Baby Bequest. Robyn Grady
When He Turned Away, Jenna Caught His Arm.
“What would this…this ‘marriage’…entail, exactly?” she asked.
Even through his jacket sleeve, the evocative warmth burrowed into his flesh, causing his skin to tighten and heat. Angling back, he studied her eyes and saw the same charged awareness he felt.
“Being seen together. Buying a ring. Setting a date. Then, when you have the child, we can go our separate ways.”
“Do you really believe we can convince people that our engagement is real?”
Her eyebrows lifted. “Because in business you’re used to bluffing…?”
No, he thought. Because ever since I laid eyes on you again, all I can think about is taking you in my arms and kissing you senseless….
How lonely our lives would be without love…the unconditional love of a mother, the support and laughter of a sister or dear friend, the passion and commitment of a life partner—a true soul mate. Sometimes love isn’t so easy to find. For a lucky few, however, love seems to land in their laps—at the most unlikely time, with the most unlikely person. All at once the sky looks brighter and the flowers smell sweeter.
But what if, after finding the one who makes us whole, we lose him again? How much worse is it if he leaves without a word of explanation? That kind of pain is said to heal over time. Does it?
Twelve years ago, the young man Jenna Darley adored disappeared without so much as a note goodbye. When Gage Cameron returns, now incredibly successful and offering to help Jenna fight for custody of her niece after a family tragedy, she’s ready to tell him where to get off. But Jenna comes to discover that true love can survive the toughest of tests. Gage has an even more remarkable lesson to learn—and it begins with trusting himself enough to let go of secrets that could hurt Jenna even more.
I hope you enjoy Baby Bequest.
left a fifteen-year career in television production knowing that the time was right to pursue her dream of writing romance. She adores cats, clever movies and spending time with her wonderful husband and their three precious daughters. Living on Australia’s glorious Sunshine Coast, her perfect day includes a beach, a book and no laundry when she gets home.
Robyn loves to hear from readers. You can contact her at www.robyngrady.com.
With thanks to Tony Mansueto
for his expert advice on helicopters.
Melissa Jeglinski, Jennifer Schober and Shana Smith—
thank you all for helping make Baby Bequest my favorite.
“If you’re here about my father, you’re too late.” Jenna Darley took time enough to bite back tears and lift her chin. “I buried him two days ago.”
Gage Cameron glanced over from where he was crouching on the lawn, introducing himself to the Darleys’ curious Alsatian. A moment after his ice-gray gaze found hers, his square jaw relaxed with a smile that was supportive and, in spite of it all, faintly seductive.
Unbidden heat curled low in Jenna’s stomach.
Suits worth thousands had replaced the bad-boy jeans he’d worn twelve years ago, but clearly the lone wolf she’d once loved hadn’t vanished completely. Good thing she’d made the choice to grow up. Move on.
Too bad he’d done it first.
With a final ruffle of Shadow’s ears, Gage pushed to his feet. Taller than she remembered, he brushed his large tanned hands and surveyed the extensive manicured grounds of her family’s Sydney home. Not that it belonged to “family” anymore.
Her father, twin sister and brother-in-law were all dead, victims of a freak helicopter crash. Although she’d received the news ten days ago, Jenna still had trouble believing it. Half the time she was crying, or close to it; the other half she felt…numb. The horror was real, yet it wasn’t.
Earlier this week, while she’d sat, dazed, in a lawyer’s office, she’d discovered that her father’s entire estate had been left to her stepmother, a polished middle-aged woman whom everyone adored…everyone but black sheep Jenna.
The nightmare didn’t end there.
Gage sauntered over, the broad ledge of his shoulders moving in a languid, almost predatory roll. When he stopped an arm’s length away, his head tilted and chin tipped lower as if she were somehow broken and he could spare the time to fix her.
“I was tied up in Dubai when I heard,” he said in a rumbling voice that had deepened over the years. “I flew back as soon as I could.”
Jenna twined her arms over her ribs and pressed the sick, empty ache in her stomach. “A waste of your time, I’m afraid.”
Jump on your private jet and fly back to your high-powered lair, she thought. There’s nothing for you here.
His gaze sharpened as if he’d read her mind. Still he persisted. “If there’s anything I can do…”
Her bland expression held. “Thank you. No.”
Nowadays Gage raked in millions the way other men raked up leaves. Although his base was Melbourne, Australia, his soaring success was praised in every medium all over the world. From Paris to Penang, wherever Jenna traveled for her freelance writing, Gage’s rugged good looks, those piercing gray eyes, seemed to find her—today in the unforgettable flesh.
Unfortunately nothing, including status and wealth, could bring back three members of her family she missed so deeply that she couldn’t see this darkness ever lifting. But there was a fourth and final member—her three-month-old niece. It was little Meg that she must concentrate on now.
Anchoring his weight, Gage slid both hands into his trouser pockets. “I’m staying in Sydney for a few weeks.”
Through bleary eyes, Jenna tried to focus. “You have business to conduct?” A few more million to make?
Raw magnetism radiated from his tall and impressive frame while little other than cool detachment shone from the depths of those crystal-cut eyes. So commanding and assured. She could only imagine how ruthless he’d become.
“Your father would want me to make sure you’re all right,” he replied.
Her mask broke.
“You were the housekeeper’s son, Gage. My father gave you a bed, an education, and you left without so much as a goodbye. I’m sorry, but why do you think he would care what you said or did now?”
His eyes narrowed so slightly, so briefly, she wondered if