Sophie's Seduction. Kim Lawrence

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Название Sophie's Seduction
Автор произведения Kim Lawrence
Жанр Короткие любовные романы
Серия Mills & Boon
Издательство Короткие любовные романы
Год выпуска 0
isbn 9781408928219

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      Scandal on the night of the world-famous one hundredth

      Balfour Charity Ball has left the Balfour family in

      disarray! Proud patriarch Oscar Balfour knows that

      something must be done. His only option is to cut his

      daughters off from their lavish lifestyles and send them

      out into the real world to stand on their own two feet.

      So he dusts off the Balfour family rules and uses his

      powerful contacts to place each girl in a situation that will

      challenge her particular personality. He is determined

      that each of his daughters should learn that money will

      not buy happiness – integrity, decorum, strength,

      trust…and love are everything!

      Each month Mills & Boon is delighted to bring you an

      exciting new instalment from The Balfour Legacy.

      You won’t want to miss out!

      MIA’S SCANDAL – Michelle Reid

      KAT’S PRIDE – Sharon Kendrick

      EMILY’S INNOCENCE – India Grey

      SOPHIE’S SEDUCTION – Kim Lawrence

      ZOE’S LESSON – Kate Hewitt

      ANNIE’S SECRET – Carole Mortimer

      BELLA’S DISGRACE – Sarah Morgan

      OLIVIA’S AWAKENING – Margaret Way

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      Sophie’s Seduction

      The Balfour Legacy

      Kim Lawrence

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      KIM LAWRENCE lives on a farm in rural Anglesey. She runs two miles daily and finds this an excellent opportunity to unwind and seek inspiration for her writing! It also helps her keep up with her husband, two active sons and the various stray animals which have adopted them. Always a fanatical consumer of fiction, she is now equally enthusiastic about writing. She loves a happy ending!

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      To my two boys, who have grown into rather splendid young men

      Chapter One

      SOPHIE paused at the top of the steps and consulted her notebook. She turned to the pencilled map drawn in her own neat hand before glancing up to double-check the number on the door of the modest Georgian terrace. It was in a street filled with rows of similar houses, but then, as they always said, when it came to property it was all about location.

      She shaded her eyes from the July sun as she directed her gaze towards the luxury cars parked along the tree-lined street. They seemed to suggest that, in estate-agent speak, this location could be classed as highly desirable.

      She turned her attention back to the building. This was, she decided, definitely the place, though a further search revealed there was nothing as vulgar as a sign to identify it on the door.

      Small but exclusive, her father had said, with a growing reputation for excellence. Exactly the sort of place, he had assured Sophie, for her to spread her artistic wings.

      ‘A springboard for future success!’ he had enthused. ‘You could go places with your talent, Sophie, you just need to get out there and show the world what you can do!’

      So, no pressure, then.

      Sophie had resisted the temptation to point out that a home-study course in interior decorating didn’t necessarily qualify her to achieve world domination in the field of interior design, not overnight anyway.

      There would be no interview, it seemed, and when she had asked when she started the new job, her father’s reply had tipped her over into outright panic.

      ‘Monday…this Monday…do you think I can?’

      Her father had looked stern and Oscar Balfour could look very stern, but not normally with her.

      She had never given him cause; she had always towed the line, and there had never been any major dramas in her life. She’d never needed rescuing, or been the subject of embarrassing headlines; there were no unsuitable men in her past…she was an open and fairly boring book.

      Depressing when you thought about it.

      ‘I know you can.’

      ‘You do?’

      ‘I know, Sophie, that you and your sisters will not disappoint me. I have faith in you. Your sisters have all accepted a challenge.’

      And if she didn’t what did that make her?

      ‘I know they have.’ And she missed them.

      ‘This is my fault,’ Oscar Balfour had insisted.

      Sophie’s kind heart had ached to see the father she loved hold himself personally responsible and she’d said warmly, though not entirely truthfully, ‘You’ve been a wonderful father.’

      As she hugged him she’d seen the tabloid open on his desk. Knowing it contained a particularly vicious editorial, she’d heard herself say, ‘I’ll do it.’

      Sophie had left the room with an emotional lump the size of a golf ball in her throat, in a state of shock but determined not to let down her father and sisters; for once in her life she would act like a Balfour.

      A week later and the lump was still there, but as she lifted a hand to knock tentatively on the half-open door it had been joined by a tight knot of anxiety lying like a leaden weight in her stomach.

      She still felt in shock.

      She knew none of this should have come as a surprise. Since the drama of the scandalous events surrounding the annual Balfour Charity Ball, she had watched as one by one her sisters had been sent away to prove themselves in the world without the cushion of the Balfour wealth and influence.

      But time had passed and Sophie had waited nervously for her invitation to her father’s study, and when it hadn’t materialised she had relaxed a little, assuming she was safe—then…it came.

      The sympathetic look she received from her father’s butler as she let herself in by a side door to the manor had made