High-Society Mistress [Secure eReader]
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eBook by Katherine Garbera
eBook Category: Romance
eBook Description: HOSTILE TAKEOVER.... Flatly refused a promotion by her tycoon father, heiress Tempest Lambert offered her services to his worst enemy. But was it the job she wanted, or just her new boss, the devastatingly handsome Gavin Renard? He'd made millions as a corporate raider, but taking over the Lambert's retail conglomerate wasn't about business--Gavin wanted revenge. Using Tempest as a pawn in his takeover game was a possibility. Making her his mistress--that was an offer he couldn't refuse.
eBook Publisher: Harlequin/Silhouette Desire
Fictionwise Release Date: July 2007
3 Reader Ratings:
Tempest Lambert, the tabloid's favorite party girl extraordinaire, stood quietly in the foyer of her condo building, dressed conservatively and trying not to be nervous. It was silly really. She'd charmed heads of state and celebrities. She'd made the world her oyster. But one man still had the power to reduce her to a nervous wreck.
Her father's chauffeur-driven car arrived promptly at 7:35 p.m. Tempest normally would have driven herself to the Leukemia Foundation Gala dinner and silent auction but her father had wanted to speak with her in person. And this was the only time he had in his schedule.
So here she was trying to smile and pretend that this wasn't a big deal. And when her father didn't get out of the car to greet her she had her first inkling that it really wasn't a big deal to him.
"Good evening, Ms. Lambert."
"Good evening, Marcus." The elderly chauffeur had been with her father for almost twenty years. He gave her a quick smile. "You look beautiful tonight."
"Thanks," she said, her nerves melting away at the compliment. This was her night. She'd just handled a rather messy PR problem for Tempest's Closet. Her father had even e-mailed her a note that said good job. The only note he'd ever sent her.
She slid into the car as the chauffeur held the door open for her. Her father was on the phone and didn't glance up as the car door closed behind her.
She tried to relax against the plush leather seat of her father's Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG Sedan. The driver sat in the front facing forward, all but invisible to them. She wasn't nervous. Well, maybe a little. It had been so long since she'd allowed herself to want her father's approval. At twenty-eight she was well on her own.
August Lambert, the CEO of Tempest's Closet, was an imposing man. Well over six-feet tall he'd always seemed bigger than life to her when she'd been a little girl. He'd revolutionized the way Americans thought about and purchased clothing with his line of high-end retail Tempest's Closet stores that he had started back in the 1970s and named for her after her birth.
He finished his phone conversation and made a note in his day-planner before looking over at her. Silence grew between them as he studied her face. She wondered what he saw when he looked at her.
Some people said she looked like her mother but Tempest had never really believed that. Her mother had been one of the most beautiful women Tempest had ever seen. And what she saw reflected back in the mirror was never…beautiful.
"Thank you for meeting with me," he said.
"No problem. What did you want to see me about?"
"I'm promoting Charles Miller."
No small talk or chitchat from him. Just the blunt news that she…well, she hadn't expected.
"Charlie Miller? You've got to be kidding me." Dammit, she'd meant to be calm and cool.
"He's the right man for the job."
She gave her father a hard look—one that she'd picked up from him. "Please tell me you didn't promote him over me because I'm a woman."
"Tempest, I'm not a sexist."
She knew that. She was grasping at straws trying to find a reason. "I'm not so sure, Father. I have more experience than Charlie and am better qualified."
August sighed and rubbed the back of his neck. He stared at the car window watching the Lake Shore Drive scenery pass. She loved Chicago. Sometimes she wished she didn't because then she could simply leave her father and Tempest's Closet far behind.
Her father seemed so unapproachable, so alone. Even though only a few inches of space separated them.
And she felt the distance between them widen. No matter what she tried, she could never get his approval. His respect. A few crazy stunts when she was in her late teens and early twenties and he was going to hold that against her for the rest of her life.
"I haven't done anything to draw attention to myself lately," she said, quietly. This job had become the driving force in her life—no longer a party girl, she'd become a businesswoman. Something she was sure her father would notice.
"There was an article in Hello! not a week ago about you and Dean Stratford with pictures of you in your love nest."
"Father, please. You know there's nothing between Dean and me. He's recovering from a serious addiction. He needs support from his friends."
He glanced over at her. "It doesn't matter what I know. The world believes you're a party girl."
She couldn't believe what she was hearing. "The board knows I'm not."
He rubbed a hand over his heart before he put his hands in his lap, linking his fingers together. "I'm more concerned with what the public thinks."
Tempest couldn't argue that point. She almost regretted it but she'd made herself a promise long ago not to apologize for her actions. Though they were most times misconstrued she knew that she always only had the best of intentions where all of her escapades were concerned.
"I think we can overcome that. I've been working with the children's foundation, which is helping my image."
"It's not enough, Tempest. Tempest's Closet is facing some tough times."
"What kind of tough times?" she asked. Being in PR, her focus was more on image than on the company bottom line. But she hadn't heard any rumblings of trouble.
"Nothing you need to worry about."
Copyright © 2007 by Katherine Garbera