Back in Fortune's Bed [Secure eReader]
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eBook by Bronwyn Jameson
eBook Category: Romance
eBook Description: Years ago, Max Fortune had a sizzling summer affair with Diana Fielding-Young that she'd ended without warning. Now the embittered Australian millionaire was tormented by memories when he returned to South Dakota and locked eyes with Diana at a high-society soiree. Realizing his hunger for his former flame had never truly been satisfied, he vowed to get her back into his bed and make her rue the day she'd played him for a fool. But as their spellbinding reunion was reduced to gossip-column fodder, would Diana's shocking confession force this ruthless heartbreaker to change tactics?
eBook Publisher: Harlequin/Silhouette Desire
Fictionwise Release Date: February 2007
14 Reader Ratings:
Over the past two weeks Diana had done upset, disappointed, annoyed, indignant and a dozen other emotions too confusing and complex and maddening to label. Right now, walking through the breezeway in Skylar Fortune's barn, she would have chosen any one of them over her current state of jittery, heart-jumping nerves.
Fitting, she supposed, since Sky's stables were filled with similarly high-strung thoroughbreds.
Not that she could blame her current state on either the location or her semi-fear of horses. Nor could she blame the purpose of her early morning visit to the Fortune estate, which was to shoot her first professional we-pay-you photos. Ever. That caused her nerves to hum with barely suppressed excitement not to wail with trepidation.
The wailing and the jittering were all down to one thing.
Here, in the stables that were his domain, she risked running into Max Fortune again.
She hated that his snub at Case's party had tied her in knots for the two weeks since. Had he not recognized her? Did he not remember her? Or had he left so abruptly after their short exchange because he didn't want to acknowledge their history?
Eventually she'd admonished herself for wasting too much emotional energy on an old love affair. After three years of widowhood she'd finally found her feet. Since moving to Sioux Falls she'd lucked upon an occupation she loved and had recently taken up a position at her mentor's studio/gallery.
The last thing she needed was a force of nature like Max Fortune messing with her newly discovered contentment.
For the duration of the twenty-mile drive from Sioux Falls to the Fortune estate, she'd reprised that lecture. Today was crucial to her aspirations. She needed to remain focused and professional.
But all the self-talk in the world didn't stop her heart from leaping into her throat when she heard the crunch of hooves on aged brick cobblestones. Pivoting on her heels, she looked back over her shoulder at the approaching horse being led by…Skylar.
Thank you, God.
She released a long breath and smiled as the youngest of Nash Fortune's five children came to an abrupt halt, her brows knit in a frown. "Diana. You're here. Already."
"I know I'm a little early." On her first job she'd thought that infinitely better than tardiness. "I can wait until you're ready. There's no rush."
"No, it's okay. I'm pretty sure Max has your model all gussied up and ready for the camera."
The impatient horse at Sky's side stamped its feet in unison with the lurch of Diana's heart. She took a half-step back from its large feet, just to be on the safe side. "Max?"
"Max Fortune. Our Aussie cousin. Didn't you meet him at Case's party?" Without waiting for an answer, Sky hurried on. "Not to worry, you'll meet him now. Max and his friend Zack Manning are starting up a stud farm back home and they're over here inspecting the setups and buying stock. Your subject is one of Max's first acquisitions and she's a real beauty. He bought her in Kentucky last week."
"Do you mean that this job is shooting Max Fortune's horse?"
As soon as the words left her mouth, Diana wished them back. Not the question itself—that was perfectly valid since Sky had made the booking without one mention of a third party—but her horror-struck tone.
Sky's frown deepened. "I didn't realize that would be a problem."
"Oh, no, it's not a problem," Diana lied.
"Really? Because you said poor Max's name as if you'd just as soon shoot him. And I don't mean with your camera!"
Oh, joy. That's exactly what she'd feared. The perfect nonprofessional start when Sky had paid her a huge compliment by booking her instead of an equine specialist.
"Would you prefer if I got someone else?"
"Oh, no, that's not necessary," Diana said quickly. She'd come here as a photographer, not as a woman bruised by a past breakup or a recent snub. She could do this. She could be polite, businesslike, friendly even. "I'm here to shoot whatever you point me at…and only with my camera."
Diana smiled with what she hoped passed for cheerful assurance while her chest tightened with uncheerful apprehension. "Absolutely. Now, where will I find your Aussie cousin?"
* * *
Following Sky's directions, Diana turned from the wide central breezeway into one of two wings added to the original barn when Sky expanded her horse breeding enterprise. Barn hardly described the giant U-shaped dwelling now. The place was five star accommodation, meticulously clean and toasty warm despite the frigid winter's morning outside.
Diana dispensed with her gloves and loosened the scarf she'd wrapped around her neck. So she'd be ready to start work. And because her fluttery fingers needed something further to do, she hitched her camera bag more securely on her shoulder and increased her pace to a confident stride.
One thing she'd learned from her stage-star mother was how to exude presence, even when her insides were trembling up a storm.
At the second to last stable, she stopped and gathered her well-learned poise. Over the high Dutch door all she could see was the tail end of a large horse. The Kentucky beauty, she presumed, although not from her best angle.
Trepidation caused her heart to drum harder as she approached the door. For a second she thought the animal was unattended but then she heard his voice. Too low to make out the words, but she recognized the deep crooning tone.
Unfortunately her hormones recognized it, too, not from the days spent at his outback stables but from the nights spent in his bed. They stretched and yawned and shimmied to life before she could do a dashed thing to control their recollections.
Copyright © 2007 by Harlequin Books S.A.