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After Their Vows Mass Market Paperback – June 21, 2011


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About the Author

Michelle Reid grew up on the southern edges of Manchester, the youngest in a family of five lively children. Now she lives in the beautiful county of Cheshire, with her busy executive husband and two grown-up daughters. She loves reading, the ballet, and playing tennis when she gets the chance. She hates cooking, cleaning, and despises ironing! Sleep she can do without and produces some of her best written work during the early hours of the morning.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

'What do you want me to do about it?'

Seated behind his desk, engrossed in the business report spread open in front of him, Roque de Calvhos responded impassively, 'You do nothing.'

Mark Lander continued to hover like a man in a quandary, frowning behind his spectacles because doing nothing was not an option his employer could afford to take.

'She could make trouble,' he dared to offer, all too aware that the younger man did not take kindly to interference into decisions he made about his private life.

Roque de Calvhos was a chip off the old block when it came to a cut-throat mentality. When Eduardo de Calvhos had become ill and died suddenly three years ago, no one had expected his notorious playboy son to calmly stride in here and start making his presence felt, with far-sweeping decisions most people had believed were a precursor to the quick demise of de Calvhos power.

They now knew better. What Roque had done with the huge network of diverse companies which made up the de Calvhos business empire had put his father's colossal success in the shade. Now obsequious respect shadowed the thirty-two-year-old's every elegant footstep. If the financial industry could give out such awards, Roque de Calvhos would have sprouted wings. He was also remarkably good-looking, insufferably laid-back, and so impossible to read that there were still some fools out there who dared to underestimate him—only to learn the hard way what a huge mistake they had made.

His estranged wife was not one of those people. 'At the moment she is citing irreconcilable differences. Think about it, Roque,' Mark advised. 'Angie is basically letting you off the hook here.'

Giving up on the report, Roque sat back in his chair to look up at the older man. Eyes as black as the neatly groomed hair on his head revealed nothing as he studied the lawyer's concerned face.

'You are about to remind me that my wife signed no pre-nup,' Roque predicted. 'Take it from me, Mark, Angie is not greedy. I trust her not to attempt to skin me alive, okay?'

'That depends on what you mean by skinning you alive,' his lawyer responded dryly. 'That she doesn't want your money? Okay, I will agree with you that Angie does not want your money, or she would have been demanding a large cut of it long before now. I would, however, be willing to lay odds that she does not feel the same way about skinning you of your honour and pride. She wants this divorce, Roque.' Mark stated it firmly. 'If the only way she can get it is by playing dirty then you have to consider if you are going to like her citing adultery on your part to get what she wants. If she does decide to go down that route there is just no way we will be able to keep it out of the public arena, and you know as well as I do the old can of worms she will be opening if that happens.'

Roque set his teeth together in frustration behind the moulded shape of his lips because he knew that Mark was right. The Playboy and the Two Supermodels…headlines were bound to start up again. Last time, the slick, character-slaying stories had run for weeks, trawling out his cavalier playboy past and quoting phrases about leopards and spots.

He released a sigh, hating it that Mark was right.

Taking that sigh as an indication that he could go on, Mark Lander took in a deep breath and went for broke. 'Angie has hard evidence that you slept with Nadia Sanchez. The stupid woman gave her the evidence herself because she wanted to break up your marriage.'

'She succeeded,' Roque confirmed flatly.

'You were damn lucky back then that Angie decided to keep silent about the affair in an effort to save her own face.'

There was a lot more to Angie's motivations than mere saving face, Roque mused, using the luxuriant swoop of his eyelashes to shade his eyes so that the lawyer could not read his thoughts. Angie was hurting. Angie was nursing the worst kind of broken heart a woman could nurse. Angie blamed him and hated him for causing it.

Angie had also caused a minor sensation when she'd walked away from her modelling career and hadn't been seen again for months. He'd had teams of trackers out looking for her all over Europe without one of them managing to flush her out. He'd hounded her kid brother, hoping that Alex would relent and tell him where Angie was. The then eighteenyear-old had told him nothing and enjoyed watching him suffer. When Angie had eventually turned up again, she'd strolled blithely into CGM Management and asked her old boss Carla for an ordinary office job. Now she fronted the desk at the famous modelling agency, and not once in the whole lousy year of their separation had she acknowledged that he was even alive.

Now she was coming at him with a divorce petition, as if she expected him to jump on it with glee. Roque shaded his eyes by another millimetre, the dark iris glittering cal-culatingly behind the guard of his eyelashes as he considered the unfinished business he had with his very hurt, very English, runaway wife.

The kind of business which involved Angie crawling on her knees and begging him to take her back. His pride and his badly bruised ego demanded it. And unfortunately for Angie he had the perfect tool with which to make it happen—he was thinking of a matter Mark knew nothing about, which he'd been keeping a close, watchful eye on.

'No divorce,' he announced, making the lawyer start in surprise as he sat forward and returned his attention to the business report.

'So you're just going to ignore it?' Mark said in disbelief.

'I will deal with it,' he promised, 'but in my own time and way.'

Not liking the sound of that, Mark shifted his stance. 'I think it would be—safer to keep this impersonal and go the legal route.'

'"A esperanga e a ultima que morre,'" Roque murmured, unaware that he had slipped into his own language until after he'd quoted the old Portuguese proverb with a dryness only he understood.

'Hope is the last one to die,' he translated silently, for no other reason than it felt good to know he had that much faith in Angie coming round to his way of thinking.

Though he had no similar faith in Angie's thieving rat of a kid brother, he tagged on.

After Mark had finally given up on trying to change his mind and left him alone, Roque sat for a few minutes, considering what his next move should be, before he pulled a drawer open in his desk and removed a manila file. A few minutes after that he rang for his car to be brought round to the front of the building, rose up to his full and intimidating six feet three inches of hard muscled height, and strode with his usual casual grace for the door.

'Cambridge,' he instructed his driver, then relaxed back and closed his eyes to contemplate netting a small fish to use as bait to reel in the bigger fish.

The atmosphere in Angie's small kitchen hit strangulation levels. 'You've done what?' she choked out in dismay.

Sitting hunched over on a kitchen chair, her brother mumbled 'You heard me.'

Oh, she'd heard him, okay, but that did not mean she wanted to believe what he'd said!

Angie pushed her tumbling mane of fiery hair back from her brow and drew in a breath. When she'd arrived home from work this evening to find Alex already waiting for her, she'd been too pleased to see him to question why he'd made the journey up from Cambridge midweek, with no prior warning that he was planning to pay her a visit. Now she wanted to kick herself for not sensing trouble straight away.

'So, let me just try and get this straight,' she said, fighting to keep her voice level. 'Instead of attending to your studies you've been spending your time gambling on the internet?'

'Playing the stockmarket isn't gambling,' Alex objected.

'What do you call it, then?' Angie challenged.

'Speculating.'

'That's just gambling by another name, Alex!' Angie instantly fired back, 'Stop trying to pretty it up.'

'I wasn't!' he denied. 'Everyone else at uni is doing it! You can make a fortune right now if you know how to play it right.'

'I don't give a damn what everyone else is doing. I only care about you and what you've been doing,' Angie fed back. 'And if you've been making your fortune speculating on the markets, why are you sitting there telling me that you're in debt?'

Like a cornered young stag, her nineteen-year-old brother reared upright. Six feet of long, lanky male, with spiky brown hair and vivid green eyes shot through with burning defence. He threw himself across the room to go and stand glaring out of the window, his hands pushed into the pockets of his zipped-up grey fleece.

The tension in him buzzed. Wrapping her arms around her middle, Angie gave him a minute to get a hold of himself before she pressed quietly, 'I think it's time you told me just how bad it is.'

'You're not going to like it.'

She'd just bet that she wasn't. Angie abhorred debt. She was scared of it. Had been that way from the tender age of seventeen, when their parents had been killed in a car accident, leaving her and her then thirteen-year-old brother to find out the hard way how their privileged lifestyle had been mortgaged to the hilt. What bit was left after probate had finished liquidating their few assets had been barely enough to pay her brother's boarding school fees for the next year. She'd been forced to walk away from her own private education and take two jobs a day in an effort to survive. And she'd worked and scrimped and carefully hoarded every spare penny she'd earned so that she did not fall into debt. If it had not been for a chance meeting with the owner of a top modelling agency she dreaded to think where she and Alex would have ended up.

By then she'd been burning both ends of the candle for twelve long, miserable months, serving behind one of the beauty counters in a London department store by day, and serving tables in a busy City restaurant by night, before going home to her miserable bedsit to sleep like one exhausted and then getting up to repeat the same routine again the next day.

Then Carla Gail happened to come to her counter to buy perfume. Carla had spotted something marketable in ...

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin (June 21, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0373130015
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373130016
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.5 x 6.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,217,056 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Michigangirl on June 14, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Hope is the last to die.

That's the catch phrase of this book and what is supposed to be the reason of the hero's motives.

Roque blackmails Angie back into the marriage with him. She'd left him a year earlier when her brother had gotten in trouble at school yet again and she'd left to go down there. Roque had told her if she went he'd find someone else to warm his bed that night. Angie went, he did. She decided she needed to work on her marriage and turned around. She found him at a night club making out with a model and one step away from having sex with her right there on the dance floor. He was also photographed by the press wrapped around the model going to her apartment/hotel/house. It was all over the papers about him cheating.

But what Roque didn't count on was that Angie would leave him, which is exactly what she did. So now a year later, to save her brother, she's once again back with him. But Angie lusts after him like crazy and was just looking for any excuse to fall back into bed with him. He must be something for all these women to want him so bad that nothing else matters.

Roque's reasoning, that hope is the last to die, sounds so beautiful, except that it was qualified right at the beginning. I didn't notice it on the first time around, but I sure did the second.

Hope is the last one to die,' he translated silently, for no other reason than it felt good to know he had that much faith in Angie coming round to his way of thinking.

That's right, his hope that wouldn't die was just to get Angie to come around to HIS way of thinking. This guy didn't even think he'd done anything wrong until over half way through the book. That's when he admits that maybe a married man shouldn't have acted the way he did.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By T. Wheaton VINE VOICE on July 11, 2012
Format: Paperback
I like Michelle Reid's earlier stuff A Question of Prideremains one of my favorites by her because I thought it was quite intelligently written. But this one was really ...ugh.

The husband, Roque, was immature, possessive...all 'stop helping your brother or I will go sleep with another woman.'

The wife Angie was all weepy and pathetic and had the backbone of a noodle.

The younger brother was a user.

Angie left Roque b/c she thinks he cheated on her and disappeared for a year. He wants her back so he blackmails her using her loser brother as a threat. She hates him! She wants him! They fight, hurling bitter insults at each other all the while lusting for each other. He smirks a lot, she trembles a lot. This happens a lot.

All of this was interspersed with loving descriptions of Roque's Billionaire lifestyle and multiple ways of describing Supermodel Angie's abundant, fiery red curls.

Yawn.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Blue Lily on November 24, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
she was one of my favorite author. this is her worst book. the hero is a jerk and the heroine is a whimp. throughout the book he treated the heroine very badly and the heroine took it. kissing is cheating. he had double standards.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Reader on June 28, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I completely agree with the other reviewer, unfortunately I bought the book without reading the review. I picked up the book thinking that this story would have some semblance with The Ultimate Betrayal. Unfortunately, Ms. Reid completely failed to develop a story that had this reader rooting for the characters or their HEA as she did with The Ultimate Betrayal.

There are so many things wrong with this story I don't even know where to begin. First, I don't get why the H felt as though he was the victim where he deserved vengeance. He might not have had sex with another woman but he did go out with the intent to and ended up making out with her. In my book, making out with someone is also infidelity. Then the h is completely humiliated when the story hit all the newspapers and he still feels that he was wrongfully labeled as an "infidel." AGAIN, you made out with her! Even better was that both the H and the h state that the h was such a bad wife and she drove him into the OW arms. Oh please! More eye-rolling-worthy words have never been written in a romance novel. She stopped working because he wanted to be the center of her world but was a bad wife because she let her brother walk all over her? It seems that as long as the H was doing the walking over her then she would have been a good wife.

Overall the story is even more of a letdown because this author wrote one of my all time favorite H romance stories. Going from the brilliance of her previous work to this story is just disappointing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ree on April 15, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Loved every moment of it. One of MRs really good stories. Loved the heroine and the H came thru admirably in the end. Hope to get more stories from her. I wish you would put her earlier stories on ekindle, like house of glass,eye of heaven and others.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Language Services on April 11, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Michelle Reid is unique. Her stories are full of passion and the characters are deep in conflicting emotions. She never disappoints!

Nevertheless, the Portuguese in this story needs revising badly. Many of the Roque's lines in that language are painfully inaccurate.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Romance Junkie on July 11, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Angie- the heroine was beautiful, a model, stupid, door mat and she was married to a handsome, rich, alpha male who was a tough latin lover-Roque. Angie I felt nothing for her, I just plain didn't like her at all. So whatever happened to her(and it was a lot) I really didn't care. Roque was a hero, a bit of a jerk but better to like then Angie. She was a dumb red head that mostly yelled at her husband and always took her brothers side. Why her husband wanted her back was hard to understand but I guess that's romance? Maybe if Angie had been less stupid I could have liked this story more. In it's defense I did finish the book and there have been some stories I just couldn't finish. So if you ran out of sleeping pills this book will work for you.
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