The Wedding Secret by Jeannie Moon looks like a great happily ever after! Check out a free sample!
Millionaire baseball player Kevin Rossi is quite a catch…
Harper Poole’s Harvard MBA and killer instincts have made her a high-powered assistant at a software firm that generates billions. No one would ever guess she’s been keeping a secret: that she isn’t the trust fund baby everyone thinks she is, but was really raised in a trailer park in western Pennsylvania. Harper has a great life and has everything she wants—except love. But a one-night stand at a wedding with the bride’s brother can help take a girl’s mind off anything.
Kevin Rossi is a superstar major league catcher who can have any woman he wants. So when Harper discovers she’s pregnant after their one night of passion, she has no intention of making any demands on him. It will just be another secret to keep. But when the two meet again a year later, Harper wrestles with her choice—especially when her heart longs for the father of her baby…
As a rule, Harper Poole didn’t do slutty, but she figured there was a first time for everything.
So, she just gave in to the sensations when she felt Kevin’s big hands slide up her legs and slip under her dress. He was warm and strong and as he gripped her bare cheeks and lifted her onto the table in the wine cellar, Harper could only think about the physical release he represented.
Other than deciding in the last few minutes, since he first kissed her, that his mouth was a miracle, she didn’t know this man well. Didn’t know how he felt about her. Didn’t know if he was going to tell his friends or his family how he screwed her brainless in a semi-public place.
Harper didn’t care.
She’d given up the idea of the fairy tale a long time ago. There was no happy ever after in her future, so she was content to have great sex and live the life she was meant to live. She had money, status, power and that was going to have to be enough. Loneliness never played a role in her life because she never had a lot of use for people. Of course, right then she had a lot of use for the guy who’d just tossed her very expensive thong on the floor.
“Christ,” he said as he stroked a finger over her damp folds. “You’re as bare as a baby’s bottom down here.”
“Have a problem with that?” She sucked in a breath when he kissed her mound, his lips brushing over her, light as a feather.
“Nope. None at all.” His hands were on her knees now, spreading them open so he could get his big body between her legs. “I’m going to thoroughly enjoy making you scream.”
“Oh, think you can make me scream, do you?” she teased. “I don’t know if you’re up to it.”
Kevin chuckled and pressed his crotch into her thigh. She could feel him through his suit pants and he was plenty up. Impressively so. Bracing his hands on each side of her, he leaned in, and looked in her eyes. He was so damned gorgeous Harper almost got dizzy looking at him. Big and broad, he had the bone structure of a Roman god, short, thick dark hair and brilliant blue eyes that were full of mischief and challenge. “I will make you scream, Harper, first when I put my mouth on you and then when I’m inside you. You can take it to the bank.” He dropped to his knees, and pressed a kiss to her inner thigh while his hair tickled her girly bits. His eyes were closed now as he concentrated on his task, and his lashes fluttered against his cheek. Cripes, it should be against the law for a man to have eyelashes like that, yet they always did. Bastards, all of them.
“You’re always so damned controlled,” he said as he kissed her again. “I can’t wait to see you fall apart for me.”
She was fine with falling apart, but she’d never been with a man who’d made her whimper, much less scream, and she’d had some skillful lovers. But screaming orgasms? Never had one. “Hmph,” she shrugged when he looked up at her. “We’ll see.”
Kevin flashed a million dollar grin at her from his place between her legs, obviously loving the challenge she’d just put before him. Harper realized she was playing with fire. The guy was a superstar athlete who thrived on challenge and now he was going to make her screams a part of his mission. This was getting better and better.
“Think they’ll miss us upstairs? Your sisters would have a fit if they knew what was going on in here.” He was the brother of the bride and the groom’s best friend. But she and Kevin were both a little drunk on wine and so overcome by hormones that they had to find a place to be alone. It was the last dance they shared that put them over the edge. The dance where she could feel every muscle through his dress shirt. Could smell his cologne mixing with his own unique scent. Harper didn’t usually believe in chemistry. But they had it in spades.
“Nah,” he said. “I doubt they’ll miss me. Everything is winding down.”
The wedding might have been winding down, but the wine cellar was getting kind of hot. Harper felt a shot of pleasure as his mouth landed on her center. She could feel the heat and wetness of his mouth and what he did, the sucking and teasing, was positively magic. Lowering herself back onto the hard oak table, she draped an arm across her eyes and let the sensations fill her.
She’d never been tended to like this. This wasn’t the usual flicking of the tongue. No glancing passes with lips. Instead, there was a thorough exploration, a gentle worship that was different from anything she’d experienced before. This was intimate. Her partner wasn’t just going through the motions. Teasing aside, Kevin was making this all about her. Every touch, every nibble, every taste was meant to bring her pleasure. And Harper could feel the climax building. Building inside her like a furious wave. Her muscles started to tense and the ache forming low in her womb told her she was primed for detonation. Mother of God, he was good at this.
Harper’s breaths became short and shallow, and she could have gone over the edge at any time, but he didn’t stop. He changed the pace and gripped her hips, pressing his thumb against the nub that was going to be her undoing. She jerked back and gasped as he dove in with more purpose.
“Don’t go anywhere,” he said against her. “You’ll miss the good part.”
This wasn’t the good part? Everything inside her was contracting. Muscles pulled in, fire shot through her nerve endings and with one final tug of his mouth, Harper’s body let go. Her mind spun and her back arched and lightning flashed inside her eyelids. Deep within her the release kept coming, over and over. Waves of pleasure rocked her and then, without warning Harper called his name. Screamed his name. Damn.
Gasping for air, she wondered for a second if she’d lost consciousness. Before she knew it, she saw his face hovering over hers. Kevin nuzzled her neck and brushed the hair away from her face.
Harper nodded, feeling the smile tug at her mouth. “Yes you did. And that was…that was. Oh, my God. It was…”
“Hold that thought,” he said. “We’re not near done and I have to concentrate on outdoing myself.”
“You are so cocky,” she said, smiling at him. “But please, don’t let me stop you.”
“Baby, not a chance of that happening.”
Kevin Rossi had no idea what he was doing making love to Harper Poole in the wine cellar of a swanky private club in Manhattan. That his sister Caroline’s wedding was going on one floor above them was another thing altogether. This was not his brightest idea, but Harper was so funny and so damn hot, he couldn’t resist her. With her mile long legs and her big hazel eyes, the woman was walking seduction.
But it was her bite, her wit, which sparked his deeper interest. Behind the polished exterior was a first class brain. Kevin loved women with brains. He loved the give and take, the disagreements. Women with brains were never easy, but they always kept things interesting.
Unfortunately, in his line of work, he didn’t meet enough of them. The really smart ones thought he was just another meathead—a pro ball player with a lot of muscle, who could call a game from behind the plate, who could clear the bases with a home run, but didn’t have much in the way of gray matter. It was a good thing his professors at Stanford didn’t let anyone know that he got his degree in economics with honors. It would have blown his dumb jock cover right to hell.
“Penny for your thoughts,” Harper teased.
He realized he was gazing at her, not saying anything, just taking in the features of that perfect face. “I’m thinking about what I can do to you next.” Looking around, all the wine tucked into racks along the wall offered endless possibilities. “If I could get you totally naked I’d probably pop the cork on one of those expensive bottles of champagne and bathe you in it.”
Harper raised an eyebrow and sat up. Kevin still stood between her legs and he couldn’t help but smile. She was a sight with her mussed hair and flushed face. Her dress was pushed up to her waist and her panties—where did those panties go?
“You have quite the imagination, but that’s not really practical.” Running her hands over his chest, her touch reminded him why they’d come down there in the first place. She kept moving down and stopped at his belt, tugging at the buckle. She looked into his eyes and licked her lips. “Is it my turn?” she asked.
Wrapping his arms around her and easing her back onto the table, Kevin leveraged himself over her and took her mouth in a kiss that stole her breath and his. “If you do that, I won’t reach my goal of making you scream twice.”
“Ah, well. What are you waiting for?”
Kevin smiled before dropping another searing kiss on her lips. “I want to see you again,” he whispered and he didn’t know what to think when he felt Harper tense up. “Let me take you out one night.”
She pulled him close and nibbled on his neck. “That’s not necessary. I don’t need to be wined and dined.”
“I know, but I want to.” She looked shocked. Genuinely shocked. Her hand came up and brushed his cheek. There was something hesitant and tender in the gesture. His request had definitely thrown her off her game.
“Kiss me,” she whispered. “I want you so badly, Kevin. Kiss me.”
Not hesitating, he took her mouth with his and let the heat build between them. He’d never fit with a woman like this, never been so in tune with her every movement. Her taste, the smell of her sweet breath spurred him on.
Moving away from her luscious mouth, he left a trail of kisses along her collarbone, her throat and over the swells of her breasts. Kevin loved listening to her breath quicken, loved that he could make her feel like this. Her fingers were now working at his belt and his zipper and when Harper’s hands came in contact with his very hard dick, she sighed and he groaned. “Oh, baby,” he hissed. “That’s nice.”
“Uh, huh” she began. “I’m going to make you feel very nice, but if you aren’t inside me soon, I will scream. And it will be for all the wrong reasons.”
It was now or never. They’d been down here a long time and at this point they were risking discovery. And that danger only added to the thrill. This woman had nerve.
Kevin chuckled and positioned himself at her opening, and almost lost all control when the head of his erection came in contact with all of that wet heat. Moving into her inch by inch was torture. He wanted to drive home more than anything. He wanted to ride her to that scream, but watching Harper’s face melt with pleasure as he entered her was worth the restraint.
She was hot and tight and when he finally slid the final inch, Harper said his name. It wasn’t the scream he was going for, but a blissful sigh, and when he gripped her hips and started to move, Kevin was hoping to get a few more of those.[EB1]
One Year Later
Fifteen minutes. Harper had fifteen minutes to get this baby settled down to nap, gather her papers and get to her meeting.
Then her darling girl burped against her shoulder, but instead of spitting up on the cloth that was in place for that purpose, the child lifted her head and dribbled the warm liquid all over the front of Harper’s silk blouse.
“Of course you got my blouse. Nice aim, kiddo.” Normally, her daughter would burst into a smile, her blue eyes twinkling and her soft skin flushing pink. But this time, her face scrunched and an ear-shattering wail filled the room. Anna’s scream was so loud, Harper was fairly sure[EB2] certain the entire building heard. “Oh, God. Shhhh. Shhh, baby. I’m sorry.”
Harper hated when she cried and was sure every tear was her fault. “Oh, Anna,” she cooed, rubbing her cheek against the baby’s soft dark hair. “Please quiet down. Mommy has a meeting.”
“Why don’t you get ready for your meeting and let me try?” Harper turned toward the voice and saw her friend and boss’s wife, Meg Campbell. Meg was an experienced mom and as much as Harper hated to admit when she didn’t know something, Meg had been a wonderful help and resource. It had been said more than once that being a single mom wasn’t for sissies and standing in the middle of her office, covered in spit up, drove that point home. Anna was still squirming in her arms, crying like, well, like a baby. Meg was actually a godsend.
“Do you mind?”
“Are you kidding?” Meg reached for Anna and practically grabbed her out of Harper’s arms. “Come here you precious baby. Let Auntie Meg make everything better.”
Meg nuzzled Anna’s soft head and Harper marveled at the dichotomy. Her friend was movie star gorgeous, with her curvy body and long curly blonde hair, but she looked most at home with small children. It was a good thing considering Meg, who was married to a billionaire, insisted on keeping her job as a teacher.
Harper went to the closet in her beautiful corner office and took a clean blouse out of the dry cleaner’s plastic. She’d learned the hard way to keep a few sets of spare clothes on hand for the baby and for herself. It seemed Anna’s second favorite thing to do after eating, was spitting up.
The soiled blouse was tossed in the corner of her private bathroom, she donned the new slate blue top and as annoyed as Harper was about the mess, she couldn’t help but melt when she stepped back into her office and saw her little Anna giggling at her. She had turned into a complete mush for the kid.
“There’s Mama,” Meg sang. “All clean.”
The baby gurgled and spit one more time, but Meg was ready with a clean burp cloth. “Gotcha,” she said. She glanced at Harper who was putting a contract into her portfolio. “This one is a sneak. She waits until your guard is down and then gets you.” Turning Anna to face her, Meg kissed the baby’s cheek. “But it’s okay, isn’t it beautiful? We understand each other. What’s a little puke between friends?”
“You’re telling me.” Walking toward her baby she felt a pinch of guilt knowing her daughter and Meg were connected in a way no one suspected. Forget the pinch. Harper felt a bucket of guilt, but there was no way she could tell Meg the truth. She extended her hands to take the baby.
“I’m going to drop her at the nursery before my meeting.” Thank goodness for the in-house daycare. Anna’s nanny was on vacation for another three days and the nursery provided a perfect alternative.
Meg held Anna and turned her back to Harper in a magnificently defiant pose. “No. She’s going to stay here and play with Auntie Meg.”
“Meg, you don’t have to stay with her.”
“I want to. When she gets sleepy I’ll bring her to the nursery.”
“Are you sure?”
Meg settled into the big armchair by the window that overlooked the harbor. It was a gorgeous fall day and there were still a number of boats in the water. A seagull squawked and Harper felt her blood pressure drop. The building Jason Campbell had renovated for his firm, Reliance, was originally the main shop in an old shipyard. It was no longer the place where luxury sailboats were built, but instead, the entire complex had been taken over by the leading designer of financial security software.
And Harper kept it running smoothly.
The move from Manhattan to the old shipyard on Long Island didn’t seem like a good idea when Jason first proposed it, but now that the renovations were done, and the campus was up and running, Harper understood why he did it. Everything about the new location was geared to employee comfort and productivity. Her boss learned from tech giants like Google and Apple that innovation, and profitability, went hand in hand with happy employees. Looking outside once again, Harper caught sight of some software engineers playing a game of pick-up basketball. Someone from marketing was sitting at one of the picnic tables in the courtyard, writing notes on a legal pad and looking at advertising sketches.
Jason spared no expense and pumped all the company’s profits for the past year into the renovation.
The result was spectacular and as Harper walked to her meeting, through the glass enclosed hallways, with loads of natural light and plants, she knew Jason, once again, had made the right decision. She’d had her doubts about moving the company from Manhattan, but the result spoke for itself.
The campus was a hive of activity and people were genuinely happy working for Reliance Software. It was a great environment and Jason and his partners, Nate and Owen, were seeing the benefits.
Harper was also starting to embrace her existence on Long Island’s picturesque North Shore. Still a city dweller, Harper had an apartment on the Upper West Side, and the reverse commute from Manhattan wasn’t bad considering she had a company car and driver at her disposal. But with Anna, she was coming to realize a house on Long Island might be a better place to raise a child.
She’d done some very preliminary house hunting, and found one she really loved. So much so, she couldn’t get the house out of her head. It was probably too big and too expensive, but when Harper got something stuck in her head, she didn’t stop until she got the job done.
The house would be hers.
The conference room was already buzzing by the time Harper walked in and took her place to Jason’s right. Her official title was Director of Operations, but along with keeping the company running smoothly, Harper kept her brilliant, and sometimes flaky, boss on track.
“You made it,” Jason said. “I heard Anna scream like a banshee, I didn’t know if you’d be here.”
“Your wife saved the day. Make sure you thank her later.”
Jason chuckled and nodded. “She loves that baby.”
“She loves all babies. I predict your house will be full in a few years.”
Jason grinned. “We can hope.”
Harper never thought she’d want kids, but when she found out she was pregnant a year ago, the mommy bug bit and bit hard. There wouldn’t be a daddy in the picture, but she knew she could support and love her child.
Of course, she didn’t know how the baby’s father would feel about the fact that he had a child. It had never been discussed, and that was the thing that twisted her insides. She assumed that his playboy lifestyle, that his lack of any real interest in long term relationships meant he wouldn’t want a child. But she’d never asked.
Glancing out the window she saw Meg walking through the garden with Anna snuggled close and once again the guilt dinged her. Harper kept way too many secrets and now Anna was at the top of the list.
The very top. And from the minute she made the decision to raise her daughter on her own, Harper’s entire life depended on the name of Anna’s daddy remaining a secret.
Kevin Rossi ran through Central Park with Springsteen blasting in his ears and a level of anonymity he could only get in New York City. He missed the perfect weather in San Diego, the hominess of Chicago, but the ability to be normal only happened here. And he loved it.
He still had to watch out for the groupies who zeroed in on him like he had a GPS chip embedded in his ass and he avoided the club scene because he was no longer interested in one night bar hook-ups. At thirty-five he was ready to settle down and he had a pretty good idea who he’d like to settle down with.
Leggy and hot, Harper had avoided his phone calls for six months before he finally gave up. After an incredibly hot bout of sex at his sister Caroline’s wedding last year, they’d been on a dozen dates in a month’s time, all of them ending in her apartment the next morning. And Kevin, who never wanted a commitment while he was still playing ball, thought he could have found the woman he wanted to spend his life with.
She was snarky and fun. Independent and beautiful. Everything he could have wanted and they were great together in bed. She was completely unaffected by his money and celebrity. In short, Harper didn’t take his shit.
And since she’d been dodging him, she obviously wasn’t interested in him.
Being dumped was new for Kevin and at first he didn’t know if he couldn’t get his mind off Harper because he really liked her or because his ego was bruised. He got his answer a month before when he ran into her at the opening of his brother-in-law Jason’s new offices on Long Island.
Harper was there in her official capacity and looked better than good in her executive sexy suit and high heels. It was as Kevin watched her work the room, flashing her thousand watt smile at a client one minute and then organizing a brigade of waiters the next, that he knew missing her wasn’t about his ego. It was about her. He wanted her bad, and he was willing to make a total fool of himself if she’d just throw him a bone.
But other than a passing glance, Harper found every way to keep her distance and Kevin was trying to figure out what he did.
He finished the last quarter of a mile around the reservoir at a dead run, focusing on his stride and his heartbeat which was pounding with the drumbeat in his headphones. Once Kevin drifted off the foot path, he collapsed on a bench near a playground. He pulled up the front of his t-shirt and mopped his sweaty brow, reeling at the smell. He was ripe.
The day was perfect. Sunny and warm, but not hot, and the only problem was that it was October and he wasn’t playing baseball. Leaning forward, he dropped his head and watched a bead of sweat drop off his nose letting him know one more time how hard he’d pushed his body.
His work ethic was what made him most attractive to teams, but his matinee idol reputation was a distraction and it had him bouncing around the league. He attracted lots of female fans to games, but he wasn’t a big enough factor on any team to warrant the problems they caused. Kevin hadn’t been a number one draft pick. He wasn’t naturally talented. Everything he accomplished came from hard work. His conditioning routine over the past five years was like religion and he had no doubt in his mind that it was because of how hard he pushed himself that he’d gone from being a twentieth round draft pick to being one of the highest paid players in the game.
And one of the most traded, until now.
What a difference a year made. Kevin had signed a deal as a free agent to play in California the previous year that pretty much guaranteed he’d have a place to play for life. There was a no-trade clause built in, unless he was going to go back to New York.
Around the All-Star break, Kevin was part of a trade so major, league officials almost negated the deal. There was a huge concern about the power balance between the divisions and Kevin was having a hard time with the fact that trading him to another team could make that big a difference. But the trade finally went through, sending Kevin back to the Mets, his hometown team, where he would be a solid clean-up hitter and a catcher who could handle some serious pitching talent.
That plan fell apart, though, when the star lefty broke his leg trying to catch a pop fly that he should have let go foul. The kid was showboating and missed the last four weeks of the season as a result.
During those weeks Kevin did his part, posting the best batting average of his career, but the team pretty much tanked. And while no one knew how the season would have gone if the rookie had been healthy, there was nothing Kevin could do to stop the slide. So much for making a difference.
Staring at the ground, with his elbows braced on his knees, a pair of small pink sneakers suddenly appeared in front of him. He glanced up into the face of a pretty little girl of about seven years old who wore her blonde hair in a long messy pony tail. Her big blue eyes were wide and she held out a white plastic wiffle ball and a pen. “Mr. Rossi,” she said quietly. “Will you sign this?”
Her little voice trembled and Kevin remembered the times he approached a favorite ball player for an autograph. He had to give the kid credit for her nerve. Kevin nodded and took the ball and pen. “Why don’t you sit down?” He patted the bench next to him and his young fan scrambled into the seat. “What’s your name?”
The child beamed and revealed a gap-toothed smile. “Caroline.”
“I have a sister named Caroline.” His response elicited another smile and Kevin found himself charmed by the little girl. “You like baseball?”
Caroline nodded frantically. “I couldn’t believe it when I saw you sitting here. You’re my favorite player. Mommy said I shouldn’t bother you, but I knew you wouldn’t mind.”
He looked up and spotted Mom standing by a tree about twenty feet away. She was young and pretty and looked nervous, which made sense. Her daughter was sitting next to a strange man who probably smelled only a little better than a laundry bin filled with dirty jock straps. Rubbing his hand over his chin, Kevin could only imagine what he looked like. He hadn’t shaved in two days and he sorely needed a shower.
“Normally, you should always listen to your mom, but I’m glad you stopped to talk to me.” He signed the wiffle ball and handed it back. “Got a game?”
“Nah, we just came to the park to play. Daddy always meets us after work when it’s nice out. I’ll have to go on the swings now since I can’t ever play with this ball again.” Caroline held up the ball and showed it to her mother who waved her over as she nodded her thanks to him.
“Thank you, Mr. Rossi,” Caroline said.
“You can call me Kevin.”
She giggled. “Okay. Thanks, Kevin. See you around.”
Kevin felt his mouth curve into a smile as he waved goodbye. The girl was adorable, happy and enthusiastic, just what he would want in his own kids.
Kids he was starting to think he’d never have.
Jeannie Moon has always been a romantic. When she’s not spinning tales of her own, Jeannie works as a school librarian, thankful she has a job that allows her to immerse herself in books and call it work. Married to her high school sweetheart, Jeannie has three kids, three lovable dogs and a mischievous cat and resides on Long Island, NY. If she’s more than ten miles away from salt water for any longer than a week, she gets twitchy. The Wedding Secret is the third book in her Forever Love Series from NAL/InterMix. Visit Jeannie’s website at www.jeanniemoon.com
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