The Billionaire's Scandalous Marriage

The Billionaire's Scandalous Marriage

by Emma Darcy

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Damien Wynter was as handsome andarrogant as sin. Heiress Charlotte didn'tneed his dark, primitive sensuality in herlife, until the man she'd planned to marrydisappointed her, and Damien offereda challenge: let him wed her and gether pregnant!

It was all about winning to Damien, butCharlotte wanted a baby, and if surrenderingto him meant she could win, too…why notaccept his scandalous offer?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781426801068
Publisher: Harlequin
Publication date: 05/01/2007
Series: Ruthless , #2627
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 369,510
File size: 157 KB

About the Author

Initially a French/English teacher, Emma Darcy changed careers to computer programming before the happy demands of marriage and motherhood. Very much a people person, and always interested in relationships, she finds the world of romance fiction a thrilling one and the challenge of creating her own cast of characters very addictive.

Read an Excerpt

Her wedding was only two weeks away.

Just two more weeks.

Charlotte Ramsey knew she should be happy about it. But she wasn't.

All this past week spent trying to stay positive about marrying Mark—it hadn't worked. No matter how de- terminedly she argued against letting her father ruin how she should be feeling, he was ruining it. So the problem had to be dealt with.

Right now.

Before tonight.

Her stomach was knotted with nerves, her mind churning miserably over her dilemma as she set out on the hour-long drive from the inner city of Sydney to the family mansion at Palm Beach.

It was impossible to have a happy wedding if her father persisted in his unacceptable attitude towards the man she was marrying. The way he had treated Mark on Christmas day—and if he did the same tonight—her heart clenched at the thought. It hurt. It really hurt. She had to talk to him, make him understand.

Okay, he didn't approve of Mark as a husband for her.

It was no use hoping he ever would. Mark was not his kind of man. But he was right for her—as right as she was going to get—and surely she could persuade her father to respect that, if only for her sake.

The wedding was so close now.

He had to listen to her this time.

Her cheeks burned as she remembered the flaming row they'd had over her engagement when she had openly defied his disapproval, throwing down the threat of possible estrangement.

"Whether you like it or not, Dad, I'm going to marry him ."

Which had caused an eruption of frustration over her decision.

"you're too damned headstrong for your own good, Charlotte. Marriage to Mark Freedman—what on earth do you see in the man? He's a playboy, not a—"

"Not a bull in the financial world," she'd sliced in, cutting off his point of view to push her own. "Which is precisely what I love about Mark. He's there for me, Dad, not constantly flying off to do another deal in another country." As her billionaire father had done all her life. "He wants my company. He enjoys my com- pany. We have fun together ."

"Fun!" her father had thundered. "You've got my blood in your veins, girl. Freedman's kind of fun will pall after a while. By all means have him as a novelty. Not too bad a toy for you to play with as long as he gives you pleasure. But marriage is serious business ."

"It's not about business to me," she had fiercely retorted, incensed by his contemptuous colouring of her relationship with Mark. "It's about feeling loved. And I'm very, very serious about having that in my life ."

"It won't last," her father had growled.

But Charlotte was determined it would. She was thirty years old. She wanted to have children. Mark did, too. They were happy together, happy about the future they were planning. He wasn't a playboy. He was an events organiser and very successful at it, too. She was looking forward to helping him with his business after they were married.

But she didn't want to be completely estranged from her father.

For the past few months he seemed to have accepted Mark into the family's social circle—albeit grudg- ingly—but on Christmas day—she had to get this sorted out before the wedding. Before tonight's NewYear's Eve party on the yacht. If her father snubbed Mark again—

Charlotte took a deep breath to relieve the tightness in her chest. A glance at the clock on the dashboard told her it was past lunchtime, almost two o'clock. With any luck she should be able to get her father to herself for a private chat, just say hello to her mother in passing.

She'd told Mark she'd be spending the day at the beauty salon, getting ready for tonight. Best he didn't know about this meeting. It would have to be a quick one, though. He would expect her to be back at the apartment they shared at Double Bay by late afternoon.

For the remainder of the drive along Sydney's northern beaches Charlotte mentally rehearsed what she wanted to say, hoping to reach a workable understand- ing with her father. By the time she emerged from her Mercedes at the family mansion, her mind was all fired up to win what she needed to win. She charged into the foyer and was unpleasantly surprised to see the butler wheeling a traymobile of coffee things towards the main lounge room.

"Have my parents got visitors, Charles?"

"Good afternoon, Miss Charlotte," he rolled out, re- minding her that good manners should not be overlooked. He was a tall, imposing man in his fifties, the absolute authority when it came to running this huge household and a stickler for appropriate behaviour at all times.

She grimaced an apology. "Sorry. I'm in a hurry. I need to talk to Dad ."

He gestured to the lounge room doors. "Mr Ramsey is enjoying the company of your brother and his friend from London, Mr Damien Wynter. Mrs Ramsey is out, keeping an appointment with her hair stylist ."

Charlotte frowned. It was good that her mother was out of the way, bad that she'd have to meet Peter's friend and have a bit of social chat before requesting a private talk with her father, who wouldn't want to leave this new con- nection with the son and heir of another billionaire. The big business networking would definitely be in action.

But she was here.

She had to try. "Will you be joining the gentlemen for coffee, Miss Charlotte?" Charles prompted while she was still chewing over his information.

"No. Thank you. I'm not staying that long, Charles ." She waved to the doors. "I'll just say hello to Peter and his friend ."

Charles left the traymobile to usher her into the lounge room, announcing, "Miss Charlotte," as she sailed in, trying to put on a polite face and hide her anxiety over the situation.

The three men rose from their seats at her entrance, Peter and his friend from armchairs with their backs to her, her father from the sofa facing them. Her gaze au- tomatically zeroed in on him as he smiled a surprised but pleased welcome.

"Charlotte—" He held out his arms for a greeting hug.

"My sister," she heard Peter mutter to his friend, but she didn't glance their way.

She walked straight up to her father to give him his hug, relieved that his disapproval of Mark did not impinge on his love for her. Despite all his shortcom- ings as a parent, she loved him, too. He was her father. And she hoped—fiercely hoped—she could win his understanding this afternoon.

Miss Charlotte—Peter's sister—Damien Wynter's interest was instantly aroused. She was a spectacular woman, not at all like Peter who obviously took after his father—blue eyes, sandy hair, fair-skinned with a sprinkle of freckles on their strongly boned faces, big physiques.

Her hair was the colour of caramel with streaks of butter, a long mane of it, shining and bouncy. Her skin was light honey, smooth, gleaming, and she had brown eyes like her mother, though not quite as dark, more Boston cream sherry. They glowed with bright intelli- gence, bringing a natural vibrancy to a face that had a very individual attraction—certainly not a plastic mould of beautiful, but strong with character, mixed with a sensual appeal in the soft curve of her jawline and the rather wide, full-lipped mouth.

Her figure was wonderfully female, the almost vo- luptuous curves accentuated by the bold dress she wore. Not that it was blatantly sexy. In fact it was quite modest—a sleeveless bodice, square neckline, not low enough to show cleavage, and the skirt skimmed her hips and flared slightly to knee-length. The design was simple but the colour combination was stunning.

The dress was mostly a vibrant purple. Dominating the lower left hand side of the skirt was a big white flower with a bright red centre and red splashed around the edge of the petals. A similar but much smaller flower featured over her right breast. A wide black belt circled an entic- ingly small waist, and very stylish black-and-white strappy sandals added a lot of sexy class to her bare feet.

Only a very confident woman would choose such a dress—a woman who knew what she liked and was not afraid to express her own individuality. And she obvi- ously didn't bother about being model-thin, either. Bold, confident and very sexy, Damien decided, feeling a highly stimulated interest.

Peter Ramsey's sister—

The thought flashed into Damien's mind that the partner in life he'd been looking for could be right here. She shared the same background of immense wealth, so wouldn't have her eye on how much he was worth. He could trust a relationship with her. Though whether she was ready to settle down and have the family he wanted was another issue. For all he knew she could be a spoilt brat, like many of the other heiresses he'd met.

But right now, there was a buzz of excited anticipa- tion running through his veins. If Charlotte Ramsey was anything like Peter in character, this visit to Sydney could be the start of building the kind of life he'd craved since he was a boy—something real and solid and lasting on a personal level.

Charlotte leaned up to whisper in her father's ear. "I need to talk to you privately. It's important, Dad," she pleaded.

He frowned down at her as she drew back, her eyes eloquently begging him to fall in with her request. "Come and meet Peter's friend first," he commanded, a chiding tone in his voice.

"Of course," she quickly agreed, swinging around to face their visitor, totally unprepared for the flesh and blood reality of Damien Wynter.

He didn't look English. He didn't look like anyone she'd ever met. The man was stunningly handsome— movie star handsome—like a smoothly dangerous Latin lover, an aristocratic Spaniard with his dark olive skin, black hair and eyes so dark, they looked black, too— black and brilliant with sparkling speculation as they bored straight into hers, giving her heart an almighty jolt.

Her toes started to curl. The man was sexual dy- namite. He was as tall as Peter but there was more of a lean grace to his perfectly proportioned physique, which was casually displayed in a collarless white shirt and tailored black jeans. There was a supple, animal quality about his body that gave Charlotte the feeling he was all primed to pounce and right at this moment, she was his target.

Her spine tingled with a weird little frisson of excite- ment. Shock at her response to his sexual magnetism kicked her mind into savage common sense. Damien Wynter was the kind of man who would make any woman feel like this. It wasn't special to her. But for one treacher- ous moment, she wished Mark had the same power.

Her father's large hand on the pit of her back, pushing her forward to greet their guest, snapped her out of her stunned bunny state. She plastered a smile on her face, hoping it covered her embarrassment at being caught up in his initial physical impact. Looks weren't everything, not by a long shot.

"Damien, it's my very great pleasure to introduce you to my daughter, Charlotte," her father said with far more warmth than he'd ever shown to Mark.

Which raised her hackles. "It's a very great pleasure to meet you, Charlotte," the man responded in kind, stepping forward and offering his hand.

She took it out of automatic politeness and was shocked anew by the electric contact of his strong fingers encasing hers. It rattled her into gushing speech. "Peter has spoken of you. I'm sure he'll see you enjoy your visit to Australia ."

The dark eyes engaged hers with very personal in- tensity. Heart-squeezing intensity. "I'm glad I came ."

For you.

He didn't say those words but she felt them. And the pressure of his hand reinforced the totally unwelcome connection he was pushing.

"I'm sorry I can't stay and chat but I'm really short of time and I've got some urgent business with Dad," she rushed out, forcibly releasing her hand as she turned to her father. "Could we go to the library?"

Her father waved to Charles who had brought in the traymobile. "Can't it wait until we've had coffee?"

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The Billionaire's Scandalous Marriage 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Camethyste on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Charlotte was supposed to get married in two weeks, but now she was having doubts. Everyone kept telling her that Mark wasn't right for her. And then she meets Damien and he decides she's his soulmate....This book was ok, but I didn't have any problem putting it down. I did like the ending though. A quick and easy read for when you don't want to have to think too much.
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Excellent story
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cute love story you will love it!
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