Selected praise for
“Lisa Jackson is a real talent.
She writes the kind of books I like to read.”
—New York Times bestselling author Kat Martin
“Lisa Jackson is incomparable.”
—New York Times bestselling author Samantha James
“Lisa Jackson is an enthralling storyteller.”
—Award-winning author Alexis Harrington
“Cold Blooded has compelling, intelligent and believable characters, and a remarkable storyline.”
“This book has the perfect mix of secrets, lust and murder.”
—Revish.com on Absolute Fear
MILLS & BOON
Before you start reading, why not sign up?
Thank you for downloading this Mills & Boon book. If you want to hear about exclusive discounts, special offers and competitions, sign up to our email newsletter today!
Or simply visit
Mills & Boon emails are completely free to receive and you can unsubscribe at any time via the link in any email we send you.
lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest. She has been writing for more than twenty years. Her books have appeared on the New York Times, Publishers Weekly and USA TODAY bestseller lists. Her free time is spent with friends and family. Readers can find out more about her latest books on her Web site, www.lisajackson.com.
Marnie Montgomery tossed her briefcase onto the antique couch near the windows of her office. She marched straight to her desk, removed an earring and grabbed the phone. As she punched out her father’s extension, she balanced a hip against the polished rosewood and waited, her fingers drumming impatiently, a headache threatening behind her eyes.
“Victor Montgomery’s office,” a sweet voice sang over the wires. Kate Delany. Efficient Kate. Victor’s mistress and administrative assistant. She’d been with him for years, and hoped to become the next Mrs. Victor Montgomery.
“Is he in?” Marnie asked.
“Not yet. But I expect him any time.” Poor Kate. So helplessly in love with Marnie’s father. Loving Victor was easy, as Marnie could well attest. But sometimes that love became overpowering, and Marnie felt as if she’d lost a part of herself, hadn’t been allowed to grow into the woman she wanted to be.
She heard Kate flip through the pages of what she assumed was Victor’s appointment book. “Your dad called from the course about half an hour ago,” Kate said thoughtfully. “He should be on his way back here, and it looks as if his schedule isn’t too full this afternoon.”
Marnie’s lungs constricted. She cleared her throat. “Tell him I need to see him the minute he gets in.”
“Very,” Marnie replied, replacing the receiver and suddenly feeling cold inside. Slipping her earring back in place, she noticed the expensive furnishings in her office, the thick mauve carpet, the panoramic view of Seattle’s skyline from her corner office. Everything a girl could want.
Except Marnie didn’t want any of it. She didn’t want the forced smiles of the staff, she didn’t want the knowing glances in the coffee room, and she especially didn’t want the engraved brass nameplate that read: MARNIE MONTGOMERY, PUBLIC RELATIONS. It could just as well have read: VICTOR’S DAUGHTER. The people who worked “for her” in her department could function well without her. Victor had seen to that.
She tossed her pen into her empty In basket. Was it ever full? Were there ever papers and messages overflowing onto the desk? Did she ever have to put in extra hours? Did she even have to come back from lunch? No, no, no and no!
A nest of butterflies erupted into flight in her stomach at the thought of what she had to do. Rounding the desk she found a piece of letterhead, and rather than have her secretary type her letter of resignation she started writing it out in long hand.
How did one quit being a daughter? she wondered, her brow puckering as she chewed on the end of her pen.
How did she tell a loving father, who had tried all his life to do everything for her, that she felt suffocated?
How could she explain that she had to do something on her own, become her own person, live her own life?
Absurdly, she felt an urge to break down and cry tears of frustration, but because that was exactly what the weaker, dependent Marnie would have done, she gritted her teeth, refused to shed one lousy tear and started writing again in quick, sure strokes.
She couldn’t quit being Victor’s daughter, but she sure as hell could quit being dependent upon him.
Adam Drake felt the skeptical gaze of every man who sat around the polished table. They’d listened to him, scanned the thick sheaf of papers that was his proposal and leaned back in their chairs, without questions but exchanging knowing glances.
The three men in the room were potential investors from California, men who, so far, hadn’t turned him down. Yet. However, Adam knew they each had doubts about his proposal—and concerns about Adam himself. He didn’t blame them. His reputation was more than a little tarnished.
It was surprising that these investors had stuck around this long.
The lawyer, Brodie, reached into his pocket for a fresh pack of cigarettes. It seemed to take forever for the cellophane to drop onto the table. “I think I can speak for my associates,” he said, looking to the other two men and receiving quick nods of approval. “We like the idea of expanding to Seattle, but we’ve got some reservations.”
“This wouldn’t be an expansion,” Adam reminded the smooth man in the expensive suit. This was a point they’d haggled over before. “I’ll own the majority of the hotel. Your capital will be returned, with interest in the amount specified in ten years.” He flipped to page six of his proposal and slid it across the table.