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The Billionaire Boss's Secretary Bride
As far as secretary Gina Leighton is concerned, billionaire businessman Harry Breedon has never shown more than a professional interest in her. Why should he? Plain and plump, Gina knows she's hardly trophy-wife material!But Harry has noticed her--sexy curves and all--and now that Gina has another job offer, he'll have to act fast. This handsome tycoon is determined to seduce her into staying--even if that means making her his wife!
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June 30, 2008
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Excerpt from The Billionaire Boss's Secretary Bride by Helen Brooks
'I still can't believe you're really going, that this is your last day. All along I thought you'd change your mind. I mean, you've been here for ever, Gina.'
Gina Leighton couldn't help but smile at her office junior's plaintive voice. 'Perhaps that's why I'm leaving, Natalie,' she said quietly. 'Because I've been here for ever, as you put it.'
OK, so 'for ever' was actually the last eleven years, since she had left university at the age of twenty-one, but clearly as far as Natalie was concerned Gina was as much a part of Breedon & Son as the bricks and mortar. As far as everyone was concerned, most likely. Especially him.
'I know I shan't be able to get on with Susan.' Natalie stared at her mournfully. 'She's not like you.'
'You'll be fine,' Gina said bracingly. She didn't mean it. In the last four weeks since she had been showing Susan Richards--her replacement--the ropes, she had come to realise Susan didn't suffer fools gladly. Not that Natalie was a fool, not at all--but she was something of a feather-brain at times, who had to have everything explained at least twice for it to click. Susan had already expressed her impatience with the girl in no uncertain terms, ignoring the fact that Natalie was a hard worker and always willing to go the extra mile.
But this wasn't her problem. In a few hours from now, she would walk out of Breedon & Son for the last time. Not only that but she was leaving the Yorkshire market-town where she had been born and raised along with all her friends and family and moving to London at the weekend. New job, new flat, new lifestyle--new everything.
Her stomach doing a fairly good imitation of a pancake on Shrove Tuesday, Gina waved her hand at the papers on her desk. 'I need to finish some things, Natalie, before the drinks and nibbles.' Her boss was putting on a little farewell party for her for the last couple of hours of the afternoon, and she wanted to tie up any loose ends before she left.
Once Natalie had returned to the outer office, however, Gina sat staring round the large and comfortable room that had been her working domain for the last four years, since she had worked her way up to personal secretary to the founder of the agricultural-machinery firm. She'd been thrilled at first, the prestige and extremely generous salary adding to her sense of self-worth. And Dave Breedon was a good boss, a nice family-man with a sense of humour which matched hers. But then Dave Breedon wasn't the reason she was leaving...
'No eleventh-hour change of heart?'
The deep male voice brought Gina's gaze to the doorway. 'Of course not,' she said with a composure that belied her racing heartbeat. But then she had had plenty of practice in disguising how she felt about Harry Breedon, her boss's only son and right-hand man. She stared into the tanned and ruggedly handsome face, her deep blue eyes revealing nothing beyond cool amusement. 'You didn't seriously think there was any chance of that, surely?'
He shrugged. '"Hoped" is perhaps a better word.'
Ridiculous, because she had long since accepted Harry's flirting meant absolutely nothing, but her breathing quickened in spite of herself. 'Sorry,' she said evenly. 'But my bags are already packed.'
'Dad's devastated, you know.' Harry strolled into her office, perching on the edge of her desk and fixing her with smoky grey eyes. Gina tried very hard not to focus on the way his trousers had pulled tight over lean male thighs. And failed.
'Devastated?' she said briskly. 'Hardly. It's nice he'll be sorry to see me go, but I think that's about it, Harry. And Susan is proving to be very capable, as you know.'
Susan Richards. Blonde, attractive and possessed of the sort of figure any model would be grateful for. Just Harry's type, in fact. Over the last twelve months--since Harry had returned to the United Kingdom following his father's heart attack, and taken on more and more of Dave Breedon's work load--Gina had heard the company gossip about his succession of girlfriends, all allegedly blonde and slender. Whereas she was a redhead--at school she'd been called 'carrot top', but she preferred to label her bright auburn locks Titian. And, although her generous hour-glass shape might have been in fashion in Marilyn Monroe's day, it wasn't now.
So why, knowing all that, had she fallen for him? Gina asked herself silently. Especially as he was the original 'love 'em and leave 'em' male. It was the same question she had mulled over umpteen times in the last year, but she was no nearer to a logical answer. But then love didn't pretend to work on logic. All she knew was that this feeling--which had begun with an earthy lust that had knocked her sideways, and had rapidly grown into a love that was all consuming the more she'd got to know him--was here to stay. Whereas to Harry she was merely the secretary he shared with his father--admittedly someone he liked to chat and laugh and flirt with, but then he'd be the same with any female.