Friday, December 14, 2012

The Billionaire's Baby SOS

THE BILLIONAIRE'S BABY SOS is book EIGHT of the Larkville continuity for Harlequin Romance. It's the last book, the book that wraps everything up for the wonderfully complex story of two families discovering they're half siblings! THE BILLIONAIRE'S BABY SOS was a fun book to write. Wrapping up the series was also great fun. I hope you enjoy this little piece of the story and snag a copy of the book in February!


Still quiet, Matt followed Claire down the hall. She held Bella on one arm as she marched to her door, fishing her keys out of her coat pocket. Before he reached her, she had the door open and was inside.
The exposed brick walls and hardwood floors continued throughout her open-floor-plan apartment. Her kitchen was new, dark cabinets with slim silver handles, stainless steel appliances. The chic dining area, including a table and trim buffet, flowed into her living room space which had red sofas facing each other and an overstuffed red print chair with matching ottoman.
She spun to face him. “Wow?”
“Your apartment.” He glanced around. “It’s so modern.” He looked around some more. “I really like it.”
Nerves prickled her skin. Her breath whooshed out. She hadn’t wanted his opinion to matter, but it had and that bothered her. He might be a nice guy with Bella, but he was also blunt and self-important. Guessing he was only trying to make nice after being rude to her, she grudgingly said, “Thanks.”
“I had a similar condo for a while.” He smiled as if remembering. “Right after I got my first job. Thought I’d hit the big time because I started off earning six figures.”
She gaped at him. “How does somebody ‘start off’ earning six figures?”
He strolled around the room. “I went to my interview with two five-year plans. One was for the company interviewing me. The other for their competitor.”
She frowned. “So?”
“So, it never hurts to understand what the other guy is thinking.” He chuckled. “They said I showed initiative.”
“It sounds like initiative but I wouldn’t know. I’ve never been a business person, never even thought about wanting to be one.”
He strolled over. “You’re more of the sensitive type.” He took a step that brought them so close she could almost feel the heat from his body. “But we’ve already discussed this.”
“Yes…” She hated the tremble in her voice. He was just so damned good looking. “We have.”
“But we’re really not even, you know.”
“About what we know about each other. You have a nice condo. You like working with kids. And that’s all I know about you.”
“I don’t exactly know a lot about you.”
He chuckled. “You’ve been through my house.” He caught her gaze. “In my bedroom. You know I was divorced but my ex-wife and I stayed close enough that she gave me custody of her child. You’ve seen my car collection, met my driver. Know that I give my employees long vacations when I travel for business. You know more about my personal life than most women I date.”
Her skin flushed. A pulse started low in her belly. So did an unwanted sense of anticipation. It meant something that he was telling her things, or letting her see things about his life through his home. And right now, they stood so close he could kiss her – or she could kiss him, if she wanted.
She swallowed. Suddenly grateful for the protection of the baby on her arm, she said, “Why do you want to know about me?”
“I think you know.”
“Because I know so much about you?”
“Because there’s something between us.” He took another step, forcing her to shift Bella to the left or let the poor baby get squished.
“I don’t like unusual things. I don’t like unexpected or unpredictable things.”
Her breath lodged in her throat. They absolutely could not get any closer.
“So you don’t like that you feel something for me?”
“No. I do not.”
“Well, thanks.”
He chuckled again. “You should thank me. You shouldn’t want me to be interested. I don’t date. I take lovers. I hurt women foolish enough to feel anything for me.”
She took a step back, putting plenty of space between them, believing the air had been cleared and they were moving on. “Thanks for the warning.” She handed the baby to him, but stopped short of giving her over. “You know, we’ve been carrying Bella around all day. It might be a good idea to let her roam a bit.” She stooped and put the baby on the white shag carpet between the two red sofas. “How’s this, sweetie?”
Patting the thick carpet, Bella gurgled up at her.
“Are you sure she’ll be okay down there?”
“I’ve had her on this carpet plenty of times.” She rose. “But you’re going to make sure she’s okay while I’m gone.”
“I am?”
“Yes. I’ll be five minutes, tops, while I gather a few things. You just have to make sure she doesn’t go too far or bump her head or anything like that.”
He glanced around. “Okay.” He caught her gaze again. “But we’re not done talking about this attraction.”
“I think we are. You’ve warned me off enough that I’m not even worried about it.”
She snorted a laugh. “What? You think you’re so irresistible that …”
He caught her by the waist and hauled her to him. Before she could take her next breath, his lips were on hers. Soft yet demanding, they moved over her mouth until she found herself opening her lips beneath his. He took advantage. His tongue plunged into her mouth.
Desire ripped through her, as her body became boneless. Her arms snaked around his neck. He tightened his grip on her waist and the kiss went on…
And on…
Sending sensations careening through her body, making her long for more.
Until Bella screeched.
Claire bounced away like a teenager caught kissing on the front porch by her parents.
Matt sucked in a breath. “Sorry.”
With arousal pulsing through her, his apology didn’t make sense. She blinked at him. “Sorry?”
“The kiss wasn’t supposed to go that far. It was to prove a point.” He rubbed his hand across the back of his neck. “I was hoping that …” He winced. “I thought if I kissed you we’d see the attraction was ordinary, and we’d…”
His words acted like water on a campfire. “You hoped I was a really crappy kisser?”
He winced. “Something like that.”
She gurgled a sound of disgust. This guy couldn’t be any more infuriating if he tried. How could she be so attracted to him? “I’m going to get my things.”
She turned to walk away but he caught her arm.
“I am sorry. But everything’s getting confused. I’m trying to tell you that I’m not a family man, not the settling down kind. Being with Bella is making me look like I might be…or maybe I should be. But I’m not.”

Sunday, April 15, 2012


Welcome, everyone! This is my June 2012 release THE TYCOON'S SECRET DAUGHTER.

It's an interesting story about how a father's mistake can mess up the lives of his two sons. This is Max's story and in August his younger brother Chance gets to tell his side of the story!

Chapter 1

Exiting the elevator in the lobby of Mercy General Hospital, Max Montgomery glanced up and did a double take. The woman leaving the coffee shop looked exactly like his ex-wife.

Petite as Kate had been, wearing blue jeans and a little flowered top that was her style, with thick, shoulder-length sable-color hair that swung when she moved, she had to be Kate.

He shook his head, telling himself that was nuts. His wife had left Pine Ward, Pennsylvania almost eight years ago and he hadn’t seen her since. She’d divorced him through lawyers. Hadn’t answered the letters he’d sent to her parents’ home. Hadn’t even returned to visit as far as he knew. Not even at holidays. That couldn’t be her.

He made his way to the wide glass exit doors and they automatically parted, but curiosity turned him around before he could step out.

The woman now stood in front of the elevator he’d exited, her back to him.

Sensation vibrated through him, the radar he’d always had with her. He’d always known when she was within twenty feet. Always known when she was about to walk into the room. Always known.

It had to be her. The radar never failed.

He took a few cautious steps toward her, but stopped. Even if it was her, why would she want to see him? What would he say? Sorry I screwed up our marriage, but I’m sober now.

Actually, that wasn’t such a bad idea. Of all the people on his twelve-step list, people he needed to make amends with, he’d contacted everyone but her. The person who most deserved his apology.

If it wasn’t her, he’d simply apologize for the mistake.

Either way, he’d be apologizing. No big deal.

He sucked in a breath, crossed the small space between them and tapped on her shoulder.

She turned.

His heart stopped then sped up again. It was her.

His mind flew to the day he’d met her at a pool party at a friend’s house. She’d worn a green bikini that matched her eyes. But though her looks had been what caught his attention, it was her personality that hooked his heart. Sweet. Fearless. Funny. In one short conversation, she’d made him forget every other woman he knew. And now she was here. In front of him.

His heart stumbled. His knees weakened.

But when she realized who’d tapped her, the happily surprised expression on her face crumbled and was replaced by something Max could only describe as a look of horror.


A lump of emotion lodged in his throat. More of their life together flashed through his brain. The way they’d talked till dawn the day of the pool party. The first time they’d kissed. The first time they’d made love. Their wedding day.

He’d thrown it all away for the contents of a bottle.

He cleared his throat. “Kate.”

She motioned with her coffee. “I…Um…I need to get this up to mom.”

This time when his heart up-ended it was with fear for her. “Your mom is here? As a patient?”

“No. No. She’s fine.” She glanced around nervously. “Daddy had a stroke.”

Was that any better? “Oh, my God. I’m sorry.”

“He’s okay.” She looked to the right again. “The stroke was reasonably mild. Prognosis is good.” She tried to smile. “I’ve really gotta go.”

It was the worst moment of his life. Eight years ago, she would have turned to him in this kind of tragedy. Today, she couldn’t stand to be around him. In some respects, he didn’t blame her. But he’d changed. He’d been in Alcoholics Anonymous for seven years. He was sober. And he did realize what he’d lost. But more than that, apologizing, admitting his faults, was part of his twelve-step program.

When the elevator pinged, he caught her arm to prevent her from turning. Electricity crackled through him.

Their gazes caught. His heart swelled with misery. God, how he’d loved her.

She swallowed. “I’ve really gotta…”

“Go. I know. But I need a minute.”

Hospital employees walked out of the elevators behind them. The gathering crowd waiting for the elevator loaded inside.

She glanced around nervously. 

Pain skittered through him. She couldn’t even stand to be seen with him. He thought back to the times he’d embarrassed her and the pain became a familiar ache. He’d disappointed so many people.

But that was seven years ago.

And today was today.

He pulled her a few feet away from the elevators. “I have to tell you that I’m sorry.”

Her face scrunched with confusion. “Have to?”

“Yes. It’s part of the program.”

Her eyes lit with recognition. “Oh, twelve steps.”


She looked at him differently now, closely. “You’re sober.”

He finally let himself smile. He’d wanted to be able to tell her that for seven long years. “Yes.”

Her voice softened. “I’m so glad.”

His chest loosened a bit. Breathing became easier. “I am too.”

An awkward silence stretched between them. He understood. There really wasn’t anything for them to say. He’d ruined their marriage. She’d left him to save herself.

She showed him the two cups of coffee again. “I should get this to my mom before it gets cold.”

Pain radiated out from his heart to his entire body. He’d had this woman. She’d loved him and he’d loved her. She’d been everything to him and he’d driven her away.

Don’t dwell on the past. Focus on the future.

He stepped back. “Yeah. Sure. I’m sorry.”

The bell for the second elevator pinged. The doors swooshed open. Kate turned to get inside, but a little girl raced out.

“Mom! Grandma sent me to find you. She thinks you’re making that coffee.”


His knees that had been weakened began to shake. The little girl’s hair might have been the same sable color as Kate’s, but those blue eyes … they were Montgomery eyes.

Pain morphed into shock. Could this be his child? His daughter?

“And who is this?”

Kate’s gaze flicked to his. Her hand fell protectively to the little girl’s shoulder. “This is Trisha.”

His body went stock still. “Short for Patricia?” His beloved grandmother’s name? Why name the little girl after his grandmother if she wasn’t his?

She smiled weakly. Her eyes filled with tears. She whispered, “Yes.”

Damn it.

He had a child. A daughter. And Kate had kept her from him?

He looked at the little girl again. Pain, wonder, curiosity simultaneously burst inside him. Everything in him wanted to touch her. To examine her. To see the beautiful child he’d made.

But anger warred with longing and both of them were wrapped in confusion. Was this why she’d left him? Because she was pregnant? Because she didn’t want him to know his child?

Fury rose, hot and eager for release, but thank God his common sense had not deserted him. With this beautiful little girl standing so sweetly innocent in front of him, he couldn’t out-and-out ask Kate if this was his daughter.