Reckless Seduction (Harlequin Kimani Romance Series #266)
  • Reckless Seduction (Harlequin Kimani Romance Series #266)
  • Reckless Seduction (Harlequin Kimani Romance Series #266)

Reckless Seduction (Harlequin Kimani Romance Series #266)

2.6 3
by Gwynne Forster

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Haley Feldon's work with the United Nations means everything to her. She cares more about social progress than filling her social calendar. But that doesn't stop media mogul Jon Ecklund from pursuing the elegant beauty.

Jon's used to getting what—and who—he wants. And he's not going to let anything get in his way of knowing Haley. But

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Haley Feldon's work with the United Nations means everything to her. She cares more about social progress than filling her social calendar. But that doesn't stop media mogul Jon Ecklund from pursuing the elegant beauty.

Jon's used to getting what—and who—he wants. And he's not going to let anything get in his way of knowing Haley. But pain from her past—and a surprise from her future—threaten to destroy everything they've started to build. Now Jon's on a mission to open Haley's heart…if only she'll let him.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"An unusual story and thoroughly rendered exotic locations make this story a terrific read." - RT Book Reviews on Destination Love (4 stars)

Product Details

Publication date:
Harlequin Kimani Romance Series, #266
Product dimensions:
4.00(w) x 6.60(h) x 0.55(d)

Read an Excerpt

Haley Feldon stepped out into the late summer sun. grateful for the trees that shaded New York City's East Sixty-Fourth Street. She both loved and hated New York City. but if her dreams were ever to have the slightest chance of materializing. it was where she had to be.

She'd had a difficult meeting with Tom Brennan. one of her backers. that morning. The conceited old coot never missed an opportunity to remind her of his wealth or to mention his generous contributions to the numerous foundations that depended upon him and others like him to finance their philanthropic work.

As she walked swiftly down Second Avenue. Haley sighed. She hated having to work with Brennan. but their meetings were unavoidable. As founder and president of the International Institute for Social Progress (IISP). she devoted herself to projects that improved the lives of poor women and children. Her immediate goals were to improve educational opportunities for children living on reservations and to establish a program to reduce pregnancies and school dropouts among teenage girls in New York City.

She was determined to make a difference. Unfortunately. her work brought her into contact with men like Brennan. because making a difference cost money. And funding for projects like the ones she envisioned for IISP was hard to come by.

Haley glanced at her watch and saw that she had about an hour before her appointment with Nedia Ed-strom. head of the United Nations Conference on Social Change. That would give her time for coffee and a few minutes to focus on the proposal that she was presenting to Nedia. Inside the United Nations Secretariat Building. she took the escalator to the second floor and walked down the heavily carpeted corridor toward the North Delegates Lounge. Walking toward her was the tall. sandy-haired man she seemed to glimpse almost every time she came into the Secretariat Building. Elegant and well-built. he exuded an aura of power. strength and pure animal magnetism.

Her response to him always astonished her. How could she react this way to a man she had not even met? Haley was sure that he had his share of female admirers. but she was definitely not going to become one of them. She vowed she wouldn't even though. or perhaps because. he showed up regularly in her dreams and often interfered with her daytime thoughts. too. No. she didn't fool herself. She was acutely aware of him. even if she always tried to pretend that she wasn't. It had gotten so bad that she looked for him every time she entered the building. And she knew that she flushed whenever she saw him. What was it about him? she wondered.

Not to mention she'd caught him looking at her on numerous occasions. She'd always looked away before their gazes could connect. In spite of her natural reserve. she almost hungered to know him. Yet. because she sensed that he represented a danger to her. she usually avoided him. But she wouldn't be able to avoid him today—not this time. Today. he was walking directly to her.

Jon Stig Ecklund leaned back in the chair in his office in the United Nations Secretariat Building. The main office of Ecklund International Syndicate. Inc. (EIS). his family's international satellite network. occupied three floors of a large building on Madison Avenue. Jon preferred to use this smaller office at the UN when he needed privacy or solitude for his work.

He didn't enjoy being alone. but sometimes he needed absolute quiet to hear himself think. Yet even in the solitude of this smaller office Jon was finding it hard to concentrate today. He pushed back his chair. walked out of the office and headed to the North Delegates Lounge for a drink and a break. He took the escalator to the second floor and started for the lounge. It was then that he saw her.

He had seen her at a distance so many times that he felt as if knew her. Actually. he did know her. because she had spent many hours in his dreams. Her beauty intrigued him. Her regal bearing. long jet-black hair. olive complexion and soft brown eyes bespoke of mixed heritage. And with her tall. perfectly proportioned figure and lovely face she could have been a fashion model. Yet he knew instinctively that there was more to her than beauty. He'd once seen her in the dignified Delegates Dining Room daintily plucking raspberries from her plate and eating them one by one with her fingers. He guessed that she was at once respectable and sassy. She exuded calm coolness. yet Jon wondered if she hid fiery passion beneath her cold facade. He was drawn to her like a moth to fire.

Dammit. he wanted to know her. But she never gave him the opportunity. Every time he managed to get close enough to speak to her. she bolted like a skittish colt. He was fast losing patience with that game. She was an enigma that he was going to solve…and then forget.

Haley wanted to turn around and go the other way. but it was too late. He was looking directly at her. and her usual calm deserted her. He was handsome. No. he was beautiful. And he was tall. maybe six feet four or five inches. Not many men towered over her. but his height dwarfed her five-ten frame. So this is how dainty felt. Haley thought.

He seemed to pause in his approach. Was he going to speak? She realized she'd never heard his voice. Now she was dying to know if his voice matched his smooth masculine good looks.

Jon held her gaze until he was abreast of her. "Good morning." He said it softly. as if not to frighten her. but she didn't respond. She saw him open his mouth. and in an act of uncharacteristic cowardliness. she glanced away. The moment passed. She wasn't sure whether she walked faster or slower. but when she passed through the lounge and reached the coffee shop. she had strength only to find a table and sit down. She hugged her stomach. calming herself. She knew something else about him now. He had blond hair and long eyelashes that half hid a pair of piercing. fern-green eyes—beautiful eyes. She wanted to kick herself for not speaking to him.

Resuming his normally brisk stride. Jon promised himself that no matter where he saw her again or who she was with. he was going to speak to her. The thought that he would finally settle something that was definitely getting out of hand lightened his mood.

He walked on. mulling over his encounter with the woman. Who the hell was she? What was it about her. a woman of whom he knew absolutely nothing. that made him feel so empty. so lacking in something that he could not label but that was so vital it gnawed at him? He released a long sigh. He wanted her out of his thoughts. out of his mind. He didn't need this aggravation. this teenage craving for something he shouldn't want and couldn't get. Having given himself that stern lecture. he quickened his steps to the lounge. He'd have a vodka.

"Haley Feldon! Haven't seen you in ages. How's the institute going? I heard that you'd delivered a first-class lecture down on Capitol Hill. Do you think you stand a chance of introducing some new life into the secondary school programs for Native American children on reservations? Can I get you an espresso?"

Haley's face creased into a big smile at the sight of her old friend. "Hello. Nels. It's good to see you. How is Isabella? Are you two still an item? And yes. I'd love an espresso." And thank you for distracting me, bringing me back to earth.

"Say. why were you sitting with your back to the entrance? Are you hiding from someone?"

Before she could answer. she heard Nels call out to someone. "Jon Ecklund. where have you been? Come over here and join us." Haley felt the hair prickle on the back of her neck.

"Nels Andersen. son of a gun. you're a sight for sore ey… Well! Hello. at last."

Haley knew who it was even before she looked up.

"Hello." Was that dry quivering voice hers? Did they notice how it trembled?

"Have you two met?" Nels asked. rather tentatively.

"We have now." Jon offered. "Who are you?" He looked at her intently.

"I'm Haley Feldon." she said. extending her hand. He took it and held it. still looking at her. She felt the blood warm the skin of her face and experienced something that she had never felt before. a flash of warmth from head to foot. the heat settling in the pit of her loins. She hated that she had reacted to him that way. Withdrawing her hand. she took refuge in the lukewarm espresso. It was a mistake. Her hand shook as she raised the cup to her lips. and both men saw it.

"I've got exactly nine minutes to make an appointment on the twenty-second floor. It was a pleasant surprise seeing you, Nels. I wish I had more time. Perhaps we can get together for lunch one of these days. Goodbye. Mr. Ecklund."

"Aren't you implying that you aren't pleased to have met me?" Jon asked. sardonically. He had the pleasure of seeing her speechless. But she quickly regained her composure. smiled rather lamely and hurriedly walked away.

"What on earth is going on between you two?" Nels wanted to know.

"Nothing! Absolutely nothing!"

"Is there anything I can do to help this 'nothing' along?" Nels asked. "You know I'm always willing to do anything I can for a college buddy."

"No! If there's anything I don't need. Nels. it's the kind of chaos you can create when you start your pranks. I'm not in the market for a woman. And if I was. I'd look for one a bit warmer than that porcelain Venus."

Few people knew that second side of Nels's personality. and most anyone would have had difficulty reconciling the boyish prankster with the suave. efficient journalist. the tough adversary that aptly characterized Nels Andersen.

Nels lifted his right shoulder in a careless shrug. "Well. at least you admit that she's a goddess. Haley is a wonderful human being. but I thought I caught some sparks between you two."

"Look. Nels. drop it! Just drop it. will you? A lot of things have happened since we last saw each other. My divorce is final. Karen has remarried. and I'm not looking for anybody." No. he wasn't looking. but that didn't mean that he didn't want Haley Feldon. At least he wanted to get to know her. find out whether… What the hell did he want?

Nels watched Jon carefully. There was something different there. He was guarded. where he had always been so open. direct and straightforward. He wondered about Jon's divorce. Well. he thought. Jon had always been somewhat reticent with women. though they sure as hell liked him. Maybe someday they'd be able to talk about it. Nels considered it for a moment. He had never given any thought to pranks with Jon where women were concerned. Somewhat bemused at his thoughts. he realized that he never would. For all his apparent toughness. Jon was too vulnerable.

"Look. man. I'm inviting some of the old gang over in a couple of weeks. after I get back from my assignment in Eastern Europe. As soon as I finalize my plans. you know…guest list and all that. I'll call you. Will you come?"

"Sure." Jon said. frowning slightly as he gave Nels his home phone number.

Nels rose and patted Jon on the shoulder. "Let's stay in touch. buddy." he said softly. giving Jon his number.

"By the way. Nels. why is it that you aren't interested in Ms. Feldon?"

Nels laughed. "It's Dr. Feldon. I knew her when she didn't have all of that polish." he said. cryptically. "What ever do you mean?"

"Well. I covered Peace Corps activities in Africa and used to see her in Kenya. She was just an idealistic kid back then. She's still idealistic."

"Well. she's certainly no kid now." Jon drawled. "See you."

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