Carrying the Lost Heir's Child (Harlequin Desire Series #2352)

Carrying the Lost Heir's Child (Harlequin Desire Series #2352)

by Jules Bennett

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Overview

Carrying the Lost Heir's Child (Harlequin Desire Series #2352) by Jules Bennett

"I'm pregnant." Two words that will rock one man's world forever. 

On location for a film about a horse-racing dynasty, Lily Beaumont is drawn into a sizzling affair with sexy stablehand Nash James. Now she has to trust him with the truth about their baby. 

Even though the undercover millionaire is on a mission against his hated rival, he won't walk away from Lily or their unborn child. It will mean coming clean about his true identity—and the decades-old secret that brought him to Kentucky horse country. But will the truth cost him the woman and family he now craves?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781460344675
Publisher: Harlequin
Publication date: 01/01/2015
Series: Barrington Trilogy Series
Sold by: HARLEQUIN
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 148,450
File size: 338 KB

About the Author

USA TODAY Bestselling Author Jules Bennett has penned more than 50 novels during her short career. She's married to her high school sweetheart, has two active girls, and is a former salon owner. Jules can be found on Twitter, Facebook (Fan Page), and her website julesbennett.com. She holds contests via these three outlets with each release and loves to hear from readers!

Read an Excerpt

The masculine aroma. The strength of those arms. The hard chest her cheek rested against…she'd know this man anywhere. She'd watched him across the grassy meadows, dreamed of him…made love to him.

Lily Beaumont struggled to wake and realized all too quickly she didn't have a clue how she'd gotten here.

Or more to the point, where was "here"?

The straw rustled against the concrete floor beneath her. She lay cradled in Nash James's lap, his strong arms around her midsection. What on earth had happened?

"Relax. You fainted."

That low, soothing voice washed over her. Lily lifted her lids to see Nash's bright blue eyes locked on hers. Those mesmerizing eyes surrounded by dark, thick lashes never failed to send a thrill shooting through her. No leading man she shared the screen with had ever been this breathtaking…or mysterious.

But, she'd fainted? She never fainted.

Oh, yeah. She'd been walking to the stables to talk to Nash.

"Oh, no." Lily grabbed her still-spinning head. Reality slammed back into her mind, making her recall why she was in the stables. "This isn't happening."

Rough, callused fingertips slid away strands of hair that had fallen across her forehead. "Just lie still," he told her. "No rush. Everyone is gone for the day."

Meaning the cast and crew had all either gone to the hotel or into their on-site trailers. Thank God. The last thing she needed was a big fuss over her fainting spell, because then she'd have some explaining to do.

Just a few short months ago Lily started shooting a film depicting the life of Damon Barrington, dynamic horse owner and a force to be reckoned with. The Barrington estate had become her home away from home and the quiet, intriguing groom whose lap she currently lay in had quickly caught her attention.

Before she knew it, she'd been swept into a secret affair full of sneaking around, ripping off clothes and plucking straw pieces from her hair…which led her to this moment, this lifealtering moment when she was about to drop a major bomb in Nash's life.

All the trouble they'd gone through to keep their escapades a secret were all in vain. No way could this news stay hidden.

"Nash." She reached up to cup his face, the prickle of his short beard beneath her palm a familiar sensation. "I'm sorry."

His brows drew together, worry etched across his handsome, tanned face, and he shook his head. "You can't help that you passed out. But you scared the life out of me."

Lily swallowed, staring at such an attractive, spellbinding man could make a woman forget everything around her…like the fact that she was carrying this man's child.

"Are you feeling okay?" he asked, studying her face. "Do you need something to eat?"

Just the thought of food had her gag reflex wanting to kick in again. Weren't pregnant women supposed to be sick in the mornings? What was this all-day nonsense?

Lily started to sit up, but Nash placed a hand over her shoulder. "Hold on. Let me help you."

Gently, he eased her into a sitting position as he came to his feet. Then he lifted her, keeping her against his firm, strong body the entire time. Strong arms encircled her waist again and Lily wanted to seek the comfort and support he was offering. This might have been the first tender moment between them, considering anytime she'd come to meet him after dark they hurried to the loft where their passion completely took control.

How on earth would he react to the news? She was still reeling from the shocker herself, but she refused to keep this a secret. He had a right to know. She honestly had no clue what Nash would say, what he would do. A baby didn't necessarily affect his line of work. Hers, on the other hand…

She'd been burned so badly before and had fought hard to overcome the public scandal that ensued. How would he handle being thrust into the limelight?

Lily groaned. Once the story broke, the press would circle her like vultures—and they would make her private life a top headline. People were starving, homeless, fighting wars and the media opted to nose their way into celebrities' lives and feed that into homes around the world rather than something that was actually newsworthy.

Lily loved being an actress, loved the various characters she got to tap in to and uncover. But she hated the lack of privacy. A girl couldn't even buy toilet paper without being spotted. Lily prided herself on being professional, doing her job and doing it well, and staying out of the media's greedy, sometimes evil, clutches…a nearly impossible feat.

"You okay now?" he asked, his breath tickling the side of her face.

Nodding, Lily stepped away, immediately missing the warmth of his body, but thankful the dizziness had passed.

Over the past couple months she'd actually come to crave his touch, miss him when he wasn't near her. She should've known then she was getting in over her head where this virtual stranger was concerned. Their passion had swept her into a world she'd never experienced before. How could any single woman turn away from a man who touched her beneath the surface, who looked so deep within she was certain he could see in to her soul?

A physical connection was something she could handle. But all of those nights of sneaking around, of giving in to their desires had caught up with them. Now they would have to pivot away from the sex-only relationship and actually talk about the future…a future she'd never expected to have with this man.

With her back to him, Lily tried to conjure up the right words, the words that would soften the blow, but really was there a proper way to tell someone they were going to be a father? No matter how gentle the words were, the impact and end result would still be the same.

"Nash—"

Before she could finish her sentence, Nash took hold of her shoulder, eased her around and framed her face with his firm hands. Hypnotized by those vibrant blue eyes, she said nothing else as his mouth claimed hers.

And that right there was the crux of their relationship. Passion. Desire. Instant clothes falling to the floor.

Some might have said having a secret affair in the stables on a film set was not the classiest of moves, but Lily didn't care. She'd been classy her whole life…now she wanted to be naughty. The secret they shared made their covert encounters all the more thrilling.

Who knew Hollywood's "girl next door," as they'd dubbed her, had a wild side? Well, they'd caught a glimpse of it with the scandal, but she had since reclaimed her good girl status. She certainly had never been this passionate with or for a man. Definitely not the jerk who had used her and exploited her early in her career.

Before she'd become a recognized name, she'd fallen for another rookie actor. He'd completely blind-sided her by filming her without her knowledge. Their most intimate moments had been staged; everything about their relationship had been a lie. After that scandal, Lily had to fight to get to where she was now.

Nash's arms enveloped her and Lily was rendered defenseless as his mouth continued its assault on hers. Her arms slid up the front of his shirt, taut muscles firm beneath her palms.

He eased back slightly, resting his forehead against hers. "You sure you're feeling okay? Not dizzy anymore?"

"I'm okay," she assured him, clutching his T-shirt.

Nash's lips nipped at hers. "I missed you today. I kept seeing you and Max together. It was all I could do to ignore the way his arms were around you. His lips where mine should be."

Chills spread over her body. Tingles started low in her belly and coursed throughout. That hint of jealousy pouring from Nash's lips thrilled her more than it should…considering this was supposed to be a fling.

"We were acting," she murmured against his mouth. "You know we're playing a young couple in love."

Lily had wanted to play the role of the late Rose Barrington since news of the project had first spread, and having Max Ford as the leading man was perfect. She and Max had been friends for years…so much so that he was like a brother to her.

Nash's hands slid between them, started peeling down the top of her strapless sundress.

"If Max weren't married with a baby, I'd think he was trying to steal my time with you."

Baby. Just the word threw a dose of reality right smack-dab in the middle of their minor make-out session.

Lily covered Nash's hands with her own and eased back. "We need to talk."

Vibrant eyes stared back at her beneath heavy lids. "Sounds like you're breaking things off. I know we never discussed being exclusive." Nash attempted a smile. "Don't take my Max joke so seriously."

Shaking her head, Lily took a deep breath and pushed through her fear and doubts. "I didn't take you for the jealous type. Besides, I know what this is between us."

Or, what it had started out being.

"Oh, baby, I'm jealous." He jerked her against his body. "Now that I've had you, I don't like seeing another man's hands on you, but I know this is your job and I love watching you work."

"I can't think when your hands are on me," she told him, stepping back once again to try to put some distance between temptation and the truth.

A corner of Nash's devilish mouth kicked up. "You say that like it's a bad thing. Because I'm thinking plenty when my hands are on you."

Smoothing a hand through her hair, Lily tried to form the right words. Since seeing the two blue lines on the stick this morning and confirming what she'd already assumed, she'd been playing conversations on how to break the news over and over in her mind. But now it was literally show time and she had nothing but fear and bundles of nerves consuming her.

"Nash."

Abandoning his joking, Nash's brows drew together as he reached for her once again. "What is it? If you're worried about when you leave, I don't expect anything from you."

"If only it were that easy," she whispered, looking down at his scuffed boots, inches from her pink polished toes.

Nash was a hard worker, so unlike the Hollywood playboys who always tried to capture her attention. Money and fame meant nothing to her—she had plenty of both. She preferred a man who worked hard, played hard and truly cared for other people…a man like Nash.

This wasn't supposed to happen. None of it. Not the deeper feelings, not the lingering looks that teetered on falling beyond lust and certainly not a baby that would bind them forever.

"Lily, just say it. It can't be that bad."

She met and held his questioning stare. "I'm pregnant."

Okay, maybe it could be that bad. Pregnant? What the hell? Suddenly he felt like passing out himself.

Nash stared at Lily, knowing full well she wasn't lying. After all, she looked just as freaked out as he felt and what would she have to gain by lying to him? She didn't know his true identity, or how something like this would be perfect blackmail material.

In Lily's eyes, and the eyes of everyone else on the estate, he was a simple groom who kept to himself and did his job. Little did they know the real reason he'd landed at the Barringtons' doorstep.

And a baby thrown into the mix?

Talk about irony and coming full circle.

"You're positive?" he asked, knowing she wouldn't have told him had she not been sure.

Lily nodded, wrapping her arms around her middle and worrying her bottom lip. "I've had a suspicion for several days, but I confirmed this morning."

Well, this certainly put a speed bump in all the plans he had for his immediate future here at Stony Ridge Acres. Not to mention life in general. A baby wasn't something he was opposed to, just something he'd planned later down the road, after a wife came into the picture.

"I have no idea what to say," he told her, raking a hand through his hair that was way longer than he'd ever had. "I…damn, I wasn't expecting this."

Lily kept looking at him as if she was waiting for him to explode or deny the fact the baby was his. Of course, she could've slept with someone else, but considering that they'd been together almost every night for nearly the past two months, he highly doubted it.

Besides, Lily wasn't like that. He many not know much about her on a personal level, but he knew enough to know she wasn't a woman who slept around. Despite that whole sex scandal she'd endured years ago, Nash wasn't convinced she was some crazed nympho.

But he also wasn't naive and he wasn't just an average groom, so he needed to play this safe and protect himself from all angles.

"The baby is yours," she stated, as if she could sense where his thoughts were going. "I haven't been with anybody since months before I even came here."

"I thought you said you were on birth control."

"I am," she countered. "Nothing is foolproof, though. I'm assuming it happened that one time we."

"Didn't use a condom."

One time in all those secret rendezvous he had thought he'd put one in his wallet, but they'd used it already. They'd quickly discussed how they were both clean, amidst clothes flying all over the loft floor, and they'd come to the mutual decision to go ahead… Thus the reason for this milestone, lifealtering talk they were having now.

Emotions, scenarios, endless questions all swirled through his mind. What on earth did he know about babies or parenting? All he knew was how hard his mother worked to keep them in a meager apartment. She'd never once complained, never once acted worried. She was the most courageous, determined woman he'd ever known. Traits she'd passed down to him, which gave him the strength to carry on with his original plans, even with the shocking news of the baby. He would not let his child down, but he had to follow through and take what he had come for.

"I don't expect anything from you, Nash," Lily went on as if she couldn't handle the silence. "But I wasn't going to keep this a secret, either. Secrets always become exposed at the wrong time and I felt you deserved to know. It's up to you whether you want to be part of this baby's life."

Secrets, hidden babies. Wow. The irony kept getting harsher and harsher as if fate was laughing at him. This hurdle she'd placed in front of him really had him at a crossroads. What started out as a fling had now escalated into something personal, intimate…anchoring him in for the long term. Because now he couldn't keep pretending to be someone he wasn't, unfortunately he couldn't come clean with his identity, either.

He wanted to give his child, and Lily, the absolute best of everything. Even though Lily wasn't financially strained, Nash would be front and center in his child's life in every single way. How the hell could he do that without her discovering his identity?

Damn it. He'd never, ever intended for her to be hurt, but he'd passed the point of no return and now the inevitable heartbreak lay in the very near future.

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Carrying the Lost Heir's Child 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Peachey04 More than 1 year ago
This is the second book in the Barrington Trilogy by Jules Bennett. It is well written and has great characters that have wonderful chemistry. There are many secrets that could hurt several people and also plenty of sexual attraction. As the secrets come to the surface, can Lily move past them and find happiness? Loved this book and can't wait for more from this talented author. Received copy for review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Honesty is always the best policy
SandyPorter More than 1 year ago
I loved this book as I have all the books I have read from Jules Bennett. She is a great writer that knows how to keep a reader wanting more & getting it. This story revolves around Lily & Nash. These characters will have you laughing, crying & most of all enjoying them!! Lily & Nash fall in love, fast & hard. But the surprise comes when Lily has to tell Nash she is pregnant. This would be a turning point for most couples but Lily & Nash accept this & move forward. But if that isn't enough to have you choose to read this book then keep reading. Nash has some secrets he isn't willing to share & this is where the pages start turning quicker. Nash's secrets are what can make them or break them. After falling for Lily his fatherly instincts begin to take over & he knows these secrets are going to make a difference to all concerned parties but he has to be careful how he lets them be known since he is risking losing Lily & his unborn child. But that is not all that he can lose as you will learn when you read the book. Trust me on this, it is a must read. I was also surprised by the ending. I hope you read this book & enjoy it as much as I did. I strongly recommend this book!! 
Judy_F More than 1 year ago
Carrying The Lost Heir’s Child By Jules Bennett concludes the wonderful Barrington Trilogy. Lily Beaumont is enjoying her role in her latest movie.  She loves the quiet peaceful world of the Barrington’s and playing the role of the late Rose Barrington.  Lily didn’t foresee herself having a torrid affair with the groom Nash James.  Something drew her to Nash from the moment they saw each other.  This romance leads to an unexpected surprise a baby, how will Nash handle this news? Nash James is keeping many secrets from Lily and the Barrington family.  He originally just planned on getting to know the head of the family, Damon Barrington but falling for Lily has him rethinking everything. Now with a baby on the way things have become all mixed up in his head.  Nash does come clean with part of his story, will Lily be able to trust him once he reveals all? Carrying The Lost Heir’s Child is an exceptional story of secrets and learning to trust. Lily has been burned before which makes Nash’s secret all that harder to accept.  Nash realizes that what he has with Lily is something so rare that he is willing to pull out all the stops to get her back in his arms.  This series is one of the special ones and should be treasured.
Pisceslyttle1 More than 1 year ago
Love the Barrington Trilogy.  This book is another winner for Jules Bennett. Lily is an actress shooting a movie on the farm that stable hand Nash is working for. They have a secret affair and when she ends up pregnant, their relationship is put to the test. There are secrets that could make or break this family apart.  The characters are easy to love and story line is great. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked the other books in this series, but this book failed to capture my interest. I tried very hard to find some level of interest, but it wasn't there for me. Disappointing!
MelodyMay More than 1 year ago
We have finally come to the conclusion of the Barrington Trilogy. It has been enjoyable from the first book, but now we have to come to find out who Nash. When I started the trilogy the first thing that popped in my mind when I was reading When Opposites Attract... watch Nash be related to the Barringtons. The next thought was he's probably the secret love child of Damon and the housekeeper. Okay, I was way off on that one, but he's related to Damon.   Anyway, Nash has been plotting to see if he could get a horse from Damon. He's been trying to get this horse for sometime, but under a different name. Damon and Nash have been rivals for sometime, but didn't know they were related. Isn't that a kicker. Everything is going according to plan until Lily drops the pregnancy bombshell, and Nash slowly develops a conscious.  Okay, I wasn't expecting to get emotionally involved with Carrying the Lost Heir's Child. At first, you see Nash trying to figure out to keep everything together without revealing too much. He wasn't expecting to fall hard for Lily, so the lying to her has been eating at him; for good reason too. Lily enter the affair with Nash for fun and never expected to lose her heart to him. Plus, she doesn't know all the secrets he's keeping. One of the complications they run into is she's not impress with rich powerful men and liars. Yeah, complication. So, it was neat to see these characters draw closer to one another, then falling apart all at once.  Overall, I enjoyed Carrying the Lost Heir's Child, because it brings a family closer to one another. It brings bitter rivals to working together. Last but not least, it brings two people together to find a happiness they might have missed.  Copy provided by author. 
Nicolerko More than 1 year ago
I really loved this one. Jules Bennett doesn't disappoint. Loved the characters Lily and Nash. Nash has some secrets that may just cost him a life with Lily and their unborn baby. The characters have to learn the gift of forgiveness because without it they could lose the opportunity of the life love and family. To me the ending was so romantic and the epilogue was a perfect way to wrap up this trilogy.
judyrudy More than 1 year ago
Carrying the Lost Child’s Heir is one of the books in Jules Bennett’s The Barrington Trilogy. Lily Beaumont is an actress who’s fallen head over heels for Nash James a stable hand at Damon Barrington’s farm. She’s filming a movie about the Barrington family. All along it was in their plan to break-up once the movie was over but an unexpected pregnancy causes them to reevaluate the plan. Lily is skittish when she discovers her pregnancy as she’s had a horrible experience with the media and wants to keep their secret as long as they can. Nash has his own secret. His secret brought him to the Barrington horse farm. Once all of the secrets are revealed will everyone remain happy or will there be heartbreak? Lily and Nash’s story captured me from the first pages. This is a continuity romance but I was able to easily follow the storyline. I thoroughly enjoyed Carrying the Lost Child’s Heir and I highly recommend it. I’d like to disclose that I received an advanced copy of Carrying the Lost Child’s Heir in exchange for a fair and honest review.
LoriC5 More than 1 year ago
Let me first just say, Nash…yum. This is a cute story and enjoyable read. The plot is engaging, and the characters are easy to like and relate to.  Lily is a movie star, shooting a film on a historic estate, known for its horse stock. While on location, she starts a secret affair with Nash, one of the grooms. It’s nothing but fire and passion, and not a whole lot of talking or getting to know each other. However, when Lily ends up pregnant, they are forced to re-evaluate the future.  Lily seems to be a lot more open to exploring a relationship than Nash. Nash fights it a little harder against the idea, mostly due to the fact that he is harboring a huge secret about his true identity. On top of his unease at having this secret, he seems to be conflicted about whether or not he’s even interested in a future relationship with Lily. Despite that, he is determined to be a large and permanent structure in his child’s life. The way he seems so oblivious to the fact that he and Lily could build upon their physical relationship did get on my nerves. I would have liked to see him come around to that conclusion a little quicker. Not necessarily to recognize that he loves her, but to at least see the fact that they are compatible and could build a future together.  Lily is pretty open to the idea and see’s fairly quickly that there could be something more between herself and Nash. However, she picks up on his reluctance and confusion and that holds her back. Not to mention the fact that she was severely burned by an incident in her past. She’s a really sweet woman and has a great capacity for love and compassion for others. She’s down to earth for a movie star and easy for the reader to like. I enjoyed this book a lot, however, my one issue was that at times, it was a little too cliché. Lily is the perfect woman. A movie star who doesn’t care about money, fashion, or makeup. She’s understanding, always willing to help, open minded, loving, dedicated, etc. etc. etc. Her perfection made her a little unbelievable at times. However, it didn’t keep me from liking the book. Jules wrote and fun and light read. Definitely a story to make you feel good and smile!
TandKNix More than 1 year ago
Jules Bennett was recommended to me by a friend a while back, but I hadn’t read any of her books until this one. I have got to say I loved it! Carrying the Lost Heir’s Child was a good quick read for me and kept my attention all the way through. Lily Beamont is an actress filming a movie on location where Nash James is a stablehand. At least that’s what she has been led to believe. When she becomes pregnant, Nash has to decide what’s more important. The future he never imagined he wanted, or the future he was working on against his rival. I didn’t want to put this book down. I loved the chemistry between Lily and Nash. Watching them work through their problems sucked me right into their relationship and I completely envisioned both characters as they interacted with each other. I will be reading the first two books in this series and will be looking for more by Jules Bennett.
KristiSimonsen More than 1 year ago
Another amazing story by Jules Bennett!  Love the story line between Nash and Lily and adding in the Barrington's just make it even better.  I haven't read the previous books in this series but still was able to follow this story with no problems and fall in love with the family!  Can't wait to go read the previous books!  Wonderful story that you won't regret reading!