Moragh's Ghost Book 1
by Maggie Tideswell
Genre: Paranormal Romance
read! Maggie Tideswell's book is impossible to put down. This writer
is skilled in evoking deep emotions in the readerA pleasure to read."
- Amazon Reviewer
A marriage of convenience - no strings attached - suited both Holly and Joshua just fine; a virgin marriage, so that they could both walk away… But they made a crucial mistake: they didn't take chemistry into account.
Seriously? They actually advertised for a husband for her without telling her?
She was going to have to kill them, stone dead.
But having a ‘husband’ behind her would give her an edge she didn’t have now. Donald, her ex, and his wife would have to revise their strategy of keeping her children away from her. That was an advantage worth taking a risk for. But what kind of man was likely to respond to a tiny ad in the newspaper no one reads anymore?
Nicole had to marry him now or let him go. He was done waiting, but he did not know what else he could do to persuade her to his way of thinking. Until he saw the little ad in the paper. A plan fell into his head as if he'd snapped his fingers. This woman who audaciously advertised herself as available would do perfectly. Married to another woman would make him irresistibly attractive to Nicole – as was the case with everything she wanted and couldn’t have.
From the moment Holly accepted Joshua’s offer of marriage, strange things started happening to her, and the strangeness followed her to her new (temporary) home. She was going to have to unravel a decades-old mystery before anything else.
A ghost, a wronged fiancée, and trouble with everyone around them. Will Holly and Joshua get what they’ve set out to achieve?
Joshua closed the door behind the last of the guests and steered Holly into what he called the morning room. A friendly fire now burned in the grate, the flames dancing energetically in the wind whispering down the chimney.
He handed Holly a glass of wine. “You’re going to drink this one. I’ve been watching you all night. Not much made it down the hatch, did it? Bettina is going to be hurt to know how little the bride appreciated her cooking.”
“I couldn’t eat. And I’m not much of a drinker,” Holly mumbled. She’d eat and drink and be merry when she felt like eating and drinking, when there was something to be merry about. Tonight was not one of those occasions. Now they were finally alone, she was nervous, if that kiss in the study was any indication…
One question kept going through her mind. Was she strong enough to resist Joshua’s considerable charms? If not, where would that leave her in the scheme of things?
The silence in the room finally penetrated and she looked up. Joshua was staring at her and the expression in his eyes dried her mouth. His face was impassive, but the hunger in those gray eyes burned her skin where they touched.
If only she could shake the feeling of strangeness enveloping her so she could concentrate on Joshua.
He raised his glass to her. “Thank you for marrying me. I hope everything turns out exactly as you wanted it to.” His voice was very low, but her nerve endings had no trouble picking up the timbre.
“No, thank you for marrying me. Do you really think your plan is going to bring Nicole around?”
Glass in hand, pulling at his tie, he sauntered toward her. “Oh, yes, it most certainly will work. You see, tonight was the shocker. Next, she’ll go into denial and try everything in the book to discredit you, then will come the tears and tantrums and finally, there will be capitulation. But enough about Nicole. I told you, I have no intention of spending our wedding night discussing my ex-fiancée. Tonight is yours, Mrs. Jordan.” He touched his glass to hers. “Please, tell me about your children.”
She shivered and moved a step closer to him. She didn’t doubt anymore that Moragh had followed her to Fairley, but what did she have against children? What did she have against her boys, specifically? “Donny is ten and Matt eight. They’re lively, happy boys. At least they used to be.”
“Why did you get divorced?”
“Umm, Donald must have gotten bored with me. He employed Gwen as a temp when his secretary went on maternity leave. They must have started their affair almost immediately. I thought it would fizzle out, but it didn’t. Donald wanted a divorce, and there was no point fighting it. He married Gwen a month after the divorce was finalized.” Holly glanced into the dark corners. Nothing was lurking there, but someone was in the room with them, she felt the presence.
“He didn’t waste time, did he? Why did he get custody?” Because she was, Joshua also glanced about.
“We have joint custody. To minimize the trauma of the divorce for them, I wanted the kids to stay in their familiar environment. For that reason, we didn’t sell the house, so Donald and the kids could live there, close to their school. It was just easier that way. I had the kids every other weekend and we used to alternate school holidays.”
“Sounds like a good arrangement. What happened to change it?”
Holly tried to concentrate on the conversation. “It started to go wrong about eight months ago. Suddenly, Donald had an excuse every time I arrived to pick up the boys. Then two weeks ago, the same day you proposed, Gwen accused me of trying to get Donald back and of poisoning the boys against her. She told me I’d never see my kids again.”
“She can’t do that.”
“I know, but she is, and Donald is letting her.” Holly swept another glance about the room. It was empty except for the two of them, but she couldn’t shake the feeling that someone else was in the room with them, someone she couldn’t see.
Joshua glanced over his shoulder. “Phillip will tell us what we should do about the kids and your ex. Now, back to us. You seem nervous. Are you scared of something?”
“Yes, very,” Holly said without thinking. She gulped some wine and managed to choke herself. Next thing she knew, the glass disappeared from her hand and Joshua was vigorously patting her back.
Eventually, she wiped the tears from her face. “Thank you,” she croaked, trying to put some distance between them. But Joshua didn’t let her go.
“Are you sure you’re all right?” His hand was warm on her back. With the other, he lifted her chin.
“It went down the wrong way.” Her voice was still not her own.
“Oh, dear, sounds like I’ll have to resort to mouth to mouth, after all.” He pulled her up against his chest. “You’re not scared of me, are you?”
Holly swallowed hard. “Should I be?” She glanced over his shoulder.
Noticing, Joshua turned to follow her glance.
“That depends.” He grinned. “Do you think a kiss very dangerous?”
He was making fun of her. She pushed against his chest. “Joshua, we shouldn’t…we have a deal…and you said…you said…”
With his hand cupping the back of her head, he pulled her closer. “Forget what I said.” He smiled, homing in. “You’re my wife at this precise moment, and I want to kiss my wife.”
But he didn’t kiss her immediately. As he studied her face, his smile dwindled. His hands moved down her back, pulling her closer. It had been a very long time since she’d felt a hard male body against hers. Anticipation dried her mouth, objection pushed to the farthest recesses of her mind.
His breath, tinged by cigarette smoke and wine, warmed her skin in the moment before he brushed his lips over hers, then closed them over her mouth.
When he lifted his head to look questioningly at her, she was the one to draw his head back down to hers, pressing herself to him. The air kissed her back, and she vaguely registered her wedding dress slipping from her shoulders. Without breaking away from his devouring mouth, her fingers found the buttons on his shirt, and it joined her dress on the floor.
He groaned deep in his throat when they came together, skin to fevered skin. He lifted his head when the hard ridge of his erection pressed into her.
She barely recognized his voice. “I want you very badly, but are you sure, Holly?”
She didn’t want to talk, she didn’t want to consider the implications of what they were doing. All she knew was that she wanted him. Her answer was to unclasp his belt and push his pants to his ankles.
He grinned as he lowered her with utmost care to the thick carpet.
Tideswell, internationally acclaimed bestselling South African
author, has a passion for romance. All over the world people are
falling in love, making it love, not money, that makes the world go
Ghosts just can't seem to leave her alone and she combines things that can't be explained, sweaty bodies and rumpled beds in a way that will make your toes curl and your hair stand on end.
Maggie just can't do without perfume, coffee and the internet. She is nearly as passionate about food as she is about creating alpha heroes every woman will fall in love with, just as she does, every time.
The strangest thing is that cats have never played any kind of role in her stories, as she is owned by three of them.
That might change soon.
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