The Truth About the Tycoon (Silhouette Special Edition #1651)

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The Truth About the Tycoon

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780373246519
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 12/1/2004
  • Series: Silhouette Special Edition Series, #1651
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 4.22 (w) x 6.66 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Read an Excerpt

The Truth About The Tycoon

By Allison Leigh

Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.

Copyright © 2004 Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-373-24651-X

Chapter One

The pickup truck pulled out right in front of him.

Dane Rutherford swore a blue streak, wrenching his steering wheel. He missed clipping the hind end of the pickup by the breadth of a fat snowflake and shot past, close enough to see the panic widening a pair of already wide female eyes as the driver of the pickup turned to see his car.

He was still swearing as he fishtailed on the slick road, turning into the skid, trying to regain control. And though he'd missed the pickup at first, the skid caused metal to meet metal in a long, eerie scrape. They still would have been okay if she hadn't panicked at the contact. But she did. And she careened one way, then the other.

Dane cursed anew, trying to avoid hitting her again.

The road was winding, as damnably narrow as any back road he'd ever raced, and he felt his stomach drop out as his car went airborne off the shoulder, over the ditch.

Then he forgot about whether the woman was okay, about what Wood would say when he learned Dane had smashed his precious car, about everything except bracing himself for the impact.

The car was old. The tree it hit was older. Solid as hell, and there was no way Dane could hope to avoid it.

Crashing into it should at least stop the car's flight.

Itdid. Effectively.

Hadley stared in disbelief at the way the front end of the cherry-red car accordioned against the massive poplar tree trunk. She was so focused on the other vehicle, in fact, that she very nearly forgot her own problems. Gasping, she jerked the steering wheel again to keep from going down the opposite ditch and then cringed when she plowed right into the mileage marker on the side of the road, hard enough to bend the thing clean over.

She sat there for a moment. Stunned.

The engine gasped. Groaned. The sad sounds were enough to break her momentary shock, and she quickly turned off the engine before it surely died.

More work for Stu to do on her vehicle.

Shaking her head to clear it, she looked back for the other car. The roadside ditch it had plunged down was deep and she couldn't even see the car.

"Please be okay," she muttered under her breath as she pushed out into the snowy afternoon, racing across the road. Her boots skidded as she dashed down the opposite shoulder, and her feet flew out from beneath her. Her hands flailed, her rear hitting the unrelentingly frozen earth of the steep incline. She barely felt the jarring impact shoot up her body to her teeth, which slammed together, before she was pushing to her feet again, slipping and sliding her way to the crumpled car. She couldn't get to the driver's side.

"Please be okay." Her voice was a prayer this time as she rounded the hiked-up rear of the vehicle. One of the back wheels was still slowly spinning. She leaned down, peering through the spidery web of the cracked side window.

The man's head was thrown back against the head-rest. Blood splattered the inside of the windshield where he'd obviously hit his head, and it freely flowed from his forehead. The car hadn't possessed an air bag, either.

The sight of all that blood sent alarm careening through her. "Hey." She frantically tried to open the wrinkled door but it wouldn't budge. Knocking on the cracked window was out of the question. And the engine was still running. She reached out and thumped her hand on the crumpled hood of the car, since pounding on the white convertible top wasn't going to do any good in gaining his attention, but his eyes remained closed, unmoving. "Lord," she whispered fearfully, "please let him be okay." She banged on the car again. Hard enough to make her hand ache. Peered through the window. "Yessss." His chest had moved. Was moving.

Thank you, God.

He was alive.

She scrambled out of the ditch and ran across the road, nearly tripping over her feet. Her fingers were so cold she could barely open her truck door. But she managed, and she leaned across the bench seat, grabbing her purse that had fallen on the floor. She dumped it out on the seat and snatched up her cell phone. It took two tries to punch the number. She clutched it to her ear as she dashed back across the road. Slid down on her rear again to get to the car. A thin dusting of snow now covered the crumpled hood.

"Shane, answer your darned phone." She ran around to the side of the car again, banging her numb palm against the door. "Hey. Come on, mister, wake up. Oh, Shane." She hunched over, holding the phone tightly when she heard her brother's voice.

"Thank heavens. There's an accident - no, I'm fine."

The man inside the car stirred. "Oh. Hey." She waved her arms. As if he'd notice through his eyelids. "Unlock the car door." She banged again on the hood. Even kicked at the side a little.

His head raised up. Impossibly thick lashes lifted to reveal a slit of dark eyes.

"That's it, that's it." She patted the car as if she were patting a good dog. "Come on. Wake up."

She realized her brother was yelling her name through the cell phone. "Sorry, Shane. We're about a quarter mile past Stu's turnoff. Better send the ambulance." She pressed the off button on her brother's tight voice and stuffed the phone into her pocket, where it immediately began vibrating again. She ignored it in favor of the man inside the vehicle. He'd touched his forehead. Was staring at the blood his fingers came away with.

"Unlock the door," she said loudly again.

He eyed her. Sat forward a little, only to grimace. She read his lips easily enough. Swearing. She chose to take that as a good sign. His arm slowly moved and she heard a soft snick. He'd unlocked the door. She yanked hard on it to get it to budge and wedged her leg inside when it did. The stressed window crumbled into fine dust and a rush of warm air came out at her as she worked herself in, reaching straight across for the ignition.

She turned the key.

The laboring engine fell silent.

Her heart was pounding so hard she thought for certain he could hear it. She looked at him and realized that she was practically in his face. His ... very attractive face, what there was she could see beneath the bloody smears. She hurriedly shifted, putting space between them, kneeling awkwardly on the seat beside him. The stubborn door was practically crushing her leg and she shoved hard on it with her snow boot to keep it open.


Excerpted from The Truth About The Tycoon by Allison Leigh Copyright © 2004 by Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2013

    Check it out!

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