Caught: Olivia Harrington...with a Chatsfield!
On the verge of her big break, nothing can disrupt the premiere of Olivia Harrington's new film. So when the press run the story that reclusive Ben Chatsfield is her latest love interest, Olivia has to go along with the lie!
Ben should call "Cut!" on this charade, but it would be a PR coup for the Chatsfields. Olivia's sophisticated act might fool the media, but Ben knows she's hiding an even bigger secret...
His leading lady is completely untouched! Something Ben plans to rectify before the credits roll on their fake relationship.
Welcome to The Chatsfield, Berlin!
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
Kate Hewitt has worked a variety of different jobs, from drama teacher to editorial assistant to church youth worker, but writing romance is the best one yet. She also writes short stories and serials for women's magazines, and all her stories celebrate the healing and redemptive power of love. Kate lives in a tiny village with her husband, five children, and an overly affectionate Golden Retriever.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
Olivia Harrington stared at the standard room she'd booked at The Chatsfield and suppressed a groan. She'd seen broom cupboards that were bigger. By a lot.
Letting out a weary sigh, she kicked off the heels she'd worn for her red-eye flight from LA, and let go of her suitcase before sinking onto the edge of the narrow bed. Reaching one foot out, she swung the door shut and stared again at the prison cell she was supposed to call her home for the next week or so.
All right, she hadn't been expecting the Presidential Suite. She wasn't an A-lister by any means, but she was here for the film festival and a standard room at the best hotel in town surely meant more than this tiny closet? She didn't even have an en-suite bathroom, and the window was facing a concrete wall that she could reach out and touch if she were so inclined. She was not.
Plus it didn't look as if the room had been cleaned properly since the last guest—or should she say inmate?—had stayed here. There were crumbs on the carpet and the bed covers were decidedly rumpled and, peering closer, she saw, stained.
With a gusty sigh she leaned forward and opened the door of the tiny fridge wedged under the tinier TV. This called for a drink.
Except the minibar had been raided by some former disgruntled or desperate guest; the only thing left in it was a bottle of water and an already opened bar of chocolate with two bites missing. Olivia stared at the chilled expanse of emptiness in disbelief. Could today get any worse?
She'd had two flights cancelled from LA, had been wedged into an economy seat with a mother with a screaming baby on one side and an officious businessman who hogged the armrest on the other. She'd been dressed to impress, knowing the paparazzi loved taking photos of stars without make-up as they stumbled off a plane, and her feet had been killing her now for a good thirteen hours. Sleep was a distant memory.
And this pathetic excuse for a hotel room was the last straw. Fired by indignation, Olivia rose from the bed, jammed her aching feet back into her heels and refreshed her lipstick, squinting into the tiny square of mirror above the bureau. She was not a diva, but this was ridiculous. She could barely breathe in a room this size, much less get ready for film premieres and networking parties. And she knew exactly why she had been given a broom cupboard.
Because she was a Harrington. Because her sister Isabelle had refused Spencer Chatsfield's offer to buy her shares in The Harrington, and let the Chatsfields swoop in and take over their family business. And mostly, she suspected, because Spencer Chatsfield thought it would be amusing to see a Harrington crammed into a Chats-field cupboard.
Ha bloody ha ha.
All right, maybe she shouldn't have booked into The Chatsfield, knowing the current tension between the two families. But everyone who was everyone at the Berlin Film Festival stayed at The Chatsfield, and Olivia wasn't about to miss out simply because of family pride. She had too much riding on this festival, had worked too hard for too long to lose the first chance she'd had of actually proving herself simply because she wasn't staying at the right hotel. She knew how these things worked. It was all schmooze, schmooze, schmooze, and kiss, kiss, kiss. Networking. And she needed to do it. She'd do just about anything to secure her film career. To prove she'd made the right decision, sinking everything she had and was into being an actress. To honour her mother's memory, and make her proud.
Besides, Isabelle was the one who couldn't say the name Chatsfield without spitting; Olivia had never been that involved with the family business or its competitors.
But damned if she was going to sit by and let anyone, especially a Chatsfield, walk all over her.
With one last determined glance at her reflection, she wrenched open the door of her hotel room and stormed out, slamming it satisfyingly behind her as she went in search of the man who had thought it would be amusing to see a Harrington brought low.
Downstairs in the lobby of the hotel, actors, actresses and media types swarmed the lobby, all soaring gilt and marble and art nouveau glamour. Olivia saw a few people she knew, and she worked her way across the room, air-kissing and finger-waggling with the best of them, before she finally reached the concierge desk.
'I'd like to speak to the manager, please.'
The coiffed woman at the desk raised elegant eyebrows in polite incredulity. 'I'm afraid Mr Chatsfield is busy, Miss...?'
'Harrington. Olivia Harrington.' The receptionist looked decidedly unimpressed, and Olivia gritted her teeth. Okay, so she wasn't recognisable. Yet. But she had a supporting role in one of the films being shown this week, and the promise of an even bigger role in a film she really cared about, the kind of film that would touch hearts and win awards. She didn't need this receptionist to know who she was, but she did need her to cooperate.
'I'm sure Mr Chatsfield is busy,' she told the woman with honeyed sweetness, 'but considering I'm a Harrington, of the Harrington Hotel, I think he'll see me, don't you?'
Uncertainty wavered across the woman's face and Olivia leaned forward, still smiling. 'Trust me on this one,' she said.
Irritation chased after uncertainty on the woman's face, but with one tight nod she turned from the desk. 'I'll see if Mr Chatsfield is available,' she said, and Olivia nodded back, blowing out a breath of relief even as tension coiled more tightly inside her. First hurdle passed. Too bad there were only about a gazillion more.
Ben stared blankly at the receptionist standing in the doorway of his office behind the lobby area. He had a million and two problems to deal with, namely a truck-load of A-list celebrities who thought requests like a magnum of pink champagne and fresh flowers—but no lilies or roses—in every room of their suites were reasonable. He'd already had half a dozen bouquets sent back down because each one contained a rose. Singular.
Ben had been more than ready to tell the self-important starlet just where she could put all those flowers. Fortunately he'd managed to restrain himself, if only just. But when he next saw Spencer he was going to tell him where he could put the flowers. His brother had told him it would be a lot of handholding, but the level of attention these Hollywood types needed was unbelievable. And being back at The Chatsfield—any Chatsfield—with all of the memories and anger and pain—made him even less willing to deal with these outrageous requests. There was a reason he stayed in the kitchen.
Now he eyed the receptionist wearily, managing to remember her name after a few endless seconds. "You mean a Harrington, of The Harrington, is asking to see me, Anna?'
Anna nodded. 'She requested to see the manager. She was quite...forceful.'
Ben closed his eyes briefly. Perfect. A forceful Harrington who wanted to see him. What the hell was a Harrington doing in Berlin? Weren't all of these delicate negotiations meant to be taking place in London and New York?
'Thank you,' he said, forcing a smile for the receptionist. 'Send her in.'
The receptionist kept Olivia waiting for ten excruciating minutes—those stupid heels really hurt—before she finally returned with an icy smile.
'Mr Chatsfield will see you, Miss Harrington,' she said, her eyes like flint. 'Please come this way.'
'Thank you,' Olivia answered, unable to keep an edge of sarcasm from creeping into her voice. Wasn't The Chatsfield supposed to be number one in customer service? If this woman's behaviour was anything to go by, not to mention her shabby room, Olivia didn't think much of the luxury hotel's treatment of guests. But then, she was a Harrington. Maybe they reserved the rudeness and squalor especially for her.
With that unpleasant thought in the forefront of her mind, she followed the receptionist into an office behind the lobby, and stared at the man who sat behind the desk, one hand driven carelessly through his messy brown hair.
Was this Spencer Chatsfield? Olivia hadn't remembered from the few tabloid photographs she'd seen of him that he was quite so...hot. Wasn't Spencer buttoned-up and corporate-looking? The man in front of her was anything but. All right, yes, he was wearing a suit. A very nice suit in grey pinstripe, but he had the kind of body, the kind of attitude, that made him seem as if he'd be more at home in worn jeans and a faded T-shirt, maybe a leather motorcycle jacket. Yes, she could totally see that.
And way too late Olivia realised she was staring. Maybe even ogling. She drew herself up, kept her chin tilted high. Time to play the icily outraged guest.
'Spencer Chatsfield?' she said, her voice cool and clipped, and the man in front of her—he had stubble, she saw, glinting on his jaw...so, so sexy—arched an eyebrow.
'No. Ben Chatsfield. And you are?'
His eyes narrowed, his expression not even bordering on courteous. He looked...bored. 'And what can I do for you, Miss Harrington?' he asked in a voice that came close to a drawl.
He knew about the room, Olivia thought. She could see it in his hazel eyes, narrowed so knowingly, the way he lounged in his chair seeming relaxed yet emanating a barely leashed energy. He so knew.
She hadn't been aware of Ben Chatsfield's existence before a few seconds ago—Spencer was the one Isabelle had mentioned the most, and of course James was in the news—but Olivia knew one thing already. Ben Chatsfield was an ass.
She planted her hands on the desk and thrust her face towards his, deliberately invading his personal space. Ben Chatsfield didn't so much as flicker an eyelid.
'You may think it's amusing,' she said in a steely voice, 'to put a Harrington in a room that resembles a broom cupboard, but I happen to think it's poor customer service. Very poor customer service, Mr Chatsfield, and as I am a paying customer, I don't think highly of you or your hotel. At all.' She was huffing a bit by the end of this little speech, and Ben Chatsfield hadn't even changed expression.
'Am I to take it,' he asked after a long beat, 'that you're not satisfied with your hotel room?'
Olivia let out a rather inelegant laugh of disbelief. 'Yes, you are to take it, Mr Chatsfield. My room is completely appalling.'
'Appalling,' he repeated neutrally. He'd leaned back in his chair, his thumb and forefinger flexed to brace the side of his face, his eyes still narrowed.
Why, Olivia wondered in irritation, did he have to be so darned sexy? She straightened, folding her arms, waiting for him to—what? Justify his behaviour? Pretend that giving her that wretched room had been some sort of oversight?
'And what,' Ben asked in a voice of deliberate, and likely deceptive, mildness, 'is so appalling about your room...Miss Harrington?'
She simply gaped at him for a moment, utterly amazed by the sheer gall of him. 'Everything,' she finally said, glaring at him. 'Absolutely everything.'
In one quick and fluid move of powerful grace Ben leaned forward and started clicking away at his computer. Olivia waited, her temper barely held in check.
'I see from your reservation that you have booked a standard room.'
'Nothing,' she told him through gritted teeth, 'is standard about the broom cupboard I'm currently in.'
'The Chatsfield,' he told her coolly, 'does not run to broom cupboard.'
'Then maybe you should have a look at my room.'
He stared at her for a moment, his eyes still narrowed, his mouth thinned. And now that she was looking at his lips, Olivia had to admit they were sexy too. Surprisingly full and mobile and, well, lush. Lush lips on a very masculine man. He had long eyelashes too, she noticed. So unfair.
'Perhaps you're right. I should see this appalling room for myself,' he told her, his voice edged with sarcasm, 'and address any concerns you have.'
Olivia threw an arm out to gesture towards the door. 'Be my guest.'
'Ah,' Ben answered as he rose from behind his desk. 'Now that's my line.'
So a Harrington heiress decided to make a stink about her room. Suppressing a stab of irritation, Ben wondered just what had put Olivia's nose out of joint. Thread count not high enough on the sheets? No flowers in the bathroom? As much as he would have relished telling her to suck it up and deal, Ben knew he wouldn't. Or at least he'd do it nicely.
He turned back to Olivia, who was still looking at him with such obvious outrage that he almost wanted to roll his eyes. She was definitely putting it on a little thick, and for what? To amuse herself that she could stick it to a Chatsfield?
This wasn't his fight, he reminded himself. He might have agreed to help Spencer out, because...well, because his feelings for his family were complicated. But he didn't care about The Harrington, or whether The Chatsfield swallowed it whole or not. He certainly didn't care about this spoilt heiress.
'Would you care to show me your room?' he asked, his voice coolly polite, and with another huff she flounced past him and out into the lobby.
She was a beautiful woman, he had to acknowledge, although it was the kind of shiny, polished beauty that made him cynical. Too manufactured. Too fake. And after all the lies he'd swallowed in his past, he didn't like fake anything.
Still, shiny, brown hair in carefully tousled locks that reached to the middle of her back. Big brown eyes. A dynamite figure, all willowy grace, encased in a jewel-green shift dress and high heels that drew Ben's reluctant admiration to her long, trim legs, and the tempting curve of her calves.
He yanked his gaze upwards and it fell on her butt. That was nice too. Up again, and he finally made contact with her shoulder blades as she marched ahead of him. Good. He'd keep his eyes trained there.
She stabbed the button for the lift with one French manicured fingernail, her body quivering with tension as they waited for it to arrive.
'When did you arrive in Berlin?' he asked, deciding solicitude was his best bet. Not that anything would impress this kind of high-maintenance woman, but at least he would have tried.
She turned to give him an icy stare. 'About an hour ago. I've been flying all night, Mr Chatsfield.'
And that was his problem how? Ben gave her a smile of bland equanimity. At least he hoped it was, and not the sneer he felt in his soul. 'Please, call me Ben.'
She didn't respond.
Thankfully the lift arrived and they stepped inside. At the last second before the doors closed a blowsy blonde woman in a bright pink designer tracksuit and sparkly high-tops squeezed in. She gave an obviously fake double take as she registered Olivia.
''Olivia. I didn't know you were coming to the festival.' Insincerity dripped from the woman's words and next to him Ben felt Olivia Harrington stiffen. After only a second she forced herself to relax, gave the woman what looked like a genuine smile but Ben knew in his ...
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Book Description Mills and Boon, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: Used; Good. Dispatched, from the UK, within 48 hours of ordering. This book is in good condition but will show signs of previous ownership. Please expect some creasing to the spine and/or minor damage to the cover. Damaged book. Please note this is a damaged book. The condition of this book is as stated above, however this book is slightly damaged in some way. Typically a grazed corner or torn cover. Thanks. Bookseller Inventory # CHL2396662
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Book Description Mills & Boon 03/04/2015, 2015. Book Condition: Very Good. Shipped within 24 hours from our UK warehouse. Clean, undamaged book with no damage to pages and minimal wear to the cover. Spine still tight, in very good condition. Remember if you are not happy, you are covered by our 100% money back guarantee. Bookseller Inventory # 6545-9780263253337
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