Take Me

Take Me

by Cherry Adair

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781460340608
Publisher: Harlequin
Publication date: 06/15/2014
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 503,362
File size: 719 KB

About the Author

Cherry Adair has garnered numerous awards for her innovative action-adventure novels, which include Black Magic, her Cutter Cay series and thrilling Edge trilogy, as well as her Lodestone series, which includes Hush and Afterglow. A favorite of reviewers and fans alike, she lives in the Pacific Northwest.

Read an Excerpt

"Marry me."

"Excuse me?" Jessie Adams narrowed her eyes at the stranger sitting in the back booth of the diner. He hadn't finished his first cup of coffee before he'd beckoned her back to his table.

And she thought she'd heard it all. Marry me? Oh, brother!

Outside, rain slashed in sheets across the midnight-dark parking lot, empty save for his low-slung silver sports car. Diamond drops of rain peppered his dark hair and the broad shoulders of his black wool coat. The neon café sign in the fogged window sputtered, illuminating his face.

Lord, he's a hunk. And a welcome diversion tonight. It had been a lousy day. Week. Month. Jessie sighed. This too shall pass. She'd read that somewhere and hoped like hell it was true.

Briefly she fantasized that Prince Charming had come in for the singular purpose of sweeping her off her feet. That his proposal was for real. Unfortunately the way her luck had been running lately he was a mugger after her last twenty bucks and the take in the cash register.

In truth she felt a bit like the cartoon dog chasing the car. What would she do with him if she actually caught him? The thought made her smile.

"Well?" he demanded.

"Well, what?" Jessie tried not to drool. He smelled so good she wanted to snuggle up to him, close her eyes and just inhale.

"Will you marry me?"

Be still my heart. "Is it Thursday?"


"Sorry, I only marry total strangers on Thursdays." She topped up his coffee. "You'll have to wait 'til next week."

"Next week is too late." His pale gaze sharpened on her face, slid lower to her flat chest, skinny legs, then shot upward. "What the hell happened to your hair?"

Jessie'shand rose self-consciously to the over processed orange-yellow blotched clump. "I dyed it." In the hope blondes had more fun. Ha!

"Whatever you were aiming for¾"

Didn't work. "I like it," Jessie snapped, her chest felt hard, heavy and tight. He was stranger. Why did she care what he thought of her hair? "Drink up. We close in twenty minutes." Thoughts of midnight reminded her of more pressing problems. The two-week notice to vacate her studio apartment had four days left. So far, she hadn't found anything else affordable. She'd move to Sacramento or Tahoe. If she had more than twenty-seven dollars to her name. If her mother's boyfriend hadn't shown up and swiped her car. And if she--

"You're perfect." The man's sexy drawl stopped her from turning away. "I have a proposition for you."

I just bet you do. "Listen pal, my feet hurt, I have to finish my shift, and as much as I'd like to sit and schmooze, I have to clean the kitchen before I go, so if you don't mind..."

"Hear me out-"

Jessie wrote his ticket and slapped it on the table. "If you want more coffee, help yourself."

There wasn't much to do in the spotless kitchen. Other than a couple of truckers at dinner, she'd been alone all night, which meant zilch in tips. Jessie finished loading the dishwasher, then turned to see the guy, hands in the pockets of his coat, standing in the kitchen watching her.

She knew exactly what this sophisticated man saw. She was no beauty. She was too thin, and if she was ever going to get boobs, she hoped it was before she was old enough for them to sag. Her mutilated hair was scraped away from her face and piled untidily on top of her head like orange and yellow straw. All she had going for her were her eyes. Some trucker had once told her they looked like cow eyes. She wasn't so sure it was a compliment. But at least he'd been sincere.

"How old are you?"

"Boy, you're persistent. Has anyone ever told you no?"

"One too many times. How old?"

Jessie tilted her head and eyed him with undisguised curiosity. He appeared rich, spoiled, and used to getting his own way. He had beautiful hands. Long, strong, tanned fingers with clean, shiny nails. Jessie always noticed hands.

She automatically hid her bitten nails behind her back. "Twenty...five."

He laughed. It sounded rusty. "Nice try, honey."



Jessie backed up against the refrigerator as he strolled toward her. There wasn't a snowball's chance of anyone coming in at this hour of the night. He could do anything to her, and no one would know. She flinched when he touched her face. She really shouldn't have been sarcastic last week when the car had been stolen and she'd asked God, "What else can happen?" God didn't like sarcasm. It was Jessie's curse. She sighed. She supposed this guy was better than being struck by lightning.

"Perfect," he turned her chin this way and that, his hand warm on her skin. He smelled even better close up. Jessie's mouth actually watered. Instinctively, she understood he had no sexual interest in her, no need to control or dominate. Her heart wasn't pounding because she was afraid of him. Not very anyway.

"How about this, pal? I give you ten seconds to take your hands off me, or I call the cops?" His hand dropped, but the ghost of his light, warm touch lingered on her skin. "What do you want from me?" Jessie asked hoarsely.

"I want you to marry me. Now. Tonight. We'll drive into Tahoe, get married and I'll have you back in time for your next shift."

"You're crazy!"

"I'm desperate," he countered, voice grim.

Who isn't, pal? "Why me?" Jessie slid out of his reach and walked back into the brightly lit diner. He was right behind her. He grabbed a mug off the stack behind the counter and followed her back to his table by the window.

What on earth was a guy like this doing here? The diner wasn't his kind of place. The only reason people stopped here at all was that it was right on the California border into Nevada. The small coffee shop mirrored a million others across the country. Red vinyl seats, worn down by a million sliding butts, beige Formica tables scarred by cigarette burns, tacky Christmas decorations. The invasive smell of grease and food had permeated the plastic plants hanging in dusty profusion from toggle hooks in the yellowed ceiling.

Jessie tried to ignore the décor. Sometimes she physically ached for beauty. For stability. For some damn thing that couldn't be conned, stolen or sweet-talked from her.

She wasn't opposed to working, but it would be nice to get a break for a change. Unfortunately she wasn't delusional enough to believe a total stranger would stroll into the diner two days before Christmas and sweep her off her worn tennies and lay all that at her feet.

"I'll make this short and sweet." The stranger took the carafe out of her hand, and motioned her to the opposite seat, then filled both cups and placed the coffeepot in the neutral territory between them. Intrigued in spite of herself, Jessie flopped down on the scarred vinyl seat.

"This is purely a business proposition." He raked his fingers through his dark hair. It fell neatly back in place. Figures. "Here's the situation. My father and his brother owned a development company. My father died ten years ago, he left the company to my Uncle Simon with the understanding his half would in turn go to me. I've worked my ass off while my cousin Paul gallivants around the world doing God knows what. That company is fifty-percent mine. I've earned it, damn it. Now Simon wants to retire, but he insists Paul and I settle down before he gives his company to a couple of 'playboys,' his quote. My uncle, in his infinite wisdom, has decided Paul and I should get married and settle down."

Jessie's eyes widened and she swallowed the wrong way. "You're gay?" she managed to choke out.

His eyes narrowed. "Don't be redic-- I meant that my uncle wants Paul and I to each find a woman and get married. The first one to marry gets controlling shares. Simon is obsessed with this ludicrous notion."

"So, what's the problem? A good-looking, rich guy like you must have a gazillion women to choose from."

"I asked someone," he said tightly and with obvious reluctance. "She said yes. To my cousin."

Jessie cradled her forgotten mug between her hands. "Ouch. There must be someone else you cou-"

"They're getting married in San Francisco tomorrow at noon. Our meeting up tonight is going to work out to both our advantages. I'm sure you'd like financial freedom. Do whatever you like? Go anywhere? Sure you do. And all I want is a contract marriage. I'm not interested in emotional entanglements. I don't want a real wife, I want a wife on paper. Now. Tonight."

He glanced down at her 34 A chest and her nametag. "Marry me, Vera. I'll give you a monthly allowance for as long as you live. Hell. I'll buy this damn diner for you if you want it."

Jessie stifled an hysterical laugh. Her nametag had been left over from the last waitress, and she hadn't cared what people called her. "I don't want the diner." Just looking at him made her silly heart do summersaults.

"Listen, having control of this company means everything to me." His eyes glowed pale and determined. "Surely you've wanted something this badly in your life?" He leaned forward. "Do this for me, and when the time comes, if there's something you want more than your next breath, I'll make it happen. You have my word on it."

"Anything, huh?"


Lust at first sight. The attraction she felt for this man was undeniable. But then what was not to attract? He was unbearably handsome, strong, powerful, wealthy, and most dangerous of all, he needed her. The attraction was obviously not reciprocated in the least. However, Cinderella hadn't complained when her prince whipped her out of the kitchen.

"How do I know you're on the level?" Oh, please be serious.

He pulled a business card from his wafer-thin leather wallet and a cell phone from his overcoat pocket. "Here's my lawyer's card. Call him, confirm who I am, ask about my uncle's ultimatum."

Jessie took the card. She was nuts, she was crazy, she was out of her mind for even considering his proposition. . . What did she have to lose?

She reached for the phone and began punching in the numbers before she thought to ask, "What's your name?"

"Joshua Falcon."

The man on the other end of the phone was not happy to be woken by a lunatic stranger at midnight. Jessie stumbled through enough questions to confirm that Joshua Falcon was who he said he was, and was richer than Croesus.

The lawyer wanted to talk to Mr. Falcon. Right now. Jessie handed him the phone and slumped back, openly eavesdropping.

Watching her, eagle to mouse, he spoke into the phone. "You're damn right I'm serious." He listened for a while. "In a diner on the California-Nevada border." He looked over at her, his pale eyes narrowing. "Why wouldn't she? She's probably getting minimum wage and living in a cramped apartment with her cat. I'll fax a copy of the marriage license and bring the original to your office later." There was a short pause. His laugh made Jessie shiver. "No honeymoon. I'll have her call you back to make arrangements for the settlement."

Joshua listened. "No need for sarcasm. She's worth more than her weight in gold. Oh, and Felix? Call Simon as soon as you get my fax." There was a long pause as he listened. "All right," he agreed with some reluctance. "Take the Lear and meet us at the courthouse in Reno at nine. You can hand deliver the marriage certificate to my uncle."

He folded the compact phone and stuffed it into his pocket.

"I don't have a cat."

"I beg your pardon?"

"I said I don't-"

"That was rhetorical. Get your coat," he said, impatiently buttoning his own. He tossed a twenty on the table.

"I don't have a coat either."

"You don't have a coat?"

"Gee, is there an echo in here?"

Scowling, he removed his coat and tossed it to her. "Put this on and let's get this over with."

"Wow, you certainly know how to bowl a girl over with sweet talk." The cashmere coat smelled of him. Thick and dark, the scent of potent male, and fresh citrusy cologne. Jessie's insides turned to mush. She had that standing-on-the-highest-diving-board feeling. Exhilarating, thrilling terror.

"Christ," he watched as she turned off lights. "I must be more tired and desperate than I thought."

Jessie froze with the keys in her hand. "Listen, bub, I didn't come in here on my knees begging you did I? Make up your mind." The keys dug into her soft palm. "Well?" She glared at him. "Do you want to marry me or not?"

He looked down at her. "God help me. Yes."


At nine forty-one a.m. 'Vera' became Mrs. Joshua Falcon.

At nine forty-five, Joshua slapped the marriage certificate into the hands of his lawyer, Felix Montgomery.

At nine forty-six, he walked out of the courthouse.

He did not look at Jessie once.

Prince Charming didn't even kiss the bride.

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Take Me 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 73 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Just finished the latest BLAZE book by Cherry Adair titled "Take Me" and it is another winner! The story is so romantic it moved me to tears and what a happy ending! The love scenes are schorching hot. It's about a filthy rich corporate guy who marries this really poor waitress he meets in a diner just to hang on to his uncle's company that he has helped build. He is a cold unfeeling jackass because of his bad childhood, but of course with the love a good woman, this Ice Man does not stand a chance. This is the Cinderella storyline as portrayed in Pretty Woman, The Bachelor, An Officer & A Gentleman, etc.. This one of my most favorite storylines and Cherry Adair does a fabulous job in her own rendition. I highly recommend this book, it is a definite keeper!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Joshua Falcon needs a wife to keep the family business from falling into his incompetent cousin's hands. Trouble is, he needs one before tomorrow morning. Really getting married to someone he cares about is out of the question - his former fiancee ran off with aforementioned incompetent cousin. His poor little rich boy upbringing has also factored into his disdain for love. Jessie Adams is working as a waitress in a diner when Joshua walks in. She's not exactly looking her best, but Joshua proposes anyway. If she'll marry him, he will make her rich and when the time comes that she wants something more than her next breath, he will make it happen. She reluctantly agrees. They get married, then he walks away minutes later. Flash forward seven years. Jessie is now college educated, working as an interior designer. The only thing lacking in her life now is a child, and she wants one from her husband - preferably without his knowledge. When they meet again, Joshua doesn't recognize her - but he does want her. She leads him right where she wants him to go, but along the way she reluctantly falls for him. Will her love for him get in the way of getting what she wants? This book is very good - angsty hero with tons of baggage overcome with love/lust for heroine who starts out as a slight schemer, but whose conscience won't let her screw over our hero. WOW. I defintely recommend this book!
harstan More than 1 year ago
Simon Falcon informs his son Paul and his nephew Joshua that he will split family company Falcon International Development Company between them when they both marry. The first to wed will have controlling interest. Paul is marrying tomorrow so Joshua needs a bride tonight. At a diner on the California Nevada border, Joshua persuades a financially desperate waitress with the nametag Vera to elope with him though he is unaware and uninterested that this is not her name. She agrees, they marry, and he leaves her without even a kiss or a goodbye.

Seven years later, Joshua sees a beautiful woman at a party his uncle hosts. Simon introduces Jessica Adams to his nephew. Though Simon knows who she is, Joshua fails to recognize that Jessica is ¿Vera¿, his wife who has never asked him for what he promised her, anything in the world. All Jessica wants from Joshua is to give her a baby. Neither expected to fall in love when he pursues her especially since he is rightfully called Glacier.

TAKE ME is an enjoyable contemporary romance though the audience will find it very difficult to feel the slightest positive vibe towards Joshua. The story line concentrates on the lead couple as the delightful Jessica tries to melt the Glacier by enflaming the ice that has petrified his heart. Fans of tales starring a warm female arousing the right feelings in an iceberg male will want to read Cherry Adair¿s novel.

Harriet Klausner

Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ReadingOverTV More than 1 year ago
Take Me by Cherry Adair Romance, fake marriage, fake relationship turns into more, conflict, hot sex and then love. Ok, of course there is lots more. I loved the heroine, Jessie Adams. She is feisty, cheerful and loves bright colors. She wants a baby and has chosen her husband for the father. But Joshua Falcon doesn't even know her real name. I wasn't fond of the lies that were told but is kind of reminded me of an old Barbara Cartland romance I read many many years ago. At least in the basic concept. Bottom line, I loved the romance, sex scenes, and the ultimate love and caring. A Harlequin Desire reprint.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
## He doesn't recognize the woman he married? Seriously? Ugh skip it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
LindaBr1 More than 1 year ago
This was a really good book. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys seeing the really uptight millionaire realize that he can overcome anything for the love of a good woman. Even when it's 7 years later and he doesn't recognize her.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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THEMANDIB More than 1 year ago
Wonderful short romance if you don't have time for a novel. So different from her fast paced T-FLAC novels, nice change since I tend to lean towards romantic suspense! I always do and always will read anything this author writes!!!
bbyktchr More than 1 year ago
Love the character development and the relationshp between Jessie and Joshua. A definate keeper and repeat read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved the character perspectives.This was a beautiful romance story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful! I enjoyed it from beginning to end. The story is sexy and fun - a perfect beach read.
HollieR1 More than 1 year ago
Take Me by Cherry Adair was such a great read! I loved how Jessie made up her mind to get what she wanted from Joshua and went for it. What a surprise for Joshua to find Jessie after all those years and not know her. Love finds a way to show itself for the both of them. A great weekend read!!
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ColorMeHappy More than 1 year ago
Highly recommended!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was expecting a blaze book, but instead fell in love with the characters. It reads more like a novel than a romance. Great characters and phenomenal story line.