The Tycoon’s Convenient Bride…and Baby
by Shoshanna Evers
After her brother and his wife go missing and are presumed dead, Lauren Peters plans to raise their infant daughter. Her brother’s will, however, stipulates that baby Callie can only be raised by a married couple. Lauren’s as single as they come.
Mack Hansen can’t stand idly by while his business partner’s baby is thrown into a foster home. As he sees it, there’s only one solution—he and Lauren will marry for the sake of the baby—and he’ll keep his attraction to her at bay.
Lauren knows that Mack is all about business, including their marriage of convenience. But her unexpected feelings for him have her turned upside down. With passion sizzling between them, can Mack keep Lauren from stealing his heart…and becoming his wife for real?
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Twitter: @IndulgenceBooks Steals and Deals
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Shoshanna Evers has written dozens of sexy stories, including The Man Who Holds the Whip (part of the bestselling MAKE ME anthology),Overheated, The Enslaved Trilogy, and The Pulse Trilogy (from Simon & Schuster Pocket Star).
Her work has been featured in Best Bondage Erotica 2012 and Best Bondage Erotica 2013, the Penguin/Berkley Heat anthology Agony/Ecstasy, and numerous erotic BDSM novellas including Chastity Belt and Punishing the Art Thief from Ellora’s Cave Publishing.
The non-fiction anthology Shoshanna Evers edited and contributed to, How To Write Hot Sex: Tips from Multi-Published Erotic Romance Authors, is a #1 Bestseller in the Authorship, Erotica Writing Reference, and Romance Writing categories.
Shoshanna is a New York native who now lives with her family and two big dogs in Northern Idaho. She welcomes emails from readers and writers, and loves to interact on Twitter and Facebook.
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The Tycoon’s Convenient Bride…and Baby
by Shoshanna Evers
Copyright 2014 Shoshanna Evers
Entangled Indulgence Publishing, All Rights Reserved
“I know you love that little girl, Lauren. And I know you love your brother enough to not want his daughter to leave this family. Joe wanted us to take care of her. He said so in his will.”
“He didn’t mean us, together,” she said. “In fact, I’m pretty sure Joe would freak out if he thought you were making a move on me. He’s been warning me away from you since you guys were roommates in college.”
Mack waved his hand as if to clear away her concerns. “I’m not making a move on you. This is business. And Joe would understand that extraordinary circumstances warrant unusual solutions.”
“But we’re not married, Mack.”
“It’s just a piece of paper,” he said, shrugging. “We can go down to the courthouse this very afternoon and make it official. It won’t be a real marriage, of course. It would be in name only.”
“It wouldn’t be a marriage in name only, Mack,” she said. “Don’t you see? If we’re living together to raise Callie, it’ll be…it’ll feel very real. At least to me.”
He leaned in so close she had to tilt her head up to keep looking into his eyes. “Is that a problem? We’ve known each other for a long time. I think we could take care of Callie together, at least until Joe and Marisol return. We don’t need to really be in love to get a piece of paper that says we’re man and wife.”
Hmm. What he said made sense. They didn’t need to be in love to get married, not really. Love. It would be so amazing to find a man who’d love her, who’d want to stay with her forever. Not someone like her ex-boyfriend Steve who had waited until his sister had a baby to realize he wanted his own children, something she could never give him. Or any man.
Could this be her only chance to get married?
“For as long as I’ve known you,” she said, “you’ve always said you’d never settle down. Ever.”
“I never thought this would happen, either. Things change. I have a penthouse in Manhattan—plenty of room for you and Callie to move in. We only need to be married until her parents come back. Then we’ll have to be legally separated for a year before we can divorce.”
Divorce? “How do you know about that?”
He laughed. “Thomas schooled me on the legalities of marriage when Joe and Marisol got together, and what it would mean for our joint assets. But it shouldn’t be a big deal,” he said, “unless you have some boyfriend I don’t know about waiting in the wings, wanting to marry you, instead?”
She blushed. Damn him, he always made her blush. “No. But—what about Callie?”
“We’ll share joint custody, of course.” Mack smiled at her as if that solved everything.
“No.” Lauren shook her head resolutely, tearing her eyes away from his handsome face. “This is crazy. People don’t do this kind of thing anymore.”
“What kind of thing?” he asked, amusement creeping into his voice.
Why did he have to be so good-looking?
“A…a marriage of convenience.”
“Stop thinking of it as a real marriage,” Mack said. “Joe was my best friend. I have an obligation to do what he would have wanted me to do. So just marry me and help me raise Callie, like your brother wanted.”
He tilted her chin up, forcing her to look in his chocolate-colored eyes. “Please,” he said softly. “Marry me, Lauren. For Callie’s sake. Put up with me for one year.”
“Everything’s just business with you, Mack.”
Mack’s lips curved into a small smile. “It sounds like you don’t want to miss out on the other benefits of matrimony.”
“Other…benefits?” The words came out breathlessly as images from her dream of him ran through her mind.
He ran one large hand down her cheek, smoothing her hair behind her ear. The light touch tickled her senses, lighting a fire deep within her. “You know,” he murmured. “Benefits.”
“I can’t…I can’t think of any benefits.” Her skin tingled where his hand lingered. His mouth, mere inches from her lips, became the focus of her world.