|Название||Island of Secrets|
|Автор произведения||Robyn Donald|
|Серия||Mills & Boon Modern|
Joanna froze, meeting glinting eyes that narrowed. Every cell in her body was suddenly charged with a fierce awareness of Luc’s potent male charisma.
His grip tightened for a painful moment, then relaxed.
But instead of letting her go he drew her towards him. His face was set and intent, his eyes molten silver.
Helpless in a kind of reckless, fascinated thralldom, she forced herself to meet that fiercely intent gaze. In it she read passion, a desire that matched the desperate impulse she had no way of fighting.
He dropped his hands and took a step backwards.
‘A bit too soon—and very crass—to be making a move like that, surely?’ he said in a voice so level it took her a second or two to register the meaning of his words. ‘After all, Tom’s barely cold in his grave. You could make some pretence of missing him.’
The flick of scorn in his last sentence lashed her like a whip.
About the Author
ROBYN DONALD can’t remember not being able to read, and will be eternally grateful to the local farmers who carefully avoided her on a dusty country road as she read her way to and from school, transported to places and times far away from her small village in Northland, New Zealand. Growing up fed her habit. As well as training as a teacher, marrying and raising two children, she discovered the delights of romances and read them voraciously, especially enjoying the ones written by New Zealand writers—so much so that one day she decided to write one herself.
Writing soon grew to be as much of a delight as reading—although infinitely more challenging—and when eventually her first book was accepted by Mills & Boon she felt she’d arrived home. She still lives in a small town in Northland, with her family close by, using the landscape as a setting for much of her work. Her life is enriched by the friends she’s made among writers and readers, and complicated by a determined Corgi called Buster, who is convinced that blackbirds are evil entities. Her greatest hobby is still reading, with travelling a very close second.
Recent titles by the same author:
STEPPING OUT OF THE SHADOWS
ONE NIGHT IN THE ORIENT(One Night In …)
THE FAR SIDE OF PARADISE
POWERFUL GREEK, HOUSE KEEPER WIFE(The Greek Tycoons)
Did you know these are also available as eBooks? Visit www.millsandboon.co.uk
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IN A VOICE that iced through the solicitor’s office, Luc MacAllister said, ‘Perhaps you can explain why my stepfather insisted on this final condition.’
Bruce Keller resisted the urge to move uncomfortably in his chair. He’d warned Tom Henderson of the possible repercussions of his outrageous will, but his old friend had said with some satisfaction, ‘It’s time Luc learned that life can mean dealing with situations you can’t control.’
In his forty years of discussing wills with bereaved families Bruce had occasionally been shocked, but he’d never felt threatened before. The familiar sound of the traffic in the street of the small New Zealand town faded as he met the hard grey eyes of Tom’s stepson.
He squared his shoulders, warning himself to cool it. MacAllister’s formidable self-possession was a legend. ‘Tom didn’t confide in me,’ he said steadily.
The man on the other side of the desk looked down at the copy of the will before him. ‘So he refused to give any reason for stipulating that before I attain complete control of Henderson Holdings and the Foundation, I must spend six months in the company of his—of Joanna Forman.’
‘He refused to discuss it at all.’
MacAllister quoted from the will. ‘“Joanna Forman, who has been my companion for the past two years.”’ His mouth twisted. ‘It wasn’t like Tom to be so mealy-mouthed. By companion he presumably meant mistress.’
The solicitor felt a momentary pang of pity for the woman. Thanking his stars he was able to be truthful, he said austerely, ‘All I know about her is that her aunt was your stepfather’s housekeeper on Rotumea Island until she died. Joanna Forman cared for her during the three months before her death.’
‘And then stayed on.’
The contempt in Luc’s voice angered the solicitor, but he refrained from saying anything more.
Whatever role Joanna Forman had played in Henderson’s life, she’d been important to him—so important he’d made sure she’d never want for anything else again, even though he’d known it would infuriate his formidable stepson.
MacAllister’s broad shoulders lifted in a shrug that reminded the older man of Luc’s mother, an elegant, aristocratic Frenchwoman. Although Bruce had met her only once he’d never forgotten her polished composure and what had seemed like a complete lack of warmth. She couldn’t have been more different from Tom, a brash piratical New Zealander who’d grabbed the world by the neck and shaken it, enjoying himself enormously while setting up a worldwide organization in various forms of construction.
Bruce had done his best to convince Tom that this unexpected legacy was going to cause ructions, possibly even cause his will to be contested in court, but his friend had been completely determined.
Anyway, MacAllister had no reason to be so scornful. The solicitor could recall at least two rather public liaisons in his life.
A just man, Bruce accepted that a relationship between a sixty-year-old and a woman almost forty years younger was, to use his youngest granddaughter’s terminology, icky. Involuntarily his mouth curved, only to vanish under another cold grey stare.
Luc said crisply, ‘I don’t find the situation at all amusing.’
In his driest tone, Bruce said, ‘I realise this has been a shock to you. I did warn your stepfather.’
‘When did he finalise this will?’
‘A year ago.’
MacAllister pushed the document away. ‘Three years after he had that ischaemic stroke, and a year after this Forman woman moved in.’
‘Yes. He took the precaution of having a thorough check—both physical and mental—before he signed it.’
In a clipped voice MacAllister said, ‘Of course he did. On your recommendation, I assume.’ Without waiting for an answer he went on, ‘I won’t be contesting the will—not even this final condition.’
The solicitor nodded. ‘Sensible of you.’