Playboy Boss, Pregnancy of Passion

Available in stores

A Waldenbooks top 10 series romance bestseller

Mills & Boon Modern Heat

To Tame a Playboy duo, book 2

May 2009

ISBN: 9780263872361

 

Harlequin Presents

Aug 2009

ISBN:

To Do List:

1 - Hire new Personal Assistant

2 - Do not sleep with new Personal Assistant

3 - Re-evaluate point two...

Tycoon Luke Holloway lives on the wild side, but at work he is a professional. However, his new employee Sara Fleet is irresistible. Before long he has unbuttoned his prim and proper assistant and they're breaking all his rules... over and over again!

Super-efficient Sara has never felt so out of control - and now she has to tell her sexy boss she is pregnant with his child!

Also released in Australia in paperback (July 2009, ISBN: 9780733593680).

 


Behind the Book

This is the second of a duo, To Tame a Playboy, starring two playboy best friends: Luke and Karim.

Luke Holloway is a workaholic - a man who's good at turning failing businesses into successes. But he's hiding a secret: a truly awful childhood, which has made him shy of committing to any personal relationships. And children are absolutely out of the question: no way is he ever getting involved in a family again.

Sara Fleet has sworn never to get involved with a workaholic again, after being badly hurt by a past love. She likes her life as it is: with a close, loving family; good friends; and a job she loves.

Luke's PA is pregnant, and very sick with it - so he puts her on paid leave for the rest of maternity. When Sara comes to sort out his office, she can't resist teaching him to smell the roses.

Luke quickly realises her value - and falls for her. But then he discovers just how close she is to her family, and panics. And when she tells him that she's expecting their child, can he overcome his fears of the past to help her make their future?

It's dedicated to my friend and fellow author Michelle Styles, who's always happy to talk history with me!

And the book's recipe - Nina's Apple Cake - smells as gorgeous as it tastes.

The book's soundtrack

Luke is a real loner - so the music I was listening to while writing really reflects that, including:

  • Lifehouse - Whatever It Takes (thanks to Jill Shalvis for introducing me to this: perfect romantic song!)
  • Manic Street Preachers - Motorcycle Emptiness (thanks to Jim for teaching me to play the intro, and to Gerry for lending me the Fender Strat)
  • Green Day - Boulevard of Broken Dreams (thanks again to Jim for being indulgent with a classical arrangement of it)
  • The Seahorses - Blinded By the Sun
  • Nirvana - The Man who Sold the World
  • Radiohead - Street Spirit

Read a Bit

PROLOGUE

'So what's her name, Luke?' Karim asked as he and Luke left the squash court.

'Whose?'

'The woman who's distracting you.' Karim gave his best friend an appraising look. 'Why else would I beat you by this much of a margin?'

Luke smiled despite himself, recognising his own question thrown back at him. The difference was, when he'd asked, there had been a woman distracting Karim - the woman who was now his wife. It wasn't the same for Luke, who had no intention of letting anyone that close to him. 'Not my social life. Work,' he said economically.

'Sounds as if you need some TLC, Lily-style. Come back with me and have dinner with us.'

'What, tonight? It's hardly fair, dumping a guest on Lily at the last minute.'

'You're not a guest.' Before Luke had the chance to protest further, Karim had already speed-dialled home. Two minutes later, he hung up and, in his best attempt at Luke's East London drawl instead of his own cut-glass accent, said, 'Sorted.'

Luke, knowing that Karim was laughing with him rather than at him, gave in gracefully. It wasn't as if he was going to find a replacement for Di tonight. The temp agency was sending someone first thing in the morning, and hopefully the temp would stay long enough for him to find proper maternity cover for his personal assistant.

Even though that was going to take time he'd prefer to use more profitably, he was just going to have to be patient.

Ha. Patient. A word that barely existed in his vocabulary. When Luke wanted something, he went for it. He didn't waste time. And having to wait around on other people's schedules was the quickest way to drive him crazy.

To his relief, Karim didn't press him to talk on the way back to the flat. Karim simply let them in, headed straight for the kitchen and kissed his wife lingeringly.

'Put the girl down. For pity's sake, you've been married for three months. You should be over this stage by now,' Luke said from the doorway.

Lily just laughed. 'You really are out of sorts, Luke. Here. These will keep you going until dinner.' She gestured to a plate of canapés on the island unit.

Luke suddenly realised that he'd forgotten to eat lunch - he'd been too busy fixing things to think about food, and now he was ravenous. He needed no second invitation to grab a bar stool and work his way through the canapés. 'Thanks, Lily.'

As always, her food was wonderful. Restorative. 'Fabulous,' he said after the first mouthful.

She inclined her head in thanks. 'So are you going to tell us what's bugging you?' she asked.

He sighed. 'I just wish I understood why on earth women want babies in the first place. Di hasn't stopped throwing up since the day she did the pregnancy test, and -' He stopped abruptly as he caught the glance that Karim and Lily were sharing. The kind of glance that could mean only one thing.

He grimaced. 'Sorry. I don't have a shred of manners. I apologise - and of course what I just said doesn't apply to you. I'm really pleased for you both.'

'You'd better be,' Karim said, 'as you're going to be an honorary uncle.'

For all Luke knew, he already was an honorary uncle.

He blocked the thought. He didn't want to know. The decision he'd made was harsh, but it was also the only one he could have made. If he'd stayed, he would've gone under and ended up like the rest of the men in his family.

Doing time.

'Thank you,' he said politely. 'I'm very honoured. When's the baby due?'

'Six months.' Lily laughed. 'You're really trying hard to say the right thing, aren't you, honey?' She ruffled his hair on her way to the fridge.

She was treating Luke as if he were her big brother and it made him feel odd. As if there were an empty space deep inside him. A space where he really wanted to be part of a big family.

Which was ridiculous. He was perfectly fine on his own. Much, much better than he had been as part of a family. Been there, done that, no intention of taking a backward step. 'I'm only being nice because you're cooking and I want to be fed,' he retorted.

She laughed even more. 'Don't give me that. I know you're just a pussycat.'

Karim was laughing, too; he'd scooped his wife onto his lap and he had both hands resting protectively round her abdomen.

Luke joined in the fun and purred, 'For you, Lily, I could be.' Then he grinned. 'But unfortunately you have a husband who might not be too happy about that, so I'll settle for being fed.'

'Your wish is my command,' Lily teased back. 'So what's wrong? Your secretary's got morning sickness?'

'And lunchtime sickness. And afternoon sickness. My office is a mess, she hasn't been there to do a proper handover to the temps - when they turn up, that is - and neither have I, and…' He broke off and shook his head in exasperation. 'I've had enough of the chaos. I've sent Di home for the rest of her pregnancy.'

Lily looked worried. 'Luke, I don't mean to interfere, but...is that legal?'

Luke knew exactly what she wasn't asking. 'I'm not that much of a bastard, Lily,' he said dryly. 'She's on full pay and her job's open until she decides what she wants to do. But right now she's not capable of doing her job properly and it's unfair of me to expect her to keep up with me when she's feeling so rough. And I need someone who can sort this mess out before I lose any more opportunities.'

'Someone who's a good organiser.' Lily looked thoughtful. 'I might just be able to help you out, there. My favourite supplier, Louisa - her sister's a freelance office trouble-shooter.'

'A what?' Luke asked.

'Organised, efficient, and good at sorting things out. You know those reality TV programmes about people who come to your house and make you sort out your clutter? Well, that's apparently what Sara does in real life. Except in an office. And she does the sorting out for you.'

If the woman was no good, Lily wouldn't have mentioned her. Luke knew that Lily realised the importance of business networking - that your recommendations reflected on you. And this sounded like the solution he needed. 'Do you have her number?'

'No, but I've got her sister's, which is the next best thing.' Lily disappeared for a couple of minutes, then returned with a card. 'Here.'

Luke read the card. 'Fleet Organics.'

'They do apple juice, apple balsamic vinegar and - well, everything else you'd expect from an organic orchard,' Lily explained. 'Ask for Louisa, tell her I gave you the number and say that you need to talk to Sara.'

'Thanks.' He slid the card into his wallet. 'And if this trouble-shooting woman's that good…'

'She might be busy,' Lily warned.

'Hmm, that's what someone told Karim about you. But he still charmed you into cooking for him,' Luke reminded her with a grin. 'I'll call her. See what she can do for me. Thanks for the tip.'

Lily checked something in the oven. 'OK, it's done. Go through to the dining room, you two.'

Karim and Luke did her bidding.

Luke took a first mouthful of the food. 'Lily, this is wonderful. If you ever decide you're bored with being a princess, you can come and be my housekeeper.'

'She won't be bored,' Karim informed him. 'Find your own princess.'

'I'm not a prince,' Luke countered. 'And I don't need a princess.' What he wanted was a good assistant at work, a part-time housekeeper who would sort things while he was out and wouldn't nag him about being a slob, and a string of girlfriends who wanted to have fun and accepted the fact that he wasn't looking for anything permanent.

Apart from the assistant problem - which hopefully this office trouble-shooter would help him fix - that was exactly how his life was, at that moment.

And it suited him just fine.

From the book Playboy Boss, Pregnancy of Passion by Kate Hardy.

Harlequin Mills & Boon Modern Heat Romance
Publication Date: May 2009
ISBN: 9780263872408
Copyright © 2009 by Pamela Brooks
® and ™ are trademarks of the publisher.
The edition published by arrangement with Harlequin Books S.A.
For more romance information surf to http://www.eHarlequin.com

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Reviews

From Cataromance

As addictive as ever, Kate Hardy's latest Modern Heat, Playboy Boss, Pregnancy of Passion, is a spellbinding tale that sizzles with wonderful sexual tension, palpable emotion and tender romance. Featuring a sexy hero and a resourceful heroine, Playboy Boss, Pregnancy of Passion is another keeper by the fantastic award-winning author Kate Hardy!

From Romantic Times: 4 Stars

When business tycoon Luke Holloway hires Sara Fleet as his temporary assistant, the only thing he's hoping is that she'll organize his office. Business consumes him, so he has little time for his personal life, and he doesn't like mixing business with pleasure. It doesn't take long before they are breaking all the rules and Sara is bringing color and laughter into his life. It's all fun and games, until Sara tells him she's pregnant. This story features a strong heroine who gains strength from her family and a hero who realizes the importance of love and family before it's too late. Add in their captivating romance and it makes for one great read.

From Amazon: 5 stars

Playboy Boss, Pregnancy of Passion is an honorable and sweet journey in finding peace, contentment, taking risks and the end result love as only Kate Hardy can pen… Luke loves doing things for Sara as he not only enjoys her spirit, company and just being with her, she actually makes him happy and that scares him to death. So when he finds out she's pregnant, he doesn't know what to do and really messes things up. How can he be a father when he really had one who was a horrible example? Just prepare yourself for a teary ending however lovely to read!

What they're saying on e-Harlequin:

  • It is one of those books that you can just immerse yourself in and forget the rest of the world. I adored Luke and Sara, and loved the awful hotel with only one bedroom scene.
  • There is always something in Kate's books that is just so seductive. In the last - it was the food. Oh, the food. In this book, it's the seaside. And the really really NICE hotel. And mostly - the apple orchard.
  • I absolutely adored their relationship... their chemistry is way beyond sexual. I liked how Sara comes to 'save' him and in the meantime she brightens up his life, telling him to stop and smell the roses. Sara is very independent and successful in what she does. Another refreshing touch, she is not the fragile, hopeless heroine we usually find. She is not afraid to talk back to Luke and stand up for her beliefs... lovely, romantic...lots of sexual tension. You will love it!
  • This is the story of Luke, the H's friend from KH's last book. I liked Luke a lot. I liked how he felt for Sara and how the two were willing to risk for love.
  • I really love Kate Hardy's characters. This book was great.
  • This was a really fun one. I liked how Luke and Sara interacted both at work and not. Loved how he managed to interact with her family too. Interesting set up the way Luke got Sara to take on being his temporary PA instead of her vacation.
  • Playboy Boss, Pregnancy of Passion is an honorable and sweet journey in finding peace, contentment, taking risks and the end result love as only Kate Hardy can pen. Just prepare yourself for a teary ending however lovely to read!
  • This book was enjoyable, seeing Luke work through his issues and having an independent spirit like Sara to help him along.

 

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