Gideon St. Claire's life revolves around work--just the way he likes it. He's master of his emotions, and the women he dates never get glimpses of his home life beyond the stairs leading to his bedroom....Feisty and fun loving, with the annoying knack of knowing just how to wind Gideon up, Joey McKinley is the sort of woman he avoids. How does he handle such enthusiasm? But when an old enemy of Joey's starts looking for revenge, Gideon is forced to keep watch over her--day "and" night....
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Carole Mortimer was born in England, the youngest of three children. She began writing in 1978, and has now written over one hundred and seventy books for Harlequin Mills and Boon®. Carole has six sons, Matthew, Joshua, Timothy, Michael, David and Peter. She says, ‘I’m happily married to Peter senior; we’re best friends as well as lovers, which is probably the best recipe for a successful relationship. We live in a lovely part of England.’Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved. :
'So, are you going to stand there all morning looking down your superior nose at me, or are you going to do something useful and offer to carry one of these boxes up in the lift for me?'
Gideon closed his eyes. Counted to ten. Slowly. Breathed in. And then out again. Even more slowly. Before once again opening his eyes.
No, Joey McKinley was still there. In fact she had straightened from bending over the boot of her car, parked two bays down from Gideon's own in this private underground car park, and was now peremptorily tapping the sole of one three-inch stiletto-heeled shoe against the concrete floor. He knew this woman would become the bane of his existence for the next four weeks, if this situation was allowed to continue.
Joey McKinley. Twenty-eight years old, five foot four inches tall, with short, silky red hair that somehow wisped up and away from the heart-shaped beauty of her face, challenging jade-green eyes, and a creamily smooth complexion with a soft sprinkling of freckles across the bridge of her tiny nose, her lips full and sensual. The leanness of her obviously physically fit body was shown to advantage in a smart black tailored business suit and a silk blouse the same jade-green colour as her eyes.
'Well?' his own personal nemesis challenged, that impatient tapping of her shoe against the concrete floor increasing as she looked across at him with auburn brows arched over those mocking green eyes.
Gideon drew in another deep and steadying breath as he considered the numerous ways in which he might cause his older brother Lucan pain for having placed him in this untenable position in the first place. Not enough to do any serious damage, of course. But a littlepain? Gideon felt no qualms whatsoever about that. Lucan obviously felt a similar lack of concern about Gideon's welfare, having inflicted this woman on him without a second's consideration.
It was something Gideon had been contemplating for the last thirty-six hours, in fact. Ever since Lucan had informed him, at his wedding reception on Saturday evening, that when Gideon took over as temporary chairman of the St Claire Corporation for the month that he and Lexie were away on their honeymoon, he had arranged for Joey McKinley to take Gideon's place as the company's legal representative.
Gideon's assurances that he was perfectly capable of fulfilling both roles had made absolutely no impact on his older brother. He'd also ignored Gideon when he'd confessed he had his doubts that he and Joey McKinley could work together.
Gideon respected the woman as a lawyer, having heard only positive comments from other colleagues concerning her ability in a courtroom, but on every other level she succeeded in making his hackles rise.
That red hair was like a shining beacon in any room she happened to be in, and she had a husky and sensual laugh that, when released, had every male head in the vicinity turning in her direction. She had been wearing a dress the last two times Gideon had met her—firstly, an ankle-length sheath of a maid of honour gown in a deep jade colour at her sister Stephanie and his brother Jordan's wedding, almost two months ago, and a red knee-length dress at Lucan and Lexie's wedding on Saturday. The latter should have clashed with the bright copper cap of her hair, but instead it had just seemed to emphasise the natural gold and cinnamon highlights running through those strands.
The black business suit she was wearing today should have looked crisp and professional, but somehow…didn't. The jacket was short and figure-hugging, and the top three buttons left unfastened on the green silk blouse she wore beneath enabled him to see the tops of full and creamy breasts. The fitted knee-length skirt showed off an expanse of her shapely legs.
In other words, Joey McKinley was—
'You know, I've seen paint dry quicker than you appear to be able to make up your mind!' she called out.
—a veritable thorn in his side!
He drew in another controlling breath in an effort to force the tension from his body. 'Do you always have to be this abrasive?' Silly question; he knew her well enough by now to know that she always said exactly what happened to be on her mind at the time. Something that Gideon, a man who always measured his words carefully before speaking, found disturbing to say the least.
Her next comment was a prime example of that bluntness. 'Maybe I wouldn't feel the need if you occasionally took that I'm-so-superior stick out of your backside and joined the rest of us mortals in the real world.'
Gideon winced. The two of them had met— what?—four times in total. Most recently two days ago, at Lucan and Lexie's wedding, and before that nine weeks ago, when he'd first met her in her office at Pickard, Pickard and Wright, after he had gone to inform her he had managed to extricate her twin sister Stephanie from an awkward legal situation. Two weeks after that he'd met her at the wedding rehearsal of his twin brother Jordan and Stephanie, and then he'd seen her again at their wedding a week later.
Gideon frowned now as he remembered his absolute astonishment during Jordan and Stephanie's marriage ceremony. Everything had gone so smoothly in the lead-up to the wedding, and Gideon, as his brother's best man, had ensured that he and Jordan arrived at the church in plenty of time. Gideon had even felt a lump of emotion in his own throat, on his twin's behalf, when the two of them had turned to see how beautiful Stephanie looked as she walked down the aisle. Until, that was, Gideon had caught the look of derision in Joey's gaze as she'd glanced at him from where she followed just behind her twin.
Not that this was anything unusual; the two of them seemed to have taken an instant dislike to each other the very first time they'd met. No, the reason for Gideon's astonishment had come later in the ceremony, when everyone had sat down while Jordan and Stephanie and their two witnesses signed the register, and he'd heard an angel singing.
A single, unaccompanied voice had soared majestically to the heavens, filling the church to the rafters, as sweet and clear as the perfect, melodic chiming of a bell.
He had never before heard anything so beautiful as that voice—so clear and plaintive it had been almost magical as it claimed his emotions. He had felt so dazed, his senses so completely captivated by the pure and haunting beauty of that voice, that it had taken him a minute or so to realise that all the wedding guests were looking towards the right side of the church—which was when Gideon had realised that the singing 'angel' was none other than Joey McKinley!
Joey had no idea why it was that Gideon St Claire brought out the very worst in her—to the extent that she enjoyed nothing more than deliberately baiting him out of what she considered his arrogant complacency. Maybe it really wasthat superior attitude of his that bugged her. Or the fact that, with his icy reserve firmly clamped in place, he was always so emotionally unresponsive. Everything about him was restrained, from the short style of his wonderful gold-coloured hair, the tailored dark suits he wore—always over a white shirt and matched with a discreetly subdued silk tie—to the expensive but unremarkable metallic-grey saloon car he drove. If Joey had been as rich as the St Claire family was reputed to be then she would have driven a sporty red Ferrari at the very least!
Or her resentment couldjust stem from the fact that a couple of months ago Gideon St Claire had stepped in, with his highly polished size eleven handmade leather shoes, and sorted out a delicate and personal legal matter for her sister, which Joey had been trying—unsuccessfully—to settle for weeks.
It certainly couldn't have anything to do with the fact that, putting the icy reserve apart, the man was as handsome as sin but gave every impression he hadn't so much as noticed Joey was a female, let alone a passably attractive one!
His hair—cut too short for her liking—was the colour and texture of spun gold, and styled over his ears and brow. His eyes were a dark and piercing brown, set in a ruggedly handsome face, and as if that wasn't enough, nature had bestowed upon him high cheekbones, sensually chiselled lips, and an arrogantly square jaw.
Having studied him from beneath lowered lashes at their second meeting—she had been too overwhelmed by both his legal reputation and his considerable arrogance the first time they met in her office!—Joey had no doubt, just from the predatory way that he moved, that the body
beneath those dark tailored suits and white silk shirts was powerfully lean and muscled.
Les informations fournies dans la section « A propos du livre » peuvent faire référence à une autre édition de ce titre.
Description du livre Mills & Boon, 2011. Paperback. État : New. book. N° de réf. du libraire 263886379
Description du livre Mills & Boon, 2011. Paperback. État : New. book. N° de réf. du libraire 0263886379