Confessions of a Millionaire's Mistress. Robyn Grady
From way below, the countdown drifted up.
His fingers laced with hers as his face, dramatically cut in the light and shadow, came close. ‘I’ve wanted to do this all night.’
Five, four, three…
How to react? What to say? She wanted his kiss. But how much, or little, did he want from her?
A roar of ‘HAPPY NEW YEAR’ went up, and the sky erupted with loud bursts of colour-filled stars. While thunderous cracks exploded all around, his hand, joined with hers, wound around her back and tugged her in.
His physical presence was so strong she could barely catch her breath, let alone think. His hand on the small of her back urged her closer. ‘Stay the night.’
She groaned. ‘I—I…I’m not sure.’
He smiled. ‘Guess I’ll have to convince you.’ His lips tasted hers, tender and coaxing. ‘Happy…’ another, longer taste ‘… New…’
Cupping her jaw, he kissed her slow and deep, with a scorching knowledge and a soul-filled necessity that she’d dreamed of every night for weeks. When their mouths gently parted, he didn’t say Year.
Instead she sighed and said, ‘Yes…’
One Christmas long ago, Robyn Grady received a book from her big sister and immediately fell in love with Cinderella. Sprinklings of magic, deepest wishes come true—she was hooked! Picture books with glass slippers later gave way to romance novels and, more recently, the real-life dream of writing for Mills & Boon.
After a fifteen-year career in television, Robyn met her own modern-day hero. They live on Australia’s Sunshine Coast with their three little princesses, two poodles and a cat called Tinkie. She loves new shoes, worn jeans, lunches at Moffat Beach and hanging out with her friends on eHarlequin. Learn about her latest releases at www.robyngrady.com and don’t forget to say hi. She’d love to hear from you!
Our species has waged the Battle of the Sexes since Adam and Eve. Over time the fight has been played out on many fields—domestic, political, business, and don’t forget the bedroom. But what of the victories?
In the twenty-first century some might say it’s unclear whether women have found equality or have only succeeded in making the parameters for debate wider and less defined.
In CONFESSIONS OF A MILLIONAIRE’S MISTRESS, Celeste Prince wants to prove to the ghosts of her past that today’s woman should never be ashamed of her intelligence or her resources—particularly when faced with a man who exudes an air of superiority as well as bone-melting sensual charm.
But can women have it all…career, family, as well as an evenly balanced commitment to love? Or is compromise still a word only women know how to spell? I hope you enjoy Celeste and Benton Scott’s journey towards their happily-ever-after. On both sides there are lessons in love to be learned, and understandings of themselves and each other to be reached.
My very best wishes in Mills & Boon’s celebrated centenary year. Long live romance!
CONFESSIONS OF A MILLIONAIRE’S MISTRESS
To Mim and Jack for their wonderful inspiration.
With many thanks to my editor Kimberley Young, for her encouragement and support, and Bryony Green for her fabulous suggestions.
‘TRY to stay calm, but Mr Terrific-in-a-tux over there is undressing you with his eyes.’
Celeste Prince quietly grabbed her friend’s arm and forced her to look away too.
‘For heaven’s sake, Brooke,’ Celeste hissed under her breath, ‘don’t encourage him.’
Yes, the sexy stranger who’d just arrived was beyond intriguing. Neat dark hair, strong shadowed jaw, beautiful big shoulders that left her feeling a little weak at the knees. Superior specimens like that didn’t magically appear every day. But, damn it, tonight she didn’t need the distraction.
Over a hundred guests, all shimmering and crisp in their after-five wear, had gathered at the behest of Australia’s franchise genius, Rodney Prince, to celebrate his company’s twentieth successful year. But this soirée meant far more to Celeste than just another party. Tonight her father planned to step down as head of Prince Landscape Maintenance and hand over the Sydney empire’s reins to his only child.
After her mother’s death fifteen years ago, her dad had withdrawn from everything but business and they’d drifted apart. How she’d waited for this moment—the chance to be visible in his world again and make both her parents proud. Nothing mattered more.
Not even meeting that tall, dark, delectable dream.
Buckling, Celeste dared one more glance from beneath her lashes.
The stranger was leaning against a French door jamb, this side of the mansion’s manicured courtyard. As his hand slid into his pocket his left leg bent and the ledge of those shoulders, magnificent in a white dinner jacket, slanted into a casual but confident pose. He was handsome in a rugged yet refined way, a toned powerhouse cloaked in classic Armani. However, his eyes mesmerised her the most…seductive pools of vibrant blue light. Captivating.
Smiling straight into hers.
A bevy of exquisite tingles raced over her skin and she spun away again. Still she felt his heated gaze caressing her back, stroking her arms, slipping the satin straps from her shoulders, easing the dress all the way down…
Brooke tipped closer. ‘Who do you think he is?’
Celeste tossed back a mouthful of chilled champagne. Her throat was suddenly parched. ‘I don’t know,’ she replied, ‘and I don’t care.’
She needed to concentrate on reciting her acceptance speech without her cheeks turning into torches and her tongue tying itself in knots. “Stuttering Celeste” rarely made an appearance these days. After years of torment in junior school, she’d learned to slow down, think ahead and ease her way through most situations—even something as overwhelming as tonight.
Brooke arched a brow. ‘You don’t care, huh?’ With one arm crossed beneath her gown’s scarlet bodice, she rested her champagne flute near her cheek. ‘We went through high school together, backpacked Europe together. Never once have I seen you this cagey over a man.’
Celeste couldn’t smother a grin. ‘Let’s face it… he’s not just any man.’
Drawn again, she glanced over a hitched shoulder. Like a cool-headed hit man, now the stranger was perusing the room, checking out the territory, assessing his targets. Such a composed air of indifference, yet she had the eeriest feeling he had his thumb on everyone’s pulse…particularly the one beating a mouth-watering rhythm right between her—
‘Celeste, I need to see you in private.’
Heart leaping, Celeste pivoted around to see her father’s serious suntanned face gazing down at her.
When she’d arrived this afternoon he’d talked about the future of PLM, hinting again at his retirement and subtly sussing out her aspirations with regard to the company. Was she happy running the central Sydney handbag and accessory store she’d opened this year? Did she want to look at doing something more?
She’d replied that her profit margins were healthy. And, yes, she was definitely ready to do something new. No gushing or taking the words from his mouth, but clearly her father had wanted to confirm his decision before making the big announcement