Jane Melville has done some very stupid things in her life. Having an open sexual relationship with someone who turned out to be a thieving con man and left her standing at the altar--pregnant and penniless--was one of the worst. With her dreams of owning her own catering business down the drain and the prospect of working at her family's patisserie for the rest of her life looking more and more likely, Jane is determined to make the most of her misfortunes. After all, things could be worse. Her baby daddy might have turned out to be the con man instead of the tall, brooding lawyer, Rafael Bennett. But just because she's willing to have a baby with the man doesn't mean she has to like him.

Rafe Bennett's life has been one of responsibility and heartache. A long time ago, he was forced to give up the girl of his dreams, then made to bear the brunt of her anger for his trouble. In the years since, he has shared his bed with Jane Melville more times than he can count, snatching moments of erotic bliss whenever he can, but when she chose to marry someone else, Rafe walked away for good. Or so he thought. When fate thrusts Jane back into his life--complete with a baby on board--Rafe seizes the opportunity with both hands. He lost her once and never truly got her back, but he's determined to change their fate. He knows in his heart that with a little persuasion and a whole lot of cake, everything will be different this time around!


Rafe squinted against the rain as he trudged through town, around the back of the pub, up the hill and through the scrub to Bennett’s Road. It wasn’t a shortcut as such, considering the twenty minutes, it took to walk home that way as opposed to the five minutes it would have taken by car, but the well-worn bush track that led to The Forge had been used by the Bennetts for decades.

Rafe knew it like the back of his hand.
And a good walk, uphill and facing into the storm that had cracked open the skies five seconds after crawling out Jane’s window, was exactly what he needed.
His thigh muscles burned as he made his way up the hill, his boots sinking into the muddy ground and his jeans soaked through. The wet denim clung to his long legs and restricted his movements, and his T-shirt stuck to his skin, but there came a point where he stopped noticing how wet he was and could focus on only one thing.
I’m going to be a father.
At least he hoped he was. Hoped with a desperation he never knew he owned.
But years of listening to people tell lie after lie to avoid the consequences of their actions blended with the anxiety gnawing away inside him, begging him to look at the situation objectively. Yes, there was every possibility Jane’s baby was his, but just as much of a chance that it wasn’t.
And it was the latter option that had his stomach in knots.
Rafe exited the scrub edging the road, The Forge looming large before him. Crossing the dirt road in front of the house, he jumped over the tiny stream forming in the gutter and a moment later was through the front door, down the hall and standing in the welcoming warmth of the lounge room.
“Your sister will have your guts for garters when she sees the mud you’ve tracked in here.”
Ulysses Bennett stood by the fireplace, warming his weathered hands. A tall, slim man with piercing blue eyes, scruffy silver hair, and a neatly trimmed silver beard, his father struck an imposing figure, even at the age of seventy-two. Recently single, the family patriarch had moved back home. How long he stayed this time depended on how long it took for his next conquest to come along. That coupled with the fact the entire Bennett family was home for Jane’s wedding meant the house was overflowing with people. Large, tall, sometimes very loud people.
Not that that was anything new.
The Bennett household had always been a full one, but Rafe had grown used to living by himself in the quiet confines of his city apartment. By moving home permanently, he’d seemingly given up that solitude, exchanged it for kookaburras laughing outside his window at the butt-crack of dawn and trying in vain to block out the sounds of his sister and future brother-in-law going at it hammer and tongs at all hours of the day and night.
I need my own place.
“Last I checked, this was your house, not hers,” Rafe said. Even so, he toed off his boots, carried them to the back door, and stacked them neatly on Abby’s exquisite wrought-iron shoe rack. His sister’s skill with the metal rivalled that of his brothers, Oliver and Henry, and they were widely regarded as being at the zenith of the art form. Turning back the way he came, Rafe saw what his father had and realised the old man was right. Abby would pitch a fit if she saw this mess. With a ragged sigh, he pulled his soggy T-shirt off and used it to clean the floor. His father watched him, amusement etched across his face.
“So,” Ulysses said when Rafe joined him by the fire, “is the kid yours?”

How far will one man go to avenge his last remaining family?
Luke Hardcastle is a man on a mission—no one hurts his little sister and gets away with it. Eighteen months ago Claire Morse helped her sadistic aunt destroy Luke’s sister, so it only seems fair she returns the favour now and helps him destroy her aunt. And if holding the lease to her bookstore over her head ensures her cooperation, all the better. But the more time he spends with Claire, the harder it becomes to keep his head in the game and his heart under wraps. Torn between the two, can Luke get the girl and his revenge, or will he have to sacrifice one to keep the other?

How far will one woman go to protect her newfound freedom?
Eighteen months ago, Claire Morse lost her job, her home, and her self-respect all in one day. But the great thing about hitting rock bottom is you can only go up. Claire has worked hard to free herself from the horrors of her past and she'll do anything to protect her new life. Even submit to blackmail. But when being blackmailed means pretending to be the girlfriend of the tall, dark and wickedly handsome Luke Hardcastle—the man she’s loved from afar for years—she realises she's been given a chance at redemption, to fix the one mistake that haunts her still. And now she's had a taste of Luke up close and personal, how will her inexperienced heart survive when his thirst for vengeance is satisfied, and he no longer needs her?

Luke sat beside Claire on the open deck of the ferry and tucked her into his side.

She was quiet, even for her.
The cool air whipped around them as they traversed the river and he rubbed his hand up and down her arm in a vain attempt to keep her warm. He smiled against her hair when she turned her body towards his and slid her hand inside his jacket.
Fucking Chris Marx.
Next time he saw that sonofabitch he was going to knock his fucking block off.
“Excuse me.” Luke looked up to see an attractive blonde with too much eye makeup gazing down at him. Claire’s arm tightened around his waist.
“I’m sorry. I never do this, but do I know you? You look very familiar.”
Sure I do. Luke knew a line when he heard one, and he’d heard that old chestnut more times than he could count. “Sorry, no. You’re probably confusing me with someone else.”
“Are you sure?” she said, planting herself in the seat on the other side of him, angling her leg so it was touching his. “You really do look so familiar.”
In the past, he would’ve played long. He would’ve taken her out for a drink told her she was beautiful, gone back to her place, had unsatisfying sex and snuck out before dawn.
But now…? “Sorry. I just have one of those faces.”
She didn’t take the hint. “But, really—”
“For fuck’s sake,” Claire muttered quietly, getting to her feet.
“Claire,” Luke said her name like a warning, although what he was warning her against doing he wasn’t quite sure. He certainly hadn’t expected her to push his knees together then seat herself in his lap with her back towards the blonde, effectively shutting the clueless twit down. Luke chuckled. “What are you doing?”
“Helping you resist the urge to man-spread,” she said, then wrapped her arms around him and rested her head on his shoulder.
“Rude,” the blonde muttered, but she finally walked away.
Claire snorted. “Yeah, I’m the rude one,” she said. “Does that happen to you often?”
“More than I’d like,” he admitted. “Does what happened to you happen often?”
“More than I’d like,” she said quietly.
Luke tightened his arms around her. He wasn’t just going to knock Chris’s block off. He was going to rip him a new arsehole while he was at it.

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