She’s chasing stolen money… He’s pursuing her heart
Love is an illusion—or so it seems to Madeleine Smythe. Temporarily stranded in rural France chasing down her mother’s live-in lover and the money he stole only confirms her suspicion. But when an enigmatic Frenchman comes to her rescue, Madeleine can’t deny the sparks of desire he inspires.
Despite a tragedy in his past, Jean-Luc Delacroix still believes in love. Although he’s had little chance to find it, caught between work and managing his wayward sister. Until the captivating Madeleine crosses his path.
As the danger posed by her mother’s boyfriend escalates, every instinct tells Jean-Luc to protect her with all the power his vast wealth can muster. But Madeleine has other plans.
Who knew Frenchmen were so hard-headed?
The torrential rain suited Jean-Luc’s black mood. Between his bank informing him that yet again his sister’s account was overdrawn and discovering a shipment from China had been lost at sea, he’d had his work cut out that day.
He was nearly home when a warning triangle close to the curb made him reach for the hazard lights of his SUV. The heavy downpour had turned into a drizzle and through the gloom a blue car with British number plates appeared in the middle of the carriage way. Standing beside the Peugeot, looking extremely wet, was the silhouette of a curvaceous woman.
Jean-Luc sighed in irritation. He didn’t have time to rescue damsels in distress today. Not even ones with great legs.
When she raised a boot clad foot and kicked the car’s tyre with force, almost falling over backwards in the process, Jean-Luc couldn’t help a reluctant smile. He’d wanted to hit something himself for most of the day and could sympathise with her frustration.
He pulled the car over behind hers and admired the view as she walked towards him. Hips swaying with each step, her t-shirt rose up to offer a tantalising glimpse of her mid-riff as she stuffed a phone into the pocket of her skirt. That explained some of her problem.
The signal would be patchy at best in the storm. Even his phone, boosted by the SUV’s electronics, was always weak along this stretch of road. With nothing but endless fields, chestnut plantations and a wide expanse of sky, mobile masts weren’t a priority in this part of France.
As she approached his car he slid the window down and raised his voice so she could hear him above the rain. “Bonjour, what appears to be the problem?”
She drew level with his door and leaned in. His breath caught as his gaze was captured by the most mesmerising green eyes he’d ever seen. Her grateful look almost made him feel guilty for his thoughts as his eyes followed the long strands of her wet hair downwards to where her rain soaked top outlined her breasts to perfection.
Almost, but not quite.
“Thank you so much for stopping.”
He expected the clear cut British accent, but there was a softness to it and a hint of uncertainty in her eyes that countered any harshness in the tone. As she spoke, the musky scent of sweet chestnut trees in full flower drifted through the open window assailing his nostrils and doing nothing to clear his mind.
She gestured towards the car, drawing his attention away from his wayward thoughts. “I have no idea what happened. One moment I was cruising along cursing my mother, the next all the warning lights came on and then nothing.”
“Did she deserve it?”
A moment’s confusion crossed her face. Then the reserve shielding her eyes previously was replaced by a sparkle. “Absolutely.” Her tone brooked no argument, but a smile lit up her face and his groin tightened in response.