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Into His Private Domain: A Billionaire Wilderness Romance (The Men of Wolff Mountain Book 1) by [Janice Maynard]

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Into His Private Domain: A Billionaire Wilderness Romance (The Men of Wolff Mountain Book 1) Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 32 ratings
Book 1 of 7: The Men of Wolff Mountain

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

In 2002 Janice Maynard left a career as an elementary teacher to pursue writing full-time.  Her first love is creating sexy, character-driven, contemporary romance.  She has written for Kensington and NAL, and is very happy to be part of the Harlequin family--a lifelong dream.  Janice and her husband live in the shadow of the Great Smoky Mountains.  They love to hike and  travel. Visit her at www.JaniceMaynard.com. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Gareth stepped out of the shower and stared at himself in the mirror. The frigid water had done little to dampen his restlessness. Still nude, he began to shave, his toes curling reflexively against the cool stone floor beneath his bare feet.

When his chin was smooth, he grimaced at his reflection. His thick, wavy black hair almost touched his shoulders. He had always worn it longer than current fashion dictated, but now it had grown so much it was getting in his way when he worked.

He reached into a drawer and drew out a thin leather cord. When he ruthlessly pulled back the damp shanks of hair, they made no more than a stubby ponytail, but at least it was out of his eyes.

A sudden loud knocking at the front door made him groan. Neither of his brothers nor his father would bother to announce their presence. And Uncle Vincent and his cousins sympathized with Gareth's grumpiness too much to bother him. Deliveries always went to the main house. So who in the hell could it be?

He'd had his fill of being the brunt of tabloid stories over the years. Later, the communal nature of military life had given him a deep appreciation for solitude. With the exception of family, Gareth had little desire to interact with humanity if he could avoid it.

When a man had money, everyone with access to him had an angle to play. And Gareth was tired of the game. He grabbed a pair of jeans and thrust them on sans underwear. The single item of clothing would have to suffice. He wasn't in a mood to get dressed just yet. Maybe his dishabille would scare away whoever was demonstrating the temerity to bother a surly Wolff.

He strode through the house, cursing suddenly as the leather thong broke and his hair tumbled free. What in the devil did it matter? Whoever stood on his porch was going to get short shrift from him.

He flung open the door and stared at the diminutive redhead with the wildly corkscrewing, chin-length curls. His stomach plummeted to his feet, but his libido perked up. He inhaled sharply and ground out a few terse words. "Who are you and what do you want?"

The woman caught her breath and backed up half a step. Gareth framed himself in the doorway, bracing his long-fingered hands against the lintel. His barefoot stance deliberately bore no semblance of welcome.

The woman dragged her gaze from Gareth's chest with an effort that might have flattered him in other circumstances. She looked him straight in the eye, speaking slowly but distinctly as if she feared he was a wild animal in need of soothing. "I need to talk to you."

Gareth glared at his undeniably sexy intruder. "You're trespassing."

She was fair-skinned, slender and had a spine so straight a man could use it as a plumb line…or maybe trace his tongue from one end of it to the other until the woman cried out in—

He sucked in a ragged breath and shoveled his hands through his hair, his heart thumping in his chest. He couldn't afford to let down his guard for a second. Even if fire-lit curls and delicate cheekbones were his own personal Achilles' heel. His sex swelled with no more than a whiff of her subtle perfume to give him encouragement.

How long had it been since he'd had a woman? Weeks? Months? He clamped down on the yearning that gripped his body like a fever. "What do you want?"

Her eyelids fluttered nervously over irises that were the clear blue of the sky above. Her small chin was stubborn, her posture defiant. As she wiped her damp brow with her hand, she smiled winningly. "Could we go inside and sit down for a few minutes? I'd love something to drink, and I promise not to take too much of your time."

Gareth tensed, and rage flashed through him with the ferocity of the furious torrents that arose in these mountains during thunderstorms and decimated the low ground far below. A user. Like all the rest.

He ignored her outstretched hand, crowding her, relying on his size and temper to bully her. "Get the hell off my land."

The slight woman stumbled backward, her eyes huge, her face paper-white.

He pressed his advantage. "Go on," he snarled. "You're not wanted here."

She opened her mouth, perhaps to protest, but in that instant, one foot slid off the edge of the porch into thin air. She tumbled backward in graceful slow motion, her hip and head striking his steps with audible, dreadful thuds before her small body settled into an ungainly heap on the unforgiving ground.

Mary, Mother of God. He was at her side in the slice of a second, his hands shaking and his brain mush. He was an animal, no better than the coyotes who roamed the hills at night.

She was unconscious. Gently he stroked his palms down her extremities, searching for breaks. Growing up with male brothers and cousins, he had seen his fair share of broken limbs over the years, but he might be sick if he found a sharp bone protruding through her silky, fine-textured skin.

He heaved a sigh of relief when he found none. But the purplish bruise blooming near her temple and the blood trickling down her leg galvanized him into action.

He scooped her negligible weight into his arms and carried her into the house and to his room, his private sanctuary. He deposited her carefully on the unmade bed and went for ice and medical supplies.

The fact that she was still unconscious began to worry him even more than the deep cut on her leg. He grabbed for the phone and dialed his brother Jacob. "I need you. It's an emergency. Bring your bag."

Ten minutes later, his sibling joined him at the bedside. Both men looked down at the woman who was dwarfed by the bed's size and masculinity. Her red-gold hair glowed against the somber gray and navy of the cashmere blankets.

Jacob examined her rapidly from head to toe, his mien serious, his medical training as automatic as it was thorough. "I'll have to stitch the leg. The knot on her head is bad, but not life-threatening. Pupils seem okay." He frowned. "Is she a friend of yours?"

Gareth snorted, his gaze never leaving her face. "Hardly. She was here for all of two minutes when she fell. Said she wanted to talk to me about something. I'm guessing she could be a reporter."

Jacob's brow creased. "What happened?"

Gareth leaned forward and brushed the hair from her face. "I tried to scare her off and it worked."

Jacob sighed. "That hermit act you put on is going to bite you in the ass someday. Maybe today. Damn it, Gareth. She could sue the family to hell and back. What were you thinking?"

Gareth winced when Jacob stuck a needle in the woman's leg, deadening the small area around her cut. She never moved.

"I wanted her gone," he muttered, irritated, brooding as he battled inward demons. He hoped this female was as innocent as the first pristine snows that fell in late autumn.

But she could just as easily be a viper in their midst.

Jacob finished the last stitch and covered the wound with a neat bandage. He checked his patient's pulse, gave her another shot in the arm for pain and frowned. "We'd better check for ID. Did she have anything with her?"

Gareth nodded. "It's on the chair over there." While Jacob rifled in the woman's long-handled tote, Gareth stared down at the intruder. She looked like an angel in his bed.

Jacob held up a billfold and sheet of paper, a troubled frown on his face. "Take a look at this photo. And her name is Gracie Darlington."

"Unless the ID is a fake."

"Don't jump to conclusions. You wear paranoia like a hair shirt, but this might be nothing sinister at all."

"And pigs could fly. Don't expect me to be gullible just because she's cute and cuddly. I've been down that road."

"Your ex-fiancée was overly ambitious. And cuddly wasn't in her vocabulary. It happened a long time ago, Gareth. Let it go."

"Not until I know the truth."

Jacob shook his head in disgust as he broke an ammonia caplet beneath Gracie's nose.

She moved restlessly and moaned as reality returned.

Gareth took her small hand in his. "Wake up."

She opened her eyes, blinking against the light. Her lips trembled. "There are two of you?" Her brow creased in confusion.

Jacob's chuckle was dry. "As long as you don't see four, I think we're okay. You probably have a concussion. You need to rest and drink plenty of fluids. I'll be nearby if you get worse. In the meantime, don't make any sudden moves."

His attempt at humor didn't register on Gracie's face. Her nose wrinkled in discomfort. "Where am I?"

Jacob patted her arm. "You're in my brother's bedroom. But don't worry. Gareth doesn't bite. And I'm Jacob, by the way." He glanced at Gareth. "Keep ice packs on her leg and the side of her head. I'm leaving a mild painkiller that should give her some relief as the shot wears off. I'll check back in the morning unless anything changes. Bring her to the clinic and I'll x-ray her to make sure I haven't missed something."

Gareth didn't bother to see his sibling out.

He sat down on the edge of the bed and winced inwardly when Gracie, damaged as she was, made the effort to move away from him. The simple exertion drained what little color she had left in her face, and she shuddered, leaned past him and emptied the contents of her stomach onto the floor.

Then she burst into tears.

Gareth was momentarily frozen with indecision. He'd never in his life felt such an urgent, desperate need to comfort anyone. Gracie might be a lying, cheating witch. And even worse, a woman who could cause untold trouble for his family.

But he was helpless in the face of her heartfelt misery. No one could fake such distress.

He went to the bathroom for a damp washcloth, handed it to her and proceeded to clean up the mess on the floor in silence. By the time he was done, her sobs had subsided into hiccupping, ragged sighs. Her eyes were... --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Product details

  • ASIN : B0068479OW
  • Publisher : Harlequin Desire; Original edition (January 1, 2012)
  • Publication date : January 1, 2012
  • Language : English
  • File size : 369 KB
  • Text-to-Speech : Enabled
  • Screen Reader : Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
  • X-Ray : Enabled
  • Word Wise : Enabled
  • Print length : 192 pages
  • Lending : Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 32 ratings

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