THE MILLIONAIRE’S CHRISTMAS WISH Silhouette Desire by Shawna Delacorte reissued by Harlequin in ebook
G-EXCERPT #2: (how to win her over)
During the course of their three encounters she had run away from him, ignored him, been rude to him, rejected his invitations and cast aspersions on his character. And still he could not tear himself away from her. He certainly was not a masochist nor was he so desperate for feminine companionship that he needed to put up with this type of treatment to spend a little bit of time with an attractive woman.
There was no logical reason for him to be standing there, but somehow this woman had reached out and grabbed hold of his senses as no one else ever had. She was her own woman, not what she thought someone else wanted her to be. She had her identity intact, unlike most of the women he knew who would rather attach themselves to his. It was a very appealing aspect of who she was. She was also intelligent, beautiful, independent—very independent. He could still feel her body enfolded in his embrace and taste her mouth pressed against his. She was everything a man could want.
“Well…” She nervously shifted her weight from one foot to the other. “If you’ll excuse me—”
He offered an inviting smile. “Let’s go get some coffee.”
“That’s not possible, Mr. Fowler. These are cut flowers, not plants. I need to get them back to the shop immediately and put them in the cooler.”
“Okay. We can get some coffee after you take care of the flowers. And please, call me Chance. Mr. Fowler is reserved for dear ol’ Dad, the one and only Douglas Winston Fowler.”
She stiffened to attention, literally as well as figuratively. “I don’t believe I’d feel comfortable calling you by some cute little nickname given to you by the press… ‘Take-A-Chance Fowler,’ always ready to take a chance on some new adventure…”
Her words trailed off when she saw that look dart through his eyes, the same one she had seen when she had called him a playboy. Only this time it did not disappear as quickly as it had before.
He looked away from her for a moment, as if collecting his thoughts, then recaptured eye contact with her. “Chance is my legal first name, given to me at birth. It was my mother’s maiden name.”
A stab of guilt caught her up short when she saw his reaction to her words mirrored in his eyes. It was almost as if she had reached out and physically struck him. She spoke with genuine regret as she tried to apologize. “I—I’m sorry. I didn’t know.”
He glanced away again before saying, his voice soft, “It doesn’t matter.”
She heard what he said, but she did not believe him. She could tell that it did matter, that it mattered very much. Without meaning to, she had hurt him and she felt bad about it. “I just assumed—”
“You seem to assume a lot.”
Chance had said the words without malice or anger, but he had not been able to hide the underlying vulnerability that seeped into his tone of voice. Marcie felt the pangs of guilt stab deep inside her. She knew she had been less than gracious. That was a laugh—she had been downright rude. Something about this quick glimpse of the man beneath the façade touched an emotional place for her. It was a different place than the excitement caused by his kiss. This was a place of caring, tenderness, and concern. She took a deep breath, held it for a moment, then slowly expelled it.
“You’re right.” The sharp edge to her voice was gone, along with her guarded attitude. “I sometimes do tend to make assumptions. It’s a bad habit of mine.” An additional softness caressed her next words. “I apologize for the crack about your name. It was totally uncalled for.”
“I’ll tell you what, Marcie Roper.” He reached out and ran his fingertips across her cheek, then cupped her chin in his hand. He plumbed the depths of her eyes. He saw uncertainty, wariness, and something else…a warmth and a passion that he very much wanted to tap into. He quickly allowed his hand to drop away as the temptation to kiss her grew stronger. “You can make it up to me by joining me for a drink when you get off work tonight.”
She glanced down at the ground, indecision churning inside her. “I—I don’t know.”
“Now that’s what I call an improvement—you didn’t reject my invitation outright. You’ve left it open for discussion.” He placed his fingertips underneath her chin again and gently raised her face until he could look into her eyes. “Why don’t we try for the next level, where you agree to have dinner with me this evening?”
“You’re certainly a fast worker.” A shy smile turned up the corners of her mouth. “A minute ago it was coffee, then it became a drink after work, and now it’s dinner tonight.”
“You should have accepted my invitation at the coffee level. Now it’s too late. Besides, you owe me.” He saw her objection start to form, and quickly cut it off before she could give it a voice. “You owe me the opportunity to prove that your preconceived notions about me are wrong.”
He flashed a teasing grin. “Surely you wouldn’t deny me my Constitutional right of being innocent until proven guilty…” His smile faded as he searched out her vulnerability and caressed the essence of her soul. “Would you?”
THE MILLIONAIRE’S CHRISTMAS WISH, a Harlequin Desire by Shawna Delacorte, is an ebook reissue available at http://ebooks.eharlequin.com (do search for author name Shawna Delacorte). Also available at Barnes and Noble in NookBooks www.bn.com and Amazon for Kindle www.amazon.com Information is available on my website www.shawnadelacorte.com
When millionaire Chance Fowler first kissed the pretty stranger in his arms, he’d only meant to dodge the photographers who’d tailed him. Then she ran off—but he couldn’t forget her tempting taste on his lips. So he sought out the tantalizing woman who’d ignited his long-dormant desire….
Lovely Marcie Roper was the first woman to close her eyes to Chance’s fortune. And though she’d captivated the jaded tycoon, Marcie yearned for what his wealth couldn’t buy—a man who would say “I do” and mean it forever. Could Marcie convince Chance that love—for the right woman—would last a lifetime?