Margaret Mayo, Romance Author


The Twelve-Month Marriage Deal

Book Description

The Twelve-Month Marriage Deal

Mills & Boon Modern
ISBN: 0263874621
December 2009
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Forced bride…

Called home unexpectedly, Elena not only finds her sister has fled her own wedding, but that she must take her place as the bride if the family business is to be saved from ruin!

Willing on her wedding night!

Arrogant billionaire Vidal Marquez is shocked – the ugly duckling has become a swan! Elena is furious about the marriage, so he makes a deal: twelve months in his bed as his wife, and then she can simply walk away…

But Vidal’s bed is not a place any woman chooses to leave!

Read Reviews or Read an Excerpt


Read a Review of The Twelve-Month Marriage Deal

“…a unique story that left me eagerly turning the pages…”

Ms. Mayo has done it again! In The Twelve-Month Marriage Deal, she has been able to capture a unique story that left me eagerly turning the pages to find out what would happen between Elena and Vidal…and their unique situation! While there were a few flaws that I address in this review, I must say that I was totally fascinated by this book. I would recommend you read it with an open mind and the realization that not all families and customs are the same and some children would do anything for their parents or at their parent’s request.

—Casey B., WeWriteRomance.com


Read an Excerpt

Vidal could not take his eyes off the strikingly beautiful young woman who had just entered the room. Of its own accord his heart leapt and he instantly wanted to get to know her. She was tall, slim and very, very elegant, confident in the knowledge that she looked good.

Her short, dark hair revealed a long slender neck around which a choker glistened with black gemstones. Her skin was soft and honeyed and he knew that he had to hold her, to touch, to feel – to enjoy!

Two thin straps which matched the necklace held up a black dress that moulded her body in such a way that each movement she made showed off the rounded curves of her breasts, each sway of her hips emphasised the pertness of her bottom.

He felt himself growing hard. This woman needed serious investigation.

She slowly circled the room, talking and laughing as she met people she knew – and was introduced to those she did not. She was vivacious and exciting, confident in her skin, walking with the grace of a female panther. He wondered if she had claws to match. There was something about her that was oddly familiar. Yet he could not recall ever having met her before.

‘She’s grown into quite a looker, hasn’t she?’

Vidal turned and realised that his father had been watching her also.

‘Who is she?’

‘Why Elena, of course. I’m surprised you didn’t recognise her.’

Elena! Elena Marquez! Surely not? ‘I thought she lived in America?’

His father nodded. ‘She does. She’s home on a family visit.’

Now he knew who she was he could see the young girl she had once been. But what a transformation. From gauche to graceful. From plain to sensationally, heart-stoppingly beautiful. From stick thin to enticingly slender with curves in all the right places.

Dios! His heart tapped out a rapid tattoo. She had turned into a magical creature who was in danger of sliding beneath his skin with the stealth of a viper. Reina had rarely spoken about her sister so he’d not really thought about her in all these years. Now she filled his mind and he couldn’t wait for her to finish circling the room and reach his side.

Would she fail to recognise him? Or had he perhaps not changed as dramatically as she had? How many years had it been since he’d last seen her? Five since she went to America. But even before that he’d been too busy getting on with his life to take any notice of her. As far as he was concerned she’d been a wild child. Thoroughly spoilt, totally conceited, no interest in anything except herself.

Suddenly she turned and looked at him, nothing more than a fleeting glance before she resumed her conversation. But it had been enough to heighten his desire even further.

Her eyes were enormous in her elfin face, but there had been no recognition. She’d felt him watching her, that was for sure, it had been a critical stare, but she had no idea who he was.

Nevertheless it felt like a lifetime before she reached his side. A lifetime in which he had enticed her into his bed! He had undressed her slowly, allowing his eyes to appreciate every inch of her amazing body before finally making crazy, fantastic love. Thank goodness she couldn’t see his heart hammering like a mad thing within his chest.

‘Vidal!’ She held out her hand.

So she did know him! All this time she had known exactly who he was – giving her the advantage! And the cold glare she had sent in his direction had been condemning rather than curious. He was none too pleased at the thought. In fact he was damned annoyed.

‘Well, well, well, if the little girl hasn’t grown up.’

Immediately the words were out he knew that it was the wrong thing to say. He wanted to bed her not offend her. But, hell, he’d been caught off guard and it was not a feeling he was accustomed to.

Elena lifted her chin and glared, beautifully, her eyes, more gold than brown at this moment, exquisitely fierce. ‘How many years has it been since we last saw each other?’

‘Quite a few,’ he admitted, wondering what it would really feel like to have this woman beneath him in bed. Heavens, he hadn’t felt like this since he was a teenager and in love for the first time. His body was infused with a heat that threatened to overcome him.

‘Exactly,’ she retorted sharply. ‘You’ve changed, I’ve changed. Is it so remarkable?’

‘I almost didn’t recognise you.’ He wasn’t going to tell her that he had failed to do so. Oh, no. He had no intention of putting himself down in her eyes. ‘May I be permitted to say that the transformation is sensational?’

He never let his eyes move from hers. Just listening to her voice caused an ache in his gut. It was soft and lilting, like the finest music. Infierno, this woman was sending threads of temptation through every fibre of his body. He had never met anyone who had ignited his fire so suddenly and so thoroughly.

‘Thank you, kind sir.’

It was a mocking comeback and it didn’t please him. ‘I hear you’re on a rare visit to your family.’

‘Rare?’ Another flash of her wide eyes. ‘Just because you and I haven’t bumped into each other it doesn’t mean that I don’t come home. I’d like to say it’s been nice speaking to you, Vidal, but I’m afraid it hasn’t. If you have nothing nice to say to me then it’s best we don’t speak at all.’ And she began to walk away.

In an instant he caught her arm. ‘Elena, we have a lot to catch up on.’ His whole body went up in flames as he crushed her enticing body close to his, felt those long sensuous limbs slide agonisingly against his more powerful ones, experienced the torment of her amazing breasts pressed into his chest.

‘Do we?’ she asked coldly. ‘I can see exactly why my sister walked out on you and I don’t blame her.’ Tugging herself free, and with a final condemning glare, she marched away.

He had no choice but to let her go, not if he didn’t want to create a scene. But his eyes followed her, watched the swing of her hips, the long graceful movement of her legs, half expecting her to glance back over her shoulder. She did not disappoint. And he met her eyes head on.

Such beautiful eyes, sloe shaped and a rich dark golden brown, fringed by long thick black lashes. There was a curious mixture of hauteur and interest in the way she looked at him and he allowed himself to smile faintly. Have no fear, Elena Benitez Valero, you’ll never walk away from me again.

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Content copyright © 2006-2014 Margaret Mayo

Text © Copyright 2006-2014 by Margaret Mayo. Cover Art © Copyright 2006-2014 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited.
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