"What I need most right now is a wife."

But can their convenient marriage turn into forever? Solitaire Saunders will do anything to save her family's cafe—even marry enigmatic billionaire Xavier McQueen! As his contracted bride, she's there to secure Xavier's inheritance—not to enjoy his delicious kisses... It's only meant to be temporary until the pretense of being married starts to feel passionately real! 

First meeting:

There was a loud knock on the door and a petite woman with bright blue eyes and a riot of blonde curls walked purposefully into his office and placed a small basket of assorted cakes on his desk with a flourish.
He frowned down at them, then up at her. ‘I didn’t order any cakes.’
‘I know. They’re an excuse to get some face-to-face time with you,’ she said, folding her arms and looking down at him with a determined expression that made his stomach sink.
‘I’ve been trying to get a meeting with you for weeks but your PA keeps fobbing me off,’ she went on before he had a chance to say anything. ‘So I’ve been forced to take drastic action. On the other hand, I’ve brought you some really fantastic cakes. I made them myself. So it’s actually a win for you.’ She flashed him a half-smile that didn’t entirely convince him she was as self-assured as her spirited speech had made her seem.
He leant back in his chair again and studied her in bemusement.
She looked young, maybe early-to-mid-twenties, with a sweetly pretty face. Her abundance of curly blonde hair, which she’d tried to tame with an Alice band, stuck out around her head, probably due to the windy day. She surveyed him back with intelligent eyes, her button nose, which was scattered with freckles, wrinkling a little under his gaze. She seemed to him to have the air of someone who could cause a great deal of mischief if she put her mind to it.
As he scrutinized her she shifted on the spot and visibly swallowed as if rapidly losing her nerve in the face of his silence. It seemed her blustery, confident entrance had all been an act to get past the temporary PA sitting outside his office. Soon to be his ex-temporary PA.
‘And you are?’ he said with a sigh. He really didn’t need this extra hassle today; his nerves were already strung as tightly as they’d go and he had an important meeting in ten minutes which he needed to have his head in the game for.
‘Solitaire Saunders. Soli for short. That’s what everyone ends up calling me, anyway. It’s a bit of a mouthful otherwise.’
His eyebrow twitched involuntarily upwards.
‘Solitaire? Like the diamond?’
She gave a self-conscious grin. ‘No, like the card game. My dad was a huge fan of games. He set up our board game café on Hampstead High Street—in the unit we rent from your company.’
Board game café?
He was surprised anyone could make a living from a business like that, though, judging by the increasingly irate letters he now remembered receiving from the woman running the place—presumably this woman—after they’d notified her of the upcoming rent raise, perhaps she didn’t.

When an off-duty police officer paraglides into her remote English home the day before New Year’s eve, wrecking part of her property and endangering her livelihood, Hettie Sampson can’t believe her bad luck. The last thing she needs is a cop hanging around, snooping into her business—even if he does have a body built for sin and a smile to die for.

All Nate Taylor wanted was a brief, adrenaline-fuelled escape from the memories of his failed relationship and now he’s in a quandary—fix his mistake and risk getting stranded or ignore his conscience and leave the fiery-spirited owner of the property in a mess.
When a snowstorm hits and they’re trapped together, it’s only a matter of time before Nate discovers the guilty secret that Hettie’s been keeping, finding himself pulled deeper into her life than he ever could have imagined. The question is, can they keep their hearts on ice amidst the heat of their connection? Or will they lose their cool and fall headlong in love?

Sprinting out of the back door, Hettie skidded to a halt to take in the sight of a well built, dark-haired man sprawled against her now completely wrecked wooden henhouse, a brightly coloured parachute billowing behind him making it look as though he’d sprouted wings. Chickens dashed about the yard, squawking and flapping in fright. He’d wrenched a massive great hole in the wire fence too, so some of them had got out into the field behind her house.
      ‘You’ve got to be kidding me!’ she shouted, grabbing at her hair as the biting wind pulled it across her face and into her mouth.
      The man looked up, catching her eye and frowning. He was a handsome devil, Hettie noted, despite her shock and confusion—rough-and-ready looking with dark stubble covering a strong jaw.
      Rugged. Capable. Seriously hot.
      The colour of his eyes reminded her of the manuka honey she used to sweeten her porridge.
      As she gaped at him, he lifted a hand and ran it over his face as if trying to wake himself up from a bad dream.
      ‘Are you okay?’ she shouted over the wind, tamping down her irritation at the demolition to her property and worry about her chickens to at least check he didn’t need carting off to the hospital.
      Giving her a wry smile, he rubbed at his leg. ‘I’ll live. I misjudged my landing.’
His easy nonchalance tipped her irritation into fuming ire.
      Stomping over to where he lay propped against the two remaining walls of the now totally useless shed, she kicked at one of them. ‘You do realize you’ve just destroyed my chicken coop with your crazy antics?’
      He put up a hand, palm facing her and nodded slowly as if trying to calm her.
      This, of course, only made her madder.
      Glaring down at him, she stuck her hands on her hips, battling a wave of blinding red mist as adrenaline-spiked blood raced around her body.
      ‘Look, I’m sorry, the wind caught the ’chute and twisted me the wrong way,’ he said, his deep voice controlled but his expression now giving away his embarrassment.
      Hettie acknowledged a ripple of sympathy for him but shoved it away.
‘Yes, well, I’m sure this is all just a bit of fun to you, but it’s not to me. My chickens are my livelihood and you’ve just gone and knocked down their shelter.   When this storm hits they’re going to be in trouble.’ Her heart thumped in her chest at the thought.
      What was she going to do?   Put the chicken coop back up, that's what.

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Formerly a Video and Radio Producer, Christy now spends her time writing fun, impassioned and emotive romance with an undercurrent of sexual tension. When she’s not writing, she can be found enjoying life with her husband and three children, walking for pleasure and researching other people’s deepest secrets and desires.

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