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The Venetian's Proposal
By Lee Wilkinson
Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.Copyright © 2004 Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.
All right reserved.
Chapter One"PLEASE come in and take a seat, Mrs Whitney."
Tall and slender in a navy suit, her corn-coloured hair taken up in a smooth knot, Nicola found herself ushered into a room that was solidly old-fashioned. Plum-coloured carpets, heavy velvet curtains, and above an empty fireplace a wooden mantel that held a ticking clock.
After coffee and condolences, Mr Harthill got down to business. "The last time my client was in London he asked me to draw up a new will. In my capacity as executor, I can now tell you that you are the sole beneficiary of that will."
Staring across a polished mahogany desk at the saggyjowled solicitor sitting impassively in his brown leather chair, Nicola could only manage to stutter, "I - I beg your pardon?"
"You are the sole beneficiary," Mr Harthill Senior repeated patiently. "When all the formalities have been observed, you will be a wealthy woman."
A polite letter summoning Nicola to the West End offices of Harthill, Harthill and Berry had merely stated that Mr John Turner had passed away some three weeks earlier, and that if she would call she would learn 'something to her advantage'.
Shocked and saddened by the death of a man she had known for such a short time but liked immensely, she had kept the appointment.
The news that John Turner had made her the sole beneficiary to a fortune she hadn't been aware existed had come as a bombshell.
Excerpted from The Venetian's Proposal by Lee Wilkinson Copyright © 2004 by Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.. Excerpted by permission.
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