For successful New York architect Daniel Warren, designing the new Texas Cattleman's Club is an exciting challenge. And so is getting to know the delicious Elizabeth Milton. The fiery Texas heiress combines cosmopolitan chic with down-home sass--a mix impossible for a city slicker to resist.
But a carefree affair is all they can have. A stipulation in her family's will keeps Elizabeth honor-bound to stay in Royal. And this millionaire's business will soon force him to move on. Unless either dares to make the ultimate sacrifice and put love first
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October 01, 2011
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Excerpt from Millionaire Playboy, Maverick Heiress by Robyn Grady
Just what was so funny?
Daniel Warren's focus dropped from the hot blonde sending over a half amused, half pitying look to the architectural model he and three of his design team were struggling to carry. Admittedly, the mock-up was large in more ways than one, but Texas was a big state. The new headquarters for the renowned Texas Cattleman's Club needed to make a big statement. Aesthetics like giant steer horns adorning a twenty-foot-high cowhide double entrance wasn't over the top.
His second in charge, Rand Marks, spoke in his ear.
"Boss, this weighs a ton. Want to keep moving?"
From their expressions, the other assistants were also curious about the holdup. There wasn't one. Or shouldn't be.
Daniel was known in the business not only for talent but also decisiveness. He couldn't remember the last time he'd second-guessed himself. When he'd been invited to submit for this project, he'd put his fifteen odd years of successful industry know-how behind developing a design that would blow the committee members away--old-school as well as avant-garde. And yet now, that bombshell's one dubious look burned like a smoking brand in his mind. Who was she anyway?
"I'm sorry to intrude, but you must be Abigail Langley's friend?"
At the sound of a sultry, Southern, very female voice, Daniel's heartbeat skipped and his attention shifted again. The blonde, and her ambivalent expression, now stood an arm's length away. Close up, she wasn't merely hot. Lord above, she was stunning. Wrapped up in a silver-fur jacket and jeans that hugged hips and thighs just right, she looked as if she'd just stepped off the Aspen slopes. Set in a fine oval face, large, well-lashed green eyes sparkled like a pair of priceless jewels. But her long bouncy mane struck him most. It was the kind of hair that made a man's fingertips itch to reach out and touch.
Setting his jaw, Daniel straightened his spine.
None of that altered the fact he was less than thrilled by her reaction to his work. He'd satisfied countless clients and had become filthy rich in the process. He didn't need to field subtle insults at the eleventh hour from "Miss Texas and Loving It" here.
Dragging his gaze from those plump kissable lips, Daniel cleared his throat and answered the lady's question.
"Yes. I'm Abigail Langley's friend--"
"Daniel Warren." She tasted his name as if she were enjoying a sip of sweet hot chocolate on a blustery winter's day. "You're the hotshot architect Abigail brought in all the way from New York City."
When the peak of one fair eyebrow arched, Daniel took a moment. Was she goading or flirting? With these Southern belles, who could tell?
"Don't know about hotshot, but I'm well-known in the industry," he confirmed as her weight shifted from one denim-clad leg to the other and she hitched her Birkin higher on one shoulder. "You know Abigail, too?"
"Everyone in these parts knows Abby. Her husband, God rest his soul, was the great-great-great-grandson of Tex Langley, the founder of this establishment." When she leaned a conspiratorial inch closer, he caught the scent of her perfume--delicate with undertones of dangerous. "My money's on Abigail to win the upcoming election. She'd make a fine club president--" those lush lips pursed "--no matter what that stick-in-the-mud Brad Price has to say on the matter."
A suit in his forties sauntered up. He spared Daniel a cursory glance before addressing the lady with a lazy Texan drawl.
"My dear, we're expected inside."
"I was introducing myself to a visitor to Royal," she said, indicating Daniel with a nod and interested smile. "Boss?"
Daniel's attention slid back. Damn, he'd forgotten the boys.
"If you're going to be a while," Rand said, "mind if the rest of us take this inside? Don't know about you but my arms are ready to snap."
Daniel slipped his arms from beneath the model's base as the other three continued on up the path to the headquarters' front doors.
Daniel wiped his palms down his trousers then offered his hand. "Daniel Warren."
"Elizabeth Milton." Her hand was small and warm but her grip defied the term weaker sex. "And this is Chadwick Tremain."
Her escort offered a curt nod and, without accepting Daniel's extended hand, wound his arm through Elizabeth Milton's.
"Mr. Warren," he muttered in acknowledgment. Then to Elizabeth, "Our table's waiting."
She glanced over her shoulder as his team disappeared through the headquarters' opened doors. Then, looking back at her companion, she angled her head, sending that blond waterfall cascading like a sheet of silk over one shoulder. "Y'all go on ahead, Chad. I'll catch up."