Bargaining for Baby / The Billionaire's Baby Arrangement. Robyn Grady
MILLS & BOON
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“I don’t need you to understand me. Believe me, you don’t want to.”
“But know this. I want you to keep your promise. I want to do right by this boy. I want to give him a home.” Under the artificial light, his green eyes sparkled. “Come back with us to Leadeebrook.”
A choking breath caught in her chest.
Infuriating. Insufferable. How dare he be charming and sincere now!
But although she’d like to deny it, the note of caring in his voice had touched her. Maybe there was an ounce of human in Jack Prescott, after all.
Sensing her slide, he moved to take over the carriage’s handles. Still wary, she shook her head. “I’m not sure …”
But then he actually smiled—a damnable slow, bone-melting smile. “I think you are, Maddy.” He began to walk, and when she relented and followed, he added, “I’ll give you two weeks.”
At a recent family wedding, I enjoyed the company of a wise lady who said, “If you’re lucky enough to find the one person in this world who really ‘gets who you are,’ you should hang on tight and never let them go.” Years earlier, this lady had met and married the man of her dreams. They were beyond suited and immeasurably happy, particularly when their beautiful dark-eyed daughter was born. Sadly, when that little girl was only four, her loving father was taken from them.
To look into this woman’s eyes is to know she will love her husband forever. And logic says … if you’ve already gifted your heart to another, you haven’t another to give. For some I believe this is true.
But not for all.
When his wife passed away, Jack Prescott—my hero in Bargaining for Baby—felt as if his life was over, too. Knowing that their unborn baby had died at the same time seemed to cement the headstone over those emotions. But when Jack’s nephew needs a permanent guardian, the baby’s temporary caregiver, Madison Tyler, finds an unsuspecting chink in this wealthy cowboy’s cast-iron armour.
However, Jack is unwilling to gamble on love … as unwilling as Maddy is to live in Australia’s harsh Outback. And yet an increasingly vulnerable part of this savvy city girl continues to wish that their mutual smouldering attraction will heat Jack’s heart enough for him to realise that he still has love enough to give.
I hope you enjoy Bargaining for Baby series!
About the Author
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, she says 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.
This story is for Maxine, Katie and dear Aunt Jenn.
Three generations of smiles,
spunk and unfailing devotion.
With thanks to “Snow”
from Jondaryan Woolshed for your entertaining stories
and fascinating inside info, and also to my fabulous
editor, Shana Smith.
Jack Prescott wandered out from the public hospital room, his senses locked in a mind-numbing daze.
He’d received the call at ten that morning. He’d immediately jumped in his twin engine Piper Navajo and had flown to Sydney with his heart in his mouth the whole way. He and Dahlia hadn’t spoken in three years. Now he’d missed the chance to say goodbye.
Or I’m sorry.
Through stinging eyes he took in the busy corridor. The air smelled of antiseptic and, beneath that, death. As of today, he was the last surviving Prescott and there wasn’t a soul to blame but himself.
A passing doctor, deep in conversation, knocked Jack’s shoulder. He swayed, braced his legs then spread out his remarkably steady hands to examine the calloused palms. How long before the nightmare truly hit? Before he fell to his knees and cursed this godless world? Where was the mercy? Dahlia had only been twenty-three.
A woman in the crowded waiting room caught his eye, her fair hair streaming over one side of a red summer dress. She held a bundle. A swaddled child.
Jack rubbed a gritty eye and refocused.
Beneath fluorescent lights, tears glistened on her lashes, and as she gazed back down the corridor at him, Jack wondered if they’d met before. When her mouth pressed into an I’m-so-sorry smile, his gut hollowed out.
One of Dahlia’s friends.
But he wasn’t sure he could put words together yet. Those token pleasantries like, “Oh, you knew my sister. Yes, she was very beautiful. Sorry, but I have to leave … make arrangements.”
When the woman continued to wait, her pale hand supporting the baby’s head, Jack couldn’t avoid a meeting. He forced one leaden foot in front of the other and, an eternity later, stopped before her.
“You’re Dahlia’s brother, aren’t you?” she asked. “You’re Jack.” Her flushed cheeks were tearstained, her nails bitten to the quick and her eyes …
Her eyes were periwinkle blue.
Jack sucked in a breath. When was the last time he’d noticed something like that? He wasn’t sure he even knew the color of Tara’s eyes. Perhaps he should take note when he got back. Not that theirs would be that kind of marriage. Not from his perspective, in any case.
After the death of his wife three years ago, Tara Anderson had spent increasing amounts of time at Leadeebrook, the Queensland sheep station where he lived. Jack had been slow to appreciate Tara’s company; he wasn’t much of one for talking these days. But as close as his deceased wife and this woman had once been, so he and Tara had become good friends, too.
Then, last week, Tara had offered more.