Prince Charming—With Strings Attached
Billionaire playboy Jonas Halstead has exactly ninety days to marry—or be cut off from his family’s hotel dynasty. What he needs is a practical, like-minded woman who isn’t looking to be swept off her feet.
Jonah’s seductive offer could save Katrina Morrison from financial ruin. But how can she be his wife in name only with desire tempting them to break the rules of their strictly hands-off arrangement? As passion complicates the journey to “I do,” will Kat lose her heart to the man she’s agreed to honor and cherish for however long their temporary marriage may last?
Jonas was impeccably dressed.
Kat’s eyes traveled over a broad chest and wide shoulders, up a tanned neck, to a strong jaw covered with two-day-old stubble. A mouth that was slow to smile but still sexy. Rich, successful and hot.
He had a rep for being a bit of a bastard, in business and in bed. That fact only dropped his sexy factor by a quarter of a percent.
“Mr. Halstead, welcome back to El Acantilado,” Kat murmured, ignoring her jumping heart.
“Call me Jonas.”
It wasn’t the first time he’d made the offer, but Kat had no intention of accepting. It wasn’t professional, and formality kept a healthy distance between her and guys in fancy suits. Like her ex-husband, and sadly, just like her father, those kinds of men were not to be trusted.
But it really annoyed Kat that a thousand sparks danced on her skin as Jonas’s smile turned his face from remote-but-still-hot to oh-my-God-I want-to-rip-his-clothes-off.
No. Sexy billionaires were not her type. She’d married, and divorced, a ruthless and merciless rich guy.
But it sure felt like she had the screaming hots for a man she shouldn’t.
And it was all Jonas Halstead’s fault.
* * *
Convenient Cinderella Bride is part of the Secrets of the A-List series: When you have it all, you’ll do anything to keep it.
Convenient Cinderella Bride
JOSS WOOD loves books and traveling—especially to the wild places of southern Africa. She has the domestic skills of a potted plant and drinks far too much coffee.
Joss has written for Mills & Boon Modern Tempted, Mills & Boon Modern and, most recently, the Mills & Boon Desire line. After a career in business, she now writes full-time. Joss is a member of the Romance Writers of America and Romance Writers of South Africa.
Another month, another breakfast. How many of these business breakfasts had they shared? Jonas Halstead had been the CEO of Halstead & Sons for five years... He did the calculation. Sixty Wednesday breakfasts.
Sixty three-hour meetings with the man commonly known as “The White Shark of the West Coast.” Jack was reputed to be the most ruthless, occasionally morally ambiguous, businessman on this side of the country. He was also Jonas’s grandfather, and Jonas would rather be water-boarded than sit through this monthly meeting.
When he’d first started as CEO he’d banned his staff from dealing directly with the chairman of the board because few people could deal with Jack’s harsh manner, his interrogations and his dire warnings about possible disaster situations. Few, even those who were corporate animals, could handle Jack’s aggression and his pursuit of perfection. Jonas had long ago realized that if he wanted to keep his key staff then he had to shield them from Jack.
But that meant it was his ass in the hot seat.
Jonas was a big boy, being paid the big bucks. He could deal with Jack. But, hell, he could not wait for the day when he could run Halstead & Sons without Jack’s constant input and criticism. Thanks to Jack’s ruthlessness and Jonas’s father’s reputation for cutting corners, the Halstead name was not one to be trusted, and while that didn’t bother Jack in the least—Let the bastards fear us, it’s good for business!—Jonas hated having his word doubted, his integrity questioned. He was a hard, tough businessman. He drove a hard bargain. But when he gave his word, he kept it. Always.
His family had a reputation for doing legal but morally dodgy deals, for losing their integrity in pursuit of the mighty dollar. Promises were broken; lies were told. Seeing the instinctual mistrust on the faces of his investors, suppliers and competitors burned a hole in his stomach and still, quietly and secretly, embarrassed the hell out of him. He was determined to rehabilitate the company’s reputation and was just as committed to establishing his own reputation as a man whose word could be trusted.
He thought, maybe, that he was making progress, but it was taking a hell of a long time.
Having Jack still serving as chairman of the board didn’t help. But, dammit, it was Jack’s company, and until he decided to release the reins, Jonas could only manage the old man. And keep his treasured staff away from him.
Jonas walked up the steps to Jack’s palatial,