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The Tycoon's Virgin [Secure eReader]
eBook by Susan Stephens

eBook Category: Romance
eBook Description: Rescued--by a sexy, rugged stranger! Caz Ryan grew up with nothing. So she reinvented herself: and became a success--but only in business, never with men..... When she heads to the country in search of her inheritance she's in for a shock--she's not an outdoors girl. Until she's rescued by tall, rugged Galem Brent. Suddenly the country holds a lot more appeal. Caz knows Galmen's going to seduce her. And she'll allow herself one weekend. But when Monday comes does she want to be the city girl she's strived to become ... or the real Caz Ryan?

eBook Publisher: Harlequin/Presents
Fictionwise Release Date: February 2008


7 Reader Ratings:
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CHAPTER ONE

AS MUD landed on her windscreen the steering wheel jerked out of her hands and Caz Ryan slammed on the brakes. The new silver Mini lurched and slid sideways into a ditch. Everything went black and there was just sound, bad sound, brambles and stone sloughing off showroom-pristine paint and the catastrophic wrenching sound of metal giving way. The car was dead. And now everything had gone eerily quiet.

Careful not to move, Caz conducted a full physical inventory. Everything seemed to be present and correct: no broken bones, no blood dripping on the carpet, she was intact, and, apart from being wedged between her seat and the door with her overnight bag seemingly welded to her head, she was fine. It was a miracle, no thanks to the Neanderthal driving that mud-slinging tractor.

Where was he, by the way? By craning her neck she had a great view of a muddy bank and a road that belonged under her wheels, not over her head. Her own fault. She should have stayed in London where men knew to get out of her way.

In London things were different. She wasn't Caz Ryan, currently shivering so hard her teeth were threatening to chip, but Cassandra Bailey Brown, the über-confident alter ego Caz had created in order to get ahead.

Finding the name had been easy. Cassandra because her mother had had a romantic streak—at least, she had before dumping Caz in a children's home prior to running away to 'find herself'. Bailey Brown came out of the phone book. There were only two listed, which confirmed the surname's exclusivity and made it the perfect choice.

The reason for the change of name? After leaving school she hadn't been able to get a job. Her accent had been a give-away; likewise her manner. She had known she had to do something and inspiration had come from the television—newscasters with their approved English pronunciation were the perfect people to copy. She had watched, learned and listened until she'd felt ready to re-launch herself as Cassandra. The tactic had worked. Doors that had slammed in Caz Ryan's face were held open by doormen for Cassandra Bailey Brown.

But Cassandra couldn't help her now. Wriggling furiously, Caz tried to achieve a better position, but only succeeded in proving that, whereas Cassandra walked tall in the city, she couldn't see over the hedge in the country.

However, this was no time for humour. She was shaking so hard she couldn't concentrate. The shock was getting through to her and with it the fact that she was trapped in a car at night and there was no one to help her other than the man she had so rashly overtaken, and who had now disappeared. She couldn't even reach her phone to call for help.

She tried shouting.

The silence was unrelenting and her bravado was being pushed out by fear. Silence in the country was very different from silence in the city; it was all-enveloping, and apart from the wind blowing a horror-movie soundtrack through the trees there was nothing to suggest another human being existed within miles of her.

What if the man drove away? This wasn't London with cars passing every second, this was Hawkshead, last bastion of civilisation before the harsh moorland conditions had deterred even the cavemen.

Caz tensed as a dark shadow loomed over her. 'Don't just stand there! Do something!'

The man didn't move. Maybe he was evaluating the situation, and maybe she was going to pieces. The only certainty was Cassandra's confidence hadn't survived the trip. The man's footsteps crunched away. Brisk and purposeful, they were growing fainter every second. 'Come back here! Don't leave me!'

For a moment she had felt warm beneath his shadow, but now she felt worse than before. She should be appealing to his better nature and not yelling at him. She had caused the accident, after all.

By almost dislocating her neck Caz managed to see out of the car window, but the angle was so acute the most she saw was that the man was some distance away. Although she did notice how tall and lean he was, with powerful shoulders that packed out his rugged jacket. Her body responded with a very different shiver, but had he any intention of helping her?

She had to stay calm. Cassandra never lost control. Cassandra was never lost for direction, let alone in London where everything was so well signed. But here in Hawkshead, miles from her comfort zone, Cassandra was no use at all.

So it was just Caz and the dark and an unknown man. Hugging herself Caz continued to shudder uncontrollably. This was bad news for Cassandra. Cassandra would never shudder. Cassandra was strong. She had recently been appointed a director of Brent Construction in Leeds, one of the top five hundred companies in the country. Cassandra would have to be back all guns blazing in the office on Monday morning when the new chairman was due to take inventory of his board.

Her new boss, Brent junior, had taken a cosy family business and turned it into a world class concern, and rumour said he moved fast to weed out weak links in his chain. Caz accepted business had no heart and didn't expect any favours, but having reached the top of the greasy pole, she had no intention of losing her grip on it.

It was thanks to her alter ego Cassandra that she was here in Hawkshead at all. Cassandra never turned down an opportunity to advance her career, and so Caz had thrown aside the familiar bustle of London for the promise of a better job and a large country house in Yorkshire.

The house in Hawkshead, twenty minutes outside Leeds, was a bonus, a complete surprise, an inheritance from an aunt she'd never met. She'd never been given a thing in her life before, and now a house. Just the thought of it propelled another yell out of her. She couldn't wait to see it; that was why she had come straight from work in Leeds to Hawkshead…

Copyright © 2007 by Susan Stephens.


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