A Wife on Paper (Harlequin Romance Series #3837) [NOOK Book]

A Wife on Paper (Harlequin Romance Series #3837)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781426872440
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 8/23/2010
  • Series: Harlequin Romance Series , #3837
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 256,873
  • File size: 451 KB

Read an Excerpt

HIS brother was late, the restaurant was crowded, noisy, the kind of fashionable look-at-me-I've-arrived place he loathed and Guy wished he'd made an excuse, stuck to his original plan to have a sandwich at his desk as he worked through the evening.

A rush of cold air as the door opened behind him gave him hope that his ordeal would soon be over, but as he turned he saw that it wasn't Steve, but a young woman rushing to get in out of the rain.

She paused momentarily, framed in the entrance, spotlit by the bright lights of the cocktail bar against the darkness outside.

Time stretched like elastic. The earth stopped turning. Everything slowed down. He felt as if he could count every one of the raindrops sparkling in her corn gold hair.

It was tousled as if it had been caught by the gusting wind that she seemed to have brought into the restaurant with her, stirring everyone so that they turned to look. Kept on looking. Maybe it was because she was laughing, as if running through the rain was something she did for fun. Because she was a breath of fresh air...

She lifted her arms to comb her fingers through her hair, shake it back into place and the dress she was wearing rode up to expose half a yard of thigh. When she dropped them and the hem descended, the scooped neckline of her dress fell too, offering a glimpse of what the clinging fabric so enticingly suggested.

Nothing about her was flat; everything about her seemed an open invitation to his hands to describe her, to stroke the sinuous lines of her body. She wasn't beautiful exactly. Her nose lacked classical perfection. Her mouth was too big, but her silver-fox eyes sparkled as if she was lit up from within and the glow that emanated from her eclipsed every other woman in the room.

And as time caught up with them, his body reacted as if she'd touched his personal blue touch paper.

Pulse, heart rate, all the physical responses leapt into overdrive, but it was more than a lustful response to the kind of stimuli that probably had half the men in the room in the same condition.

It was like coming face to face with destiny. Coming face to face with the reason for your existence.

As he rose slowly to his feet she saw him, their gaze locked and for a split second the laughter froze on her lips, and he thought that she felt it too. Then his brother was there, closing the door, cutting off the rush of cold air, breaking the connection between them as he put his arm around the girl's waist, pulled her close against him.

Something hot, possessive swept through him and he wanted to grab Steve, pull him away, demand to know what the hell he thought he was doing. Except, of course, it was obvious. He was saying to the world -- saying to him -- this woman is mine. And as if the gesture wasn't enough, he grinned and said, 'Guy, I'm glad you could make it. I really want you to meet Francesca.' He looked down at her with the look of a man who's won the lottery. 'She's moving in with me. She's having my baby...' Make that a man who's won the lottery twice.

'Mr Dymoke...' He started at a touch to his shoulder, opened his eyes to see the stewardess smiling down at him. 'We're about to land.'

He dragged his hands over his face in an effort to dispel the lingering wisps of a dream that, even after three years, continued to haunt him.

He straightened his chair, fastened his seat belt, checked the time. He should just make it.

Guy Dymoke was the first person she saw as she stepped from the car. That wasn't what surprised her. He was the kind of man who would stand out in any crowd. Tall, broad-shouldered, deeply tanned, his thick dark hair streaked with sun bleached highlights, he made everyone else look as if they were two dimensional figures in a black and white photograph.

The effect was mesmerising. She saw it in the effect he had on the people around him. Had to steel herself against it, even now.

She wasn't even surprised that he had taken the time from his busy life to fly in from whatever distant part of the world he currently called home to attend his half-brother's funeral.

He was a man who took the formalities very seriously. He believed that every T should be properly crossed, every I firmly dotted. He'd made no secret of his disapproval of her and Steven's decision not to do the "decent" thing and get married. Demonstrated it by his absence from their lives.

As if it was any of his business.

No, what truly astonished her was that he had the nerve to show up at all after three years in which they hadn't seen or heard from him. She hadn't cared for herself, but for Steven...

Poor Steven...

Thankfully, she didn't have to make an effort to hide her feelings as their gaze briefly met over the heads of the gathered mourners. Her face was frozen into a white mask. Nothing showed. There was nothing to show. Just a gaping hollow, an emptiness yawning in front of her. She knew if she allowed herself to think, to feel, she'd never get through this, but as she walked past him, looking neither to left nor right, he said her name, very softly.

'Francesca...'

Softly. Almost tenderly. As if he cared. And the ache in her throat intensified. The mask threatened to crack... `

Anger saved her. Hot, shocking, like a charge of lightning.

How dare he come here today! How dare he make a show of offering her sympathy when he couldn't be bothered to so much as lift a telephone when Steven was alive and it would have actually meant something.

Did he expect her to stop? Listen to his empty condolences? Allow him to take her arm, sit beside her in church as if he gave a damn...

Just for appearances.

'Hypocrite,' she replied as, looking neither to left nor right, she swept passed him.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2012

    You must check it out.

    very nice story to read.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2012

    Excellent

    Very good story Well written Wont disappoint

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