Dangerous Discovery

Dangerous Discovery
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You're the most infuriating, unpredictable woman I've ever had the misfortune to meet!And with those devastating words Hunter Deveraux made his opinion of Estelle all too clear. She did her best to stay out of his way after that, even though she thought Hunter was the most exciting man she'd ever met–after all, she did have a baby to consider. Of course, when Estelle started to work for Hunter, avoiding him just wasn't possible. But why–if Estelle found Hunter so attractive–did she have to avoid him at all?

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“Right, that’s enough!”

“What are you talking about?” Estelle released a shaky breath.

“I’m talking about misunderstandings and miserable afternoons!” Hunter announced through gritted teeth. “I’m talking about my decision to put a stop to this ridiculous behavior! You’re being childish!”

“Me? Childish!” Estelle turned to face him, outraged by the sheer injustice of his remark. “I can’t believe you’ve got the gall to come here and say that after what you’ve put me through!”

Laura Martin lives in a small Gloucestershire village in England with her husband, two young children and a lively sheepdog! Laura has a great love of interior design and, together with her husband, has recently completed the renovation of their Victorian cottage. Her hobbies include gardening, the theater, music and reading, and she finds great pleasure and inspiration from walking daily in the beautiful countryside around her home.

Dangerous Discovery

Laura Martin



ESTELLE lowered the branch a fraction and peered cautiously through the lush green leaves. The voices had made her curious, and despite the thudding of her heart and the sick, nervous feeling in the pit of her stomach she had found herself hopping over the debris of the crumbling red brick wall, and carefully, oh, so carefully, picking her way through the tangle of undergrowth to gaze at the scene ahead.

It was like something out of a film; shimmering candles, sparkling evening dresses on glamorous women, offset handsomely by the luxurious darkness of the men’s dinner-jackets and the deep green of the shrubbery that clothed the walls of the ancient old manor house behind. Another world, another lifestyle. Light-years away from all that Estelle had ever experienced.

Instinctively she knew who Hunter Deveraux was; Connie’s brief but passionate description could apply to no one else. Tall and dark, with a brooding, imposing presence that arrested Estelle’s attention, that made her own breath catch automatically in her throat, made her stomach turn a weird and inexplicable somersault...

He sat at the head of the long table on the terrace, his fingers curled expansively around a glass, surveying the sophisticated ensemble before him with a cool, almost detached eye.

He was more handsome than she had expected— more handsome than any man she had ever set eyes on; in his late twenties, she guessed, black hair, a bone-structure that could be called nothing less than superb, broad, muscular shoulders... Estelle gulped a breath and found herself conscious of the fact that there was more to his physical presence than simply stunning good looks. Even from this distance, she could sense some indefinable quality, an aura of superiority and authority that was evident in every slight inclination of his head, every murmured word and slow; lazy smile.

I hate him. The utter certainty of the statement, of the knowledge, shocked Estelle as it flew unbidden into her head. She had allowed herself no feelings on the subject of Hunter up to this point. She had valiantly refused to apportion blame. His was just a name in a diary, a name that now she wished she had not discovered. Her sister Connie, she imagined, had chosen the way she wanted things to be, had decided to keep his identity secret for reasons best known only to herself. But now, being here, this close, feeling, seeing, knowing the sort of man he was, detecting the open arrogance and the smouldering vitality...

Estelle shook her head a little and released a slow, steadying breath. I must not get emotional, she told herself. I must not jump to conclusions. I must stay calm and detached and think everything through properly.

She gazed down at the soft downy head as it stirred against her chest, carefully adjusting the baby sling, which was useful but becoming far too small for such a thriving, bouncing baby, to a more comfortable position, and knew with all her heart that that was impossible. The resemblance was there, of course: the startling coal-black eyes and uniquely shaped mouth that were so often commented on by friends and smiling women in the street,

She heaved a tense sigh and closed her eyes for a brief moment. Innocent, sleeping Joseph was irrevocably tied to the dynamic vision of the man that now sat less than thirty feet from her. Hunter, the father of this helpless baby—no wonder Connie had remained silent.

‘I won’t have that sort of talk at my table, Josh! You’re speaking out of turn and you know it!’

Estelle’s eyes flew back towards the house. Hunter had risen from his seat. Both hands were placed square on the table, every sharp line of his body portraying anger as he leaned forward and pinioned some poor devil with an expression that caused Estelle to catch her breath and shake in her shoes even at this distance.

‘Well? Do I get an apology?’

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