Price of Passion by Susan Napier - Romance>Contemporary
The millionaire's baby
Kate had learned certain lessons as Drake Daniels's lover:
Lesson number one: the price of loving Drake was not to love him.
Lesson number two: never give him what he expected.
Discovering she was pregnant certainly fulfilled lesson number two. Drake had made it clear commitment and children were not on his menu. Now Kate must break her news. But when she sees Drake, passion kicks in, begging to be indulged again...
'What the hell do you want?'
Kate Crawford kept the polite smile pinned to her lips as she confronted the man who had wrenched his front door open with an impatient snarl.
Framed in the doorway he appeared intimidatingly large, his broad shoulders and muscled chest straining the seams of a well-worn grey tee shirt, scruffy blue jeans encasing his long, power-packed legs. His short-cropped hair stood up in untidy spikes, as if he had been running his large, battered hands through the dark brown thicket, and his deeply tanned face was chiselled into tight angles of hostility.
In spite of his obvious bad temper he was devastatingly handsome, a potent combination of classic male beauty and simmering testosterone. In fact, he looked more like a professional athlete than a best-selling author who spent a good portion of his time sitting at a desk.
'Sorry to disturb you, but I wondered if I could borrow some sugar?' she said, lifting up her empty cup and watching the shock that had rippled across his sculpted features congeal into a shuttered wariness. She was suddenly glad that she was wearing a casual sundress rather than the tailored elegance that was her signature in the city. The last thing she wanted to do was look as if she had dressed to impress. She hadn't even bothered with make-up. After all, she was now officially in holiday mode--the old-fashioned, do-for-yourself, bucket-and-spade, sand-in-the-sandwiches type of holiday, the kind that she had never had as a child.
'I've just moved in next door,'she explained pleasantly, affecting not to notice his stony silence as she waved her free hand towards the beach-front property on the other side of the low, neatly clipped boundary hedge--a small, ageing wooden bungalow, which was dwarfed by the modern, two-storeyed, architect-designed houses that had sprouted up on the two adjoining sections.
'I'm renting the place for a month, and thought I'd brought everything I needed with me, but when I went to make myself a cup of coffee I realised I'd forgotten one of the basics,' she continued with a rueful lift of her slender shoulders. 'I know there's a general store a few kilometres back but, well... I've just spent four hours driving down here from Auckland and I'd rather avoid having to get back in the car for a while. So, if you wouldn't mind tiding me over until tomorrow, I'd appreciate it; and of course I'll pay you back in kind...'
She kept her voice steady, confident that she looked a lot more composed than she felt. Although she was only a little taller than average, the willowy curves, elegant bone structure and haughty facial features that Kate had inherited from her undemonstrative mother helped project an air of cool sophistication and graceful poise, regardless of her inner turmoil. It had never mattered to her mother if the serenity on display was only skin deep. Strong emotions were ruinous to logical thought processes, and therefore to be discouraged. An ambitious criminal lawyer determined to be the youngest woman appointed to New Zealand's judicial bench, Jane Crawford had wanted her daughter to follow in her footsteps, but Kate had proved a severe disappointment on all fronts. A gentle and imaginative child, she had worked hard at school for only average results and had acquired neither the academic credentials nor the desire to compete with her brilliant, perfectionist mother. In quiet rebellion she had chosen to follow a totally different career path, one that had proved unexpectedly successful and wholly satisfying.
However, at times like this she was thankful for those chilly early lessons in rejection--they had built up...