Wife for a Day

Wife for a Day

4.5 17
by Patti Berg
     
 

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Millionaire rancher Jack Remington hadn't expected trouble when he flew to Palm Beach for his sister's engagement ball. But his girlfriend called it quits and now his sister is anxious to meet the woman who's captured his heart. Then, a beguiling, flame-haired enchantress breezes into his hotel room with a tux and a seductive smile, and Jack's sure his troubles

Overview

Millionaire rancher Jack Remington hadn't expected trouble when he flew to Palm Beach for his sister's engagement ball. But his girlfriend called it quits and now his sister is anxious to meet the woman who's captured his heart. Then, a beguiling, flame-haired enchantress breezes into his hotel room with a tux and a seductive smile, and Jack's sure his troubles have come to an end. All he has to do is hire the beautiful tailor to be his fiancee—for just one night.

Samantha Jones is sure the sexy cowboy is out of his ever—lovin' mind. She's never been to a ball, never worn a fancy gown, and has no idea how to act like a socialite. She can't possibly pose as his wife-to-be. But trouble's been following Sam for too many months and the money Jack's offering is something she can't refuse. There's only one problem—their pretend kisses make her feel something very real—and there's the possibility that just one night will never be enough.

Editorial Reviews

Romantic Times
Wife for a Day is funny, poignant and charming. Patti Berg is an exceptional voice in the field of romantic fiction today.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061979538
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/06/2009
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
409,844
File size:
505 KB

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm.
Colette

Samantha Jones'beat-up Volkswagen Bug was one perfect place to cry. It was small, confining, and with all her worldly possessions packed inside, it hugged her like a warm pair of grandmotherly arms.

She should have known Mr. Antonio would fire her if he caught her napping in the back room at Antonio's For Men. But she'd been so tired-tired of sleeping in the bug, tired of working too many hours for people who didn't appreciate her, tired of trying to earn enough money to pay off Johnnie Russo-so tired that she hadn't cared if she got caught. All she'd wanted to do was sleep.

Sam sniffed back a tear as she concentrated on the blurry, palm tree-lined road and the cars whizzing by her slow-moving bug. She willed herself not to think about being unemployed. She didn't want to think about Johnnie, the money she owed him, or the fact that "Jaws," as Johnnie was affectionately known in loan-shark circles, had painted her a very vivid picture of what would happen if she didn't abide by the terms of their contract, which expired in four weeks and two days.

She didn't want to relive all that had happened five months ago. She needed to watch the road, to think about what she was doing now, but the memories flooded her thoughts. In the space of six horrid days, she'd lost everything: years of savings, her pride, and the most cherished person in her life--her mama.

How easily she could see Mama lying in the hospital, her cheeks sunken, dark circles surrounding her eyes. Sam remembered holding her mother's frail fingers,wishing some of her own energy for life could seep through her mother's skin; but she'd already lost the will to go on.

The doctors at the county hospital, where the poor and downtrodden were treated, said they'd done all they could possibly do. Surgery had repaired her internal injuries, but the

chaplain told Sam the doctors couldn't do anything for an injured soul.

Sam had refused to listen. She'd already used her savings looking for a doctor who'd give her some positive news, so she'd gone to Graham Welles, an acquaintance who'd once said he'd move the sun and the moon for her. But Graham had added an addendum when Sam needed him most: he'd give her anything, but he wanted her in return.

Sam remembered the rage in Graham's eyes just before she'd run away from his home, She fingered the scar on her jaw, remembering the flash of his diamond ring when he'd struck her across the face. She'd nearly sold her soul to Graham Welles, but at the last moment she'd realized that wouldn't save her mama. Nothing could bring back the life that had been wasting away for years.

Later that night, the chaplain came again. The somber man walked into the hospital room not too long after Mama had died. He'd offered a prayer for Mama's soul, telling God that Felicity Jones might have been a prostitute-his voice lowering to a whisper when he uttered the word-but she'd had a heart of gold. He'd put a comforting hand on Sam's shoulder, and then he'd talked with her about options, emphasizing cremation because it was the cheapest way to go.

Sam could remember the look of shock on the minister's face, when she laughed and told him, "My mama's entire life has been scattered on the wind. I don't care how much it costs. I don't even care how I get the money, but my mama's going to have a place where she can put down roots, a place she can live forever, even if her final home is nothing more than a few square feet of dirt and grass."

That's when Johnnie Russo had come into the picture.

She stopped at an intersection when the light turned red and wiped a tear from her eye. Johnnie Russo. She shook her head at her foolishness. She was too street-smart to go to a man with a reputation like Johnnie's, but she'd tried borrowing from the bank, from friends, from high-rate loan companies, and heard the same refrains everywhere she turned: your credit's not good enough; you have no assets; sorry, Sam, but I'm just as broke as you are. Johnnie hadn't cared about assets. He said he trusted her, and she'd fallen for his sympathetic line, which shifted dramatically right after the funeral, when he'd told her the initial payment was due in a month. The first late charge would be a broken arm.

She'd stayed in Southern California long enough to make the first installment on the

loan, and then she'd run away from Hollywood, from an acting career that had gone nowhere, from friends who'd been nothing more than acquaintances, from memories of her mother's tragic death. She thought she could start again in West Palm Beach, the town where she'd grown up.

But she'd finally destroyed any chance for a new life when she'd stolen the sewing machine from Mr. Antonio a few minutes ago.

A horn blared behind her, and Sam shifted into first and the bug crept up the road. She wished she could shift thoughts as easily, but the sewing machine was in plain view, and her guilt couldn't be pushed aside. She hadn't planned to steal it, but the opportunity had jumped at her when she was heading out of Antonio's For Men with the last of her belongings. She shouldn't have answered the phonethat was Mr. Antonio's job. She shouldn't have told the concierge from the Breakers that An- tonio's would be honored to provide a tux for Jack Remington, the wealthy owner of the Remington Steakhouses. She'd planned to give Mr. Antonio the message, but when she'd interrupted him and the client he was working with, he'd made it perfectly clear he never wanted to hear from her again.

Stealing had been foolish-and wrong. But she'd promised the concierge that the job...

Wife for a Day. Copyright © by Patti Berg. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Always a romatic, Patti Berg spent her childhood dreaming about being whisked away by a knight in shining armor, a devil-may-care swashbuckler, a sheik on a shiny black stallion, or a broad-shouldered cowboy with a Stetson tilted low on his brow. Now she spends her days making up stories in which her heroes do whatever she wants them to. It's almost as good as a dream coming true, she confesses.

Currently working on her next book for Avon Books, Patti hopes she'll have a long career sharing her dreams and fantasies with others.

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Wife for a Day 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
good read
judiOH More than 1 year ago
i own this book. i don't keep many of the thousands of books i read, but this one is a keeper. i pick it up periodically and reread it and enjoy it every time. its got a little humor, romance and two people that are very engaging to read about. check it out.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wife for a day is funny and romantic
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urbangirl72 More than 1 year ago
The dance scene in here was absolutely written to perfection. I was there and I felt everything Jack was doing!!!!MMMM MMMM MMMM... will re-read it again. Neat spin on the cinderella theme. I really liked this book. Haven't read her before but will try another by her.
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