She wants a baby. He needs an heir. It seems like the perfect arrangement...until they decide to conceive the old-fashioned way.
Having a baby with his best friend is the means to an end for Nick Caroselli. In his quest to receive a ten-million-dollar inheritance, he'll also be giving Theresa Phillips the one thing she really wants...a child. Once the baby's born and the money's in the bank, they can divorce, share custody and go back to being buddies. But their best-laid plans are about to take a sharp turn under the mistletoe, as things really heat up this Christmas.
From the book
Terri Phillips watched with a mix of irritation and amusement as her best friend, Nick Caroselli, walked briskly through the dining room of the bistro to their favorite booth near the bar, where they met every Thursday night for dinner.
With his jet-black hair, smoldering brown eyes, warm olive complexion and lean physique, heads swiveled and forks halted halfway to mouths as he passed. But Nick being Nick, he didn't seem to notice. Not that he was unaware of his effect on women, nor was he innocent of using his charm to get his way when the need arose.
Not that it worked on her anymore.
"Sorry I'm late," he said with that crooked grin he flashed when he was trying to get out of trouble. Fat snowflakes peppered the shoulders of his wool coat and dotted his hair, and his cheeks were rosy from the cold, meaning he'd walked the two blocks from the world headquarters of Caroselli Chocolate. "Work was crazy today."
"I've only been here a few minutes," she said, even though it had actually been more like twenty. Long enough to have downed two glasses of the champagne they were supposed to be toasting with.
He leaned in to brush a kiss across her cheek, the rasp of his evening stubble rough against her skin. She breathed in the whisper of his sandalwood soap--a birthday gift from her--combined with the sweet scent of chocolate that clung to him every time he spent the day in the company test kitchen.
"Still snowing?" she asked.
"It's practically a blizzard out there." Nick shrugged out of his coat, then stuck his scarf and leather gloves in the sleeve--a habit he'd developed when they were kids, after misplacing endless sets of mittens and scarves--then hung it on the hook behind their booth. "At this rate, we may actually get a white Christmas this year."
"That would be nice." Having spent the first nine years of her life in New Mexico, she'd never even seen snow until she'd moved to Chicago. To this day, she still loved it. Of course, having a home business meant no snowy commute, so she was biased.
"I ordered our usual," she said as Nick slid into his seat.
He loosened his tie, and gestured to the champagne bottle. "Are we celebrating something?"
"You could say that."
He plucked his napkin from the table and draped it across his lap. "What's up?"
"First," she said, "you'll be happy to know that I broke up with Blake."
Nick beamed. "Well, damn, that is a reason to celebrate!"
Nick had never liked her most recent boyfriend--the latest in a long and depressing string of failed relationships. He didn't think Blake had what it took to make Terri happy. Turned out he was right. Even if it did take her four months to see it.
But last week Blake had mentioned offhandedly that his lease was almost up, and it seemed silly that they should both be paying rent when he spent most of his time at her place, anyway. Despite being more than ready to get married and start a family, when she imagined doing it with him, she'd felt. .well, not much of anything, actually. Which was definitely not a good way to feel about a potential husband and father of her children. It was proof that, as Nick had warned her, she was settling again.
Nick poured himself a glass of champagne and took a sip. "So, what did he say when you dumped him?"
"That I'll never find anyone else like him."
Nick laughed. "Well, yeah, isn't that the point? He was about as interesting as a paper clip. With half the personality."
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