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His Forbidden Fiancee (Millionaire of the Month)
Millionaire of the Month: Luke Barton
Source of fortune: Wireless technology
Motto: Achieve success; deny failure
In the years since his identical twin had stolen the family company, Luke had devoted himself to two things: success and revenge. Suddenly, his brother's fiancýe, Lauren Conover, appeared and offered Luke the opportunity to achieve both. A simple case of mistaken identity had made Lauren believe Luke was his twin. But in Luke's simple plan for payback, he hadn't counted on wanting to keep Lauren for himself....
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April 10, 2007
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Excerpt from His Forbidden Fiancee (Millionaire of the Month) by Christie Ridgway
The only thing the first-class-all-the-way log house lacked was a sexy female in the master bedroom's quilt-covered sleigh bed. Make that a naked sexy female. Blond. Curvy.
Make that lots of curves.
Coat hangers with legs didn't interest Luke Barton. He liked his women built for pleasure. His pleasure.
"Did you say something, Mr. Barton?"
He started, then tore his gaze from the decadent bed to frown at the caretaker who was showing him through the home that was his for the next month. Had he been talking out loud? Luke shoved his hands in his pockets and tried out a noncommittal smile before trailing the woman toward the adjoining bathroom.
She was attractive enough, he supposed, and somewhere in her twenties as well as sort of blondish, but it wasn't her who had sparked his imagination. It was that luxurious bed, he decided, glancing back at it over his shoulder. That quilt-covered bed with a mattress wide enough to rival the sizable slice of Lake Tahoe that he could see through the room's tall windows.
There was a stone fireplace near the bed's carved footboard with wood neatly laid inside and Luke could imagine the logs burning brightly, licking golden color along the naked, fair flesh of his fantasy woman. he'd follow suit with his tongue, tasting her warm--
His attention jolted to the caretaker again and he realized he was standing, frozen, in the middle of the room. "Call me Luke," he said.
"What?, The caretaker frowned. "We were expecting Matthias Barton this month."
Perplexed, Luke stared at her for a moment. Matthias?
Oh. Matthias. Matt. That luxurious decadent bed was making him forget everything. It wasn't often that Luke Barton forgot his bastard of a twin brother, Matt. And it was never that he did his bastard of a brother a favor.
Except for now.
When his assistant had called Luke's assistant he'd wished like hell he could have turned the cheating, thieving SOB down flat. "Your brother has to take care of some unexpected business and he wants to know if you'll switch months with him," Elaine had imparted, as if it wasn't damn strange that identical siblings refused to speak to each other.
But for once, Luke had been unable to refuse his brother's request.
"I'm sorry. I meant to mention it right away," Luke told the caretaker. Apparently she hadn't noticed the cryptic note Nathan left behind had been addressed to him. "Something came up and my brother and I had to trade months." The ol" twin switcheroo.
"Oh, I suppose that's all right," the woman replied, then gestured him forward. "So, as I was saying, Luke, you must spend the next month in the lodge in order to fulfill the requirements of Hunter's will. Your friend Nathan was here last month and your brother Matthias will then take your place in the fifth month."
Luke knew all that. A while back, letters had been received by each of the remaining "Seven Samurai" as they'd called themselves in college. The six had lost touch after the death of Hunter Palmer and graduation, but with the arrival of those letters they'd been reminded of the promise they'd once made to one another as they closed in on getting their diplomas. Though they were from families of distinction and wealth, they'd been determined to each make their own mark on the world. In ten years, they'd vowed.
Over a table filled with empty beer bottles they'd pledged to build a lodge on the shores of Lake Tahoe and in ten years, each of them would take the place for a month. At the end of the seventh month, the plan had been that they'd all come together for a celebration of their friendship and the successes they'd achieved.
But after Hunter's illness and subsequent death, that dream had died with him.