The tycoon's enemy is now pregnant with his child! Only from New York Times bestselling author Tracy Wolff.
Diamond tycoon Nic Durand's steamy weekend with a mysterious beauty is only a temporary fling—until she admits that she's the reporter threatening his company with an exposé. Oh, and she's pregnant with his baby! Is it really his? There's no way Nic will let her leave his side before he finds out the truth. Pursuing his heir means pursuing his lover—and possibly losing his heart...
Don't miss the Diamond Tycoons duet. Nic's brother Marc's sizzling story is available now in Claimed!
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
Tracy Wolff collects books, English degrees and lipsticks. At six she wrote her first short story and ventured into the world of girls’ lit. By ten she’d read everything in the young adult and classics sections of her local bookstore, so started on romance novels. And from the first page, she'd found her life-long love. Tracy lives in Texas with her husband and three sons, where she writes and teaches at the local college. She can be reached online at www.tracywolff.com.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
He was the most beautiful man she'd ever seen.
Desi Maddox knew that sounded excessive, melodramatic even, considering she was standing in a room filled with beautiful people in even more beautiful clothes, but the longer she stood there staring at him, the more convinced she became. He. Was. Gorgeous. So gorgeous that for long seconds he blinded her to everything around her, even the glitter of gems and flash of high society that under normal circumstances would be impossible to ignore.
But these were far from normal circumstances. How could they be when his emerald gaze met hers over the sea of people stretching between them and her knees trembled. Actually trembled. Up until now, she'd always thought that was a cliché best saved for chick flicks and romance novels. But here she was in the middle of a crowded ballroom and all she could do was stand there as her heart raced, her palms grew damp and her knees actually trembled with the force of her reaction to a man she'd never seen before and more than likely would never see again.
Which was probably a good thing, and knowing she wouldn't see him again was exactly what she needed to remind herself why she was here among the best and brightest of San Diego's high society. Scoping out hot men was definitely not what her boss was paying her for.
More's the pity.
Shaking her head in an effort to clear it, Desi forced herself to glance away from his mesmerizing gaze. Forced herself to check out the rest of the fancy gala, and the fancier people, she was currently stuck in the middle of. And the people were fancy, some of the fanciest she'd ever seen. Even he—of their own volition, her eyes moved back to Tall, Dark and Much Too Handsome—was fancy, in his five-thousand-dollar tuxedo and the flashing diamonds on his cuff links. She couldn't hope to compare.
Not that she wanted to. This was so not her scene, and once she'd paid her dues, her boss would recognize that fact and move her somewhere else. Somewhere where she could actually make a difference to the world. After all, what did it matter if the wife of the mayor of San Diego was wearing Manolos or Louboutins on her dainty, pampered feet?
It mattered too much, she told herself wryly as she looked around the crowded ballroom. To a lot of people, it mattered too much. Which was why, on her next sweep of the room, she made herself take her time, made herself study—and identify—each face that passed by. As she did, she didn't know whether to be pleased or horrified that she recognized nearly every person there. It was her job, after all, and it was nice to know that the hours she'd spent poring over old newspaper articles and photos hadn't gone to waste.
After all, unlike the rest of the people here, her role wasn't to drink champagne and drop a lot of money on the charity auction. No, her role, her job, was to stay on guard and pay attention to what everyone else was doing so she could write all about it when she got home. If she was lucky—if she kept her eyes open and her mouth shut—and the stars actually aligned, someone would say or do something really scandalous or important and she'd have the chance to write about that instead of the food, the wine and whatever designer was currently "it" among Southern California's social elite.
And if she wasn't lucky, well then she still had to pay attention. Still needed to record who was dating whom and who had made a fashion faux pas and who hadn't...
And yes, her job as the society-page reporter for the local paper really was as boring as it sounded. She tried not to let herself dwell on the fact that she'd spent four years at Columbia's School of Journalism only to end up here. Her father would be so proud of her—that is, if he hadn't been killed six months ago while embedded with troops in the Middle East.
A waiter passed by with a tray full of champagne flutes, and she reached out and snagged one of the halffull glasses. Drained it in one long—and hopefully elegant—sip. Then blocked her father's death and disapproval from her mind. She needed to focus on the job at hand. Currently, that job was reporting on this ridiculous affair.
To do her job, though, she needed to blend in with her surroundings. Not that she had much of a chance of actually doing that with her department-store dress and clearance shoes, but she could try. At least until her boss saw the light and took her off this godforsaken beat to put her on something a little more important. And more interesting, she thought, barely smothering yet another yawn as she overheard her fifth conversation of the night about liposuction.
Wanting to free up her hands, she turned to place her glass on the empty tray of yet another passing waiter. As she did, though, her eyes once again met dark green ones. And this time, the man they belonged to was only a couple of feet from her instead of halfway across the crowded ballroom.
She didn't know whether to run or rejoice.
In the end, she did neither. Instead, she just stared—stupefied—up into his too-gorgeous face and tried to think of something to say that wouldn't make her sound like a total moron. It didn't work. Her usually quick mind was a total blank, suddenly filled with nothing but images of him. High cheekbones. Shaggy black hair that fell over his forehead. Wickedly gleaming emerald eyes. Sensuous mouth turned up in a wide, charming smile. Broad shoulders. Lean hips. And tall, so tall that she was forced to look up despite the fact that she stood close to six feet in her four-inch heels.
The word beautiful really didn't do him justice. Neither did any other word she could think of at the moment. For a second, she was assailed by the fear that she might actually be drooling over the man, something that had never happened before in her twenty-three years of existence. Then again—she reached a discreet hand up to her chin to double-check and nearly sighed in relief when she found it still dry—she'd never seen a man like this up close before.
Hell, whom was she kidding? she asked herself as her knees trembled for the second time that night. She'd never seen a man like this before ever, in real life or in pictures. And yet, here he was, standing right in front of her, his right hand holding a glass of champagne that he was quite obviously extending toward her.
"You look thirsty," he said, and—of course—his voice matched the rest of him. Deep and dark and wickedly amused. So wickedly amused. Suddenly her knees weren't all that was trembling. Her hand, as it reached for the glass of champagne, was shaking, as well.
What was wrong with her?
Besides the fact that her libido had obviously overpowered her brain? she asked herself viciously. But as she stood there, watching him watch her, she figured she'd better find a way to get her brain functioning again. Because the man obviously wasn't going anywhere until he got a response...even if she had no idea how she was supposed to respond to his observation that she was thirsty...
Eventually, though, her brain, and her sense of humor, kicked in. Thank God. "Funny, I was just thinking the same thing about you." It wasn't the wittiest comeback, but it would do.
"Were you?" His mouth curved in a crooked grin that did something strange to her stomach. "Well, you wouldn't be wrong." Then he lifted his own glass of champagne to his lips and took a deep drink. She watched, mesmerized, for long seconds before she managed to shake herself out of it. Jeez! How far gone was she that even watching him swallow was turning her on? Maybe she should just walk away now and cut her losses while she still could.
Even as the thought came to her, she knew she wouldn't do it. Partly because she wasn't sure her knees would hold her if she tried to walk away and partly...partly because in that moment there was nowhere she'd rather be than right there, smiling up at this charming, beautiful man—and having him smile back at her.
"I'm Nic, by the way," he said, after he'd watched her take a slow, steadying drink from her own glass.
"I'm Desi." She held out her hand. He took it, but instead of shaking her hand as she'd expected, he just held it as he gently stroked his thumb across her palm.
The touch was so soft, so intimate, so not what she'd been expecting, that for long seconds she didn't know what to do. What to say. A tiny voice inside her whispered for her to let go, to step back, to walk away from the attraction that was holding them in thrall. But it was drowned out by the heat, the attraction, the sizzle that arced between them like lightning.
"Would you like to dance, Desi?" he asked, taking the glass from her other hand and depositing it on a passing tray.
She should say no. She had a million things to do here tonight and none of those things involved getting swept onto the dance floor by some hot, rich guy who had probably forgotten more about seduction than she'd ever known. But even as the thought occurred to her, even knowing that she might very well get burned before the night was over, she nodded. Then she let him lead her gently toward the center of the room. Playing with fire was a cliché for a reason.
The band was playing a slow song—of course it was—and he pulled her into his arms, started to move her across the crowded floor. He held her closer than was necessary or expected for a first dance between strangers. One hand on her lower back, his fingers curving over the soft swell of her hip. His other hand continuing to hold, continuing to stroke, her own. His hard, strong chest brushing against her own with each step they took. His thighs doing the same.
Deep inside, Desi felt herself melting. Felt herself falling a little more under his spell. She knew it was stupid, ridiculous, insane, but for the first time in her life, she didn't care. She didn't care if it was a bad idea to let him touch her. Didn't care if she'd regret it later. Didn't care, even, if she ended up getting in trouble at work because she'd spent time with Nic that she should have spent trying to pry quotes out of the local celebrities. Which, if she stopped to think about it, didn't make sense at all. She was a woman who lived to work, who was dying to make a name for herself as a journalist. The fact that she would put that at risk for a man she'd just met was absurd.
She wasn't that girl, had never been—and never wanted to be—that girl. And yet, here she was, moving closer instead of back. Arching forward so that her breasts and her thighs brushed more firmly against him, instead of walking away. Surrendering instead of putting up a fight.
The gleam in Nic's eyes as he looked down at her was as obvious as his rock-hard pelvis pressing against her own. Instead of offending her, it aroused her. Instead of making her scurry for cover, it made her clamor for more.
One night never hurt anyone, after all. And neither did one kiss. Or at least that was her story for this evening and she was sticking to it.
Which was why, after taking a deep breath, she tightened her hand where it rested against the back of his neck and pulled him forward. Pulled him down, down, down, until their bodies were meshed together and his lips met hers.
Two She was delicious. It was the only thing Nic Durand could think as his lips met those of the beautiful blonde in his arms. Desi, she'd said her name was, he remembered as he fought to keep from getting completely lost in the feel of her soft hands on his neck and her lush body pressed so tightly against his own.
It was a lot harder not to get lost than it should have been. A lot harder than it had ever been. He'd met—and charmed—a lot of women in his life, but never had he been so affected by one. Never had he come so close to forgetting who and where he was when he was with one—even one as gorgeous, and amusing, as Desi. But here he was, attending his first charity gala since he and his brother had moved the headquarters of their diamond company to San Diego earlier that year, and all he could think about was getting his hands and mouth all over a woman he'd just met.
As second in command of Bijoux, he was in charge of marketing, advertising and public relations. It was his job to come to these ridiculous galas, his job to schmooze and donate pieces to the silent auction in an effort to continue building the philanthropic reputation of the business he and his brother, Marc, had poured their hearts and souls into ever since they'd taken over more than a decade before. The fact that he'd rather just give all that money straight to charity meant nothing. After all, experience had proved that buying seats at boring, trumped-up galas like this one always earned his company good PR. And good PR was the name of the game, especially when you were one of the new kids. And not just any new kid, but one determined to shake up the old system and make things happen. It was the best way to gain access. He'd come here tonight with an agenda—people to meet, business to do—but all it had taken was one look at Desi, one conversation with her, one feel of her pressed against him while dancing, to make all of that fly out the window.
And he didn't give a damn.
It was odd. Crazy, even. But he wasn't going to fight it, he decided as he slid his hand down her spine to rest against her lower back. Not when a simple kiss with her was hotter and more exciting than anything he'd done with any other woman.
With that thought in mind, he put a little pressure on her back, pressed her forward...and more tightly against him. She moaned a little at the contact, her mouth opening with the sound, and he took instant advantage by licking his way across the little dip in her upper lip, then across the soft fullness of her lower one. She gasped a little, her hands sliding up to clutch at his tuxedo shirt. It was all the invitation he needed.
Delving inside her then, he swept his tongue along her own. Once, twice, then again and again. Teasing, touching, tasting her. Learning her flavors...and her secrets.
Despite her sharp cool looks—all platinum-blond hair and ice-blue eyes, striking cheekbones and long, slender body—Desi was heat and spice. Cinnamon and cloves, overlaid by just a hint of the crisp, sweet champagne they had shared. The warmth of her seduced him, drew him in—drew him under—until all he could think of, all he could want, was her.
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Book Description Harlequin, 2015. Mass Market Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110373734166