A Bride for the Maverick Millionaire. Marion Lennox
He did not want complications.
But she turned to him, her face flushed with excitement, and heaven only knew the effort it cost him not to take her face in his hands and kiss her.
How would she react?
The same way he’d react, he thought, or the same way he should react. He’d seen her fear. She didn’t want any sort of relationship and neither did he.
“I can die happy now,” she breathed.
He couldn’t help himself. He leaned forward in the close confines of the cave and he kissed her—a feather touch, a trace of a kiss that brushed her lips and that was all. It had to be all.
Australia’s northern coastline, the Kimberley Coast, is unbelievable until you see it. Take a look at www.kimberleycoast.com.au. It’s one of the world’s last true wilderness areas, with more than two thousand islands, spectacular reefs, amazing corals, wild rivers, plus a decent spattering of crocodiles and whales.
I was lucky enough to tour the area by boat last year and I came home awed—and also full of writerly “What ifs”.
What if my hero and heroine were stranded in this magnificent but inhospitable country? What if I threw a few villains into the mix? What if this was the scene for a truly breathtaking romance?
Thus A Bride for the Maverick Millionaire was born. I hope you can gain a sense of my journey of a lifetime as you sink into a romance that deserves its setting.
About the Author
MARION LENNOX is a country girl, born on an Australian dairy farm. She moved on—mostly because the cows just weren’t interested in her stories! Married to a “very special doctor”, Marion writes for Mills & Boon® Medical Romance™ and Mills & Boon® Cherish™. (She used a different name for each category for a while—readers looking for her past romance titles should search for author Trisha David, as well). She’s now had more than seventy-five romance novels accepted for publication.
In her non-writing life Marion cares for kids, cats, dogs, chooks and goldfish. She travels, she fights her rampant garden (she’s losing) and her house dust (she’s lost). Having spun in circles for the first part of her life, she’s now stepped back from her “other” career, which was teaching statistics at her local university. Finally she’s reprioritised her life, figured what’s important and discovered the joys of deep baths, romance and chocolate.
Preferably all at the same time!
A Bride for
MILLS & BOON
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To the awesome women
of Romance Writers of Australia.
This year we come of age—twenty-one years
of fabulous support, friendship and professional growth.
From the women who were there at our inception
to the women who form our strength now,
I give you my thanks.
FINN planned to have nothing to do with Rachel Cotton, but the elderly passengers on the Kimberley Temptress disagreed. They’d been giving him advice since Darwin.
‘You ought to make a play for her. Make an impression. What’s a cruise without a bit of shipboard romance?’
So, like it or not, he made an impression.
He knocked her grandmother overboard.
It wasn’t exactly planned. The ship’s tour guides, Esme and Jason, were assisting passengers to step down the short landing ramp to the rocky beach. Esme’s job was to hold each passenger until Jason had them safely at the other end.
She didn’t hold Dame Maud long enough, and Maud wobbled.
Finn stepped onto the ramp fast, but not fast enough. Maud swayed and lurched—and hit Finn, who was trying to manoeuvre past Esme.
He couldn’t grab her in time.
She was in her eighties. The water was deep, she was heading for the bottom and, from the rocks, Rachel Cotton screamed in terror, launching herself back across the ramp to dive in.
Finn was the owner of the entire Temptress cruise line, but he was here now as a passenger, undercover, to observe the crew. Rescuing passengers was not his call. Neither was stopping more passengers throwing themselves overboard. Nevertheless, he didn’t have a choice.
He grabbed Rachel, sweeping her up into his arms.
‘Put me down. Let me go!’
She was cute and small and blonde—and loud and lethal. She twisted and kicked… right where a guy didn’t need to be kicked.
He swung around and shoved her into Jason’s arms.
‘Don’t let her go,’ he commanded, and dived overboard even as he said it.
Held by Jason, who was almost as strong as Finn, Rachel could only watch as her beloved Maud slid under the boat and out of sight.
‘Maud!’ She could make Jason drop her—martial arts training told her how—but sense was beginning to kick in.
‘He’ll get her,’ Jason said.
He must. She had no choice but to depend on Finn Kinnard.
She’d met Finn the day the Temptress left Darwin.
‘This is Finn Kinnard,’ the purser had told her, determinedly making the ship’s forty passengers mingle. ‘Finn’s a boat-builder from the US. Finn, this is Rachel Cotton, and she’s a geologist. You two are the only young singles on board. Have fun.’ She’d flashed a suggestive smile, her implication obvious.
‘What sort of boats do you build?’ Rachel had asked, intrigued despite the implication.
He obviously wasn’t intrigued in return. ‘Small wooden boats,’ he’d said curtly, and then, grudgingly, ‘What sort of geology?’
‘Big rock geology,’ she’d retorted, even more curtly, and he’d smiled. But he’d moved on fast.
She got it. He was expecting her to launch herself at him.
She was vaguely miffed, but not much.