The Virgin Secretary's Impossible Boss. Carole Mortimer

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Название The Virgin Secretary's Impossible Boss
Автор произведения Carole Mortimer
Жанр Современные любовные романы
Серия
Издательство Современные любовные романы
Год выпуска 0
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      Carole Mortimer was born in England, the youngest of three children. She began writing in 1978, and has now written over one hundred and forty books for Harlequin Mills & Boon®. Carole has six sons—Matthew, Joshua, Timothy, Michael, David and Peter. She says, ‘I’m happily married to Peter senior; we’re best friends as well as lovers, which is probably the best recipe for a successful relationship.’

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      to meet eight male wonders of the world. From rich tycoons to royal playboys—they’re red-hot and ruthless!

      International Billionaires coming in 2009

      The Prince’s Waitress Wife by Sarah Morgan, February.

      At the Argentinean Billionaire’s Bidding by India Grey, March.

      The French Tycoon’s Pregnant Mistress by Abby Green, April.

      The Ruthless Billionaire’s Virgin by Susan Stephens, May.

      The Italian Count’s Defiant Bride by Catherine George, June.

      The Sheikh’s Love-Child by Kate Hewitt, July.

      Blackmailed into the Greek Tycoon’s Bed by Carol Marinelli, August.

      The Virgin Secretary’s Impossible Boss by Carole Mortimer, September.

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       Dear Reader

      As the mother of six boys (I have two stepsons as well as four sons of my own), I have obviously been to a lot of rugby matches over the years. In fact just this morning my youngest son has gone off with his school on a four-day rugby tour.

      I love watching the game of rugby. I’m one of those mothers who stand on the sidelines screaming encouragement—no doubt to my sons’ great embarrassment.

      So it has been especially fun to write about a hero and heroine with a rugby theme underlying their love story, partly set in the beautiful country of Scotland.

      I hope you enjoy reading Andi and Linus’s story!

       Carole Mortimer

      THE VIRGIN SECRETARY’S IMPOSSIBLE BOSS

      BY

      CAROLE MORTIMER

      

MILLS & BOON® Pure reading pleasure

       www.millsandboon.co.uk

      PROLOGUE

      ‘DO WE have a deal?’

      Andi stared blankly across the drawing room at the man who had so recently stormed into her own life and her mother’s.

      ‘Come on, Andi,’ Linus Harrison prompted tersely as he paced impatiently. ‘It can’t be that difficult for you to realize that you have no real choice but to accept my offer.’

      That was the problem. Andi knew she didn’t have a choice. And she didn’t like it one little bit.

      Outwardly her expression and demeanour remained calm. Inwardly it was a different matter. What possible reason could this man have for offering her soon-to-be homeless mother somewhere to live in exchange for Andi taking on the job as his PA? A man like Linus Harrison—a man well-known for his ruthless business reputation, amongst other things—certainly couldn’t be making this offer out of the goodness of his heart. Andi wasn’t even sure that he had one of those! The hardness of those pale-green eyes set in a harshly sculptured face did nothing to contradict that belief.

      Nothing about Linus Harrison, of Harrison Holdings plc, was in the least reassuring, Andi acknowledged as she felt an uncomfortable fluttering in the pit of her stomach just looking at him. He was well over six-feet tall, at least nine or ten inches taller than her own five-feet-four, with over-long, shaggy dark hair that he pushed impatiently from his brow whenever it tumbled forward. His face was as hard and chiselled as any sculpture. Those pale-green eyes. An arrogant slash of a nose above lips that looked as if they rarely smiled. A squarely carved jaw that more than hinted at his ruthless reputation. The tailored dark-grey suit only emphasized the width of his muscled shoulders and tapered waist above long, powerful legs. The whole package was imbued with a restless energy that was in itself overpowering.

      Andi drew herself up to her full height of five feet six inches—in two-inch heels—none of her inner disquiet showing as she looked at Linus Harrison with calm brown eyes. ‘My name is Miss Buttonfield, or Andrea, if you prefer. Only my family and close friends are invited to use the familiarity of “Andi”.’ She raised challenging blonde brows.

      Linus’s expression was mocking as his gaze swept over her admiringly. Andrea Buttonfield had class with a capital C!

      She was nine years younger than his own thirty-five years. The top of her blonde head barely reached his chin. Her straight, shoulder-length hair was expertly styled, the fringe feathering lightly above huge eyes the colour of rich, dark chocolate. There were dark shadows beneath those beautiful eyes. Her cheeks were slightly hollow, her nose small and straight, and her mouth a perfect bow above a stubbornly pointed chin. Her cool, businesslike appearance was completed by a tailored black skirt and white silk blouse.

      In the last three months this woman had been hit with one tragedy on top of another, and yet Linus could see only cool determination in those liquid brown eyes as she continued to look at him unblinkingly.

      Linus gave a taunting inclination of his head. ‘In that case, I’ll settle for Andrea. For now,’ he drawled derisively. ‘I should warn you that I’m not a patient man, Andrea,’ he added harshly. ‘My offer is only open until five o’clock today.’

      The slight widening of those brown eyes was her only outward response to his ultimatum.

      He shrugged. ‘It’s the way I do business, Andrea.’

      She shook her head. ‘I can’t possibly make such a life-changing decision in just a few hours.’

      ‘That will be your loss.’

      A frown darkened her creamy brow. ‘Why the hurry?’

      ‘My present PA is leaving at the end of the month and I need a replacement before that happens.’ Linus moved to lower his long length into one of the goldbrocade armchairs that adorned the perfection of the spacious drawing-room.

      As Linus already knew, every room in Tarrington Park was decorated and furnished in this same gracious, elegant style. It was a style that Linus wanted to keep when he took possession of Tarrington Park in several weeks’time and turned it into another of his luxury spahotels and conference centres. It was a style that Marjorie Buttonfield, Andi’s mother, had informed Linus was all her daughter’s own work.

      Style—that was the word that applied to everything about Andrea Buttonfield. Not surprisingly. Andi had grown up on the Tarrington Park estate, the only child of Miles and Marjorie Buttonfield. Her childhood had been one of luxury and indulgence. Her private boarding-schools were the best in the country. Her English degree from Cambridge university was one of the highest attainable. Following university, Andrea had moved to live in London, becoming the PA of Gerald Wickham, head of Wickham International.

      Yes, Andrea Buttonfield had style.

      Linus’s own childhood and education was the complete opposite of Andi’s, and it was her style and class he had coveted from the moment he’d first met her eight