True Love

True Love

4.6 93
by Brenda Jackson
     
 

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Corporate executive Shayla Kirkland has landed her dream job with one of Chicago's top new firms, Chenault Electronics. Now she's in a perfect position to destroy the company for unjustly ruining her mother's career. But she never expected that handsome CEO Nicholas Chenault would spark a passion that challenges her resolve—and makes her surrender to the most

Overview

Corporate executive Shayla Kirkland has landed her dream job with one of Chicago's top new firms, Chenault Electronics. Now she's in a perfect position to destroy the company for unjustly ruining her mother's career. But she never expected that handsome CEO Nicholas Chenault would spark a passion that challenges her resolve—and makes her surrender to the most irresistible desire….

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A Harvard MBA, fluency in four languages and stunning beauty make landing a job at Chicago's Chenault Electronics a cinch for 26-year-old Shayla Kirkland. But her underhanded intention--to destroy the company for falsely accusing her unwed, pregnant mother of corporate spying nearly 27 years earlier wavers during Shayla's first week on the job. As if this isn't enough excitement, Shayla loses her virginity to Nick Chenault, a gorgeous 32-year-old CEO. Jackson (Secret Love) bolsters their farfetched relationship with plenty of unexpected plot twists as Shayla soon realizes she is not the only one with a hidden agenda. The man Shayla believes to be her biological father is suspected in a break-in and fire at Chenault's Florida lab, and his son, who Shayla believes to be her long-lost half brother, is also Nick's best friend. Jackson's trademark ability to weave multiple characters and side stories together makes the shocking, though sometimes improbable truths all the more exciting. (Sept.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780373831272
Publisher:
Harlequin
Publication date:
03/01/2009
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
1,380,733
Product dimensions:
4.21(w) x 6.62(h) x 0.84(d)

Read an Excerpt

The distinctive scent of a man's aftershave alerted Shayla Kirkland that she was no longer alone in the interviewing room. She had glanced up, thinking the fragrance was smooth, hypnotic, and sexy…very much like the tall, remarkably good-looking man who had walked in.

"Ms. Kirkland?"

"Yes," she'd responded, rising to her feet and parting her lips in a wry smile. She had known Nicholas Chenault was extremely handsome. Her extensive research of Chenault Electronics had prepared her for that fact. But the photographs she'd seen of him had evidently been of poor quality, because they'd failed to capture the vibrant coloring of his light brown skin and the brilliant gold of his eyes. He had taken her hand in a businesslike handshake. She'd let out her breath slowly, realizing that she'd been holding it since he had entered the room.

"I'm Nicholas Chenault. I appreciate your interest in my company. Please take a seat and we'll begin the interview."

Shayla sat down again, forcing herself to remember that this would not be an ordinary interview. She was here with a purpose. She was here with a plan. But first she had to get her foot in the door.

Now, Ms. Kirkland," Nicholas Chenault said in a deep husky voice as he sat behind the desk, "what exactly do you know about Chenault Electronics?"

If only you knew, she thought. Lifting her eyes to meet his directly, she wished she hadn't. His eyes were brilliantly gold, and they were brilliantly intelligent, sharp, and assessing. She wondered how good he was at reading people. For a brief moment an uneasy feeling swept through her. Knowing this was not the time to rethink her decision about what she was doing, she straightened in the chair and met his gaze. He had asked a common interview question, and thanks to her in-depth research she had an answer, one that was appropriate. She would tell him some of what she knew about his company, but not everything.

She would not tell him about her plans to destroy it.

"I can give you a historical summation dating back to the day Chenault Electronics was first formed by your father, Alan Chenault, thirty-five years ago, and how he transformed it from a corner store operation into a relatively neat and tidy electronic company. Unfortunately, he lacked vision, which is evident in his failure to tap into numerous domestic and international markets." She paused, giving him her best businesslike, professional look. Although she had just openly criticized what had been his father's narrow strategy for running the business, it had been the absolute truth. "However, I believe what I know about your present-day operation is what I'd like to address."

At his nod, she continued. "Under your leadership, Mr. Chenault, this company has emerged as a powerful force within the global economy. Your expansion into the overseas market is phenomenal, as well as timely. Sales for this year are expected to exceed thirty million. You've even gone one step further. You've capitalized on the failures of your competitors—who can't see the advantages of putting out new products and diverse technology—especially in the development of total wireless communications and advanced electronics that will ultimately replace the need for electrical outlets throughout the world."

When she stopped talking, a slow smile touched Nicholas Chenault's lips. "Please go on," he said, not hiding the fact that he was clearly impressed with her accurate summation of his company.

"Chenault Electronics was the first to deploy a wireless telephone network in Benin, Africa. This helped to provide the first telephone service in the area, providing a long overdue means of communication to hundreds of remote customers."

Feeling confident that she had the interview under control, Shayla relaxed. She was more determined that ever to convince the man sitting across from her that she was everything his company was looking for.

Nicholas Chenault was impressed with Shayla Kirkland's wealth of knowledge about his company. To say that she had done her homework and was fully prepared would be an understatement. So far they had been in the interview for over an hour, and each question had been answered in a way that definitely displayed her knowledge and her intelligence. She was now expounding on her educational background.

It was a good thing he'd already done a number of interviews that week, so that it required little thought—his mind was focused on the woman.

He glanced down at the notes he had jotted down on the evaluation form. The first category listed on the form was appearance. He'd written neat, dresses with good taste, professionally. He glanced back up to look at her and decided not to add that the fit of her navy blue, tailored, business suit was chic, precise, and enticing. Then there was her hair—short, black, and cut in a trendy style that didn't take away from her professional image. Her almond-colored skin had a light touch of makeup. The berry tone of her lips highlighted the glow of her cheeks and the sultry, dark, brandywine coloring of her eyes. Nicholas inhaled deeply, forcing his mind to concentrate only on those of Shayla Kirkland's assets that were important in terms of employment.

"Ms. Kirkland, why did you move back to Chicago?" he asked, trying not to notice her crossing her long gorgeous legs. Nicholas had to tighten his grip on the pen he held in his hand to keep his imagination from taking over.

"My mother passed two weeks ago, unexpectedly. Now that I'm here, I feel this is where I belong, and have decided to stay."

The deep sadness in her voice gripped Nicholas. "My condolences for your loss."

"Thank you."

Nicholas decided to move on to the next interview question. "Tell me about some of your other achievements, and how they can benefit us here."

When she began speaking, he couldn't help but zero in on her poise. She was definitely at ease, composed, and had a self-confident manner. She wasn't hesitant in providing eye contact. The dark coloring of her eyes was compelling and magnetic, and he found his gaze pulled back to them time and time again. He couldn't help wondering what color her eyes were when they glowed with passion and inner fire. How would they look when they became heated with pleasure?

"Ms. Kirkland, what do you see in this position of manager of international affairs that you did not have in your last position?" he asked in an effort to keep his mind on track.

As she began answering, he glanced down at the evaluation form. The next category on the list was personality. As he sat there watching her and listening to her, there was no doubt in his mind that she would be a perfect fit for his company. If first impressions were to be believed, she was friendly, but not overly so. That was good, because she was a single woman of twenty-six—a very attractive one at that—and he had a number of single men working for him. The last thing Chenault Electronics needed to deal with was a sexual harassment lawsuit.

After asking her a few more questions, for which she provided concise and informative answers, he leaned back in his chair and said, "That ends your interview, Ms. Kirkland. Is there anything you'd like to ask me about the position?"

"No, Mr. Chenault. You've told me everything I needed to know. However, I'd just like to add that I believe I can be an asset to your company."

Nicholas nodded, thinking that she could be an asset in a number of ways. He stood. "This was a very pleasant interview, Ms. Kirkland. I hope to make a decision within a week."

Shayla stood and offered him her hand. "Thank you for giving me the opportunity to interview with your company. Good day, Mr. Chenault."

Nicholas walked her to the door, then stood and watched as she walked away. He let out a deep breath, thinking that everything about Shayla Kirkland was real class, even her walk. The graceful sway of her hips was enough to bring a comatose man back into the world.

Walking back to the desk, Nicholas sat down and looked over the evaluation form. Her communication skills were superb. She had expressed herself eloquently. Her answers had been clear, fluid, and organized, and her information had been accurate and informed. Her educational background was outstanding—an MBA from Harvard—and her fluency in four languages—Chinese, Spanish, French, and Swahili—was more than impressive. Her letter of recommendation from Howard University spoke volumes, and nearly glowed on the page.

He sighed, knowing he didn't have to cover the other categories of the interview evaluation form to know that Shayla Kirkland was the ideal person for the new Chicago office. She would definitely bring a lot of experience and diversity to the table. He would be a total fool not to hire her.

Yet he was contemplating that very thing.

Nicholas stood and walked over to the window. Since buying this building six months ago, he had decided he liked the location because it provided a stunning view of downtown Chicago. The metropolis was totally different from downtown Jacksonville, Florida, where his home office was located. Here in Chicago, the buildings surrounding his were tall and impressive, but the areas surrounding those structures were crowded and congested. One of the things he appreciated most about the location of his office building in Jacksonville was the beautiful view of the St. Johns River and the land space that came with it. Jacksonville had more land space than any other city in Florida. And with the revitalization plans the city had underway, it wouldn't be long before downtown Jacksonville boasted structures that were just as tall and impressive, a scenic river view that would continue to be breathtaking, and surrounding buildings that would still provide space.

Space was something he appreciated more than anything, especially personal space, which was why he was thinking seriously about not hiring Shayla Kirkland.

For the first time since taking over Chenault Electronics after his father's death three years ago, he had been totally captivated by a woman. He had definitely not expected the rush of pleasure that hit him square in the solar plexus when he'd taken her hand in his to shake it. He had been overcome with a weird feeling, and—although he had been able to downplay it and get through the interview session with Shayla Kirkland without any hint of the turmoil he'd been in—it had been there, just the same. He had noted everything about her, things he had needed to notice and things he had not—like the perfect coloring of her pantyhose against the flesh of her smooth legs, and the fullness of her lips, and how those lips seemed to have been begging for a kiss even while she was in her most professional mode. For the first time in his life he had felt cramped and closed in.

Threatened about his space.

All the time she had been talking to him, telling him about her extensive travels abroad before she'd finally taken a job as manager of the Business Department at Howard University, he had been thinking that any man would have designs on her. She was definitely a woman who deserved a man's complete attention. And if that thought hadn't been bad enough, at another time during the interview, when a small wisp of hair had fallen out of place and brushed her forehead, he had been tempted to reach over and tuck the strand back in place. There was no way he could work as closely with her as he would need to for the next six to eight months without feeling devoid of space…and of sane thoughts and body control. Shayla Kirkland might be well-qualified for the position she had applied for—to his way of thinking maybe even a tad overqualified—but she would also be a threat he didn't want to deal with. And with the security surrounding his company's development of the mangolid chip, better known as the MC Project, he didn't need anything or anyone around him that could challenge his focus. The last thing he needed was to be in the constant company of a woman he consistently thought of taking to bed.

Nicholas sighed before walking back over to the desk and sitting down. He leaned back in his chair, trying to remember the last time he had been intimate with a woman, and coming up with the conclusion that it had been too long. Because of his vigorous work schedule he'd been too busy to carve out time for a personal life, and he'd never gone for the idea of having sex just for the sake of doing so. At the age of thirty-two he had an intense sexual drive, like most men his age. However, he knew how to control it. Marriage and children were the last things on his mind. Although he much preferred a long-term relationship to a short-term one, he also preferred a relationship in which the two individuals knew up front what to expect and what not to expect. The one thing any woman he became involved with could not expect was an invitation to become a "live-in"—he allowed no one to invade his space—or share it, for that matter.

His last long-term affair had been with Olivia. They had lasted nearly a year before she began dropping hints that it was time for their relationship to move to another level. Since the level they'd been operating on had suited him just fine and he'd seen no reason to change it, she had decided to move on. That had been more than a year ago, and he hadn't been intimate with a woman since. Of course, since the press conference ten months ago—when it had been announced to the world that he was the half brother of superstar movie actor Sterling Hamilton—women from everywhere had been coming on to him in droves, but he'd been too busy to appreciate his newfound popularity. Not that he would have, anyway, since that wasn't his style. His mind had been filled with thoughts of mangolid chips and micron-controllers, not silken sheets, naked bodies, and hot sex.

Until today.

For the first time in over a year he had obsessive thoughts of sleeping with a woman—Shayla Kirkland. No, he quickly corrected, he had more than just thoughts of sleeping with her. During the interview, he'd had visions of her in his arms, the scent of her entrenched in his skin, the taste of her on his tongue, and the feel of him hard and solid as a rock inside of her. Lucky for him he'd been sitting behind a desk.

Meet the Author

Brenda Jackson is a New York Times bestselling author of more than one hundred romance titles. Brenda lives in Jacksonville, Florida, and divides her time between family, writing and traveling. Email Brenda at authorbrendajackson@gmail.com or visit her on her website at brendajackson.net.

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True Love 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 93 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I use to keep all my jackson books now have them on my nook. I find my self reading her books over and over while waitin for new stuff. LOVE LOVE LOVE BRENDA JACKSON BOOKS.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
THESE IS MY FIRST TIME READING SOMETHING FROM THESE AUTHOR I THOUGHT THESE BOOK WAS REALLY GOOD . I WILL PICK UP SOME MORE OF HER BOOKS
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'M A NEW READER OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN BOOKS AND I READ BRENDA JACKSON'S BOOKS AND I CAN'T STOP READING HER BOOKS. SHE'S A WONDERFUL WRITER. I'M HALF WAY FINSHING THIS BOOK AND I LOVE IT.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this was a very good book. very emotinal and funny.
mktgyr More than 1 year ago
Any book by Brenda Jackson is a good book. She spins really wicked romance novels. I can never put her books down. The Madaris Family stories are always pleasing. You will not go wrong with Brenda Jackson.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Brenda Jackson has out done herself. This was the first book of hers I have ever read. True Love is wonderfully written. Shayla and Nick are excellently portrayed. I encourage every women to read this book. This book has the bomb ending.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've read all of Brenda Jackson's books and I always enjoy them. She never disappoints me no matter what. I always love the way she ties in a Bible verse to the story. Her books are also motivational.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I realy enjoyed reading this book, i completed it in 2 days!!! I couldn't put it down. Good story, good suspense, great ending... I will pass this along to my friends.
Anonymous 9 months ago
I loved reading this book, especially the end in Nicks office. To think that history could have repeated itself.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MEL IS ACTUALLY DEAD! - the girl telling u this cries- SHE DIED AT ETHICS!!! - sniffs- IM SOOOOOO SORRY ETHAN!!! - im so so sorry. The girl walks out tears streaming down her tan cheeks.-
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Okay babe.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ouch. He said, shiddering. Youre like my sister in rl!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im Rose for short. Im a very small she. I am all white with orange eyes. Im loyal and I want kits! For more info ask at res 4!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Name:Zepplinclaw Gender:Boy Desc: Gray muscular cat with hite paws. Extremly loyal to mate and clan (if he had one) and can jimp extremly high About: i will join my mates clan. I will love and care for you and protect you with my life Kits: maybe one.....maybe Other:dont ask to do desc. "Mating" i just dont do that...... Lookin for love...you cam decide where we meet talk to me at Result 4
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Name:starryriver. Gender:female. Clan:HappyClan. Rank in clan:deputy. Kits:two a she and a tom. Mother:unknown. Father:unknown. Appearance:gray with a blueish tin and the tiniest white specks everywhere huge claws. Personality:strong and fierce yet loving when she wants to be. Meet me at aly result 2
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
hey cowboy. i wont be home until 5:30- 6:00. please be on
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ey cowboy i wont be on until 8-9 anyway. Tell her i hope everything goes ok! I LOVE YOU MORE LEO :) :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
hey cowboy are you on?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hey baby its me!! ill be home in an hour!! sorry im late! waitin for my ride
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hey its Alex!!! Ill be home in about 2 hours. Im using my computer again. As soon as i get home, ill try my da.mndest to make everything ok. I know it wont work, but i will try to make you feel safe. Im taking a nap until my ride gets herer so i will be able to stay up all night and keep you safe. DON'T EAT UNTIL I GET HOME!!! HE WILL JUST DO IT AGAIN!! STAY AWAY FROM THE FOOD!!
LEMONSGIRL More than 1 year ago
hey baby its Alex! I just got home but im using my computer cause my nook is dead. this is the only message ill be able to senjd until 7-7:30. but i WIL be on tonight i swear. I love you so much cowboy!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Morning