Baby and the Boss. Kim Lawrence

Baby and the Boss - Kim Lawrence

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      Kim Lawrence lives on a farm in rural Anglesey. She runs two miles daily and finds this an excellent opportunity to unwind and seek inspiration for her writing! It also helps her keep up with her husband, two active sons, and the various stray animals which have adopted them. Always a fanatical consumer of fiction, she is now equally enthusiastic about writing. She loves a happy ending!

      Kim’s latest book, Secret Baby, Convenient Wife, will be available in April, only from Mills & Boon® Modern™.

      Baby and the Boss


      Kim Lawrence

      MILLS & BOON

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      NIA was breathless by the time she reached her desk. The connecting door was open and to her relief her boss unusually wasn’t back from lunch yet, either. She glanced at her watch, two minutes late. Hastily pushing her packages under the desk, she slid into her seat and adopted her best cool, unflappable expression.

      It wasn’t that the cool capable part was an act, it was just that her present boss always looked as though he thought it was.

      Working as a temp had made her adaptable, but some employers were a lot easier to adapt to than others. Jake Prentice wasn’t the most difficult boss she’d ever had to work for, but he was, she reflected, tightening the barrette that was meant to hold back her rich auburn curls, right up there in the awful category.

      It was nigh on impossible to build up a good working relationship with someone who didn’t appear to think she was capable of breathing without being given detailed instructions on the process!

      She didn’t think his antipathy was actually personal, despite his initial reaction—one she now knew was extremely uncharacteristic. She suspected he had her in the same mental file as office furniture. She’d always known a successful temp had to be a bit of a chameleon, but you had to draw a line somewhere. She wasn’t about to start wearing a wig even for the sake of industrial harmony!

      ‘You’ve got red hair.’

      The awkward thirty-second aftermath which followed that startled accusation was the only time she’d ever seen Jake Prentice display anything approaching embarrassment. The fact that her expression hadn’t done much to disguise that she thought it had been a pretty stupid thing to say probably hadn’t done much to improve matters.

      He’d been treating her like a nasty smell ever since, but honestly what had the man expected her to do? It hadn’t been a very imaginative comment for someone who was supposed to be one of the most brilliant, innovative architects of his generation. He must be good, he was young—early thirties—to be an architect with the sort of international reputation he had.

      He didn’t come across as her idea of a sensitive creative type, but he had a cupboard full of awards proclaiming he was, so she must be missing something. She hadn’t missed the signs of Grade-A workaholism, though, nor his teeth-clenching unremitting attention to detail!

      If she’d made any mistakes she’d have known about it, he’d have made sure of that! Without saying a word—one raised brow and a pained expression had done it—he’d made it pretty clear that the cluster of family photos and the discreet pot plant she’d brought in were unwelcome additions to the office.

      She hadn’t made a song and dance about it. He was a man heavily into the minimalist look, and he paid her salary. She’d taken it philosophically and had made no further attempts to personalise her space.

      ‘Miss Jones, would you arrange coffee for my brother?’

      She started and knocked a manila folder onto the floor.

      ‘Brother?’ She didn’t have the faintest idea what he was talking about.

      Fortunately mind-reading wasn’t one of his talents, although with those eyes—who knew! There was something almost spooky about his grey eyes, really pale grey with a distinctive dark rim around the iris, fringed by lashes that were luxuriantly long and curling—they struck her as a frivolous detail in an otherwise austerely handsome face.

      Not for the first time she wondered how he managed to enter a room totally silently. She sounded like a regiment when her heels clattered on the pale elm flooring that had been used throughout the building. The man must have been an assassin in a previous reincarnation. Yes, she decided, there was something sinister and predatory about those finely chiselled features. She looked at the uncompromising line of his square jaw and it clicked—the man on the stairs!

      ‘Your brother has left,’ she informed him confidently.

      The interrogative quirk of one dark brow had her rushing on to explain herself. ‘I bumped into him on the stairs. I didn’t actually realise he was your brother at the time, but he looked…’

      It wasn’t the similarity, which now seemed obvious, that had made the incident and the stranger stand out in her mind, just the terrible haunted expression in his eyes. Well, that, and the fact he was the most sinfully gorgeous creature she’d ever laid eyes on. Didn’t that mean he was the second most sinfully gorgeous creature…? The similarity was striking… She only conceded her employer’s gorgeous status with the utmost reluctance.

      Perhaps it was something to do with expressions, she pondered thoughtfully. She could never imagine anything about Jake making her want to run after him and ask if she could help. His brother had made her want to do just that.

      Nia had been in the big city long enough to know you didn’t follow a gut instinct to run after total strangers and offer help. No wonder she hadn’t made the family connection, Jake Prentice was the least needy man she’d ever met!

      Jake’s lips tightened fractionally before he nodded abruptly. ‘We’re twins. Put the call from Stockholm straight through.’

      Twins! Yes, the mental photo fit was an exact match.

      So alike, but so different, she thought, letting out a gusty sigh as he vanished into his own room. She had developed the silly habit of holding her breath since she’d been working for this tiresome man. Would Jake Prentice really look like the man on the stairs with a couple of days’ growth of beard and his neatly trimmed dark hair falling almost to his shoulders?

      She mentally replaced the dull lank locks for something with a nice healthy sheen, her employer wasn’t the sort of man you associated lank hair with. The first thing she’d seen on the stairs had been a pair of very long muscular legs coming towards her. The stranger’s upper body had been just as impressive.

      It naturally followed that his twin would be equally blessed—physically speaking. This wasn’t a big shock, it had always been obvious that inside those conservative but beautifully cut suits there lurked a super-fit body. Vitality simply oozed out of every pore.

      The intercom interrupted her private contemplation of her employer’s physical attributes. Her cheeks were pink but her tone cool and composed as she responded.


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