One-Click Buy: January 2008 Harlequin Presents (Bundle) [Secure eReader]
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eBook by Raye Morgan & Lynne Graham & Jacqueline Baird
eBook Category: Romance
eBook Description: One convenient download. One bargain price. Get all December Harlequin Presents with one click! Blackmail and revenge ... royal heirs and billionaires ... forced marriages and secret babies ... everything you look for in Harlequin Presents. Now get eight new sizzling stories with one simple click of the mouse. Bundle includes Bride by Royal Appointment by Rae Morgan, The Desert Sheikh's Captive Wife by Lynne Graham, The Italian Billionaire's Ruthless Revenge by Jacqueline Baird, Bought for Her Baby by Melanie Milburne, The Frenchman's Marriage Demand by Chantelle Shaw, The Virgin's Wedding Night by Sara Craven, The Padova Pearls by Lee Wilkinson and The Italian's Chosen Wife by Kate Hewitt.
eBook Publisher: Harlequin/Presents, Published: 2008
Fictionwise Release Date: January 2008
24 Reader Ratings:
THE kid was going to fall right over the edge.
Adam Ryder's anger at his son was barely leashed and he was fighting to hold it back. They'd come here for sightseeing, like all the other tourists strolling around them, but Adam wasn't thinking much about history as he climbed into the ruins of an ancient Roman villa on a site overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. The island of Niroli seemed to be crammed with castles and old crumbling walls and all sorts of antique relics but that wasn't what he'd come for.
Actually, he'd come to this particular location because it wasn't too far from the hotel and looked to be a good place to let his six-year old son, Jeremy, loose to run off some of the excess energy that was making him such a pain to be around.
But his reason for being on Niroli, a destination he'd avoided all his life? Ah, that was harder to explain.
Still, even he had to admit the island had a magic quality. He'd felt it right away as they'd stepped off the flight from New York. The air seemed softer. The sunlight seemed to make things sparkle with possibilities. All of which immediately made him wary. He couldn't let things like that seduce him away from his goal.
After all, to put it plainly, he'd come to Niroli to do a little fund-raising. He needed money to save his company—big money—and he was willing to do almost anything to get it, including accepting an unusual offer that had been made to him—the crown of this little island country. And there was nothing magical about that.
Meanwhile, he had to deal with Jeremy. He'd brought the boy along hoping to create a few bonding opportunities, but his interest in that project was waning fast. The thing was, the nanny he'd hired to come along and take care of his son had quit right there in the airport, loudly declaring she couldn't stand the boy just moments before boarding the plane.
Adam kept remembering the odd, slightly triumphant smile on Jeremy's face as she had stormed away. He'd faced off grown men in bar fights in his younger days with hardly a quiver of fear, but the look on his son's face, just before departing all known civilization with only him in tow, still sent shivers down his spine. He knew how to handle adults, both male and female. But what was he going to do with this kid?
"Take him out and let him run," the woman at the concierge desk at the hotel had suggested.
So here he was, letting Jeremy run. And the boy certainly ran. Up and down and all over the ruins, his blond hair flying in the breeze. At least he seemed interested in the ruins. That was something. He'd spent the entire plane ride asking, "Are we there yet?" until Adam had had to bite down on his own hand to keep from yelling at him.
Now Jeremy was balancing on the viaduct that had once brought water to the villa, a portion of which came perilously close to the edge of the cliff. Adam frowned. He supposed he should do the parental thing and warn him about falling.
"Jeremy, don't go out on the edge like that," he called out. "It's dangerous."
The boy looked back at him and laughed. Adam shook his head. What six-year-old boy laughed like that, with that wicked tone, as though he relished torturing adults? The only thing he could think was that he'd better hire another, tougher nanny, and do it fast.
"Stay away from the edge."
Jeremy turned from the viaduct, but he began to climb the crumbling exterior wall of the old villa instead. Adam started toward him. This was getting ridiculous. The kid was going to kill himself.
"Jeremy! Damn it, get down from there right now!"
Jeremy turned to climb higher—and fell right over the edge.
The shout that came from Adam seemed to rip through the walls of his chest. Shock and then sharp fear jolted through him and he began to run, cursing and praying at the same time. Oh, God! What if…?
He threw himself into the ruin and began to scramble up the steep wall, heading for the spot where Jeremy had gone over the edge. The Roman bricks crumbled under his feet, making for impossible climbing, but then he gained the harder ledge and vaulted up into position. Looking down, he braced himself for the sight of his son's shattered body lying on the rocks, thirty feet below.
Instead, he saw Jeremy kneeling at the feet of a slender woman, petting what looked like a golden retriever, and from his new vantage point he could see that there was a shelf, a sort of patio area, that jutted out over the sea, not far beneath him.
He took a deep breath and let his shoulders sag, but relief was followed quickly by raw anger. Now he realized that Jeremy hadn't fallen. He'd jumped. Adam let out an angry shout, then turned and made his way to the stone steps he noticed along the side. By the time he reached where the young woman was sitting on an old stone wall, Jeremy and the dog had gone on down to the rocky shore beneath and were now frolicking at the water's edge.
His anger at his son was only made worse by his sense of frustration, and he swore, then turned grudgingly toward the woman.
"Sorry," he muttered, just in case she was the type to take offense.
And then he stopped and looked again. She was quite striking. Her body was slim and graceful, her dark brown hair sleek and shining in the sunlight and braided with a silk scarf the color of spring leaves. Her neck seemed unusually long and slender, making him think of ballet dancers. He couldn't see her eyes as she wore a pair of very dark and stylish Gucci sunglasses, but the features he could see could have been classically cut in fine porcelain. In direct contrast, her mouth was full and lush and sensual, and her chin tilted impudently.
Copyright © 2008 Harlequin Books S.A.