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HACKER SAFE certified sites prevent over 99% of hacker crime.

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The Billionaire's Scandalous Marriage [Secure eReader]
eBook by Emma Darcy

eBook Category: Romance
eBook Description: Damien Wynter was as handsome and arrogant as sin. Heiress Charlotte didn't need his dark, primitive sensuality in her life, until the man she'd planned to marry disappointed her, and Damien offered a challenge: let him wed her and get her pregnant! It was all about winning to Damien, but Charlotte wanted a baby, and if surrendering to him meant she could win, too ... why not accept his scandalous offer?

eBook Publisher: Harlequin/Presents
Fictionwise Release Date: May 2007


58 Reader Ratings:
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CHAPTER ONE

HER wedding was only two weeks away.

Just two more weeks.

Charlotte Ramsey knew she should be happy about it.

But she wasn't.

All this past week spent trying to stay positive about marrying Mark…it hadn't worked. No matter how determinedly she argued against letting her father ruin how she should be feeling, he was ruining it. So the problem had to be dealt with.

Right now.

Before tonight.

Her stomach was knotted with nerves, her mind churning miserably over her dilemma as she set out on the hour-long drive from the inner city of Sydney to the family mansion at Palm Beach.

It was impossible to have a happy wedding if her father persisted in his unacceptable attitude towards the man she was marrying. The way he had treated Mark on Christmas day…and if he did the same tonight…her heart clenched at the thought. It hurt. It really hurt. She had to talk to him, make him understand.

Okay, he didn't approve of Mark as a husband for her. It was no use hoping he ever would. Mark was not his kind of man. But he was right for her—as right as she was going to get—and surely she could persuade her father to respect that, if only for her sake.

The wedding was so close now.

He had to listen to her this time.

Her cheeks burned as she remembered the flaming row they'd had over her engagement when she had openly defied his disapproval, throwing down the threat of possible estrangement.

"Whether you like it or not, Dad, I'm going to marry him."

Which had caused an eruption of frustration over her decision.

"You're too damned headstrong for your own good, Charlotte. Marriage to Mark Freedman…what on earth do you see in the man? He's a playboy, not a…"

"Not a bull in the financial world," she'd sliced in, cutting off his point of view to push her own. "Which is precisely what I love about Mark. He's there for me, Dad, not constantly flying off to do another deal in another country." As her billionaire father had done all her life. "He wants my company. He enjoys my company. We have fun together."

"Fun!" her father had thundered. "You've got my blood in your veins, girl. Freedman's kind of fun will pall after a while. By all means have him as a novelty. Not too bad a toy for you to play with as long as he gives you pleasure. But marriage is serious business."

"It's not about business to me," she had fiercely retorted, incensed by his contemptuous colouring of her relationship with Mark. "It's about feeling loved. And I'm very, very serious about having that in my life."

"It won't last," her father had growled.

But Charlotte was determined it would. She was thirty years old. She wanted to have children. Mark did, too. They were happy together, happy about the future they were planning. He wasn't a playboy. He was an events organiser and very successful at it, too. She was looking forward to helping him with his business after they were married.

But she didn't want to be completely estranged from her father.

For the past few months he seemed to have accepted Mark into the family's social circle—albeit grudgingly—but on Christmas day…she had to get this sorted out before the wedding. Before tonight's New Year's Eve party on the yacht. If her father snubbed Mark again…

Charlotte took a deep breath to relieve the tightness in her chest. A glance at the clock on the dashboard told her it was past lunchtime, almost two o'clock. With any luck she should be able to get her father to herself for a private chat, just say hello to her mother in passing.

She'd told Mark she'd be spending the day at the beauty salon, getting ready for tonight. Best he didn't know about this meeting. It would have to be a quick one, though. He would expect her to be back at the apartment they shared at Double Bay by late afternoon.

For the remainder of the drive along Sydney's northern beaches Charlotte mentally rehearsed what she wanted to say, hoping to reach a workable understanding with her father. By the time she emerged from her Mercedes at the family mansion, her mind was all fired up to win what she needed to win. She charged into the foyer and was unpleasantly surprised to see the butler wheeling a traymobile of coffee things towards the main lounge room.

"Have my parents got visitors, Charles?"

"Good afternoon, Miss Charlotte," he rolled out, reminding her that good manners should not be overlooked. He was a tall, imposing man in his fifties, the absolute authority when it came to running this huge household and a stickler for appropriate behaviour at all times.

She grimaced an apology. "Sorry. I'm in a hurry. I need to talk to Dad."

He gestured to the lounge room doors. "Mr Ramsey is enjoying the company of your brother and his friend from London, Mr Damien Wynter. Mrs Ramsey is out, keeping an appointment with her hair stylist."

Charlotte frowned. It was good that her mother was out of the way, bad that she'd have to meet Peter's friend and have a bit of social chat before requesting a private talk with her father, who wouldn't want to leave this new connection with the son and heir of another billionaire. The big business networking would definitely be in action.

But she was here.

She had to try.

"Will you be joining the gentlemen for coffee, Miss Charlotte?" Charles prompted while she was still chewing over his information.

Copyright © 2007 by Emma Darcy.


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