Australian billionaire Sebastian Armstrong thinks he knows his housekeeper well. Emily's prim, proper and dedicated to her job. Outside she's a plain Jane, but inside she's a passionate woman desperate to break out--and to forget that she's fallen in love with her handsome boss.
When Emily quits, Sebastian refuses to let her go. Instead he devises a ruthless plan designed to keep Emily by his side, at his bidding and in his bed!
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May 31, 2007
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Excerpt from The Ruthless Marriage Proposal by Miranda Lee
Sydney airport. Eight o'clock. One Friday evening in March.
"THANK YOU for flying with us, Mr Armstrong," the female flight attendant purred as Sebastian disembarked through the first class exit.
He nodded and hurried on by, anxious to get out to the taxi rank before the hordes descended. Thankfully, he'd only brought a cabin bag with him and didn't have to collect any luggage.
The warm air outside the air-conditioned terminal came as a shock and Sebastian was glad to step into a taxi with minimal delay. He momentarily thought of ringing Emily to let her know he'd caught an earlier flight, but decided against it. It wasn't as though he needed her to cook him dinner, and really, he wasn't in the mood to talk.
All he wanted was to get home...
Emily's hands trembled as she picked up her resignation letter from the computer printer and read it through.
Just a few simple sentences, yet it had taken her over an hour to compose.
But it was done now. Her decision had been made. 'And it's the right decision," Emily muttered to herself as she propped the envelope against her desk calendar. 'The only decision."
For how could she continue as Sebastian's housekeeper, now she realised she'd fallen in love with him?
When he returned home tomorrow morning, she would hand him her resignation, then, first thing next Monday morning, she'd ring the employment agency and tell them she was accepting the job she'd been offered that afternoon.
In truth, Emily had been taken aback at securing such a plum position after just one interview: assistant manager at an exciting new conference centre on Sydney's prestigious Darling Harbour.Which was why, when the agency had rung her just after five today, she'd asked for the weekend to make up her mind.
But she hadn't needed the weekend. Just a couple of hours of soul-searching, plus listening to her head instead of her foolish female heart.
Of course, Sebastian's being away had helped with her decision making. She certainly wasn't looking forward to his return tomorrow, especially after he found out she was leaving.
He was not going to be pleased. Not pleased at all. Emily knew that Sebastian liked her. Made no secret of his liking her. That was what made it all so hard, her heart squeezing tight as she recalled the many evenings he'd invited her to sit with him over dinner, or a night-cap, clearly enjoying her company.
But not as much as you enjoyed his, came the timely warning. What Sebastian likes most about you, my girl, is the smoothly efficient way you run his house.
Sebastian liked employees who did what he wanted, when he wanted, the way he wanted. When his much valued PA had tendered her resignation last year, Sebastian had offered her every incentive to make her stay with him. More money. Better working conditions. Even a different title.
Nothing had worked. The woman had left anyway and Sebastian had been in a black mood for days. No, weeks!
Emily quivered inside at the prospect of her boss's reaction to her own resignation.
No doubt he would first offer her more money. But more money would not persuade her to stay. Better working conditions would not be possible either, she thought as she glanced around her beautifully furnished bedroom. The desk she was sitting at was made in rosewood, with the most elegantly carved legs. And her four-poster mahogany bed had once been slept in by a European princess. The rest of the one-bedroomed flat which came with her present position was just as exquisite, full of even more antiques, plus many elegant little touches that any female would love. She especially liked the flat's position above the garages, which meant she had total privacy from the main house.