Bedded by Blackmail / Millionaire's Secret Seduction: Bedded by Blackmail / Millionaire's Secret Seduction. Robyn Grady
Bedded by Blackmail / Millionaire's Secret Seduction: Bedded by Blackmail / Millionaire's Secret Seduction
Bedded by Blackmail by Robyn Grady
Tristan reached the pool’s edge at the same time the woman in the pink bikini pulled herself out of it.
With her hair pouring like wheat-coloured silk down her back, her glistening body might have belonged to a swimsuit model—buxom with shapely tanned legs that just kept getting longer.
Tristan braced his own legs shoulder-width apart and crossed his arms in a confrontational pose.
Unsuspecting, the woman straightened fully, sliding her hands back over her hair, like some Bond Girl from a beach scene. When she finally noticed him—when she looked up with those big blue, suddenly startled eyes…
Tristan’s mouth fell open and his arms dropped like dead weights to his sides. Then he dragged a hand down over his mouth and blinked several incomprehensible times.
No, this didn’t make sense. The hair was the wrong colour. That body sure as hell didn’t fit. Still, he ground out the question.
“Ella…is that you?”
Millionaire’s Secret Seduction by Jennifer Lewis
“It’s not about the money. It’s about my dad’s legacy. I’ll prove Tarrant forced my father into selling against his will and then the courts will restore his work to my family.”
Alarm mixed with amusement made him snort. “You’re going to sue Hardcastle Enterprises?”
Bella held Dominic’s gaze, her grey eyes unblinking. “Yes. I know a judge will do the right thing.”
“Sounds to me like you have way too much faith in the legal system and not nearly enough in Tarrant’s utter ruthlessness. Did you find what you need?”
“Not yet. Are you going to have me fired?”
“Me? Oh, yeah, the son and heir. I don’t know what the hell I’m going to do with you…”
Except kiss you again, maybe…
Bedded By Blackmail
Millionaire’s Secret Seduction
MILLS & BOON®
Bedded by Blackmail
Robyn Grady 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.
My all-time favourite fairy tale is Cinderella. When my sister gave me the picture book many years ago, I pored over the words, copied the illustrations, dreamed about being part of such a perfect ever-after.
The theme of rags to riches—from poor in life to rich in love—is still a favourite. Surely the ultimate fantasy is overcoming great odds to end up with a “prince” and lasting love.
My heroine in this story has faced many challenges. Illness and death in the family, accusations of murder, as well as chilling blackmail threats. Enough pressure for Ella Jacob to go underground and assume an identity as a dowdy but efficient housekeeper.
Her boss, successful businessman Tristan Barkley, is cynical about many things, but not where his housekeeper is concerned. Knowing Ella will make an ideal wife—certain that love will grow—he proposes marriage. But there’s a price to pay for his readiness to trust so quickly and a few more secrets to uncover about his new bride’s past before they can come close to a fairy-tale ending.
Deceit, betrayal, deepest loyalty and even a touch of magic, I hope you enjoy Bedded by Blackmail.
For Carol, my beautiful big sister. Happy birthday!
With thanks to my editor, Diana Ventimiglia, for your help in making this book so special.
Tristan Barkley knew danger when he sensed it. As he whipped open the sliding glass door and scanned his expansive backyard, he sensed it in spades.
His heart beat like a war drum against his ribs while the hair on his nape prickled and every muscle in his body bunched tight.
Where was Ella? What trouble was she in?
He’d phoned to speak with his housekeeper twice this morning. Ella wasn’t aware of his last-minute plans to attend a gala event in Sydney tonight. Home a day early from a weeklong trip to Melbourne, he’d wanted to be sure his tuxedo was back from the cleaners.
But when she hadn’t answered his calls, he hadn’t been concerned. Perhaps she was out shopping. Ella Jacob was fanatical about having her boss’s every need and want satisfied. It was one of the reasons he valued her—or rather, her dedication to her job—so highly.
However, when he’d arrived home a few minutes ago, he’d noticed her car keys hanging on their hook. A second later, his gut wrenched at the sight of her practical leather handbag and its contents strewn over the kitchen counter. Her uniform had been turned inside out and discarded on the cold marble tiles. One black lace-up shoe lay near the timber meals table, the other had been left upside down near this door.
Now as he shaded his eyes against a single ray piercing the brewing black sky, his heart squeezed like a fist in his chest.
If anyone had entered his house uninvited…if someone had dared to hurt Ella…
He strode onto the lawn and movement beyond the northern courtyard caught his eye. Tristan narrowed his focus and zeroed in on a trespasser’s fluid backstroke as the intruder sliced through the cool blue of his Olympic-size pool. Twenty-twenty vision said the long, tanned limbs were female. A flash of a pink swimsuit, and the curves it partially concealed, confirmed she was of his generation or younger.
Tristan let out a territorial growl. There’d been a recent spate of robberies in his neighborhood. The police suspected the work of a couple. One poor grandmother had been assaulted and tied up in her own home. Was that woman in his pool the girlfriend of some brazen burglar? he wondered.
He charged forward even as another scenario came to mind. Might be that Ella had simply invited a friend over. Although, come to think of it, he’d never heard her speak of friends. Or family. And that didn’t explain the handbag, her uniform. It didn’t explain where she was.
His long strides picked up pace.
Once he yanked that woman from the water, hell ’n’ Hades, he’d have some answers then.
He reached the pool’s edge at the same time the woman in pink climbed out, her hair falling like wheat-colored silk down her back. Her glistening body might have belonged to a swimsuit model—buxom with shapely, tanned legs that seemed to go on forever.
Tristan braced his own legs shoulder-width