the way he had before. He would not lose her again.
"Mary? Are you okay?"
He glanced over his shoulder to see four women walking toward him with a group of men a few steps behind. He tightened his hold on Mary.
"I'm fine, Emma. I didn't sleep well last night." He wondered how much of that was due to her child. He didn't know much about the little blight-ers, but every book he'd read had said that they were time-consuming.
There were dark circles under her eyes, and he wished for a moment he still had the right to carry her out of this room, to find a private place. But he didn't. He lowered her to the ground, deliberately torturing himself by allowing her body to rub against his.
There were too many people around to have the discussion they needed to have. And he wanted--no, needed--to simply hold this woman who looked too fragile.
She took a step away from him, but he held onto her wrist.
"What are you doing?" she asked. "Claiming what is mine," he said, stating the truth of why he was in Eastwick, especially now that he knew there was no husband. When he'd first read the announcement of David Duvall's death in the Wall Street Journal, he'd barely taken note of the fact--until he'd seen Mary's name listed as next of kin.
He'd been quietly searching for her for over a year now. His men hadn't been able to find any trace of her at the Paris apartment building where he'd last known her to live.
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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2014

    Felt rushed

    This book felt rushed, and unbelievable. The ending was abrupt. NO answers to any questions.

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    Posted July 31, 2011

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