Valente's Baby [NOOK Book]

Overview

For Matthew Valente, paternity trumped everything. Never mind that his ex-employee Lana had kept his baby a secret for nearly a year. Never mind that he considered her a liar and a thief. Their child would bear the Valente name…and so would she.

As tension mounted in the House of Valente, Matthew fought to resist the memories of their past indiscretion. His bewitching bride insisted things were not as they seemed. But as restraint turned to ...

See more details below
Valente's Baby

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$4.25
BN.com price

Overview

For Matthew Valente, paternity trumped everything. Never mind that his ex-employee Lana had kept his baby a secret for nearly a year. Never mind that he considered her a liar and a thief. Their child would bear the Valente name…and so would she.

As tension mounted in the House of Valente, Matthew fought to resist the memories of their past indiscretion. His bewitching bride insisted things were not as they seemed. But as restraint turned to passion, would the corporate king fall victim to the very worst form of takeover—his heart?

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781426834417
  • Publisher: Harlequin Enterprises
  • Publication date: 6/1/2009
  • Series: Billionaires and Babies Series , #1949
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 74,861
  • File size: 114 KB

Meet the Author

Maxine Sullivan credits her mother for her lifelong love of romance novels, so it was a natural progression for her to want to write them. This led to over 20 years of submitting stories and never giving up her dream of being published. That dream came true in 2006 when Maxine sold her first book to Silhouette Desire. Maxine currently lives in Melbourne, Australia and can be contacted through her website at http://www.maxinesullivan.com

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

"You're a father."

Matt Valente broke into a grin as he sat down on the hotel bed. "I didn't know I was pregnant."

"Don't be smart, Matthew," Cesare Valente snapped down the telephone line. The founder of the House of Valente perfume dynasty was clearly not amused. "Remember Lana Jensen?"

The smile dropped from Matt's lips. "She was my top accountant a while back, so yeah, I should remember her." That perfect body…that beautiful face… those Nordic blue eyes hinting at a Scandinavian heritage that seemed as clear as crystal but were in fact deep and hiding lies.

"She had your baby."

A baby?

No way.

The only thing she'd had was him.

They'd both been a little tipsy at the office Christmas party and she'd taken advantage of his inebriated state to seduce him. They'd made love on the sofa in his office.

Not that he'd been any less to blame for succumbing to her charms, despite her giving him the come-on for months, her blue gaze skittering away every so often, teasing him with a sensual game of cat and mouse.

Afterward he'd regretted not keeping to his golden rule of no personal involvement with office staff. As chief financial officer for the family business, he didn't need any complications in the workplace.

"I don't believe it. She's lying."

"I saw the child with my own eyes, Matt. I was in my Mercedes waiting for the light to change when Lana crossed in front of me pushing a small child in a stroller. I checked out the birth certificate. Your name's on it."

Matt's hand tightened around the phone. "Dad, that's a breach of privacy."

His.

Hell, if his name was on that birth certificate he needed to sort it out.

"Matt, I didwhat needed to be done. And that included a background check on Lana."

Matt's lips twisted. "Why am I not surprised?"

"It was necessary. She's the mother of my grandchild."

"And she'd suitable?" he asked with a touch of sarcasm.

"As far as I'm concerned, yes. Her parents are dead, and she has an uncle who lives in France and is a respected businessman. Do you want to know more? There's some other information on her family. I can send you the report."

"No, thanks." He knew all he needed to know about Lana Jensen. More than enough.

And he needed to make his father see sense.

"Dad, look, you can put any name on a birth certificate. I didn't think you'd fall for that old trick."

"She's a Valente, figlio mio." Son of mine. "She looked just like you. There's no doubt in my mind."

Something odd bounced around in Matt's chest. "It's a girl? Er… I mean, she's a girl?"

"Yes. And I'm delighted. It's about time we had another little girl in the family."

Matt grimaced. Girl or boy, it didn't matter to him. "Well, I'm not."

"You will be once you see her."

"Who said I was going to see her?"

"She's my granddaughter, Matt. If you don't go to her, then I'll bring her to you."

Matt's jaw clenched. "This is to trick me into getting married, isn't it? You may have forced Alex and Nick to marry, but I'm not falling for it, Dad."

A year ago they'd been about to branch into the North American market with their top-selling perfume, Valente's Woman, when Cesare had threatened to sell the business out from under Alex's feet if he didn't marry. Then a couple of months ago, Cesare had promised to give the Valente estate to anyone but his second son, Nick. Both his brothers had been given no choice but to do what their father wanted or lose what they loved most. As youngest son, Matt had decided there was nothing his father could do to him to make him marry.

"Matt, I admit I had no compunction in forcing your two brothers to marry, and I would have found a way to force you to marry, too. Only now I don't have to, do I? You've brought a daughter into this world and you will give that daughter your name. She will be known as a true Valente."

"Don't dictate to me, Dad. If this child is mine, and I'm in no way convinced of it, then I'll give her my name. You can count on it."

"That's all I wanted to know. The family jet is at Brisbane Airport waiting for you. Nick and Sasha are already there and will attend the conference dinner in your place."

His father was like a damn bulldozer at times. Not even the heart attack had stopped his interfering in his sons' lives.

"I've got a date for the dinner tonight."

"You had a date. I suggest you break it and get back to Sydney tonight and go see the mother of your child as soon as possible. I like Lana and I'm sure she'll be reasonable."

At the mention of Lana, his gut clenched, but there was no way he wanted his father to know that. Cesare would somehow use that knowledge in future if he could. He could imagine the older man's reaction if he ever told him Lana was a thief and that he'd covered up for her without telling anyone. And he couldn't wholly blame his decision not to report their theft on Cesare's heart attack at the time either.

"What woman is ever reasonable, Dad?" he mocked.

Cesare laughed and said goodbye, and Matt hung up the phone and went to stand at the window in his hotel suite. He looked out over the sweeping coastline of Queensland's Gold Coast as the rolling surf of the Pacific Ocean tumbled onto the golden beaches of Australia's tourist capital.

Tonight he'd planned a romantic dinner and a night of lovemaking with a lady friend of his.

Now he could only think of one woman.

Lana Jensen.

She'd been the only woman he'd made love to without a condom. He'd been so hot for her, and the alcohol he'd consumed had lowered his guard.

But if that child was his—if Lana had lied to him about being protected from a pregnancy—then she'd done more than stolen that fifty thousand dollars from the House of Valente.

She'd just stolen his freedom.

* * *

"Oh my God!" Lana gasped a split second after opening her apartment door and seeing the man on the other side. Panic raced through her at the speed of light. It couldn't be him. It just couldn't be.

"Yes, you'd better start praying," Matt Valente declared.

Recovering hastily, she played for time even as she edged the door shut a fraction. "Matt, what are you doing here?"

"You know the answer to that."

"I do?"

"Invite me in, Lana."

Not for all the tea in China.

"Sorry, no. I'm going out shortly." She started shutting the door with more haste. "Perhaps if you have something to say you can telephone me tomorrow and—"

He pushed past her into the apartment, despite his haste, gently moving her out of the way. "I've got plenty to say and I intend on saying it now."

She tried to hold back her agitation. "Look, you just can't come in here and—"

"Where is she, Lana?"

Lana froze. "Where is who?"

"My daughter."

Dear Lord, until that moment she'd been hoping this wasn't what his visit was about.

"So you know?" she whispered.

"It's true, then."

She bit her lip. "No. I mean…er…sure, I had a baby but—"

"Give it up, Lana. She's my daughter. My father saw you with her on the street and he checked out her birth certificate."

She gaped at him. "But…but that's an invasion of my privacy."

"Do you think he cares?"

Just then a child's babble issued from the living room and Matt shot her a dark look.

Lana stepped in front of him. "Matt, please. Just leave. Don't do this."

"No chance in hell," he growled, and stepped around her, taking a few paces to the doorway. He went stone still as he saw the little toddler standing up against the playpen railings.

Lana tried not to think about how he must be feeling right now. She told herself not to feel sorry for him. Matt Valente was a playboy who wasn't ready to settle down or have children. If he was here, it was only because his father had made him come.

"What's her name?"

Surprise kicked in. "You don't know?"

He didn't move a muscle. "What's her name?" he said rawly.

"Megan."

A moment slid by, then, "Megan Valente."

Apprehension slithered down Lana's spine. "Actually, it's Megan Jensen."

"Soon it will be Valente," he said with the full superiority of a Valente male.

Her mind reeled. "What do you mean?"

He ignored the question as he walked over to Megan, crouched down in front of the eleven-month-old and looked at her through the bars.

Lana could see his reflection in the decorative wall mirror. There was awesome wonder on his handsome face as he took in each and every feature of the beautiful little girl.

Her heart tilted. For Megan's sake she wanted Matt to love his daughter. For her own sake she wanted him to deny parentage, leave and never come back.

"Hello, Megan," Matt said softly, not touching, not moving, not doing anything except capturing her attention.

Megan stared back entranced, her brown eyes so like her father's. She looked so cute, a little dark-haired doll with chubby cheeks and bow-shaped lips that had recently learned to blow a sloppy kiss for her mother.

Oh God.

Suddenly Megan transferred her gaze to Lana and within the space of a second her face began to screw up and she let out a wail.

Lana rushed forward and lifted her out of the playpen. "It's her bedtime," she said, soothing her daughter with a "shh" and patting her back until the little girl hiccupped and quieted.

Matt got to his feet, his expression unreadable. "Put her to bed, then we'll talk."

She hesitated.

"Put her to bed, Lana."

"If you insist." She hitched Megan higher on her hip. "Take a seat. I'll be back in a minute."

"No. I'm coming with you."

She swallowed. That sounded ominous. "Why?"

"I'm interested in everything my daughter does."

"Our daughter."

"At least you're admitting it now."

Trying not to show how upset she was with all this, she hurried past him and down the hallway to the smaller bedroom. She had stenciled Megan's room with a variety of farm animals, adding a musical mobile that played a lullaby above the crib, and giving her daughter plenty of soft toys to cuddle. The room looked lovely.

Megan had fully settled down by now as Lana changed her diaper. She lay there quietly, her eyes on Matt in the doorway as if she was fascinated by him despite herself.

Don't let him get to you, sweetheart, Lana wanted to say. Ignore him and he'll go away.

She hoped.

Then she kissed Megan on the cheek. "Good night, pumpkin," she murmured, then put her in her crib.

She was grateful when Matt stepped back to allow her to leave the now-darkened room without having to squeeze past him. "Coffee?" she said, heading for the kitchen, needing something to do.

"Don't you have something stronger?"

She shot him a look over her shoulder. "Sorry. I don't usually drink."

"Yeah, I remember."

His sarcasm had her spinning to face him. "That was different. It was Christmas and—"

"You thought I'd be a good lay."

The breath caught in her throat. "It wasn't like that."

"It wasn't? Then perhaps you thought I'd be a good sperm donor and future moneymaker?"

"No! I—"

She'd been so attracted to Matt back then, and working for him the two years previously had made her crazy with want. Yet in spite of them both having a few drinks too many, it hadn't been cheap.

Not for her anyway.

It had been intense and overwhelming, and she hadn't been able to help herself when she'd literally run into him coming out of the elevator as she went to collect her purse from her desk after the party. He'd held her to stop her from falling and that had been all it needed. She'd lifted her mouth up toward his and he'd groaned and backed her into his office.

"Yes?" he prompted now, a sudden sensual look in his eyes telling her he remembered.

Everything.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 67 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(21)

4 Star

(19)

3 Star

(17)

2 Star

(7)

1 Star

(3)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 68 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2013

    Good

    This story is an excellent end to the Valente series as well as a good addition to Billionaires and Babies.

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

    Posted August 3, 2012

    Nice read

    All three books nice reads i personally love more conflict but good story otherwise.

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

    Posted November 28, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 68 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)