Her Husband-To-Be

Her Husband-To-Be
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The husband inheritanceDeke Oliver was definitely not Danielle's idea of husband material. So it was infuriating that he believed she was trying to manipulate him into marriage. It wasn't her fault their joint inheritance forced them to live under the same roof!And it was Deke who refused to keep it strictly business–suggesting that since they had to share a home, why not a bed? Danielle simply ignored this outrageous proposal–until she began to feel tempted by the intimacy of living together, and Deke began to look very much like the perfect husband-to-be….

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“You’ve made it quite plain that you aren’t trying to marry me.”

Danielle saw red. “And I never was, no matter what you thought. It wasn’t my idea that inheriting a house together would propel us toward matrimony.”

“So why shouldn’t we enjoy ourselves?” Deke asked. “We’re a great combination—now that you understand there’s nothing permanent about it.”

“I not only understand that, Deke, I’m glad of it.”

“Then what’s the big deal? We had fun together, and we could again.” He reached for her hand....

Leigh Michaels has always loved happy endings. Even when she was a child, if a book’s conclusion didn’t please her, she’d make up her own And though she always wanted to write fiction, she very sensibly planned to earn her living as a newspaper reporter. That career didn’t work out, however, and she found herself writing for Harlequin instead—in the kind of happy ending only a romance novelist could dream up!

Leigh loves to hear from readers, you can write to her at PO Box 935, Ottumwa, Iowa, 52501-0935 U.S A

Her Husband-To-Be

Leigh Michaels



HE DIDN’T often come to the Willows anymore, so Danielle was startled when she looked up from the maître d’s stand, flashing the smile with which she greeted every customer, and saw him just inside the door. Her heart jolted as if she’d had a close encounter with a defibrillator.

With surprise, she thought Definitely not with pleasure.

She had to admit, though, that Deke Oliver was as easy on the eyes as he’d ever been. Tall and straight and lean, his almost black hair as perfectly cut as his herringbone jacket, his face as perfectly chiseled as a Roman statue...

It was just too bad the man inside didn’t match up with the glorious exterior. If he had—well, then Deke Oliver would really have been something.

“Hello, Danielle,” he said. “A table for two, please.”

His voice was like hot fudge sauce sliding over vanilla ice cream, slow and rich and sensual. Once, Danielle had thought it was the sexiest thing she’d ever heard. Now she knew it was just part of the man’s stock-in-trade. In Deke’s profession, a voice that invited women to swoon over him must come in handy.

With just a hint of amusement, he added, “At least I presume the restaurant’s accepting business, since you’re standing here?”

Danielle wondered what he’d do if she shook her head sadly and announced that since he hadn’t made a reservation she really couldn’t find him a table.

He’d probably barge past me into the dining room, she reflected, and take his choice.

“Of course we’re open.” Danielle smiled sweetly up at him and admitted, “I wasn’t ignoring you, Deke. It’s just that I was racking my brain trying to recall which is your favorite table. You’ll have to forgive me for letting it slip my mind.”

The woman at Deke’s side giggled a little. “Surely it hasn’t been that long since you’ve been out for lunch, Deke.”

For the first time since they’d come in, Danielle looked directly at the woman. She’d never seen so much bleached-blond hair outside of a shampoo commercial. “Hello, Norah. I’d heard you were home.” Waiting out a divorce, the gossips said—but it would hardly be tactful to mention that. Danielle reached for a pair of menus and led the way into the main dining room.

The lunch rush was just getting under way, and since the restaurant wasn’t yet busy, several good tables stood vacant. She hesitated for no more than a second before turning toward a secluded corner.

The table we used to share, Danielle thought. But it was also the best one available at the moment, a fact that had far more impact on her decision than unpleasant history did.

“I see it hasn’t slipped far from your mind after all,” Deke said gently as he held his guest’s chair.

And if I’d taken him to another table, Danielle thought irritably, he’d have no doubt said something about my wanting to protect my memories! She didn’t bother to answer, just handed each of them a menu.

Norah didn’t even glance at hers, but laid it aside and leaned toward Deke. Her voice was low and throaty. “I’m sure I’ll like whatever you order for yourself.”

Danielle signaled a waitress and went back to the foyer. With any luck I can stay out of hearing range, she told herself. Which was more than she could say about Norah’s perfume; there was no avoiding the scented trail she’d left.

At the register, a small redhead was counting the contents of the cash drawer. She looked up from the stack of bills she was thumbing through and raised an eyebrow. “What are you growling about, Danny?”

“The weather.”

Pam Lanning stuffed the bundle of bills into a bank bag “But it’s beautiful. The sun’s shining, the breeze is warm, and if we didn’t both have to work...” Her voice softened. “It’s Deke Oliver again, isn’t it? The office door was half-closed, but I thought I heard his voice out here ”

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