Sheikh's Forbidden Conquest - Out in the UK June 2015 Sheikh's Forbidden Conquest - Out in the US June 2015 A Bride Worth Millions - Out September 2015 A Bride Worth Millions - Out September 2015

The Spanish Duke’s Virgin Bride

The Spanish Duke’s Virgin Bride

Mills & Boon Modern Romance

September 2007

ISBN: 0263853519

 

Harlequin Presents

November 2007

ISBN: 0373126794

 

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About the Book

Revenge, passion and a convenient marriage…

Duke Javier Herrera is a ruthless Spanish billionaire. He’s learnt the hard way never to fall in love. Now he needs a wife if he’s to inherit the family banking business. Grace Beresford is the daughter of a man who’s fleeced Javier of millions, and he sees an opportunity for revenge and a convenient wife.

At first, Javier doesn’t care that Grace hates him – all he wants is her body. But then he finds that even this small price is one she refuses to pay…despite their explosive mutual attraction. How long can Grace remain his wife in name only?

 


Read an Excerpt

‘What did you hope to achieve by coming here?’ he demanded savagely. ‘Did you really think you could persuade me to turn a blind eye to embezzlement on such a huge scale? Your tears may work with your father, but they do nothing for me,’ he added harshly. His eyes strayed to the clock on the wall. ‘Your two minutes are up.’

‘I came to offer to repay the money my father took from you.’ Grace stalled him frantically. ‘I’ve already agreed a sale price on Littlecote and my shop, and together with the shares left to me by my mother I can raise two million pounds.’

‘And what of the other million?’ Javier queried coolly.

‘I speak fluent Spanish. I thought, perhaps, I could work for the bank until the debt is cleared – unpaid, of course,’ Grace added hastily at his look of derision.

‘Dios! You think I would allow you anywhere near my bank? One Beresford with their fingers in the till is enough. And how would you live without an income? A million pounds would take years to repay, even discounting the interest accrued. The idea is ridiculous,’ Javier stated harshly. ‘You have nothing to offer that I find of remote interest.’ His eyes skimmed over her in scathing dismissal.

Despite everything, despite the fact that he was the devil incarnate, Grace was unable to prevent a tremor from running through her body. What was the matter with her? How could she allow this man of all men to affect her to such an extent that she could barely think straight?

He was sinfully sexy, she acknowledged as her gaze skittered from his luxuriant black hair - cut short to expose the knife edge of his cheekbones, down over his broad chest, where the muscles of his abdomen were visible beneath the fine material of his shirt.

She was filled with a wild and totally uncharacteristic longing to unfasten that shirt, to rip it from his shoulders so that she could run her hands over his olive-skinned torso and discover the fine covering of dark hairs visible at the base of his throat. Now was not a good time for her sensuality to stir into life, she thought with a flash of near hysteria. She had to concentrate on saving her father from a jail sentence, and nothing else mattered, certainly not the peculiar sensation of butterflies in her stomach when Javier moved across the room towards her.

‘My father will fall apart if he’s sent to prison,’ she whispered. ‘My mother’s death has left him a broken man, and emotionally I don’t think he can cope with much more. I genuinely fear that he might take his own life, and I’m begging you to show leniency.’ Her mouth quivered and she bit down hard on her lip. The Duque de Herrera had already told her that tears didn’t impress him, and she needed to be calm and controlled. ‘I’ll do anything you ask, if you’ll agree not to prosecute him.’

‘Anything?’ Javier’s brows rose, his amusement evident. ‘Am I to understand that you are offering your services in the time honoured fashion, Miss Beresford? How many nights of passion do you estimate would recompense me for a million pounds?’ He let his eyes trail slowly over her, noting her scarlet cheeks and the frantic rise and fall of her breasts.

‘I didn’t mean…that!’ Grace snapped vehemently. ‘I hoped we could come to some sort of arrangement…’ She broke off, bitterly aware that she had precious little to offer a multi-millionaire duque except her body. But how dare he think she had been offering sex? The idea was disgusting, outrageous and she would not for one minute admit that she was tempted, she told herself, closing her eyes weakly when he came to stand too close for comfort.

The scent of him, clean and fresh with a musky undertone of his exotically spiced after-shave assailed her senses. Blood coursed through her veins and she swayed unwittingly towards him as a cloak of sensual heat closed around her.

‘Perhaps you would not find sharing my bed such a hardship?’ Javier suggested silkily, his golden eyes gleaming. ‘Indeed, from the eager invitation in those incredibly expressive eyes of yours, it would seem fairer if you paid me to pleasure you.’

Never had the word ‘pleasure’ sounded so heavily laced with sexual innuendo, Grace thought. She inhaled sharply. ‘I don’t think so,’ she hissed, practically squirming with embarrassment. She took a jerky step backwards, but he caught hold of her chin and tilted her face so that she had no option but to meet his gaze.

‘I’m not blind, Miss Beresford. I can see the way your eyes darken to cobalt when you look at me, and the way your mouth quivers so temptingly – begging to be kissed,’ he murmured, his voice suddenly as soft as crushed velvet. ‘We’re both aware of the chemistry between us, and let’s face it, there are worse ways of making a living.’

Dear God, was he serious? Myriad emotions flitted across Grace’s face, all of which Javier correctly deciphered. Was he really suggesting that she become his mistress for however many nights it would take until her father’s debts were paid? And, if that were the case, was he expecting a certain of level of expertise between the sheets? If so, then with her limited experience it could take her the rest of her life to pay back the money, she acknowledged with painful honesty. And what the hell was she doing even considering the suggestion?

‘I’m afraid that becoming your whore is not an option I’d ever consider,’ she snapped,’ her fingers itching to slap the supercilious grin from his face. ‘I’d rather die first.’

His low chuckle fanned the flames of her temper. ‘Then it’s fortunate for both of us that I’m not into sacrificial virgins,’ he mocked…

Grace blinked, and her cheeks flooded with colour. How did he know? Could he tell? Did she have the word ‘untouched’ tattooed across her forehead?

‘I’ve never bartered for sexual favours in my life, and I’ve no intention of starting now,’ he informed her arrogantly. His hand settled heavily on her shoulder and he steered her firmly over to the door. ‘You’ve wasted quite enough of my time. I suggest that you go home and employ the services of a good lawyer. Angus is going to need one.’…

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