The Golden Girl [Secure eReader]
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eBook by Erica Orloff
eBook Category: Romance
eBook Description: With a friend murdered and possible corruption at her work, it's time for Heiress Maddie Taylor-Pruitt to get to the bottom of it all. It might even be easier than choosing the right guy....
eBook Publisher: Harlequin/Silhouette Bombshell
Fictionwise Release Date: October 2005
8 Reader Ratings:
The author of Diary of a Blues Goddess and Divas Don't Fake It scores again with a charming heroine and a winsome tale.? --Booklist
?This fast-paced and funny novel has a great premise and some interesting twists?? ?Romantic Times Magazine
Diary of a Blues Goddess
?With a luscious atmosphere and a lively, playful tone, Orloff's novel is a perfect read for a hot summer night.? --Booklist
?Orloff's characters are wonderful, most particularly Ava, who is resilient enough to take a chance on love.? --Romantic Times Magazine
?The Roofer is a fantastic novel?fans of urben noir romances will appreciate the contrast between glitter and grim and hopelessness and love in a deep, offbeat tale?? --Harriet Klausner --
Praise for the novels of Erica Orloff
"Please tell me that isn't a thong," Madison Taylor-Pruitt said, rolling her eyes and leaning in to talk to her friend, Ashley Thompson, over the din of Echo, Manhattan's hottest club of the moment.
"Okay, Maddie, I won't tell you." Ash laughed. "But it is."
The two of them were in the VIP room of the club, along with a high-wattage assortment of hip-hop stars, A-list actresses, a handful of supermodels and, unfortunately, the thong-wearing Charlotte "Kiki" Davis. Actually, Maddie thought, thinking of her own underwear choice, it wasn't the thong-wearing that was so pathetic, it was the thong-revealing that made her crazy. Kiki gave Maddie, and every other heiress in NewYork City, a bad name.
There was a time, she mused, sipping her Cristal champagne, when being an heiress meant discretion. Her mother, the French actress Chantal Taylor, raised her with that in mind. But thanks to a few too many reality shows, and a high-visibility lifestyle, the names that tantalized New York's gossip columns were now just as likely to be listed with a juicy scandal and a major dose of sex appeal as A-list balls and fund-raisers.
Ashley, a fashion editor for Chic magazine, hated the trend as much as Maddie. They were both members of the Gotham Roses, an elite group of old-money debs plucked by Renee Dalton-Sinclair, a beautiful society-page regular with a fresh approach to charity work. The Gotham Roses were women who raised millions combined for their chosen charities. Maddie loved the work she did for hers—a Spanish Harlem charter school. But heiresses like Kiki, who regularly made "Page Six" and "In the Know with Rubi Cho" with antics in bathroom stalls of nightclubs, and stumbling, breast-and thong-exposing escapades made it seem like all the young and privileged did was party and seek attention.
Maddie's appearances at nightclubs were infrequent at best. She was president of the real-estate division of Pruitt & Pruitt, Inc., a corporation founded by her robber baron great-grandfather before the stock market crash and Great Depression. Pruitt & Pruitt was now synonymous with the Manhattan skyline and real estate—and just about any other industry her father could sink money and talent into—from hotels to shipping to high-tech. So, despite her bikini-perfect figure, her tumbling locks of golden hair, and eyes the society pages described as a cross between blue and green and yellow (depending on whether she was wearing emeralds, sapphires or yellow diamonds with her gowns), Maddie, on any given night, was more likely to be poring over contracts than partying—but Ash was sometimes irresistible, and this Thursday night Maddie had made an exception.
Maddie surveyed the dancing and chaos with a bemused eye and bobbed her head in time to a Moby techno beat. Ash suddenly elbowed her.
"Ryan Greene is making a beeline for the one woman in Manhattan he can't bed."
Maddie looked up and saw Ryan coming toward her. She shook her head with a slight smile on her face. He never gave up. Her chief rival for every scrap of land or skyscraper she tried to buy, he was convinced the two of them, together, would be the perfect Manhattan dynasty.
Ryan made it to their table and slid next to Maddie on the deep purple velvet couch she was sitting on.
"Hi, Maddie." He smiled, revealing a perfect set of pearly whites Maddie knew only a visit to Dr. Harry March, dentist to the rich and famous, could provide. Ryan had toothpaste-commercial teeth—as perfect as any Hollywood star's. He coupled that with four-hundred-dollar haircuts for his highlighted blond hair, perfectly tailored Italian suits, a Rolex, and a physique toned by, he'd told her more than once, 5:00 a.m. workouts. He was as driven as she was, relentlessly worked as many hours as she did. And he always smelled of a fantastic cologne she could never identify—and refused to ask about.
"Ryan." She smiled enigmatically and nodded.
He leaned in close, his breath hot on her ear. "Care to dance?"
Maddie looked at Ash out of the corner of her eye and gave a shrug. "Sure, why not?"
She put down her champagne glass, winked at Ash, and allowed Ryan to take her hand. She was wearing the black Chanel suit skirt she'd worn to work—but she had changed in the bathroom of her office to a silk camisole top in a champagne color that almost looked nude. Her shoulders were creamy white, and she knew when Ryan was within touching distance of her, he would go crazy. He always did. That was as predictable as the fact that in the boardroom he was ruthless. Like her father.
They started dancing, and as she expected, he moved very close to her.
"You're wearing that perfume again."
She nodded. It was Sung, and it had a hint of gardenia to it.
"You make me nuts, Maddie. When are you going to come to your senses and realize we're perfect for each other?"
"Never, Ryan." She leaned in close to his ear and flirtatiously nibbled at it. "We'd eat each other alive if we got together, and you know it."
He groaned and then pulled her to him, grinding into her ever so slightly as the pulse of the music got even more erotic.
"Is that a bankbook in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me," she purred.
"You know it's that I'm always happy to see you."
"Along with every other blonde in your ZIP code."
"You delight in tormenting me, don't you?" He planted a kiss in her neck. "You're the only blonde I'm interested in. You know, if we got together, we wouldn't even need a prenup. Then all the buildings we created could be called Greene & Pruitt Towers."
"You mean Pruitt & Greene."
"There's that competitive spirit I love."
Copyright © 2005 by Harlequin Books S.A.