His Bid For A Bride

By: Carole Mortimer


~ THE MARRIAGE BARGAIN ~


“Skye, I want you to give some thought to the idea of marrying me.”

Whatever she had been expecting him to say, it certainly wasn’t this!



“Why are you asking me to marry you?” She stared at him with compelling eyes.



He raised dark brows. “You don’t think it’s because you’re a beautiful young woman—?”



“No, I don’t,” she cut in forcefully. “Nor do I think that it’s because you’ve fallen madly in love with me. Something else is going on here, Falkner—and I think it’s time you told me what it is!”



CAROLE MORTIMER is one of Harlequin’s most popular and prolific authors. Since her first novel was published in 1979, this British writer has shown no signs of slowing her pace. In fact, she has now published more than 145 novels!



Her strong, traditional romances, with their distinct style, brilliantly developed characters and romantic plot twists, have earned her an enthusiastic audience worldwide.



Carole was born in a village in England that she claims was so small that “if you blinked as you drove through it you could miss seeing it completely!” She adds that her parents still live in the house where she first came into the world, and her two brothers live very close by.



Carole’s early ambition to become a nurse came to an abrupt end after only one year of training due to a weakness in her back suffered in the aftermath of a fall. Instead she went on to work in the computer department of a well-known stationery company.



During her time there, Carole made her first attempt at writing a novel for Harlequin. “The manuscript was far too short and the plotline not up to standard, so I naturally received a rejection slip,” she says. “Not taking rejection well, I went off in a sulk for two years before deciding to have another go.” Her second manuscript was accepted, beginning a long and fruitful career. She says she has “enjoyed every moment of it!”



Carole lives “in a most beautiful part of Britain” with her husband and children.



“I really do enjoy my writing, and have every intention of continuing to do so for another twenty years!”



PROLOGUE

IT WAS sexual attraction.



Pure and simple.



Except there was nothing pure or simple about the way Skye felt right now.



She was hot and feverish, knew her eyes must be overbright, her cheeks flushed, each breath she took painful with the effort it took to complete even such an instinctive function. Her breasts were pert, nipples hard with arousal beneath the fitted pink sweater she wore, and as for the heated desire between her thighs—!



She could feel all that—and yet she wasn’t sure she even liked the man responsible for all these totally new, confusing feelings.



‘Connor, I have no intention of selling Storm to you just so that he can break your beautiful daughter’s neck for her the first time she tries to show off riding him in front of her friends,’ Falkner Harrington now told Skye’s father scathingly.



Falkner Harrington.



Arrogant. Condescending. Mocking. Handsome as the Vikings represented by that unusual first name!



Overlong blond hair, which should have looked ridiculous in this age of much shorter styles, merely added to this man’s already overt masculinity, the sharpness of his features; straight brows over hard blue eyes, his nose an arrogant slash, sensual mouth twisted with derision now, his chin square and determined—all these things merely emphasized the man’s untameable appearance.



Her more conservative father, in his business suit, shirt and tie, Skye acknowledged ruefully, looked more like a domesticated cat facing the fierceness of a jungle feline.



Her father shook his head smilingly. ‘Skye could ride before she could walk,’ he told the other man with dismissive affection. ‘Falkner, I promised to buy Skye an Arabian as an eighteenth birthday present,’ he added before the younger man could voice any more of the derision he made no effort to hide in that arrogantly handsome face. ‘More to the point, Falkner,’ her father added ruefully as he could obviously see the younger man’s disinterest in such a promise, ‘you and I both know that Storm’s unpredictable temperament just isn’t suited to the showjumping circuit.’

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