“Marry you? I don’t know you,” Jenna insisted vehemently.
He almost smiled at her tone, but the subject was too serious. Taking her hand in his, he let his thumb skim the top of it. He could feel her slight quiver and experienced his own start of desire. There was chemistry between them as well as a child.
“Would marriage be so terrible?” he asked in a voice he didn’t recognize because it was filled with tenderness and protectiveness he’d never felt for a woman in his adult life. “I’m proposing a partnership. We’d live together, eventually sleep together.”
The look in her eyes was part fear, part panic, with a spark of interest. If he trod very carefully, he might get what he wanted.
Turning her hand over, he brought it to his lips and kissed her palm, never taking his eyes from her. “There’s attraction between us, Jenna, whether you want to admit it or not.”
Your best bet for coping with April showers is to run—not walk—to your favorite retail outlet and check out this month’s lineup. We’d like to highlight popular author Laurie Paige and her new miniseries SEVEN DEVILS. Laurie writes, “On my way to a writers’ conference in Denver, I spotted the Seven Devils Mountains. This had to be checked out! Sure enough, the rugged, fascinating land proved to be ideal for a bunch of orphans who’d been demanding that their stories be told.” You won’t want to miss Showdown!, the second book in the series, which is about a barmaid and a sheriff destined for love!
Gina Wilkins dazzles us with Conflict of Interest, the second book in THE MCCLOUDS OF MISSISSIPPI series, which deals with the combustible chemistry between a beautiful literary agent and her ruggedly handsome and reclusive author. Can they have some fun without love taking over the relationship? Don’t miss Marilyn Pappano’s The Trouble with Josh, which features a breast cancer survivor who decides to take life by storm and make the most of everything—but she never counts on sexy cowboy Josh Rawlins coming into the mix.
In Peggy Webb’s The Mona Lucy, a meddling but well-meaning mother attempts to play Cupid to her son and a beautiful artist who is painting her portrait. Karen Rose Smith brings us Expecting the CEO’s Baby, an adorable tale about a mix-up at the fertility clinic and a marriage of convenience between two strangers. And in Lisette Belisle’s His Pretend Wife, an accident throws an ex-con and an ex-debutante together, making them discover that rather than enemies, they just might be soul mates!
As you can see, we have a variety of stories for our readers, which explore the essentials—life, love and family. Stay tuned next month for six more top picks from Special Edition!
Karen Taylor Richman
Expecting the CEO’s Baby
Karen Rose Smith
To my son, Ken. Dreams are a reach away.
May light and love always surround you in the reaching.
To Suzanne. May each of your days be filled with the wonder in Sydney’s eyes.
KAREN ROSE SMITH,
a former teacher and home decorator, has been a mother for thirty years. She believes motherhood is the most rewarding, life-altering experience a woman can have. Blessed with a husband who helped in all aspects of parenting, she drew on those memories for Jenna’s and Blake’s development in this book. Readers can write to her c/o Silhouette Books or e-mail through her Web site at Karen@karenrosesmith.com.
Everyone was staring at her!
As the receptionist showed Jenna Winton into the large conference room, a frisson of foreboding skipped up her spine, and she protectively laid her hand over her rounding belly. She’d been awakened this Monday morning by a few kicks from the child who was already the center of her world. More was right with her world now than it had been in the year and a half since B.J. had died. Still…
Before she’d even dressed, she’d received a phone call from the Emerson Fertility Clinic, the clinic that had implanted her with her deceased husband’s sperm. She’d been summoned here to a meeting this afternoon, and the receptionist wouldn’t tell her what it was about.
Now as Jenna looked at the faces around the table, recognizing her doctor, his nurse and two more men she didn’t know, her heart pounded and she told herself to stay calm. There was no reason for alarm. Maybe they just wanted to discuss her payment plan. She was behind a month.
Her physician, Dr. Palmer, gave her a smile that was perfunctory at best. With silver hair and in his fifties, he’d always welcomed her with a smile and a paternal attitude that had made her feel comfortable. She expected him to state the reason the clinic had called her, but instead, one of the men she didn’t recognize smiled a plastic smile.
“Good morning, Mrs. Winton.” He extended his hand to her. “I’m Tom Franklin, the director of Emerson Fertility Clinic. Beside me is Wayne Schlessinger, the clinic’s counsel. I think you know everyone else.”
“Yes, I do.” Jenna was becoming more concerned by the minute. The atmosphere in the small room was charged, and she didn’t understand any of it.
“Please have a seat,” Mr. Franklin invited, motioning to a chair beside his at the head of the table.
Everyone was still watching her. As the director’s gaze passed over her shoulder-length, light-brown hair, her white knit T-shirt under the pink maternity jumper, she sensed he was sizing her up and she didn’t like the feeling.
Gripping her straw purse, Jenna slipped into the chair gratefully, uneasy with being the center of attention.
Mr. Franklin hardly gave her time to take a breath before he began, “You’re probably wondering why we called you here today.”
“If it’s my late payment, I’ll be sending it to you within the week.”
“No, no, nothing like that. And let me assure you there is nothing wrong with your pregnancy, either. According to your chart, everything is just as it should be in your sixth month.”
“Then I don’t understand.”
He rubbed his hand across his forehead. “There’s no easy way to say this, Mrs. Winton. A mistake was made the day you were inseminated. Instead of being inseminated with your husband’s sperm, you were inseminated with another man’s sperm, Blake Winston’s. When the technician checked the names on the canisters, she removed B. Winston’s canister rather than B. Winton’s canister. Both men are from Fawn Grove, and with the likeness in