The Christmas Baby's Gift

The Christmas Baby's Gift
О книге

They had both longed for a child. That was enough for Peta and Liam to decide to get married. Love would never have to enter the equation.But one year later, Peta is devastated to realize that she's fallen in love with her husband, despite their agreement. There's also still no sign of their much-wanted child, and the heartbreaking reason for that is threatening to tear them apart. Then, just before Christmas, a baby girl is abandoned on their doorstep….

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“So that’s all I was to you—just a brood mare?”

“Not even that, it seems. You don’t want my child.”

Not true. Oh, not true! She wanted Liam’s baby so badly that it was like a permanent ache in her heart. But she didn’t dare admit it. Not to him; not even to herself. If she so much as let the thought into her mind, she was terrified that he would see the truth in her eyes.

Legally wed,

But he’s never said… “I love you.”


The series where marriages are made in

haste…and love comes later….

Look out for the next books

in the Wedlocked! miniseries coming soon,

The Token Wife by Sara Craven

Harlequin Presents #2369

The Constantin Marriage by Lindsay Armstrong

Harlequin Presents #2384

The Christmas Baby’s Gift

Kate Walker

You can visit Kate’s Web site at or e-mail her at [email protected].
















MARRY in haste; repent at leisure.

Peta turned her head up to the pulse of the shower and let the hot water pour down over her face until the heated pounding numbed her skin. And all the time she wished, deeply and fervently, that she could also make it numb her thoughts.

But nothing would erase the uncomfortable phrase from her mind.

Marry in haste; repent…


The word escaped her on a cry of desperation and rejection and she hastily reached up and snapped off the shower, closing her eyes against the unwanted feelings.

In the sudden silence, the sound of her uneven, ragged breathing was unnaturally loud and disturbing. The sound of a harried animal, hunted and trapped, cornered with its back against the wall—and knowing there was no way out.

‘No…’ she said again, more softly this time, shaking her head so that drops of water spun off from the long, deep brown strands and spattered against the elegantly tiled walls of the shower cubicle. ‘Oh, no…’

The silence was too much for her. Too heavy. Too disturbing. She had to turn the shower back on to escape the thoughts that plagued her.


The sound of another voice—male, deep, and resonant, only just avoiding being drowned under the fresh rush of water—came to her from the direction of the doorway between the bathroom and the adjoining bedroom, making her lids fly open, blue eyes staring at the cubicle door in shock.

Blurred and distorted through the thickly frosted glass, she could just make out the shape of her husband’s tall, powerful figure, the rich colour of his hair. But she didn’t need to see him clearly. Her memory and her imagination could instantly supply every detail of the rest.

And that imagination swiftly sketched in the strongly carved, harshly stunning features: powerful cheekbones, a long, straight nose and darkly lashed brilliant green eyes. The vibrant, glossy gleam of his hair, closely cropped against an unruly tendency to wave, the deep brown shot through with lights of fiery copper that made it burn and glisten in the sun. And all of that set on the tautly muscled body of a natural athlete with wide straight shoulders, broad chest, narrow hips and long powerful legs. Legs that always seemed to be planted so firmly on the ground, as if he was staking his claim to the earth on which he stood, marking it out as his.

‘You in here?’

‘Who else would you expect to find in your shower—your bathroom?’

Her voice didn’t have quite the strength or the genuine lift of humour that she aimed for, but she was struggling with too many other feelings to be able to control it properly. Even at a distance of several metres, just knowing that Liam was there, in the doorway, made her naked skin tingle all over. It was as if the low, faintly husky rasp of his voice was like a caress over her exposed flesh, bringing the blood springing to the surface, and setting a pulse throbbing at her temples.



Peta pulled her head from under the running water to listen more clearly.

‘What did you say?’

‘I said, our. Not my shower, but ours. Our bathroom too.’

The reproof was low, light, good-humoured, but all the same it sent a shiver running down Peta’s spine, chilling her blood in spite of the warmth of the water.

Our bathroom. Our shower.

Did he know what it did to her to hear those words on his tongue? To catch the deep, dark, faintly possessive note in the sensual voice? To recognise just what it was that had put it there?

To know that what he really thought he possessed was her?

To the rest of the world Liam Farrell might be her husband, the man with whom she was supposed to be celebrating her first wedding anniversary this late December evening. But Peta knew that the real truth was very much more complicated than that. And that was what had set her mind on its restless, disturbed pattern of thought for some days now.

‘Shall I join you in there?’


There had been nothing in the least bit dangerous or threatening in the question. As a matter of fact, it had been asked in the easiest, most laid-back way. But all the same it had Peta stiffening in instant rejection, her heart lurching into pounding in double-quick time.

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