The Billionaire's Bedside Manner / Her Innocence, His Conquest. Robyn Grady
MILLS & BOON
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“I didn’t ask you to stay here for this.”
Looming above her, everything seemed to still as he searched her eyes in a world of midnight shadows. His deep, low voice seemed to fill the room.
She drew an aimless pattern through the hair at the base of his throat.
“Although I’m not sorry you agreed.”
She matched his grin. “I’m not sorry you asked.”
He dropped a tender kiss at the side of her mouth, a barely there touch that shot a fountain of sparks through her every fiber.
“Come with me to France,” he murmured against her lips.
She groaned. The temptation was huge. She’d said no and had meant it. She was starting a job Monday. She didn’t want to take more charity. But those considerations didn’t seem quite so solid since he’d carried her to his bed.
I’m a firm believer in the adage, Every cloud has a silver lining. Some horrible event reduces you to tears. You’re wondering how the heck you’ll ever pick yourself up and get rid of the sick, nasty feeling crouched in the pit of your gut. Then, as a direct consequence of that knock, something wonderful occurs. Something you might never have otherwise been brave enough to try or accept. Pain is transformed into hope. Into success.
When The Billionaire’s Bedside Manner opens, the heroine, Bailey Ross, is in a bad place, emotionally and financially. She’s arrived back in Australia from an overseas sabbatical that she’d hoped would be both enlightening and memorable. Instead, she’d escaped a dangerous situation in Italy by the skin of her teeth. Now she only wants to regroup … get back on her feet and repay Mama Celeca, the lady who helped her when no one else could.
Mama C’s grandson, obstetrician Mateo Celeca, doesn’t swallow Bailey’s hard-luck story. In fact, Mateo could be convinced that Ms. Ross is an opportunist—a con, to be less polite. She’s such a master that even he is not immune to her manipulations. That he should invite Bailey to accompany him on his annual jaunt to France is a surprise to them both. But what they discover there changes their lives—and ideas about each other and love—forever.
I hope you enjoy reading Bailey and Mateo’s silver-lining story!
About the Author
ROBYN GRADY was first published with Harlequin in 2007. Her books have since featured regularly on bestseller lists and at award ceremonies, including The National Readers’ Choice Award, The Booksellers’ Best Award, Cataromance Reviewers’ Choice Award and Australia’s prestigious Romantic Book of the Year Award.
Robyn lives on Queensland’s beautiful Sunshine Coast with her real-life hero husband and three daughters. When she can be dragged away from tapping out her next story, Robyn visits the theater, the beach and the mall (a lot!). To keep fit she jogs (and shops) and dances with her youngest to Hannah Montana.
Robyn believes writing romance is the best job on the planet and she loves to hear from her readers. So drop by www.robyngrady.com and pass on your thoughts!
For the gorgeous Jade Pocklington for her input on all things French!
With thanks to my editor, Shana Smith, for her unfailing support and advice and belief in my stories.
“Just shout if it’s a bad time to drop in.”
The instant the words left her mouth, Bailey Ross watched the man she had addressed—the man she knew must be Doctor Mateo Celeca—brace his wide shoulders and spin around on his Italian, leather-clad feet. Brow furrowed, he cocked his head and studied her eyes so intently the awareness made Bailey’s cheeks warm and knees go a little weak. Mama Celeca had said her obstetrician grandson was handsome, but from memory the expression “super stud” was never discussed.
When Bailey had arrived at this exclusive Sydney address moments ago, she’d hitched her battered knapsack higher as she’d studied first the luggage, set neatly by that door, then the broad back of a masculine frame standing alongside. Busy checking his high-tech security system, Mateo Celeca had no idea he’d had company. Bailey wasn’t normally one to show up unannounced, but today was an exception.
Remembering manners, Mateo’s bemused expression eased into a smile … genial but also guarded.
“Forgive me,” he said in a deep voice that hinted at his Mediterranean ancestry. “Do we know each other?”
“Not really, no. But your grandmother should have rung. I’m Bailey Ross.” She drove down a breath and thrust out her hand. But when Dr. Celeca only narrowed his gaze, as if suspecting her of some offense, Bailey’s smile dropped. “Mama Celeca did phone … didn’t she?”
“I received no phone call.” Sterner this time, that frown returned and his informal stance squared. “Is Mama all right?”
“As thin as ever?”
“I wouldn’t say thin. After enjoying so much of her Pandoro, I’m not so thin anymore, either.”
At her grin, Mateo’s cagey expression lightened. A stranger lands on your elite North Shore doorstep with a half-baked story, looking a mess after fifteen hours in the air, who wouldn’t dig a little deeper? But anyone who knew Mama Celeca knew her delicious creamy layer-cake.
Looking like a sentinel guarding his palace, Mateo patiently folded his arms over the white button-down shirt shielding his impressive chest. Bailey cleared her throat and explained.
“This past year I’ve backpacked around Europe. I spent the last months in Italy in Mama Celeca’s town. We became close.”
“She’s a wonderful woman.”
“She’s very generous,” Bailey murmured, remembering Mama’s final charitable act. She’d as good as saved Bailey’s life. Bailey would never be able to repay her, although she was determined to try.
When a shadow dimmed the light in the doctor’s intelligent dark eyes, fearing she’d said too much,